Friday, November 11, 2005

How to Make Friends and Influence People

Introducing a significant other or spouse to your co-workers for the first time can be a nerve wracking experience. They are basically being put on display and judged according to whatever guidelines people decide on at the moment. This is why I’m glad a married a total babe with a great personality to boot.

One of the women on my team drove down to the meeting in Charlotte with her boyfriend. She is afraid of flying. They spent twelve hours in a car together driving from Chicago. Twelve hours in a car. That’s one hell of a commute. But they were both troopers. They went out to dinner with everyone, and then went out for drinks afterward. This was, looking back, a slight miscalculation.

As everyone assembled in the bar, I overheard a few comments about the poor boyfriend, most along the lines of how ungodly boring he was. As with most social outings, the boys and girls separated, and the conversations swayed towards typical guy and girl subjects.

After a few drinks, the guy side started discussing bachelor parties. Boyfriend suddenly found his voice. Maybe it was the alcohol. Maybe it was the fact that he drove for 12 hours. Maybe he just said to himself, “I like these guys a lot. They seem really cool.” I don’t know.

What I do know is this: Murphy’s Law of Conversation again proved itself true that night. At the very moment this poor guy said, “and I woke up the next morning with a boner in my back . . .” every conversation in our group had dropped off.

He and his red-faced girlfriend left shortly after, with a seal of approval from every guy in the room, who at that point, was still crying with laughter.