Sweet Leonard

Dear Feastlings,

As we continue to pedal our wobbly unicycle through the Gem and Mineral Show, we’re still experiencing the same fallout most other businesses are- three of our number have left us and two more are slated to, some for other industries, some without a plan in mind, some without even giving notice, but there’ll be five more who’ve washed their hands of Feast for one reason or another as the Grand Exeunt continues.

Honestly, I can’t fault any of them for it- for leaving the industry, for escaping Tucson, or the stressful atmosphere, or escaping me in particular. I wish I personally could escape me in particular. But meanwhile, the more who go off to other pastures, greener or otherwise, the more stressful it gets for everyone who’s stuck around, and thus continues the cycle of overworked people scrambling to cover for one another. I can’t imagine it’s much different anywhere else.

Today, we met Leonard, who’s going to come in next Tuesday to start washing dishes, as our friend Rob, one of the better dishwashers who’s ever worked here- ever- leaves to go work for a production company. Will Leonard be The One? Possibly. Will he show up on his first day next Tuesday? Maybe. But today, Leonard did something magical: he showed up. He applied for a job here, as some do; and he answered the phone when we called him, as fewer do; he scheduled an interview, as yet fewer do; and then the heavens opened up and golden light poured down over his countenance, bathing him in a majestic glow: he came in for the interview.

The bar, anymore, is an admittedly low one. But now more than ever, that 90% of success is, in fact, showing up. We’ve got a couple more in the works as well, hosting, bussing, foodrunning and the like, and we’re still hoping for a solid sauté cook somewhere in the mix. I’m hoping that this new influx of people, in addition to covering the steady exodus, instills spirits of camaraderie like it’s done before. When Feast expanded in its old location, some of those new people stuck with us for over ten or twelve years; and when we moved down the street, another bond was formed amongst the crew. Now, some of our more recent new buddies have become, well, our buddies. In the long term, I’m feeling bullish. In the more immediate future, I’m fantasizing about being one of the ones who gets to leave the industry to haul cables and cameras around for that production company.

Production companies, though, don’t give you the luxury of that open bottle of Manzoni Bianco that remains when the tasting is over, or the sushi-grade ahi tuna scrap that’s really only enough for tuna tartare for my day off, and so far, that’s still keeping me tethered here, along with my love and admiration for the people who’ve been hauling Feast out of the Pandemic Sinkhole it’s been mired in for nearly two years now. Maybe I’ll share my tartare with a couple of them.

Meanwhile, tomorrow we’ll be creating more wine leftovers to consider at our hybrid in-person/virtual wine tasting, and there’s still time for you to order one up:

Total agreement

And we’ll keep on making the donation runs; I have the feeling my contact at the hospital is as inundated as they say people who work at hospitals are- I can only guess, based on our own stress level, how brutal it must be for them. If I don’t hear back from him by the weekend, though, we’ll (I know, I can’t say I’m fond of this word) pivot again and send next week’s donations somewhere else they’re need and circle back to the Emergency Department when they come up for air.

We’ve also got the Valentine’s Day menu squared away, barring unforeseen (or foreseen) supply line or staffing issues, and it’s posted, at long last, on the website.

Valentine’s Day

Now: cross your fingers for us and hope that Leonard goes for the gold and shows up on his first day.



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