Ignorantly convinced that I could ‘change’ my partners, by slowly and subtley impressing upon them the values of fair dealings, honesty, and integrity, I pressed ahead.
Nobly, they stuck to their guns, resolute in a stubborn resolve to prove that the path of short term gain could perform better under the daily stress of the restaurant business. I was outnumbered by one, and their track record with the coke-snorting broker crowd trumped any cachet my Kitsilano hipster following when it came to spending.
Soon, I found myself fighting a two front war armed only with the best intentions and a moral indignation, like bringing a spoon to a gunfight. The only real weapon I had was the fact I was willing to outwork the two of them, thus, keeping myself useful, and relevant.
What i really needed was a champion.
We agreed on very few things, but one of the those very few things was our chef. Andrey Durbach had just returned from Europe after closing his own critically acclaimed restaurant in town a couple years before. Durbach’s cooking style was rustic to a fault, overflowing with flavour, and dripping in integrity. He was the absolute worst possible fit with our team, psychologically, but was luckily blind to that when we brought him on board.
I had found my champion, and would soon send him in to battle.
I knew Andrey had the mental fortitude for epic battles when we engaged in a four hour debate on coffee. It travelled to three different venues, never skipping a beat, picking up followers as it progressed. It reminded me of ‘The Quiet Man’, or for those not so cinematically versed, the chicken fight in Family Guy. Either way, neither of us were wrong, but I’m pretty sure neither of us were right either.
That, however, was beside the point, as it usually is in debates as asinine and semantic as this one.
Durbach had the passion, the punch, and the ability to outlast his opponents, just with sheer will, on any topic he felt deserved his righteous support. With Durbach in place, we could even the odds, turn this into something bigger than all of us, and do so with integrity. In my mind’s eye, I saw my little red balloon, somewhat worse for wear, bobbing it’s way slowly back home.
Soon, we would be united again…