Michelle – Chapter 9 – Friends of Rittenhouse Ball on Square

One night Michelle and I finished work and did what we always did. Went out for a few drinks. We ended up down in Rittenhouse Square. There was this huge really posh gala going on. We were accustomed to just going wherever the night took us back then and based on our antics in New York, we probably thought we were indestructible. She was still living at City View out at 20th and Spring Garden, and I was still in my little apartment over in Pennsauken, NJ.

We come upon this event going on inside Rittenhouse Square Park. It’s the biggest event of the season. They hold this huge event every Spring. All Rittenhouse people. Wealthy people. People of commerce. Everybody is dressed up in their finest. Big white tents. Live band. A stage with a dance floor. White tablecloths on every table. Beautiful high-end trailers with bathrooms that are nicer than the one in your house. Law enforcement posted at every entrance and exit.  Butlers walking around with amazing hors d’ouevers. Not that pigs in a blanket shit. Like fat delicious shrimp and sushi, crazy meats, and puffy stuffed pastries. Wine and champagne is flowing freely. Cocktails being mixed and poured at two bars.

This is an $800 a plate ticketed charity event. There is no way a couple of advertising sales reps are getting in to this event.

I’m wearing a black suit and tie. Michelle is in slacks and a nice blouse. We walked up to the entrance where they were checking people in. I whip out my ID lanyard from the company I work for. It looks official, It has my photo, my name and name of the media company on it. I tell the lady that’s doing intake where I’m from and what I’m representing. Basically using my account executive ID to trick her that we’re with some sort of press. I look official and approachable and Michelle is hot. She has the same ID with her info on it.

They let us in. We couldn’t believe it. We’re going to stuff our heads with free snacks and wine. Bonnie and Clyde have arrived. We’re chatting with all these rich people and sipping wine. They were all so nice to us. One of them even asked if I’d like to secure my briefcase in their suite across the street at the Claridge. Nobody knew we didn’t belong there. You know why? Because when we went somewhere we acted like we belonged there. Like we had tickets to the event. It was just raw confidence. Maybe it was arrogance too. But whatever it was, we definitely had it going on.

Just good old sexy mojo.

Michelle was having a blast but she felt underdressed. I told her she looked great, but she insisted she run home and change. She wants to put on a nice dress. I’m telling you, we were out of control. So I slam down the rest of my chardonnay and start heading for the exit.

Who do we run into on the way out?

The President of the company we work for. Not the vice president of operations. Not the general manager. Not our sales manager. But the President! Top dog. Head Honcho. Big Cheese.

He’s with his Indian wife. They obviously have tickets. He sees Michelle and gets all excited. Because everybody loves hot Michelle. He says “Are you attending this event tonight?” We’re like, “Yea, but we just need to step out for a minute, We’ll be right back.” He didn’t give a shit about me. If he ever had the unfortunate luck to have to share an elevator with me at work, he wouldn’t even speak to me. He’d just play with his phone. But that fat fuck loved Michelle. And I had a thing that he wanted. I’m sure it just made him loathe my existence all the more. But I didn’t give a shit.

So we tell the nice people at the door we will be right back. They don’t bat an eye. Now, if we had simply left at that moment and didn’t return, I can’t honestly say for sure that things would have turned out any differently for us.

Yea… but they probably would have, but we’re not having any of it.

We blaze back to her apartment in a taxi. We get there relatively quickly. She dashes into the apartment and gets changed. Within minutes, she emerges in a black cocktail dress and heels. She looks stunning. But I liked the way she looked any old way. But this was perfect for the Ball at Square. We jet back to the party and walk up to entrance again. “Remember us?” I say, smiling. We walk right back in, no questions asked. We grab a couple of drinks, and we’re back into it. I can see the President off to the side chatting with some other men.

The band is in full swing, and Michelle and I decide to hit the stage. We are dancing, and it’s lovely. There may have been maybe two other older couples up there, cutting the rug, but for the life of me I can’t remember. I was just lost in this moment, dancing with the woman I loved. Right in the middle of Rittenhouse Park. We own this place too.

After our dance, we grabbed a couple more wines. I was chatting with someone, and Michelle was seated chatting with the President’s wife. She was a lovely Indian woman. I know she didn’t drink or smoke. But of course Prez was a drunken oaf.

