Eileen – Chapter 16 – Helicopters and Pizza

Spring 2019

While Eileen have been busting or butts killing it at the salon, our dear co-worker, Amelia, has been serving our fair nation in the air force reserve for the last two weeks.

Eileen’s picked up all of her shifts and is killing it at the front counter as usual.

I’ve been here for two years and seen it all. I’ve done every job imaginable here. Once that occurs and it gets crazy busy, Achilles and I both agree it’s time to let go and let the staff take over intake and we’ll just go run and clean and clear sun beds all night.

The girls are so much better at hosting the clients and being calm and sweet. I would rather work in the background. Manage the laundry, clean beds, and stock the bathroom.

It really comes down to doing everything all of the time and having the opportunity to just do one thing and maintain it. The girls are so much more calm and so much better at managing our clients.

Back home in St. Louis, Eileen, summers as a hostess at an Olive Garden. She’s 18 and has already grasped the concept of great client service even when all of your clients are all morons.

It’s called the service industry and we need to hold their hands and walk them through the entire process and be sweet about it. Eileen is a great actress and gets the job. That’s what she has to be. Because these people have the disposable income to go tanning but most of them you’d never want to even have a drink with, but Eileen gets it and is sweet to every singe one of them, even if she has loathing in her sweet heart.

I miss Amelia. She’s been in Okinawa for the last two weeks and it feels like forever because I adore her. I have been blessed with such great staff this year. It’s truly like a blessing based on the garbage we’ve had through here over the last ten years.

I mean I’ve loved the few that have been solid but for the most part, in any low end retail business where you pay less than ten bucks an hour you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.

I can’t wait for Amelia to return so I can buy her a drink and hear all of her stories from her trip. Eileen and I both agree it feels like she’s been gone forever and we miss her at our salon.

I feel like I miss her more, because while we work together there’s something missing. Eileen and I carry the whole ship every night. We get killed here and overrun with people needing to tan. It’s just the two of us. Achilles, leaves at 3pm and hopes we never call him with a problem.

That’s how it’s been for the last two years. Every spring we get run over with people who need to be tanned. Weddings, Proms, bachelorette parties, the arrival of summer, formals, graduations, honeymoons, vacations, etc.

It’s insane.

But it’s when this company makes it’s money. It’s our Christmas season.

I miss Amelia, but my girl Eileen has been deadly every night at this salon.

The air conditioning is failing and the salon has become like the inside of a volcano. The stand up units are so busy that the metal handles inside them are too hot to hold. (which sounds like a shitty Bon Jovi song) Room #4 cuts off because it always overheats. #9 has a bad board and if you touch the fan button, it turns off much to the dismay of a naked person hoping to tan. So we have to deal with those fails. Don’t even get me started on the aqua misting in #1 and #2 failing all night long.

But through this, Eileen is on point with every person that comes through the door. She’s 18. A young girl. But she greets every person without attitude. She’s always charming and cordial. Truly an amazing actress.

Achilles doesn’t even realize the renaissance we have entered with this current model.

I get that. He’s been doing the damn thing for over a decade. The bullshit he’s have to put up running this business has been crushing and very disappointing most of the time. I get it.

But in this moment we have the best.

I see it.

I wish he could too, but I feel he’s jaded and only sees the staff as cattle that roll through and do the job.

The air conditioning unit is failing, and the salon is like an oven. It leaks into room 3 and I joke that we should charge our clients more for the rainforest experience.

The retail outlet below us complains about the gym we opened here that kind of never happened.

They complain about the noise of weights being dropped. The fitness place above us sued us for putting a gym in. We’re the meat in a shit sandwich in rittenhouse.

I see the writing on the wall and it’s very clear.

But despite all of the things we tried to do here, the salon is killing it. The cash is rolling in.

But for who?

I thought I’d be a partner in a fitness center a year ago, but now I see that I’m the greatest clerk in one of the last tanning salons in the city and that’s all.

It’s all going to work out because I have a massive back up plan.

Let’s get back to my subject, Eileen.

Fantastic employee. My hire. Want her everyday.

We’ve hung out. I do the things that Achilles is incapable of. Take your employees out and reward them for their service. I’m great at that, Achilles. Not so much.

We’ve been killed in the last week and I don’t have Amelia. It’s been Eileen and me getting run over by clients.

My relationship is different between both girls. But I adore them both for their personalities and work ethic.

We all joke about so many things like all co-workers do.

