It’s not glamorous, you know. But it’s a job.
When I first heard about this whole DinerDrive program, I wondered – who is so lazy that they can’t even manage to drive to a drive through to get food? Who actually needs someone to go pick up their food and have it brought to them? Are these people so busy they can’t take fifteen minutes and go pick up their fast food???
Turns out, a lot of people.
It’s a pretty good gig, I guess. The tips are okay, and I like setting my own hours. But all that is over now, after what happened tonight.
It started out normally, I got the notification that there was an order for pickup at Cheesecake Factory. Since I was only five minutes away, I flagged it as mine and headed over to the restaurant.
Twenty minutes later, I’m on the way to drop it off, and my phone pings.
Well, it doesn’t ping so much as start blasting the theme to Rocky Horror Picture show, because that happens to be what I set my text message ringtone to, but that’s beside the point.
At the next red light, I check the phone. It’s a message from a number I don’t recognize, but that’s common when the people waiting for their food are getting impatient and wondering where you are. There are times when I like the fact that DinerDrive allows the customers to message me through a fake number, and other times it’s just a pain in the ass.
Well. I mean, it’s been thirty minutes, but that’s not unusual. It’s pretty early for the hanger to kick in.
Quickly I type, Hello, sorry for the delay. I’m about 10 minutes out.
The light changes to green and I drive on. A few seconds later, Rocky Horror starts again.
What the hell? Maybe it just came through twice. I resolve to ignore it and take a right turn, following the directions on my GPS. When I’m turning down the street to the neighborhood where I need to drop off my food, Rocky Horror goes off twice, interrupting itself.
Wait what? What the hell?
I pull up in front of the house and check the address. Yep, this is the place. I text back: I’m here, just walking up now.
I reach the door, and raise my hand to knock. Rocky Horror rings again. I hesitate, then slowly draw my hand back. I raise my phone, thumb it open.
I gaze at the phone, my thumb hovering over the reply button. Before I can tap it, another message.
The eagle has landed, Mr. Sanchez. Report for duty.
I read these words and almost drop my phone as images, memories almost, cascade into my brain, dimming my vision and making me stumble. Light, flashing off blue steel, acres of misty, shrouded forest, an eye, a smile, a pile of paperwork. Faces, some I almost recognize, and some complete strangers. Words, voices, whispers fill my brain as I gasp and step back from the door.
I turn away from the door, not able to control my limbs. They are just moving as if I’m an automaton, as if…as if I’m being controlled by remote. I watch myself head back to the car, Cheesecake Factory bags still clutched in my hand. I get in the car, and I drive away.
To what? I have no idea. I’m hoping I find out.
Head on over to this week’s prompt post to check out some amazing authors! For this post, I chose an interaction written from the other person’s point of view, which was inspired by an actual Cheesecake Factory order that never arrived. I knew there had to be some explanation! I hope you enjoyed!