I read a lot. I don’t really want to write book reviews, but I do like to discuss where a book takes me. Maybe that is why I am a book club nerd. Last Night at the Lobster, by Stewart O’nan, took me to a lot of different places. The Red Lobster is closing and it is a picture of the staff and their last day and night together. November 16, 2018 was my last day of work at my medical practice which I founded in 2004. It was bittersweet, but necessary. I sold my practice in 2013 and the company I sold it to had a different philosophy for Concierge medicine that simply couldn’t be reconciled with my own. I left years of memories, good and bad, when I walked out of my office. When the characters in this book reminisced about past employees, past excursions and the years of stories they were leaving behind, I couldn’t help but connect. My last few days held patients in appointment slots that came in simply to tell me good-bye and to do their own reminiscing. I guess all places have a heyday when you have the right team and it feels like nothing can go wrong, until it does. I’m not sure what went wrong in my practice other than my decision to sell, but I know a lot went right through the years.
This book actually took me back even further, like the Ghost of Christmas Past taking me back to visit my past working selves. I was the teenager that skipped school, but still made it to my pizza joint waitress job on time. I was the cashier at Kroger where I dated one of the managers. I started in the Christmas section at Wal-Mart and then graduated to the pet department when the season ended. The characters in the book definitely reminded me of past coworkers, some of whom took their job too seriously while others took their job not seriously enough. Then, I hung all of those lives on a shelf and entered medical school.
Now, with my last few years inside of a box, I wonder where my next chapter will lead. Good luck Manny at your Olive Garden position!