But the one that Eileen finds the most delightful is the scenario where I’m hanging out and having a meal with Eileen and her boyfriend gets super jealous.

I have made jokes about this about how maybe we are sitting at Honeygrow or MacDonald’s and her boyfriend flies in on a helicopter and comes in and kills me.

I, as the stand up comedian and the funny dude I am, have come up with many funny scenarios about how her boyfriend gets pissed off and comes to kill me in a helicopter.

Eileen loves these funny stories, and literally squeals with delight when I spin these tales. But like all 18-year old teenage girls wearing promise rings, they’re going to share everything with their significant others.

(Oh…. sidebar here, apparently her boy cheated on her and slept with another girl during this elegant promise ring relationship) I feel bad for Eileen that this happened because it shows his weakness and Amelia and I both agree he’s a thumb and doesn’t deserve a queen like Eileen.

They share everything non-stop on social media and apparently Thomas is getting pissed off that I have been taking is girlfriend out to nice restaurants for ice cream.

Of course I can imagine at his age. But really dude. I’m an old dad that is just happy I got some good staff.

I told Eileen I don’t want to cause her any problems.

She says, “he an kiss my ass.”

“What do you mean?”

He’s being and asshole. He can kiss my ass. He doesn’t understand who you are. I told him when he meats you he’ll like you. I told him we work together and we have a relationship.”

I love that she told her boyfriend that she’s developed a relationship  with me.

I know what you’re all thinking… settle down. It’s nothing. She’s my employee and a teenager.

It’s all in good fun!

 

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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If You’ve Managed To Do 7/66 Of These Things While In Quarantine, You’re Doing Great

Woke up before noon

Got out of bed

Made your bed

Changed out of your PJs

Worn something besides sweatpants

Put on makeup

Washed your hands

Remembered to have breakfast

Took a shower

Brushed your hair

Brushed your teeth once a day

Brushed your teeth twice a day

Shaved your legs

Shaved your beard

Shaved under your arms

Done the dishes at least one time

Done the dishes daily

Walked your dog

Made lunch

Cooked dinner

Had a good night’s sleep

Worked from home

Participated in a work meeting

Attended school online

Paid attention for more than five minutes in an online class or meeting

Checked your email

Responded to an email

Survived a day of homeschooling your kid

Talked to your parents

Talked to your friends

Used Zoom or FaceTime

Taught yourself how to use Zoom

Taught a family member how to use Zoom

Used a funny background on a Zoom call

Played a game with your friends on Zoom

Did laundry at least once

Cleaned your room

Just picked one singular item off the floor

Took out the trash

Changed your bedsheets

Cleaned out a cluttered closet/shelf

Deep-cleaned your house

Baked something (bonus points if it’s bread)

Cooked a meal you’ve never made before

Made whipped coffee

Gone on a (socially distant!) walk

Finished an entire TV show

Finished a book

Gave in a finally bought Animal Crossing

Cut your own hair

Dyed your own hair

Attempted a DIY

Gotten all dressed up just because

Put on a face mask

Done any form of exercise (Like literally at least one single sit-up is valid)

Done yard work

Painted your nails

Done a puzzle

Gone to the grocery store

Tried knitting or crocheting

Helped someone do groceries

Made a sign to thank first responders

Sewed face masks

 

How many did you get?

 

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

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Eileen – Chapter 15 – What’s Water Ice? – Part 2

Spring 2019

We leave the salon, and I make sure that Eileen is on the inside when we walk down the street. Girls on the inside. (always guys) We only need to travel two blocks but to my little neophyte she’s clueless. No worries. Eileen starts to complain but then sees Rita’s water Ice and that pacifies her for the moment.

I have to be honest here, I’m really proud of my staff this year. I’ve really enjoyed our tine together, but I really have enjoyed our social time together.

We get in line at Rita’s. It takes forever. But not really.

I’m just happy to be with Eileen.

She’s so beautiful and in this moment everything is so easy.

It’s just two people from different worlds from different ages but share the same experience and it just works.

We’re just two people that are exhausted from the same shit and we need a bit of repose.

Rita’s was the perfect idea. Eileen hates her roommates, and would rather be out that be home.

Eileen orders an enormous gelato with lemon water ice and vanilla ice cream. I’m astounded that this little girl could consume so much dessert, but youth is indestructible.

Whatever baby wants.

I order a small Oreo cookies and cream.

Eileen warns me that it will not be good but I just want a taste. I’m just happy to be with her.

