Saturday, June 18, 2011

Crazy Busy Season

I've been a busy bee at work lately. The first part of the year, we were concerned about how the year would go. Last year was just so-so after all the crazy happenings like the Oil Spill From Hell and the recession.

January and February started a bit slow. A small church job here, a school there, but not a lot of restaurant work. Of course, our busy season starts around March when people start to escape the ravages of winter up north. Cabin fever drives the people down here in droves, and the restaurants love it. And if the restaurants are doing good, we do good.

Then in March, we got a large job for a hotel restaurant and a huge smallwares order for me to order. Just after that, a new IHOP. Next came a regular customer of ours who announced he's opening number 10 and 11 in his chain of restaurants (one of those are open and the next is just around the bend).

Meanwhile, our area had a great spring, with gorgeous weather and clean beaches. We had a super Mardi Gras and Spring Break, which are the launch for our "Season".

Which means I've had my hands full with all these smallwares packages and trying to keep stock in our store. I'm doing glassware orders every week, china orders every two weeks, kitchen tool orders every two weeks. There's also orders to get knives, thermometers, squeeze bottles, butane bottles, pizza trays and peels, etc., etc.

All it takes is a visit from one of our bigger customers to set in motion more orders. "You're taking all 48 of my 6 inch deep 1/3 pans? Time for an order !" "You need how many forks? 144 dozen? Time for an order!" "800 burger baskets? No problem! Time for an order!" "Hey, Ex-RM, how many cases of bouillon cups do we have?" During the height of the season, this happens on a daily, if not hourly, basis. And customers get pissed if you don't have 10 cases of their water glasses, even if they've never ordered more than 6 at any one time.

But, if there's one thing that has always helped me here, not to mention when I was a Restaurant Manager, is that I can multi-task with the best of them. Prioritizing is also a prized quality in this business. Some people are bad at it (my immediate boss), but if I need to order something that takes a week or more to get in, that pallet of Cambro can just wait awhile to be put on the shelves. And now, I'm finally getting more than a pat on the back for a job well done.

After 4 long years, I finally got a raise! And for how well I delivered the smallwares package ($13,000 worth) to our customer earlier this month, a nice little bonus to boot, which is how I got this laptop I'm finally writing on again. Things are looking good now, we've got many jobs on the books, including a 12th outlet for that one customer I mentioned. I'm gonna be plenty busy, and I think there's still a pallet of Cambro to put away.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Eight Months of Computer Exile

Thanks to my computer illiteracy, my desktop went AWOL eight months ago. Despite myriad commercials for computer "saviors", I justified my sabbatical by using my bank account as an excuse. Surely, these professionals with many degrees and white-taped glasses would charge me as much to fix my computer as to buy a new one. And I couldn't afford a new one. Besides, I wanted a laptop to replace the desktop, because all the cool people had laptops. I dreamed of a new IMac, because all the pros said you must have an IMac, no viruses to worry about anymore. Of course, even though computers have dropped in price dramatically in the last five years, IMacs have not. Damn those Apple guys!

Anyway, eight months later, mucho work at work. Pats on the back and warm fuzzies have finally manifested in a raise and a bonus. At least five trips to Best Buy to drool over those super cool white and glowing apple laptops. Wisdom prevails and I buy an affordable laptop at Office Depot. I feel good about that as Best Buy is up there with Wally-World in places that you feel bad about buying things while buying things.

And now I'm back with eight months of stuff to write about. Should take at least 3 posts to do that. LOL