Life at the Hut

Life—that’s really what it’s become. Working over 40 hours a week, being so involved in the Pizza Hut “politics” (everything going on between different managers as they try to work separately toward opposite goals), and trying to keep the place on its feet, I feel like it’s my life now. There’s always something new happening. I’m always trying to catch up and sort things out. People like to joke that I probably stay the night, since I’m always at the store (and I even had a 23-day work streak at one point).

It’s been two months since I got the job. Since then, so much has changed.

Changing Perspective

I came in as an awkward, reserved girl who was scared to interact with customers. I was quiet, and I tried to stay out of the way. Doing my job was my only goal. Work and leave. Follow the schedule. Be an amiable coworker. Make customers happy, and trust the managers to take care of the rest.

But now? I’m the opposite. I interact easily with customers, enjoy talking with my coworkers, speak my mind and ask more questions than anyone else, and gained an ownership mentality that causes me to feel responsible for making sure everything operates smoothly.

I’m not a manager; I never wanted to be one. However, it seems I can’t stick to just being in the back seat and going along for the ride. Some people are happy working half-heartedly for a job they only kind of like—being out of the loop and just doing what they’re told—but that’s not me. Whatever I do, I give it my all. Every bit of energy and thought I have will go into my job, and I’ll treat the place like I own it. As I told one manager, I like to work hard for what I deserve. I don’t do well in places where I’m expected to work like a robot and not care about anything. I want to see my effort and hard work produce something bigger than myself.


I made friends quickly. Coworkers like me because I do my job and am an amiable person. Managers like me because they can depend on me, I do more than what’s asked of me, and I value efficiency and quality. I’ve gotten a lot of comments from coworkers, saying I’m the “only X they like” there (female, coworker, etc.). It’s funny how many times I’ve been told I “work too hard.”

People tease me a bunch at work. One driver likes to knock my hat over my eyes whenever I pass him. Another coworker likes to purposely say “folded” dough instead of “stretched,” because he knows I like to use the correct terms. He also gives me nicknames (“little girl” being among them, but I made it clear nicknames related to my size aren’t appreciated). One girl pokes me in the side when I’m not paying attention. A manager likes to pretend something big happened (i.e. a giant order that would take tons of time and preparing for), only to reveal he was joking. Spoiler alert: I fall for it every time. *shakes head in shame* I think I’m the only person who gets teased this much. I’m not complaining, though. It shows people like me and that they feel comfortable being themselves around me. Besides, I return the favor every chance I get. 😉

As for new coworkers, they quickly learn that they can ask me all of their questions. I’ll show them how to do anything (I love training new cooks), and if I don’t know how to do it myself, I’ll get a manager to teach the both of us. I’m honest—sometimes brutally so—and coworkers know they can trust what I say.

Then there are the customers. I love the kids. I love the regulars. I’ve gotten tons of comments on my work ethic and positive attitude, and I love being able to bring smiles to people’s faces. The repeat customers with kids always make my day. Sometimes the kids wave to me; sometimes they enthusiastically tell me goodbye. Some kids come in after school to eat in the lobby—even though we aren’t a dine-in location, but I give them plates and napkins anyway.

Best/Worst Customer Experiences

Best customer experience: A lady with two kids came in to pick up her pizza. I was too busy running around between phones, make table, and cut table to notice much about them, but when I handed the woman her order, her two kids stopped to tell my that I was “very beautiful.” The comment surprised me. (I don’t think I look good in my uniform. I know my hair was a mess, and I probably had food on my clothes.) All three of those customers were really nice, and it’s an experience I won’t forget. 😊 I love kids.

Worst customer experience: A guy (mid twenties to early thirties) greeted me with a comment about my appearance and smile. At first, I thought it was just a nice observation, but then he proceeded to talk about how he kept “making me smile.” It was said in a creepy way. He was acting like he had control over me, and he had the audacity to keep reminding me of it through his comments.

Anyway, I took his order with a smile, laughed at his jokes (even though it was just because I was uncomfortable), and told him his total. He asked if my number came with his pizza, and I responded in a confused/disapproving voice that no, why would it? I think I hurt his ego. After my rejection, he told me that “girls my age” always ask for his number, and that he’s “old enough to be my dad” anyway. He then kept talking about how he has friends who have kids my age, so it would be weird to date me. I got away as quickly as possible, handing off the situation to a manager so I could go make the order.

