tuesday night i was pleasantly surprised to see sue bell show up with her belly dance camp. sue and co. danced through the restaurant and put on a nice show in lightnin’ salvage. sue is a true gypsy. it was a great treat for my otherwise boring tuesday night.
we’ve been slow. i’ve been manic and losing my mind and overloaded and overwhelmed, and the restaurant has been slow. this week, i basically came close to the nervous breakdown that is always just in front of me. the brand new mixer broke, the breaker for the pepsi machine had to get replaced because it kept blowing. then two others breakers blew and there was a burning electrical smell, not good. i plugged in a mixer and watched the plug sizzle and smoke this week. my wife said the lights in our house dimmed severely a couple times. it’s as if my mental and physical state was melting wires and causing black-outs this week. it was a hard and strange week. i burnt out. i depleted my reserves. i was checked out. then i got some acupuncture today and i’ve recovered a bit. the treatment actually brought me back from the dead. it gave me a sense of balance and a little stamina to get through a friday night without losing it. i just have too much going on. there is a reason that most stoves only have 4 burners. can you imagine trying to cook on 15 burners at once? it’s too much. it’s a mess of my own making. i am trying to slow down, to get some perspective, to lighten up. but it’s hard. i walked in satchel’s last night in time to hear the guy at the register say, “don’t charge me for the salad because we never got the salad…” why must i walk in to this statement after the day and week i had? the pizza cooler was down and that had us using other coolers and waiting for the parts…. 3 UF students were doing projects this week and needed to meet with me, interview me. one journalism student, one photo journalist, and one with a video camera making a video for a class… my son is in high gear and needing my constant help with forts and homework and spelling and writing and inventing… my restaurant is slow and i’m there 14 hour days trying to make sure it’s running smoothly. there’s the 2 guys who came back from a 6 week tour in europe and i was waiting for them to cover some shifts and come to find out they hate me and think i treated them wrongly and have all sorts of interesting evidence of how i wronged them. the one pizza maker averaged $17.50 an hour at 30 hours a week for the month before he left on tour. i offered him 3 nights a week upon return to find out i was disrespectful to him in the past and if i can’t pay him more money he is “not interested at all” in coming back to work. this was a guy who i thought loved the job, a guy i thought was making more than he’d ever made in a gainesville restaurant, a guy who climbed to the top fairly quickly… but a guy that needed lots of nights off to play in his band.
so, yes, i was upset that i turned out to be such a bad guy. upset that $17.50 an hour wasn’t enough for this fellow to come back to work after 6 weeks off touring europe with his band, and the other guy, who was one of my all time favorite employees, never even had the decency to call me back with a yes or no to my offer for work, after i asked him politely to let me know one way or the other. i asked him to text me an answer and heard nothing.
i could go on but it’s too late. it’s just changed from friday night to saturday morning and i have lots of new things to do. one customer told me tonight that he just returned from chicago and had the 3 best pizzas there and that we have them beat by a mile. another customer told me he just returned from italy and our pizza is way better than anything he had over there. another guy had just graduated today as a firefighter and he was having such a good time. the 3 women sitting in the van at closing were first time customers and ordered a deep dish that was rocking their world. i got to talk to lots of really happy customers tonight which, along with the acupuncture, is bringing me back to life. this was the first week i think i ever actually thought about selling the place. about opening something with 10 seats and 3 employees where i couldn’t get so overwhelmed. i’ll never sell satchel’s, i know that, but the thought came into my head this week because i was so overworked and perplexed by it all. i’ve told you some of it, but not the half of it. running a restaurant is hard. i never knew it would be so hard.