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Just Another Day

2009-02-04 - 9:39 a.m.

No post yesterday. Yes, it was indeed my birthday. I am now officially 43 years old.

So how was it? It was just another day.

Except, it wasn't.


I must give you some background, first.

Last November, the owners of Camelot sent a guy out to "observe". This guy - let's call him "Walter" - was a manager of a company water park whose lease had expired, and had worked closely with one of the owners - we'll call him "Gary" - for several years.

So he was sent to us. To "observe".

By December, the rumors had started. He was going to replace the general manager (whom we all trust and respect). He was going to fire us all. He was going to close our location down. And so on and so forth.

There was a major climate of fear throughout December and January. Despite reassurances - from the GM and myself - that if they wanted to fire people they'd just DO IT, there was a lot of suspicion and dislike directed towards Walter and the corporate guys in general.

Then on January 27, we got the news - Gary was coming in to have a company meeting with all the employees. Attendance was mandatory.

And nobody knew what the meeting was about. Gary wasn't telling ANYONE, not even Walter or the GM.

Panic. Widespread.

This was unprecedented. In all the years I've worked for this company, we've had one company meeting - and that was when they announced the 401(k) program. That meeting was held by the company comptroller, not an owner.

When was this meeting to be held? February 3. My birthday.

I have to admit, I panicked too. Even though I've known all the brothers who run the company ("Gary", "John", "Jeff", and "Skip") and I get along with them very well, I became seriously concerned for my job.

So I held on tight. And hoped.


Slowwwwwly, my birthday rolled around. Brin and I got up early and had breakfast at the River Belle in Disneyland.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've seen the get-into-Disneyland-free-on-your-birthday promo. Well, if you have an annual pass like Brin and I do, there are other options. One of those is a gift card worth the value of a 1 Day/1 Park ticket, which at the time of this writing is $69. There are a few limits to it - can't use it for food, for example - but otherwise it's $69 worth of stuff. That's what I chose.

We then came home and watched more Dr. Syn before I went to work.


I started at 2pm. The meeting was at 5pm.

Prior to the meeting, there were some discussions about maintenance and lasertag stuff. Gary was there, along with Walter, the GM, and the comptroller. The tone of the meeting was friendly, and helped allay my fears and nervousness as to what was coming.

At one point, I explained to Gary in detail about some of the lasertag work I'd done and how the lasertag company was updating their equipment. The GM turned to Gary and said, "THAT'S why Dave is in charge of lasertag!" That also helped let some of the pressure off.


Then, the meeting.

Gary isn't a thunder-and-lightning kind of guy. He spoke calmly and politely to everyone. The gist of it was how to help increase profitability.

The big announcement - we were going to be implementing daycare.

He also announced that Walter was going to be part of the management team at Camelot - and since Walter answered to Gary, Walter would be above our GM in the hierarchy.

No closure. No mass firings. No firings at all.

Relief. Widespread.


There were some private grumblings about Walter's installation, but as far as I'm concerned if he treats us respectfully, we should treat him respectfully...and not just because he answers to Gary.

I have my own ideas about how Walter can earn the employees' respect and trust. I'll share them with Walter if he asks.

But for now, we've got a new layer of management.

And we're all still employed.


So it turned out to be...just another day.

Except it wasn't.


Be seeing you.


1 comments so far

artgnome - 2009-02-04 18:13:43 -
Happy Birthday, Dave. I hope it's a great new year for you.


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