My colleague had drawn a detailed map so I could find it for sure, but he also said it was impossible to get lost. He was right: he was swaying in the afternoon breeze with Hailey, exuding peaceful calm. I also needed this peace, as I was not in the mood to celebrate, but custom is custom: the company’s employees preferred this place. I straightened my appearance in the mirror, then with all my strength I opened the door.
The wide smile and inviting arm gesture of the waiter who rushed over to me immediately eased the tension. He asked first, a look of hope on his face, and then my gesture encouraged him to smile even wider. Times are tough, so it’s good to have a reason to celebrate, he said. He politely led the way between the tables, where elegantly dressed men and women were sitting, their courteous and thoughtful behavior making the place elegant, and the overall picture radiating serenity. Pleasant conversations and polite gestures await the entrance here, so there’s no reason for the anxiety new employees feel on their first trip. Gestures and congratulations came from here and there, one or two bravo! Exclamations were also heard in distant places, and I tried not to be ashamed. The past month has been difficult, requiring adaptation and flexibility, and now here, in this place, my efforts seem to have paid off.