Have you ever farted and cleared a room? Or had it so bad YOU had to leave the room? Yeah...I know nothing of that. AT ALL.
It has been no secret my outright hostility towards the upper leadership (ha - you call that leadership?) of Red Lobster the past 5-7 years, but especially the past 3 years. There was a time Red Lobster was a great place to work for/at. The company cared for their employees and actively took steps for retention and employee satisfaction. Those days are long gone. I have enough years under my belt with Darden/Red Lobster to know the management in Orlando look like a duck in a storm right now. Calm on the surface but swimming like hell under the water trying to get somewhere safe.
But their ideas for safe have been to subvert the very hands that feed them. Just when I think Darden couldn't do something more stupid to fuck with their key staff - the ones who interact directly with their guests - the face of the company - just when I think that they go and screw shit up worse than ever before.
Darden is a big company, but don't be fooled, their ship is on the outer edges of a large whirl pool that is trying to suck them under. They still can turn the ship and get out of it, but from what I've seen, there isn't anyone with the sense or balls to make that happen. So rats are starting to jump off the ship. The rats are always the first ones to go. They haven't bought the bull-shit the captain is selling that he can get the boat back on course. They see and sense what is happening, and their self preservation instincts let them know when the time is right.
The time is right. Even if they turn the ship, I'm not waiting that long to see it happen. I've worked hard for a lot of years to get to a place where my interests (read income streams) outside of Red Lobster pay considerably more for my time and talents. So much more that it is no longer worth my time to put up with the corporate bull-shit Darden keeps shoveling our way expecting us to eat it and grin.
I announced a while ago that this day was coming (it came a while back actually), and it couldn't come soon enough. You know how when you know your relationship is dead, but you still keep on showing up to fuck her because it is what you've become accustomed to? Yeah, that's been me for about 4 months. It was time.
What the future holds for me? Well, a lot of things. The past 7 days has been largely nothing but skimpy bikini's, sun, endless margaritas and all inclusive resort life. The beaches just south of Cancun are particularly nice this time of year. And the bikini's are smaller than I remember them. And that is in no way a complaint.
We're going to Burning Man at the end of the summer. I thought it would be totally ironic to show up in a lobster outfit, but then I thought about that for a few minutes and came to the conclusion that less is more in the desert. So maybe the sun will make me look like a cooked lobster, but no suit. I've been wanting to do this for years, and this year my old lady is making it happen for me. Kinda a celebratory gift for a great last year and my leaving fried seafood hell.
The other thing with Burning Man is that I'll be creating and hopefully selling (or making contacts to sell) some art. While I won't go into details on it (nor will I be selling it here) my art is my true passion in life. Though it has increasingly become profitable, it isn't something I could live off of I suspect. But because of what it does for me creatively, it's something I'll continue pouring myself into regardless of the returns.
And I'll continue to grow my investment portfolio. Through some well timed moves, shrewd business partners, and a bit of luck, we've grown my other business through this recession by about 375%. That's going to take a lot of my time as I figure out both whether that growth is sustainable, and for how long. I think there is a lot more potential there for us and I'm ready to press fully into that with the hopes of retiring no later than 55. A man has to have a goal right?
I haven't decided yet what I'll be doing with the blog. I have tens of thousands of stories which have gone untold over the years. Some because they'd reveal who I am to people I'd prefer not knowing. Others because I just never found time to put the ink on the screen. So part of me wants to keep this creative outlet. Part of me wants to just make a break and walk away. It remains to be seen which part of me will win out. Either way, I'll keep the blog up for archival purposes if nothing else, to have a record of my journey the last few years of my life with the Lobster.
Red Lobster hates its employees. That was the original title of this blog, and it has never been truer than today.