Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Pointsettia Bowl

I've been a fraud for so many years. Now, finally, I was facing the chance to remove that lable--I was going to my first football game.

I spent ten months in college working for the St. Louis Rams Internet Pro-shop. We were the official site for buying Rams Gear and could honestly say we were employed by a professional football team. All of us touted that with pride. Even me, who hates football, mostly because I don't understand it. I remember feeling excited about going to high school where I could go to football games and pep rallys on Friday nights, but the performing arts high school I went to didn't have a team. Can you imagine, dozens of violinists and ballet dancers out on a football field? We'd have been the joke of the century! Ok, no problem. There's always college. That would be more fun anyway--college football. Well, the Billikens were big in basketball--no football team.

I resigned myself to never knowing the sport and not really caring. I'd managed to make it through those ten months with the Rams, not knowing a single thing about football. Customers would call and rave about the game and I'd just express untrue remorse at having missed that one. Sigh!

But now, five years later, I finally had my chance! My father-in-law went to the Naval Academy, graduating in 1970. At the inaugural Pointsettia Bowl, the Midshipmen were playing the Colorado State Rams. Naturally, we had to go and cheer on the home team (though I'm not sure which side was really the home team--the game was played in San Diego and the Midshipmen were from Maryland).

When he asked Nick and me if we wanted to go, I said sure! What an opportunity! An inaugural bowl! I'd finally get a chance to really watch a game. How complicated can it be? It's football.

We had seats fairly close to the front. The pre-game show was exciting! I'd been hearing about the march of the Midshipmen for hours during the tailgate party and thought it must be impressive. I will say one thing for those Navy guys and gals--they know how to march. But the Rams--what a marching band they had! It was huge--covering the whole field. They could march and play instruments! They had cheerleaders tossing each other up in the air and spelling things out--and this was just the pre-game show? Boy, was I in for a treat!

I soon learned just how wrong I was. A quarter lasts 15 minutes. There are four quarters in a game. The ball is in play for one hour. Not too bad, right? Well, it actually takes an entire hour to get through one quarter. But an exciting game like football should make the time fly.

Not exactly.

The kickoff meant nothing to me. I watched the ball fly across the field and then lost it in a pile of burly men pouncing all over each other. No sooner had the clock started than it was stopped again. Only four seconds into the game. A long night ahead of me...

Try as I might, I could never follow the ball. Just when I thought we were doing something great, the Rams fans would cheer. When our guys got tackled, the Navy fans were cheering.

What? Is this right? We want to be tackled? Aren't they kicking the ball the wrong way? Why is the clock stopping? How exactly does this scoring work? One point, two points, SIX POINTS? What?

I sat for the four hours with my elbows on my knees, trying to concentrate on the game. The ball would be visible and then disappear again. Everyone was calling for a time out, even the commercials.

I have no idea who won. I heard the next day that it was the Navy. Well, good for them. I learned one valuable thing that night--I still hate football.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A Workout

