While I shared a new post just a few short days ago, I couldn’t let a milestone pass without comment. Three days ago I was fired from my once-weekly “fun job” at the winery tasting room - I even have a termination letter to prove it! While the document does claim that I was fired for insubordination, it was in fact a hilarious sendoff that I knew was coming. That’s because I already knew that my now-former employers are closing the tasting room to focus on the wine club and private events. So before any rumors get started, that’s the truth of the matter. I mean, they did give me a case of nice wine as a “severance package” so I must still be on reasonably good terms with them, right? 😃
“Strange fascination, fascinating me
Ah, changes are taking the pace I'm going through” - David Bowie
On reflection, this event is one of the largest changes that has come to pass since I retired early a little over three years ago and my family moved out of the Bay Area. But relatively speaking, this is certainly a pretty minor change. But it’s still one that provoked a lot of thought, and was definitely a bittersweet transition. I always get excited by change but most of the time, I truly enjoyed the job and working with great owners and colleagues. And now two years later, that’s gone! I worked my last shift on Friday and yesterday, that tasting room closed for the last time.
Well, as quickly as one chapter ends for me, another begins. In fact, I’ve already signed on with another tasting room in town and will start working there later this week. So I guess I’ve decided that this “fun job” in wine is fun enough to continue doing it! I had every chance to bow out of this pursuit when the other tasting room closed but I didn’t choose that option. I certainly could have elected to do something else with that ~8 hours of time each week. So why am I sticking with it?
It’s definitely not for the money. It’s 100% true that I appreciate having some extra cash that I can (and do!) spend without any guilt whatsoever. These funds don’t hit our budget at all, just the same as those my wife earns at her once-weekly brewery job. We each get to spend this money however we see fit. That’s kinda fun really. But it certainly goes well beyond that. To give away so much of my time in the service of an employer, I’ve got to really like the job - and I do. To be sure, I could readily do some consulting and earn a substantial multiple vs. my hourly tasting room pay!
The biggest benefits outside of earning some fun money definitely relate to the teaching + social aspects of the job. I enjoy sharing knowledge, answering guests’ questions, and simply talking about a passion of mine: wine. The time passes quickly when I’ve got customers and in most cases (of course there are exceptions in hospitality) I really enjoy the time I spend with them. I also enjoy meeting others in the industry and have grown my local network as a result. Of course there are other benefits, like discounts on wine and free tastings at other area wineries - all good! And maybe there’s more to it even beyond these things?
In any case, I’m looking forward to this transition. I’m leaving one great winery for another great winery, and once again working with people I really like. My “commute” is the same as it was before: very short, and traffic-free. How long will I stick with this? I have no idea. Next summer our teen will go off to college and Lorri and I will start traveling more. So who knows what life will look like just one year from now? I sure don’t. But for now, this tasting room gig is something I enjoy. Cheers! 🍷