Work. Ugh.

I like my job.  I really do.

However.

I’m surrounded by people who are always behind the 8-ball and to quote the famous saying:  Your failure to plan does not constitute an emergency on my part.

For example:

I got a text at 9:30 tonight telling me that we need to decorate for a promotion that we are doing in the restaurant and hotel and I need to find people to do said decorating.  EXCUSE ME.  This is not news to me.  I knew the promotion was coming.  I knew there was decorating.  I did NOT know that I needed to find the people to do the decorating.  Why is this not being done by corporate.  Am I really going to ask people to come in on their own time and do this.  Of course not.  So now, I have to send a series of emails asking how much it pays and make them realize that I can’t ask a server who makes 3.75 an hour to come in and put up red Christmas lights.  NOT GOING TO DO IT.

Our marketing person is even worse.  She’ll email me asking for approval on something that needs to go to print wanting my response back in 30 minutes.  Uh. No.  No.  No.  If you want me to respond to something you need to give me at least a couple of days.  And for GOD’s sake we’ve worked together almost two years now, you know the Chef is not going to get back to you in five minutes so don’t be surprised when it takes a while to get a menu for a special event.  I’m not the chef, I can’t tell you what we are serving on New Year’s Eve.  Sorry.

It’s going to be worse now that I’m the GM of two properties.  I pray that it’s not so bad that I snap.  The director of marketing and I already have a contentious relationship.  I don’t like her and she REALLY doesn’t like me.  And I don’t really give a fuck.  She’s bad at her job.  REALLY.  REALLY.  REALLY bad at her job. And this comes back to bite me in the ass often because as I just said, her failure to plan ALWAYS constitutes and emergency on my part.

Okay.  I’m done complaining.  I’m going to go finish my bourbon and go to bed.

Advertisements

Xmas is Over!

Spent the day putting Christmas away.  It was an amazing amount of stuff.  10+ plastic bins of ornament.  Five trees.  Assorted plastic light up snowmen and Santas.  Candles in all the window.  We started around 2:30 today.  It’s a little before 9:00 and we are almost finished.  I’m going to dust everything tomorrow. On Thursday Adam will put out all the knick knacks that got put away when we got the stuff out to begin with.  I’m exhausted and hungry.  So now it’s time for a drink and some dinner.  Here are few pics of what it look like before we started.  Xmas

 

 

This is our nice tree.  It has all of our expensive ornaments.   A lot of them are Christopher Radko.

 

 

 

 

 

Xmas2

 

This is a new tree.  It’s Adam’s nature tree.  It was VERY expensive and replaced the tree we bought last year that turned out to be a dude.  The whole middle section of lights didn’t work when we got it home.  We bought this tree from the same place and when we mentioned that it was replacing the tree from last year they told us if we brought it back they’d try and fix it.  So we did that and they couldn’t fix it so they refunded our money.  A whole year later.  We will definitely shop there again.

Xmas3

 

This is also a new tree.  From the same place.  It’s not lit so it wasn’t nearly as expensive.  That’s Karl hanging above the mantle.  He’s cardboard.  The stockings are mine.  Almost 45 years old now.  WOW.  We also have a lot of the plastic molded light up ornaments.  Santa’s and snow men.  I love them.  The plate in the fireplace and the triptych Adam painted years ago.  We stole them from his mom a couple of years ago.   XMAs4This is another shot of our dining room.  The tree in the right side is our vintage tree.  All the ornaments are from the 50’s and 60’s.  I collected them for a while.  It’s my favorite tree this year.  The shelving on the wall is new.  Adam saw it in a magazine and copied the design.  It houses our bourbon collection and our Christmas cookie jar collection.

Xmas8

This is our family tree.  It’s all the ornaments we grew up with and kitchy things we’ve bought since we’ve been together.  I have ornaments on this tree that I made in second grade in Ms. Smith’s class.  And crotched ornaments my fraternity house mom made.  And wooden ornaments that my mom painted.  And ornaments from the four or five boyfriends I had before Adam.  Adam has just as many fun things of his own on the tree.  If you look just right of the santas you can see the Xmas card that Adam and I handmade and sent out to our friends last year.  It’s a very special tree.

