Posts Tagged ‘manager’

Rendered Speechless

December 27, 2018

I don’t often look at old photographs.

I just did.

Work photos from over sixteen years ago.

Longer, perhaps, though not much more than eighteen years, I’ve been in San Francisco for sixteen, so they have to be at least that old.

There’s a private Facebook page with photographs of a place I used to run for six years.

1996-2002 I was the Floor Manager at the Angelic Brewing Company in Madison, Wisconsin.

A lot of the photographs are ones that I took myself.

Although I don’t have the album that they are located in.

I used to take a lot of staff photos.

Before Facebook and camera phones.

I kept a photo album in the office and I would put it out during big staff events.

Most usually the annual holiday party that I was in charge of organizing and running.

We got silly.

I remember one year I bought a bunch of disposable cameras.

Oh the pictures on those cameras.

Many stories.

I was rendered speechless though when I saw a photograph of myself that may have been at my heaviest weight when I was working there.

I don’t actually know what I weighed.

I didn’t like to use the scale.

But I do know that the shirt I was wearing was a size 26.

I now wear a size eleven.

So much has changed.

I just sat on my couch before logging onto my computer and I had an abstinent meal.

Abstinent for me means no flour (of any kind–almond, oat, coconut, corn, wheat, etc) and no sugar.

I do eat fruit, so I get sugar that way, though I tend to not eat fruit with my dinner.

I will.

Just not always.

Fruit is a sort of desert for me.

For dinner tonight I had about a 1/2 c of sautéed broccoli with a cup of brown rice and a roasted chicken leg and thigh.

I had some bubbly water and I listened to jazz.

When I think about the way I ate when I ran the Angelic.

Oh my God.

Freaks me out a little.

Sort of like how the picture did.

I almost want to post it here but I’m not actually sure how to do that and I am also not really sure I want to post it anyway.

I am grateful though for the changes I have gone through and for the good reminder that although my body doesn’t look the exact way I want it to, it looks a hell of a lot better than it did.

I mean.

I used to have a double chin.

I haven’t had a double chin in a long ass time and I am hella grateful for that.

The amazing thing about the photo is that I’m doing the splits on the bar.

I was a lot more limber then than I am now.

I was also studying to get my black belt in Kung Fu.

That also blows my mind, that I got a black belt at the weight I was.

I wonder sometime what it would have been like if I had lost the weight sooner.

But really that doesn’t do me much good to think about that, it’s just fantasy and speculation.

I also had to have some recovery under my belt before I could get abstinent, recovery, therapy, self-care.

A lot of that.

Self-love.

I am really quite proud of myself when I see how very far I have come.

All things considered.

I shouldn’t be where I am at today.

I am very, very, very grateful.

I’m also grateful to have gotten through Christmas.

Three gay boys, two movies, and one sushi dinner.

It was an official San Francisco Christmas.

Matinee at the Kabuki, hanging out in the Castro, then the Metreon in the evening.

I am grateful too for the people I spent time with.

I am grateful for San Francisco being my home.

I am grateful for all the lovely gifts I was given.

The biggest one, always does seem to be perspective.

That’s why the photo hit me so hard.

Just how far I have come.

I’m 46 now.

I look so much better at 46 than I did at 26.

I may have been a little older in the photo, but my weight would have been about the same.

It got bad there for a bit.

But then I think, I needed to be the way I was, to feel safe.  I ate to feel safe in a body that was not a safe place to inhabit.

I ate because I had been hurt.

I did not want to hurt anymore.

I also ate because it was a compulsion.

There were times when I would find myself in the dark raiding the desert fridge at work– shoving an entire piece of Irish Cream pie into my mouth, one, two, three pieces in under five minutes.

I hated it and I couldn’t stop it.

I also didn’t realize that once I put sugar into my body it was sort of on.

Sugar is just as addictive as many narcotics.

Sugar activates the same place in the brain that cocaine does.

I loved cocaine.

And before I had cocaine.

I had sugar.

I had a lot of it.

God.

Just thinking about how much soda I drank too.

Ugh.

I mean.

I worked in the service industry for two decades.

I did not drink diet soda ever, I scoffed at it.

I drank straight up Coca Cola.

I drank vats of it.

When you work in the service industry you usually get free soda.

And because I was in management, I got free meals.

French fries dipped in sour cream.

Fried fish sandwiches with buckets of tartar sauce.

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms and cream sauce and parmesan and bread sticks.

OH bread sticks.

Idaho nachos–cottage fries instead of corn chips–with heaps of cheese and chicken and black beans and guacamole and sour cream.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Pizza.

Beer cheese soup.

And it was a brewery, so yes, lots of beer too, many, many, many pints.

Ex-employees used to joke about how they would lose the “Angelic 20” when they stopped working there since they weren’t always drinking the beer.

Which was not light in any sense of the word.

Oh.

How things have changed.

For the better.

I might have a nostalgic moment once in a great while for something.

But not ever looking like that picture again?

That will kill any craving I might have.

Fact is.

I don’t crave food, when you don’t have it in your system, the urge goes away.

Hella grateful for that too.

So here’s to not having to make New Years resolutions.

I am resolved every day.

I am happy.

Joyous.

Abstinent.

And.

Motherfucking.

Free.

 

I Have Been Having A

September 10, 2016

She’s too fat for me moment.

Fucking polka.

