Enemies, Friends, Family

This post has taking me a couple days to write. I mean, this writing has so much emotion in it, it isn’t even funny.

When you get transferred to another store, there are always employees that want to test you. To test your skill, your attitude, everything. This store was no exception. So let me tell you about my co-worker, Ritchie. Now, we didn’t always see eye-to-eye, in fact, I do believe there was a time that we truly hated each other, I could be wrong. But I do know that I had a couple of times I looked at the schedule and saw we were working together and thought to myself “fuck, gonna be a long night”.

We bashed each other, maybe not always verbally, but in our heads. More cases than I’d like to admit, but verbally was our standard. You see, I’m bullheaded, I’m cocky, I’m an asshole. I have a way with words that piss off 99.8% of the population. I know my job, and I do my job very well, better than most. Especially in the kitchen. Ritchie was a threat to me, I was a threat to Ritchie. We shouldn’t have been, but the “men” mentality makes it that way. He is an incredible broil cook, top-notch in my book. I didn’t think that way then.

We are both Alpha males trying to be the best. We clashed, numerous times. There was a lack of respect on both parts, mostly mine, but nonetheless, I had no respect for this “kid”. He’s 21, I’m 47, so yes, a kid.

As time went on, I saw more and more of his dedication to the job, to his willingness to help others when they needed it. I never saw it before, but then again, maybe I just didn’t want to see it. But something clicked in me. Here’s this “kid”, that works harder then most senior cooks, helps where it’s needed, and complains about shit minimally. So now, I’m checking the schedule to hope that Ritchie is working, it makes things run so much smoother in kitchen when he’s here.

Fuck man, this isn’t a kid, this is a young man who, 5-6 days a week, busts his ass. Yes, he slacks at times, so do I, everybody does. And if you say you don’t, you’re lying. I work mostly front of the house now, but ever time I work, I make it a point to make sure he’s doing ok, if he needs any help, most times I don’t ask, I just jump in and start helping him. Why? Because he’d do the same for me in a heartbeat. I really feel that deep down.

I care about this guy, when he wasn’t fine “normal” the other night, I was scared. I helped as much as I could to make sure he was alright. Just last night, the same thing. When I got the text, I left my tables, grabbed my protein bar, and ran outside to make sure he was alright. I’ll get more tables, I’ll never get another Ritchie. Now if you know me, I LOVE my protein bars and I do not separate myself from them. But I didn’t even give it a second thought, it was his.

I received a text the other night from him. Now this text sent shock waves through me, made my whole night, hell, my entire year! I’m not gonna get into details about it, but let’s just say, the respect level for this guy sky rocketed. It was hard to read through the tears that just these words were saying. Never in a million years would I have ever thought words could bring me to tears, but they did.

He and I are two in the same. We both have the same exterior and same interior. I want the best for him, he’s gonna do some special shit in this world. Maybe not right now, but he will. Hell, he’s young. He’s got his whole life ahead of him

Ritchie, if you ever read this: you are a TRUE friend. I will cherish our friendship for the rest of my life, no matter where are paths may lead us, you will always have a place with me. Thunder Buddies!

We started off as enemies, struggled through as friends, now staying as family!