I've spent the last 23 and a half years at the same company/owner. Granted it was four different restaurants, one of those I opened and closed. I decided it was time to move on with another chapter in my life for a few reasons. The first three being my family. I need to be home on the weekends and nights with two small boys. Another major catalyst for starting college was getting pissed off one too many times by a general manager, that is a micromanaging old psuedo-hippie, and the loss of a paid vacation. The loss of my one week paid vacation, after twenty three years of service that included mostly six days a week, was a wake up call.
I was often harassed to come into work on my day off or asked to pull a double, because other coworkers decided to get drunk/high instead of work. It was also a company problem to not hire people, so it was a guarantee to work a few doubles because management wouldn't do anything. The owner is also a high functioning alcoholic, which doesn't help either. All of these could be a rather lengthy post, but I'll spare you the details.
Overall, the experience was good. I met my wife at work, and was paid well. We are in a good financial position for me to go to school. We have been doing the Dave Ramsey program for over three years. 'nough said.
One of my favorite waiters, J.Y., called me leaving "An End of an Era", hence the title of the post. I got there thirty minutes early as usual and found A.M. setting up my job area. Secretly, I think that the boss was covering his own butt in case I called in...he had made a few jokes about it during the week. Anyways, I clocked in early, and did my job. Actually, I did more than my job by making sure that the next person was in good shape for a Friday. I left it like I would have been working the next day. It's just how I am.
B.P. got me a gift certificate to one of my favorite fast food places...Chik-fil-a. I gave her one of her favorite bandanas that I wore at work. She always commented on it when I wore it. The restaurant next door screwed up when they lost her.
I had requested an fruit plate instead of a cake, I'd like to be a little healthier. Pineapple,grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, and cherries made for a great breakfast.
J.P. came in, got on the phone, and started crying. I told her that "I'm going to miss you too." Turns out she was sick and feeling really terrible. She said she was sorry for missing my last day, but had to head back home.
Through the course of a week, I got to say goodbye to some of my favorite customers. It was a nice way for me to say goodbye, and to leave a good impression for the restaurant. I had a few old employees come in for a "last meal". It was humbling to think that people thought that much about me. I've made a few friends over the years, and probably a few more enemies. I also got to meet some really cool people that have changed my perspective on life.
A long time friend and bartender, along with one of my top cooks, and the owner's sister gave me a gift certificate to a high end restaurant as a going away present. Everyday should have been my last day...
After 23 years at the same company, it was hard for me to leave my comfort zone. Stepping out on faith has always been hard for me.
It's a new adventure in my life as I head back to school, endure unemployment, and start a "New Era".