I have become something of a nutrition junkie, though you wouldn’t know it to look at me. I’m not in the best physical shape, I drink more coffee in a day than any one woman should (and not decaf), and I have an uncontrollable weakness for doughnuts. However, over the past several years, I’ve become fascinated by how the physical body works, have turned to a vegetarian diet and limit my indulgences to as few as possible—my weight is on the way down. I’ve become an avid exerciser in the early morning hours as well.
When I first moved to California, I found the joy of 24 Hour Fitness. I love it solely because it is open 24 hours. I like to get up before the birds are chirping and college students are still out partying. I generally stroll into they gym around 4:30, do an hour on the elliptical and they a half-hour to an hour of resistance training. It’s done wonders for my well-being. Not only am I getting in a great workout, but I’m up so early that I get lots of other stuff done as well.
The branch I’d been going to was literally a five-minute walk from my apartment. Convenience made up for the inconsistency in several of the same model of stationary bike burning different amounts of calories at the same resistance. They showers weren’t exactly private (there was only one with a shower curtain—the rest were fogged doors. Some privacy, but not as much as I’d like), and the nude fest that took place in the women’s locker room every morning was enough to make a porn star blush. I’m exaggerating, but my point is made. I’ve seen more naked women that I care to, and most of them are not quite “there” with their bodies yet (myself included, which is why I try to stay covered up).
I was happy to continue going to this gym, but my husband and I decided to move about thirty miles south of the gym. There was a branch more conveniently located to our apartment, but even more so, there was one close to my office. How nice it would be to work out and go straight to the office, or take a long lunch hour and get in a few miles on the treadmill. What a great idea!
I called the toll free number on the back of my membership card to find out just how one goes about switching locations.
“Thank you for calling 24 Hour Fitness, this is Carlos, how may I help you?”
“Carlos, I have a one-club membership. I’ve recently moved and I’d like to switch clubs.”
“Would you like to upgrade to the all club? It’s only $5 more a month.”
“No, I don’t think so. I really only use one club. I’d just like to change that club.”
“What you have to do is call the club you’d like to switch to. They can do it for you over the phone.”
Fine, no problem. I called the club near my office.
“It’s a great day to get in shape at 24 Hour Fitness. This is Shelly, how can I help you?”
“Hi Shelly. I have a one club membership and I’ve just moved into your area. I’d like to switch clubs.”
“Would you like to upgrade to the all club? It’s only $5 more per month.”
“No thanks. I just want to change clubs.”
“Oh. Uh, what you need to do is call back, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9am and 5pm.”
I looked at my watch. It was Friday afternoon around 1:30. Hmmm. I decided to let Shelly know this.
“Ok. Today is Friday and it’s 1:35 in the afternoon.”
“Right. But not today.”
“Why not today? You just said to call back Monday through Friday between nine and five. This very moment fits that criteria.”
“Right.” She sounded flustered. “But all the managers are in Orange County today for a kick-off meeting.”
“Ok. So Monday should be fine.”
“Right. Or you can call the club you want to transfer from. They can do it there.”
“Oh, so I can just call them?”
“Right, but not today.”
“Ok.” Shelly didn’t sound very bright. All right, fine. I’d go in on Monday.

Monday afternoon, I walked into the 24 Hour Fitness in University Town Center, just a few miles from my office.
“Hey! How’s it goin’?” Chip, the young man at the counter seemed a little too energetic for a Monday.
“Fine. I have a one club membership and I need to talk to someone about changing my club.”
“Ok GREAT! Do you want to upgrade to the All Club? It’s only $5 more a month.
“No thanks, Chip. I just want to switch clubs.”
“Ok. Why don’t you talk to Eric, right over there?”
Eric was sitting in a large room filled with desks and computers—presumably the sales office. Eric could easily have been my son and he was about as up beat as Chip.
“Hey! How’s it goin’?”
Did they all say this?
“Fine. I have a one-club membership and I’ve just moved. I’d like to switch clubs.”
“Ok. Do you want to upgrade to the All Club? It’s only $5 more a month.”
“No, Eric, I just want to switch.”
“Well, if you get the all club, you can go to any club—all over the country.”
“I understand that. I really only use one club.”
“Well, clearly, you don’t, if you want access to this one now.”
I sighed.
“No. I just moved. That’s why I need to switch clubs.”
“But if you switch to the all-club—“
“I don’t want to switch to the all-club. I want to keep my one-club. I just want to switch clubs. I’ve been going to that club, but now I’ve moved and I want to go to this club.”
“Well, ok, but you can only switch clubs once.”
“Once in my entire life?”
“Yes. What if you move again?”
“Why don’t you let me worry about that? If I move again, I’ll buy the all-club. OK?”
“Ok. Well, I can’t do it. A manager has to do it, so as soon as she gets back, she can do it.”
“Fine.” There were a few moments of silence.
“So, seen any good movies lately?”
I frowned. “No.” I looked at my watch. I’d been there almost 20 minutes.
“You on your lunch?”
“Sort of.” I was salaried and didn’t really have a traditional lunch hour. Sometimes I ate; sometimes I didn’t.
“Where do you work?”
“The Burnham Institute—just down the street.”
“Oh, touché.”
What? Did he just say touché?
“So, do you have any friends that you’d like to refer?”
Oh, right—like I wanted to sic my friends on this guy.
“No, Eric, believe it or not, everyone I know goes here. My husband, his parents, my boss—everyone.”
“Oh, you’re married?”
“Yes.”
“Oh, touché.”
‘Do you even know what touché means?’ I wondered.
“Well, your husband isn’t on your membership.”
“No—we weren’t married when I joined.”
“Oh, touché.”
This was getting ridiculous.
“Well, why didn’t you just join under his membership?”
“Because I joined before him.”
“Oh, touché.”
Where was that manager? I had to get away from this guy.
Finally, the manager, Melissa, shows herself.
“Hey Melissa, can you do a club change for me?” Eric asked.
“Yeah, sure. Do they want to upgrade to the all-club? It’s only $5 more a month.”
They looked at me. “No.” I was trying not to scowl.
“Ok. I just need your membership number and the club you’re transferring from.”
That’s it? I had to come in for that? Touché boy couldn’t have just written that down for me half an hour ago? Heaving a sigh, I gave him my membership number to copy down and headed back to work. The only refreshing though I had was that now a member, I didn’t have to worry about those annoying sales people anymore. If there was one thing about 24 Hour Fitness that I could trust, it was their lack of interest in me once they had my money.

