“You must be The Gal,” smiled the GM. She was behind the bar, alone. “I am waiting for my night person to arrive,” she gestured to the shelves of bottles behind her. “Then we can talk. I have your resume, though.”
I perched at the bar and watched this GM pour drinks, chat with regulars, talk to the several employees who had shown up.
Respectful. No nonsense. Definitely the boss.
Knows her shit. Really knows it.
I would work with her in a second.
“So,” she asked a few minutes later, clearly giving up on the hope that the last night shift person would arrive any time soon, “What are you looking for with us?”
Less than 65 hours a week. Two days off. Fun. A lower dry cleaning bill.
“I love this part of town and I like the ambiance of your place,” I began. “I ditched an office job to go into this business a little over a year ago, and I…” I paused at that point. I could tell she wasn’t really listening. I mean she was, but she wasn’t.
“GM?” I asked, getting her attention fully focused again on me. “Maybe you should tell me what you are looking for.”
And then I saw it, the tired expression. The expression that is all in the eyes and sometimes in the shoulders, too. Not defeated, not weak. Just tired. Really tired. Red Bull doesn’t help this kind of tired, even though she was knocking back a can. Coffee is a joke when it comes to this fatigue.
No, when you are this tired, you aren’t long for the job you are in.
“I should tell you,” she smiled, a hint of a wannabe sparkle in her eyes, “What we are looking for, I won’t be here to see. I am actually not going to be the GM much longer.”
She didn’t have to tell me that. She could have let me ramble on, talk myself into a job. Hired me and let me find out the way I have found out before–on some random morning of when I was handling things on my own and didn’t even know that was the way it was going to be from then on.
But here, in the impersonal beginnings of a meet-and-greet interview, she had laid it out, with no kidding around, very up front and personal–before the dogs and ponies had pranced about, before the show even sold a ticket.
Yeah, I would have worked for her in a second.
Over the next five minutes, I gave her job leads that weren’t for me, but that she might like. I had at least a couple. “I’ll email you all the details,” I promised.
“Ha! What we really need to do is find a couple of jobs in the same place and work together,” she laughed.
Then she paused. “This is some crazy interview.”
We smiled resigned smiles at each other. She was burned to a crisp, moving on soon, probably not soon enough in her tired being. But being loyal to her bosses, she was trying to piece together a staff before she left.
I am emerging from the crispy stage, feeling almost, but not quite, myself again. Today was the first day I woke up and didn’t panic thinking I was late for work.
Today was the day I simply woke up.
And I am sure this GM will wake up soon, too.
Damn, I would have loved working with her.