I hope this post finds you well. It's been far too long old friend--what five months? How are you? You look good. Have you lost weight?
I'm deeply sorry for allowing us to fall so grievously out of touch, but these past few months have been rough on me. Shortly after we last spoke, one of my co-workers at Joe's was fired and I was asked to absorb many of his hours. I now work between 50 and 55 hours a week.
We are extremely busy this time of year. Busy to the point where the stress of selling hundreds of covers each night pushes me closer and closer to my limit. It seems we are constantly one step behind on our prep work. And even though I've grown to be more comfortable in the weeds than a cricket, I've felt myself nearing my breaking point many times.
There's a saying used frequently around the kitchen: "High volume, high stress." It's an easy way to justify assholeness, to brushoff uncharacteristic petulance.
High volume, high stress makes you a little crazy. As relentless business pushes your sanity to the edge, the patrons--the very people upon whom your livelihood depends--no longer seem like innocent, reasonable people out for a good meal and a good time. Instead, you begin to look at them as loathsome, despicable douche bags who, like ravenous plagues of locusts, descend upon your restaurant eager to strip it to the bone.
Under high volume, high stress, the servers and food runners, who by and large are easy-going, likable people, mutate into lazy, incompetent curs. I also find myself scapegaoting them frequently. After all, something in my stress-addled mind says, they're the ones ringing in the orders , therefore this raging torrent of tickets must be their fault.
So that's why we haven't spoken in so long. The past few months have been like a belt sander to my soul, grinding away my spirit bit by bit. By Sunday (the final day of my work week) I am exhausted physically and mentally and must drag myself through the shift.
My typical day off consists of me being a complete waste of life. I while away hours with mindless video games and staring listlessly at the TV. Lethargy and sloth have become my favorite weekend activities. I haven't bought groceries in months, much less cooked a meal at home. I fed hundreds of people this week, I like to say as I order delivery, now it someone else's turn to feed me.
But fret not, dear blog, for it is not all bad. There's a certain pride that comes of vanquishing such adversity. A pride in knowing that despite the odds, you've served up multitudes of banging meals and made the world a slightly happier place. Joe's has also recieved a lot of good press lately, including a write-up in Philadelphia magazine. So it's almost like I'm in the spotlight, fastidiously serving up plates of humble renown.
Additionally, I've become pretty tight with everyone at work, so as bad as it gets I never exactly hate it. There's a strong sense of "we're in this shit storm together, and together we will succeed." We also have a lot of fun, pulling too many hilarious pranks and shenanigans to recount.
Well, it was good catching up. Again, I hope things are well with you. And be sure to send the Mrs. my warmest regards. I'll be sure to write again soon.