The next afternoon, I had my gym bag packed into my car, ready for my noon workout. I was energetic and ready to go! I headed to the locker room to unload my gear. I had everything I needed to transform my sweaty post-workout self, back into my pristine, post-shower self. However, upon surveying this new territory, I was taken aback. This gym was much smaller than my previous gym. There were plenty of lockers, but no place to organize myself while I changed clothes. There was nowhere to change clothes, for that matter, either. I’m not really down with that whole, “let’s get naked together, girls!” attitude. I preferred to keep myself to myself. I took my shorts and sporty bra into the toilet stall and did my best not to step in the bowl.
Donning the proper gear, I headed out to the floor. I found an empty elliptical trainer and got to work. As I huffed and puffed, I noticed that both the weight area and the cardio area were very small. In fact, I was practically staring the man next to me in the face. His elliptical was right next to mine, but facing the opposite direction. Rather than having our backsides face each other, we were nearly nose-to-nose.
I could only handle this for about 20 minutes. The weight floor was equally crowded, so I decided to skip it. I was most likely to work out in the early morning hours anyway, so this would not likely be a problem in the future. I headed back to the locker room for a shower.
I’d had plenty of opportunity to perfect my shower routine at the old gym. I would change into my flip-flops, take off my t-shirt, wrap myself in a towel, and carefully shimmy out of my shorts and panties. I took clean under garments into the shower with me, carrying them in a plastic bag or hanging them along with my towel over the shower curtain. Once in side the shower, I’d take off my sporty bra and shower in private. Post shower, I’d put on my bra and panties, and walk safely covered in my towel back to my locker. I could easily step into pants or a skirt while still in my towel. At this gym, however, such a routine was impossible. I had managed to get shower ready with no problem, but when I walked into the shower room, I starred in horror at the stalls—they had NO shower curtains or doors—just wide open doors. Many a bare buttock was displayed. Group showers were not for me. I elected to stay sweaty, changed back into my work gear and headed back to the office where I promptly called the corporate office and cancelled my membership.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Virginia

