Good People

Closing down the bar with Roxy, Rocco, and Frankie

Liking Brick+Mortar more and more. Cool clients, busy nights, delicious food, and most importantly, awesome staff. Still getting to know everyone but there are some more than others who I’ve really connected with. Obviously, Bennette is my No. 1. From the first second I met her she was the coolest person. Whenever you start at a new place, in any job (I figure), employees keep their distance until they like you, like you have to pass a test or something. I get it. Especially in the service industry, where there are new hires all the time – some good, some bad. But Bennette didn’t do that. She took me in with open arms, which was absolutely the sweetest thing and really made me feel comfortable when I was first starting out. Her boyfriend is Rocco, the bar manager. I love Rocco. He’s so cool and so nice. Where all these people come from, I don’t know, but they keep coming into my life.

I also started as a hostess, and typically, hostesses are young. So it’s easier to assume I’m a student or something. No one knew I was only hostessing until the other server left at the end of the month, so it was a surprise when I started working on the floor. One night hostessing, I met Jackson, a busboy. How to describe Jackson… an adorable, innocent, good-natured, honest, hard-working kid. I adore him. He’s so nice! He’s 20 and looks 16. So he first saw me as a hostess, and the next time we worked together I was waitressing. “Oh, you’re waitressing now?” Yeaaaa, movin’ up in the world. The following week, we get a little busy. Jackson says something to me in passing. “Hey, I heard a rumor. When you’re not busy I’ll tell you.” OK. Whatever it is, he seems shocked. When it dies down later, I ask him what rumor he heard. “Oh, yea, OK, I heard – and this cannot possibly be true, there’s no way it’s true….” I have an idea where he’s going with this. “That you’re 28 years old.” Yes Jackson, I am. “No way, there is no way you’re 28!” This is one of those moments where I feel so great that I look so young but then bad because I’m not so young. (It’s more good than bad, of course, but I feel my age.)

Another night Lindsay gets finished while I’m still working. Most times when the servers get done, they stick around for a drink or two or ten. She’s at a table with her boyfriend and other friends when she stops me. “You wanna do a shot with us?” Roxy and Jess are still working, standing by the table. Absolutely. “Jameson?” Of course. Seriously, it must be a rule. To work in a bar, you do shots of Jameson. We all do a shot together. Oh my God. That actually almost tasted good. I’ve never thought Jameson tasted good before but it was a little sweet or something. Lindsay immediately responds. “Yup, welcome to Brick+Mortar!”

Another night I get chatting with Erin. How to describe Erin… well, last year for Halloween he dressed as Zach Galifianakis from The Hangover and won a $1,000 prize for a contest, so obviously, he looks like him. This year he dressed as Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec. He looks like a lumberjack. On this particular night, before Halloween, he says something like he’s annoyed by it. “I just want Halloween to be over.” That’s a weird thing to say. Why? “Because then it’s Christmas. I’m like, obsessed with Christmas.”

My eyes must get so big and my smile so wide. I’m obsessed with Christmas, too! I can’t believe how much Erin loves Christmas. There are so many things to talk about! He talks about his mom. “My mom has like five friends from high school and they get together every year around Christmas time.” I think I actually get chills when he says this. I do that, too! Not always at Christmas but yea, once a year, and there’s 12 of us. “There’s 12 of you?” This is pretty much the reaction every time. I know, I’m lucky. Anyway, his mom and her friends do a cookie exchange and they all make these homemade delicious cookies. He goes into detail about how good they are and I love it.

Erin has been getting a nutcracker from his mom every year since forever. “The other day I was in Costco and there was this life-size nutcracker – like, taller than me. I wanted to get it. It’s $250.” Wow, that’s crazy. “OK, here’s the real question: Douglas or Noble?” Um, I don’t know even know what that means! “What kind of tree?” This is not something I’ve ever thought about. “Noble, definitely. Noble fir trees are the ones that have some space between the branches, and look really nice, and it’s easy to put the lights on them. Douglas fir might be a little cheaper, but it looks like a bush. It’s a bush.” He says it with such disdain that I can’t help but laugh. Well then, I’m getting a Noble fir tree this year. We go on about various other Christmas topics. It’s wonderful.

Saturday nights I close with Roxy. She’s awesome. Something happens during the shift where I see something she does and and she sees me see her. Obviously, it’s not something I can say, but I start laughing. “Did we just share a moment?” We totally did. “Like, you know what I’m saying, right?” Too funny. Yes Roxy, I know exactly what you’re saying, and you didn’t even say anything. A “had to be there” moment. After we’re finished we sit at the bar and have a drink – red wine for me and Makers on the rocks for her. I learn some more drama about this group here. It’s all so interesting. After my glass of wine, I get up to leave. Roxy just handed in her paperwork and stops me. “What you’re leaving? I thought we were going to have another drink?!” OK… twist my arm.

*Jack Johnson

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