Hi all! In this snippet, I've ventured into the world of temp work back in Winterville's smoking-hot job market of 2009 and found a drinking buddy at last. Enjoy!
In my new position, I tried to make friends with some of the people around me.
Since I emanated the stench of someone who didn’t grow up in Winterville and had a bachelor’s degree, I gravitated toward people like me. It was a big-enough workplace for that to be possible. That’s where I met Patti Drinking-Friend.
Patti was thin and wore business clothing to work every day. She may have enjoyed dressing the part more than playing the part, but her work persona was very dignified, in control, and professional. Her hair was always up, and her shoes were always sexy. That’s what I liked about her at first; she didn’t seem like a stupid hick.
My job, while busy and ever-changing, wasn’t very challenging, so I didn’t need much coaching, but she and I would talk from time to time. I was amazed one day when she popped up with an invitation to Happy Hour. I felt like a contestant on The Price Is Right; I’d been in Winterville for over a year and never had the opportunity to take part in this type of workplace ritual. So, I went.
At Chili’s, the de-facto Happy Hour hotspot in our area of town after Bennigan’s closed, the drinks were flowing, and skinny little Patti was downing a great quantity of them while I nursed a rum-and-coke and promised myself I wouldn’t be too tipsy to leave if the evening got lame.
“Stressful week, Patti?” I asked her.
“You don’t know the half of it. My boyfriend who lives 100 miles away dumped me last weekend,” she slurred.
“I am so sorry!” I said.
“Yeah, he said the distance was too much, yadda yadda, although he never made the effort to come see me here. Seemed put out when I didn’t have 4 extra hours in my weekend to make that drive to see him. Didn’t want to make the effort himself. He’s a Taurus, you know? His way or the highway. Or in my case, his way AND the highway.”
“I always choose the highway,” I told her. “It’s why I’m single.”
“The reason you’re single is because you’re here!” she said. “When was the last time you had a date?”
“That I could get excited about? 2006.”
 Note: Finance professionals tend to drink excessively.
 Note: Diva and I are allowed to ridicule finance professionals as much as we want, given that both of us worked in that anti-female, semi-toxic environment at a time when finance jobs were plentiful; we had to learn “new marketable skills for the workplace” to keep our heads above water in our post-college twenties and early thirties. Our foray into the financial world didn’t last for either of us, but we made some money and learned about finance as businesses mutated and shrunk due to the Great Recession. Besides, some of our best friends used to work in the financial industry- and a few still do.