“Entertainment?” I asked, astonished.
“Sure! You want people to come here when they’re bored, right?”
“Well, yeah.”
“Then you’ve gotta give them a reason to think it’s not boring here.”
I frowned. He was right. We needed something to draw a crowd and I didn’t want to resort to the Authentic Lunatic.
“Ok, entertainment,” I began. “Any ideas?”
He nodded. “I know just the act,” Nick said with a grin.
“Who?” “Virginia Wolf.” He was beaming at his own genius.
“Virginia Wolfe?” I frowned. “Are you kidding?”
“No. Totally serious.”
“Ok, look Nick, I’m not sure that Virginia Wolfe has the kind of material we’re looking for. For that matter, I don’t think she’d be particularly interested in entertaining the crowd I’m hoping to bring in.”
“Oh, so you’ve heard her?”
“Well, no, but I’ve read her. Her books aren’t exactly boring but I’m not sure they’re bar material.”
“No! No! Not the author, the musician.”
Well, that was a relief. For a second there I was having second thoughts about Nick’s expertise.
“She used to sing at the place on Broadway I worked at. She didn’t really fit in there, but she’s perfect for this place.”
I was starting to feel better about this. “What’s she like?”
Nick scrunched his face up. “You really have to experience her first hand. I could try to explain it to you, but it’s much better if you hear it. I’ll see if I can track her down.” He took off and left me standing alone in the middle of the room. I decided to check on Crazy Angie.
She was back in the lab working on a few new drinks. She had taken on a new look: white lab coat, pocket protector, and goggles over her glasses. She was huddled over a set of beakers and as I approached her I could hear her mumbling, though I’ve no idea what she was saying.
“How’s it going in here?” My voice must have startled here because she jumped when I spoke.
“Oh! Fine,” she said, out of breath. “Really great, actually. You wanna try it?” I narrowed my eyes at the peculiar liquid she was stirring.
“What is it?”
She shrugged. “Not sure yet. I’m still waiting for inspiration.”
“I think I’ll wait until it gets here.”
Not sure what else to do, I went back out front. I took a few moments to take in my accomplishments. I was really starting to feel proud of myself. Here I was, not even a high school graduate yet, and already an entrepreneur. An inventor! I was creating the cure for boredom. Sometimes I think I lost focus of that goal.
“I found her!” Nick came running back into the bar, breaking my solace of reflection. I could only assume he was referring to this musician he’d spoken so highly of. He was so excited that he forgot to duck when he came in the front door and was knocked flat on his back with a loud thud and then a still louder smack. I gasped in horror, rushing to his aid.
“Oh! Are you ok? Nick?” He made no sound or movement. I knelt on the floor beside him and tried to revive him with gentle, and then not so gentle, slaps to the face. Nothing was working. I was starting to panic.
“You might try throwing water on his face. That always works when I pass out.” A strange voice spoke and I looked up. There, walking up to the bar was what I least expected. The voice belonged to a large furry creature making its way up the sidewalk. I was speechless. I was so shocked at what I saw that I could neither speak nor move. I just stared at it.
“I said you should try throwing water on his face.”
“Wha..wa..”
“Yes, water. Splash some on his face.”
“Wa-ter.”
“Spreckenzie English? Par lay voo English?”
“Are you talking?”
“Oh, so you can talk.”
“Yeah. So can you.” Just then, Nick started to groan. “Nick! Wake up!” I slapped him again.
“Ow! Quit hittin’ me will ya?” He sat up slowly and rubbed his forehead. He looked at me, then at the furry thing and suddenly remembered what he been in such a hurry to tell me. “Oh! I found her.”
“What? Found who?”
“Virginia! Virginia Wolf.”
Virginia Wolf. So, this thing was a wolf, and a musical one at that.
“This is the entertainment?” I asked in shock.
“Yeah. Just wait ‘till you hear her. She’s great.”
I wasn’t quite sure what to think of all of this. I was supposed to believe that this thing was not only a wolf, but a talking, singing wolf at that. Right!
“So, you want me to audition now or what?” Virginia asked.
“Uh, sure,” I said, not knowing what else to do. “Uh, Nick, can I have a word with you for just a sec?” I pulled him off to the side and began shouting in a whisper. “What is this? You expect me to believe that this thing is a musician? And what’s the deal with a talking wolf anyway? Are you out of your mind?!”
“Hey, now, just a minute. You told me to find entertainment. She’s the best there is in my opinion. You haven’t even heard her sing yet!” I scowled at him. He was right I suppose. But the whole thing was just a little too weird for me.
“Well, fine then. I listen to her sing, but I’m not making any promises. I still own this bar and I still make the final decisions. If I don’t like her, she’s out.” With that, I stormed off to the lab to fetch Crazy Angie. If nothing else, this might be her only chance to see a real authentic lunatic.
We all assembled at the back of the bar where the entertainment area was. The construction workers actually did a great job on building us a little stage. It had great lighting and a not-too-shabby sound system too. Virginia stepped up to our sole microphone on her back two paws. She stood about as tall as Nick, which was a little frightening, but she seemed friendly enough, so I tried not to worry.
“You want me to sing something traditional or some of my own stuff?”
“Let’s go with originality. Traditional screams boring,” I said.
She took a few moments to loosen up and tune her voice. When she started singing, I was truly amazed. It definitely wasn’t anything in English. I couldn’t understand a single word she said, but her voice was incredible. To say she could carry a tune would be an understatement. She made Roberta Flack sound like a mouse.
When she’d finished, Crazy Angie and I were both speechless. Nick just sat there grinning, like he’d just won the Pulitzer Prize.
“Wow.” Crazy Angie said.
“It’s much better when I have my band with me. I’m not used to this acapella stuff.” Virginia had not need to make excuses. I was impressed.
“No, no, that was really great. What language was that, by the way?”
“Language? No, just gibberish. This way I get to change it every time I sing it and no one knows the difference. It’s on of those songs that can never be recorded or it will loose its originality.”
Well, that was creative. It certainly couldn’t be classified as boring. I liked her. I liked her a lot. Virginia and I discussed terms of her employment, with Nick’s guidance of course. Only one thing worried me about Virginia. Sure, she’d draw a crowd. People would definitely want to see a singing wolf. But I didn’t want her drawing too much of a crowd. We didn’t want the cops on our hands. We certainly didn’t want our liquor license revoked. I would have to keep a tight lid on her; that was certain.

