Remembering Better Times
(Pictures for this review taken with my Canon PowerShot SD800is.
This post is dedicated to all of my former coworkers.)
I was laid off today.
Not just me. Everyone. My friends, my coworkers, my comrades in arms. Even the very first amongst us. Five years of blood and toil gone in a heartbeat. The doors have closed. Game over. Elvis has left the building.
(The Lobby Bar at the Hyatt Regency Long Beach.)
There were six of us, at first, working out of a tiny converted warehouse in a bad neighborhood. The detailing shop next door filled the air with a sickly stench that gave us headaches and made if difficult to breathe. We left the loading door in the back rolled all the way up during the day, even when the summer heat turned our little concrete cinder block into an oven. Late at night, crack heads smoked out in the parking lot behind the warehouse. It was always a good idea to get out before dark.
(Whisky and Coke)
It was difficult making ends meet with wages that an In-N-Out worker would have scoffed at. But, we were young, hungry, and we had a dream. We thought we were going to change the world. Sometimes, the wind would come in from the ocean, replacing the paint fume miasma with the clean scent of salt laced with perfume from a nearby florist. On those days we breathed deeply and hoped.
As poor as we were, life was sweet back then. Most of us were fresh out of college. For all of our skill, we were still wet behind the ears. We thought we could make the impossible possible. For a time, we did.
(California Cheese Platter)
If took years, but we kept at it. The company and our product grew together. We expanded, filling the warehouse to bursting. Our application drew eyes, caught attention, and took off.
(Charcuterie & Antipasto)
We thought we'd made it. A 15th story penthouse office in Huntington Beach. Over 70 employees on three continents. Publicly traded stock and enough money to finally kick our software development into high gear. We were still horribly underpaid, but at least we weren't living off of instant ramen anymore.
(Steamed Pork Dumplings)
Life was good for a while. Yet our success drew parasites. Businessmen. Accountants. Marketing Gurus. Investor Relations Flacks. Full of promises, they all proved wispy and insubstantial. They took our money, wasted even more of it, and gave us nothing. In the end, now that we're all gone, a few of them still remain. Jackals circling the carcass of a dream they helped bring down.
But, there are things the carrion eaters can't ravage or violate, however many shreds of meat they tear from our company's once proud bones. Hidden truths that extend beyond the dross they so covet. Memories of friendship and camaraderie; of hills taken and of battles won. The mingled smells of salt, flowers, and hope.
Thank you, my friends. Thank you. It's been an honor and a privilege.
The Lobby Bar (Hyatt Regency Long Beach) - Decent food, good drinks, and the price isn't bad. Both the bar and the hotel lobby are gorgeous. It's a great place to people watch, especially if you're there for a convention. Not a bad way to spend a sunny afternoon. Get the charcuterie if you want to spend the dough, but avoid the dumplings.
Drinks ~ $7.00/each
California Cheese Platter - $11.00
Charcuterie & Antipasto - $11.00
Steamed Pork Dumplings - $7.00
The Lobby Bar
Hyatt Regency Long Beach
200 South Pine Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802