Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Work and Randomness

As I predicted, the uptick in business at the cafe after the radio ad blitz on Thanksgiving weekend has proven temporary. It looked for a while as if it would sustain, but as of about a week ago, it completely fizzled. The last two days have been the worst since the place opened. As of yesterday, I don't even have a job to do while I'm there. I literally stand around polishing the tile on the walls for six hours a day. Everything I was assigned to do has been given to other people, but for some reason, I'm still there. The best part is that the owners seem determined to keep me for reasons that are a complete mystery to me. Monday was absolutely hysterical. There was one person running the cash register and waiting on customers with only occasional help running food and bussing tables. All day. One person handled every single customer. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, there were five people working to make the food orders that that one person was taking.

Anyone expect this place to survive long? Me neither. The owner freely admits he knows nothing about the restaurant business. Ya think?

In other news, global warming strikes North America with ice storms, snow storms and record cold temperatures. And it ain't even Christmas yet.

Flat-dead-tree media continues to decline into irrelevance. I can't remember the last time I read a newspaper, and I was about twelve when I figured out that the most truthful part of a newspaper was the comics page. Dead man... er... make that, "Flat dead tree walking."

Speaking of global warming, our temps here have been running about the same as in Michigan. There was even snow on the ground when I walked to work yesterday. Well, more like slushy water. We were supposed to get hit with a snow storm today, but it didn't materialize. Just cold, windy and cloudy.

Paul Graham has an interesting post about credentialism and the changes taking place in the US economy. I think it answers the questions that Scott Adams posted a couple days ago about the future of capitalism. In many ways, smaller is better now that technology has removed many of the barriers to entry that for over a century have made "bigger is better" synonymous with capitalism. The question is will Washington mandate the bigger-is-better model? Bigger is certainly easier to regulate, and we seem to be heading toward every facet of our existence being micro-managed from the Imperial City. Will small once again out-manouver the regulators? The next ten years could be very interesting indeed.

I mentioned a while back that I will be starting up college again around the end of January. The load will be pretty heavy; I will be taking regular on-line classes plus dropping into a series of cohorts to finish up as quickly as possible. At a couple points, I will be in three classes at the same time, something I haven't done since the last time I was a full-time college student in 1983. I don't know if I can do it, but it would be nice to be done by next summer. Then I would be a dishwasher with a BS degree. Or more likely, an unemployed dishwasher with a BS degree. I'm almost hoping to get canned before my first class starts up January 26. It won't help our budget any, but at least I would have time to sleep.

Speaking of which, I need some.


TomboCheck said...

Sorry to hear about the slow business, but I guess that is what happens when people who don't know about the restaurant business try to learn the hard way. I've been in a few times, decent food, but poor layout.

Ric said...

Way to much trust was put in one person. We are now doing what should have been done back in October: figuring out the menu, deciding on a source for our food and supplies, kitchen layout, equipment needs, basic organization of storage. The first of the year will see major changes that should help some. That leaves the simple fact that there are too many employees even if a miracle occurs and business triples so they meet revenue goal.

The joys of working in a new, privately-owned business.