After a while people started sitting down to the $800 a plate charity dinner. We thought it best if we didn’t try to weasel in on that, or clip any of the gift bags.

We made our way out of the main tent, and were sitting on a little bench on the edge of the event. Before us was a little table with a candle on it and a bowl of popcorn. We munched on the popcorn, and reflected on how fun it was for a couple of hours to be a part of such an exclusive event.

I glanced to my left and saw one of the ladies that had let us in twice speaking with law enforcement. The officer approached us and said that we had to leave. We were respectful and he escorted us off the property. We thanked him, and went on our way, heading west on Walnut street.

Michelle insisted that we were probably going to get fired. I told her that wasn’t going to happen. I eventually calmed her down and we ended up going to a piano bar. We ended the night singing along with a bunch of other revelers to the songs of Billy Joel, Elton John and more!

The Prez? Just a fat drunken, cigar chomping narcissistic sociopath. (That’s what I’ve been told by a reliable source that worked closely with the man) He and his lovely wife ended up getting divorced years later. She probably got tired of his drunken womanizing. I once had a drink with the owner of the company, and he said the President’s expense reports were astronomical. Just a fucking a pig. He got like liposuction or something after his divorce because he dropped the weight fast.  He looked like a bobble head.

He ended up banging some chick from Jersey they brought in to do a wine show on the website. What we eventually found out, she formerly worked as an escort. Yep. So The Prez lost his nice wife and married a whore. Seems fitting.

But we had a great fucking time.

Tune in two weeks from now, and see if our heroes get fired, or at least reprimanded for their unmitigated repugnant attitude towards authority.

Michelle always said: “I have so much fun with you, that when the day is over, I wish we could do it all again.”

 

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Alice – The Cute Recruiter – The Other Side of the Coin

I wanted to visit Alice last week, because she is on her own with Keila on vacation. She has an intern which is a help but with a start-up you need all hands on deck. He’s a good kid. His family is from Thailand. He is a really hard worker, and Alice is very happy with his performance.

She texts me to see when I’m going to arrive. I’m running a little late, but tell her I’m on my way. She seems like there is some urgency that I get there. I’m thinking she’s swamped and really needs my help. I have some time so I hurry up and get over there. I text her when I reach her building on Broad Street. I get into the elevator and go to her floor. I see her intern and he lets me into their workspace. I walk down the hallway to their little glass office. I open the door and go inside. It’s a tight space. There are a couple of desks and chairs and some other work related things around the room. I even see that the Siamese fighting fish that they named after me is swimming in his bowl. There is a cardboard box on the floor in front of me. But I don’t see Alice. The intern said she was back here.

Suddenly, the box on the floor bursts open and out jumps Alice! She scared the crap out of me. She shot video of the whole thing while it happened. You know, when you go to visit the CEO of an IT recruiting company you never expect them to jump out of a box. Alice is tickled to death as I begin to feel my heart returning to normal. She shows me the video that she shot before I arrived with her in the box, and then the one of me being terrified by this little Jill-In-A-Box!

She tells me she loves pulling pranks on people. How have I not known this in the last four years of knowing her?

We have a laugh and then she walks me downstairs to get a bagel. When we come back up to the kitchen she begins to explain to me the stress she’s been under. It’s been this way for a while now, but with the pressure from the investors it’s become worse. They have been making some placements, and they are paid handsomely on them, but it’s not enough. They have to pull in a lot of revenue by the end of the year. If they don’t, they could be in some serious trouble. I know Alice will dig in with everything she has to be successful, because she’s driven.

But she is concerned with Keila. I told Alice that she shouldn’t hire Keila but she did. Keila met her current boyfriend through their company. He was a client. Alice’s number one rule was not to date the clients. Keila lives with him now and they are in love, so with both incomes, things are easier for Keila financially. He’s a pretty successful IT guy so I think she’s getting pretty comfortable with the lifestyle.

Keila is being paid a great salary. Too good. She even gets paid bonus when she fills a position. I don’t think it’s out of the company’s coffers either. I believe Alice is paying her out of her own savings account.

