The cumulative effect

Dear Feastlings,

The absences continue to mount here at Feast, whether they be from someone who’s given notice and worked their last, or from a dishwasher who’s gone AWOL, and while we keep hiring, each new absence restarts the cycle of interviews, wasted time, wasted training and those of us who remain questioning whether we’re wasting our own time sticking around. It’s a game of inverse whack-a-mole, with the moles disappearing rather than poking up their heads, and each wave of new hires presents a new wave of demands.

Where we had strong, reliable people who could jump in and help out anywhere in a pinch, we now have people who need someone to keep an eye on them lest they make a costly mistake or a disappointing dinner special. Where we had people who knew all the ins and outs of Feast’s weird 21-year year journey and all the quirky habits and rituals that resulted from it, we now have people justifiably scratching their heads at our absurd customs. And when it all happens during restaurant week? There’s a collective sigh at the end of each night.

Saturday night was a circus, and not the fun kind. Even Tuesday was like Mister Toad’s Wild Ride. And there are still four nights to go, with each of us left shaking our heads and mourning what Feast was three years ago. All we can do is keep up with what rituals give us comfort, like our weekly wine tasting, for example,

France, featured

or keep making the dishes we’re excited about and pouring the wines we’re excited about alongside them. But doggone, if you know a dishwasher, or a line cook who wants to work the line and doesn’t prefer to switch it up and be a prep cook who’s paid like a line cook, or try his or her hand at waiting tables, do send them our way. Today’s one of those days where thirty months of cumulative stress makes one pause to evaluate the decisions that have brought one to this point. And if you don’t know one, come in and pick up a bottle of wine, or have a snack, or be nice to someone here whom you’re now aware is doing not only their own job, but probably a good chunk of someone else’s as well.

And if you can’t come in? Do the same thing anywhere else you go; I’m sure they’re dealing with the same thing and would be grateful to be treated with a little kindness.

Your friend who’s thirty months in and evaluating some life decisions,


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