There Is That...

I almost started this post by sharing a photo that I quickly snapped at 2:30 this afternoon of our sink full of dishes, but my shame prevented me from uploading it.  Instead I'll just describe it to you as COMPLETELY TERRIBLE, as in every single bowl, whisk, spatula, and measuring cup at PJP waited to be washed as our very last tray of pies went into the oven.  Even I, who am generally laid back about a sink full of dishes, was about two Xanax away from having a full anxiety attack when I really stopped to survey the damage we had created at PJP while baking this morning. And while I was loading, unloading, and drying all those dishes (it was about 27 loads), I spent some time thinking about the perfect staffing levels at PJP.  I have no clue what the magic number is (clearly), but finding out is a key piece of the puzzle when looking at long-term growth.  For a good portion of today, we actually had five people working (me, Gunnar, Mac, Sydney, and Katie).  But for all the things going on - jars on order for shipping, tarts on order for events, pies needed for the store, Katie only on her second day of training - we just couldn't get ahead.  Pies eventually got made, but it was stressful and felt a little out of control (at least, to my overly controlling nature).  And the aftermath was a hot mess.  27 loads of hot mess, to be precise.  (And let's not even talk about the floor.)

Ironically, even if we had a few more employees, adding more bodies in our baking space means we all bump into each other and it is impossible to find a working space that isn't already overtaken by someone else.  I believe this is what is called "the law of diminishing returns" by business experts...basically meaning that adding extra help in our current space helps nothing when there is no place to work because we are already so full of people in our 1,050 square feet.

So, I'm down to thinking we need one of the following:

  1. A person we hire to just wash the dishes.  (Sounds like a solid plan but Jeanne wouldn't be keen on sharing her SOS pads, so I'm not sure how that would work out.)
  2. Disposable EVERYTHING.  (Unrealistic though...right?)
  3. Stopping us all every 45 minutes for a dishwashing break.  (Like preschool, minus the "clean up song" to go along with it.)
  4. Buy more bowls, whisks, and spatulas, thus we don't run out of dishes so quickly.  (Don't judge me.)

Or maybe 1 & 4.  Or 3 & 4.  I have no answers.  But I do have super soft hands from all the dish soap, so there is that...