Hers comes out and it looks huge and amazing

“Can you get us a table inside?”

I only say this so she’ll go settle and I’ll get to pay for her again. I like paying for her. I know she must realize what’s happening. Eileen is always s gracious and always thanks me for everything I do for her.

I’m happy to reward good employees. I’ve always been that way. That’s just good business.

But to be honest, when it comes to Eileen, I just really like taking care of her. I’m so grateful that she’s come to work at the salon and has been so amazing, If she ever needs a referral I’m on board.

I know I’ve said it before, but we really have been been blessed this year.

My Oreo slush in a small cup and it looks like a pile of mud and kind of sucks but I actually like it. I like it, because the salon’s air conditioning is broken, and it’s hot and gross, but I’m happy where I am now.

I’m sitting in a quiet space with a lovely 18-year-old girl that I adore sharing water ice in Philly.

If anybody reading this goes dirty, that’s on you because it was a lovely moment with my employee.

I’m telling her stories from my childhood about how we used to go sledding on snow days, and all of the accidents we used to have.

Eileen is fascinated by these harrowing tales, and is giggling while she chokes on her gelato.

I tell her I used to always tell funny stories at the dinner table with my mom and sisters and they would all lose their shit.

I love sharing these old stories with Eileen. She giggles and at some point of my many stories, literally loses her shit and cracks up and giggles uncontrollably.

Being the comedian I am, I love when I can really tickle someone and bring them joy,

My sisters get this.

My father always said I had a quick wit, but never saw the value in it.

“I’m sorry if Thomas (her boyfriend back in Missouri) has been worked up about us hanging out, but it’s just job shit. I like to reward my staff when their good.”

“He can kiss my ass. It’ll be fine.”

“The last thing I want is to cause problems in your life, dear.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“He’s just mad about you taking me out on all of these dates and is worried for my safety.”

“What? I’m a dad and just hanging with my staff.”

“I told him, he needs to settle down. We’re fine, and I work with you and we have developed a relationship and it’s good.”

“I love that Eileen said that she and I have a relationship and that her boyfriend is afraid of me from 2000 miles away. I don’t want to shake another dude up, but it’s fun to know that my pimp arm is still so strong.

Thomas has nothing to worry about. I adore Eileen as an employee. As a professional, I would never move on her.

Especially with young people.

It’ll be fine.

Baby seals will hit the water, and Great Whites will swim.

I’m starting to see a pattern here with Eileen.

I pay for everything with her.

I want her to be my Sugar baby in my mind, and she’s playing the role beautifully.

Do I mention it?

I brought her a bag of snacks the other day and today a rice crispy treat, It’s small, but steady and sweet. I think she knows I appreciate her beauty and her hard work.

It’s obvious I have feelings for her. She’s so young, I have to be respectful.

But for some reason i think it may be turning. I love that she always thanks me for everything I do for her.

I like that.

But lately i am feeling like she’s my sugar baby.

I love that.

What if I want to  make that happen?

I think Eileen already is my sugar baby!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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How To Plan A Zoom Brunch You’ll Look Forward To Every Sunday

While brunch plans outside of the house might be indefinitely postponed, mastering the art of how to have a Zoom brunch will hit a certain kind of spot in the meantime. If a lazy Sunday morning hang with your favorite people is a staple (or the staple of) your social life, missing this event can be painful. While we’re all at home social distancing and attempting to flatten the curve, social connection is more needed than ever. Honoring those brunch plans online could be a valuable dose of comfort.

Though it may seem insufficient, virtually eating a meal with your friends can help bridge the gap between solitude and support. Zoom, the rising video conference app, has become increasingly popular for a reason. According to The Guardian, an app tracking firm called Apptopia reported that Zoom was downloaded 2.13 million times on March 23 alone. The Atlantic notes that Zoom cocktail hours, coffee breaks, and dinner parties are booming, especially among tech savvy Gen Z-ers. And to help save our social lives during quarantine, Zoom is now offering free upgrades to non-paying users so that they can chat longer than the allotted 40 free minutes without being charged. Now is the time for that bottomless brunch in cyberspace if there ever was one.

“We are social beings. We need to be connected to thrive. Being physically separated takes its toll on us, but we can get back some of the social connectedness with technology,” Dr. Josh Klapow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, tells Bustle. Keeping the routine of regular “hangs” with your friends will benefit not only to your social life, but also your mental health.

