I Worry…

I received an email today from our accountant that our annual taxes are complete and ready to be picked up, signed, and mailed.  And in those very few seconds it took to read her email, I felt a flash of IRS-related terror like never before because a terrifying thought occurred to me:  what if I pick up our returns and we actually owe $15,327 or some other equally ridiculous number?

Other items on my list of irrational things to worry about:

  1. We’ve noticed a trend of busses parking in our parking lot for an extended amount of time for no apparent reason.  I worry perhaps one day 70 passengers will get off and each order a baby pie one at a time on a day when we are completely understaffed, out of baby boxes, and out of plastic forks.
  2. Speaking of baby boxes, we are out of them currently.  We are even out of our emergency baby boxes.  I worry perhaps that tomorrow will be the one day that UPS doesn’t arrive at 10 am, but arrives at 5 pm…thereby forcing me to again disclose my sub par tenure as Director of Procurement to everyone who wonders why they are buying a 5 inch baby pie boxed in a 9 inch pie box.
  3. 96% of the phone calls today were from customers placing their Easter orders.  I worry that the masses won’t think to place an order and instead be disappointed when they arrive at PJP Buttonwood at 12:30 Saturday afternoon and find no 12-inch coconut meringue pie readily available.
  4. I worry that if Jeanne makes us listen to the Coffeehouse playlist on Spotify one more time, I may just slowly begin to weep at the opening notes of a John Denver cover.
  5. I worry that I’ll forget to login in and do all these ridiculous but MANDATORY government surveys and I’ll end up in a minimum security federal prison on the theory that I don’t like surveys and I need a personal assistant to help me remember to do things instead of thinking about doing things.IMG_3610
  6. I’m worried that in the final season of Mad Men, Don Draper won’t survive.  And I just really can’t handle that on top of all of Frank Underwood’s poor choices on this season of House of Cards.
  7. I drank two iced coffees today.  I’m worried that Splenda is just a gateway drug to margarine and reduced-fat Oreos.
  8. We took the kids on a short spring break excursion last week and used it as an opportunity to sample pies from a number of different establishments.  We went in fully undercover and with grading criteria.  I’m worried this picture of Behind-The-Scenes Tech Guru Jason, one bite into a strawberry rhubarb that was apparently missing the strawberry will never stop being funny.FullSizeRender-48
  9. I’m worried World Pie Domination will never get here fast enough.  Hurry up, WPD…we are ready for you, no worries.

A Difficult Climate…

If you happened to see the front page of Saturday’s Columbia Daily Tribune, then you likely read that MFA Oil plans to move a fair amount of their operations from Columbia to Moberly, citing Columbia’s “difficult business climate” as the primary reason for the move.  The article quotes MFA’s CEO, Mark Fenner, as saying it is “quite difficult to do business in Columbia and Boone County”.

And to that I say…

DUH.

I don’t think Fenner’s revelation is news to anyone in this area, but I do think the gravitas of the MFA CEO saying it is something to be noted in our community.  The MFA move comes on the heels of the latest CVS drama, wherein the plans for the CVS store have denied AGAIN…this time based on concerns about sewer easements and city control over the design of the building.  Mind you, CVS has been trying to build a store here since 2013.  (If I were the CVS CEO, I probably would have taken the plans for the new store, cut them to shreds, and mailed them individually to the city council members…he has much more patience than I do.)

In short, it seems that city council’s mission statement for attracting and maintaining employers in Boone County is “thanks, but no thanks.”

And if the general attitude is “thanks, but no thanks” to major corporations, what about the needs of small business in Boone County?

One interesting note by Fenner was his reference to his fiduciary responsibility to his farmer owners.  According to Fenner, relocating to Moberly is a better financial choice based on land cost and city incentives.  And when I read that, I thought “hey, what about my fiduciary responsibility to myself…and to my employees?”  Does this mean that as PJP grows, the climate in Boone County will threaten the responsibility I have to grow my business and employ others?  It certainly sounds like it after reading Fenner’s comments.  And honestly, that worries me.

I give all the props to Fenner for expressing what most business owners in Boone County know to be true – that it is difficult to run a business here.  It couldn’t have been easy to issue a statement that he likely knew would be front page news given his company’s impact in Boone County.  And that he was willing to do it shows a tipping point in our commercial climate…something has to change to keep businesses in Boone County and to attract new business to our county, or we are going to have significantly more serious problems than arguing about sewer easements at the corner of Providence and Broadway.

And as PJP approaches World Pie Domination, how can the world headquarters be in Cooper, Audrain, Cole, or Callaway county?  Get it together, city council.

 

 

 

Some Things…

  1. A FedEx truck backing into the parking spot immediately outside our front door can only mean one thing…our 6,000 baby tins have arrived at PJP Buttonwood.  I can’t wait to run out of one box of tins, start to panic about ordering more, and then remember than I have another 5,000 on hand.  It will be like a gift I’ve already bought and wrapped for myself.FullSizeRender-43
  2. Speaking of parking spots, several people availed themselves today of our “PJP Reserved Parking Only” spots and they did not visit our store.  This prompted Jeanne to write “PEGGY JEAN’S PIES PARKING ONLY!” notes and place the notes under the windshield wiper.  I was prepared to hide in the bathroom in the event of eventual confrontation, but most offenders just threw the notes on the ground and drove away.  I’m expecting a $44,841 Silent Stan bill for “litter removal” because I like irony and irony likes me.FullSizeRender-46
  3. We made a pie today that is essentially a giant chocolate chip cookie baked into our pie crust.  I can’t show you a picture because we demolished it in .47 seconds and there was nothing left except the tiniest of crumbs and a battered 9-inch pie tin.  Once we have a name for it, this miraculous creation is going on the Official Pie List.
  4. Jeanne has been doing some extensive 3rd generation PJP training on the secret art of dough making this week.  Only Jeanne and I know the secret PJP dough recipe…and now a 12 year-old who might tell everything he knows in exchange for a shopping spree at Game Stop.  We all have our price, I suppose.FullSizeRender-45
  5. Our new checks arrived in the mail today.  I love being in charge.FullSizeRender-47