The Phone Rings...

This past Monday morning my cell phone started ringing at about 8:15. I looked at the phone. The caller I.D. told me that it was W. D. Deli. I was pretty sure it would not be good news. It is quite rare that I get a call from the deli kids telling me that everything is great. The call never sounds like, "Hey. ‘Just wanted to let you know that everyone got here on time, everything is going well, and, oh yeah, the bank called and they found an extra $10,000 that belongs in our operating account." Nope. I’ve never gotten that call.

It’s much more likely that the call will be more along the lines of:

"David called. He went to Austin last night with his friends and they left him and he is stranded there. He won’t be in to work."

"Stephanie can’t come to work today. Her roommates were fighting all night. She has to stay home. She’s afraid they’ll destroy the house, and the lease is in her name."

"We’re out of [whatever necessary thing to complete the day’s catering orders]."

"Carol called and she can’t come in. She said she’s having an emergency partial hysterectomy today, but she’ll be in tomorrow. Because it’s only a partial. They’re going to do the other part next week."

"Joel may be late - if he comes at all. His [psycho stripper] girlfriend sat the bed on fire last night with him in it."

"There’s no hot water here."

"Joe’s mom called. He was on the riverwalk last night and got into a fight. He was arrested, so he won’t be at work today. Probably not tomorrow either. He had outstanding warrants."

We have really and truly gotten all those calls (and many more) - including the partial hysterectomy one. But I have always answered the phone and dealt with whatever. This past Monday Wayne washed dishes for the first half of the day, and I did the second half. Sometimes we pinch hit in the kitchen for the soup guy. It’s all good, and it’s all a day’s work. Literally. And I have to believe it’s not entirely a bad thing. We get a chance to do something different. We get a fresh perspective on what the various positions entail.

Those people who don’t make it in to work on any given day don’t seem to realize how important they are in the daily operation of the business. Maybe they just don’t care. If the dishwasher doesn’t show up, somebody else has to wash dishes. There’s a domino effect. Positions are switched or shifted, and we make do. It makes for a "bumpy" day, but it all works out.

Here’s to the kids who show up and do a great job. The staff always rises to the occasion and works as a team. It’s always gratifying when a customer tells us that we have a great staff, or when they say it looks like we have such a good time at work. We really do have a good time. We have great people to work with and great customers to work for - and they make our day everyday.


  1. I think you have a great staff, which is the product of bosses who really care for their people.

  2. It's a truism that if you have employees you have employee challenges.

  3. When I had the store, one of my employees called in sick for the rest of the week because she had gotten her wisdom teeth out. When I found out that she was "having a great time on the dance floor" at some party the night before, and STILL couldn't come into work, she got the ax. Nice, swift and clean.

    Yes, here's to the kids who show up to work. Who know the importance of doing the simple - even mundane - things that are requested of them. Who are respectful of a business establishment. Who know that if they put in the time, THEY will be the ones who succeed.

    And here's to the bosses that have to (get to) work with them. They always reminded me to be gracious, hardworking and grateful!


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