Having a social engagement on the calendar is helpful, especially when you feel like your life is a never-ending Monday from apocalypse hell right now. So stay connected, and to honor your routines, host a Zoom brunch. Here’s how:

Get A Zoom Brunch The Calendar

Get a Zoom brunch on the calendar.
Shutterstock

Pick a date and time that works for you and your brunch crew. You want to make sure that you settle on a time that everyone can actually be present for, so get a group chat going and talk about this for a minute. For example, if your friends have kids, schedule your brunch during a nap. Or, if your friends live with other people, have them check with them to find a time that they can ensure a good hour or so of quiet, uninterrupted, private screen time, in a room they can eat in that also has great WiFi. Once you’ve found a time, set up a Zoom meeting so it’s ~official~.

Make Sure Everyone Is Signed Up For It

If you don’t already have Zoom, you’ll want to download the app on your phone, or desktop, and sign up for it ahead of time. The signup process only takes a minute, and requires you to add your email and name, activate your account by clicking a link that you’ll receive in your inbox, and bam, you’re ready to chat. Because you’ll likely want to make this brunch party a regular event, it’s best to have everyone signed up with the app and familiarized with it, first. Once you set the date and time and enter in all of your friends’ email addresses, the invites will get sent out.

Discuss Your Zoom Brunch Menu

Plan your Zoom brunch ahead of time.
Shutterstock

There are many different ways to go about having a virtual brunch, and you’ll want to decide on a plan of action with your crew ahead of time. You might want to prepare your food before the call, so that the meal isn’t an interruption. Or, if the food is an important element of the hang, you might want to decide on a theme, so you can all show off your meals when the call begins. Alternatively, you might opt to cook a meal together, while you’re chatting. Fruit breads, muffins, and scones are all the rage right now, and here are a few recipes to consider for your brunch bake off:

If Cooking Brunch “Together” …

Cook brunch with your friends on Zoom.
Shutterstock

If you decide to cook with your friends on Zoom, whether you’re making avocado toast or banana bread, you’ll want to prep the ingredients ahead of the call, to minimize the amount of clanging and maximize the time you have to sit down, and eat your meal with your friends. Have everyone take out the items they will need, and enjoy the privilege of getting to help each other through the process. You can compare notes on how to do each step, and when you have a finished product, you’ll actually feel like you made a meal with your friends, which will be even more rewarding.

Guide The Zoom Call

Though you might be brunching with your closest friends, it takes a while to get the hang of a multi-person video call, especially if you’re not used to Zoom. To help take the pressure off the potentially unnatural conversational flow, play Zoom games, or pick talking points to keep everyone engaged, like “what’s the pit and the peak of your week?” or “what show is everyone loving right now? If you choose to cook together, you can each present your meals once they are done, show them off to the camera, and discuss how the cooking process was for you. If you opt to cook your own meals ahead of time, you can still go around and share what you made, how you made it, and whether you like it — suffice it to say we could all use as many boredom busting recipes as we can get right now.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 1

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Emily – The Proposition

See: Emily – Pretend Sugarbaby

A lot’s changed in my life. After a couple of years with Cherie, that relationship is now ashes.

Rebecca’s back and I’ll have to see how that plays out. Kita has entered the arena of my exploits. Things are good. Things are changing, but it all seems for the best. I’m off on Sundays and Mondays now and I like that. Monday is always the opposite of what it once was in my former corporate life.

Sunday you started having thoughts of going back to the office Monday morning, and living through the meetings, the sales goals, the shitty managers, etc. Now I do what I want on Sunday, and sleep in on Monday. I go to Cavanaugh’s for the 1/2 off cheese steak and edit my blogs for the week. I like the food, the service, and the routine.

I don’t need much time off. So although I’ve got it all set up for Monday, I don’t know what to do with myself on Sundays now. I take myself out to breakfast, wander the city, run errands, and go to the movies.

Most of my young friends are married or live far away. Church is off in his own world working. Johnny is wrapped up in his life up in Mayfair, and my friend Rob is working in Zurich for two years with his wife and son.

I’m not ready to get into another relationship after sort of being in one with Cherie. It’s simply too challenging for me to be that attentive to what most (All) women want. I wish I had a young, attractive easy going girl I could spend a few hours with on a Sunday, maybe once or twice a month. That’s about all I could handle.

We hang out. Eat, drink, go to a museum or a movie and then she leaves and I get to enjoy my night in happy solitude.

Then it hit me.

