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“When are you going to grow up?”
The disdain was heavy in my mother’s voice. She bore a look that seemed to teeter on the edge of disappointment and amusement.
When she spoke, our guests diverted focus from their plates and turned towards me. I had just placed a long, intricately designed extended straw — roughly 5 feet in length –across the table into my grandmother’s holiday gin and tonic. After a collective pause, almost silent if not for my siphoning efforts, the group broke down into collective laughter. My aunt told me she loved me as she wiped tears from her eyes. My cousins raised their glasses and finished their champagne in my honor. Grandma, 94 years old, didn’t know what was happening and mentioned Roosevelt’s “New Deal.” In spite of herself, my mother laughed.
I winked and finished my grandma’s drink from across the table.
Partying, drinking, and carousing, in young people, is unfairly associated with immaturity. That bothers me.
Girls in the bar see me take my shirt off to rip a shot and they assume I’m unsuccessful. My friends’ parents see me replacing charades with competitive beer pong at a birthday party and they relegate me to “bleak” prospects. It’s busch. It’s busch and it’s unfair and it happens all the time.
It’s also hypocritical. The same girl judging me is leaving with me and the same parents picking my life apart go back to the office Monday where their colleagues celebrate them for throwing a terrific party.
Again, this bothers me.
Since 2012 and my graduation from SEC power LSU, I’ve been working in the sales industry. I have been fortunate enough to work in both the worlds of petroleum-pipeline and, most recently, the medical device industry. In form of a #humblebrag, I’m legit. I know this because of the ways in which I’ve climbed. I’ve furthered my career in ways that may surprise you. I’ve done cool shit, and people have noticed.
Recently I was with my manager. We were having lunch. My phone buzzed and I reached to check it. It was a text from my favorite nurse at my favorite office. The text was in GIF video form, and the GIF was a clip of Carlton from Fresh Prince doing his dance — you know the one. The GIF also was meme’d and right above spritely Carlton read: “WE NEED TO ORDER MORE!” I showed this to my manager. I explained to her what a GIF was and then I showed her again. She asked if this was how I professionally communicate with our customers and I said yes. She laughed and submitted the order and installed a GIF Keyboard on her phone.
I was at a district meeting in New Orleans last year. Twelve of our team members and some high ranking brass were in town. We gathered to discuss current business, prognosticate trends, and generally discuss heavy shit. On the first morning, before opening meetings, I had coffee and breakfast in my room. To feel professional I wore the hotel provided robe, with the logo on the breast. There was a matching pair of slippers. I wore those, too.
For whatever reason, after I finished my coffee — laced with Addy — I wore the robe and slippers downstairs. I entered the meeting room with a leather briefcase in my left hand and The Times crisply folded in the other. There was a pause, which held for some length of time, and then there was laughter. Uncontrollable laughter. In our first group breakdown, my boss had me speak and I narratively described my Tinder date with a transsexual.
Before dinner, our team met with two other districts at a famous Bourbon Street bar. It was hinted that work should be discussed. I invited an attractive brunette lady friend who wore a black napkin and high heels. We did shots with my boss, before and after dinner.
Be who you are. The fun you have and the shenanigans you pull are all interpersonal: sales.
Also, nobody respects pencil pushers..
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