I’m unemployed. I have been since the beginning of October. Which seems like yesterday when I think of it in terms of vacation. It seems like decades when I think of it in terms of NO money coming in.
I actually got a job as soon as I moved here. I was hired to manage a small Italian restaurant just north of us. It was a cute little place, amazing food, great staff and at first seemed like the perfect job.
Like the perfect job.
Actually Adam told me the owner was crazy after my first face to face interview. I tried to play it off as just quirky.
Adam was right.
I’d applied for the job when I was still living in NYC. I sent out what seemed like a 100 resumes looking for restaurant management work.
I heard the phone ring one afternoon as I was taking a shower getting ready to go to work waiting tables. I listened to the message. It was actually kind of funny. It basically pointed out that I’d addressed the letter to a different restaurant but they thought my credentials looked good and would like to speak with me.
I called right back. I got the owner. We talked for about an hour. In fact we talked so long that there was NO way I was going to make it to work so I ended up calling in sick. Within about three sentences we were talking about my being gay, marriage equality, Maine etc. He sounded great. We of course also spoke about the job. He asked all the appropriate questions. I asked all the appropriate questions.
The first question:
Is everyone afraid of the chef. I had no desire to work in a restaurant where you have to tip toe around the chef. He assured me that the chef was the most mild mannered guy you could ever meet and that in seven years he’d only heard him raise his voice once and that was to him. Sounded great.
What I should have asked was: Is everyone afraid of you? Because as it turned out, except for the chef everyone was terrified of him and hated when he was in the restaurant.
So we finished the conversation. I told him that I’d be there in about a week and we agreed that we’d continue the conversation.
And so we moved.
And I called.
First he suggested that I come into the restaurant for dinner. And so on Wednesday night Adam and I drove north and had dinner. It was great. The drinks were great. The food was great. The service was great. The entire experience was amazing.
My first real face to face interview was scheduled for the next day.
We met for drinks downtown. The meeting lasted four hours. Adam said he thought he wanted to date me. I’m not even sure why it lasted that long. I’m not even sure what we talked about. It was awkward at times. Fun at times. He really did seem nice.
But it lasted four hours.
Then to make it even weirder he called me on his way home to talk some more.
RED FLAG!!! NEEDY!!!!
The next step was to come in and meet the chef.
I did. He was right. VERY nice. VERY mild mannered. VERY cute.
The next step was to meet with his wife.
We did that the following day. In case you are counting. One phone interview. Three face to face interviews. Which seemed like a lot to me.
So we talked to his wife.
Now I should mention that when we started the conversation at the restaurant he told me that I was replacing a long time employee who’d started out as a server and then been promoted. She’d been there eight years and unfortunately had been caught forging his name to a series of letters verifying employment and salaries for people who were trying to get loans. WHOOPS.
So when I sat down with his wife and him to talk I asked about the specifics. I asked about the exact reasons she’d been fired. I asked about the whole thing. It was clear that he felt badly about it. His wife did NOT. She clearly did not like this woman. More about this later.
At the end of the conversation they offered me the job. It would be making less than I’d made in years. With NO benefits. But he seemed nice enough albeit needy. His wife was very nice. The restaurant had GREAT food and service.
I convinced them to pay me a little more. And was I was very clear that I would only take the job if I received thorough training. I did not want to be thrown to the wolves.
And with that. On the following Monday I started work.
And that was when things started going to shit. And in the manner of all Maddog stories this will be continued tomorrow.