This turned out to be much harder than it looks, huh?

Those were Whitey’s first words at the crack of dawn this morning as he slammed his hand on the alarm clock. He then begged for five more minutes of sleep, and to also not let him doze back off. We had been asleep for about 6-hours.

I didn’t want to take a chance of falling back asleep (I was having the coolest dream about swimming), and so I got up to begin our morning routine.

He finally stumbled out of the bedroom and announced “We work so hard. Why does running a restaurant have to be so intense?”

He then did his usual shpeel about “…but I’m so thankful because….”

We often talk about how we have no right to complain to each other about working such long hours, as long as business is good. Shoot. We have friends working just as long of hours trying to keep their place open. We are really incredibly fortunate.

Yet, here’s my edited-for-the-public-to-read statement:

7-11 is not just a franchised convenience store. It’s our lives.

We wake at seven, and (hopefully) are home by eleven. We work our arses to the tailbone in every aspect of this job. It’s so strange having worked for so many years for other people.

In my previous life I’d show up. Clock in. Work. Take my breaks. Clock out. Go home. Hang out with my friends and/or family, have some wine, watch some TV, read the newspaper, etc. and then get a full eight-hours of sleep. Weekends were luxurious; spending time at the river with the dogs, dining out at nice restaurants, or doing something crafty at home.

Now?

I show up. Work. Then work more. Then disappear in the office to work. Pay bills. Plan things. Get called into the kitchen to work. Run to the grocery store to buy something we’re out of. Race back to work. Then work. Meet with vendors. Go home and let the dogs out. Then head back to work.

If you peek your head into our kitchen, you’ll see us. Working. If it’s 8am we’re making dough. If it’s noon, we’re tossing pies. If it’s 3pm, we’re prepping. If it’s 6pm, it’s delivering food. If it’s 8pm, it’s breaking down the lines. If it’s 9pm, it’s sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, and making a list of work for the next day. Any time in between that is when we work on bills, phone calls, repairs and basic day-to-day operations.

This business is like a child. Constant. Only without the diapers. Although…. we do have to deal with the crap.

I love Paizano’s. I really do. The business is exactly as we envisioned it to be, and it’s doing tremendously well right now. If I could change one thing, it would be to have one day off a week. Just one.

But we didn’t sign up for that. So for now, we work. Speaking of which, I’d better get going…. high-school lunch is in 30-minutes.

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4 Responses to This turned out to be much harder than it looks, huh?

  1. Jen says:

    You are doing a FANTASTIC job. 🙂

  2. JB says:

    In five years you will laugh at this edition. It will be worth it.

  3. satchel says:

    i used to feel the same way and we were closed on sundays even, but all i did was mow the grass or wash some clothes and sleep then back to work. so, then we closed 2 days a week. the customers still come, they just come when we’re open. i get two days off a week and all the employees do too. it’s awesome.

  4. JB says:

    As long as your marriage is rock-solid, you have nothing to worry about. You two (+K9s) live in a beautiful place where your commute is short, getting what you need is easy, your customers love you (and your product), you are working for yourself, you are employing people who need good work (and good employers), you are setting an excellent example, and even your worst days are better than some good days at other restaurants.

    Enjoy it. Just keep the marriage alive and well. We all wish that for you most —

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