Saturday, January 24, 2009

We Need Umbrellas on the Inside...

For those of you who don't know yet, we closed early last Friday (1/23/09) due to a leaky ceiling. Here's the full story (for the sake of blogging):

I woke up late that day knowing that I didn't have to go to the cafe because I had to leave for Med City the following morning. My sister's having her first baby and I was really excited to witness the event. But when I got up from bed I saw my iPod Nano on the table. We needed the Nano at the cafe to play music and I thought Retz forgot to bring it. Padeys texted me that the cafe was full of people and that we already made 2k in just 1 hour. So I took a bath, changed my clothes and delivered the Nano. The cafe was insanely full. I mean really full of people, mostly Ruralites.

I decided to hang-out for a while and help around. I also reviewed our budget for next month's activities and jotted down quotes for my lecture at Diliman on February 2. But it came to a point that helping was not helping at all. I only took up space especially when Yell's cousin, Gelo, and his batchmates from Rural invaded the cafe and took over all the possible leg room the shop can offer. I went to Koinonia to get some air and surfed for a few minutes. When I got back the cafe was still full. It was nearing 7 pm and our sales already surpassed the Monday sales. I was sitting at the bathroom entrance because there wasn't enough space. And it was raining very hard outisde, no one could get out.

Boom. The couch area was leaking, showering Gelo and his friends. Then the trellis started leaking too, spraying the BLD group. It came to a point when the leaks turned into streams of flowing water. I called Joyce and told her that the leaks were uncontrollable and that we had to close the shop. I also called Kuya Boy, our contractor, to fix the problem. In a few minutes the cafe turned into a scene reminiscent of the sinking of the Titanic. The lights were turned off, the books and games were put in garbage bags, all the customers were huddled near the counter, the sofas were transfered to the kitchen and CR, while I was calling people on my celphone like hell while I sat on the toilet bowl. Take note, the cafe was still full of people. Someone even ordered a cookie despite the predicament. Hehe.

It was crazy. Everyone was shouting. Therese, Majals and her sister, were there to assist the evacuation. I called Kuya Rome, Joyce's cousin, and told him to bring a vehicle so we can evacuate the equipment. His parents came with the DMax and put the espresso machine there. Then we transferred all our stuff at our apartment.

Everyone was wet. Gelo and his friends were happy. We were still speechless, unable to believe what just happened. But we were still grateful that no one was hurt and nothing was damaged.

Kuya Boy came and revealed the trash that's been blocking our gutter on the roof. The gutter overflowed and the water crept in our roof. Joyce also came to help after her duty at the hospital in Calamba.

We temporarily dried up the place then closed the night in prayer, thanking God that despite being open for only three hours, we were able to rake in 5k. It was a good team-building exercise for all of us. It's a good bonding experience for the staff too. AND it's also good material for my speech.*

It's in moments like these where you feel happy that you continue to do what you're doing. Despite the odds, the challenges, the obstacles, you move on, persevere, and just be a hard-working, self-employed, minimum wage-earning young entrepreneur.

It doesn't matter if it's a person, a thing, or your job, in all cases your love and your passion will always be tested. And in this case, we passed the test.

Thank you Lord for moments like these.

*On February 2, I was invited by the UP Circle of Entrepreneurs to speak in their 2-day Young Entrepreneurs Convention with the theme Starting UP: EntrePinoy where 300 delegates from different high schools in Metro Manila will be attending. Please pray that I will be able to deliver a good speech and seize the opprotunity to be a good example to these young people.

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