Poor Unfortunate Souls

Abbot Kinney Blvd

Mike has an interview this morning. Unpaid internship. Of course it is. This guy, Zig, interviews him. That’s right, Zig. Zig drops the F-bomb three or four times during the interview. He’s no bullshit. Asks Mike a question about where he wants to be in 15 years. Mike starts to answer and Zig cuts him off. “You’re not answering my question. I don’t care about what you’re doing now, I’m asking what your goals are.” Mike thought he was giving the “right” responses. This guy just wants to know the truth. It’s unpaid, but Zig is promising to teach him a lot of invaluable things that he won’t be able to learn by just being a PA. The interview is over. “I really like that shirt.” Hunter green; matching black tie with hunter green and lime stripes on a diagonal. Damn right I got him that.

It’s my second night training at Lilly’s. After a quick run I head over early – not to avoid traffic, but so that I’m not stressed out while sitting in it. 45 minutes early. Might as well stop and get something to eat. My diet has become coffee, ramen, grilled cheese, yogurt, tuna fish, peanut butter and jelly, pretzels, and nature valley bars. Maybe a salad if I’m lucky. Oh, and wine. So healthy. I could go for something cheap, like pizza, but I opt for the 3 Square Cafe. It’s really close to Lilly’s. Seems like burgers are their specialty. I’m between the veggie or the lamb burger. Mix it up and go for the lamb. “Anything on the side with that?” No, thank you, I live in LA and I’m an actor and I need to get skinny. Just give me the huge burger.

This thing is phenomenal. I don’t even think to take a picture (dumb). Probably because I’m by myself and that would be weird. The lamb is tender with some red peppers and some crazy sauce on there. The bun is equally tasty. My server is awesome, too. I’m sure I’ll be back.

Time for training. And time for Frenchy! He’s not here at first – Miguel (who I met the first night), and the hostess who was there when I walked in the first time are both here. Miguel is super nice, and Magalie is nice, if not a little crazy. She’s nonstop the whole night talking. Turns out she is the daughter of the owner, Francis (who is also the head chef). Her sister – ahh I forget her name – stops in for a few minutes. Both work here. Oh man, I sense nepotism. I’ve actually experienced this working with…for…my brother. He was my boss at the tap room (one of my bosses). Look, I wasn’t asking him for a job, he was in a bind and needed a weekend server and he asked me. Let’s just put this out there right now. I worked at the tap room for a year and a half. Stephen treated me as he always does – mean/indifferent. Guys who worked there would come in and he was all, “Hey man, how you doing?” High-five, fist pound, drinks after work. Maybe I’m exaggerating. Anyway, I find out one day that the staff thinks I get away with everything because I’m “Stephen’s sister.” Nepotism. When I don’t even think it’s happening.

Magalie is 21, her sister is 16. They’re talking to me and then just standing there smiling, like they’re eagerly waiting to see what I’ll say next. I feel like I’m on the hockey field with my high school girls (except these girls aren’t the least bit intimidated by me). Magalie gives me the inside scoop on what this place is about – mostly some of the other people. “You’re going to work with Esme (the other bartender) Friday. She’s going to get on your nerves.” Why? “Because she’s slow and she doesn’t know how to make a lot of drinks.” Well how do you know if I do? You just met me. “Oh, I heard about you.” Yessssssssss. Awesome. I’m in. She tells me allllll about her serious boyfriend who lives in Georgia and her temporary boyfriend who lives here. Then there’s a whole conversation about fighting people. She won’t ever touch a person first, but if they touch her she lets them have it. “I don’t care how much they talk. I just feel bad for them. It’s unfortunate.” Then singing, “Those poor unfortunate souls.” Really? Little Mermaid? I like Magalie. I mean I love Disney and she just randomly starts belting out a tune. Hilarious.

Walk into the kitchen to get some fruit and there is Frenchy. Big smiles. Both of us. “How are you?!” I’m good. I just stand there smiling. Giggle a little and then continue on into the kitchen. Finish setting up. Francis walks out. “Lindsay, I’ll be right back.” It’s my second day training and he’s telling me what he’s doing. I already feel a part of the Lilly’s family.

Later, Mike and Troy stop by to pick up some movie tickets they asked me to bring. They spent most of the day in Huntington Beach. It’s Taco Tuesday (this is a real thing every week). Apparently, in Huntington they close down streets and vendors put everything on sale – Troy got a sweet gray hoodie for half off. And he ate 8 tacos. Well, that’s what Mike says when they sit down at my bar. Mike keeps asking me who Frenchy is. He keeps coming behind the bar. That’s him! I’m giddy. I want to introduce them but it’s too early for that. Besides, Tropez is a manager, but he is waiting on tables. He does it all. I start to get a little busy. Mike is ordering coffee with what he thinks is a French accent. So embarrassing. They leave to see a free screening of The Descendants (Cloon-dog).

Magalie gets done early and has a drink at the bar before she leaves. “Rum and diet coke, extra strong. Just a splash of diet coke.” Am I going to get in trouble for this? “No, it’s fine.” OK, do I need to ring this in? “No, don’t worry about it.” Fine by me as long as Frenchy doesn’t mind. Tropez is so happy. He will randomly start singing, like, all into it. I leave the bar and come back. He’s standing at the server station pouring a glass of wine and I can’t get by him, so I just stand there waiting, patiently. I smile. He smiles back. I have to keep myself from laughing. He is just so happy. I don’t get it, I don’t understand it, but it is seriously contagious.

The kitchen closes at 10:30pm during the week, so before 10 he tells me to start cleaning up. I like his style. Miguel is finished and sits down at the bar with me. He’s been here for 12 years. I feel like I can talk to him about stuff. I tell him about Joe’s. “For money, you would probably be happier there. If you can keep your nose down, handle pressure, and just do the work, you’ll be fine.” Oh, I can handle the pressure. “I think they make good money there, but Joe is really….strict.” Hmmm. This is tough. I’ve worked for some crazy people. I know I can handle it, but working for Francis and Tropez is so…..not stressful. I voice this to Miguel. “Oh yea, definitely, you shouldn’t be stressed out here. They never get mad at you. It’s relaxed.” Best case scenario, I can work both jobs.

End of the night, Tropez tells me he’s posted the schedule for December. “I have you on for Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday nights…to start. Come in tomorrow at 5pm to open for a few hours and then I’ll send you home. Just to get you ready for Friday.” Perfect. Train one more day Wednesday (another unpaid day), interview Thursday at Joe’s, then work Friday and Sunday at Lilly’s. We’ll see how it goes at Joe’s…

*Pat Carroll

9 thoughts on “Poor Unfortunate Souls

  1. I think Lilly’s sounds like such a fun place to work! I would love to meet all of these happy people. Also, can you ask Mike how the descendants was…im dying to see it, but not sure if I have Doug on board to see it yet. Glad you are happy in Cali!!!

    1. Heather, The Descendants was pretty good, nothing mind blowing or anything but definitely worth seeing. Clooney gives a great performance that will definitely get him an Oscar nomination and the story pulls at the heartstrings pretty hard.

  2. I really love people that sing for no reason in public! I hope I get to meet these folks someday… I will fit right in since my name is french and all :).

  3. Linds that’s awesome about Lilly’s! You would be great anywhere but like heather said, I think Lilly’s sounds like a really great place to work. Oh and magalie singing the little mermaid…sounds like something I would do lol. Can’t wait to hear how the weekend goes (& the interview @ joe’s-good luck with that);)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s