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O Homem Que Virou Pizza

So I played pizza boy over the weekend which started Friday at our village's bazaar. My bones still ache from bending in front of the oven, running from one customer to the other and carrying boxes of frozen stuff from the house. After the first day, it's become second nature to execute the histrionics with gusto, even in my sleep.

And I will be starting my social realism at this point. Where is the justification for a 300-peso minimum wage when at the end of the day, your body aches with all the movements you've performed an hour before opening and another after closing? Carry styro boxes. Thaw pizza. Pre-heat oven. Arrange storefront. Put on uniform. Wash hands. Look good. Greet prospective customers. Convince customer to buy pizza. Get order. Load pizza into oven. Turn every three minutes. Pack into box. Recite the thank you spiel. Check inventory. Prepare sales report. Pack things, go home and take a shower.

At peak hours you get to do these all at the same time, not to mention deal with low-EQ customers, an unreliable oven and a full bladder. Sometimes I feel like I want to subscribe to Thads Bentulan's Hyperwage Theory. 300 won't get you anywhere, and it can't buy you a good painkiller or a massage on top of your daily necessities after the backbreaking free facial in front of a 250-degree oven. I'd say give 20,000 pesos to the vendor too. Good thing that I have my day job and this is just an experiment in franchising, in running a business and promoting the product to the village folks.

Realizing how much we gained from the three-day exercise, I said to the wife that if it were not for the experience, I would have reported to the office the whole day Sunday and got more than the profit we calculated.

But as the cliche goes, I've learned a lot and collected some epiphanies.

People prefer Hawaiian. Harsh. No, I will valiantly defend my thesis that a pizza with pineapples or any other fruit is not called a pizza. Minimum required colors are red, white and green for the Italian flag and they should be represented by the tomato sauce, cheese and capsicum, respectively. The green thingy should be enough to provide the sweetness.

They want it cheap. I feel the reality of the economic crunch and the shrinking power of the peso. One customer asked if he can buy in slices, and I said there are miniature versions that we sell. There's a boy who thought he could buy one with his five pesos. Well yes, if you can go back to 1986 when a slice of 3M is worth 2.50. Price is proportional to quality. The tarpauline pictures are liars, and a fully-loaded dough with toppings screaming for space with a below-100 pesos tag price is just a myth.

If it's pizza for the masses, it's called "pee-cha pie."
One with bread-like dough, none of the pliant, tasteless mozzarella but the generic "pizza cheese". Must be sweet. And customers should use hot sauce like it was iced tea--bottomless.

No other immersion program or retreat can beat selling pizza to show you the harshness of living. Berating a vendor is tantamount to fascism, like beating a fallen rallyist with a truncheon.

If I see another box of pizza in my lifetime, I might get a plastic twine, tie it, insert a piece of table napkin and a sachet of hot sauce, and say "Thank you ma'am/sir. Balik po kayo." I won't perform the proverbial faint.

“O Homem Que Virou Pizza”

  1. Anonymous mcvie Says:

    Hay naku. I remember one meeting we had in the residence of National Artist for Production Design Salvador Bernal (he who also designed Ate Guy's gowns for years in her long-lived TV show "Superstar"). When he ordered pizza for us. he insisted that no one order the Hawaiian Delight. When asked why, he replied with much disdain and dismay, "PINEAPPLES on pizza? Imagine!" Since then we've always used that mantra whenever we see them Del Monte chunks as pizza topping.

  2. Anonymous sky Says:

    "PINEAPPLES on pizza? Imagine!"
    "PINEAPPLES on pizza? Imagine!"
    "PINEAPPLES on pizza? Imagine!"

    Mantra ko na rin. He he. If it will be sweet, might as well call it a pie, right? Hence, PEE-cha pie.

  3. Anonymous SS Says:

    Thanks for reading Hyperwage.. Street Strategist

  4. Anonymous banzai cat Says:

    Wow. Philosophy of the Pizza. Baka me book dyan sa idea mo na yan. ;-)

    Though it's interesting to compare this post to Dean's about running your own business. :-)