Monday, June 18, 2012

As this stone sits in my stomach

I'd like to say something. This is going to be hard for me and I don't want to do this but maybe that's the whole point of a re-birth. People think dying is the worst thing that there is, I think being born is. I mean your skull is pressed together, your shoulder blades ache, you start breathing for the first time and you can't see or talk in a room full of strangers. If your lucky there are people in the room who care if you live or die. When you're born you don't know what life has in store for you, when you die you know what kind of life you had.

So what kind of life have I had? I know what kind of life I wanted when I was a 16. I wanted to be successful, I wanted to be rich, I wanted to be a good person. To be honest I never thought myself to be a bad person, sounds like a lie doesn't it? Well it was, it's taken me losing everything I had, losing all my friends, but most of all it took me picking up the phone and hearing my Mom crying asking me what was it that I had become.

It was a lie, thinking that there was nothing wrong with me, that I was just reacting to a world the way that I had been treated for quite sometime. That was my justification for it anyways, that's how I lied to myself to convince "me" of doing whatever it took to justify my actions. so before I go any further let me say this out right.

I was wrong.

What was I wrong about? Pick something, I'm sure no matter what it is you're not too far off. a lot of the feedback I got was basically people taking their righteous rage out on someone who they don't think will ever hit back. Well the guy you saw on TV would hit back and wanted to very much. I hate that guy, he's mean, manipulative, sneaky , a coward and absolutely everything that I never wanted to be. The truth is though, that is me, that's where I am or was in my life. I tried to spin what I saw so many different ways but in the end the truth was never going to go away. I spoke to my Mom who up until a month or so ago thought I could do no wrong, she said that wasn't the son she raised, that my father would be ashamed of what she saw. I don't think I cried that much since my father died.

Now I've been through some scary shit in my life, been in a fight or two, I've had a gun pointed at me twice so I'm not unfamiliar with fear. for awhile I though about giving up on everything but to there is nothing in this world or the next that scares me more than the thought of having to look my father in the eyes and telling him that I gave up. So here's me, lost everything, no more money or prospects and I couldn't be more grateful.

You see I get a second chance, when I go to sleep tonight and wake the next day I have a whole life left to live and make something good of myself. Let me tell you, never underestimate the power of denial! Denial will convince you that right is wrong, up is down, and that no matter what you do, you're always the good guy and everyone is just out to get you. When you buy into that lie you will (like me) turn into someone who hurts people, one way or another.

Dennis was who I took my anger out on, or my resentment of the business.Before I go any further let me say that Dennis did absolutely nothing to deserve how I treated him and for that I'm sorry. Dennis made the choice that I should have made a long time ago. You see rather than treat people the way I had been treated growing up in this business I should have been the boss that I always wanted to have. I'm not making an excuse for what I did but I think it's important for people to know what creates a person like me ( not all of us are born A-holes, we grow into it).

The restaurant business is not a gentleman's business. I've had a lot of bosses in my time and some of them were great but most of them were lying cheating egotists who cared about nothing other than their money and all the workers could go to hell. I've seen some shit people, I was once told I couldn't hire a man for a dish-washing job because he had a criminal record. What was on the record? I have no idea! I wasn't allowed to continue with the interview. some of you might not care but when you have to look into a grown man's eyes and tell him no when you know that this job could mean the difference in a new life for him or going back to his old ways. It hurts. I've seen an owner discover his gm was embezzling a shit load of money and play the part of the victim when I knew and so did the owner that the Gm had a wife who had crones disease, had a pile of medical bills, three kids and that he hadn't given him or any of his managers a raise let alone a thank you for years. I've had bosses who promised me a bonus upon reaching sales goals which I did but they jacked up the goal to a 6 percent increase one month before the end of the quarter! FYI, unless all the restaurants in your part of town go under then it's impossible to raise that much revenue! One last thing, remember when the market crashed? I was was working for one of the biggest restaurant chains in the country at that time. When the boom came down all of our bonuses froze as did our raises. Now before I continue let me tell you what a bonus really is, it's a way to save money on salaries, it's not a reward program. The salary for an assistant manager should be around 38-48K a year depending on where you work. Now what most companies do is pay about 32-36k a year and put the rest of the salary in the form of a bonus. This way that they only pay a full salary for managers who are doing a good job, sounds reasonable right? The thing is, when the board gets nervous about shareholders dumping their stock they say they're saving money and cutting costs taking away excess spending, like a bonus program. so now they're saving about 6-10k a year per manager. You want to know how much money the restaurant I worked for lost during the crash? $0.00.

I could go on and on about the shit part of the business but that's what got me to where I was in the first place. Two wrongs don't make a right,right? I hate to admit it but that's how a lot of the biz operates . The thing is, it doesn't have to operate that way. The world has "ended up" this way because we let it. I wasn't born a jerk, I grew into it. I'm not blaming the biz, I made my choices and I'll own up to them.

Now I'm going to make a new choice, I have a lot of work to do on being who I wanted to be when I was a kid. I know I still can be something better than what I am! It might have taken me getting blasted across the country as one of the worst employees in the history of ever but at least I have no delusions about what I was and now I have nowhere to go but up!

I'm not sure if I'll ever be posting on here again but this is for certain. Chef Dave is dead and now there's only Dave. Thanks for reading everybody, I wish you the best, even to those who wished me the worst =)