Me A Lead?

The event space inside the Emerald City Trapeze Arts building set up for a catered buffet and with a band warming up on stage.
Event space at the Emerald City Trapeze Arts where TnT catered a 300+ expected guest holiday party for WatchGauard Technologies. I believe that’s Caleb Laberge and Marta Little are visible to the right.

Written Content

I’m pretty sure that on this day, exactly one year ago, I was driving myself from Kimberly , Idaho to move back to Missoula, Montana for three months to work and be with my love interest at the time, Katie Schwartz. I remember that the weather was setup to present a winter road-condition challenge. My dad was particularly keen on monitoring the weather in the various areas my journey would cover. We discussed the conditions as I traveled since my car’s tires were not studded in or any way optimized for winter road conditions. My dad even insisted that he buy me a pair of new snow tires in Butte, Montana and have my off-season set shipped back to Walla Walla. The final concern that brought about that decision was an expected snowfall on the small pass I would be going north and west through on my way into Missoula. I made it in that night and slept with Katie, comfortably. I didn’t yet have a place of my own to stay.

So, what’s one thing that’s been noticeable in my memory today.

I express a great deal of concern for how my writing, speech or other communication conforms to socially indicated standards, definitions and other qualities associated with attractive, admired, intelligent and other beloved types of people.

Now, what do I think about giving Blake’s associate Charlie Ellis a call? (He’s the other “Chief Operating Officer” pulling the strings at the small television broadcasting MeTV station in Anchorage Alaska. KACN). I don’t want that opportunity vs. the opportunity to lead service teams and develop marketing/operational efforts with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes.

if I can truly maintain my focus on developing an idea or memory of something I could/should do, I can do wonders. There can’t be all that many true wonders among an entire world filled with myriad treasures. In fact, I recall that there are precisely seven wonders of the Ancient World. I can only realistically presume that I may similarly construct the Seven Wonders of Colton’s World.

I should eat the remaining portions of my baked veggie assortment and elk backstrap strips.

I did that which was mentioned above AND I showered AND I shaved my neck/underjaw AND I’ve dressed in my clothes for tonight’s TnT shift.

Now my mission is to find coffee, checkout my held library book and then find a place to squat until my 3pm meeting with Karna Leinbach at The Works.

So, ye wantin’ to be a Lead Server fer Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering, eh?

What’s there in it fer ye?

  • Formal, routine leadership role is something I’ve always wanted to take part in.
  • Longer shift length for each event that helps me to understand the full scope of the service team’s role
  • Closer contact/collaboration with client contacts and our won even tmanagers to understand how to best serve the event’s purpose/mission
  • Easier commute to The Works to start/end each shift from

Well, just how might ye be pullin’ in some extra bounty fer the lot of us if we grant ye this station?

  • Training/skills development focus for less experienced staff to best compliment event needs and desires for career path
  • Fixation on process improvements to foster efficiency and quality in service fulfillment
  • Shared understanding of the context, purpose and direction for events among entire service crew.

Planning > production perp and staff scheduling > delivery and presentation > cleanup > follow up and evaluation

Detail – efficiency – creativity = a mantra of mine for the past few years that has kind of become a unifying theory for doing anything well.

Detail

  • Here are the step-by-step instructions for achieving this product/outcome using the best process we currently understand
  • What the final deliverable looks/feels like
  • Why decisions were made to fulfill in this way
  • What purpose this function serves

Efficiency

  • As we best understand, an optimal and time-saving procedure exists to produce large amounts of this output
  • How to reduce direct time necessary from operator’s attention. Ex. Laundry machine = 2 hours total cycle time but just 10 min of direct operator attention.

Creativity

  • Modify desired output to better serve larger needs

Spoken Content

December 1st, 2017.

I am currently driving to the Jack In The Box fast-food restaurant in the SoDo District of Seattle, south of downtown, so that I can grab a little food and spend some more time reading or writing before my appointment to meet with Karna Leinbach with the D Squared company to discuss my career path with the service team as a service team leader at events.

