Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gift Shop Girls, Patio Dwellers, and Chef Judges

There are so many new people that I want to tell you about. I could devote whole posts to each individual that I have met in the past two weeks ever since my move downtown. Its been a simultaneously fun and difficult adventure. As my first post mentioned, I don't enjoy sitting still in life, but do you ever feel as if you are learning so much and meeting so many people it seems you won't hold it all together. Its tiring. Its a great life.
Anyhow, allow me to introduce you to some characters that now play various roles in my new life:

There's my grumpy old manager, Jim, who is awesome. I've seen him rip holes through sales people, maintenance guys, and my own coworkers. If you didn't know any better, you would assume that he doesn't give a heap of crap for anyone. He's one of the most opinionated liberals I've ever met, but we've had some good talks in the mornings while I'm opening the store. He's friends with the guys down at WDVX and the Blue Plate. He found out that I play there, and the other day he got drink orders at a table for me since I was slammed. When I approached the table to take their orders, they started asking me about my music. By the time they left, I had written down my website for them. Jim had told them about my musical career. It was a little act that showed me he cares about my music, and he's proud that I am pursuing it...

Yesterday, I was the only server left on the clock from 3:00-4:00, so I had to take some orders at the bar. I don't know nothin' 'bout no bar service. So,  I was a little stressed, and yeah... I messed up an order. Everyone was super nice about it, but I reached a point after the long day, that I thought to myself, "I gotta get outta here." 
Our store, Oodles Uncorked, connects with two others stores. To the left, there is Earth to Old City, a very quaint little gift shop in Market Square. Whenever I pass by the hallway that leads to their store, I see an Indian girl at the counter. 
After my mistakes and during my stressful hour of being on the clock alone, I slipped around the corner and went in. The girl at the counter smiled and greeted me, and I said, 
"Can I just catch my breath in here."
 She responded with a friendly smile, "Sure!" 
She introduced herself as Pratishta, but people call her Prat. We didn't talk about much, but her friendliness calmed me down so I could face the last 15 minutes of my shift. When I left, she waved through the window as I rode past on my bike... 

The other night I went to World Grotto (the shop on the other side of Oodles) with my friends Mark and Delacey. Mark is currently doing contract web design work and Delacey is a belly dancer. We saw a band play that was made up 5 drums and one bagpipe player. That night I got a chance to hang out with Jens (J pronounced as a Y). Mark, Delacey, Jens, and Jens' wife Antoinette, all go to my church. Jens (Who has tattoos all over his back and just recently got baptized after living a pretty crazy life) showed up to the show, and we found ourselves on a patio table until 1:00 in the morning discussing the divinity of Christ, the inspiration of Biblical writers, and what it means to be in the world and not of it. Jens saw me at Church today and wanted to have another talk sometime. Also, he wants me to put music to some lyrics he's been working on. It was refreshing to talk to a brother about Christ whether or not we agreed on everything...

There is a cook in the back named Shawn. Now, when I first met Shawn, he introduced himself, but said he couldn't tell me his real name. Apparently, he is on the witness protection program. To this day, I don't know if he's joking or not. Regardless, I think I'll just call him Shawn. 
Ol' boy is a gigantic African-American cool-as-crap guy. Every  morning he greets me, "WHAT'S UP, T??" Sometimes I even get a "BIG T!" 
Yesterday, to keep myself sane, I presented an idea to Shawn and some of the servers, 
"You guys ever watch the Office? I think we should have an Oodles olympics." 
The servers kind of brushed all my ideas off, because most of them were potentially harmful to company property, but as I presented my idea, Shawn interrupted, 
"YEAH! You can judge Shawn. See guys, this will be awesome!" 
Stuart, one of the servers who is a super nice guy responded,
"Hey, I got an idea, how about we all just do our job." 
Although he was 50% joking and he is a great guy and all, I wanted to harm some company property on his face.
As we all stared at him a little deflated, Shawn looked down and shook his head. With a deeply sad tone, he simply said,
"Man, that's why you're not in the Olympics. You can't be in the Olympics now." 
To which I responded, "That's why I made you judge Shawn."  

There are so many more people to tell you about, and I probably will eventually. I will tell you this, though. There is a lot of stress involved after moving, changing addresses, starting new jobs, looking for a second one, trying to book shows, meeting new people, riding a bike in traffic, owning up to mistakes, living in community, attending a new church, living in a rougher part of town, trying to keep up with a downtown life, having prostitutes dropped off in front of your house, watching coworkers plan their next high...
But there are always those people who bring you little moments of sanity. At any moment Jim may go off on someone (hopefully not me), Prat may not be working, Shawn may get ticked when asked a special request on an order, and Jens and I could disagree. 
However, I sure am thankful for each of them. 


Charlie said...

dude you should have punched that server in the chest like you did that one night to me...that would be cool...this was a fun post to read...i liked shawn the best...i want to be his friend...

SarahAnnFair said...

Taylor, I think you should write a book. The stories you have are seriously incredible.

Anonymous said...

"a pretty crazy life before" haha. I think maybe you got my story mixed up with someone else! Great stories Big T!