so i’ve been writing long posts about all sorts of insanity and then deleting these posts the next day. i’ve been spending 2 and 3 hours writing posts and then deleting the posts before they ever see the light….
i’m not sure what the problem is but i plan to just back off and do other things. i like to be efficient with my time. i have paintings to work on, a stained glass window that’s been in process for months now, and a long long list of projects at home and at work. so when i spend 3 hours late at night writing, and decide to edit the posts the following day, and then go to edit the posts and find them too disjointed or too personal, or too – something…. i end up feeling like i am wasting my time. those 8 or 10 hours i spent writing last week are gone now. and while i did get the benefit of clearing out my head, i feel as if i should have spent the time doing something more constructive and lasting.
i am not going to look at this post again but plan to publish it right away. i think the fact that i want to put old posts further down the page and find new and refreshing things to say, i think that my desire to express my personal insanity, coupled with my desire to push old posts down the page, has me spending hours at night writing. but then if i am writing because i am manic, and the writing is disjointed and it only serves to get older posts further into the past, then i fear i find myself in a loop of trying to write new things to make up for the last things (said haphazardly) and then i am just a madman spending way too much time writing and not enough time cleaning my desk or making paintings or drawing.
it still feels completely strange, writing this way in a public way. like i explained a couple posts back, in the beginning the blog was the equivalent of a facebook page, the place to put a few cute pictures and quick notes about my daily life and family. and while i am pleased that now i have no intention of adding photos, and don’t even have photos to add because of my computer situation and the fact that i am writing on a machine that i don;t know how to get my pictures onto…. and while i like that i can write into this void and not over think everything i say, i also get confused. i am confused on what is important to get across, how often to write, who the audience is, and if the audience even matters. i am too scared to get into anything that might be controversial, and too professional to talk about things too personal. you know, i can only talk about my jobs frustrations in broad strokes. i am not going to talk about employees or customers. it’s really the same thing i say over and over. this medium is so restrictive and i feel bound by it and confused.
oh, the blog is like my journal, i say. bullshit. those long long posts i deleted? i would not have deleted them from my journal. i will write any crazy thing in the world and mention about anything on my mind in that setting because it is a personal expression and therapy really, that no one is going to see. so i feel free there. this writing in a public way is so much harder. i feel pressure to write about things that strangers may find interesting but that get at the heart of what i’m about.
i lost my temper at work friday night. i’m going to guess that i have a “bad night” and lose my temper in this way about once every couple months, maybe even once every 3 months. in the first 5 years it was much more often but as things get easier and the staff gets better, i tend to feel happier, and lose my temper less often. anyway, friday was bad on several levels. the basic level was that i saw a calzone that was sent back and it was – no lie- the worst calzone i have ever seen in my life. i’ve had so many pizzas and calzones at so many places i can;t even begin to count but to see the worst calzone of my life and to be at my own restaurant just got to me in a bad way. the entire top was stretched so thin and the calzone was so over stuffed that the top was entirely soggy and gross. the customer had tried to eat one section and said it didn;t taste right. well, i should think not, the top of it soggy and doughy from one side clear to the other and there is not a speck of brown on it. just thin white sogginess. i was not there when this happened. i came in later but saw the calzone in the office and asked what it was about. so that started me off just completely upset in a way i thought i would never recover. and as it turned out i did not recover the entire night and even now as i mention it i feel a bit shaky. i’m just so perplexed at after all these years of training folks this sort of food could be 1. made and 2. carried out to a table.
anyway, i lost it. i got mad and my anger only makes the entire kitchen tense. here it is the start of a friday night and the boss is pissed, yelling, and now the staff has to grin and keep going? its a lose lose situation. i’m a loser for getting so upset and by making the kitchen a tense place i lose again as they all stay stressed and unhappy. so then a pizza was made wrong a little later, then a server did not know which section he was working, and finally another pizza was made wrong and it was for a personal friend. this person never eats in but only picks up take out but on firday night they were dining in with a large group and seated at the head of the very long table and while everyone else was eating, my friend and another could not as they waited for their food to be re-made. these things just upset me so much. i get bent out of shape way more than any normal person would and it doesn’t matter how bad i want to get over it and let it go, i cannot seem to.
of course, we all have bad days at work. i am fortunate in that my bad days are few and far between. i don;t consider a bad day one where a fuse blows and the electricians have to spend a few hours fixing the problem, or one where the cooler is not working and i am stressed to get it fixed quickly. no- the bad days are just the ones where i get heated up, where i get angry and lose my shit on people. the bad days are ones where the customers get the wrong food, or their order is lost in the computer, or their food is burnt but still sent out.
then i finally get home and feel terrible. i feel bad because it was such a bad night and feel bad because i yelled at people. even if all of my yelling is justified i still will feel emotionally sick from it. i do not like having to be the guy in charge. i do not want to be the boss that yells. i do not want to be the guy that people hate.
so, that’s the first layer. the second layer was just a bad nights’ sleep the night before. all of a sudden on friday i was hit with an all day allergy attack. my allergies are so bad and they come in the fall and spring. friday was especially bad so that does not help the situation of course.
