A Real Lifesaver

Nicole Lionakis

Cocktail Server, LAX
Photo by Anthony Mair

Photo by Anthony Mair

Hometown: Las Vegas

In a fast-moving industry with high employee turnover and pushy clientele, it’s rare to find someone as loyal and lively as Lionakis, who’s spent the last five years at LAX. “I know people tend to hop jobs and go to the fresh new place, but I find that if you and your co-workers are like a family, then there’s no need to leave,” says the former lifeguard. “Most of the time when I go to work I’m in the middle of someone else’s vacation. I always try to keep that in mind so I can make sure they have the best vacation possible,” she says. And while she might ensure you have the time of your life tonight, she also might save it a few years from now: Lionakis has plans to enroll in nursing school. “You can’t wear a cocktail waitress uniform forever, “ she says. “It’ll be a nice transition. And I’ll still be working with people, just in a much different atmosphere.” But don’t worry, even as a nurse Lionakis says she’ll still try to pick up a cocktail shift every now and then. “I love the service industry, and I can’t imagine myself never doing it.”

Advice for partygoers: “Guests worry too much about what everyone else is doing and thinking, and they sometimes let it get in the way of them having a good time. This is your night out, and you should live it up exactly how you want to.”

Story by Zoneil Maharaj

2014 Nightlife Awards

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2014 Nightlife Awards

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