1/26/12

I /still/ don't ever want to own a restaurant.

This week has been utter and complete purgatory for me and bossman. We can't go into the kitchen and cook the entire time we're here. Instead, we need to sit astride a mountain of paperwork to answer to an audit of doom. Thankfully, there's nothing there that's sketchy, but it's still painful to have to do, because you're talking about papers that are years old, and are not as organised as they are now. It means painstakingly going through each transaction, line by line, penny by penny, and making sure that it's all accounted for.

Meanwhile, there's folk on staff who aren't thrilled with each other. The wait staff, thankfully, has been angelic. Every single one of them has proven to me time and again that there are people out there that truly /get it/. Who really understand that vision of making less violence, making more kindness, showing our love for humanity through food. They treat each other and our customers with respect and kindness. They treat this space with the reverence of an altar of peace deserves. OK, so I'm being a touch hyperbolic. I think I'm allowed a touch of poetic license for having to look at numbers until I'm cross-eyed.

The problem is that a kitchen is built on ego. Well. A "usual" kitchen, in any case. It's a place where men flex their importance, and show how much they can take. Crassness, rudeness, and violent tempers are nurtured and encouraged. It's a horrible place to be. When you come from a place of ego, "make less violence" doesn't quite sink in. That's when we start to notice that the person may not be a good fit, and we have to part ways. Part ways where we wish the person the best, but understand that at the end of the day, we have to nurture kindness and love.

Meanwhile, this pile of paperwork that happens when you run a place doesn't care that you've got a thousand other things on your plate. It keeps building, and threatening to engulf you in its arms. And somehow, you keep just past the point of getting swallowed up.

And yet, there are folk who think that I'm mad enough to wish this on anyone, much less myself.

I'm not. This is /not/ my idea of fun. I watch bossman go home each night, shoulders held high to be strong for everyone else, and carry us on them. I watch what happens to him, day by day, as the depravities of the world keep wearing away at his armour. And I know that even though I /could/ do this, I don't /want/ to. I have passion, and drive, and love. I don't, however, have those strong shoulders to bear the weight of my loved ones or those that wish me ill.

Don't ever think that owning a business is just making the books balance. Don't ever think that it's just about finding good staff. Or that it's about having a good concept. All those things mean nothing if you're not strong, tenacious, and just a little crazy.

And I may be crazy, tenacious, or strong. But not at the same time.

That's why I've got my business partner/boss. Because we treat each other as equals. He places as much weight on my own opinion as he does his own. Bossman is just my affectionate nickname for him. I know we're equals, but I know that it gets his goat when I call him my boss, or call myself his assistant.

I'm rambling. It's been a long week. And it promises to be a long and painful audit tomorrow.

That's why I have my friend.
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