I’m going to go finish my drink.

 

I’m hired!

So we negotiated.

I got what I wanted, which is what she offered in the end.  So now I’m in charge and scared shitless.  What the fuck have I gotten myself into?

What else is going on…

1.  I finished the second season of Orange Is the New Black tonight.  Surprised at the ending.

2.  Adam turns 40 next Tuesday.  I have some fun things planned for him.

3.  I turn 50 in April, also scary.

4.  Major ice storm in Maine tonight.

5.  I undecorated two Xmas trees tonight.  We have three more to go.  We want to be all put away by end of day Tuesday.

I think that’s it.  I know it’s not very exciting but well life moves along and we go with it.

 

Negotiating!

So I got the job.

Sort of.

No.  I was offered the job.

And for a week I was put off as to how much money I’d be offered for taking the job.

My boss finally told me on Monday.

Ugh.

To say it was a pittance is an understatement.  It was a 10,000 dollar raise.  Which may sound like a lot but when I sit down and think about what the position is going to require, entail, and demand…it’s not very much.  For example:  I’ll have to be on call.  24/7.  If anything goes wrong at the hotel.  If a guest locks them self out of their room.  If the power goes out.  If there is no hot water.  The answering service calls me.  It will not be fun.  It will definitely discourage me from enjoying a bourbon at home in the evening.

On Monday I wrote my boss an email and asked for a 25,000 dollar raise.  Did I think I would get that…definitely NOT.   But you have shoot high and find a place in the middle.  She wrote back several hours later saying there was no wiggle room.  Hmmm.  There IS ALWAYS wiggle room.

I haven’t responded to her.  I was going to write her an email tonight but I think I’m going to do my negotiating in person.  What I actually want is the 10,000 raise PLUS the 7% raise I’m do in May…now.  It’s a nice meeting place in the middle.  That’s what I’m going to tell her.

And.

If she won’t budge, I won’t take the position.  In truth my job is great.  I love it.  I love my staff.  I love my bosses.  I’m very happy.  Why upset the apple cart if the money isn’t worth it.

I’ll keep you posted.

Easily Offended.

Yesterday was mine and Adam’s fake anniversary. We met six years ago yesterday. We went on our first date six years from this Sunday. To honor the occasion I made the following post on Facebook.

Six years ago tonight two strangers in the space of about an hour asked me for my number. I usually declined and told them I wouldn’t call them. I have no idea what made me give both of them my number. John and Adam. Two days later Adam texted me and asked me to go out on a date. On the same day John texted me a picture of his penis. (It was a very nice penis.). A week later Adam and I went out on our first date. I’ve never spoken to John again. Happy fake anniversay Adam I’m glad I said yes. It’s been a great ride so far.

There was lots of merry making at our expense with Adam joking that he hoped his Dad wasn’t reading this.  He was.

But then a relative of his chimed in and said, T M I , Maddog. There are some of us that aren’t crazy about reading some of this stuff.”  It was followed  by a frowny face.

What part do you think offended her?  The penis story?  Or the fact that it’s mine and Adam’s 6th anniversary.  I was taken aback by her comment to say the least.  I’ve asked myself a dozen times if I thought she was kidding.  I don’t think she was.

Until today I would have said she was a hip cool  person.  Now I’m not so sure.

I’ll have to think on this.

Yay for me!

I’M GETTING THE PROMOTION!!!

I talked to my boss today. She said there are still details to work out about who’s going to be my AGM and lead desk person and that will take a couple of weeks but the job is mine if I want it.

We also have to discuss money which I always hate doing. My immediate boss reminded me today NOT to undervalue myself in the negotiations. I constantly ask myself, “Am I worth what they pay me? That’s a lot of money.”

I’ll update everyone when I know more.

Change is in the air!

