Leaving work, I know I have to go somewhere. Not home, not to the bar, not yet. I need to talk, it needs to be someone in this business, and really there are only a few people who will do. Two are too close to the problem, one is unavailable, so that leaves Richard.
I find him in his usual spot, lost in the banquet at Le Bistro, an open bottle of red on the table in front of him. The small Frenchman waves me over, past an eight top of business types, and offers me a glass of his wine. We make the usual small talk about how business is, how this one is doing, how that one is, how the hell is that one still open? before I get to vent. He listens, nods and says, "Edeek, I'd rather be asshole than stupid."
He's right of course, I can be every one's buddy and be taken advantage of now and then and just live with it, or I can be an asshole until the problem is fixed.
Donica and Hillary soon join us and we start another bottle of wine, soon they are talking about their own problems and I realize what I'd already known; we are all in the same boat. Not all of us will survive the trip, but I am not alone.
15 hours ago