My days are winding down at the best job ever, working for for the best restaurant group ever.
I've made strides as a server professionally, personally and financially and even more importantly have made friends...wonderful friends.
I've laughed more than I have in almost a decade and felt even better getting paid beyond handsomely for doing so.
I've witnessed things on a daily basis which have never seen before in my over half century on this earth.
In other words..it has been a Ball.
Saw the biggest plane I ever have..
Met and was humbled by...but gained respect and love for workers behind the scenes who make pretty much everything possible.
Learned a lot about pop culture from my youngest.
Had a lot more fun with a selfie stick than ever thought possible.
Old managers were replaced with excellent decisions from the higher ups.
They're my favorite Ebony and Ivory.
I decided a couple of months ago that would try and find a couple of people to get on board the Crazy Train and actually be assets, while also being handsomely rewarded.
Pay It Forward is the simple... easiest concept ever and one that could save this (currently needing salvation) world if applied in everyday life...by every one of us.
My sister first recommended a server she knew. He was mid forties, seemed to be a real go getter and thought would be a dependable employee. She had gone to church with him briefly but is a good judge of character so I contacted him.
That's the kind of person who deserves to get my job when I leave. It was a salvation for me getting this job and continue to appreciate it every single day, every single shift.
Someone who wanted and deserved the chance to succeed...just like me. It took a hot minute but finally convinced him after many phone conversations.
He was (almost literally) balls to the walls thrown into the job with a crammed in training period during the busiest peak of our travel season combined with the start of the Summer Olympics and upcoming annual Microsoft convention. Bless his heart.
He'll be just fine, I (eventually) was.
He's totally overwhelmed but coming in every day, always early and eager to help.
I can just tell he's a Lifer like me. He probably feels just like I did my first four months. Throwing up mentally on the inside while having to appear calm and reassuring in your facial expression and with your demeanor.
My first few months was the hardest acting class a person should ever have to take. I probably got a "B" if I had to guess.
Then to Pay It Forward once again...got a message from someone I grew up with in my ole stomping ground all my (60's 70's early 80's) youth in East Point. Her family lived literally one block away from our family. There was a whole slew of em. Seemed like they had fifteen kids back then but was probably about five or six.
One of the boys married a girl I went to school with K-12. I still stay in contact with her.
Another of the girls recently contacted me after following my blog for a while. She had a son who was serving at another location of the Western Sizzler I used to work for and was wanting a more professional position. I called my manager and he gave the guy an interview the very next day and hired him on the spot.
It was a 'Two-Fer'.
I've trained him the past few nights and couldn't be more pleased.
Not bragging (maybe I am) but going to leave a pretty significant hole in the wait staff department. In the almost three years have been there I have missed two days of work, when I had the flu. They have never asked me to pick up a shift that I didn't. I've had maybe five shifts since starting there that only made streetside money...in other words what I used to make on a busy weekend night (if I was lucky).
I want someone else like me, or who cares like me to have the chance I did...to grow and make a difference, for yourself and for others.
So fast forward...
It was my day off today and heard my cell phone ping downstairs around one PM.
Not checking it. If was an emergency would call back or call our landline. I checked it around one thirty when I went downstairs for something.
It was from my General Manager. They were short staffed, another server called out and asked if I could come in?
It was raining outside and always like a gravy shift so agreed to go in.
Be still my beating heart...it was Michonne's Boo from The Walking Dead, sitting with his wife and kids at my very first table.
I was still training my second PIF (Pay It Forward) so he also got to meet him and his family.
I think this may have been the most convincing training shift ever for the new kid that he's landed the serving job of a lifetime. I can already tell he's gonna be great and look forward to working with our two newbies for another minute or so.
Absolutely and hands down dread saying goodbye to this job and what it means to me, in every facet of the word.
"Means" in my use of the word is described by Webster as "A method, a course of action, or an instrument by which an act can be accomplished or an end achieved".
I've achieved the means to my goal. I snot up every time I think about leaving these people but must.
My torch is passing and feel pretty good about who I'm passing it two (small pun).
I hope they enjoy Ecco as much as I have and almost sure they will.
I had a rebirth around the age of fifty. Ecco had more than a lot to do with that and thank them wholeheartedly for simply taking a chance on this old skinny broad. Trust me, they've made me feel Phat!
Nobody's going to get you up those stairs but yourself and the people who love you.
Lucky for me am loved by many and also have The Big Guy on my side.
I went from desperate to panicked then suddenly scared out of my wits. I stepped out of the box and took a chance...and paid off in more ways than I can count.
I'll be the first one to admit that am basically nuts, always have been and always enjoyed being a crazy person.
With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of my running and all of my cunning
If I couldn't laugh I just would go insane.
Massey's last day at Ecco is this Saturday. I'm not sure how I feel about that. She's also become a valuable asset to our team and will miss working with her five days a week.
Guess it's a good thing she's my daughter, still loves and lives with me.
I still can't talk about actually finally leaving for good with any of my managers at work because immediately well up with tears and way too much emotion.
It's hard to walk away from what helped save you which also includes my sister.
We weren't really that that close as little kids but have admired her for as long as I can remember. Once we had kids of our own have been tighter than tight and fought the fight...always together.
Since being grown have never been with her for over thirty seconds and not laughed.
Guess it's also a good thing she has free flight privilege.
The times (my times) are changing...but for the better and have to keep that in mind.
Til next time...COTTON