Another week down...

Wow - we have been in Granville two months now. Sometimes it feels like two days, but sometimes it already feels like two years. We were in Columbus with our good friend Ed, who visited from Atlanta, and we ran into someone we know on the bustling N. High Street during the Art Crawl. We have been here long enough to run into friends in a city 25 miles away. I guess that's saying something.

I am fully "trained" on the workings of the bar at the Inn now. This week will mark my first evening working the bar - alone - albeit the lesser busy upstairs bar servicing the restaurant rather than the Tavern downstairs. I have finally learned the ropes as a server at a fine dining establishment. It has taken several screw ups, but I think I have it down now. Of course, I say that and later this week I will surely make the biggest error I have yet. One thing I have to say about this job is that it is hard work. In my ranks as server, I work with folks who have this as their only job - they work it full time, and it has to pay the bills. Making $3.15 an hour plus tips is a rough way to make a living. Even though people are still eating out, they are a bit less free with the tip. We are often lucky to pull 15% across the board when we settle out our numbers for the evening. I work with college students struggling to pay their living expenses and their tuition bills. I work with single moms who have two or more jobs, just trying to make ends meet. It's humbling to hear the stories of your co-workers. The mom with the autistic son. The single mom who found love with another of the servers. He's about to graduate and is full of promise. The Inn is a great place to be. I am enjoying it a lot. I don't get butterflies when I take a table anymore.

The consulting gig is also going well. I got feedback last week that they really like the work I have done so far. In fact, the company president said I "have a knack for the work." Fantastic. Hopefully a few more of these larger contracts come though and I could possibly have a full time gig as a consultant in a matter of months. My plan is to stay at the Inn at least through the holidays. It will slow there in January and February when the snow starts to pile up and people stay in for the evening. But I like the work - it keeps me busy and it sure does keep one's mind sharp. I've also stopped running completely. Who knows how many miles I clock on my feet during a 5 hour dinner shift. I'm too beat to walk upstairs when I get home, let alone strap on my running shoes and pound out 4 miles.

This weekend is a small break. Planned since late summer, we are having a Duke Poli Sci reunion of sorts at Put-in-Bay in Ohio. We've rented out an entire Inn and will reunite our group of friends that provided so much love, support and beer during our Duke days. I think we have a group of 8 or 10 coming together for two days of talking, drinking, napping - and probably Rock Band, too. After our visit to Toronto for APSA, it rejuvenated me to see our buddies. I am guessing that this weekend will do the same.

So stay put - I'll be back next week to recap our "Big Chill" adventure.

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