Carley even decided to get a real job, this time. She casually announced it was her dream to become an astronaut. James smiled, and then felt guilty for having sold the kit his father had purchased, which, when built, would have given his wife her very own space craft. Then they could both be their own bosses. Oh, well. The bills, which were way too high, had to be paid. Rory, himself, would have been the first to sell the kit, given their circumstances. He was always so very practical when it came to money matters.
James sighed. Things happen. Now, he just hoped he could fulfill his own dream.
Toward this end, he decided to tackle the job of cleaning up the third floor of their house, which had, in effect, become a very nicely finished attic. He spent hours rummaging through boxes and crates. After a time, Carley joined him.
“Hi,” she began, a nice tall, frosty glass of iced tea in her hand. “Find anything useful?”
“Actually, yes. There’s a great deal here I can sell and make a profit. Dad had all kinds of trinkets from his work. Some strange, alien looking guns. I think he called them Ray guns, but they might fetch a nice price when I sell them online.”
“My it’s hot up here,” Carley said, fanning the air with her hand. “Here, I thought you could use a cool drink.”
James took a long swig. Nodding, “That really hits the spot, thanks.”
“Not sure. Hold it up so I can get a good shot of it, will you?” Carley did as he asked and James got a nice snapshot of the Cloning machine. “There’s three more over here,” he said.
After spending the rest of Saturday going through the ‘attic’, snapping photos on his phone and then researching the items online, he managed to sell everything at good prices. Pretty soon, less than a week, he had more than enough to purchase the Oak Alcove in Newcrest.
James was thrilled and terrified. Escrow closed and he went for his final walk-through. Turns out, the previous owner was operating on the fringe. James found out he needed at least one more table to open. Then there was the matter of hiring a staff. Pouring over the applications, of which there were quite a few, he read each of their qualifications and relied on what his gut told him, too. He hired a chef, a waiter, and a host. Tentatively, a couple of prospective customers stepped into the restaurant. James was quick to welcome them and introduce himself as the new owner/manager and then asked them to please be sure to drop by again, when they were formally open.
He also took some cash and sent his new chef for some basic training for her job. All of that out of the way, he began to set his menu. Papers spread across his diningroom table at home, he dragged his fingers through his thick red hair and then rested his head on his folded arms.
“Are you pretending to be a pirate, Dad?” Trenton asked. James sat up.
“No. No. This paperwork is just a little more than I bargained for. All I can tell you is, be careful what you wish for.”
“I think owning your own restaurant is pretty cool.”
“Yeah, it is pretty cool, but it’s also a lot of work.”
“That’s okay, Dad. You told me once, anything worth doing is worth doing well. And that it requires some elbow grease.” James smiled at that and just shook his head.
“You’ve completely mixed up your metaphors, but thank you, Son. If I can make this work, you’ll inherit a business when I’m gone.”
James got the promotion to Mixologist. The bonus was minimal, but it at least was enough to purchase that fourth booth. He opted for a straight one to fit along the back wall, in between the two corner booths. He went to work the next day, as normal, deciding that until he got his own place truly up and running, and hopefully turning a profit, he wasn’t going to quit his current job. Besides, when he looked at the schedule, he would have three successive days off.
He worked hard, got a good night’s sleep and then on Tuesday, his first of three days off, he headed to Newcrest and the Oak Alcove. Strangely enough, he couldn’t open up. Turns out his staff had up and left him. Here he had paid out of his own pocket for his chef to have extra training, a whole §600 gone. He may as well have taken a match to the paper money. This was disheartening. James just wanted a chance to test his meddle. Could he even run such a place? Right away, he went over the additional applications and found three more people to replace the chef, the waiter and the host. He hired two females and a male. Then, instead of spending money on the chef’s training, he decided to ask her to work carefully. Then he offered additional training to his waiter. She was a bit taken aback, at first, thinking James found her inadequate, but he quickly smoothed that over.
Once her training was finished, which she would do on her off-time, he’d see about getting his new Host better trained for his job. Although to his credit, he wrangled the phone and the incoming patrons pretty well. Also, his chef seemed to be getting a grasp of the menu items. The place was busy. Three booths full and out of those three, only one seemed to have to wait overlong. James went to check on them.
“How are things here, ladies? Everything to your liking I hope?”
“Well, this place is really nice, but we ordered nearly half an hour ago.”
“Say no more,” James smiled. “I’ll speak to the wait staff and have your order made a priority. And, as an apology I do hope you’ll accept dessert on the house. Please choose whatever you’d like.”
Thankfully, just as James was stepping away from the table their order was delivered. The two Sims looked very happy.
Since a restaurant thrives on reviews, James was happy at the end of this first evening of operation to realize he’d already gotten a bump, from one star to two full stars. Now, he was cooking. He immediately took the perks he received and put them to good use. Being able to select from the finest fresh produce would, indeed, help the menu items be their best. This was a lot of work, but already he was feeling a sense of satisfaction. He just hoped he could turn a profit, enough to keep the restaurant and truly hand it down to Trenton, as planned.