I’m very much looking forward to the discussion since Karna brought up the potential position to me two days ago, on Wednesday. I certainly developed a quick appreciation for the lead server role during a catered event because it’s a crucial function to organize and manage resources to properly setup, conduct and pack away an event of the caliber that the Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes catering service provides. I witnessed some amazing work across the many leads I’ve worked with, ranging from the large events to the very small, more intimate on-site jobs. I believe that I would be well suited to lead and train other service team members.

Although, I certainly understand how it would be awkward a bit to lead the service team members who are older than me or are more experienced or have served for a longer duration within the company. This brings me right to the issue of me taking on this role while keeping the context of Caleb’s career in my thoughts.

Caleb Laberge, yes I’ve not broken the news to him yet that I would be training into the lead position and that’s gonna be quite the conversation between us. I know, though, that I have been doing a tremendous amount from my part to solidify the company’s trust in my abilities and potential. That’s been my goal ever since day 1 – to provide for the company, for the guests, for the end-client. And I enjoy, very much, working to satisfy the end user’s needs and delight them. That’s all that I’ve really wanted to accomplish in any job I’ve ever had. And so when we provide our services, it feels great knowing that I can have a direct influence there and witness the delivery of the experience (and it’s an emotional experience, of course) something that could go down in memory or would be remarkable for people – In whatever context that exists, I wanna be a part of that.

And what I do for Tall Town Design? This becomes the question over and over again: what is it that I do for Tall Town Design? I want a couple good clients at a time that I can serve their online marketing needs fully. Because I certainly like creating my own experiences.

Basically, i’m not finished up yet. Such as with B-Town’s BEST food and drink contest. It was a local dining establishment survey and sweepstakes. It’s great to put on. I like to look at the process that’s going to take on in connecting people.

I’m really patient with people, as long as they don’t show deliberate indifference. Because then they would be communicating to me that they really don’t care that I’m willing to work with them.

I think my greatest asset that I could provide for the D Squared team would really be in standardization obsession. It would really be in the analysis of our processes and where some opportunities lie and what is worth measuring.

I come from a very productivity focused background in manufacturing operations or sales territory management, account management and now within my own business, which is basically a freelancing business at the end of the day, I don’t want to grow it beyond that just because of the nature of the work. I feel like to standardize it would be to dismiss it of its humanity a little bit and so it works this way and I kinda understand the scale that i want to bring it to. At first, it was pretty grandiose in that I could really enable a lot of people to benefit from it. How can I serve every small town in America? You know. And I could, there is a way. But, it’s not necessarily the way I wanna do it. That spirit and that idea still exists and it’s given some attention and nurturing, but the level I’d have to go is pretty big and I’ll continue to play in that space for a while. But it’s not necessarily in the interests of my own, personal projects.

Anyways, I know how to go through this conversation with Karna today and everything should be well established for me to become a lead server and another reason why that’s particularly exiting is that this would be the first time I’ll ever routinely manage and be financially compensated for doing so. So that’s kind of a new thing that I would certainly be interested in. And we’ll see, yeah. I’m going to jack-in-the-box now.

Sans One Thing

An apple fritter rests on a white plate, surrounded by sliced banana circles. The plate is surrounded by a Christmas tinsel chain.
The QFC grocery promoted the celebration of National Fritter Day. So I bought this fritter from Sweeties Espresso in the Normandy Park Town Center which the barista/owner(?) told me was purchased from QFC’s stock that ultimate is sourced from Top Pot Doughnuts. #NationalFritterDay

Here we are once again ladies and gentleman, fabulous friends, and family (hopefully).

I am once again pulling the FrankenFocus out of my driveway at the Des Moines House, as I like to refer to it.

I’m making my way north and northeast of Seattle to the Windermere neighborhood, I guess it’s called. I’m serving at a small family and friends holiday party for a family, so we are bringing our catering service to a residence. Amy Reed will be leading today’s event. I will be serving along with Emmanuel Martinez, Aka Manny, who is riding the van with Amy from the Works to the venue and back on the return trip.