I’m the general manager of a successful restaurant here in the area.  It is on the first floor of a 12 24 room hotel.    Actually 12 rooms are upstairs.  12 rooms are in an annex.  The hotel runs 24 rooms.  Four weeks ago the general manager of the hotel resigned.  I knew it was coming.  I’d been told in August that she was leaving.  I wasn’t supposed to know.  That’s neither here nor there.  The point is, the hotel is without leadership at the moment.  There is a woman who’s acting as manager, because the property she manages is closed for the season.  She is not suited for our property and I don’t think she’s very good at her job.  She won’t be there long so I don’t guess it matters.

The point of all this is that I told  all the owners of my restaurant and the hotel a year ago that I wanted to be GM of the whole building.  The restaurant and hotel would both run better if they were run by the same person.  There are many things that fall through the cracks because of a lack of communication between the two.  The week after the hotel GM left I met with the owner who makes most of the business decisions.  This was at the encouragement of my direct boss the chef/owner.  We chatted for about an hour and I expressed my desire to do the job.  I also told her that I didn’t want to be set up for failure because the biggest issue with this scenario is that while I’ve worked in restaurants my whole life, I’ve never worked in a hotel.  I know nothing about them.  There would be a huge learning curve.  The things I do DO WELL are manage people and establish a hospitable feel in my area.  As I told her, the rest can be taught to a monkey.  Anyone can be taught to clean a room.  Anyone can be taught to check people in.  You can’t teach someone to be nice.  At the end of our chat she told me that she’d already tossed my name into the ring and that there were some things that needed to be worked out if that was to happen.  That was more than two weeks ago, with the holidays there’s been no word since.

Until today.

My direct boss, the chef/owner sent an email today in which he blind cc’ed me.  It was an email about the hotel and how to increase revenue in both the hotel and the restaurant.  In the email, he mentioned once again that making me the GM of the building would be a good thing.  The other boss responded almost immediately saying that she was still working out the details but that she was pretty sure she’s going to offer me the job.  I was not supposed to see this email.

WOW!

I have a meeting with her at 4:00 tomorrow.  I’m hoping that she bites the bullet and tells me tomorrow.  I really want to do this.  It would be a challenge.  It would be the chance to learn something I don’t know.  It would be the chance to make myself more marketable should I ever want to leave the company and move on.  It should be a big pay raise.  At least according to my “direct” boss.

So.  I’m writing all of this so that you can send some good energy my way tomorrow.  It would be good to be told that this is happening.  It would be a great way to start the new year!

Keep your fingers crossed.

Our 90th Birthday Party!

It’s 2015.

This is the year that Adam turns 40.

This is the year that I turn 50.

Together we’ve spent 90 years on earth.  That’s a lot of years.

Two years ago in a moment of playfulness we decided that we would throw ourselves a 90th birthday party.  AND.  We’d do it at Disney World.  Adam has never been.  It’s been close to 25 years for me.  And it sounded fun.  We’d go all out.  Stay at a resort.  Spend a week there.  Do all of the theme parks.  Do it up right.  Invite all of our friends.

Then.

Last summer we were bitten by the house buying bug.  We both realize that we want to buy a house that we can grow into.  That will be ours.  That won’t have bad downstairs neighbors.  That we are too old to have to worry about bad landlords.

And in this process we realized that we couldn’t buy a house if we were going to spend 6 or 7 thousand dollars going to Disney World.

So the whole plan was canned.

Our friends have decided that we still need a 90th birthday party.  Perhaps not that elaborate.  But special all the same.

So.

They are planning a weekend get away for us and our closest friends.  I think it’s 15 of us total.  Adam’s best friend Kara has been invited.  And my roommate from NYC who you all remember, Chuck, has been invited.  It’s going to be four days, three nights at a cabin in the woods.  That’s all we know.  They asked us what we wanted and our response was:  a fireplace, a hot tub, a big kitchen and enough bedrooms to sleep us all.  Our friend Michelle has been on the prowl for a month or so looking for just the right place.  It needs to be close enough for everyone to drive.  It needs to be close to a town where we can go for dinner one night.  But that’s all we know.

