Saturday, August 21, 2010

Embracing Change

"A little integrity is better than any career."
-Ralph Waldo Emmerson

I was a banquet captain for several years, and it was probably the best suited I was to any of the work I've done. I enjoyed being the contact point between clients, waiters, management, sales, kitchen and housemen. I was a "working" captain, too, so I was part of the wait and bar staff and I think that made the connection we had as a team even stronger. Until Russell came along.

Russell was always complaining about something. If it meant being asked to French serve rolls or not liking a more complicated napkin fold, he'd bitch and get the rest of the staff wound up, blaming me for making too much work. Didn't matter that we had the time and the cost of the meal demanded something extra; he resented me being the one who suggested it. He spent a lot of time sucking up to the new banquet manager, gossiping and telling jokes and she was completely enamored of him. I knew what he said behind her back, and that he was just brown-nosing, and I heard from my staff that he liked to find fault with the schedules I made or how a room was diagrammed, but I didn't know until later that he wanted my job.

To this day, I'm not certain if it was Russell's suggestion, or the banquet manager thought of it herself, but one afternoon she told me that the hotel would like to "promote" me to Banquet Supervisor on a salary because they were phasing out my position. It would have meant a substantial cut in pay and I would no longer be part of the wait and bar staff. I said I didn't want the job and resigned, so Russell stepped up to the plate. At least I had the satisfaction of hearing about how miserably he failed - and how hard he worked (that was the best part!) He'd always thought it was so easy to hold it all together with the different departments, but he turned out to be a much better critic than a performer. He lasted about four months.

It sucked to leave the job on a sour note but the important thing was leaving. I was in a no-win situation, and it was time to get out. No use holding on to how good the job had been. We accept the things we can't change and change what we can (if it needs changing). I've dealt with a couple of Russell-types in my life, but my answer is always to just walk away. The truth comes out eventually, and there's some redemption in that. In the meantime, there's no sense flogging a dead horse.


  1. We've all had the "Russell-types" working for us at one time or another.
    If you haven't done so already, please check out my blog for banquet managers:
    So You Want To Be a Banquet Manager

  2. Seems as tho u came out the better person..U could have stooped to his level and called him out on it.. Just from reading this, anyone could tell Russell was the one to get u moved up or out ...whatever the case I am sure the new position helped your resume.