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I never worked at a place like Cafe Loup before. I always call it a big, dysfunctional family because it really is. Someone on the interwebs once said, "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family." This is indeed true at the old Cafe Loup, except our bosses choose the family for us. But once you are in, you can stay forever. I have been working there for 11 years now. That's right, eleven; with two ones. There have been others like me in the past that are still there in one form or another. We thought this would be a temporary position before something great happened to us and we would move on. Others like me thought that one couldn't possibly work in the same restaurant for more that a year or two. I had worked at several restaurants before the Cafe Loup, but most were seasonal places or places for me to save up a bunch of money before moving on to the next city or ski town. When I started at the Loup I intentionally didn't get close to my co-workers because I truly believed that I wasn't going to be working there for more than a year. I eventually became friends with a lot of my coworkers even when I "quit" the Loup in 2004. I moved to Cape Cod to shoot a movie and thought I was done with the Loup forever. However, after the movie was shot and it was time to edit, I realized I still needed a job, and the Loup took me back. In fact, I got all my old shifts back and it was as if nothing had happened. I did this for the next couple of years; quitting in the summer and getting rehired in the fall. I would go off on extended vacations and tours with my band and the Loup would always welcome me back with all my shifts intact. What other place on the planet would do that? Not only that, but no one ever gets fired. I have said that before here on this blog, but I have to reiterate because it is one of those things that is simply mind blowing. If you want to leave the Cafe Loup, you have to either die or quit outright. There are cases of people getting fired, for sure; but if you have been there for more than 6 months, you can expect to have a job there for the rest of your life, if you'd like. Whether you are good at your job or not; whether you are sober at work or not; whether you show up to work or not, you will always have a job at the Cafe Loup. It's an amazing place. My friend and ex-coworker Sara would freak out every 6 months and very sternly and very seriously tell me that I had to get out of there; that the Loup was a trap and I would never leave. Like the Hotel California, she said, we were all prisoners of our own device. The money is always good, so you never want to leave, and then there you are, eleven years later writing about it on the interwebs. Sara is right on the one hand; the Loup can be a Mobius strip of a place, with the same problems and solutions returning every week. However, on the other hand, it can act as a lighthouse and guide you into safe haven. I'm not saying that is what this drawing is about, but it damn well could be.