Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Lucky Escape

I met Maureen for a Restaurant Week dinner at Amada last night. I got there early to check out the temporary Greenhouse exhibit at the American Philosophical Society, but it is closed on Mondays, so I was just ambling around leisurely until it was time to show up at Amada. It was a little after 5pm, when the work day ends for most people with normal jobs.

The large insurance company I used to work for is located in that part of town these days. As I was walking (ambling) I passed a woman who looked a lot like someone I used to work with oh so many years ago. She looked much older. I was thinking of saying something but let her pass by instead, leaving the past the past.

Later as I was sitting on a bench another former coworker, or someone who looked like a former coworker passed by. He must have 30+ years in at that company now. He seemed "old" when I got hired there at age 23. He wasn't a great boss which may or may not be why I especially didn't want to be recognized this time. It wasn't a problem; to him I was just another guy sitting on a bench reading. I allowed being out of context work to my advantage.

At Amada, we were seated near their private room where a very large party overflowed out of the room and into the area around us. A guy in suit with three ID badges on it was acting the host and greeting people. I mildly pondered the mystery of why he would have three photo ID badges of various sizes on a single clip on his lapel. Like Prius guy, it is a mystery that I will never know the solution to. Another thing I have to live with.

The private party of business people seemed such a dull thing to attend, but the guests seemed to be happy - Amada can easily do that to you. I felt extremely thankful that I was able to make my escape from the Fortune 500 business world over 17 years ago. Pretty much any day that I'm not in a cubicle is a good one.

I went to a Chamber of Commerce business card exchange once in recent memory. It was boring and strange and I didn't know why I was there. I suppose I'm a businessperson, probably even more than most businesspeople, but I'm definitely not a suit. At least not anymore. I'm free.

The host eventually took off his suit jacket. I was worried that he was going to have existential crisis. If your three photo IDs are on your jacket and you take it off, do you still know who you are? It turned out not to be a problem for him. Maybe the big glass of wine in his hand helped.