How to Leap
Despite all indications to the contrary (namely, my laughably financially insecure profession), I’m not a risk taker. I’m obnoxiously frugal. I look before I leap. Often, I look for so long that from the outside the leap looks impulsive. From the inside, though, it’s the only remaining option.
For years, I rolled with the long bake days. If the orders spiked and I had to spend sixteen, eighteen, twenty hours in the kitchen, I did. Sure, it sucked, but with tea and snacks and maybe a nap on the grungy floor, I could make it through. I even felt a kind of stupid pride in my endurance. By last year, though, I was getting tired. It wasn’t enough to push through the week and sleep on Sunday. The bakery was supposed to be work. Work that I liked, certainly, maybe even work that I loved, but not my reason for existence. I was sliding dangerously close to burnout and I was too exhausted to do anything about it.
I had my first sixteen hour day in months last Tuesday. By the end I was aching and tired, but I wasn’t resigned. “No fucking way am I getting into this again,” I thought, and went on Craigslist to buy the first used oven I could find that would stack with the oven I bake in now. The newest addition to the mangy herd of ranges and ovens crowded under the Type 1 hood in the commissary isn’t a deck oven, of course. It isn’t even a combi. It’s just another fan-on-all-the-time American Range convection oven. But honestly, when I bought it, I didn’t think about long term equipment investments or the hassle of reselling it when I move out of the commissary. I didn’t think about amortization or margins. I’ve calculated and recalculated those equations, and in the end when I thought about my sore feet, about the production bottleneck at the oven, about how much I hate working through dinner, they didn’t matter. I leapt.
See you soon.
Owner | Baker
P.S. I'm not actually sure how I'm going to take these two 680lb ovens off their stands and stack them together. If you have expertise in moving heavy objects, or just good lifting form and some free time Monday, I'd love help solving this rather daunting puzzle.
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