Even tho I only hadta MeToo one New Reality there to pass The Training, I still kept working at CFATTY’S Pizza. It was nice having some money, and I wanted to save up for Wings. The job also started to get a lot easier. After awhile I’d driven down all the CFATS Roads a bunch of times, and I knew which of them led to which other Roads. I even started to see the addresses better and would remember where the hidden ones were. I could go fast down The Road and turn into the right driveway at the last second, and no one would hafta honk at me. I almost always successfully delivered the pizza and never hadta surrender and take it back to the store for any reason. I would get back right away, and The Pizza Boss would notice.
“I ain’t gonna fuckin lie,” he said once, “we’ve got a huge order for The Head Chancellor of CFATS’s office, and I can only trust The Good Ones do to it right.”
I looked up to see which of The Good Ones were going to take it, but I realized a lot of them didn’t work there anymore. A lot of them were CFATS kids who’d graduated and moved away, or who didn’t really have to work and just quit one day for no reason. Even some of the older workers suddenly left for a different job that gave them more money or seemed more Adult. The Pizza Boss called it “High Turnover.”
“Bluebird,” The Pizza Boss came up to me. “You’re on this one.”
“Me?” I said.
“Who else is there?”
“I guess you’re right.”
“Now I ain’t gonna fuckin lie, we got those pizzas in the oven late, and there’s no time. And they said if we fuck up one more of their deliveries they might not order from us again.
“Alright,” I said, “I’ll do my best.”
Then I took all the pizzas out of the oven, and cut them, and put the little table thingies in the boxes so they wouldn’t get crushed. I also grabbed a bag and gathered up all the two liter pops and plastics cups and napkins and paper plates they asked for and even extra parmesan cheese and red pepper packets even tho they hadn’t asked for them, and I carefully but quickly loaded everything into Wings.
I looked at the clock and saw I only had a couple minutes to get it there. I’d been to The Head Chancellor’s Office before for smaller orders and actually knew exactly where it was, but when I hit the main CFATS Roadthere were problems right away. There was a big traffic jam just past the store, and you didn’t know how long it would take to go the couple miles to the CFATS campus. At the same time there was so much steam coming out of the pizza boxes that all my windows fogged up, and I couldn’t see The Road.
I hadta think quick. First I rolled down my window and stuck my head all the way out so I could see. Then I knew of a small ShortCut that would bypass the main Roadjam. It was a narrow path that was only meant for students to walk down to class, but I’d heard one of The Old Good Ones say he’d driven down it in desperate times. I made a quick pull off onto the Shortcut and crossed my fingers there wouldn’t be any pedestrians or CFATS Security in the way.
It actually worked and I sped down straight to The Head Chancellor’s Office where I parked illegally right in front of its door. Then I ran in the first load of pizzas quickly but carefully, and the first Reality I saw said, “Oh, you’re just on time!”
The rest of the delivery went smoothly, and they helped me bring in all the stuff, and we set it up in their Conference Room where The Head Chancellor himself came up to me. You could see why he’d be the head of a Future Adult Training School cuz he looked like a very good Present Adult with his suit jacket and turtleneck and pipe.
“I’ll handle the payment, son” he said.
“Great!” I said. “All you have to do is sign this receipt and we’re all set. Here, use my pen.”
“Thank you so much. Our last few orders from CFATTY didn’t go so well, but looks like you’ve improved your operation.”
“No, thank you, sir, for being such a great customer!”
And then he filled out the receipt and left me a huge tip.
When I got back to the store, The Pizza Boss was waiting for me.
“We just got a call from The Head Chancellor,” he said. “Sounds like you really came thru.”
“I don’t know how I did it,” I said. “I just suddenly wasn’t an amateur anymore for some reason.”
“You work here long enough and that happens.”
“Does this mean I’m One of The Good Ones?” I asked.
“Bluebird, I ain’t gonna fuckin lie, you’re probably One of The Best Ones.”
“Yes!” I pumped my fist.