Monday, June 20, 2016

Slight White

I have the greatest job in the world. Unfortunately I only have three months left there but plan on enjoying every minute I have left.

Hands down, I've had the greatest management team... ever. Total professionals and not bosses but leaders.

I was devastated when my mentor left first.

He is the main reason I succeeded at Ecco. He watched and corrected every mistake I made when just starting and urged me to learn and grow as a server. I was terrified of him at first but now appreciate his persistence and attentiveness. We still remain good friends to this day and always will.

Then our general manager left as well. Awesome guy with tremendous knowledge and the amazing ability to not sweat the little things but fought for us employees every step of the way, and every day.

I used to call my mentor, Damir the bad cop and my general manager, Bryan the good cop. They were a perfect team and still miss them.

Then our Sous Chef left, once again breaking my heart. We used to often joke about all the union employees playing the system like a drum, using all the call out options and times they could miss work before getting written up simply because they had a contract which allowed it. We called them "Government Workers".

During all the turnover, we got a fill in manger who has since come on board full time.

He has the greatest smile in the world.

I call him the Cheshire Cat.

He's an ex marine and calls it like he sees it. It's my favorite quality in him, considering I work with a few government workers. His attitude is always "Gung Ho" and is the easiest person in the world to make smile. When he first started there, he was sitting at the desk on the computer about ten feet away from me in the back of the kitchen. I had a big bag of Skittles and held it out to the guy standing next to me (a host who happened to be African  American) and said "Skittle my Nittle?"

Will, our new manager leaned back in his chair from the computer, looked at me and busted out laughing.

Then I heard we were finally getting a third manager, much needed.

I was at the host stand one day when a slender man walked in with a notebook under his arm, stood to the side and asked to see a manager. I asked if he was our new manager and once he said he was, offered him my hand to shake and welcomed him aboard the crazy train.

Come to think of it, I may be the craziest person on board but have always been pretty nuts and kind of like it that way.

He's demure and quiet, totally professional and turned out to be one of my favorite people on the planet. He's definitely slender and with all the management turnover has probably lost another ten pounds while working at the crazy house.

We are corporate so get mystery shoppers all the time who come in to eat and grade us on our performance and quality. Some are from Fifth Group, some are from  the concessionaire who owns our contract and some even from the airport authority.

We've had so much fun with descriptions they give of our managers. Damir, my former manager is from Bosnia but was called called Latino. Bryan, my former GM was called older gentleman with gray hair (he's in his early thirties).

But the shoppers have had a field  day with Mark, our slender manager. One shopper called him a petite man.

This was back when my oldest son, TJ still worked there with me. I read the report and turned to TJ asking if petite was the stupid person's polite term for gay?

Next report, they called him a slight white male.

Boy, that one stuck and has been his nickname ever since!

Bless his heart, he takes it all in stride and in his usual professional manner.  He's one of the smartest men I've ever worked for and knows something about everything and then some. He can't be rattled, even by the onslaught of flight delays and the restaurant filling up within three minutes time. Angry customers? He deals with it like it's nothing and they leave satisfied and happy.

If you need someone to lend an ear, he's right there. If you need help, he's already helping and asking what more you need.

He treats everyone the same and even nods with compassion when he knows they're yanking his chain.

I so miss Damir and Bryan but luckily still have Will and Slight White.

Will, told me the other day that a warehouse guy (African American) brought up a product shipment to the restaurant and was trying to tell him who he had talked to before. The guy said "He was the pale faced guy".

So now Mark is "White Slight Pale Face".

I was at work today and saw this selfie on Mark's phone. I demanded he send me the pic. Massey absolutely loves him too and is one of the people I'll miss most when us Clampetts leave. Best selfie...ever!

She sent me this photo of him in the restaurant the other night when she was working and I was off, captioned "Spot the Slight?"

It's been a journey and lucky for me have met some pretty awesome people along the way. I'm a very lucky person to have landed in this place. They treat you well and if you give it your all, take you into their heart and treat you like family.

Three more months and I'll be done here but this job will always be the highlight of my serving career.

Once you work with the best it only makes you know and realize, now you can do anything!

Til next time...COTTON

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