the third layer was kina. kina has a pizzeria in eastern oregon and was visiting our pizzeria and florida for the first time. we were on the last night of our 3 day pizza geek get together and here it was raining so we couldn;t seat a large chunk of tables, the kitchen is making mistakes, i am losing my temper, and the whole thing just spirals down. while i know that kina understood my frustrations, and has probably had a few bad nights at work of her own where mistakes build on mistakes and things just don;t go right, it is not the picture i wanted to present to the visiting pizza shop owner.
the next day i watched the gators play. they would get down ready to score and throw and interception. the next time they would get down the field and about to score and fumble. the next time they would go for it on 4th and inches and not get the inches. then another interception, another fumble. fortunately for me i do not get bent out of shape when these things happen. i am surprised and i say things like “wow” and “really?” and “OMG!” but i do not internalize these feelings like i do when orders get messed up at work. i can watch the gators lose and make mistakes and go to work feeling just the same as if they won. i was not always this way but when i was younger i would be so affected emotionally by every gator win and loss that i finally learned to let that stuff go, finally learning i do not have any control over it and that no team always wins.
i forgive the gators. the kids are young and learning. they need a bit of humility to ready them for every day life. they are not fumbling on purpose…. (have you seen the shape of that ball?) they are not throwing to the other team on purpose. no.
mistakes happen and many times one big mistake can lead to a string of mistakes. i know because i lived it friday night and watched the same thing happen to the gators on saturday. it’s ok. they are a good team. the fact they could get down there so many times is a testament to how good they are now and how good they will be. if they take the loss to heart and give up then they will just lose all of their games but they can also learn from it and go on to win their games. i must do the same thing and walk in saturday night to work with a big grin and compliments for the staff. the ones that hated my guts 20 hours previous might just forget they hate my guts and i have to believe i can redeem myself. for i know we don’t make terrible calzones and we don;t mess up the toppings of most of the pies, and most serves know exactly the tables they are supposed to be watching. i know we usually get it right. so, i keep my chin up and hope for redemption. we got that redemption saturday night. we were much much busier, the food looked much much better, and while there was still one mistake, it was minor.
i read a book in my youth, maybe it was my late teens but more likely my early 20′s. by kahill gibran called the prophet. it really hit a cord with me and i remember it still so many thousands of years later (ha)…
there is a traveler, a wanderer, and he is searching for the meaning of the words (i think from paul in the bible) to “pray without ceasing.” he spends his life in the pursuit of understanding these words and ends up repeating over and over “lord jesus christ, have mercy on me.” this simple mantra lifts his spirit and keeps him in a constant state of bliss. ( i haven;t read the book in over 20 years so forgive me if my version here is a bit off. the point is what i remember of the book more than the actual facts.) and over the years i have adopted the same mantra usually as i try and clear my mind at night and get to sleep. if i watch the thoughts whirl around in my head, if i think about all the things i plan to do the next day or week or month, and if i ponder all the mistakes i made that day, or things i said, or ways i could have been more helpful in a situation… i could easily stay up for hours stressing about my shortcomings or being excited about my future. but instead if i turn my attention to my breathing, and repeat the simple mantra asking for the mercy of god, then i find that i fall asleep much faster and with a feeling of forgiveness on my heart. since i was brought up in a strict christian home, and was taught the gospel of christ so much as a child, i understand pretty wholly the idea of forgiveness and i cherish it. without it i would stay in a funk for days or weeks and find it hard to get over my mistakes. but when i find myself in a humble place, where i genuinely feel bad for my actions or reactions, and i focus on the asking and receiving of forgiveness, then my slate feels clean and my heart is happy again. that simple turn of events also creates inspiration. i feel like inspiration is born of renewal.
i am slightly concerned about my 5000 new bumper stickers that say must chomp for muschamp. will muschamp is the coach of the gator football team. when he started 2 years ago and the program was in a bad way, i made a sticker “revamp with muschamp.” now in his 3rd year and with the gators going 11-1 last year, i figured a must chomp for muschamp sticker would be a huge hit. and i still think it will be. because i think the team looked really good but just had a bad day and i don;t think the problems they had were really about the coaching but just about the nervousness. anyway, it just makes me wonder if the fans will be eager to get a muschamp sticker or if they will be bad mouthing the team now. people are often such fickle fans. they love it when they are winning but a couple losses and it’s nothing but shit-talk.
i wasn;t planning this long post. (thus the title “quickly…”)
i was only coming on here to tell you that while i have been writing for hours and hours each day, i cannot seem to hit the publish button for whatever reason. but then my routine kicked in and here i am writing again a long and winding post. i’m tired. i am up every morning so early and tomorrow is no different. also i have a busy day doing more mosaic at the restaurant. the neighbors dog is barking away. people wonder how anyone can not just love dogs but it’s the barking randomly during sleep hours that does it for me. fortunately that dog is not barking every night but just occasionally. fortunately the other neighbor (who had the 10 dogs they were raising to sell) moved away. that was a cacophony of barking dogs always, and right outside my window.
fortunately i still love the gators and my employees and will be excited to get to work tomorrow.