Reach out to little Emily.

But not to catch up and have a drink. She’s 24 and I’m 57. We have nothing in common.

I’ve decided to set up a meeting. I’ll take her some place nice. Like Gran Caffe L’aquilla, she loved the calamari, cocktails and especially their award-winning gelato.

If she’s available she won’t turn down going there. She never goes to places like that because she can’t afford it.

When we get there, we’ll catch up and then after a few drinks I’ll ask her. I’ll gently explain what my situation and ask her if once or twice a month, if she’d like to hang out for a couple of hours on a Sunday, and I pay for everything.

I’ll tell her it’s strictly platonic and I just want the company of a young woman for a few hours on a Sunday.

I’m going to try this out on her because I have nothing to lose. But the more I thought about it, I realized I knew several women I could use this on.

I’m going to make a list and see if this honest approach works.

Wish me luck!

(Of course when all of this quarantine stuff is over!)

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Amelia – Chapter 9 – Marathon

Amelia tells me if we are stuck at the salon beyond 8:45 she’s going to bail and go home. She just flew back to the States from Japan and surely she must be tired. (Air Force Reserve)

I get it.

Of course it’s so busy at the salon we get fucked on that time scale. I tell her tomorrow is my buddy Church, and after that I’m drilled with work, so tonight we tell we catch up or it has to be next week.

Amelia relents, and even though she’s exhausted and so am I, we agree to hang.

We manage to get all of the stragglers and line steppers out of the salon and do our best to clean up and close out.

We know this is the only night we can hang, and even though we’re both exhausted, we march over to Marathon around the corner.

We exchange stories as always.

She tells me a lurid tale of a tryst she had while she was abroad.

All I can think of is what a liberated soul my Amelia is.

That’s it. No judgement. I just want her to be happy.

But there is something else.

I’ve really missed Amelia.

I wrote about about this before but I have to say it again.

I have feelings for Amelia.

It’s different.

It doesn’t fit into any dating, relationship, bucket.

I just have feelings for her.

I just love being around her and it’s so fun to spend time with her. (We’re paid to be together)

Okay…. I was sitting at dinner at Marathon with Amelia and we were exchanging stories. We’re so honest with each other. We really safely release to each other. (I like that)

I told Amelia I loved her.

She said it back.

I don’t know.

She’s 24, I’m 55. That’s a spread, but I love Amelia. I’m so happy when I’m with her. I feel like we could run a business together, and still laugh over drinks and enjoy each others company.

But I could be wrong

She’s young, and she has so many choices and I never want to interfere in that.

We had a nice dinner together, and I know she was tired, but I was just so happy to see her.

I’m happier in my life than I’ve ever been. I love that I have so many opportunities and I get stay busy at my age, but I really have been blessed to meet some new people in the real world instead of swiping on Tinder.

She’s my employee so I have to be careful…

But I’ve fallen in love with Amelia.

(AS A FRIEND!) 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Eileen – Chapter 13 – & Pizza

I knew in that moment that I still had the power over everybody I ever met. But I had to be careful how I wield that sword.

Are you sill hungry?

&pizza

Do you want that Eileen?

I do.

Can we do half pepperoni?

Eileen and I tan all of the people, sweep, and mop, and do all of the things we have to do to make it perfect for the next shift like always.

I’m sure Thomas (boyfriend back in Missouri) is furious, but I take Eileen to &Pizza.

I love being with Eileen.

We order a sweet pie that is done in 2 minutes. I pay of course and I’m happy to take care of Eileen. I just figure pizza is a good reward for incredible work at the salon,

We lock up and walk over to & Pizza. It’s raining little bit and I open my umbrella to protect her hair, which as she told me, gets so frizzy in rainy weather.

Eileen’s hair is long, luxurious, and absolutely gorgeous. It is like ribbons of coal that tumble about her shoulders like nothing else.

I know those are words of amour, but trust me, I’m just describing here. She’s 18. My daughter Lorelei is 21, I’m a Dad. I’m simply describing my co-worker’s lovely mane.

If you’ve been reading this blog I know what you’re all thinking.

We get to the place and go and order. Eileen doesn’t like her roommates. Apparently they are a bunch of “petty bitches” as she describes.

I get it. Teenage girls living together in close quarters is a dicey situation. Eileen likes to stay out and delay her time at the dorm. So this is welcomed by my employee.

We order and within minutes our product arrives out of the oven fresh and delish.

We grab a table and put our stuff down.

