Monday, January 24, 2011

The busiest day of the year in the restaurant industry is ?

If you didn't guess Mothers Day, shame on you for being out of the loop. In fact, I'd be willing to bet a monkey verses a dollar that Mothers Day Table counts are close to the #2 and #3 holidays customers combined.

About a million years ago when Klecko was a young studly baker, he ran into a Mothers Day bake that was almost the end of him.

Most Wholesale bakeries run 6 days a week and shut down on Saturdays. This is a common practice, but as you can imagine Friday bakes are a marathon. Your production staff has to kick out enough product to pacify your accounts needs for the entire weekend.

I think I was either at Custom Breads or its sequel concept Custom Bakery when my employer instituted a new 1-Man Saturday shift.

This guy was responsible for pulling pastries from the freezer and baking off Kolaches, Danish, Snails, Croissants, Biscotti, Puff Pastery, Carmel and Cinnamon rolls and Quick breads to boot.

When this experiment started, I don't think anybody considered how involved this would become, especially during that weekend where we all pay tribute to that woman who brought us into the world.

On the Friday prior I went in to work my bread shift.....DUDE, we got slammed. I ended up doing dinner rolls and hamburger buns for 16 straight hours. It was 4 in the morning when I prepared to punch out. just before leaving I decided to smoke a cigarette and scan the clipboard for my following days pastry responsibilities. I almost choked on smoke when I realized the list just wouldn't end.

I remember flipping one page after another, just praying it would stop. It didn't. When I tried to guesstimate the hours it would take, I kinda felt like crying. For an instant I thought....

"Maybe I should ask someone for help." But, after thinking it over a little longer I just decided to "Man Up" and hop on the work load pronto like.

Like Christ praying.....I baked w/o ceasing. I finally punched out at 3 pm (27 hours after my shift had started)

I believe this was shortly after my first wife tossed me and I was living with Sue McGleno. Throughout this marathon we remained in contact. She would call every 8 hours or so and giggle as she told me how she was going to take all my overtime money and call it a Mothers Day gift for herself.

If you've ever worked a double shift straight through, or a shift that exceeded 24 hours, you know how surreal things can get. All I remember telling her was that I rode my bike to work, and I didn't want to peddle the 8 miles home, and it would be "Christ Like" if she would be able to pick me up.

Now for those of you who know Sue McGleno, you're laughing right. You know when Danny Klecko called home for that ride....there was nobody home.

At first I thought about killing myself, but then I just got pissed off, and I think that kept me alive LOL, so there goes little Danny Klecko peddling (uphill I might add) all the way home.

While climbing the hills I huffed, and puffed and practiced speeches of reproach that I would cast on my girlfriend, but you'll never guess what happened. After putting my bike in a cinder block basement that both my unit, and the unit upstairs (you know...the unit that was selling cocaine). I went back upstairs to scream for either sympathy, or retribution, but when I got to the door (dramatic pause inserted) I lost my keys!

Sweet Jesus of Warsaw, I banged on the door and thought of ways to get around telling Sue McGleno what a dumb a** I was for losing my keys, but as I kept knocking, she didn't answer.

You got to understand that this was a world that didn't have cell phones, a world where if you had been up for 32 hours and were locked out of your house, you were just screwed.

I wondered if I should head back to work to look for the keys, but I couldn't keep my eyes open. So....I just marched back down into the basement and decided to construct a make shift bread, but as I looked around, there wasn't a single blanket, sleeping bag or even a filthy painting tarp. The best I could muster up was folded cardboard boxes, with nothing to cover myself.

Eventually Sue McGleno came home, noticed I wasn't there and went to the bakery to look for me, when she arrived, it was locked and she couldn't fathom where I was. The whole sorted mess was straightened out around midnight when my coke head neighbors began fighting and resurrected me from my sleep. But when Sue McGleno came to the door, she wasn't worried anymore. She was pissed. so like Lucy......Danny Klecko had some splaining to do.

I hate Mothers Day


  1. Oh man, the losing the keys made me literally LOL. Sorry, man I love you and I know it was painful for you, but that is hilarious. Oh yeah the sweet Jesus of Warsaw that was pretty dang funny too. Great stuff Danny. Keep it coming.

  2. Pedro, funny how 2 decades need to pass before things like this can make a guy smile.