LT and I finally got around to celebrating our birthdays with our parents this weekend. Ten of us gathered at my brother's restaurant for some fantastic seasonal Northern Italian food. The winter menu includes a take on chicken Parmesan with homemade gnocci that was just awarded "Dinner Worth Driving To" by the Phantom Gourmet. It was quite lovely- we had homemade sausage, pumpkin arroncini, fregola salad and pickled fennel to start, then pasta with rock shrimp in a spicy tomato sauce, and goat cheese ravioli with pistachios and brown butter for the pasta course, then entrees of grilled flank steak, cripsed cod with cheesy polenta, and seared salmon atop Wellfleet clam chowder. Just as we were finishing our entrees, our friend Norman started to look a little gray. I asked him what was wrong, he muttered something about not being able to see properly, and then he was unconscious. There was a little commotion, then EMS arrived. He was arguing with them about whether or not he was going to the hospital when it happened again. His eyes rolled back in his head, and he was gone. When he came back to, he picked up the argument right where it had left off. Out the door and off to the hospital he went. There were some nice long pauses that they were able to capture on the monitor during the ride, so Norman is now the proud owner of a shiny new pacemaker.
I have emerged from survey-hell and am surprisingly alive to tell the tale. Eight months of unbelievable stress and pressure culminated with three days of "chatting" (what he called it) with an elderly gentleman from Kansas who was no more intimidating than my great Uncle Eddie (which is to say, not intimidating. At all.). At the exit conference this morning, he described me as "delightful and professional in the face of enormous challenges and pressure". I almost squeed out loud. Boss Man managed to avoid eye contact from across the table successfully, but he did drop a thank you note and a Dunkin Donuts gift card into my mailbox while I wasn't looking. But I'm not bitter. 8 months of verbal abuse and a complete lack of support or assistance from him can easily be made up for with a caramel swirl iced latte, so it's all good.
I am SO QUITTING THIS JOB on Monday. And I'm calling in sick on Friday.