March 26, 2007

Back For Good?

Well, at least until Las Vegas at the end of April. At least I get to go with a cohort. She doesn't know this yet, but I may drag her to the Luxor to do some Criss Angel stalking. I caught a marathon while flying back from Miami and I'm hooked. He's hot.

But for now, at least for a month, I'm back. I flew to Columbus, OH for the day yesterday, which is something I don't often have to do for my job. I know there are account exec's and Corporate America upwardly-mobile people who do that all the time, but I'd kind of rather stay in a town and settle in a bit. But I've actually been to Columbus before, visiting my sister, and I can't say I'm dying to spend a lot more time there.

We actually had to go to nearby suburb Dublin, OH - home of Wendy's and Dave Thomas. Dublin appears to be a cute, shamrock-speckled town, with little shops and restaurants surrounded by the strip malls and family dining establishments that completely dominate the Columbus area. After our meeting (at Wendy's corporate office, of course), we stopped into the non-chain Jason's Restaurant & Bar, where I had great lettuce wraps and a salmon and asparagus salad. Was it really local flavor? I don't know, we were the only ones there - it seemed maybe too sophisticated for the surroundings. But for a couple of New Yorkers, it was perfect.

The Wendy's offices literally had the scent of square burgers lingering in the air. The conference room had a huge drive-thru menu against the back wall. The kitchen had a soda fountain, with their trademark yellow paper cups, of course. I kept hoping for free fries but no luck.

Even the ladies' room was unmistakably "Wendy's." I felt like I was in one of their restaurants. Even the soap dispenser reminded me where I was.

I haven't eaten in a Wendy's in a while but I actually worked at one for five days in 1993. It was my first job out of high school (my parents wouldn't let me work during high school) and I was the Superbar girl. I liked making the garlic bread but I often burned it, and I would always forget about the tortillas which would get dry and crumbly if left out too long. A lot of the job was stirring and scraping - the salad dressing containers, the alfredo sauce... And then sometimes I would have to sweep up the fries that had been mashed into the carpet in the dining room, and even worse was cleaning the restrooms. No wonder I felt anxious when I saw that soap dispenser yesterday.

I eventually had to quit my Wendy's job because my OCD mom couldn't handle me coming home every day smelling like chili. For those five days I practically lived in the bathtub. But, it turned out for the best because it led me to working in clothing retail, which led me to music retail, which led me to my career in the music industry, which led me back to Wendy's. Funny how things work.

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