With two new employees and a returning college student firmly in place, I’ve gone out on a limb and decided to take a desperately-needed “week off” from the café. I was to the point where I was so tired I was consistently on the verge of either dissolving into tears or breaking something over somebody’s head. Not a good place to be when you have to worry about dealing with employees and customers. Last week, I sat down to wolf down a quick bite of lunch at work…I was reading the paper and my eyes welled up ridiculously when I came upon a story about some woman saving a couple of falcon fledglings from drowning in the Willamette River. It was then that I knew it was absolutely essential for me to carve out a few days of R & R.
While I stepped out in faith and created a vacation schedule for myself this week, I kept waiting for some employee disaster that would make it impossible for me to take the time off after all. Possibly Assistant Cook Number One would decide never to come back from her vacation. Or Flaky Cook would develop some unforeseen sudden drama in her life, as she is wont to do from time to time. Or one of my new hires would decide she didn’t really want to work for me, and would just…stop showing up. Any one of these disasters would have been unsurprising…in fact, I fully expected some such nonsense to transpire. But, wonder of wonders, by Sunday afternoon when I dragged my exhausted butt out the side door of the restaurant after twenty-eight days without a day off, not so much as a vapor of crew drama loomed on the horizon, threatening to deep six my anticipated rest.
Still, if the past twenty-four months have taught me nothing else, I’ve learned to never count on something good happening until it actually DOES. And of course, Monday morning, as husband and I settled into our al fresco seating and let my crew feed us breakfast, a dark cloud of employee flakiness blew in and threatened to pummel my parade. I believe I’ve mentioned the girl who came to me eight weeks ago begging for her job back after quitting with no notice in January, and I, like a dumb-ass, rehired her (for the sake of expediency, let’s call her “Dumb-Ass Rehire.”) Well, this morning, she called in ( expecting me to not be there. I’m sure she was a bit nonplussed when my counter girl handed me the phone.) But she charged ahead bravely with her yarn that she would not be able to come to work because she had too much homework that she had not done over the weekend (she worked four hours on Saturday and had Sunday off, so if she didn’t do her homework, it wasn’t her job that prevented her from doing so.)
I was not surprised or shocked or blind-sided by this development. And I’m impressed with how quickly I was able to deal with it. Much as I wanted to go off on Dumb-Ass Rehire about what constitutes an excused absence (not having homework done is not on the list), I stopped myself short and simply explained to her that if she felt she was not going to be able to work a scheduled shift, she needed to find someone to work for her. And, luckily, Assistant Cook Number One is back from vacation, so there was actually someone for Dumb-Ass Rehire to call to take the shift. Crisis averted. Husband and I finished our breakfast and continued on our merry, no-pressure way.
However, I AM going to have to dump Dumb-Ass Rehire. ::Sigh:: I’ll worry about that when I get back from my “vacation.”