The bakery is my life. It consumes me. It makes me have insomnia. I am here in the wee hours of the morning surfing the internet on my laptop. I tried really hard to get back to sleep. I tossed and turned, I snuggled with the cat, I shifted the covers, I let my foot hang on the edge of the bed, but here I am, wide awake downstairs with the light on, watching my other cat sleep on the chair across the room. I suppose I was thinking about other people, and wanted to get them out of my head.
Last week was really long, and in some ways I'm glad it's over. I would like to start the new week, and maybe if I get some sleep, I can start the new week feeling fresh. But it looks like it's going to be a groggy start. Luckily tomorrow is Sunday.
On Tuesday of last week I interviewed 8 people to fill a new barista position. This is a new way I'm doing hiring at the bakery. I used to call only 4-5 people, ask them a few questions to decide whether I'd bring them in for an interview, but then bring them in anyway, because what can you learn about somebody over the phone anyway, I thought. The interviews used to be very spaced apart, over several days, so by the time I was done, I could only remember the last few people I interviewed, and one of them would get selected for the job, just because they were the most familiar. Some good and bad choices were made by that method I suppose.
I've run the gamut on hiring mistakes, from hiring people I like to hiring people because of their credentials only. What I've learned, and this keeps coming up in my life over and over again, is my gut is by far the best judge of character and performance. Having all interviews happen essentially at the same time is a way for me to force my gut to react.
But it has another weird side effect. At the end of the 8 interviews, I've realized I've gotten into the minds of 8 people I just met. They are telling me their life's story, their hopes, their dreams, who they are at work, who they are at home, little bits of what they like to eat, and so on. It's very intense. It's like 8 very good short stories, and rather than read them one by one, I've read them all at once.
For somebody like me, who spends a lot of time thinking about her life, someone with a big personality who dominates most conversations with her own stories, her own daily conflicts, her own successes and failures, this is like jumping in an ice cold lake.
Those people you meet, they become part of you. You are hearing their stories and you can't stop thinking about them. You forget about your stories which is weird because you're always thinking about yourself. All of a sudden the world seems so monumental, even though you knew all along it was a huge place, and that you could never ever meet everybody in it, and hear their stories. You can't even really replay your own stories in the short span of your life.
This reminds me of something that Bill Viola said, that if you were to record your life on video, you could never watch it because it would have to be in real time and you would have too much footage.
When I can't sleep, I seem to be trying to replay footage from my day, my week, my life. I am trying to watch it again and again, trying to reinterpret it. Maybe if I never slept again I could catch up.