Keila has asked for a raise and an equity share in the company. If you’re not at goal at year-end, you don’t get a raise! Let alone even ask for one! And equity? What? Take a cut in salary and maybe Alice will think about it.

Keila asked if she could take a vacation. Alice said no because they had about five weeks to raise a ton of revenue by year-end. Keila just went and booked it anyway. She told her a week or a so before. Who does that?

I think Keila has gotten comfortable with her new life with her boyfriend who she says could be the one. I think she has lost her edge. If the investors pull the funding for this start-up, they’ll both be looking for jobs in 2017.

I adore Alice and I know she will be successful. But maybe some changes need to be made and some conversations need to happen, before they lose all of the great things they’ve worked so hard to build.

 

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Keila – 2012 to 2017 – The Gaza Stripper – This Side Of The Coin

Carol – There’s No Fun in Dysfunction – Part I

Another tale of one man’s journey navigating his way through the dating scene in Philadelphia.

I was introduced to Carol by a friend of mine who works as an event director for a center city restaurant. I was literally sitting at the bar and my friend walks up with Carol, and says “Can you babysit this one for a while and I’ll meet you next door in a little bit.” Carol and I immediately hit it off and were chatting and laughing. We went to Square 1682 for a drink. Carol seemed fun. She has  a nice face, long brown hair she’s probably 5’4″ green eyes and is somewhat voluptuous. Very busty. She recently cut her hair to shoulder length and donated it to make wigs for cancer kids, so that’s a nice gesture.

I liked her well enough. She was bubbly and fun to be around. I did notice that her regular speech was peppered with profanity to the point where I would have to say something. I can trust a person that uses the whole language but too much cursing is just a lazy mind’s way of expressing itself. Something I also noticed that when she would drink she’d become very intense about whatever it was she was talking about. Sometimes it seemed overpowering and I can see how that would drive people away from her. But we had fun that night and I saw a green light so I went in for a kiss but she deflected it. I thought I saw a green light but apparently it was turning from yellow to red!

So after that night I didn’t see her for a while but I ran into her one evening. She was coming from her latest job and was on her way home. She worked at some start-up here in the city. We chatted and decided to have a drink. We get there and she is drinking, and getting excited and loud and as usual a little profane. It was actually painful for me to be sitting there. I was feeling stressed just listening to her. Then she saw someone she knew outside and went out to chat with them. We were in a bar I frequent so I was comfortable sitting there by myself. The bartender even looked at me like; “Dude, I feel your pain.” She got me a whiskey just to soothe my nerves.

Carol had mentioned she was supposed to meet her friend for birthday drinks down at some bar down in midtown village or as some call it the gayborhood. Her friend who was having the birthday is gay so it would stand to reason. I can’t remember the name of the place but it’ll come to me. Carol hadn’t come back from whoever she was talking to outside and I wanted to go see my friend who worked the door over at Ashton Cigar Bar, so I settled up at Square 1682 and text Carol that I had to leave. Frankly I was relieved to get away from her.

So I’m chatting with my friend at Ashton sipping a drink and smoking a cig so I’m calm and happy now. Carol texts me and asks me what I’m doing. I tell her I’m at Ashton. I know I shouldn’t have done that but I had already had a few drinks in me and was feeling fine on a Friday. So she comes to Ashton and gets carded by my friend. As a sidebar here my friend has a good job but was bouncing just as a part-time gig. Anyone you ever met who has worked at a bar knows it’s a tough job. You have to deal with a bunch of drunk and arrogant people some of the time. So when Carol gave him a hard time when he carded her and may have called him an asshole, my buddy wanted to toss her out. But I smoothed things out. But his tolerance for that kind of nonsense is very low.

Carol begged me to go to the birthday thing with her and I was like what the hell by then. So I agreed. I find that the more alcohol I consume the easier it is to deal with her volatility. So we walked over and her friend was there. Surprisingly enough it was a great place. The people were friendly and I was having a good time. I even ran into a guy I had met in my business network there with his friend whom until that moment I didn’t know was gay.  I believe in live and let live, but when you’re in a bar you would never go to and you’re like, “I know that dude.” “Wait… that dude’s gay?”

Anyway we had a good old-time there and later Carol jumped in a taxi and I walked home.

 

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