The Domino’s uniform that I adorn is a metaphorical game cartridge. The moment I put it on I’m participating in the mini-game that is called the pizza business. Working at Domino’s Pizza or any other occupation is more than just making money, you gain some valuable experiences and skills that can be applicable to many areas of life. Taking orders over the phone is more than just taking a customer’s order. Customer service representatives are essentially salespeople in a cheesy setting, needless to say that in our day and age sales is quite an essential skill for us to have in modern society.
This is what fuels my motivation to come to work no matter the number of hours I commit to. Sure it can get annoying or stressful but the point sometimes is to not enjoy it but to be content, to be professional, not to say that you can’t enjoy yourself. I mean how many of us haven’t got frustrated at the many times we’ve died in a video game such as Dark Souls? If you look at working at an establishment such as Domino’s Pizza as a game, then you should arrive at the conclusion that your time there doesn’t have to last forever.
All things are given their due time and energy, working at Domino’s serves a means rather than an end for me. This week I was scheduled to work 40 hours but lo and behold it flew by like a bullet train. I had two days where I worked from 11AM to about 8PM, but those days felt relatively short. When working in pizza time seems to fly by fast, I call it “pizza time.”
There’s a concept in digital media that is the “magic circle”, a special space where one is given the freedom to immerse themselves in another world, another reality. Stepping into a Domino’s restaurant is like stepping into a magic circle, a world with its own rules, its own grammar, logic, and rhetoric; its own narrative that is tied to the outside world. Time seems to flow differently there in the cheesy trenches. From Taco Bell to Domino’s Pizza and many other establishments, they all have their own narrative, their own story that is intertwined with the bigger narrative of modern society. I may not work at the corporate level of Domino’s, but I’m pretty sure the folks over there must take into account various factors when determining the services that we provide such as pricing coupons, designing menus, creating regulations, etc.
You could say that Domino’s Pizza is essentially an RPG of sorts. The human experience is itself an RPG, to make meaningful choices as a particular entity within a story. Domino’s Pizza as a corporation could be considered a person, even more so with the legal notion of corporate personhood for better or worse. To stride proudly in my black and blue uniform, to straighten my cap with confidence as I march through that glass door, to make an upsell, are all in service of lining up the dominoes. Every loyal customer represents a domino that is lined up one by one until we got ourselves a loyal following. In the event that we as a company perform poorly our domino’s will come tumbling down, thus our business will fall.
Is Domino’s Pizza a company that I’m proud to work for? Not exactly, but as an employee and overall curious person I can’t help but feel intrigued by the experience. Because that’s the key, I don’t have to like what I’m doing but I sure as well can drink in the experience. I don’t know where we get our meats from nor how the animals are treated before they’re slaughtered, I don’t know the source of the chocolate from which our Marble Cookie Brownies and Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes are made, and don’t even get me started on the fact that we sell soda.
Which brings me to my next point, which is that if you look at Domino’s or any other experience as a game, you don’t have to play it. You don’t have to play it nor do you have to support it. Every person may or may not live by a set of moral standards or ethics. Some people may feel that certain work doesn’t line up with their being and that’s totally fine. There are lessons to be learned from the video game industry and the anti-customer behaviors of major third-party publishers that directly tie to what I’m saying.
If a company like let’s say Square Enix sells a contrived promotion such as the Augment Your Pre-order for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, then that is something that you don’t have to support. The very act of me working at Domino’s Pizza and consuming their food means that I’m supporting the story that they’re creating. It means that I support to a degree how their operations and behaviors shape the world and its people, it means that I support their existence through my actions. This can also be applied to other institutions such as the military, government, education, banking, etc.
In this interactive experience of Life Online, participation and response are essential elements. Free will is also an essential element to being human but that itself can be subverted, our freedom is directly proportionate to our understanding of our relation to the world around us. If we don’t understand our place within the scheme of things, from society up into the universe, then the educated thing to do is to discover, question, and learn. Discovery and curiosity is what drives innovation, its what drives change.
We are participants of an experience like no other, an experience that we have yet to simulate with our current technologies. It is Life Online, and its planet Earth that we dwell on. The world is like a canvas where we write the Story of Our People, the Story of Humanity. An experience where we live out our beliefs, ideas, or philosophies that in turn shape our society. We have the choice to support or opt-out of “games” that don’t serve our needs and desires, and in the process create a more meaningful story that resonates with us. Domino’s Pizza is a game that I’ll be playing for a little while but eventually the time will come where I’ll choose to move on to better things.