Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Brick In The Wall... Part Two

It worked. Yesterday, I printed out some photographs of Nancy, Jeremy, Landon and Matt, framed them and hung them in my hallway. I smiled every time I left and returned to the house. I am eager to continue working on this project and started thinking about other people I couldn’t wait to see on my wall. 

Even though I’ve spent a decent portion of our friendship mad at him, it pretty much goes without saying that Justin and his wife Stephanie have a spot. I’ve known Justin almost as long as I’ve lived in Las Vegas and could probably write an entire book on the ups and downs of our relationship alone. The comment that Landon left on my last post made me think of the trying times I’ve been through with Justin over the years - and how to this day, should I need anything, I know I could call him. And if he needed anything, I would do whatever I could to help. 

Besides, whenever he pisses me off, it’s usually because he’s said something that lands with me. After I think about it for a while, most of the time I can see where he is coming from. Justin gives feedback from a place of love, but sometimes uses a semi-truck for delivery. 

Stephanie is simply one of the most likable people on the planet. It’s always tricky meeting the new love of the person you used to love... but in this case, Justin did very well. When she’s not being absolutely adorable and kind, she’s coming at me with a very unbiased and introspective look on whatever issue happens to be crawling up me that day. Admittedly, I do not take enough advantage of our relationship - something I plan on changing as we continue getting to know one another. 

I was recently at their house for a barbecue and in a moment to ourselves, Justin asked me about my new job. Well, it’s Justin... what he actually said was “Did you get it by hook or by crook?” I was unfamiliar with this saying. What he was asking was if I got hooked up by someone or if I stole the job fair and square. 

I only let myself be offended by this one for about fifteen seconds. 

Because the truth is, I did hooked up by a friend. However, the hook up was given to me by him because he knew I deserved it. Fair. And. Square. So, I guess I hooked it by being a crook? Hmm.. perhaps I’ll stick to my own analogies... 

This is Beau. 

I can’t remember exactly when I met Beau, but it was during our serving time together at Chili’s. He had moved to Las Vegas from Idaho so I started referring to him as Beau Potato. In fact, he’s still in my phone that way. 

We got along right from the beginning. Beau is very much a “guy”. Not too complex, rarely emotional and likes to talk about sports. This is a very easy relationship for me to have. He also has a very dry sense of humor that only offends me when it’s directed at me. Which, sometimes it is. I find that Beau doesn’t discriminate when it comes to making a funny. I can respect that. 

Beau entered the management program at Chili’s before I did. In the middle of his training, Chili’s decided to close something like 40 stores across the country, four of them here in Las Vegas, and offer all of the current management trainees and recently promoted managers severance packages or the opportunity to go back to their hourly positions. Beau decided to go back to serving and wait it out. It was a good move on his part because rather quickly, a management position opened up in Kingman, Arizona. If anyone has ever been to Kingman, you can probably understand why there wasn’t a line of people waiting to take the job. 

Beau was all about it though. He hated serving and figured that signing on for a year in Arizona wouldn’t be too bad. He would be able to finish his training, get some management experience, and be back in Las Vegas in time for the next Ryder Cup. So, off he went. 

I think he had only been gone a couple of months when Cory and I broke up. I was devastated and wanted to get out of town for the weekend. I sent some feelers out to see where I should go and Beau invited me out to Kingman. Short drive, good friend. I figured, why not? 

So, I packed a couple of things and drove out there. It was the first time I had seen the Hoover Dam bridge project in person. Crazy stuff!! 

I remember driving out there thinking, I should probably have called up one of my girlfriends and done this whole post-break up thing with them. Then I could cry, talk about my feelings and maybe get a pedicure or something. As it turned out, going out to Kingman was the best thing I could’ve done. 

For one thing, it’s Kingman. Just being there from out of town made me feel important. 

Second of all, there was a bowling alley, a book store, a movie theatre and a bar with karaoke. What more could I ask for? 

Third, there was Diego, Beau’s baby Great Dane who did a fantastic job of keeping me company while Beau was at work. 

All in all, it was a great weekend. I hung out, did some reading, laughed about stupid shit with Beau and drove home feeling much better about myself then I had on my way out. 

Beau is not the kind of friend that I call, text or Facebook all the time. But, ever since that weekend in Arizona, I knew that should I ever need anything, I could reach out to him and he would take me seriously. 

While Beau was in Arizona, he met someone on an online dating site. She lived here in Las Vegas (I don’t think he was even looking in Kingman because... well, I think you get it). At the time, he had pretty much reached the end of his rope with Chili’s and found a job as a manager at Roadrunner, which is a local chain of bars and restaurants here in Las Vegas. I actually have frequented the one he got a job at because it’s a Broncos bar. I met Mark Jackson there one Sunday! (old school Broncos Wide Receiver from back in the Three Amigos days). 

I saw Beau just a handful of times when he moved back to Las Vegas and only met his new, super cute girlfriend once. But again.. sometimes, you just have that friend that is low maintenance and always there. There has always been something quite comforting about our relationship for this reason. 

When my money ran low and I wasn’t a writing superstar yet, I knew it was time for me to go back to work. I did fill out some online applications to try and get into a big casino on the strip but my ten year work and residential history makes me look like a flake. And there was no way in hell I was going back to Chili’s. 

As I was dreading completing yet another three hour long application, I sent a text to Beau. He immediately got an interview scheduled with one of Roadrunner’s affiliates where he thought I could make good money as a bartender. When that didn’t work out, he hired me at his restaurant, no questions asked. 

I went in and filled out an application so he could send me for a drug test and complete my HR paperwork. I went the next day and took the test (and passed!) and was on the schedule two days later. 

So, yes... I guess you could say that I definitely got hooked up. But, I like to think that the real reason I was able to land a job so quickly is because of the relationship between me and Beau and his knowledge of my work ethic. Despite the photo above, Beau actually takes his job very seriously and I know he wouldn’t be doing me a favor if he didn’t know what he was going to get out of it. 

And here I am. Back to work. Serving, bartending and making the best of it. It feels a little different this time around. When I was at Chili’s, I didn’t know what else I wanted to do. I just remember looking at the 40 and 50 year old servers there and praying to whatever was out there that that wouldn’t be me one day. 

Now, I have a job to make some money to pay my bills; one that doesn’t require me to work more than 30 hours a week so I can focus on the things that really make me happy; one that is in a casual environment where I can have a little fun with an old friend; and one that has a Broncos flag flying above the POS system. Brilliant. 

I don’t know what is going to become of this writing thing... I don’t know if my blogs are good enough to put into a book. But I know I’m good enough to write a book. So, my plan for now is to keep adding content to this blog up until I turn 31 and then see what happens from there. I guess maybe it’s because I’m “in it”, but as far as wanting to do something substantial for my 30th year, all I can really see that I’ve done is document the stuff that has been going on in my life for many years. I’m not even sure what I’ve learned yet. I’m still hoping that it will come to me in a dream or vision... hell I’d take a positive message in a fortune cookie at this point. 

In the meantime, back to the grind. 

However, thanks to my Beau Potato, it’s a bit of a lesser grind than I expected. 

Welcome to the wall.

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