I like being out with Eileen. We work well together and get killed every night by the crowds of people desperately trying to tan for whatever the hell they have going on. It’s a luxury choice and and a needed service for others.

Some for skin disorders, but for the most part this time of year it’s just so they look tan in the sunny summer and don’t burn.

Eileen is such a good actress. She feels all of the frustration we all feel working here, but she always remains cheery and cordial. I love that. That’s a good work ethic I respect and enjoy.

We both know we’re slammed and the air conditioning is busted at the worst time possible, and the guy didn’t show up for the 2nd time, but we make it work.

We do that every night with out fail. We delight everyone and get them tan with a smile.

I feel the pressure of sometimes working on my own before she gets there before school because of her schedule, but when I hear her voice enter the salon I feel nothing but joy, knowing my help has arrived to save me from being run over for three hours straight.

 

The delicious pie arrives in  few minutes because that’s what they do at & pizza.

https://andpizza.com/

That’s where we were in Philly!

It’s a chain, but I don’t know how they pay their their $35k a month rent, but I digress!

Eileen is happy and that’s all I care about. If baby’s hungry after a monster shift, I’m happy to feed her.

I’m a huge believer in rewarding your best people, and even though Achilles should be doing this, I do it.

It’s just the right thing to do for your best people. I have the best staff I’ve ever had this year. I wish Achilles knew this, but it’s lost on him and that just makes me think more about Mac Mart, but again… I digress.

They have all of these weird fountain drinks and Eileen wants to try a few of them before she commits.

I paid for the pie and the drinks but she grabbed a little cup before, and now I have a big cup and she has a small one.

Eileen is determined to get a big cup and just grabs one after her first Mango whatever.

“Well you paid for it, so I’m getting a bigger cup.”

I love sitting with her and having our little fun dinner together.

I know her boyfriend is seething back in St Louis. I understand teenage insecurity, but what I’m doing is just employee reward shit. Amelia and Eileen are the best employees we’ve ever had. I’ve been a manager of people my entire corporate life. If you take care of your best, they work harder for you and feel valued.

I know Achilles has been fucked over by so many employees over the years and he’s jaded, but I’m not. He’s always guarded around employees. But now he has me as the buffer. The manager that never got to become the co-owner and grow the company.

This was his moment. We could have opened a gym or another tanning salon, but it never happened. But I’ll still treat my employees like they’re valued because I know how hard the job is every night, and they keep coming in on time and doing everything that’s needed. It’s simply what work is. I wish Achilles realized this but we’ll see.

The pizza is amazing and Eileen seems to be enjoying her slices and her drink of choice.

I get napkins and forks and knives because that’s what dads do. I decide to get a third place setting and tell Eileen we should honor Amelia, because she can’t be here but we wish she were.

Eileen loves this idea and takes a picture and loads it into our group text.

Eileen writes: “Amelia, u r missing out, we set a place setting in honor for you.”

Amelia: “I’m not dead.”

Eileen and I lost our shit over that. Amelia’s amazing and we miss her so much.

This has never happened at the salon. There’s never been this kind of connection between the staff and Achilles is completely outside of it. Which is fine, because he doesn’t need this. That’s what he has me for.

For now.

Eileen steals up to the counter and gets a bigger cup and fills it with her Mango delish.

We devour the pizza and I’m just happy to spend some time with my coworker where we aren’t be being overrun with clients.

It’s a moment of repose with a woman I’m grateful is in my life and and decided to call me for a job. I was desperate for staff and Eileen appeared. I didn’t think I’d get the best of the best.

Charming, smart, beautiful, professional. Based on our history at the salon, we don’t deserve Eileen. But we got her and I’m so grateful.

I feel the same way about Amelia. She’s magic.

I am so exhilarated to be out of the rat race. I get to work and be busy, and live a simple life with people I adore.

Finally.

Eileen goes to the tap and fills her 16 oz cup again for the long ride back to Drexel.

I’m exhausted, and just happy we got to hang out, chat, and have some fun food with a great girl.

We pack up and go our separate ways.

As always, I tell Eileen to be safe going home.

Thomas has nothing to worry about. If anything, he should know his beloved is being looked after by Lorelie’s dad, who would never let anything happen to someone he cares so much for.

Eileen and Amelia have been the best of the best at the salon. I’m so proud of them both. I’m sure I have told them both, but we’re truly in a renaissance at the salon.