I’m officially working in the capacity of a lead in training and Manny is, I think, the most recent addition to the lead team. So, today’s event with Amy as our lead should prove valuable to us all, being in leadership positions amongst the service staff have tuxedos and tennis shoes catering events. I think the family’s last name was Plank and it also sounded like the wife, house mom, you know, woman of the house had an Indian name and that the husband’s family was of Jewish origin.

I actually specifically remember in the event notes I glance through last night that we were to tone down all of the traditional Christmas décor and thematic presence to this event due to the Jewish nature. I can expect to see a lot of big money tonight, considering that they hired us to do this event.

OK, so what else is new besides me starting so many sentences on my audio recordings with the words OK or So, followed by a comma.

I’m going to think for a minute.

I’ve been smoking a lot of weed the past couple weeks. Like, I’m pretty much high all day when I’m at home and while I prefer that indulgence over excessive alcohol consumption, I know it’s dragging me down in certain ways. For example, I really haven’t put forth much concentrated effort towards tall town design as a company and development, or towards its clients. And I’ve still been doing useful stuff to some capacity, but I’m not staying consistent in my pursuits. I am getting a little bit scatter-brained.

Compiling the records for grandpa’s notes into a medium of publication is a process that’s helped me to unveil some of these assorted efforts and analyze them along a greater timeline. For example, I think it was on Wednesday that I spoke about the use of an hourly allocation of stones or counters to visualize and plan where my efforts would be concentrated with the twelve hours of useful time I have each day.

Then, I pretty much stopped using that throughout the week. It was a great idea. It was useful to me and it was something I wanted to continue using to structure my life upon. But I just let it go and moved on to the next passing obsession. I’ve noticed this trend in myself since time immemorial. There’s a word there that I could probably look up and replace to correct what I just said. I think it’s probably Latin. Anyways, back to writing. I’ve always done this. My interests and my passions and interests have been frantic and fleeting and I still to this day have a hard time presenting a single area of mastery from my life’s work. And if I were to be asked if I could be the world’s most exceptional performer or authority on a single subject or be generally well versed and experienced across a variety of interests, I would think to choose the latter. Life as much richness in it and I believe it can be found anywhere given a discerning eye and an openness to experience an exploration.

I just don’t quite buy in to the idea that confining oneself to one subject through complete discipline and mastery is the best or the only true way towards massive success, as we would say. Truly, in a performance base skill or otherwise, to be the best you must out work and outsmart the rest. These aims create a highly competitive environment that demands that you do more and more and more towards the same goal throughout your life. You simply gotta outperform.

If I were to claim, as Connor might, that my single purpose was to become the greatest digital marketer that I could be, then I would have my course set before me and I would work a little every day towards that will never ultimately be attained. It would be a constant pursuit of perfection. And I think that’s great and fine, but I don’t just want that. In and of itself, it does not interest me.

Interesting is a word I often offer to notions I might enjoy, but not necessarily that I would commit to. What I really crave are memorable lessons and, while they absolutely are available to one who pursues a singular objective throughout life, I find that these memorable lessons are easy to find and span the wider breadth of human experience if one simply tries new things more often than being regimented in a single routine. Obviously, there’s a balance here and that is the caveat to both sides of this argument. But with balance, I believe a person strives for their preferred end of the spectrum and simply maintains the opposite in a sufficient enough manner so that they might relish their preferred orientation and derive the most enjoyment for themselves. But what do I know about this?

I’ve got nearly fifteen minutes down on my recording and I know that’s going to take quite a long time to transcribe through my keyboard. So I’ll end this and continue my journey northbound. Tomorrow, I hope to finish transferring all my notes on to the public grandpa’s notes website, then I may start the weekly cycle again. Thank you and God bless.

Joe Biden Spotted

An electronic monitor displays the daily schedule of events at Benaroya hall on the 3rd of December, 2017
I realized as I was about to head up the elevator through the Gerard Schwarz (?) artist’s entrance at Benaroya Hall that I was bartending for that founders room VIP reception. Yes, I popped a bottle of champagne while Biden made his grand entrance into the room.

