Emails from Ex-Employees

So, I just got a wonderful Facebook message (below in blue) from an ex-employee and it made me tear up in such a bittersweet way… after all this time, to get such a sweet email… It made my heart swell with gratitude and ache with desire to be in the working world again ~ interacting with people, mentoring, doing what I love.

Then it dawned on me that I have an old work email address and I had set it so employees’ emails filtered into a separate folder. I checked and found the other messages below from over the past year (names etc. edited out to protect privacy). I am blown away. I showed these to my husband and we both got weepy. I cared so deeply about every single person, in every restaurant. I wanted the General Managers to succeed and love their jobs. I miss the incredible high of opening a restaurant as part of a team and having those bonds that come from sharing 70-hour work weeks to get the job done. I miss the late-night, blurry-eyed laughter, the constant learning, the opportunity to train and teach. I miss contributing to the world! I wanted to share with you all how great some of the people were at my old company and how warm and fuzzy (and sniffily) I am feeling right now. 🙂

“Heeey!! I was JUST talking about you last night… I was asking B. how you were ?? I was also telling B. that I name drop your name a lot at work!! Haha. I’m always like, “if [Elizabeth Milo] was here, this crap wouldn’t be happening!!” Haha. You really were our rock!!! … I just never really had the chance to tell you how much of a positive influence you were to me:) I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to have you as a mentor, friend, boss. So, thank you!!! Hope all is wonderful in your world:))”

“How are you?? … I’m not sure why I don’t see you around anymore but I hope all is well with you! Miss you lots. Again, hope all is well. Cheers! :)”

“Just doing invoices and you popped into my head. Weird, huh. I still measure myself to the “[Elizabeth],” standard you set. Thank you for keeping the bar high. I think of you often and appreciate all that you did to put me in a position to succeed. I know there was a time when you may have been my only fan and you stood tall for me despite your itty bitty self. It will always be appreciated. I hope to see that smiley face soon. Holler if you ever need me for anything. I owe you.”

“Hello my queen, … Really miss you and think of you often, hoping your energy is coming back to you. Some really delicious food by Chef P. just might help with some of that. Love you lots!”

“I am so glad that I was able to work with you as my boss for so long, I feel privileged that I got more time with you than most of the other GM’s 🙂 You are honestly one of the main if not the biggest reason I have stayed with this company for so long. I think it’s really important to have a boss that you can trust, get along with and who really knows your position so that they can guide you in the right direction and you always did that for me. I really appreciated that you had a bond with my staff as well as myself and I know it meant a lot to them as well. I know that you have gone to bat for me a time or two and you have always given me honest feedback. There are 3 bosses that have really truly made an impact on me in my working career of 15 years and you are one of them. I can’t say [things are] the same since you took sabbatical… I do, however, feel confident in my tenure and the skills that I have learned along the way. Thank you for being such an awesome boss, resource, confidant and friend. You definitely had a major hand in shaping this company and I thank you for believing in me…. I hope that you are able to relax and have some real “me time”, you deserve it.”

bugs beating heart

It’s Cinco de Mayo and I’m not stressed out.

The biggest day of the year for the restaurant company for which I used to work is Cinco de Mayo. When I was a server, it was a gruelling 12-hour, non-stop day during which I would take about 50 times the number of steps I do now in a 24-hour period. The restaurant was new, busy and understaffed. It was exhausting and exhilarating, great money and unforgettable camaraderie. When I was a general manager, it was more stressful and the tips were replaced by a sense of accomplishment. As a regional manager, the amount of work rivaled that of a new restaurant opening. I tried to be the conductor and the first violin at once, as well as the advertising, PR and marketing director. We planned for months in advance: budgets, entertainment, products, staffing… Once I was the COO, things were easier. I oversaw the managers’ work and didn’t have to be there late into the night. Today is the first May 5th since 2003 that I haven’t been focused on festivities and maximizing sales. Ten years. Although, I desperately miss working, I will celebrate this relaxing May Sunday as a silver lining to my situation.