It’s not like me to talk about my writing, due to crippling self-doubt and the worry I will sound like a dickhead. (Sorry for using that word Granny.)
However, I do mention this little blog to the people I work with, mainly so it seems I do something outside of work other than watch the Great British Bake Off or write stories about Harry Potter’s little sister attending Junior Stars (that’s a story for another time.)
For a while now I have wanted to write about work. Well, mainly the people I work with. This is written particularly for the people who worked at Foxglove between December to February. The ones who helped me find my feet when I first started. The ones who showed me the dangerous world of incentive shots and made my alochol tolerance surpass university drinking game levels. The ones who became some of my first friends in Wellington.
(If any of the new Foxies are reading this, we’ve got some memories to make, I’m sure.).
My first couple of weeks working at Foxglove are a blur.It was summer and something always needed doing. I remember being desperate to get to grips with it straight away. R, a former bartender, never minded the ridiculous number of questions I asked about where to find things on the bar.
It wasn’t just finding glasses or certain bottles of wine. It was learning table and position numbers. knowing which room was what, getting used to the sheer size of the place. There was also functions, mainly weddings, and I’d have to build up strength for ‘platter arms’ whilst explaining it’s salmon rillette sir. Yes you can take more than one.
The team was so friendly and helpful and it was thanks to them that I got to grips with things fairly quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I still worried about getting things wrong or getting fired but I also worried no-one was going to like me.
With it being so busy, we got a staffie every night (a free beverage) I took this an opportunity to try and relax, get to know people when I wasn’t rushing around the building, taking orders or clearing empty plates and glasses.
One of the first times I remember feeling I was truly making friends at work was when L (a beautiful red head*) and I drank after work, and we ended up in town. One drink escalated in to jugs of beers and shots ( I soon learnt this was not unusual behaviour at Foxglove.) We spoke for hours and I opened up in a way I don’t normally do. She is now one of my closest friends out here. She’ll probably appreciate the fact she has a paragraph written about her.
There is no stand out moment I can remember where I thought: “I think people like me.” However, I can tell you about my birthday. Ish.
I had my birthday drinks at Foxglove and I was genuinely touched by how many of the staff made an effort to make it. I was given a cocktail in a ridiculously large glass and from then on, apparently, I was always seen with a drink in my hand. The bartenders knew how much I feared the infamous dirty pint, so gave me a girly version – half a pint with liqueurs, port and juice. It had a mini umbrella and a sparkler. I had to drink it with the sparkler lit.
Lets just glaze over the town aspect.
A couple of days later, my friend A said, “Elle, I didn’t realise how much they all love you.” The warmth and joy in her voice for me made me realise how lucky I was. Actually, maybe that could be the moment.
I don’t know how to write this next part without sounding nauseatingly cliché . I want to avoid the word blessed at all costs. The best thing I can think of is to share some moments, ones that made me feel grateful, looked after, or just happy to be there.
One time I finished a shift and wanted to stay for one drink (as you know, this is rarely the case) but I ended up drinking with J, M and L. We did an Irish car bomb. I ended up following the Greatest Hits on Spotify thinking it was one of the best things I’ve ever heard. We laughed too hard at stupid things.
The times P and I share looks when we’re both hungover but manage to run the restaurant together.
I said I was in a bad mood and at least two people offered to make me a cup of tea. V gave me a big hug.
The way E notices if I’m wearing a new lipstick.
Seven times out of 10 L (the beautiful blonde) and I will say Yorkshire to one another during a shift.
JJ brought me back Yorkshire Tea when he came back from England.
I took a nap in the ballroom once, feeling bemused as it’s usually decked out for a snazzy wedding. D tucked me in on the sofa using a big white tablecloth. It was surprisingly cosy.
I polished glasses with E (she’s so cute and little) and dancing to Justin Biebber whilst watching the wedding guests slowly but surely get smashed.
How Matt, Luther, Julian and Corbin (I told you you’d get a shout out) are always so lovely whenever I make them coffees. They keep saying I’m the best, and it never fails to make me smile, even if I feel grumpy.
The many staff nights that have started as “I’m only having a couple” fast forward to four in the morning and no-one knows what’s going on.
The staff parties where the intention was never just a couple. Fast forward to four in the morning, I’m in bed because tequila is a terrible life choice.
There is so much more I could mention but I’m aware this has gone on for long enough. I guess all that’s left to say is this:
Thank you Foxies, for letting me be part of the fam
Or should I say, churs.
* * *
*There you go Libby.