If you have been following my musings on retirement and such (and why wouldn’t you?) you’ve noticed that I have yet to say much about my employer of 20 years, 5 months and 22 days. I could be petty and post a list of the things I disliked about the small college that employed me for many more years than I originally thought I could endure. Instead, I searched the memory banks and came up with a fond one….it was on a Friday night in February, I was working the PM shift in the Snack Shop and pub. It was a cold night even for February in Connecticut, the pub hadn’t opened yet and the workers were prepping for the inevitable evenings onslaught of hungry students in various stages of consciousness.
The radio was tuned to an oldies station, because I was the boss and I liked the oldies station. The crew once took a vote to decide what station everyone should listen to and presented it to me, I laughed “are you under the impression that this is a democracy? Wrong, this is a dictatorship and I am the dictator.” Thus, we listened to the oldies station, which on this particular evening was playing Don Mclean’s “Bye-Bye Miss American Pie” as I entered the kitchen. Liking the song, I began singing the chorus, I was joined by Toni at the prep table making pizzas, then Selin, a student worker from Turkey, who garnered a puzzled look from our other American student worker, to which Selin replied “what, I can’t know this song?” With that rebuff, the American student joined, then Mary at the grill piped up, then Roxie the cashier, then Karie on the oven, then the students ordering food and/or waiting for their order kicked in, then the students sitting at the tables and booths, literally everyone in the room was singing and when the final “drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry, and good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye, singing this will be the day that I diiiiie.” was finished, the students gave us and themselves a round of applause that Mr. Mclean himself would’ve appreciated.
The remainder of the evening/early morning went as usual, with drunken people staggering around, arguments in the bar about which CD should be playing (the bar is more of a democracy than the Snack Shop, music wise) a couple of ambulances taking the passed out cold, drifting into a coma students to the local hospital, finally closing, tired, sweaty and not looking forward to doing it all over again the next night. But for about five or so minutes of singing, laughing and clapping, it was the best job I ever had.