United States of William (USWM)

Navigating the Unknown

Tomorrow is the beginning of my journey at a new company. While I am not completely at ease, I am less nervous than I thought I would be. I am really not sure what to expect from any of this, but I am going to walk in with an open mind and try to take and observe as much as I can. The guy who've I've been talking with, the guy in the charge of the store, told me when I asked him what to wear tomorrow that it didn't really matter what I wore because we always wear our whites in the meat department. He even mentioned jeans of all things. Imagine wearing jeans to work!? Who knows maybe that is the standard amongst those in the department, like I said I'm going to try and observe as much as I can tomorrow. It's also been labeled an "orientation" day, so I'm not sure if it will be an all day affair and I wont even be in the meat department at all. I would hope that I am at least a little bit. I am first going in at at noon-thirty. I was so caught up in the idea of leaving that I could have very well have walked myself right into the same set of problems just with a different cast of characters. If nothing else I would have confirmation the 1) Meat Departments are fundamentally flawed and 2) Retail is setup to fail. Or it is at least setup to benefit those who never have any business with putting in work in the building because they know how much stress and chaos is involved to get it all done.

I took a dry run out to the new store to see how long it would actually take, and not just what GPS said. Take a very casual drive. Try and catch every light. Do not exceed the speed limit too much. Observe how traffic behaves in that neck of the woods. Parking, playing around with this and that in the car. Do I have all my things. Lock the doors. Walk to the door. Then stop the timer. Twenty-five minutes thirty-six seconds. Got an idea for where local gas stations and whatnot are and then came back home.

Can't stop thinking of the guy who runs the restaurant in the next one over. He used to reach out to me all the time when I was working at my old store to see how many case of spare ribs I had. I would price the entire case at a time so when he came to pick them up he'd just have a single thing to scan at the register and not twelve or fifteen. Or sixty. My family informed me at the sudden gathering yesterday that he's in Florida at some super involving high-end rehabilitation for alcohol. We're from Wisconsin so when someone goes that hard up here with drinking that really is saying something. The restaurant is basically being ran by his parents, who were both retired prior to dumping all their money into their sons dreams. His marriage is a dumpster-fire, there are children involved and very complicated financial matters. It's all so very fucked up.

I really clicked with this guy and we used to talk quite a bit when he would come in to pick up these ribs. When I finally went into the restaurant when he opened (he had food truck for an established amount of time prior to getting a physical location restaurant) he sort of was asking questions about how much I made and how I liked it there, etc. He knew I had a storied past in kitchens so there would be no having to "break me in" but he never asked outright for me to come aboard. He graduated with my cousin who is also a very established chef in the area himself, and he thought perhaps that was too close for comfort as chefs are really suspicious of one another and the safety of their recipes. However, since I have been informed of this they have been on my mind. I really hope that they are able to work things out. Crushing alcoholism is one of the hardest things in the world a person could be asked to do.


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