Twenty years ago, Jonathan Horton got fired for the first time in his life. Laura Zingale, who was one of the shift leads at the Pagliacci Customer Service Center—and still is today—invited Jonathan to apply.
“She made me come and work here,” says Jonathan. “There were a lot of personalities in the phone center. It was a fun environment, easy and interesting. It’s not like you’re cold-calling. You’re helping customers with what they already want.”
He wasn’t out of bartending for long, but he always kept a shift or two in the Customer Service Center. For the last twenty years, Jonathan has worked continuously at Pagliacci, mostly part-time, mostly in the CSC for catering, before moving to full-time at Pagliacci in 2019. He’s now our trusty Office Administrator and keeps things running smooth. And we are so grateful!
“I’m the door guy,” he says with a laugh. “Actually, I have a four-page list of weekly tasks—it’s insane.”
But not as insane as being a bartender and manager at nightclubs, as Jonathan did for many years.
“I’m so happy that I had that crazy bar life,” Jonathan says. “I bartended and managed at Neighbors and The Fenix Underground. I was the person that was there all night, including after-hours until 4 a.m., the non-alcoholic part of the night. It was just a show, so wildly entertaining. This is so tame in comparison. But I’m older now and I need that health insurance. I like to be home with my husband rather than out all night… we had opposite schedules and days off for over 20 years. Now we have weekends off together. It’s pretty awesome.”
When Jonathan moved to the office, he worried his skill set wouldn’t translate. “I had zero computer skills, and I was super loud,” he says. “I was the last group to go through my university where computers were an option,” Jonathan says. “I had to learn what a query was.” He pauses, then adds wryly, “The office is still a quiet place, but it’s not as quiet as it used to be.” And it wouldn't be the same without him. This year, Jonathan was presented the Service Beyond Expectations Core Value Award, voted on by his peers.
Now that he’s brushed up on his Excel and Outlook skills, things are easier, and he’s settled into a work/life balance that allows him to pursue many of his passions outside of work, especially reading voraciously—anything by Flannery O’Conner or Tennessee Williams—and pretty much everything else, too. And travel, preferably to Rome or New Orleans, though Positano, Italy, will do.
And these days, with his quieter evenings, you’ll often find him at home on Capitol Hill, with his husband, waiting for their Pagliacci delivery: a 13-inch half cheese, half salami, green pepper, and black olives, slightly well done.
Thank you for all you do, Jonathan, and Happy Anniversary!