Professional Animals

Running a business is tricky on a lot of levels.  One of the hardest parts of running my restaurant is acting professional with my colleagues and customers.

Being dignified was never my forte.

Just the same, I go to work, knowing that I need to comport myself professionally, not only to get jobs done, but also to create a stable environment of respect. Our crew knows we need to take work seriously enough to keep our business viable, as well as keep our jobs secure.

And most days, we pull it off.

Anyway, for the past two weeks, my restaurant team and I have been planning a fundraiser with the staff from a local farm.  This collaborative farm dinner was to be a bit upscale: high ticket prices, rented table linens, the works.

The whole event took place on Saturday night at the farm, and there were very few hitches.  All that professionalism and planning really paid off. The venue was beautiful.  The music was wonderful.  The food was great, and so were the drinks.

In fact, the drinks were a little too great.

After a couple glasses of wine, I was feeling no pain.  The crew and I were sitting on the balcony of a farmhouse reflecting on a good night.  And then the full moon started to rise out of the horizon on the field.  I shouted, "OH!  The MOON!" And my staff and I started to run out to see it.

Then I hesitated.  I thought, "What if the staff from the farm see us being goofballs, sprinting through the brush to see the moon?" Just as I was thinking it, I turned behind me to see the staff from the farm sprinting right behind us.  In fact, they led us to a rickety horse trailer in the middle of the field where we could get a better view.  We sat with them on the trailer for awhile, then they encouraged us to try jumping from hay bale to hay bale in the moonlight.

Which we did with pleasure. We even yipped like coyotes. It was an invigorating and unforgettable night.

Reader, the moral of my week is this: at the end of the day, we are animals.  Nothing more than pack of wild things trying to make sense of the world. Of course it's respectable that we can act professionally and diplomatically: we accomplish great things this way.  But it's also respectable to cut loose: we can find tremendous comradery and solidarity with each other when we give ourselves permission be the simple, vulnerable creatures that we are.  

I hope you have a nice week.  Let's keep remembering that--as important as our routines, parameters, and professionalism all are--it's not wrong to offset them with freewheeling, carefree, animalistic moments.  May you yip like a coyote at least once this week.  See you next Monday. -Em 

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