Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Week So Far

Monday—the best that can be said for it was that it was a day I didn’t have to work, and didn’t have to worry about what was going on at the café without me there. We shuttered the place and hied us hither to Eugene to spend the holiday with my family. Without nagging café issues to keep my mind spinning and my stomach churning, I was mostly comatose. The life of the party, I was not.

What I remember about the day is that I ate way too much, generally had some kind of alcoholic libation at my elbow, and didn’t engage in a whole lot of physical activity. Basically, I just sat and let the party(s) go on around me. But I didn’t fight with sister C, and I didn’t spend most of the day in tears…which puts Christmas 2006 head and shoulders above 2005’s version.

Tuesday—Back to the grind. And the grind mangled me pretty good. The day started crappy and just kept getting crappier. Cook no-showed, I had to drag myself out of bed two hours earlier than scheduled to subject myself to one of those infamous fourteen-hour days. Which turned out to be like watching paint dry, because business was terrible. If I have to be there from open to close, I at least need it to be busy enough to keep me awake. It wasn’t.

What did keep me awake was the drama surrounding the second employee no-show of the day. I manage to get a fourth person to come in to cover lunch (to make up for missing cook)—the good and faithful "D." Lunch sucks…it becomes obvious that I didn’t really need to pull "D" in on her day off. But my one other decent employee—"T"-- is feeling under the weather, so I send her home and "D" stays to finish out the lunch shift. To be relieved at 2:00 by "T2," who we know is going to be there because she just called a little bit ago to check on when she was supposed to work.

Two o’clock comes and goes…no "T2." "D" calls her house…no answer. Leaves a message on the machine. We wait, and twiddle our thumbs, and business is still abominable, so all there is for us to do is make up theories as to what has happened to "T2."Maybe she had to walk to work. Maybe she’s having a fight with her boyfriend. Maybe she got hit by a truck and is lying dead by the side of the road somewhere… At 2:45, I decide to call "T2" again.

This time, someone picks up the phone…and hangs up. I call back, and the line is busy. I assume the phone has now been taken off the hook to prevent further attempts to call or leave messages. I further assume that this indicates that "T2" has given her notice. Or not.

Business is so terrible that I send "D" home at 3:00, even though I will be alone until somebody else shows up. I know the husband will arrive some time before 5:00, and judging by the rest of the day, I don’t seem to be in danger of being swamped. And I will be spending the time on pins and needles anyway, because my 5:00 girl (who, by the way, called earlier to find out what time she worked) is also hanging by a thread. She has another job, I know she has another job, but she doesn’t know I know. Rumor has it that she is trying to decide whether to "just quit" or wait until the new job actually starts. So it would not be out of the realm of possibility for her to become the third no-show of the day. In fact, I am fully expecting it.

I spend the next two hours trying to figure out how I am going to fill a 180-hour-per week schedule with just myself and my two decent employees.

And I have run out of time for writing this morning, so I’ll have to finish this later...

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