The group of us have done this three other times.  Each time has been amazingly fun.  Once at a beach house in York, Maine.  Once in Provincetown.  Once at Sunday River, Maine.  We can’t wait.  For right now though, all we know is we are going.  We don’t have a date.  We don’t have an address.  We don’t have any thing.  We’ve been told not to worry about it and that we don’t have to do anything but show up.  That of course would be out of character for us, so Adam has suggested we put together a cocktail list for the weekend and we could be in charge of the booze.  We haven’t told the lesbians this yet.  We may not.  We may just show up and have everything with us.

The reason I thought of this tonight as a post was because Michelle’s girlfriend fiancee texted Adam and I tonight to see what we thought of taxidermy.  Seems one of the houses they are looking at is filled with stuffed animal heads and it’s in an old hunting camp.  We think it’s fun and spooky!

We’ll keep you posted.  In the meantime, Adam turns 40 at the end of January.  I turn 50 in April.  90 years.  WOW!

Letters of complaint!

I’m the general manager of a very successful restaurant in the area.  We are quite popular.  We do crazy busy in the summer.  We do good business in the winter.  As the general manager it’s my job to field complaints.  I get emails every so often from guests who are unhappy.  I’d say that only about 15% of them are founded in reality.  The other 85% tend to be people who are grumpy.  That being said it’s my job to respond to them and I do.  I find away to listen to what they have to say and try to spin my response in such a way to appease them.  This is not always easy and SOMETIMES I don’t say what they want to hear.  For example the guy who accused my parking attendants of stealing $100 dollars out of his car…he did not hear what he wanted to hear.  Or the woman who was angry that I wouldn’t take her reservation for four people even though she lived up the street…she did not hear what she wanted to hear.

Sometimes though, even I’m amazed at the letters I get.  Take for example the letter I got two days ago.  They complained about a number of things, one of which was the service.  All perfectly acceptable things to complain about.  EXCEPT for the fact that the woman writing the letter actually works for the company that owns my restaurant.  EXCEPT for the fact that if she’d looked around she might have noticed that the poor bartender waiting on her was in way over his head because we were doing three times the business we’d scheduled for.  EXCEPT for the fact that we are in this together.  We work for the same fucking company.  Give me a fucking break.

Below is the letter she sent.

Below that is the letter I wish I could send her in response.  In reality I did not respond.  I won’t respond.  I will however, tell my boss that I think it was completely inappropriate for her to send the letter.  That it was completely inappropriate it for her to not say something when I stopped by the table AND when I asked her how the meal was when she left.  And it was completely fucking inappropriate for her to only tip 20 dollars on her 200 dollar tab.