On my way to Benaroya Hall to serve as a beer and wine bar tender at a Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes catered event in Benaroya Hall’s Founders Room. I will be working alongside Carl Henderson and my lead today is Missy Fox, I’m pretty sure at least. I’ve been compiling, or I should say, transcribing my recorded GRANDPA’s notes into the text-based digital format so that I can publish on my wordpress site. I’ve been doing this the past two days and the process has taken a few hours, thus far.

I would like for my total publication process time to be contained within about three or four hours per week . Using this format, I would record my own voice in audio for about five minutes each day, snap a picture on my phone that will be uploaded to my Google photos cloud storage account and then my input for the day’s records would be complete.

I would then have zero obligation in time to contribute towards GRANDPA’s notes until that one day a week when I process and provide data for the photos and then transcribe the spoken audio to text. So that’s what I’m going to do with grandpa’s notes going forward, I believe. I did come across a few methods for automatically transcribing recorded voice to text. But, I know that’s going to take me some time to properly configure and of course I can’t expect it to be a perfect technology for the solution I need. However, it could rapidly decreased the time I spend contributing to the grandpa’s notes project. I do see a lot of value in transcribing the notes myself from the audio playback; The process brings me back into those memories and moments. For this next week at least, I will continue with the transcription process myself. And now I will eat one more McChicken before I arrived for my shift. Goodbye.

Obligations Examined

I’m thinking of the different obligations, duties or promises I have in regards to others that I have on my plate right now because when I sleep in, like I did this morning, or need to do more personal errands, such as right now, me going to buy groceries and other supplies, I feel a bit of stress and the invisible force that is procrastination coming at me. So I wanted to take a minute to outline to whom and what I am indebted to serve. Yeah.

First and foremost, at the top of my list would be Mario Galliano of Galliano’s Cucina – Italian Restaurant and Catering.  He’s paid me 600 bucks and agreed to a three month term, with another six hundred each month. I, right off the bat in this first month, need to get him a new website. First and foremost that should be a new one pager to replace the current single page home page. The content is all there. I just need to put it in a new design that is mobile responsive and search friendly. Yeah.

Next on that list would would hopefully be our payroll (and these aren’t necessarily in any order). Next thing on the list would be Tall Town payroll set up.

I need to call labor and industries again and inquire as to why our L&I number and discount code or whatever it is might not yet be available. I’m curious as to why it’s been some time and we need that number to enable our payroll systems. I’d like to at least have a good estimate as to when I might be able to retrieve that number. I’m in search of a number of people!

Those are the two big ones, I think. Next and right up there is the new tall town website which I know only becomes slightly more important and more important by the day because our current site is so outdated and is not a respectable reflection of our work. So that needs updated.

Another client obligation that’s up there is the Center For Independence where things have kinda fallen off the radar. They’re ones who we need to get done. We just need to get done and work with Allie Weitze to get it together. It will probably be much more of a slap job than anything else.

So those are the big things that I believe if I attack and focus on more, I’ll have less guilt and stress wearing me down or wearing me thin, because that’s kind of the root of it. That’s like, I know I need to do these things. Yes. I also need to get my groceries, preps some healthy meals, go to yoga class. You know, there’s a million things pulling at me at any moment and they respect my compulsions and my promises, my work, my body, everything. So it’s all good. Let’s keep at it.

Spilt Sparkling Bev

Ok, I’m recording earlier than I expected to do today because I just spent a good ten minutes circling around the lots in the angle lake station parking garage, to no avail. I gave up the hunt after a particularly painful missed opportunity which was left for another commuter to claim. Arrgh.

So, as an alternative means of transport, I am driving myself in the Frankenfocus to downtown Seattle so that I can park at the Washington State Convention center and make it to my TnT shift on time and 3:30 PM in the ACT theater in some room. Buster’s, perhaps is the room or the area that we’ll be hosting the event in. I am certainly agitated that I was not able to claim my parking spot and ride the light rail so that I would have my time to focus instead on vocabulary and reading of my novel that I’ve had with me for a week or so. And now I do not have that luxury for I have to drive and occupy myself with the task of adhering to the rules of the road, which I’m doing now, speaking on a hands-free headset, recording this for you.

