Tax Man.

This week ushered in a new era of PJP Buttonwood.  THE ERA OF EMPLOYEES.  Legitimate, clock-in-clock-out, payroll tax employees.  This afternoon, it was actually crowded in the PJP kitchen.  And that is just weird.  And awesome. Both Jeanne and I will be the first to admit that we are controlling women...we like to be in charge and we both suffer from the inability to ask for help, preferring to just do everything ourselves and then burst into melodramatic tears when it doesn't work according to plan.

That said, even a mere six months ago, I would have been the first to advocate hiring employees, but that was before I ever contemplated paying employees.  When you start doing the math, it all adds up quickly...and so exhaustion be damned, we were reluctant to hire (and more reluctant to have conversations that included the words "withholding" and "social security tax").

Finally, sheer exhaustion and lack of sleep prevailed over the stubborn streak of self-righteousness and we hired our first employee - Julia.  She is a Rock Bridge High School student who helps out on the front counter a few afternoon a week.  On several occasions, Jeanne and I have both left the shop for a short time in Julia's capable hands.  And we've only called her once to remind her to turn off the ovens before she leaves for the night, so we consider that progress.

Earlier this week, we snapped up Bailey...a soon-to-be Rock Bridge High School senior who studies culinary arts and is, in short, FREAKING AMAZING.  Seriously.  She has worked with us for two days and we never want her to miss a single day ever.  She is a lattice making machine, super intuitive, super smart, and super nice.  In short, we super love her.

And finally today, we welcomed Britney too - she is part of the City of Columbia CARE program (this program provides employment to teens in exchange for mentoring).  She washed dishes, poked holes in shells, and made boxes.  In short, she worked really hard and we are really grateful to be a part of the program.  She stays with us for the next eight weeks (!).

PJP Buttonwood feels different this week.  In general, we have more pie and there is more activity in the baking area.  And we have more dissension about what sort of tunes we should listen to each day.  We also have more laughs and the perspective of 17 year old girls is fascinating.  Also, you will make reference to Back to the Future and they will stare blankly at you and it will make you feel eight billion years old.

On another plausibly related note, I would like to announce my candidacy for whatever office is available based solely on "I VOW TO MAKE THE PAYROLL PROCESS EASIER."  This week has been a flurry of random "please sign and date here in triplicate" forms.  I think if I ran for president in 2016, I could make my platform be "NO ONE UNDERSTANDS YOUR BIZARRE TAX CODE, FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.  THANKS." and I would have millions of votes.

I haven't seen the payroll taxes on this new era of PJP employment, but I'm guessing it doesn't come cheap to have a staff.  That said, we can see that the increased pie production from having extra staff on hand is making a difference in PJP Buttonwood.  It takes money to make money, right?