Hi Maddog,

Congratulations on your 50 pound weight loss!  You look great and I know from experience how good that feels!
I did want to let you know that service last night was not up to par.  The bartender did the best he could but it is obvious he isn’t trained in serving.  Our water glasses were empty much of the time, truffle oil did not arrive with our fabulous breads, and it took a while for our respective drinks to be served.
We were also a little taken aback that when a party pays over $200 for dinner that fries can’t be substituted for mash with the haddock.  The sirloin steak that was purported to be so tender it did not require a steak knife could notbe cut with a traditional dinner knife and the poor bartender had to find a paring knife for the sirloin in our party.  
The food was delicious and we enjoyed celebrating our son’s acceptance to Maine Maritime Academy at David’s, but I’m afraid the next time we have a couple hundred bucks to spend on dinner we’ll go to (one of our sister restaurants).
 Dear Ann,
Thank you for taking the time to tell me about your recent visit to my restaurant.  I’m sure that you think you are being helpful but actually you are anything but.
When I stopped by the table to ask you how things were you might have mentioned that you had issues with the service.  I might have been able to help the bartender out and make sure your needs were being met.  When I asked you how your meal was on your way out of the restaurant you might have told me then.  Instead you took the cowardly approach and hid behind your keyboard.  Shame on you.
The bartender is one of our best.  He’s great with the customers.  He gives great service.  He’s fast.  AND.  Efficient.  However, on the night in question he had 26 customers while he was serving you.  All of which were eating dinner.  All which were expecting star service.  While I’m sure he wanted to give you the best service he was stretched beyond thin.  As I told him later, at least he didn’t cry.  There are far more seasoned staff in our restaurant that would have fallen apart under the pressure.  I’m sorry that your water glass wasn’t kept full.  Since we are in the same business did it ever occur to you to look around and offer to help.  Our paychecks are signed by the same person.  Did it ever occur to you that we were understaffed or did your needs supersede the needs of everyone else in the restaurant.  Just for the record, when you were sat the hosts had asked if she should wait to seat you to allow the bartender to get caught up.  I said no because you were one of us.  If I had it to do over again you would wait the 45 minutes you should have waited, then perhaps you’d have had full water glasses.
We don’t serve truffle oil with our fabulous breads.  I have no idea where you got that idea.  Truffle oil is expensive, we’d never give it away for free.  As for your substitution, I’ll tell you what the chef/owner says in private when people like you complain.  If you want to make the rules open your own fucking restaurant.  We don’t substitute truffle fries at dinner because they are expensive.  You somehow allude to the fact that because you are spending $200 dollars you should be treated differently.  Does that mean it’s okay to charge the person who only spends $20?  Our rules are our rules.  Don’t forget that it’s our busy summers that pay your mortgage.  You might be more grateful.   As for the sirloin steak that you report is too tough to cut with our dinner knife.  I’d bet that I have eaten more steaks in our restaurant than anyone else in the world.  And yes I’ve had some steaks that were a little tough but EVERY single fucking steak I’ve ever eaten in our restaurant has been cut with our dinner knife.  EVERY FUCKING ONE OF THEM. So please don’t tell me it can’t be done.
As for going to another restaurant you do what you have to do.  I don’t really give a fuck.  I think you are a miserable human being.  I thought that before you came into my restaurant based on the super right wing, tea party, Republican bumper stickers on your car.  You’ve just confirmed what I already know.  So sit on your high horse, and hide behind your emails and I’ll know that if it weren’t for me and my little restaurant you’d have been laid off two years ago.  And don’t for a second think that I’ll keep our little email between us.  The chef/owner already knows about , and the person who signs our checks will know about it this week.  She’ll also know that I think you are a coward and she’ll also know that you didn’t tip the bartender what he more than deserved.  Perhaps you should do us all a favor and eat at home next time.
Sincerely,
Maddog
General Manager
Bitch!

New Year’s Eve 2014.

I’m exhausted.  Yesterday was the longest day I’ve had at work in over a year.  Not stressful.  Not bad.  Just long.

I was awoken at 9:00 a.m. by one of my bosses calling to ask what we could do in figuring out how to get her friends tickets to our New Year’s Eve bash because of course they didn’t buy them when they had the chance.  Instead they called and complained about the lack of availability.

When we first released our tickets for sale we set the number at 150.  On Sunday we upped it to 175.  Yesterday we added 15 more.  Making the grand total number of 190.  Which is okay.  I just don’t like having to be reactionary.  If we were going to sell 190 we should have made that the number to begin with.

So after chatting with my boss I jumped in the shower because Adam and I were off to the wholesale flower market to buy flowers for the shindig.

THEN.

I drove to the U-Haul place to rent a 26′ truck to move furniture at the restaurant.

I got to my restaurant at 12:10.

For the next two hours we moved furniture.  Both inside and out.  Most of it ending up in the truck, which has to be packed with care because even though it’s 26′ the furniture barely fits.  By 2:30 the furniture is packed, on the truck and arranged in the dining room.

Now it’s time to make it pretty.  We drape all the tables with linen.  My dining room manager has been arranging flowers while I move furniture.  We cover the place in candles.  It takes another couple of hours but by 4:30 or so it’s starting to look like a party.

