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So here am I. Have just finished 3 relatively successful shifts at the Casket. Although the first of the three was excruciating to the extent: “ Must find a new career. How can I possibly work on Saturday?” To “Ah, 3 shifts under my belt & I feel pretty good. My feet only hurt a little. And how about me? I worked Easter Sunday all by myself – only served 17 covers – but made some loot – $263. Not bad for someone who was an invalid just the week before. Can’t believe they entrusted me w/a shift by myself. Must not have understood the depths of my disability. Ah well, things turned out pretty well. I guess they were right about my abilities.
God bless Royal Jelly. God bless Bernard. & God bless the Universe for providing me this miraculous turnaround.
And I’ve got an appointment w/Pierre, owner of the Lagoon, about a job today, Monday at 11AM. He says he wants to ‘get me on board’. How exciting. And the Lagoon has a wood floor, which will be so good for my legs and feet. I can’t wait – a pain-free shift – just like the old days – back to normal. Ready to knock 'em dead. Wonder what Pierre wants to talk about tomorrow? Shouldn’t take too long to get a full schedule – probably just a few weeks – then regular shifts at long last. No more of the aggravating leg and feet pain. No more wondering if I’m going to work or not. No more sighs from my wife when I’m called off. Can’t wait to give notice at the Cask – the source of all my problems. Hurrah! Huzzah! I’m going to work at the Lagoon.”
I spiff up my tonal for my interview – shower, shave, nice slacks, pressed shirt, etc. Thinking as I drive to the Lagoon, “What a day – not too hot – not too cold – a perfect omen for a fresh beginning. Ah there it is now. Even more beautiful than I remembered. Located across the Bird Refuge in a beautiful old Victorian house, which had been converted into a restaurant decades ago - early 80’s – as Penelope’s – the first real gourmet California cuisine restaurant in town. Then came financial problems followed by the Waterside - where I worked so long ago – until it closed and I went to work at Ma Belle until is closed. Ah life is change, as the Buddha said. And now I’m back here again. The circle completes itself. Know the place like the back of my hand. This will be easy. Slam-dunk. Hello Lagoon. Goodbye Cask.”
Pierre greets me w/a warm smile. We sit at one of the tables in the Dining Room. To myself: “What a warm and inviting atmosphere. Nothing out of place. Working here is going to be great.’
After exchanging pleasantries: ”Exquisite décor and setting you have here,”
Pierre: “Thank you. We decorate it to appeal to women. They choose where the couple goes for dinner.”
“’The yang always follows the yin. That’s the way of things’ as Master Ni said.”
“It’s lovely. I would love to work here,”
Pierre: “Are you sure? With your experience and reputation, why would you choose to work here rather than the Cork, the Cask, or the Ranch? They are much higher end than we are. I call our cuisine country French – nothing too gourmet – especially when compared to the others. And our wine list, although expanding, is ordinary. And most importantly there is very little support crew. The waiters must do everything for their tables – but get to take home most of their money."
“Sounds great to me. I‘m tired of the snooty upper end atmosphere - too stuffy. I’m ready for something a little more casual – not quite so intense. Besides at the Cask we have to do everything by ourselves on Sunday and Monday, include bartending, No different.”
“Really. I had no idea. We always have a bartender here.”
“I worked last night all by myself. Had to make my own drinks, run my own food & bus my tables. What’s the difference? Anyway I’m ready for a change. After all I’ve worked in upper-end Fine Dining houses for over 30 years now. I’m ready for something new.”
“All right then. I’ll give you a chance”
“Should I give notice at the Cask?” hopefully, expectantly.
“Not yet. I only have 2 shifts available right now – Wednesday and Thursday. But I think someone is leaving soon. Continue working weekends at the Cask until business picks up. Due to rising gas prices and the falling economy our numbers are down - just like everyone else.”
“Well thanks for the opportunity. I’ll see you on Wednesday.
“Oh by the way, the attire for servers is brown shoes and pants – a more casual look. We supply the apron and the tie.
“No problem. Thanks again.”
To myself: “Mental note. Must notify the Cask tomorrow so there are no scheduling conflicts. I’m sure they’ll understand. Business is down there also. And must buy some brown shoes. Hmmm, where? Ah that’s it. Some more Birkenstocks at the Leather Store. The perfect shoes. Saved my feet last time. (Just a few minor exceptions.) They’ll be perfect.”