I really love vocabulary. I find that it’s fascinating. It offers much more variation in detail and texture or nuance to how we can engage and communicates thoughts and ideas to other people.

I’m coming across a wide assortment of tools that can help me to rehearse and to train new vocabulary into my repertoire and rehearse that which I’ve become accustomed to.

It was pretty cool that I could play a video game, Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition for the PC or Mac, and read through some of the dialogue, interact with content and that game and discover an assortment of new words. The language and vocabulary that it’s using in the game’s dialogue is very dense. There are many words which are completely new to me or else that I’m not very well acquainted with. So in doing that, I can leverage some value.

I want to learn more words and want to learn more words to describe people, which brings me to another idea I had, particularly when I was playing the game today and extracting words from it. The idea was that I can categorize these words I encounter into broader ideas and help to memorize them that way. For instance, some of these words are adjectives.

We have word types based on their grammatical use that are a helpful method of sorting, um, you know, there are the noun, verb, adjective and so forth. And I thought, well, some of these words, of course, let’s put those together. And then it would also be useful to group them in terms of what they can be applied to. Um, for instance, adjectives. That’s a good example, the descriptor words. There might be adjectives that generally describe a person. It’s their most common application. So you could describe a person as malevolent, wishing to bestow ill will upon people. Or they could be benevolent, which has a different meaning. Basically the opposite. But both are used to describe a person. Or a philanthropic. It’s hard to describe the dirt has philanthropic, but the students who is philanthropic, or the council member who is philanthropic. That makes a little more sense.

So I could basically say this person is “blank” and then group by that. You wouldn’t say a person is tact, you’d say he has tact. There are certain nouns which a person’s quality could possess, such as strong or honest. I’m not sure what all of the language constructs are. I’m pretty bad at understanding word types and, you know, some of those basic grammar principles. But, I can understand the concepts that are presented there. Um, nouns, you know, place nouns =ramparts, what was the other one, the Bailey of a castle. Those things. Or I can more visually imagine that and form a picture of those concrete nouns.

But for instance, if I was seeing a lot of these words together and say, Oh, this is an area of this city, the city ramparts or the city palisades (that naturally groups together quite well as well). So there is little value in sourcing the words from…. oh shit. hold on. Oh fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Why is my backpack wet there? I’m just imagining things. No, it definitely fucking reeks of greed apple and smells… Ah Fuck. I got my.. nooooo… i got my journal wet. I got all this shit wet. Why did things go to shit ever since I left home today. Things have gone to shit. Kinda been challenging. I mean, it’s still going to be usable, won’t really erase anything, but I definitely got it wet. Oh God. Okay, well that’s going up now. Oyy yoyy yoyy, just my luck. How did that leak? It’s so tight.

BECU Kent

The lower half of a young man’s body who is wearing winter clothing to stay warm indoors
We have no active central heating system in our Des Moines house (despite the noticeable air vent on the bathroom floor pictured here) so I resort to wearing thermal leggings, the thickest socks I can find, my down REI jacket and comfy running shoes.

Ok, I’m back in the FrankenFocus, driving back from The Works after a catering shift with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes at BECU in Kent. We did their holiday party, which was a Thanksgiving-like dinner at their office, and it went well. Abi Haggerty was my lead and I rode in on the van. OK, it’s about ten minutes until 5:00 PM. I’m driving southbound on highway 509 so I can go home, consume a THC infused piece of white chocolate, which may or may not also have a candy cane peppermint flavor added to it, because I’m a mixed bowl, you know, don’t know what you’re gonna get. I’m going to consume one of those, smoke some weed and generally have a pretty chill evening. In terms of everything that I’m going to do, I’m not one hundred percent sure yet. I’m citing that now as I speak. I don’t think I’m gonna go to yoga. I’ll go tomorrow morning. If I go tomorrow morning, i’ll be done and then back home, eat and just leave for my TNT at The Hall at Fauntleroy. We’re doing something, I think, for the West Seattle Food Bank. Oh No, I gotta go to The Works again tomorrow at 11:45 or 10:45am.

