I’ve got a pretty great job, if I do say so myself. I spend my days around one my favorite things in life- cheeseburgers. When you hate your job, or dread going to work each day, or bring stress home with you, the whole quality of life thing really degenerates fast, so it’s good to be in a place that makes you happy. And I am.
We recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of our little burger joint, and it really made me think about all the things that place means to so many different people. It’s more than just a paycheck – it’s a tiny family. We all care about the success our little burger joint. A successful first year for a small business is really quite a feat.
The servers all chipped in and had two bobble heads made in the likeness of our two owners. They were pretty funny, I must say. We also brought breakfast for everyone, and had a cake at around four. It was a nice day.
Over the last year, as we were learning and finding our stride, we have made a lot of friends and seen a lot of stuff. So here are a few of the highlights.
The old man who used to come to the old Bob’s Fish and Chips with his son in the seventies. Now his son is dead, and he sat tearing up on the patio while eating his burger because of all the happy memories it brought back.
That time we tried to serve breakfast- it was a total fiasco.
Right around the time we opened someone pooped on our back door.
When the feral cats of the neighborhood started hanging out at our dumpster- and reproducing like crazy. We still have about seven cats that we feed and water. We call them the Holy Kitties.
The brother and sister duo that stopped in during their road trip from California to Florida.
When Mark Ruffalo came in on opening night.
When we got the new air conditioner for the kitchen and it caused the computers to crash.
The kidnapping. Late one night we were cleaning the restaurant and a car sped down the street and haphazardly into the parking lot next door. The back door opened and a woman fell out. The driver then put her back in the car and sped away.
That time a bus pulled up and unloaded all of the residents of a local nursing home into the restaurant. (This now happens on the regular, but that first time was a doozy.)
That time a hooker and a pimp came in to get out of the cold, and when they were asked to leave the man started screaming about how the restaurant had rats and that he was “too fucking classy” to eat there.
When we bought the bad batch of pens and they started exploding everywhere and on everyone.
Our salad cook was waiting at the bus stop after a day in the hot kitchen in the middle of summer when a religious group, thinking she was homeless (she did look pretty rough), gave her a paper bag with “God Loves You” written on it and containing a mashed up PB&J, a bottle of water, and cookies.
The little kid who, as he was putting his burger into a to-go box, said “See ya later”- to the burger!
The little boy who told me ‘Happy Mother’s Day.”
The Finnish motorcycle gang who stopped in during their tour of old Route 66.
When one of our servers told a guest to “chill out and relax” when she was very clearly not into being chill or relaxed.
When the salad cook accidentally coated a server from head to toe in cucumber Greek yogurt dipping sauce. That was awesome.
When one of our bosses tricked a server into drinking a ranch milkshake by telling her it was a new menu item.
That time I got off working two doubles in a row and discovered that during my shift one of my coworkers had filled my purse with apples and sugar packets.
That time when they got to work to open and discovered that during the night someone had left a wedding dress drenched in human poop on the corner of the patio. That really happened, yes.
Someone once drove their car up the sidewalk and literally to our front door.
When it got really hot and we had two new air conditioner vents installed- and then the rainy season started and the vents leaked buckets of water into the dining room.
Our slew of fun and weird characters that make a second home out of the joint.
And all the ups and downs, highs and lows, that go into a year in an emerging small business.