When things are this good I think the owner may take it for granted. This surprises me a bit, but I’ll look after the staff as best I can for as long as I can.

 

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Cassie – Chapter 3 – Saturday Night

I’m sitting there at Bonner’s bar. A place I only go to with my friend Johnny R, because he likes an Irish sports bar that’s outside the bubble of Rittenhouse. (See: Johnny R – Some good stories there…)

But I come here out of boredom and not accustomed to being off, and just hoping for some social time and maybe the possibility of hanging out with Cassie.

Well. that’s paid off, and I immediately change to water to stay clean before Cassie arrives.

My day off may actually become interesting and fun for once.

I’m chilling at the bar as it fills with young, attractive, brilliant students from the Wharton School of Business across the street.

I love seeing all of these young, vibrant brilliant people all hanging out and chatting, laughing and drinking together. The beginning of adult life. So fun.

Cassie hits the door and looks amazing. She’s wearing a light top that is low cut and shoulders are out. Her jeans showcase her shapely legs. I’m still intrigued.

She looks beautiful, and sees me immediately. I stand to greet her, (As you should gentlemen when a lady enters or leaves the room) We hug and she has a seat.

She orders a Guinness, and I return to my Victory Summer Love.

Cassie is intrigued by my choice because she’s never seen that and I can tell she wants a taste. Nick the bartender cracks the cap from the bottle and lays it before me. I look at Cassie and know she wants a taste.

I’ve become so good at reading people I hand her the ice cold beverage. She smiles an puts it to her lips and takes a sip. I know she’ll love it. I also love that this kind of human exchange this early says “I know your safe to put your mouth on my drink before I drink it.”

That’s an early positive in an initial meeting.

“I’m sure it’ll be sweeter now that it’s touched your lips, Cassie,” I charm. She smiles and says it’s really good.

I go into who I am and what I’m doing currently to give her background. Family, single status, work, and where I’m going.

She unloads the same. Big family in California. Brothers and sisters. Strict Christian upbringing. Love it. She’s probably a wild child with issues.

Cassie and I connect as quickly as we did at the salon but on a deeper level. She’s beautiful and fun to be with today. I’m just happy she showed up to rescue me from being off with nothing to do.

She has her degree and has done a lot in human services. But she likes to party and has done coke. That’s why she looks older than her 31 years she told us at the salon. She was a wild child for years rebelling against her conservative upbringing.

It’s a textbook existence, but I really like her. We all have had our levels of damage in this life.

I like being with her and we hit on so many cylinders. She’s laughing and interested in my stories. I only give a few, but we’re having a great time.

She says she just got out of an abusive relationship. Mental and physical. That’s not good and a red flag waves in my face, but I flick it away because I have no investment here. (That’s an early overshare) I’m just happy to meet someone new and kill a few hours on my day off.

I’m really having a great time with this girl and she’s fun to be with. Which is rare in the dating arena, but I didn’t swipe on her, we met at the salon.

She’s from Cali and is absolutely clueless when it comes to Philly. That neophyte is perfect for someone like me. She’s not around all of the time, and I can turn her on to all of the cool spots in the city.

I can tell Cassie already appreciates that and tells me so. I’m happy to hang with an attractive lady and show her the finer points of our fair city.

Bonner’s is getting busy with all of the Wharton kids and it’s getting noisy. I tell Cassie, that we’ll close out and I’ll take her someplace completely different. The exact opposite of where we are now.

I cash out with Nick and say good bye to the crew. The whole bill for both of us is $30 including tip. Cassie thanks me and says she’ll buy my next drink.

We leave Bonner’s. It’s at 23rd and Sansom. I know where I’m going to take Cass to blow her mind.  (hopefully) We walk east and as we make our way to 16th street we pass so many bars and restaurants. (Sansom is rich in a little bit of everything. That’s why my friend Johnny loves it) Mellagrano, a fantastic Italian BYOB, Helium Comedy Club, Fat Jack’s Comic Book Store, The Ritz movie theater, Village Whiskey, home of the best burger in the city and killer whiskey, Capogirio, good gelato, but not anywhere near as good as Gran Caffe L’Aquilla, (which is God) All of the Stephen Starr Restaurants on 18th in Rittenhouse, Dizen Goff that has the best hummus in the city, Happy Rooster, a great bar with with good food but a big coke bar, Marathon, a spectacular chain that’s like an upscale diner with a bar but with food locally harvested.

We turn North on 16th street and I lead Cassie to R2L.

