GETTING ALONG TOGETHER IN NOVEMBER
On these cold November evenings the Dirty Dog must assemble a staff that has rid themselves of any winter blahs. These are the folks who will welcome the guests into a serene and uplifting experience. This process happens long before any patrons show up. What I have observed is that the management sets the tone, Their good natured work ethic is contagious.
I have watched the Dirty Dog Jazz Café staff prepare for an evening’s upbeat event. Tables were prepared while the kitchen started to hum. All went about their tasks with a great deal of independence and purpose. The service at the Dirty Dog is a team effort and so was the preparation. This kind of service is not an easy task, and success is not an accident. Gretchen, Tom. André, Willy and all the staff seem to like being around each other. The Dirty Dog is a warm place even before the guests arrive.
Here is someone who can say this better than I can. I asked Alexander Zonjic if the staff made any difference in the clubs where he plays. Here is Alexander’s answer.
HOLDING ON AS WINTER APPROACHES
It is good to keep things in our lives. Often I am informed by my wife that there will come a day that we will have to clear out some of the stuff that I have been holding on to. Most of the stuff has been in the same place for years, waiting quietly for me to either fix and then use them or paint and sell them. This is stuff that isn’t harming anyone and just needs a little love. My basement, attic and garage are a testimony for my love of old friends. Unfortunately they aren’t surviving neglect and time very well. The outdated electronic gear, darkroom equipment, carousel projectors, and flooded basement damaged furniture are destined to soon be by the curb. We will be consolidating our belongings, but some things will be kept, like my wife, good canvases and other familiar, still beautiful and still working stuff.
We all do move on eventually for a myriad of reasons. Many of us are looking for a better place. We chase the shiny apple, the romance of travel or a better place to work. Sometimes we make changes to accommodate others or improve our situation. It is difficult to move on from friendly things and places, and it is even harder to leave friends.
But it happens even at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café. I have watched as indispensable staff members are suddenly missing. Some come back with pictures of their new baby or pictures of their new house in Georgia. Most come back to say hello and express their appreciation for being part of a cohesive team at the Dirty Dog. Seldom does a door slam behind those who leave the place. Fortunately when someone leaves a new face appears that is just as competent and good natured as the predecessor.How is this possible? I think it is because of the quality of the Dirty Dog team. There has been a solid group that has been around since this jazz club first opened. They have lurched and stumbled. They have worked hard and laughed a lot. But most importantly they continue to create an atmosphere that is relaxed and welcoming.
SOMETIMES MISTAKES HAPPEN
Sometimes at the Dirty Dog the enthusiasm for the music and the place leads to unforeseen circumstances. One night when I was photographing the band from the entryway, I was taken by the smiles and good natured banter going on in a group at the large window table. Unfortunately, in the middle of the set there was an accidental spill. A disaster? Well, no. The music continued, the table cleared, a new tablecloth was placed and then recovered with silverware, glasses and napkins. The music continued and the celebrants never stopped smiling and applauding. This was all done with efficiency and courtesy.
I watched this play out as if it where a non-event. The staff seemed pleased to be of help. No fuss. This isn’t an easy gig, serving food in a small space with grace.
I think I was the only one that noticed the resetting of the table, thanks to the staff that provides the remarkable service at the Dirty dog Jazz Café.
The Dirty Dog Café has become home for some of the country’s finest jazz artists. Musicians love to play a gig at the club because they get respect. They are surrounded by people who listen and understand. When they play the Dog they generally have the audience’s attention, an audience that is also sometimes being served in the middle of a set with a warm smile.
The Dirty Dog remains a good place to work and to visit. When you visit, let the staff know you value their contribution. Smile back.
COMING TO THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ
November 14, 15
Make your reservations early as Alexander has earned a loyal following eager to find out what he is up to. There will be music guaranteed to lift your spirits.