There are benefits that come with good (read: high-paying) jobs. Usually, the higher-paying the job, the better the bennies. Not usually, higher.
I was fortunate in my chef career to have befriended and worked for several very rich people.
Diamond Danny owned forty-seven restaurants around the globe, and all of them were in coastal communities. He traveled up and down the Pacific coast as he had restaurants spanning from Acapulco to Seattle and dropping in on his General Managers and Executive Chefs by boat was his thing.
I thought he was great, because I never had any issues with my numbers: my sales were always strong (go figure, a beautiful restaurant carved out of a cliff overlooking the magnificent Pacific Ocean). I never had any labor issues for several reasons: Chief of which I was the only manager/supervisor who spoke Spanish except for my entire kitchen crew.
When Danny called, he would arrange for me to meet him dockside. A couple times we just sat on the boat as he restocked and refueled for his next stop. We would just shoot the breeze about who our hottest waitresses and female bartenders were. He was also a big Harvard Crimson football fan.
He told me that he trusted me and that was good enough for him to turn over the reigns of the restaurant to me.
Now, I love movies about vengeance and this was The Perfect Storm.
That little fucking idiot Tavo was a tyrant as the interim General Manager. He thought he was quite the balls as he peacocked his way through the well-appointed dining room. He made sure to try and fuck me over any chance he could and I made sure I made sure he appeared like a horse’s ass in front of the entire staff every time he tried.
He would fume about why his Ivy League boys were never in the conversation for the College Football National Championship.
We would then make it downstairs to his relaxation room where he would talk football and drink boutique Vodkas until I left for home.
There were gifts like a three-week trip to Spain that he sent me on when I told him I wanted to plate an authentic paella in our restaurant.
Luxury box tickets for the Dodgers and Lakers.
But being named the GM was the coup de grace; I was so tempted to return to the restaurant, but Tavo’s demotion would have to wait until tomorrow.
Danny told me that I would get BOTH salaries which gave me so much more money to waste on blonde girls and Medellin’s finest.
I asked Danny on the occasion that he was giving me a bountiful bonus check for Christmas.
“Why did you give me that promotion?”
He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I can tell that you hate to lose.”
Two years later, Danny was getting out of the restaurant business which is a nice euphemism for “BUSTED.”
He actually took the time to send me a note telling me to Keep on Cookin.’