That's what it feels like we're doing these days, running in place, just as fast as we can. We made conscious decision this weekend to slow down and take breath. We're in a difficult situation. We'd like nothing more than to be done here and move back East to get on with our lives. On the other hand, we've been asked to finish out the year and train our replacements. Severance has not been officially settled and family members (on both sides) are leaning on us to walk out the door. Thought being that under the circumstances, if they're not willing to put a severance package in writing we're nuts to keep doing what we're doing. It's a tempting idea, but not who we are. It's hard to explain our situation to other people. It's not about letting ourselves get taken advantage of, it's about doing what we think is right. Idealistic perhaps but we've put four years of blood, sweat and tears into this place, regardless of how others feel about it. Any anger we may be feeling is directed at individuals, not at the property itself. Frankly we're trying to move past the anger because it's more baggage than we need. The people left on our staff have been so wonderful and so supportive this past few weeks. We couldn't possibly leave them in the lurch. This whole experience has been unpleasant enough. If we walk out now it would negate everything good that we've done here. It would turn us into people we don't want to be. Collateral damage should always be kept to a minimum. So, we'll carry on training and cooking and collecting a paycheck here until January. Business is business and anyone who lets themselves believe that friendship counts more than business in a business relationship is just fooling themselves. We always knew that to be true. In the long run we were disappointed and angry, but not surprised by what happened. That realization could be the saddest part of this whole episode.
So we're looking at properties on-line and trying to figure out our next move. We're trying not to make bad decisions just because we're in hurry-up mode and it's not easy. We did find some properties that show some real possibilities but it's hard to know for sure when we can't visit them ourselves. Once we settle on a couple of solid prospects we need to finish the business plans and put the money together to make it happen. Finding investors is one of those things that no one really tells you how to do. There are countless how-to business books out there but none of them seems to be particularly helpful in the fund raising arena. We know that we'll need to take on investors, but there are so many pitfalls involved that it can be a little mind-boggling. We get calls every day asking how the search is going and we say--it's going. It's wonderful that people care about our situation but sometimes the constant questions simply ratchets up the pressure. Since we both work better under pressure, I can't really complain about that. If there's anyone out there with some practical advice we'd love to hear from you. Sometimes a different point of view is all you need to put things in perspective.
Speaking of which, we'd like to take a moment to thank all of our contributors to the Culinary Conversations. Shola and Ed were especially gracious about our editorial comments and we loved reading everyone's different perspectives on life in the kitchen. We are going to put this feature on a brief hiatus until after the holidays but we look forward to coming back with new conversations in January. Feel free to email us if you're interested in contributing.