Friday, December 02, 2005

On Duty

Nick was a better asset than I had ever imagined. He was a veritable library of research on this business. However, I was facing a tough decision about him. Should I try to get the information out of him indirectly, keeping my cards close, or should I trust him and tell him what I want to know and why I want to know it? Crazy Angie and I were in a delicate position. We didn’t exactly have the law on our side. True, we had the necessary paperwork and licensing and they were all legal, but it wasn’t exactly legal for us to have them. If we weren’t careful we could loose it all or even end up (GASP!) incarcerated. Trusting Nick could be dangerous. He would have quite a bit of leverage on us and could do serious damage. Still, we needed to open soon. We needed to get this thing going. I didn’t have time to develop trust or to winkle information out of him. I decided to consult my partner since it affected her too.
“Ok, we need to figure this out. What do you think of Nick?” I asked her.
“Hmmm.” She frowned and cupped her chin in her fingers, deep in thought. “I think he must wear large shoes, which suggest big feet.” She said it as though she was being especially insightful, which no doubt, she thought she was.
“Yes, I’m sure he has large feet. But what do you think of him as a person? Can we trust him?”
She paused. “Well, you must have thought so on some level or you would’t have hired him. So if you trust him, I trust him.” With that, she went back to her broom.
Crazy Angie is an amazement to me. Sometimes the things she says are so strange, they make me wonder if there’s even a brain in her head. Other times, she makes so much sense that I have to remind myself of her illness.
So that was it. Trust him. Grill him. Pick his brain. Make him assistant manager! What a brilliant idea!. Yes, that was it. Perhaps then he might not think my inquires so odd. Perfect!
The next morning, Nick arrived right on time. I decided to give him the grand tour first, which took all of ten minutes. I saved the lab for last so we could talk privately.
“Ok, Nick, here’s the deal. Our little bar here is part of an experiment. Crazy Angie and I are attempting to gid the cure for bredom. We’re convinced that this is it. “I paused for effect, also giving him time to soak it all in. “Unfortunately we have a few disadvantages. The most obvious is our age. How can two fifteen year olds have a bar? I must confess, I didn’t think we’d make it this far. But, luck has smiled on us and here we are. Luck aside, we still have the fact that neither of us have any clue how to run a bar Lets face it, we haen’t been to many bars in order to observe them. That’s where you come in.”
“Me?”
“Sure. You’ve done this sort of thing. You know whot it all works. You’re way ahead of us. That’s why we need you.”
“I’m not sure I understand. What exactly do you want me to do?”
“Teach me the bar business! Give me your insight. Let me know if I’m making a monumental mistake. Can you do that?”
He didn’t say anything for a moment. I suppose he was absorbing what I’d just said. I could understand his position. Try to picture it—here was a guy, about 24 years old, being hired by a teenager, eight years his junior. A sixteen year old asks him to teach her the bar business. It wasn’t exactly something that happens every day.
Finally, when he’d had a moment to think, “Yeah, sure I guess.”
“Great!”
We got started right away. Nick showed me the ins and outs of stocking the bar. Within a few hours we’d found a supplier and scheduled our first delivery. The rest of our day was spend ordering glasses and traditional bar snacks. They all sounded boring to me and I told Nick as much. We argued over it for a while. In the end, I pulled rank. It was my bar and we weren’t serving beer nuts. They’re boring. No potato chips, no corn chips, no pretzels—we’d have to come up with something better than that. I passed that chore onto Crazy Angie. She protested at first, insisting that she had her hands full with the drink menu, but when I promised to help her she gave in.
After the first day with Nick, I finally felt like I’d accomplished something. Over the next few days we were going to go over OSHA rules, accounting, business operation and the opening. As the days passed, things were really taking shape. By the end of June, the construction was finished, except for the bar stools. The Reverend had finished painting, our ar wa fully stocked and I felt like an old pro. Crazy Angie was hard at work in the lab, mixing and testing.
“Well Nick, are we ready?” I asked.
“Almost.”
“Almost? What’s missing?” His face grew stern and serious. He looked at me—straight in the eye and with one word, made me understand his severity—
“Entertainment.”

