Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Seven Years Ago Today

Earlier this afternoon, while I was staring at the calendar and counting the days until I can start watching television again, it occurred to me that exactly seven years ago today I put on my working girl shoes and started my first full-time, permanent job.  (Well, “permanent” in the sense that it wasn’t a summer internship.)

The job was in New York, working for a boutique financial consulting company.  There were only twenty employees, mostly young, single, mathematically inclined individuals like myself.  I was scheduled to start in January, when the company had its annual retreat.  So that’s how I began my career: on a party bus, with a bunch of geeks, headed to Vermont.

That was also the day I met my husband.  He was originally supposed to interview me, but thanks to a lucky turn of events, he was out of the office that day.  Given his obsession with spreadsheets and my complete lack of Excel knowledge, I’m sure he would’ve been dead set against hiring me.

But as it happened, the first time I saw my husband, he was sitting in the front of the party bus, typing away on his little laptop, while the rest of us were playing drinking games.  I remember thinking that he looked very smart.

An hour into the trip, we stopped at Hooters.  I took the opportunity to check in with my parents, who couldn’t wait to hear how my first day on the job was going.  “Yes, Dad, everyone is very pleasant and professional.  We just stopped for, um, coffee.”

Once we were back on the road, one of the guys coerced my future husband to join our game of Quarters. (If you’ve never played Quarters before, it’s pretty simple: you try to bounce a quarter off the table into a cup, and if you succeed, you point your elbow at someone, and that person has to take a sip of beer.)  I don't remember our first interaction, but I’m really good at Quarters, so I like to imagine that it involved me sticking my elbow in his face and ordering him to drink.

When the bus finally arrived in Vermont, my co-workers and I waded through a sea of empty beer cans and stumbled into the hotel parking lot, where the two senior partners were waiting to greet us.  First on the agenda: company pictures.  The photographer was already there, so I had exactly ten minutes to change into my business suit and practice looking sober in front of the bathroom mirror.  Here is a blurry, low-resolution copy of my individual photo:

It’s actually not a terrible photo.  When the pictures went up on the website, we all sat around the office trying to discern who was the drunkest, and I don’t think my name was mentioned once.

After our drunken photo shoot, we went to a party hosted by one of the partners.  My future husband was the only person who didn’t attend.  He claims that he missed us as we were leaving and didn’t have anyone’s phone number, but he’s never been one for parties, so I doubt he was very torn up about it. Meanwhile, I was having a wonderful time shotgunning beers with my boss and betting him that he couldn’t scale the two-story brick fireplace.  (FYI, I was right.)

Hands down, the best first day on the job ever.  Three years later, that wonderfully dysfunctional company was bought out and disbanded.  And a year after that, I married the guy with the laptop.  How fitting that at this very moment, he’s sitting across from me, typing away on his computer and looking very smart, while I try to think of something more fun to do.

1 comment:

  1. Great post Jami! I dont think I ever heard that story about the bus and drinking games on the first day!