Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Formula 1

I'm doing my feature profile on a 28-year-old Second Cup manager who, for the last decade, has been living one of the most charmed lives I have ever encountered. He's worked as a bartender for The Paddock Club, which caters to a VIP clientele at Grand Prix events, taking him all over the world. He's also their BMW representative in Montreal. He's schmoozed with the prince of Monaco, celebrities "you read about in magazines," and is the son of the owner of North America's third largest interior decorating firm.

When he told me he'd be "satisfied" living off a meagre "hundred grand a year" as long as the work satisfied him, he wouldn't give a damn if he ever secures a 7-figure income, I knew I could never relate to his world. There's something to be said upon discovering society's dirty little secret: although most of us have come to accept the process of interrogation that is job hunting as "fair," for the elite, that phase is waved - they go straight to work getting paid the big bucks to look you down. It was his friends in high places that got him his own TV cooking show for Food Network Canada, which he recently shot the pilot for. No experience required. Not for him, at least.

Yet, in the end, I couldn't bring myself to be at all impressed (although, to be sure, I did dutifully play the part like the well trained, brown nosing journalist that I am. Anything for a scoop, as they say.)

Anyway, we flirted, made awkward mention of a "fling," and he told me to call him (which, conveniently enough, is part of my job description). His personality is the typical disarming kind, but I kept catching myself talking with my arms crossed. It was such a subconscious gesture; I didn't even mean to seem defensive. He loved telling his life stories way too much for us to have developed a natural rapport. (I felt like a contestant on Jeopardy forced to put everything in the form of a question to maintain his interest level.) I was straining for answers, he was easily distractable. You know that awful feeling you get when you run out of things to ask and you still have time to spare and burn? Yeah ... the beauty of the slow sip.

Phone interviews all the way.

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