I WAS (SELF) DEMOTED TODAY.

I stepped down as GM and into the role of lead bartender.
  1. I was hired to be the "crown princess."
    Specifically, to oversee liquor/beer selection and ordering for 8-10 bars in the greater LA area (plus one in Maui). I was being groomed as essentially a "junior partner." Going to events, meeting highly placed people, putting my face out there as the heir apparent to one of the most respected, prolific names in the LA bar/beer scene.
  2. In the interim, I was assistant managing a new bar.
    I had flexibility to split my time doing both jobs, as my responsibilities were shared with the bar manager (who originally found/hired me, and quickly became my partner and support system).
  3. I was blissfully happy.
    Working 7 days a week, but loving every minute of time spent with my boss. Tasting gin, attending events, making connections. I felt momentum and a tremendous amount of pride.
  4. Until - "I'm going to say something you're not going to like."
    Uh oh.
  5. "I'm sending you to Pasadena to be the GM at Der Wolf."
    I understood his reasons and his need. But I hated it and I wanted to cry. My counterpart in Encino and I yelled and screamed and lamented and whined, but ultimately, there was nothing to be done.
  6. So I went.
    I was miserable.
  7. I made the best of it,
    Met some great regulars and connected with the staff and the artist who was painting murals on the walls of our downstairs bar. They were encouraging and made me believe that I could take this on and solve the massive tangle of this place.
  8. For awhile, I kicked ass.
    Oktoberfest was HUGE for us: 5 weekends, 5 different breweries, games, bands, the works. It was awesome.
  9. Then, I got overwhelmed.
    And in one fell swoop, he took from me every responsibility I once had for the group. Ordering, selecting, making deals, going out with him, everything. Gone. I was solely responsible for this bar, and only this bar.
  10. And he hired some twatty, dickish (had to rep both genitalia there!) kid to assist him with administrative operations for the group.
    True, he was doing different work than I had been, but it stung. It stung a lot.
  11. I was sick for awhile.
    Scary sick. But I'm fine now. I only told the owners because... Well whatever, lots of reasons.
  12. Everyone made a point of checking in on me, and helping to pick up slack.
  13. Except him.
    And we were friends. We had developed a really close and wonderful relationship over the past year.
  14. There was a rift in the partnership.
  15. He stopped talking to me.
    Except to tell me what I'm doing wrong ("but take care of your health first, but then be here 6 days a week, but then why aren't you taking shots with us??")
  16. It seemed like he was talking to everyone else.
    Almost as though we had a falling out that I wasn't aware of.
  17. It really hurt.
  18. I started letting things slip.
    I'd never once questioned my job performance before all of this started.
  19. My anxiety returned after years of remaining dormant.
    Accompanied by mild panic attacks and a tightening in my chest whenever I saw his name pop up on my phone.
  20. Saturday night, all hell broke loose.
    Our "jack of all trades" was abused one too many times for something he wasn't responsible for, and said "fuck it. I'm out."
  21. I walked into a nightmare.
    Sound system torn apart. Took three hours to fix. The one person who would have been able to help me was never coming back. The rift between two of the owners was widening.
  22. So once I fixed the problem, I sat down at the bar and had a fucking daiquiri.
  23. Our old bar manager was visiting, so he, our current lead bartender (who just put in his two weeks), and I started commiserating.
  24. I had a realization: I wasn't doing the job I was originally hired to do. I'd been sent away and seemingly forgotten.
    I didn't want to be a GM, I never wanted to be a GM.
  25. I missed my old bar.
    I missed having support (and not being the only one with any authority). I missed doing the job I was promised. I had been a rock star, on top of the world.
  26. I was miserable.
  27. Then lightning struck: I don't have to do this.
  28. I'm unhappy and he's obviously unhappy with me.
    Even though he hadn't come out and said it.
  29. With the lead leaving, there would be three open shifts. I already know how to close, do inventory, be a shift manager.
  30. I talked to my parents, my brother, a handful of friends, the bar manager at my old place, and my therapist.
    Everyone was supportive. Everyone wished me luck.
  31. This morning, I walked into the lion's den.
    It was the first time we had actually laid eyes on each other in over three weeks.
  32. I told him there was a problem, and promptly laid out a solution.
  33. I held my breath.
  34. And he completely understood.
    He could see how unhappy I was, how unprepared, and how unfair he'd been tossing me into a mess of a situation with very little experience. He understood my disappointment at being pushed out of the job I'd been hired to do.
  35. He didn't exactly offer that job back,
    And I don't know if he will. Although he should. He can't continue to do it all alone, and (by his admission) I'd been doing a really great job.
  36. But he will facilitate my quick and smooth transition from GM to bartender.
  37. I feel 50 pounds lighter.
  38. PLUS!!
  39. Now I will have the mental/emotional bandwidth to focus on what really matters:
  40. OPENING. MY. OWN. BAR.
  41. 2016: YEAR OF THE TRUMBO.
  42. 💙