The compliments I treasure most are those unintended...
I've been working very hard this past week at work to tie up loose ends: make sure all the invoices listed as unpaid on the statements actually have or have not been paid and get copies of those that I don't show as having been paid on my end, make sure all the folders I've cluttered with random papers over the past year are organized or tossed as appropriate, make sure that the messes others have made are fixed or cleaned up or appropriately organized, make sure terminations and addresses are up-to-date in the portal and the phone list is as up-to-date and correct as possible--basically, make sure everything is reasonably organized for the next person to take my place. I won't be around to answer questions like "What goes in this folder?" or "Is this form important?" about something momentarily unneccesary that still did eventually need to be done.
Nick was looking for paperwork regarding a large piece of equipment that we no longer needed and was sent on to the Tulsa, Oklahoma Carrabba's in November. The paperwork had nil to do with me, so I never touched it, but we thought that perhaps it may have been put in one of the boxes we fill with various paperwork each month (our way of loose-paper keeping). We dragged the boxes out of our back storage space and he was going through them trying to find them. They weren't in there, as I knew they wouldn't be (I personally organize and put everything from the previous month into those boxes on the first of every month), but then he called the company responsible for the move to try to find some information. When they were throwing names his way to try to identify as the person who organized the move I remembered that I'd written the person's name in a note in the manager's redbook
, and I searched it out.
Now (as a preface of sorts, as if the above paragraph wasn't already one), completely opposite to how I am in my personal life, I'm really rather organized when it comes to work--or at least the part of things that I know other people will have to deal with. I have my own personal form of organization, but I know it's nothing that anybody else would ever understand, and so I'm able to organize those other things so other people can easily find what they need. I bunch up all of the DSR bundles and line check sets in big rubber bands so that they're not just loose, I binder clip all of the tipshare sheets and the labor reports and the Bar drawer/server tracking sheets seperately, I have the invoices separated into approriate categories, etc.
Well, Nick was going through the boxes and--almost under his breath and with a tinge of sadness or regret--said, "God but you're thorough! You're going to make somebody a great manager. I only wish it were me."
It's these things that nearly break my heart and make me wish I had a place right here. People find out that I'm going to become a manager and their face lights up for me and they're full of really genuinely nice and congragulatory things for me. I've never seen people so genuinely happy
. People say things to the managers when I'm keying--both within and outside of my earshot--about how helpful I am and how good I am and thanking me profusely for simple things that I take it as my job to do (but too many others in charge, I realize, don't bother with) like greeting a table or taking a drink order and sometimes even half waiting on the table myself if the server really needs it. Somebody, a day or two after I found out about my test, had some really nice compliment for me while I was in the server alley and Nick was expoing. He made some comment about teaching me nearly everything he knows and not being able to teach me everything because--of course--then he'd have to kill me; and then, as an aside and with the knowledge that only himself, our JVP and me had, said, "Don't forget where you came from." I replied with a catch in my throat, "How could I ever forget?"
From the beginning he's painted himself as like our father--and the staff as a family of sorts--which of course it is. He really is like a father to me. Without this job and without his guidance and mentoring I'm not sure I'd ever have come to where I have--especially so quickly. I see it and hear it in these unguarded comments and the devastated look on his face when he found out I probably wouldn't be there much longer. He's really happy that I've grown into what I have with the company, but he's truly upset to see me go--someone he knows really and truly cares for the restaurant and everything that happens within it. I've sacrificed a fair amount for that restaurant, and he knows it. There are few places where a server can find a relationship with a restaurant like that. What does it say that we have multiple servers who were here at the very beginning who have since graduated and gotten salaried jobs and still make it a point to work there because they just love it that much
I've babbled far more than I intended to, and kudos to any who actually made it to the end. I'm just feeling thoughtful and a touch melancholy tonight, and I've been thinking a lot about this stuff.
In completely other things, Loreena McKennitt's new album is really breathtaking. Certainly my favorite...Here is my heart and I give it to you
Take me with you across this land
These are my dreams, so simple and few
Dreams we hold in the palm of our hands
--On a quiet street where old ghosts meet
I see him walking now
Away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow
That I had wooed not as I should
A creature made of clay
When the angel woos the clay he'd lose
His wings at the dawning of the day.
I think this is the most passionate CD I've ever heard. It's heartbreaking and upbeat and just breathtaking.