Everyone in business knows that networking is an necessity. There’s no such thing as getting too much business. Rub elbows, chat with people whoever they may be. Especially because there’s generally free booze and little bites to eat at networking events. If you make it around the room enough times, that’s almost a mini dinner. Okay, but seriously business is business and wine was involved…
After a networking event a potential client invited me for a drink to discuss his new hotel build. Right up my alley, let’s talk suites, Jacuzzi, spas, bars, etc. It’s all good times in hotels.
Description of potential client: 6’3, broad chest, salt and pepper hair, ambitious, sports jacket, open collared shirt, slacks, and loafers (no socks, what is it with men and no socks?).
We’re discussing the hotel, but he keeps on asking me personal questions. I’m trying to keep him on track. Business is business. He keeps trying to sneak in more personal questions. I’m starting to get a little frustrated. But I’m keeping it together. Thank goodness for the wine.
We are sitting in alcove with a sofa and two chairs. I’m on the sofa. He’s on one of the chairs to my right. Mid conversation two females in professional attire join us out of the blue. They look at him and say, sorry we’re late.
Inner Monologue Moment: I’m lost. Who the hell are they?
But I’m a professional. So I introduce myself and we continue discussing the hotel. The ladies order drinks. They’re chatting amongst themselves. One of the women is making comments every once and a while. The other woman is playing on her phone. The one who is playing on her phone is acting unprofessional to me. But she’s not my potential client. She’s not my problem.
I’ve finished my wine. We’ve discussed the new build in length. It’s time to set up an appointment to meet again. I’m ready to leave. I thank him for the drinks, it was lovely to meet everyone. I hand him my card. I tell him my assistant will set up our next meeting in my office. I look forward to seeing him soon. I’m grabbing my bag.
Then the woman who made comments every once in a while says…
She enjoyed meeting me as well. She would like to get to know me in a non professional sense. Then she complimented me on my ensemble. Asked me where I got my Manolo’s from. We were chatting about shoes. She stopped mid shoe loving conversation and gave my now Client a eyebrow raise and a knowing smile. The other woman has now moved to the arm of my clients sofa…
They seem quite cozy for colleagues. My Client then says, I’m sorry to deceive you.
Inner Monologue Moment: Oh fuck. What now? Is he bankrupt? I didn’t get a broke vibe from him.
He then informs me that the girl sitting on the arm of his chair and his coworker sitting next to me on the sofa are his wife and her girlfriend.
Inner Monologue Moment: Girlfriend? Like a friend of his wife? Wait a minute, wife? What kind of meeting is this?
He explains, that he is still interested in me professionally. And will be calling to make the appointment with my assistant. But the other reason he approached was because he thought we would all play well together.
Inner Monologue Moment: Play well? Does he mean play like let’s make it rain? Like rain with all the money I could make from his hotel build. If so Let’s Play! Or does he mean what I think he means… Do I scream swinger play thing? Or orgy fun? What is this? This is not the first time? Is there a vibe I’m putting off that says I play well with multiples? Because if so I’m unaware.
I’m in shock. Temporarily I have no words (I know, me no words. That in itself is shocking.)
I’m wishing I had more wine.
I decide to play along. There’s a lot of money in this. I could buy another shiny baby with this build. The things we do for another Audi. #sheworkshardforthemoney
I tell them I’m intrigued and flattered. We need more wine for this. He calls the cocktail waitress over and orders a very old and very expensive bottle of red wine. Trying a little too hard perhaps? Trying to make up for something?
I make conversation. I need some background info. They’ve been married for ten years. It’s a blended family. Six children in total between them. The girlfriend is currently in a Ivy League school. Which I discover they are paying for… Hmmm.
I ask how did their lifestyle came to be? Curiosity killed the cat after all.
They have an open relationship. That way everyone is happy. And someone forgot to sign a prenup.
The whole time we’ve been chatting I’m trying to find an easy out. Because I can only do so much faux smiling. My eyes scanned a group of gentlemen at the bar. One has been eyeing me very intently. When he notices I’ve seen him, he gives me an eyebrow raise.
Inner Monologue Moment: Yes! I’ve found my out.
I excuse myself to get a food menu from the bar. I’m at the bar. Next to cutie. We strike up call conversation. He points out that I look like I’ve gotten myself into an uncomfortable situation. I reply, why would you think that? He says, he has three sisters. He knows when a woman feels cornered.
Description of Cutie: I’m gauging late twenties, clean cut, blond hair, blue eyes, work out clothes, he’s certainly fit.
Since he’s obviously observant I don’t deny that I’m in a predicament. I inform him since I’m a cornered damsel in distress come save me. And I walk off. Mike drop.
Inner Monologue Moment: Men like a challenge. I just gave him one. Hop to it Cutie!
I haven’t even had a chance to sit on the sofa. I’ve got the menu in hand. Cutie walks up behind me. He says to the group, I’m sorry but I’m going to steal your colleague for dessert.
I use the dessert invite to cut and run. I tell the client, wife, and girlfriend I look forward to our business venture together. Good evening.
Advice: When you feel like a caged animal…. Run! Don’t look back!!!!