Sunday, September 7, 2008


There are regular periods of downtime that you can expect, plan for. Between meal rushes. January. Those are times for rejuvenation, restoration. They help restore the psyche for what can be a grueling job even as they offer a little too much time for practical jokes.

I'm not so good with practical jokes.

What I like, though, are the unexpected downtimes - minor, surmountable disasters. Like the tree that knocked out power for the last three hours of the shop's day. After the flurry of getting everything as taken care of as we could, we started to wait it out. You have to wait it out, at least within reason, because those freezers need to come back on when the power is restored. Those timers need resetting, and if you can, you still need to get those doughs made. But until then, what else can you do but sit around, (possibly with the sudden manifestation of beer) and tell war stories. And don't think it is not a competition for the best fish.

We got some doozies. Boston blizzard deliveries with customers screaming about why they shouldn't pay because they weren't able to open even though you got the bread there on time. Side of the road wedding cake repair after a fender bender. The hands-down winner was the almost no power for three days after a windstorm the week after Thanksgiving. As in, driving proofed bread to another bakery to bake off just so you wouldn't lose it, and getting the power back only after you'd wiped out all the holiday backstock inventory you'd been prepping for weeks. Ouch.

Power was still out when I left, back on as usual the next morning.

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