I just got a phone call at 10 of 7. I thought it was my recently-discharged-boss, so I didn’t bother to answer. But then I saw the caller ID and it was my friend and first sales mentor, Holly.

“Where are you, in the car?” she said.

“No, I’m home. I quit,” I told her, still not quite believing it myself.

“You can’t afford to quit, you dumb fucking asshole!” she screeched. (She’s known me for almost twenty years and she worries about me. And like me, she’s a blue-collar kid born and raised: You never, ever quit a job – unless you have another one.)

So I told her what had been going on. “Oh. You’re right, I would have quit, too,” she said. “Guy sounds like a real asshole.” (She uses the word “asshole” a lot.)

“When he called me for your references, I told him you had the intelligence to do this without a script; I told him to get out of your way and let you do your thing. He didn’t listen to me.”


“Well, fuck ‘im,” she said. “You’re better off not working for someone like that. What a jerk. Why don’t you come over today and go swimming?”

“We’ll see,” I said. “First, I plan to spend the morning sleeping off my hangover.”

Hangover?” she said, sputtering. (She’s only seen me drunk once, many moons ago; it involved a dinner party at her house and I was the date of the alcoholic judge. I slammed a Waterford goblet down on the table so hard at something he said, the goblet broke. Despite that, when the two of us split up, Holly and her husband dumped the judge and kept custody of me.)

You? What, were you out with your friends last night, celebrating?” she said, starting to laugh again. “Good. Well, come over later if you want.”

“Okay,” I said. “Maybe after the room stops spinning.”