Mad World

Posted on Tuesday 26 September 2006

The Mood is none too subtle. It starts with a stride, continues with a hard pull on the door handle, and ends with a set to the jaw. Maybe even a twitch in the lower cheek.

I speak of myself.

I speak of Chef.

I speak of my GM.

All around me are familiar faces. Worn out places. Worn out faces.

My GM calls it the teething stage. I guess that’s one way to put it.

On the one hand, I know where we are headed. To the moon, in my view.

On the other hand, I know how spent we all are right now, down here on earth–to our very cores.

Enter the walk-ins. Big smiles. Big excitement. “We’ve heard about you. Heard incredible things about you.”

“Thank you,” I reply, hoping the inordinate amount of under-eye coverup I have recently applied is not creasing too much as I smile from my cheeks, and not my eyes. No feeling left for a smile from the eyes.

“No, thank you! Thanks for getting us a table.”

Geez. They are nice people. They are open to our unusual menu and so happy to be here. IM to self–move smile up to eyes–and mean it.

“My pleasure, sir.”

We seat them at a cozy corner table that tends to make romantics out of even the most stodgy of couples.

“I hope I am that way when I am old,” comments one server when the couple kisses between courses.

I am pretty sure the couple is younger than Mr. Restaurant Gal and me.

Oh well.

I wander over to give them a touch and find out more. He’s here on business. She’s traveling with him. He asked his hotel where to go. They sent him to us. Nice.

We chat. I smile for real. They snuggle.

My GM approaches me mere moments later and tells me to go home. Just go.

I don’t argue. Well, only a little. Then I don’t argue anymore.

I go.

By now, I am feeling a bit better. So is he. Chef will, too, in time.

When people run in circles, it’s a very mad world.

4 Comments for 'Mad World'

  1.  
    wineward
    September 27, 2006 | 8:45 pm
     

    RG—love your blog. I’m a 25 year hospitality veteran who burned out a few years ago and made the switch to IT support. Reading you makes me miss the business. Sort of.

    I miss the glamour and the celebs. I miss the ’97 California Cab and ’97 Barolo. I miss the foie gras and the truffles. And I miss the satisfaction of a job well done—not just the monetary rewards, but the smiling faces of my call parties when they said, “see you again next week.” But I never miss the liars, the malcontents, the bullies, or the miserable cheapskates.

    Luckily, as you have found, those people are few and far between. And you seem to have the character and personality to rise above. Congratulations on your new position. I know you are exhausted now, but things should smooth out in another couple months. It sounds like you’re working with some talented, supportive people, and we all know you have a loving, supportive husband and great children.

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic journey with us, and thanks for your warmth, wisdom, humility, and grace.

  2.  
    wineward
    September 27, 2006 | 9:07 pm
     

    One thing to add. Thanks for putting that song in my head, It’s been a while since I listened to that album. Kinda captures the chaos of a restaurant opening perfectly.

    I find it kinda funny,
    I find it knda sad,
    The dreams in which I’m dying,
    Are the best I ever had…

  3.  
    September 27, 2006 | 10:06 pm
     

    Wineward–Thank you.

    And yes, the song is perfect–when it fits. Which it does, today.

  4.  
    Restaurant Gal Son
    October 3, 2006 | 12:08 pm
     

    Just remember who turned you on to that song…

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