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Monthly Archives: October 2013

There’s a long queue of things I want to post, things I’m dying to write about, but life threw me one big wrench last month, and plans changed.

I had been employed by the same company for 5 1/2 years.  I started out as a busser, worked up to server and bartender, then head server, assistant manager, and general manager.  I started out having no restaurant experience and knowing nothing about alcohol or bartending, and ended up having my drink recipes put on the menu at other restaurants in the company, and being put in charge of a failing restaurant because my bosses thought that if anyone in the company could fix it, it would be me. 

The restaurant had been open a little over two years, and was losing money from the word go.  After seven months with it under my control, the owners decided to pull the plug and go into a partnership with another bar in town.  Twenty-two of my twenty-three member staff were laid off.  A few weeks before, my district manager told me that if the place folded, I would be safe, transferred to another store.  His word was no good, and I was one of the twenty-two.  I was given a whole two weeks severance pay, and found out that my benefits were actually cancelled before I was laid off. 

The next day I was rehired into the company by my old boss, the man who had hired me on the spot as a busser five years ago.  He brought me on knowing that I considered myself only an employee of his, not of the company, and that when another opportunity arose, I would be gone.  Two weeks later, that opportunity came. 

A friend recommended that I take an application to one of the country clubs in town, because she knew they had a bar, and that women in their forties and above love me.  She told me that if I got a job there, I could just recite a few poems to those aforementioned women, and watch the tips roll in.  So I brought in a resume on Monday, was called back on Tuesday for my references, was called back Wednesday schedule an interview on Thursday, called Thursday afternoon to schedule a meeting Friday morning to discuss my salary and job description, and I started working that day.

The new place is breathtaking, huge, has great members, a great staff, and treats me with the respect I deserve, but is not living up to its full potential.  I hired on one of my friends, who I have somewhat stolen from my previous employer (they took my family’s health insurance, I don’t mind taking a few of their better people), to help me retrain the staff, and to help me bring this place to the level where it deserves to be.  I went from not being able to sleep at night because of the stress of not knowing where rent was going to come from to not being able to sleep at night because of pure, pure, excitement.  ‘We’re going to have fun’ has become my motto, and I believe it.  My personal insecurities have been vanquished.  This place needed me as much as I needed it.  We are going to have fun.

The morals of my story are that this is a volatile industry, that ‘it’s business, not personal’ has it’s limits, that a knife in the back stings, that when one door closes, a better one can open, and that my friends have my back. 

The next post here will go back to crazy recipes and literary history, I promise.  I don’t get serious often (see: ever), so don’t get used to it. 

-Josh

PS Champlain.