Today felt more like March than May.
I drove up to the Inn about three o’clock to find The Owner and see if I couldn’t get a clearer picture of what is going on. The first person I saw was one of the other chefs I work with who was coming out of the function kitchen rather than the restaurant where he usually works. He told me he had been told I was not coming back. With that information in hand, I went inside to wait for The Owner who had gone to run an errand. When he came in, I asked for a few minutes of his time and followed him up to his office. He sat down and looked at me as though he had no idea why I was there.
Ginger and I have been rehearsing what I might say (and how I might say it – often the larger issue for me) over the last couple of days. I’m not going to recall the whole conversation because I don’t feel the need to embarrass him, but I will say I felt good about what transpired in that little room. I said what I needed to say without resorting to a personal attack or falling into a power struggle. I stood up for myself and got the money he owed me, which was not a done deal when I went in. I also got to say goodbye to the people I enjoyed working with during my eighteen months at The Inn. Then I got in the car, drove to the bank and cashed the check, and went to meet Ginger so we could go to the gym.
He never knew about the nights I drove home and talking to Ginger on the phone and telling her how much I loved my job. He never knew how much fun I had with my Brazilian buddies plating up the steaks for the functions. He never knew because he only knew me as an appliance and not a human being. At one point in our conversation today, I called him on something he had done and he snapped, “I’m the owner; I can do anything I want.”
“Actually, that’s not true,” I answered. “You can’t treat me like I don’t matter and get away with it.” Soon after that, I gave him back his key and left. I drove away both unemployed and unburdened. Whatever is next, my time with him today confirmed that it is time for me to not be there: there is no room for me at The Inn.
As I remember another story, that’s not necessarily a bad thing . . . .