January kicked off the new year for me seeing the same usual people at the Springfield Grille in Boardman. I went over to greet Mr. Kennedy as his friend Ron was walking toward the back of the restaurant. He said to me, “I read your article this morning. I was looking forward to seeing the fancy chalkboards you wrote about. It’s the reason why I came, but the board has been erased.” I had to explain to Ron that it was a new year, and with a new year we needed our boards to change. He continued, “Well I was hoping to be impressed by this 11-year-old you spoke so highly of.” I then said, “Well, she’s in the back working on the board in the private dining room, would you like to meet her?” As I took Ron back to the private dining room, I introduced him to her parents first, sharing how the article about their daughter was already bringing in patrons. We had a good laugh and Karina couldn’t have been prouder to have found a fan.
Just a small amount of time and a few words shared, allowed me the opportunity to introduce strangers to one another with genuine smiles and kindness. That got me thinking about the past few weeks across our company in different stores and how many people I have met that all share a common bond. No kidding. Some days I feel like I could be Kevin Bacon, six degrees of Sheila Nuth. Now that’s funny!
I’m going to start in Mars, PA at the Springfield Grille. I worked there a few days a week throughout December and got to know some of the newer servers there. Angel sat with me one afternoon in between lunch and dinner and shared that he was a traveler, and an educator and a musician. He lived out west for some time as well as New York City. The next day I was at Rachel’s in Mercer where I spent some time talking with another server there named Braden. Braden was telling me about his time spent in New York city working in the ballet while waiting tables at a well-known city hot spot. He too is a musician. Later that same week back at Springfield Grille in Mars, I was in the dining room checking on tables when I noticed a couple that could use some more bread. Simple conversation led to them sharing their personal story of how they met. She, an executive that lived in London, he, an actor that lived in Japan, as well as New York City. I couldn’t believe that in just a few short days I had met three people, all of whom don’t know one another, but each of them having ties to New York City. Ironically throughout all three conversations, it turns out that when I mentioned one person’s name from the city, they all knew exactly who I was talking about. It is indeed a small world.
Often, I see familiar faces and the conversations segue from personal interests to family familiarity, but when strangers become a connection to other people, it makes me believe even stronger that I am just where I am supposed to be, in the dining rooms, meeting, connecting and bonding.
If these words have reached you and we have never met, I welcome the opportunity to extend an invitation to make the connection. Who knows, we just might be six degrees of separation from knowing some of the same people?
Cheers!

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