I got a letter (a real letter, written and delivered by hand) from Max Wolod, the manager who preceded me at Xoco. Max was my manager for most of the year that I was a Xoco server. He kept the standards high and earned my respect. When he decided to leave to open Parson’s (and create their famous Negroni slushy!) Max set me up for success in my first management job with excellent training and resources, and for 2 years has been just a phone call away whenever I need help.
I tried to read the letter when it first arrived, but I was too tired and it was too much. I had to ride in to work because it was the lunch rush at Xoco. I put the letter down. Etta screeched, “Are you going to finish reading that letter?! Are you crying?! You’re a baby!!!” I had already been on a little bit of an emotional rollercoaster, the first work week of the new year, my ChowNow testimonial was up, we changed the menu… it wasn’t easy.
Max (in part) wrote, “I want to thank you sincerely and without a hint of my normal trademark cynicism for always taking care of me and my family so generously at Xoco. I’m tremendously proud of what you do for Bayless and I hope you know how impressive and genuine your work really is. Sometimes it seems like you doubt yourself or your abilities, but dude, you are a bad-fuckin’-ass restaurant manager and hospitality pro, working for a badass company, doing creative and cool things.”
It’s hard for me to take a compliment, especially from someone I know and respect so highly. I don’t think Max knew this letter would arrive three days before I turned 32. This letter was a great gift and a benediction for 2015. Thank you Max!