By this time the staff has arrived.  Bartenders are batch mixing welcome drinks.  Cutting front.  Getting ice.  Wait staff is polishing silverware, and cleaning base boards.  I have to remind both my bar manager and my dining room manager that although it’s fine to help its important that we save the menial tasks for the staff.  Not that it’s beneath any of us to do those things, it’s just that you have to keep the group moving.

At 5:30 I change into my suit.  I look very nice if I do say so myself.

At 5:45 we gather the staff for a preshift meeting.  Of course none of the bartenders are anywhere to be found.  Seems they’d been told they could go look for food.  Fuck!

By 5:55 everyone is there.  David the owner gives his regular speech.  He tells how the evening will work.  What the menu is.  Everyone has heard it a million times.  No one is new to the space.

When all the questions are answered I give my speech.  I start by reminding my staff not to drink.  Even though it’s New Year’s Eve I don’t want them getting drunk.  Or drinking at all for that matter.  Last year a couple of people were a little tipsy by the end of the night.  I don’t want that again.

Then I put my serious hat on.  I thank my staff for doing such a top notch job.  I remind them that they make my job easy because they do theirs so well.  I then let them know that we beat our revenue budget by almost a half a million dollars.  I tell them that from the bottom of my heart that I’m lucky that they work for me.  Then I hug a couple of them and everyone is dismissed.

I then find my bar manager and tell him to do his thing.  What this means is to round up five shots of bourbon on the rocks for the management staff.  We toast at the beginning of each party.  It’s five seconds in the office with the door closed, feet up on the desk to relax before the night gets crazy.  It’s casual.  We all do it.  It has to be bourbon.  You can’t get vodka or a glass of wine.  It’s the rules.  The first time we did this was the night we opened.  We’ve done it for every party and every important milestone since.  I like it.

The party doesn’t start until 7:00 but the previous year people started showing up at 6:30.  The same thing happens this year.  By 6:45 we have 25 people in our restaurant.  By 7:00, the official starting time it’s close to 7:00.  A few of the guests are grumpy because we did not start the open bar until 7:00.  Anyone wanting to drink before 7:00 had to pay.  There is some push back but I remind the guests that six hours is a long time to drink and it’s a VERY long time for us to provide booze for the small price we are charging.

By 7:05 the party is in full swing.  The DJ is playing “dining” music.  The people are mingling.  There is a line at the door waiting to check in.  The crowds continue to enter.  The food is passed.  The drinks are served.  Everyone is happy.  I mingle.  I’m the face of the restaurant.  I hug and kiss regulars.  I shake a lot of hands.  I smile. I pick up dirty dishes.  I wander through the kitchen asking everyone by name if they are doing okay.  “Kathy are you in the weeds?”  “Chef are we ready for the next small plates?”

The party continues to grow.  By 8:30 most of the guests have arrived.  It’s crowded but not to bad.  You can still move through the dining room.  We’d counted on our guests being able to use our covered deck which we’d rented heaters for.  But the heaters can’t keep up with the bitter cold.  You can see your breathe out there.  People wander out.  They don’t stay.  They look around.  They come right back in.

The dance music starts at 8:45.  It takes about three minutes for people to get going.  Now the crowd is moving.  You can start to see the first signs of too much drinking.  No one is out of control, but it’s clear that a few people are tipsy.

I continue to wander.  Saying his.  Checking in with my staff.  Swinging by the bathrooms to make sure they are still in order.  i relieve the host who is manning the door so that she can pee.  I tell the dining room manager that she doesn’t need to be at the door any more.  I check on the bars.

So far everything is great.  It’s now close to 10:00.  I find my way to the office where I find David sitting icing his knee.  I join him with a Diet Pepsi.  We chat.  We have become good friends over the past two years.  I like his company.  We talk for a while.  About his son who is getting married, about his wife, about Adam, and the party, about our bosses.

