July 23, 2004

SCHMOOZAPALOOZA

So the basic purpose of this trip to NYC, really, was to spend a little time getting to know the large and diverse crowd of people in various departments and companies who now have total control over the deep core of my tender pink heart. I mean, over what happens with the book next. Okay, same thing.

Here is the nifty part: It’s a big NY publishing house --- that’s a job market that is SO competitive. To get the kind of jobs these folks have, you have to be:
1) Very good at whatever the job is, and
2) Bright, witty, well-read, articulate and at ease with yourself and the world

Because if you are only very good at your job, there are 50 people who want your job that are not just good at it, but also possess all the qualities listed above. So everyone was very easy to talk to and funny and low key and unstressed and unstressful. AND they ALSO did everything they could to make me feel at ease too and to pull me into the conversation…Between the whole car service thing and everyone being so nice, I am sure I am spoiled now and very rotten.

Since what they expected from me was mostly: Go to restaurants and eat things that taste SO AMAZING you have a hard time not rolling your eyes up into your head and sinking under the table and moaning in a state of catatonic ecstasy and go to bars and consume icy pink drinks that are chock full of nutritious liquor all while hanging out with cool people who have glamorous and interesting careers and who think sparkling repartee is the normal way to communicate, IT WAS A DARN FUN TRIP. In fact, if I could find someone willing to PAY me, I might give up writing and try to hang out with cool people professionally. It’s nice work if you can get it.

The ONLY bad moment came at 4 when my agent and my editor’s assistant and I headed down to a conference room for the larger of the two meetings. And we walked into this huge empty room, and it was so…professional. It was very cold in the room and it had a big square terrifying table surrounded by businessy power chairs, and you know, the whole room just scared the crap out of me.

This is the kind of room where flow charts and projected budgets and statistics occur naturally in the wild. It was SO NOT my habitat. I have never really done anything corporate. Put me in a coffee house, a classroom, a library, a bar, a bookstore, a restaurant, a living room ETC ETC, and I am happy as whole crowds of clams. But a boardroom? I will be in the closet thumbsucking, thanks. I could feel myself starting wither and panic simultaneously, shrinking so that my feet could no longer touch the floor, a five year old in clothes from the dress-up box who has just gotten caught frontin’ like a grown-up.

THEN the associate publisher came in alone and said “I just realized it’s silly to meet here for an hour and then troop all the exact same people downstairs for cocktails in the middle. Let’s skip this and go straight for the drinks.”

I COULD HAVE KISSED HIM. I came leaping up, suddenly feeling bright-eyed and easy and very much myself again, and we trit-trotted down and sat in a place both cozy and elegant and people came trickling in and joining the table by twos so I got to meet them in waves instead of in a BUNCH so it was very SOCIAL and NON THREATENING and I got a pretty good feel for who they all were and what they did, and I had SUCH fun the whole thing just FLEW by. I was sad when the waiter came and flapped at us in the nicest possible manner and told us to GET OUT. I think the bar was closing – it was a bar in the bottom floor of a big office building and I think they shut down at 6.

I am heading out IN THE EARLY AM tomorrow for my family vacation, BUT when I get home I have some FUN NYC CRAPS to tell you – let me make a list here so I do not forget:
1) The Toilets of New York
2) Matt, Faux-Matt and the SWANTATA
3) Trolling the airport for free chocolate and the six-play guessing game
4) SHOPPING and Shoes (girls only)
5) Lamb with Lamb Reduction and Lamb Sauce on a bed of Lamb

I will be back in 9 days, fatter, burned pink and peeling, rashy with sun poisoning, and VIOLENTLY SICK OF THE CAR. But happy!

Posted by joshilyn at July 23, 2004 10:57 AM
Comments

Ah, the NY stories... They are all delightful, but you'll just have to wait. Advance hearing of the juicy tidbits is yet another perk to being married.

It was funny reading over the descriptions of the various meeting environments. The terrifyingly cold, stuffy board room is probably the only room in which I would have felt at ease.

Posted by: Mr. Husband at July 23, 2004 11:10 AM

Welcome home! And...see ya later! Thanks for checking in. Regular-ish updates support my sick habit of living vicariously through you. Now I have to go talk to my editor. Oh, no, wait. My lift - THAT'S RIGHT! I have to go marinate some chicken. Still. A good thing to do.
Enjoy the beach!

Posted by: Kira at July 23, 2004 1:03 PM

That was meant to say "My LIFE"
Not my lift.
Whatever.

Posted by: Kira at July 23, 2004 1:04 PM

How absolutely fun and I'm glad it went well. YEAH!! :)

Posted by: Tiff at July 23, 2004 4:29 PM

Ahhh... classic bait and switch.
Show the person the board room, then take them somewhere casual. See if the relaxed atmoshphere brings out something in them that you really do not approve of....

plus it as an excellent strategy for getting to drink while getting paid... *smile*

Posted by: Shawn B. at July 23, 2004 8:23 PM