R2L is a sleek, sophisticated restaurant and private event space, R2L sits 500 feet above the city on the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place and features wall-to-wall unobstructed, breathtaking panoramic views that span for over 40 miles. With its bird’s-eye views of Philadelphia and creative American cuisine by Chef Daniel Stern, R2L sets the scene for some of the city’s most spectacular culinary experiences.

THE ATMOSPHERE

Your arrival at R2L begins with an exclusive elevator ride to the 37th floor of Two Liberty Place. Walk past the open kitchen and into R2L’s bar and lounge where hand-crafted cocktails and wrap-around seating make it one for the best places to grab a drink with friends and watch the sunset. Enjoy a memorable meal in the dining room featuring professional, attentive service and spectacular panoramic views of Philadelphia.

PRIVATE EVENTS

The R2L Private Event Coordinators will work closely with you and will personally attend to every detail to create an event that will meet your specific needs and exceed your expectations. From a midday board meeting to an intimate cocktail party overlooking William Penn atop City Hall to a grand seated dinner, the private dining options at R2L are as boundless as the view. Each room is equipped with plasma televisions for presentations and full audio-visual capabilities.

Cassie has no clue about Philly or where she is about to go.

We enter 2 Liberty and there’s some remodeling going on. The staff is sweet and apologizes but they lead us to the elevators.

I haven’t been here in years. There’s no reason for me to ever come here. Killer views, mediocre food, (Deadly dessert, sorry Daniel Stern) but sexy bar and an impressive dark space on the 37th floor of 2 Liberty.

There’s an ocean of people waiting for the elevator due to the construction. But Cassie and I are cool because we’ve already had drinks and she’e so affable at this moment, which I love. It’ll happen, we just need to get to 37. If it’s not too crowded a new girl to the city will love this. R2L is a space to impress.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Eileen – Chapter 10 – International Restaurant

I love Amelia. She is Megasun personified. Best employee ever. Achilles is completely oblivious because all he does is deal with the salon and the fitness center from 10am to 3pm.

After that is when the magic and the money happens.

He has no contact with me and the girls unless something goes wrong at the salon. My job is to make the salon sing and never call him.

I have the best staff I’ve ever had in the history of this company.

 

Achilles has lived his life with $9 an hour marginal garbage for years. But you bring me in and you’ll get better staff, because that’s what I do.

Does he appreciate it? No. He’s Greek, They work and grow and run businesses. They never trust their staff because most of them are shit and can’t be trusted.

But something magical happened in 2016. Achilles suddenly got a $50k corporate guy to come give him the fuel that professional, in the rat race, gave to corporations every day. But I drove that into a tanning salon. I was sick of corporate america and working for a bunch of weak assholes.

I can use all of my powers in this retail outlet.

What if we invest into a fitness center ?

Lets do that.

Sadly, never happened.

Let’s open another salon on the other side of Broad.

Never happened.

I’m the greatest employee you’ve ever had, and you’re still just running the last tanning salon in the city of Philadelphia.

We’ve faced our struggles and it’s all good, but here we are in our busy season.

I’m grateful for Amelia and Eileen.

They are hands down, the greatest employees I’ve ever had.

How is that possible?

Amelia, great with the clients, calm, cleaning, fun, charming, the extra stuff. Eileen, always charming, calm, and beautiful but willing to jump in whenever necessary.

I’ve some how been blessed.

Amelia and Eileen are beyond great.

I love them both in their earnest and elegance.

They run the front counter and get it right every night, and I get the luxury to run around the salon and just clean beds and do laundry. (Love it!)

That shows me that the most masterful member stands down while his best runs the ship. They’re ready and they’re better than him for this job tonight.

I have hired the best and this progression shows me that I’m right. They work independent of me and Achilles barely knows who they are. I would find that odd but I know him. He’s dealt with garbage employees for ten years, and can no longer tell the difference. I think he’s even losing sight of his very finest.

I want no credit in this, Amelia and Eileen are my best hires, and I am so very proud of them. I simply trained them and these lovely birds flew.

Oh darn…. I’ve been so caught up in how great my staff is… I promised Eileen if she got three compliments on her make up (Which is always amazing) I’d buy her dinner.

Sadly, she only got two but we did go to McDonald’s, and she loved it.

We did a group text to Amelia that I took my hire to “An International Restaurant for dinner Friday night.”

We all had a good laugh over it and I can’t wait to take Amelia for gelato as soon as possible!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly