Want to know how to make a small fortune in the bakery business? Start with a large fortune. I'm sure this joke has been used in every industry. I first heard it in Sonoma, California. "If you want to make a small fortune in the wine business..."
But it is so true. There is always something. Where do I start?
First, we got stuck with a cake yesterday. Not a big one, but not one we could easily re-sell. By the time it was clear that the person ordering the cake was not coming, it was 3 p.m. on Saturday, we had three weddings to deliver, it's an out-of-town opening day for the University of Alabama Football, AND a holiday weekend (which means there is no walk-in traffic). I could put the cake in the freezer, but what are the chances of us re-selling a frozen red and hot pink stacked cake. So the staff at The Globe Restaurant across the alley were treated to a free cake.
It's goodwill and we borrow stuff from them from time to time, so it's also payback. The cupcakes that went with the unclaimed cake went home with my employees. We require a deposit on some cakes, but not on this one. I checked my voice mail, the lady called while we were out delivering wedding cakes and canceled her order (more than likely in response to our call earlier in the day reminding her to pick it up). Never mind that she canceled the cake at least 3 hours AFTER she was supposed to pick it up.
Then, there is the brand-new oven. Of course it comes without any sort of power cord to plug it in, which means you need an electrician. In our case, two electricians and a repairman. Turns out we have a "hot leg" (it's not what you think...). The power coming into the building is not evenly distributed, which mean our electricity (which I SWEAR is 220-3 phase for the other oven) almost caused us to burn out the expensive new appliance on the first day. It's being fixed. Hey, it's only money, right? Of course, since the problem is electrical, and not related to the appliance, it's our responsibility.
And, equipment gets dropped, and it breaks, and you have to replace it. Or it just breaks. For no apparent reason. Like the cooler. Nobody mentioned we should take the grate off the front and clean the dust out of the air filter (on a regular basis) or the filter would get clogged, and the motor would get too hot, and burn up, and stop working, and have to be replaced. Oh yeah, and everything in the cooler would spoil and have to be thrown out. OK, so there WAS an apparent reason, I just didn't know it.
Welcome to my world. I keep having dreams about the movie "Back to School" when comedian Rodney Dangerfield interrupts a business class lecture to explain how things REALLY get done.
It was not all bad though. 24th ranked Alabama beat #9 Clemson yesterday in the Georgia Dome, 34-10. And we got our mop bucket back. One of our merchant neighbors had "borrowed" it to mop up water from a leaking roof and forgot to bring it back. And I now have 201 recipes in the cookbook.