As you can tell, I have succumbed to NFS, New Father Syndrome. Mornings I used to spending reading other's blogs and updating my own are increasingly being spent gazing at my son, who is chatty, giggly and animated.
Things are relatively stable at the restaurant. The new dishwasher is working out. We still have hot water. The sous' wife had her baby, a boy as well. He's only taking a week off and will be back to cover for us when we head to SF 10/23-26.
A few nights ago C. cut himself while cleaning knives at the end of the shift. I was in the office and heard the commotion. When I arrived on the scene our hostess had paper towels wrapped around the cut and was telling him to squeeze his hand. He apparently went weak in the knees, saw black and was sweating up a storm. The GM and I joked later that the reaction was probably because a beautiful young woman was holding his hand.
After looking at the cut and knowing it wasn't serious but probably should be looked at I'm ashamed to say my first thought was that our worker's comp rates might rise. Not long ago I received an attractive quote from a new broker and part of the quote process was him obtaining the claim reports for the last three years. We've been thankfully, accident-free for a long time. So I was wondering as I was whisking C off to the ER if this incident was going to appear on the claim reports and thus affect the rate we'd be getting.
By the time C was actually seen by the doctor the bleeding had stopped and he was feeling like maybe we should just go. But I told him we were there and he should get it looked at. Ten minutes and two stitches later we were on our way.
The cut, and my reaction to it, brought up the ever troubling thoughts I have about my role as an employer. In my personal politics I am closer to socialism than anything else, yet I am definitely entrenched in capitalism, being a business owner. And as much as I love my crew and believe the feeling is returned, every time they introduce me to one of their friends as "my boss", the employer/power part of our relationship is in my face. I end up feeling like a feudal lord, especially on days like my birthday, which is very often the day of our holiday party. We close the restaurant and open the bar to employees, provide food, distribute awards, play games, do a white elephant gift exchange and the crew give me presents. Now while we give them presents for their birthdays, somehow when they are showering me with gifts, I feel guilty. Like a plantation owner.
I realize this is my problem. Yes, they probably feel some obligation to give me a gift, since they've received a gift, and there's an element of "Gee, I hope the boss likes what I gave him" relating to continued employment, but there's also a plain element of friendship. I know I'm not the only small business owner with these feelings and it's not the first time these thoughts have surfaced for me. Being a father I am ever more examining my thoughts and actions and wanting to do the right thing by my boy and since I didn't grow up in a family business I'm feeling my way.
On to food related things. Anyone have a good vinegar mother they'd like to share?