But yeah, everything’s looking good. Everything’s looking good. Tonight is a night of possibilities. I don’t know, doing laundry and washing all my black shit would be nice on my work clothes. It’d be nice because I’m going to be working so goddamn much and I have no black t-shirts laundered.

So between being super baked and you know, playing divinity original sin enhanced edition or reading or learning vocabulary or what have you, I should do at least one load of laundry. I should also replace my sheets and pillow case and make my bed and take care of all the clothes that are being placed into alternating piles – One on the bed, one on the nightstand table thing I have. I should probably actually put those away.

And traffic is kind of bad right now, so I’m going slow. I don’t want any beer tonight as I had six keystone lights last night. I just want to smoke and dig into words. It’s kind of funny thing, but I do: I want to dig into words. Find something there. Um. Not a whole lot to say. I did just pick up a shift today with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes to lead the holiday party for the Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes family and office workers and leads, so that should be fun. I think Abi was saying they expect about 80 people, which is a lot, including everybody that works in the office, their significant others and leads. It could be a good amount of people.

It was really nice riding in the van today with Abi. We just talked about weed and edibles and some coworkers of ours slash my roommates and her family siblings. That kind of thing was great. OK. What else was remarkable about today? I don’t know. Nothing crazy. I guess I’m gonna call it good. Bye.

 

A Coffee Moment

I’m riding into The Works to do a van catering server shift with Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes at The Hall at Fauntleroy for the West Seattle Food Bank. 138 guests expected. Dinner Buffet.

I was definitely going to go to yoga class this morning. I definitely had time to do so and slept sufficiently enough. I woke up at the appropriate time and then I said, “No, fuck it. I want to play a little bit of divinity original sin enhanced edition for the pc or Mac and go to my decently early catering shift.” That’s what I did. I played the game, drank coffee, made breakfast, got dressed, and now I’m driving to work. (sarcastically) What a glorious day this has been! But, it really has been a glorious day.

Tomorrow, I’m leading my first event in downtown Seattle at a venue I’m unfamiliar with for a client I know nothing about. I still want to do this because I just want to get a feeling for the permission to lead in a situation where I’ll go in with other people as resources to complete an objective and I will be formally recognized as an individual who can allocate those resources as needed. That’s the role I have going into this and that’s tomorrow. That’s really cool and I’m excited about it because for me it’s the first time in my life in a career where I will be given the authority to manage a team within a business organization.

People will be compensated for their time with us as they develop an aptitude for the job, for the tasks we ask of them to fulfill our mission. So that’s very cool. Again, I’m super stoked that in this short amount of time it’s like, “Wow”, I get to lead to crew. I get to lead a crew and the venue sounds really cool, the client sound really cool, an AIDS foundation, and I want it to be a smash as I think I can excel in this role for this company. I believe I can be tremendously effective in our delivery and fulfilment of services. So it’s great!

I have one other lead event scheduled on the eighteenth of December. That’s to serve, um, the D Squared company office holiday party, and as Abi mentioned to me yesterday, there should be about 80 guests, on the high end, that includes all the office team as well as the leads and their plus ones, so that could be quite a festive thing and I’m leading the service there, so I’ll be there but not really be there kind of thing, which will be fine. Either way. It’ll be a good thing.

Oh man, I really want to cut down on the smoking, the drinking, the caffeine, themasturbation and the oversleeping. These things on the scale of addicted to abstinent make me feel that I’m pretty addicted. I don’t like it. The other thing is getting on those good activities, man: The reading the yoga. The Yoga, Dude.

I’m paying 110 bucks a month for the ability to attend free classes of hot yoga with professionals and with experienced practitioners; Some of them are very hot women, very attractive women that I get to see in tight pants and sports bras, sweating and bending over and focused on their bodies as I am in my bod, mentally. But that’s where our attention is rested: in our bodies. We’re moving and sweating and producing heat together; Yet, I don’t go very often because I’m afraid of the time I’ll lose in going or that I’ll make my body too sore to perform well in other activities, even though I know the excuses are bullshit. It does take some time, but I have the time now. Anyways, I don’t want to go down that rant again.