Fucking Essen Haus and the obnoxiousness of the cd player with a six carousel disc changer that had this album on repeat.

All the days and nights of listening to the oompa loompa music and the polka bands and the swing ladies with their ruffled panties and square dance crinolines.

The men, boys really, who hooted and hollered and goosed your ass and knew all the words to the She’s Too Fat For Me Polka.

I’m not shitting you.

It’s a fucking polka.

I don’t want her
You can have her
She’s too fat for me.
She’s too fat for me. She’s too fat for me
Oh
I don’t want her
You can have her
Please do that for me
She’s too fat
She’s too fat. She’s too fat for me.
I get dizzy
I get numbo.
When I’m dancing with my Jum-Jum-Jumbo.
She’s a twosome
She’s a foursomeIf she’d lose some I would like her moresome.

A polka that got stuck in my head today and I just wanted to shoot myself from it.
I have a date tomorrow.
It’s a bit of a blind date.
He hit me up on Tinder months ago and it turns out that he’s in my club, my secret, wink, wink, nudge, nudge club, and well, fuck you’re hot, but I don’t date guys with less than a year’s time.
Well.
Guess who got a year while I was at Burning Man?
Guess who texted me today and guess who has a date for tomorrow?
Um yeah.
And.
Ugh.
He might be at my yoga class in the morning.
I was like.
Noooooooooooooooo.
I mean, sure, that’d be fun, you’ll get to see me for the first time about a half hour after I wake up in the morning and my hairs in a bun on top of my head and no make up and I’m in crazy yoga pants and I’m not that good at yoga, and you’re like a fucking firefighter who surfs and is like cut and ding, ding, ding.
She’s Too Fat For Me Polka.
Bright and loud in my head.
I could slap myself.
THANKS BRAIN.
And the thing is.
Who the fuck cares?
I might not be this guys type.
But.
I am some guy’s type.
And.
I have another date on Sunday, with a guy I know who knows what I look like and so, whatever brain, I’m fine, this guy doesn’t like how I look in yoga pants, who gives a fuck?
Not I said the too fat for me polka.
“Excuse me, sir,” my manager said to my table, a big booth, B-7 I remember it well, at the Essen Haus, “I’m the manager and it appears that you’ve been harassing my employee.”
“AH, we’re just having a good time,” one of the guys laughed and snorted and guzzled some more beer.  I remember it running out the side of his mouth and getting stuck in his beard.
“That’s great, and I encourage a good time and I’m also going to encourage you to leave your waitress a 20% tip or you’ll get cut off and asked to leave my establishment,”  my manager looked the guy in the face who was turning a deep shade of brick red.
“And an apology,” she added.
My manager was a tough cookie, she couldn’t have been more than 23 or 24, fuck I ended up being the god damn GM at the place not soon after at the ripe old age of 22.  I look at 22 year olds today and I just can’t believe I was 22 and running a place that fucking big and busy.
Anyway.
I stood there just about as miserable as the table and wanted to sink into the floor.
I got a mumbled apology from the table and returned to my job.
“Don’t you ever let the fuckers grind you down with that “She’s Too Smart For Me” polka, fucker needs to be taken out who penned that shit,” my manager said fishing the pack of cigarettes out her cleavage.  “I’m gonna take a smoke break, they give you any more shit let me know and I’ll get rid of them.”
She flounced away in her pastel purple dirndl and I went to the bar to refill the boot of beer the table had ordered.
They did leave a good tip, a little over 20% and I kept on keeping on with the job until it was real obvious it was time to go.
It was a hard place to work.
My best friend asked me on the day she trained me, this was before she or I knew we were going to be friends, why I was working there.
“I mean, are you working here because there’s a cute pair of shoes you want to buy at East Towne Mall or are you working here because you need to pay rent?”  She asked me bluntly on the first day I was her service assistant.
“I owe my boyfriend two months back rent,” I said quietly.
“Fantastic!  You’re going to work out just fine,” and she got on with the training.
She was right.
She had a point.
No one works that kind of job for the good times and fun money, they work it because they need the money.
It was a hellish place to work.
Too hot in the summer, freezing in the winter, horrible management, myself included, I mean, come on, who the hell expects a 22 year old to properly be a General Manager of a top 500 company?
People were trashy, red necked, asshats, who tipped for shit and ate a lot of pretzels and wiener schnitzel and prime rib and fuck me, all the good damn Friday night fish fry you could eat, ALL YOU CAN EAT FOR  $8.95.
And boy howdy did they eat.
I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I burnt my arms on the pretzel trays taking them out of a convection oven that was over 500 degrees and walking them through the kitchen, around the expedite line, through the line of fire that was the kitchen door swinging open and shut, “coming through, HOT TRAY,” to finally dump the pan of pretzels in the warmer and then shove the hot tray off into the dish pile.
It was the job where my arches in my feet fell from being so constantly on my feet, running, literally running because it was so busy.
It was also a fantastic place to make friends.
And friends I made.
Friends I still have, twenty years later.
Pretty amazing.
Friends, I’m pretty sure who would say fuck you polka, fuck you too fat for me, she’s just fucking perfect.
And I am.
The date is just another experience and another step toward whomever I’m supposed to be with.
God’s got me.
I ain’t worried.
And I’m certainly not too fat for a mate.
Thanks for sharing head.
Now fuck off or I’ll sick my manager on you.
She’ll be back from her smoke break shortly.
Heh.

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