This is a new segment to my blog. I hate my characters to have the same old jobs and yet, I struggle to locate new positions where their work can be either a hindrance or a necessary component to the plot. Let’s face it, if I have a character stumbling across dead bodies on a regular basis she can’t work in Accounts Receivable tucked into a corner every day, she needs to be on the move. Likewise, I can’t have a working mom busting out two minimum wage jobs a day living in a high rise in Manhattan. And she can’t keep missing work if she wants to keep a roof overhead. Can you tell that’s a pet peeve that some characters seem to live paycheck to paycheck, yet are off running all over Dodge trying to solve a mystery?
These posts will cover different job positions, misconceptions (there may be a mobile Accts. Rec. job out there, I don’t know), the most typical drama the job yields – let’s face it every novel has to have conflict, and what we all need to know the most – Where would we be most likely to find the dead body?
Today’s Job Scoop is Pizza Delivery Driver. This interview is with my son Dylan (always start with what/who you know and branch out from there, right?) I’ll break away from family soon.
Thank you, son, for allowing me to take you back to a previous job.
WHAT DID YOU DO – besides deliver pizza?
SON: We did a lot of everything. Wash dishes, prep food, take phone and counter orders. Assemble, bake, and deliver. We’d fold boxes, run for extra supplies from either the Cash and Carry or another affiliate pizza joint.
WHAT IS THE MOST TYPICAL DRAMA YOU EXPERIENCED?
SON: Customer complaints about pizza orders, delivery length (even though we’d tell them when we were slammed and the pizza won’t get there for an hour) – they’d call after half an hour and be upset they hadn’t received the pizza yet.
WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
SON: Morning shift – if one manager in particular was working, she’d leave when I arrived and I set up and prep everything alone.
DID YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY LOCATING ADDRESSES?
SON: Not really. Once in a while a customer would give their address wrong and I’d have to pull over and call them, but for the most part it was easy. I used my GPS or phone.
ANY MYTHS OR MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT YOUR JOB?
SON: No, not really.
WHAT WOULD SAY WERE THE BENEFITS OF YOUR JOB?
SON: Tips – it was nice to have pocket money between paychecks. Free pizza. Most of the people I worked with were pretty cool.
ANY INTERESTING PLACES YOU DELIVERED TO?
SON: A police station. They had a big order, but they didn’t tip.
One time I walked into a new location for a pizza delivery and it was a photo shoot for Lover’s Package.
ME: (Mom glare) tough day (dripping sarcasm).
WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKELY FIND A DEAD BODY?
SON: I delivered to the Indian Reservation a lot, a really seedy section. I’d say there. The back woods of the Indian Reservation. Near the casinos and fireworks area.
WHAT WAS YOUR CREEPIEST MOMENT?
SON: Probably this one house I went to, it was really dark. The place was in a bad section of town, tucked behind a dental office. There were hubcaps lined up around the property like a fence. It was really trashy, nasty yard. When I parked this lady came out and she had huge scabs all over her face. She grabbed the pizza, said, “We’re all sick.” Then walked away.
ANYTHING ELSE I MAY HAVE MISSED THAT YOU’D LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT THIS JOB?
SON: We get some people who are regulars. I had one, Carol. She always ordered on Thursday at eleven in the morning. She’d miss once in a while, but not very often. She was older and had trouble getting to the door so once she knew me, she told me to just come in when I arrived. I set the pizza on the table for her. She was nice. She didn’t call one week. We didn’t worry. But when she didn’t call the next week, we called to check on her. She had passed away. That was sad. You get attached to some of your regulars.
Thanks for your insight son. I appreciate the contribution to my Job Scoop collection.
These posts are meant to give you more depth to your character’s jobs. Whether you need to get them into a location under a good guise or you need to get them to the dead body or maybe they already work the job and you just need some conflict.
If you have a unique job, please contact me Diane (at) DianeDeMasi (dot) com, I’d love to interview you for this segment! Or if you have suggestions for questions or want more information, I will do my best to get it.
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