The manager and guy chatted for a while. I stayed near the back, trying to avoid being drawn into a conversation again. When the manager finally escaped the conversation he was in (yes, even he got weird vibes), I met him in the back and asked if the guy was gone. Thankfully, another coworker took care of handing the guy his order. By the time I made it back up front, he’d left. I felt so relieved.


What about my goals for this job? If you recall my first blog post about Pizza Hut, you’ll remember that I didn’t care about the pay. I was here for the experience. I wanted the chance to work on my social anxiety, and I didn’t care if I thought I’d hate the job.


I’m definitely here for the money. Let’s just say that right off the bat. I’m trying to save up to live independently (potentially) in a year’s time. I also have bills to pay. So yes, hourly wages matter…probably more than anything else at this point.

As for the “experience” part, I think I’ve got that down. My social anxiety is pretty much gone. I’m still awkward in certain situations, but at least I’m comfortable dealing with strangers, and I’m getting better at accepting “mistakes” as part of the process (speaking from a perfectionist’s point of view). Building relationships at work doesn’t have to be difficult or serious. Asking questions doesn’t have to be scary. People are people, and most of the time, it’s better to just put yourself out there and trust the Lord with the outcome.

Besides getting over my social anxiety, I know a lot about how the fast food industry works. How to keep a business running, what kind of people work best in certain roles, scheduling and communication—some of these won’t be useful in day-to-day life, but others are just good practical skills to have. It isn’t the kind of experience I was looking for, but it transfers over to similar jobs, and it could be useful in the future.

Unchanging Workplace

On the other hand, a lot…hasn’t changed. Management is still a mess, there’s zero communication, and hours aren’t reliable (although I do have to give credit to one of the main managers for giving me all the hours and overtime he can). Fishy stuff goes on with payment. Managers fight. Those who have good ideas and want to give their all for the place aren’t given the opportunity to do so, and workers with the drive to make the place better are pushed down. Things seem to change on a whim. Stability isn’t something I feel at Pizza Hut. Still, I was willing to put up with most of it; things were changing…right?

Things Are Changing

People were fired. People were hired. I got to train a new cook for the first time, and it was a blast. Procedures changed around the restaurant. Management became more strict with what they tolerated and what they didn’t. Things were starting to look better.

The general manager disappeared. (Yes, it’s a good thing, in my opinion.) I still don’t know too much about what happened, but let’s just say that I never really liked him, and I’m relieved to be working with people I actually enjoy being around instead. And since the manager is gone, I was able to get a bunch of overtime. (If you know me, you know I love my overtime.) Another manager was brought in from another store to help out. He’s a responsible and thorough, and having him manage makes my shifts a lot less stressful.

Positive attitudes increased. People helped out instead of standing around on their phones or eating. Being in an environment where hard work was modeled and nurtured resulted in more getting done, and I could do my job without having to worry (as much) that things would go haywire if I stepped away for one second.

…Or Are They?

Hope was in the air. Things were starting to look up. I started to believe Pizza Hut could be a long-term thing, and I was really enjoying spending time with my fellow coworkers.

But…all good things have to come to an end, don’t they? Hope couldn’t last forever. Mine was shattered to pieces bit by bit. At first, it was small things: the white sauce was frozen. Someone left the oven on overnight. Prep got forgotten. We didn’t have enough people one day, so I had to stay late to get things done.

I tried to make it work. I tried to avoid feeling down about it and did my best to make sure things would stay in order. All the frosting and white sauce was frozen? I made sure to do a freezer pull before rush began. Closing manager with a history of forgetfulness? I reminded him what needed to get done before I Ieft.

Then it got more frequent. Tips were always missing. Sauce and frosting was always frozen. People weren’t scheduled well, and we’d be swamped one day and have wrong pizzas spitting out of the oven because training is a huge mess. Managers would step to the side to have “important talks” mid-rush, leaving me (a non manager) to run everything up front by myself.

I tried to prepare for these things by coming in earlier (before rush instead of mid-rush), but I was told I couldn’t clock in early, because we were trying to “save on labor.” I asked to go in when I knew we didn’t have enough people, but again, “save on labor.” “We’ll be fine,” they said. “X will take care of it.” (Spoiler alert: they weren’t. X completely forgot about it.)

I confronted the higher-ups about it. I’m not a manager; why was I doing so much manager stuff, while the real ones forgot their responsibilities? I was promised change. I was asked for “more time” and a “second chance.” So I gave it to them.

The Last Straw

Then, the tip pool system changed. All of a sudden, I was earning half of what I’d been getting before. People who came in for only a couple of hours could get the same as me, despite the fact that I’d been working 11-hour days. While a part-time worker earned $15/hour, here I was getting $11.50 or so.