There are things I want to do and things I want to stop doing, and I can say to myself, “OK, Here’s what I want, but I’m not able to do it.” These are the changes. This is what I wanted to do in my time – My life. My life is my time and I’m not fucking doing it. It’s like simple things like that. If I can remember the moment, I believe I would astound myself.

There was this small sliver of a moment today, after I prepared my first coffee using the Keurig and the Trader Joe’s-branded French roast brewing cups, or whatever they’re called, that are meant to replicate the K-pod Keurig brew cups and fit the slot available in the machines.

As I was preparing that, I just said, I’m going to just be here and drink this cup. And of course I was high, mind you. I was definitely high and I smoked three times maybe in that morning.

Colton, why don’t you use more emphasis in your voice? It’s so much more flavorful, delightful and dazzling to your communication partner. Yeah, no, I definitely need to.

Any hoobicans. As I was there, drinking that coffee and having a moment of rest, of presence, as a better way to say it, I started to remember – Mindfulness is often remembrance – that I was going to attend to the clogged drain in our dish washing machine. I didn’t do it today. I had brought up this intention last night with Connor. I had uttered, “I will look at it and attend to it. I will give it my energy. I have not given it my energy. I have not taken that time.

So, to make tomorrow great, I would need to wake up in time for a Bikram Yoga class at 9:30 a.m. with Nina Granatir. I would go to that class, engage and be there. Then once I’m done with that, I can be back home before 11 a.m. I’d need to leave by about 2:30, so I would have three and a half hours of time at home. I would need to eat and I would need to groom, I might poop and also shave, so let’s allocate two hours of available time. I would have two hours of time to relish. I could work, I could read, I could play a game – I could do anything I choose, deliberately. I could write or I could rehearse my leadership role for tomorrow. I could meditate for some time. I could do anything I want to do, you see?

So, what will I do? Will I be deliberate? Will I choose or will I default/react/suffer? It is almost a sense of suffering for me because I didn’t choose it. I, my higher, rational mind dictate things the way they ought to be, and they do not become so. Any power of my influence feels lost. It is lost to the resistance, the primate, the reptilian brain, the amygdala.

What will I choose, or can I choose? The goal is to be able to make a choice that is real. To make a choice become certain and real. Make it so!

1st Lead Catering Shift

Here in my car in front of The Works at Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes. I just got done with my first real Lead shift. I had Blayne Shamarin and Sarah Brady with me tonight on the crew. We were at Optimism Brewing serving the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and you know, it went well. Our client, Kevin Hockley (I think was his last name) was pleased. I didn’t get a real contact at Optimism Brewing, other than some of the bartenders themselves, but they were all cool and happy with us, I believe. I tried to make sure that I got them taken care of and hooked them up with some of the desserts we served: The lemon tartlets and the dark chocolate pecan tartlets. They are all cool.

It was a little bit of a stressful experience in the sense that I’ve never done an event like this. I know that all events are different, but it was kind of strange since we had to basically work out of the back of the van to get the food ready. It went very well. I think people were happy, as far as I can tell, and we’re good. We got one in the books for almost 7 hours at $30/hour tonight.

I’m on my way home so I can relax and enjoy a little bit of my Friday night. It was funny, because during our shift we really had nothing to do during the actual holiday party once the buffet was set. There was very little management necessary since the guests were also getting barbecue from a food truck outside Optimism. Our van was parked behind the food truck and thankfully we didn’t have to move it at all throughout the night because that’s where I had to make salads and where we prepped the fromage blanc on hazelnut bruschetta. We basically got away with not even having a staging area, which is weird but it all worked. Well hey, that’s all done and good and I’m glad that I got an awkward event and venue space. Everything about it was awkward, but it was okay and it all works.

Sarah, Blayne and I played some Sushi Go and some Scrabble in the meantime. I kicked some ass at Scrabble, but not as severely as I thought in-game. Toward the end I definitely demonstrated my tight Scrabble game while Blayne was really good at Sushi Go. So it was good. it was a fun little crew. Although, I did feel a little scatterbrained myself at times in leading them. I wasn’t super direct or swift with my dictation and my direction to them.

