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Unhinged

Sure we’ve had days at the cupcake shop where things were a little challenging. We’ve missed an order or messed up cupcakes. It’s happened because we’re imperfect humans and humans just aren’t . . . well . . . perfect. Our friend Amy was in one day a few weeks back on one of those very days, and she asked me how my day was going. I gave her that pinched look that said, “not quite right,” but I couldn’t find the words to describe what the day was like. It wasn’t a bad day, exactly. It was just . . . a little . . .

“Off a quarter inch?” she asked, eyebrows raised, wry half-smile on her face. She’s been in the business for years, she knows how it goes. Yep. Off a quarter inch described it just about right.

Saturday, things were not just off a quarter inch. On Saturday when I came into the store, one of our doors in the hallway had literally fallen off of its hinges. The screws were bent, the hinges were off their path, and the door was just hanging there useless, unable to either open or close properly. And no one knew how it happened. That, my friends, was a perfect metaphor for all of Saturday.

We had complicated orders that took longer than they should have. We had guests who didn’t understand all that goes into customizing an order, and how we want to best value everyone else’s orders so we just can’t do it all. Admittedly, we had orders that got lost and we had to scramble at the last minute to figure out what the heck happened. We had our mall location running out of cupcakes and pennies and containers and cupcakes again. We had enough lemon cupcakes to last us until Christmas, but not enough Cookie Monsters to get through the next ten minutes.

I was apologizing to customers. I was apologizing to new staff, explaining that we usually have it together way more than we were showing on Saturday. I am so proud of our team, I am. But Saturday, we all spent twelve hours playing catch-up and mess-up and fix-it-up and just-make-sure-we’ve-made-it-up-to-the-customer. I felt like a bad leader and a bad business owner and a bad mom at the end of the day when I hadn’t seen my 11 year old son once all day yet by 8 pm. I felt like I was off my own hinges as I flopped down onto my couch after getting home way later than expected that night. Exhausted and cranky does not even begin to describe me on Saturday night.

But God makes all things new each day, right? Even Mondays are a blessing in disguise sometimes. It was an opportunity to start over. Our cute building maintenance guy Russ came this morning at 9 am and fixed our door. The team is looking ahead at what we can do to make this week better. We’ve identified the things we did wrong (not enough prep-ahead, too much customization promised, not enough attention to detail) and we are going to make this week rock. It was a rough one on Saturday, but what matters most is what we learned from it, and what we do with today.

The door is back on its hinges, and so are we.

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