While what brought me out west is still very much thriving, my three year sentence has been a delightful one. I've missed some events back home, I've missed some people too but what I lost in time I gained in heart. One year longer than I had anticipated out here and it was by far the best one!
I worked at Paoli's!
While I pride myself at being a pretty damn good server, but I'd never worked at an Italian establishment before. More than that, I'd never worked at an Italian-Karaoke establishment. AND EVEN MORE THAN THAT -- I'd never worked at an Italian/Karaoke/Dive Bar/that pays entirely under the table before! Maaaann, what an experience it is.
I've met some interesting characters, made new friends, and upped my singing potential by at least 50%. Haha
My last day of duty was this past Sunday, almost a week ago. It was hard to say goodbye to my regulars, so I didn't. I said farewell to one of my favorite singers, Larry and his lovely wife, and I slipped away. Some people know I'm having an event on Saturday, so maybe they'll show up and I'll get a chance to say goodbye. I suppose I had the chance. Ahh, farewells make me all watery in the eye region. I don't always like to do it.
My feet have never hurt so much, but my pockets have never been fatter either. Hustle was the name of the game since Paoli's doesn't have any up to date POS system. It's all 80's style, handwritten checks, one-on-one with the cooks... Headless chickens is what we were! With no busboys, hosts, food runners, or cashier to speak of, we often played the part of multitasking extremely well! Some of us worked harder than others... Ahem. Got a pretty kickass review on one of the worse nights of my working career.
Talk about a place with some sass! Great money was made though. The most money I've made in my adult life--in my entire life! It was wonderful, a wonderful experience with in retrospect wonderful people.
The lady that ran the joint* is a 65+ firecracker and we all considered her the Madam. Such sarcastic grace and wit. Really a 'no-bullshit, take it or leave it' sort of a woman. She made such an impression that I created a website for the restaurant free of charge.
( www.paolipizzeria.wordpress.com ) The place deserved online presence, especially because it didn't have any. So if you're ever in the great Valley of Los Angeles, give this diamond in the ruff a go. Great food, great people, great voices, great times.
I'll always have love for ya, Paoli's!!
*That's how dicey and special this place is. Gotta refer to it as a "joint".