I focused a lot on being there around the clients, not too much, but just every so often I was there making sure that we got all of their needs met as well the needs of the bar staff. We returned their glassware when they needed it, put their compost away and did whatever they needed. We helped them get on top of a breakage that happened with one of our guests and their glass. Everything was good. I think I will enjoy this. With a little more practice, I’ll be in the full swing of things, especially if I drill with more standard events. That would be nice. But, the nature of the work itself lends or implies uncertainty, which is kind of great to have to deal with.

I just got to lead a team and experience their consent to follow my direction. And we pulled off a great little event for the paying customer and our venue hosts.

My servers tonight were pretty inexperienced relative to me, which is okay because this was such an obscure event. I’ll be happy to work with them again. It does sound like I’m not on another event to lead for a while (Most likely not until after New Year’s), but that’s okay.

I’m okay with going slow into more lead shifts as well as into more bartending roles, which I’ll finally be doing more of in these next few days. But after those, there’s not a whole lot and now I think that I’m going to be getting paid the same regardless of whether I’m a bartender or not, so I’m not that keen on doing it. I guess if I learned how to be a mixed tender, I’ll get paid a few more bucks an hour, so I’ll do that.

Well, I’m not going to say anymore. I want to finish my drive home and I’m about to get on Highway 509. I’ll get home and smoke some weed.

Optimize TnT

A bar service station is set inside a large event space with an assortment of classes and bottles set on a high table
The Beer and Wine service bar that Bryan Schenck and I operated in one of the University of Washington’s HUB ballrooms for UW Medication Radiation Oncology department’s Holiday party.

(Saying to roommates) Adios muchacho. Peace.

And we are now recording and walking to the car. Unlocking the car now. Opening the door now. Placing things down. Grabbing the handle and closing. Switching the ignition on.

I’m back and recording some Grandpa’s notes after a day of really just putting my mind toward Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes and how to make their lead server information more organized, accurate and useful. It’s gotta be useful! So yes, I’ve been just kind of rolling over how I can put together a sort of dashboard or a form system with an output that would be immensely useful. I want something that is useful for the event managers and everyone involved and I think it’s very possible. Just using something like Excel might suit us well if it was configured in such a way that would provide some really useful information. It could even be printed off and distributed physically.

I’m going to work on this project on the light rail today as I travel from the Angle Lake Station, the furthest station on the South of the line, all the way to the University of Washington station, which is the furthest station to the north. So, it will be a 50 minute or so total ride and I’m just going to pull out my notebook and scribble and plan this out a little bit more. I’ll also write an email to Karna to tip her off as to what my plans are with all of this and how I think it can help. This will be mentioned along with the ask that I be included in relevant conversations to some degree

So I’m just kind of milling over some of those ideas and getting them formed. The currently send us notes via staffmates or email, which could be the most detailed of all, but they have no formatting whatsoever, so it gets a little frustrating. I don’t know if HTML emails would be useful. If they had more of a design configuration to them, I think that would be useful for the service team since they just need the basics of the event, really. I think they just need the briefest and most useful info: Tell me how many guests were expecting; tell me the client’s name; what’s the event timeline? This is just really basic info. What kind of service we are doing? A buffet? Passed apps? Is there a bar? That really basic stuff that happens over and over again. We just need to get those into the hands of the people in a digestible manner, because frankly, they are not that digestible right now. It’s a chore to have to work these things out now. I feel that the benefit to all of this will be a more empowered staff. Imagine having amore empowered crew who understands what they’re getting into everyday. They have a little time to just mentally prepare themselves for the gig we’re taking on. We could provide more consistency across all the informational channels that we have. Tribal knowledge is not ideal. We’re going toward interconnectedness and away from tribal knowledge and this is the kind of development that’s necessary: To create more of a hive-minded environment. It sounds weird, but yeah.

And let’s make it very visual and at-a-glance type of information that gives people a feel for what they’re getting into. I think we’ll be more comfortable and prepared going in. I’ll let everyone go, find a parking spot and be on my merry way now.