How to Get Jobs and Influence People at Happy Hour

40 Days of Writing/Spring 2017/Day 9


I took a day off from boo-hooing about my employment/financial situation because my daughter had the stomach flu, and if you know anything about caring for someone with the stomach flu, you understand that it’s a selfless task.

Because the world works in mysterious ways, it was during this break from self-pity that I received not one, not two, but three employment-related emails and one employment-related text, all within the one-hour period in which my daughter had fallen into a fevered sleep on the couch, and I sat next to her reading and catching up on emails. This was all exciting and good, but I also got an email from my stomach-flu-ridden daughter’s teacher announcing that her classroom had been exposed to lice and so, yeah, my day was awesome, in so many unexpected ways.

Given the above, you can imagine the relieved pleasure I took in finding myself sitting alone in a cozy little restaurant bar with a book and a glass of wine during happy hour the following day. Granted, happy hour is not generally the time I would settle in for anything resembling relaxation; it’s too crowded and even the finest restaurant bar scene is a bit cray during HH. But, I’d done a quick search on my credit card’s website to see which nearby restaurants resulted in bonus miles for eating there, and the first, more sensible choice (it had the word Quinoa right there in it’s name!) was closed for a private party. Jerks. So I’d wound up at an apparently very popular restaurant during their happy hour, as I’ve mentioned, taking up a coveted table for two so I could savor my ‘quiet’ time and some much-needed food.

I’d had a meeting earlier, and because I’d been running late had forgone lunch, thinking I would grab a late lunch afterward. The meeting ran over an hour later than I’d anticipated, however, and so when I emerged I was starving, grumpy, and completely blank on whatever had just been discussed.

When my food came, I began eating…as you do. It was then that I took in the scene before me: a small plate of oysters, a glass of wine, and Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, which of course is essentially about being alone and how not to be alone. I turned a mirror on it all and added the lone woman into the mix, i.e. Me. Also, I was seated in the darkest, farthest-most corner of the classy little bar. Oysters. Wine. Modern Romance. Amanda Janik.

I have become this woman.

I don’t even care. I mean, I did want to make a little sign to put up on my table that said “I’m reading this because I like Aziz…not because I’m alone in my life! I swear I have a boyfriend!!” But I didn’t do that.

I started to think about the meeting interview I’d just come from, and in my state of protein-enriched memory recovery, I realized that I’d talked about masturbation during it. Specifically, I’d said “oh no it’s nothing bad, just maybe stuff about masturbation or whatever” because I was trying to be all ‘full disclosure’ and telling the Executive Boss Person that I was a writer and had a blog and if I was going to work for them was it going to be a problem that I wrote about whatever I wanted to in said blog.

I guess I’m a little rusty at in-person interviews. Because at the end of “…or whatever” I’d continued, and said, “like being on my period, you know, stuff like that.”

I’m pretty sure I nailed the interview, is what I’m trying to say.

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