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Shining Moons

I had to crane my neck just to see his face. Were there people this tall? He must have been near eight feet. Aside from his height, he looked normal. Thin but not skinny, neat in appearance, clean cut, but slightly forbidding. He was intimidating enough to anyone shorter than him, but his expression seemed to say ‘mess with me and I will step on you’.
I was sitting on the floor, going through the books.
Being especially low to the ground, I felt unbelievably short. I decided to take charge of the situation and mustered up my most confident, authoritative voice.
“May I help you?”
He looked down as if he just then noticed that I was there.
“Oh! Yes! I’m here about the job.” His own voice wasn’t nearly as intimidating as the rest of him. That alone made me feel better, if not taller. I stood up, increasing my confidence.
“Great. You are?”
“Oh, uh, Nick. Nick Hortnorter.”
“Ok, Nick. I’m Robin, the owner. My partner, Crazy Angie is over there. I motioned to where she was inspecting a broom, no doubt looking for defects or some explanation as to its apparent malfunctions.
“You’re the owner?”
“I am.”
“Really?”
“Yes.” I said, trying not to sound annoyed while still sounding annoyed. He looked at me skeptically, as if I’d said the strangest thing he’d ever heard. I suppose it’s possible that me, a fifteen year-old telling, him that I was the owner of this bar might just be the strangest thing he’d ever heard, but I was determined to brush it off as though it were only natural for me to own a bar.
“Ok.”
“You say that as if it sounds strange.”
“Oh, well, it’s just that I expected someone older.”
“I see. Well, I hope that’s not going to be a problem for you.”
“Oh, no ma’am. Not at all.”
Nick sounded to me like someone with uncharacteristically good manners. He was very polite and addressed me as his superior despite his height and apparent age.
“Well, then, shall we start the interview? Step right this way.” We walked over to the bar where I had planned to offer him a seat before I realized that there weren’t any. I walked around to the back, looking for paper. Finding none, I settled for a nearby napkin. Removing the pen I had lodged behind my ear, I prepared myself to write something. I hadn’t figured out just what yet, but I was sure that would come to me.
“So, Nick, tell me about your work experience. Have you worked in a bar before?”
“Oh, yes ma’am. I have a resume here detailing my experience.”
“Wonderful. That should be helpful.” I took the piece of paper he handed me and looked it over. It was actually quite impressive. He’d worked at several area bars, most of which I’d seen in passing. Having no idea as to what they were like on the inside, I didn’t consider myself to have any valuable knowledge of any of them, but at least I knew they were actual bars. “Hmm,” I said, trying to sound as if I was thinking something specific. “So, why did you leave your last job?”
“Oh, I was just there temporarily to help out with the busy seasons. I didn’t work a regular schedule—just filled in when they needed me.”
“Busy season?”
“Yeah, sure, like the playoffs, Superbowl, Sumo Wrestling Championships, the Daytime Emmy Awards—things like that.”
“I see.” I certainly did not see. I had no idea there would be busy seasons. It just then occurred to me what a valuable resource I had standing in front of me. This man had worked in several establishments such as my own. He probably knew more about the business than I did. He’d worked in several other bars and would likely have an idea as to how they were run and what sort of allowances to make. Still, I couldn’t hire him just yet. I had to at least make a pretense of interviewing him. I continued on with my questions.
“So, then you’re looking for something more stable?”
“Yes.”
“Hmm. You’ve been a bartender at these establishments, correct?” He nodded. “What would you say is the most important thing about being a bartender?”
“Oh, well, you’ve got to know how to make everything and make sure you collect the tabs, keep the bar area clean—I guess there’s no one important thing. It’s all pretty important.”
Not bad. Good answer. Ok, now I had to think of something else to ask.
”When can you start?” It seemed like the most natural thing to ask, perhaps a bit premature, but natural.
“Uh, well, anytime really.”
“Great. How about tomorrow?”
“Sure.”
“Fabulous! Be here by 9am. It’s gonna be a long day.”
“Really? Oh wow! Thanks a lot.” He was genuinely grateful and so was I, for that matter. I could see the possibility of this being my greatest business decision yet.