Boys in Blue

Here at last… comes the end of our fellowship.


Freshman year officially ended at 15:33 on 8.30.10. I’d now like to take a few minutes to write about one – or two, rather – of God’s greatest blessings to me, where they are least likely to find and read about it =)

I’ve held my job at MCI Operations for almost seven months now. I’ve completed six credits of co-op, and have two more to go in order to fulfill the co-op requirements for my degree. I was, and I’ve remained, the youngest employee, and as such, my naturally family-oriented self has looked for older sibling-like figures among my co-workers. God gave me two big brothers where I looked for them least; one, I disliked, if not hated, rather strongly at first, and the other, I was honestly scared of.

I don’t know what I’d do without them now. I’ll have to learn, though; one will be gone by the time I’m back at school next Tuesday, and the other won’t be around much longer if he gets that other job, which he will.

Summer Saturdays at MCI are empty. I feel ten times safer in the empty lower levels of the ATLC than the empty lower levels of the Main Building, but being alone nights and weekends when there aren’t classes does make me just the tiniest bit fidgety. The hallway lights have sensors, and while their being off assures me that nothing has been either up or down the hallway for at least half an hour, the silence and lack of windows can get to me.

I’m very rarely late, and I’d come in before anyone else a couple Saturdays ago, as usual, and there were no classes on the schedule. I went to pull two blue queens and a speed rack of dishes from 014, and on my way back, I spotted someone through the arrow slits in the double doors (yes, I call them arrow slits despite the glass; their dimensions make it impossible to see anything of any importance from more than twenty feet away) and immediately thought, Oh good. He’s here. I was that much calmer, and as such, I took my time getting the three carts through the first set of double doors and around the first corner. Upon rounding the second corner, I found Brad waiting silently, holding the second set of double doors open. Lol.

And of course he helped me get the carts through the second set of double doors, around the third corner, through the third set of double doors which is in itself a corner, and into Receiving. A good ten, fifteen-ish minutes of trouble during which he could have gotten his uniform, changed, and clocked in that much earlier. I apparently have his grandmother (who is “not among the living”) to thank for the chivalry.

By contrast, Stevo will hold elevators and doors and wait for me to catch up in the hallway – not with any chivalrous intent, but to kill time, so he says =) Completely unflattering, which is perhaps the biggest thing I appreciate about both him and Brad. Maybe it’s their age that gives them an advantage, but they just don’t waste words. The 60% of conversation that is banter when the two of them are in the same room is just fun to listen to, chock full of movie/comic/book/music/other references.

I was singing Think of Me the other week…

Brad: No more Phantom of the Opera!
me: *laughing*
Brad: Are you laughing because I said that or are you laughing because I knew that?
me: Both.
Brad: I’m cultured, Aurora.

And goodness, it shows. Stevo and I were organizing the super secret storage closet for Bakery Hill one Saturday, and Patrick had somehow found his way there and was standing around talking. I sent him off to help Joe. Stevo asked if I didn’t like Patrick. I explained that I thought he was nice enough in general, but I didn’t particularly like his sense of humor. His (Steve’s) and Brad’s humor was at least 90% of the time indicative of wit and cleverness – overlooking Brad’s standard practice of taking a word or phrase out of someone’s last sentence and preceding it with “you’re” (ex: “This is ridiculous.” “You’re ridiculous.”); Patrick’s humor was just crass most of the time. Steve understood.

Julz used to call them the “fallen intellectuals.” I don’t know about the “fallen” part =) but I love talking to Brad and Steve. Brad’s former-psych-major insights are always worth listening to, and I like going to him for his analysis of this situation or that person. Brad knows lots of little random things, and the stories that come with his answers and explanations are great. Brad will take the time to sit down with a person and google things, look things up in The Food Lover’s Companion, or go on a field trip and get some hands-on experience with a specific task, like pulling stock or checking in fish. I’m not afraid to ask Brad anything. I’m not afraid to ask Steve anything, either. I like our discussions on the illogicality of feminists, the personalities of certain misunderstood individuals, books and movies like Eragon and Harry Potter and Kill Bill, politics, education, the real reason that marijuana is illegal, siblings, sharp pointy things like throwing stars/knives and katanas… etc.

But I think what I appreciate most about Steve and Brad is their protectiveness. That, more than anything, yells big brother! to me. I am tempted to suppose that it just comes naturally to them at their respective ages of 27 and very-nearly-24 what with both having four siblings like myself… or not. Apparently I get a look on my face when talking about weapons and things to do with them that is “disturbing,” and my preferring to wait for [certain] other people to eat before eating myself is “endearing,” but makes me “such a dork.” They also tell me that I say “sorry” far too often, that it’s not good for my psychological health, and that I really need to work on my self-confidence (which makes me laugh inside =).

At any rate, male chefs, both instructors and otherwise, are not the… cleanest… bunch joke-wise, honestly. Most jokes go over my head, and often very noticeably so, to the amusement of said instructors ([male] peers mostly seem incredulous/exasperated), and when either Brad or Steve happen to be present, I’ll ask if or state that I missed something… to which they will very kindly but firmly reply something to the effect that it ought to stay that way and that my innocence must be preserved. Brad might add something about how he won’t be the one responsible for ruining me, and Stevo might express a hope that I keep my innocence for as long as I possibly can.

And then they’ll step out for a sidebar and I’ll tag along.

I don’t know why I disliked Brad or was scared of Steve.

Scratch that. I do know.

Steve isn’t any less intimidating when he’s not smiling and Brad isn’t any less deadpan when being blunt which can come off as overly harsh. But I know they’ve grown on me, and I guess I’ve grown on them, or so Brad was kind enough to say once. I know we stick together and hold each other up when necessary… like when Brad nearly had a heart-attack because certain newbies had put every single piece of cast iron in 033 into a full dishtank of very soapy water. This was followed by a [very calm and collected {truly}] rant, a good laugh, a little walk, and a sidebar.

So here we are. Sophomore year officially starts for me in five days. And it’s not going to be the same. No more Wednesday nights or Saturdays with the Dream Team. People applying at MCI Ops ask me if I like my job. I always reply, “I wouldn’t’ve stuck with it if I didn’t love it so much.” That’s not a lie. But I owe a BIG part of that – indeed, most of it – to Steve and Brad, and I’ve been especially conscious of that fact this past term. I wish them both the best of luck – Brad with his new job [which is practically a sure thing] and Steve with UC. I’ll see them around, I’m sure, but I’ll miss them both a lot… So here’s to those boys in blue! They’ve been responsible for the general sanity/cheer of this little girl at work. (Which means here comes the insanity and depression =) kidding!)



  1. […] suited me just fine; it meant a sidebar outside of the Overlook, which hasn’t happened since the Saturday that Stevo and I cleaned out the secret storage room and a sidebar became necessary due to Bradley needing to vent about Peaches and Joe throwing every […]

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