Friday, February 2, 2024

2024: Tony, Wine, & More

Welcome to 2024! 

Back in 2022, I mentioned I got a new part-time job at Whole Foods.  Well, sayonara, Whole Foods!

I quit back in October, shortly after passing my sommelier exam.  This coincided with my hours getting violently slashed.  As much fun as I had (I make my own fun), I felt increasingly underappreciated and undervalued there, especially when new part-timers were being hired even as my hours were being cut.  It felt like they were pushing me out, and I was more than happy to make room.

One of the things I got out of 2023 was that all of my most valuable experiences were travel opportunities.  Travel ain't cheap.

So after I quit, I took a month off and then began a job search.  I almost, almost, became a tour guide at Alcatraz, but opted instead to join Total Wine and More, which felt like it would really fit my current vibes.

And so far... it has!

It was a huge financial raise from Whole Foods.  While the commute is much longer, it's well worth it.  I knew I was in the right place when my first day involved signing paperwork and then attending a wine tasting.

For the last three weeks, I've been working with a team of other new hires to get the new Corte Madera store in proper working order.  (The Venn diagram of sommelier certification and forklift certification is just a circle, it turns out.)  It's been rewarding physical labor combined with the satisfaction of seeing everything coming together into a very well-organized and attractive little store.  (Plus, I got to do the signage!)

I feel like I'm really in my element, being surrounded by wine and people who love it.  All of my coworkers are fun to be around and they're a breath of fresh air; Whole Foods employees always seemed rather depressed, whereas the Total Wine team seems genuinely enthused to be there.

The whole putting-together-a-new-store endeavor came to a crescendo with a big grand opening party.  I have always wanted to see a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and I did, completed with Big Gold Scissor Action!  

I'm hopeful this is a job I can stick with a bit longer than I did with Whole Foods.  I know I'm still a bit in my honeymoon period, because the job is so new, but overall I just have a very good feeling about this.

I'm looking forward to the new year.  One of my major plans involves going to England in September to attend my writing partner's wedding.  Me and Imo have known each other about ten years digitally, as writers, and we're both really excited to meet in person!  

Other plans include a return to Labyrinth of Jareth (this time with my little sister Kellen), more SCA wars, and viewing the total solar eclipse in Ohio this April!  This job will help offset those travel expenses.

Onward to 2024!

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