6/16/10

If it's not one thing, it's another ...

It seems like every time we get things under control, something else entirely different comes along the way and annoys and/or frustrates. It's no small wonder so many restaurants go under: it's a daily thing. Just when we managed to get someone to get the grease trap situation sorted out (installing a new one, that is, to be compliant with the Department of Environmental Protection's new and existing rules on the matter), the ice machines bites the big one, and refuses to work, no matter how many times our repair guy comes out to fix it.

So we call around, and get an ice machine/walk in fridge repair man to take a look. $150 later, he tells us the compressor is busted. Yeah. It wasn't $150 to /do/ anything except to look at the machine and tell us that the compressor is busted. Also, the estimate for the repairs is in the $1,500 range, give or take. And this is after spending like $500 on buying the grease trap in the first place, and all that money we're going to have to spend on getting it installed. And then Boss Man looks at the number of tickets that we went through for today, and sees that the pile is respectable, but not exactly what one would call a busy lunch service.

And of course, the interpersonal dramas between front of house and back of house (which is stock and standard for every single restaurant that you will ever go to) is just bonus icing on that little cake. If I were a less patient man, I would have asked Boss Man to sell this place, and work with me on doing private catering gigs to people with big hair in the outer suburbs of New York city. Or, for that matter, getting big hair of my own. I want big hair too, by golly!

OK, maybe I don't.

And come to think of it, if I were perfectly honest with myself, working day in and day out in a job that's steady and never changing, and free of challenges or road blocks would drive me to drinking. To be fair, I drink now, but we're not talking about that. You know what I mean. I remember when I first started working here, and my husband was making more than enough money, so I only worked at Chow for a day or two per week. I had steady, monotonous, predictable work, which paid reasonably well, and gave me side money to spend on frivolities. I lived in an apartment with a door man, a lift, and a gorgeous view. I was also watching my vitality, and desire to spend time in doing the things I loved wick away, drop by drop.

I don't know why, but I guess that to me, it's more meaningful to live a life with challenges to face, and see each day as a new set of obstacles to defeat. It may not be easy, but it certainly feels good to have it behind me. That sense of accomplishment feels incredible, at which point all that struggling and fighting and mental gymnastics all seem worth while.

At the end of the day, I think it's important to remind myself of what I need to be thankful for. For one thing, life presents me challenges that I am able to face, and tackle. I have been blessed with a brain that can wrap itself around a seemingly endless array of tasks, sometimes all at the same time. I have a job where I can be myself, cook what I want to cook, eat what I want to eat ("quality testing", remember?), and express myself creatively when I want to. And while some days seem to make me and Boss Man feel down in the dumps, they are what make the good days even nicer. When you come up from the low points and finally hit that high point, it's all the more satisfying.

And that's kind of what I'm quietly sending out to the universe: please send me a high point soon. We could certainly use it!
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