I tried to bring it up with management. I tried to show how the new system was unfair. I was shot down and talked over, and even though many people took my side, the ones who agree with me don’t have to power to change things. $11/hour  is what it’s going to be. There’s no reasoning with the change. I can’t depend on tips anymore to make up for the rate being lower than all the other options in my area, so I’m finding another job. We’ll get into that in another blog post, though. For now, let’s talk about my experiences and growth within Pizza Hut.

Things I Learned

Pizza Hut taught me a lot. Being my first job, I learned the basics of scheduling, clocking in, and just how to work a job. Social anxiety? Pizza Hut helped me to get over that (although I’m still naturally awkward in a lot of circumstances). There have been a lot of situations I had to work my way through alone, and because of those, I’m more confident interacting with the world.

One big thing I learned: how not to run a store. There’s so much Pizza Hut could be doing better. It’s like they shoot themselves in the foot, trying to follow all the profit percentages and labor hours from corporate, when in reality, all it does is cause things to mess up, and more money is spent on fixing those problems. I’ve tried talking about it with management. Other managers have tried to follow more efficient ways of doing things. But Pizza Hut doesn’t want change. They want robotic employees who do what they want without question. “We’re already doing things the right way,” they say when you try to change anything. But their “way” doesn’t work. It’s like they turn a blind eye to the reality of what’s actually going on inside the stores.

Besides the disconnect between corporate and the actual individual stores, there’s the manner of communication. Managers just…don’t. If there’s a new change implemented by the top, it doesn’t make it far. Three managers could be splitting the tip pool in three different ways. Neither would know anything had changed. There’s just no communication. And because of it, it makes everything so much more complicated and stressful than it needs to be.

And besides that, there’s the matter of how they treat their employees. I know all Pizza Huts aren’t the same, but the highest person at mine likes control. She doesn’t want to give an ounce of it to anyone under her. Even though it would be more beneficial to have someone inside the store making the schedules and deciding who to hire, she doesn’t care. Employees with the determination and ability to bring the place up from the dirt are pushed down because it also means they’re more “smart” (don’t just go along with everything; actually thinks through stuff before implementing it; needs more control to get things running smoothly). If you have a brain and like to use it (and if you have the boldness to speak it), you aren’t very much liked. They want puppets, not people.

So yeah, I know a lot now about what makes a business run and what doesn’t. I don’t know if this experience will ever help me in the future, but it’s something good to have.

And finally, my mindset. Before Pizza Hut, I had a difficult time getting out of my comfort zone. I overthought too much and shied away from doing anything unfamiliar. Go out into public? *scoffs* I’ll sit at home instead. I’m still learning, but I’m getting better at just jumping out into the unknown and (trying to) embrace the challenges and hiccups that come with everything.


I’m very thankful for my job at Pizza Hut. It taught me a lot, I met some really great people, and I learned a lot about myself and how I work in different environments. Maybe it wasn’t the most professional place or the most pleasant experience toward the end (no, I haven’t quit; I’m just working there less), but the Lord used it for my good. There’s just so much I learned.

Turning 18

I’m excited to finally be 18!

It’s a big number for many people. Eighteen. The world likes to put a ton of significance on it for some reason, and when you reach the number, you’re suddenly handed multiple privileges you’ve never had before and expected to know how to function as an independent adult (even if you’ve never done taxes.)

So what am I excited about? Definitely not the taxes—that’s for sure. The government takes too much of my hard-earned money for it to be funny in the least bit. Expecting me to calculate it all for them on top of everything definitely doesn’t make me any happier. And with the ridiculous amount of money disappearing down the black hole of government expenses and debt, I’m surprised to see there’s leftover for things I don’t actually need…like Oreos and crackers 😜 However, despite the taxes, there are things that come with being 18 that make me excited. Some of these include:

Getting a Credit Card

I looked into several credit cards as soon as I turned 18. The main reason is that I want to start building credit. Having a good score allows you to get big things at a lower interest rate, and I’m pretty sure that the earlier you start building a clean track record, the better it is for your score.

The second reason I’m trying to get a credit card is because I want to be able to buy things easily. Although debit cards work just as well, credit cards are a lot safer, and I don’t have to worry about fraud as much. They also have some nice benefits attached (like cashback). I fully intend on paying my card off in a timely manner, and I’m not going to be spending money I don’t have. (The interest rates on these cards are crazy.) Thus, for me, a credit card is just a more secure debit card with extra benefits.

