I noticed yesterday in the bathroom that I have a zit on my nose.
Let me back up. The first restaurant I ever worked in had a sous chef named Rob. Actually come to think of it, I have worked at three places that had sous chefs named Rob. Weird. Anyway, as it was my first restaurant job, I was green as grass. As a career changer I was old enough to actually know this. The sous chef, Rob, kinda scared the bejeesus out of me.
It wasn't anything that he said or did in particular. It was just that he was always there. I felt like everything that he asked me was a test. Some tests were easy, to me; when he offered to let me leave at the end of my first shift without needing to clean up, I said I'd stay. They didn't offer me the chance to stay on until after I mopped. Like I said, that one was an easy test. He'd also ask questions about methods and plans and what exactly I was doing and those were trickier.
At the end of every shift he came around and thanked everyone on the line including me.
But it got easier for me. I kept up a bit more, I contributed. I always stayed to clean. Towards the end of my tenure (I was working for free on the weekends while I was in school, so we all knew when I was leaving.) he came around at the end of the night to say thanks after he had changed into street clothes. We had worked the last nine hours together, he had pushed, I kept up, and still stood in awe of his position.
I noticed as he thanked me a rather spectaular zit on his nose. Nine hours, I hadn't noticed it. I noticed the smooth actions on the line, the being everywhere he needed to be, the good questions, the good food. It was a fascinating thing, that zit. Humanizing, yes, but I knew that if it was there the next week, I still wouldn't see it until he was in street clothes.
So when I went to the bathroom yesterday after they promoted me, the face that looked back in the mirror seemed to reflect history accurately.
Time to go to work...