My Rebound: Working with family equals too much drama

Posted at 11:55 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 09:46:53-04

Editor's note: Jessica Ann is a restaurant owner who's blogging about trying to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. She founded The Candied Yam, a Grand Rapids restaurant serving Southern cuisine, in 2016. She is married with a daughter who just graduated high school and an adult son. She lives in Kentwood.

My hubby was furloughed from his position as assistant general manager at the Studio Park location of Celebration! Cinema.


He worked at THE greatest movie theater company, family owned and operated. Craig worked there for about 12 years at 40-plus hours a week. He loves his job. He is actually very, VERY good at his job. He is excellent with customers.

An asset to any business, my hubby has a bit of time on his hands. Knowing that I am extremely short staffed, he asked if he could work for me a few hours to help alleviate some of my stress. “Oh, what a sweet husband you have Jessica Ann. He is awesome!” Yeah, okay, you are most definitely correct. And he is eye candy too.

The problem? Craig wants to work in the kitchen and not on the register. That’s where he is good at – helping customers and problem solving – NOT the kitchen. Listen, this guy doesn’t boil water, so why would I have him in the back of the house? That is also where I need him most. Sigh.

And I won’t even begin to tell you about "the eyes" that he makes at me in the kitchen. They are the OOOUUU, I love the way you stir that mac & cheese kind of eyes! Like, that’s what really turns you on?! It’s sad. I see that mischievous grin, and then I feel like a piece of helpless meat when he should know that I’m more of a filet mignon. Not to even mention that more-than-occasional brush against me or that little pinch when he thinks no one sees. Ladies, you know how it is when we are trying our hardest to focus – get some tasks and things done! You just want to roll your eyes or give them the side eye.

My daughter Caitlyn helps at the register. Except for the few customers that try to mistreat or get over on her because of her tender age, she gets all the customers' love. She has one of the brightest smiles. It’s genuinely warm and naive. She turned 18 this past March and has helped at The Candied Yam for the past four years since we opened, with the exception of her, as she put it, ‘finding a REAL job’ – all because she got tired of smelling like fried chicken when she helped on the weekends. Plus as an 18-year-old girl, she has ALL the answers. Right?! Her mouth – ugh!


Then, there is twin sissy, Monica. This chick always walks in my restaurant like a ray of sunshine but also like she is THE head chef in charge. Because we look and sound so similar, it can cause so much confusion to the customers who think I quickly changed clothing. Fried chicken with a side of confusion. UP!

These are my main characters. They claim to know everything I need or should be doing or what and how I can do something better. DRAMA!

Like, how come I can’t get fun ‘co-workers’ like the Browns?! Cindy, David and their dog Charlie are the cutest. I LOVE when their posts comes up on my Facebook timeline. Always creates a smile. Cindy gets to have her hubby Dave and Charlie the handsome pupper as her co-workers, and I feel I don’t get much but critics and criticisms?! David and Cindy make signs and place them on or by Charlie, as if he is speaking a message. Instead of fun and games, my co-workers like to spend a decent amount of time laughing at and mocking me.

Must admit, at times, they are spot on. I do chuckle. If we are eating dinner, they raise their glasses like it’s a New Year’s Eve toast or give each other a fist bump. I love my family. I honestly do appreciate them on many levels – even when they are doing the most! They do give me perspective most of the time, as they help me understand and help me run my team more effectively. I fuss today, but I really could NOT have made it without them. I have been short staffed, and it has been crazy busy for a small team. I will, however, be glad when everyone can go back to work, so they leave me with the one last good nerve I have.