We are sitting there when a server bursts through the door to tell us someone has fallen.  We are on our feet in seconds.  We head to the dining room where we find two people on the ground.  David goes into full on paramedic mode.  He gets latex gloves, he grabs towels.  He assess the situation.  I head back to the front door.  I don’t want anyone to call 911 from the restaurant/hotel phone because it sets off alarms that take forever to reset.  As I go, I had my cell phone to Kathy and tell her to call 911.  Tell them we need an ambulance stat.

I go back to the dance floor.  When I get there I see blood every where and a woman lying on her back looking unconscious.  It turns out that there is an ER doc in house.  They are helping.  I find Kathy.  She’s still on the phone with 911.  They are asking questions that she can barely answer.  Finally they hang up.

I go back to the front door to wait for the ambulance.  It’s then that I realize that the valets have stacked the parking lot.  Don’t ask.  The number of cars they can get in our lot is stunning.  And scary.  I go into the lot and tell them to start moving cars.  I want a clear path for the paramedics.  Then I go back into the dining and scatter the onlookers.  I make them move clearing about a 10 foot path so people can get through.

Finally the ambulance arrives.  The paramedics arrive.  Everyone is attending to.  They walk the two people out.  Seems that what happened was they were both drunk and the guy (who was quite large) fell, knocking his wife out, and splitting his head open on the fire alarm attached to the wall.  He was the one doing all the bleeding.

By 11:15 it was all over.  Of course a lot of people had left by this time.  I don’t mind.  I tell the DJ to start playing again.  Within minutes everyone is dancing.  The party is back in full swing.

It’s 11:45.  Time to plan the toast.  We gather all the champagne glasses and get them filled.  The wait staff hands them out.  I find a nice bottle of bubbly in the walk in and pull it out for the management team.  I take it to office and pour four glasses.  I have every intention of toasting at midnight.  But NOT with the cheap proseco.  I want the good stuff.  We gather all the staff in the front of house, including the kitchen team.  The DJ counts down midnight.

10.

9.

8.

7.

6.

5.

4.

3.

2.

1.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Old Lang Syne plays.  We toast.  Everyone hugs.  It’s midnight.

2015.

It feels the same.

I make my way to the office with my drink.  Davis in there calling his family.  I toast him and tell him that I’m glad he’s my boss and friend.  We hug.

I sit down and call Adam.  He can’t talk any longer than I can.  We are both at work.

It’s now 12:15.

We wait.

At 12:30 we issue last call.

At 12:45 the DJ plays their last song.  The music ends

It’s quiet.  What a lovely, lovely sound.

By 1:00 almost everyone is gone.  I don’t care.  I turn the lights on.  I change out of my suit back into my jeans.  I never wear jeans at work.

We clean.

I takes forever.  There are drinks dumped on the floor.  Broken glass.  Chocolate ground into the carpet.  It takes about an hour before we are ready to start unloading the furniture.  I dismiss the wait staff and bartenders.

It’s just me, David, and my moving crew.

They start unloading the carpet.  The first thing we have to do is get the rug back in it’s correct spot.  That takes about 30 minutes.  The rug is about 50 feet long and it’s on a curve.  It’s important that it land exact because it informs us to where the furniture go.  I look at the marks we’ve made on the floor each time the rug has been moved.  There are at least six of them.  As much as a foot apart.  We guess.

The furniture follows.  By 3:00 we are done.  We all say goodbye.  I grab my coat.  Scarf.

I drive the U-Haul back to the store.  Pick up my car.  I stop at McDonald’s because I’m starving and very, very thirsty.  The Diet Coke might be the best I’ve ever tasted.

I drive home.  It’s 3:45 when I get home.  I’m beat.  Adam is just getting in the shower to go to bed.  I get undressed.  I pour myself a glass of bourbon.   I sit in the living room, in the glow of the Christmas trees, under a blanket and breathe.  I read Facebook.  I try to relax.  At 4:30 I get up to take a shower.  My whole body hurts.  I feel like I’ve been run over by a mac truck.

It’s been 19 hours since I started my day.  I’m beat.  It’s time for bed.

(I have not proofed this.  I wrote it and hit publish.  Please forgive grammar, punctuation, etc.)