The Book

If you are curious about how Thanksgiving ordering works behind the scenes at PJP, here’s a brief rundown: a customer orders their Thanksgiving pies either in person, by phone, or online. The customer’s name, phone number, date to pick up, and pie selections are written down on a special Thanksgiving order form. Each night, I add the day’s tallies to our current counts, hole punch the forms into a binder we call “The Book”, and alphabetize the completed forms by day and last name. As of tonight, we are at 647 pies. Gulp. (And as a friendly reminder, ordering will close on Thursday, November 15th at 6 pm unless The Book needs a second volume and then I’ll need a Xanax.)

And this is all just to say that this process is making me a mess. For example, I can tell you from memory just how many French Silk pies are due on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday - as separate daily totals AND as a group total for the three days. Also, I can likely tell you what pies someone ordered if you simply gave me the last name because I’ve looked at the forms so many times. Is that a skill or simply creepy? Who knows.

Every morning I take The Book to PJP. Jeanne and I spend a few minutes looking at the newest counts before we start in on our regular day. And here is the worst part about being two weeks out from the holiday - we can look at all that data and we can think through how Thanksgiving week will play out, but there is NOTHING we can really do just yet. Well, except overthink everything (and Jeanne doesn’t even believe in overthinking, so I’m doing all the work of overthinking for two. Heck, she hardly believes in data. She knows I’m going to keep us all moving in the right direction to our ultimate goal, which is actually a lot of trust she has in me. Or she just doesn’t want to get suckered into alphabetizing anything.) Here is a visual of me and The Book arriving at PJP in the morning. Ahem…


We use The Book all day to answer questions about orders when customers call in and of course, we receive new orders all day long. At night I take The Book home and update the numbers. I’m seriously close to putting The Book into a briefcase and handcuffing it to my wrist, like the nuclear football. By the time the Monday of Thanksgiving week arrives, I’ll need a police escort into PJP Buttonwood because The Book is the key to making the whole Thanksgiving thing work as it should (read: perfectly).

Behind-The-Scenes Jason has alerted me to significantly more advanced ways to collect and manage all of this data and true, databases on my computer would be less bulky and less old school than The Book, for sure. But the tangible aspect to writing the orders, reviewing the orders, and carrying the orders home and back ritualizes the process to a successful Thanksgiving, so I’m not giving it up.

Also, I’m all in for feeling like Meryl Streep arriving at the office in the morning and she totally wouldn’t arrive with a database.