So…I’m looking into a secured card. I’d originally intended to apply for ones with cash back and no security deposit, but because I don’t have a credit history, unfortunately I’m automatically excluded from such things.


Freelancing is difficult no matter your age. It’s even more difficult when freelancing websites don’t allow minors, or (in best-case scenarios) won’t let you join unless under a parent’s name. And that does not work if you’re trying to build a brand for yourself. Now that I’m 18, I have free rein on most—if not all—freelancing websites, and I plan on using to my full advantage. I don’t have very high expectations for freelancing, but I’m hoping it will at least pay more than my job at Pizza Hut…or at least be a fraction of the stress when it comes to getting the hours I want.


So what did I do for my birthday? First off, I’ll just say I like to pretend my birthday doesn’t exist. I don’t like it when I’m made into some sort of big deal, I don’t appreciate gifts in the same way most people do, and I prefer not having to deal with the hassle of birthdays. (My close friends get birthday cards and/or gifts, though.) Oh, and I do not like big, planned out surprises.

So of course, my family knowing me so well…surprised me. Okay, I’m sort of kidding.

For clearer context, I celebrated on Sunday. That morning, I got a text from my Pizza Hut area manager asking me to come into the store to help out. I hadn’t been scheduled that day. However, it’s been extra busy recently, so I’m often asked to help out off-schedule. I went in before noon, did a bunch of R4C (ready for customer; basically stretching dough and pre-making items), and prepped some stuff for the night rush. By the time rush came around, it was chaos. I clocked out anyway though, because my parents had already planned to celebrate my birthday that night.

When I got home, the area around the dining table was decorated. There were presents and brownies (instead of cake) out on the table, and my dad made kimchi fried rice and eel for dinner. We did a birthday Zoom call with some relatives. While on the call, we ate, had dessert, and I opened presents. It was pretty fun, and I’m thankful for the thought everyone put into my birthday.

Birthday Gifts

(I’m mainly including this section for the family and friends out there who wanted to know. Feel free to skip.)

As mentioned earlier, I like to ignore my birthdays. I tell people I don’t want anything when they ask, and I let them know I don’t need a celebration. Still, that doesn’t stop them from getting me stuff.

My mom gave me a black faux fur blanket 😍 I love it. It’s so soft and warm, and I love the texture.

My coworker (and new friend) gave me some things for my birthday, including scrunchies, a drawing, a painting, and a cute little stuffed animal whose fur looks suspiciously identical to the faux fur blanket my mom bought me 😂

One of my managers from work brought party supplies (noisemakers, accessories, decorations) into the store for my birthday. I think it was really sweet of her. However, I didn’t like standing out from my coworkers.  On the other hand, it was super busy that day at work, so it wasn’t like people had much time to notice me 🙂 Oh, and then because of how busy it was, she forgot about the cake she’d brought, and it stayed in the walk-in fridge until the next day, when we cut and ate it. Very sugary, but I liked it.

Some relatives sent things in the mail for my birthday. I got stationary stuff (cool scissors, mechanical pencils, etc.), hand sanitizer, cash, and a few other assorted items. And as mentioned before, I did a Zoom call with some of my relatives. That was very nice.

Age Is Just a Number

“So do you feel any older?”

I’ve been asked this question countless times in the past few days, and the answer is no, I don’t feel any older. Age is just a number. I don’t feel like an “adult” (whatever that’s supposed to mean). I feel the same as I did a few days ago, and the only reason I’m excited to be this new number is because of the privileges I gain. I don’t have to worry about legal stuff when it comes to work (except for taxes), and I’m considered a grown adult, which means I can do whatever I want based on my own judgement. The laws put in place to protect minors no longer apply to me. Thus, there’s no need to worry if I’m working “too much” or “past the legal time.” It’s all up to me now. (Of course, my parents’ opinions still play a big part in my decision-making, since I live in their house and use their vehicle to get around. That’s a whole different issue, though.)


I’m excited to finally be 18! Mostly, it just feels like a huge burden has been lifted off of my shoulders. Legally, I’m allowed to do pretty much anything, and I don’t have to worry anymore about all the laws meant to keep minors safe (but which were really just hindering me from doing what I wanted to do). Now that I’m actually 18, I can do some things I’ve been waiting a while to try. I can pursue stuff I’ve waited on for years. I don’t expect things to go shooting off the ground or anything (I’m a pessimist, can’t you tell?), but I am hoping to do more exploring and figure out what I’m doing with my life.