“Yes, well, here at Ventura Capital, we pride ourselves on our work environment, and I think you’ll fit in perfectly, John.  Thank you for coming in today.”

“Of course, my pleasure, Alex.  I look forward to hearing from you.”

The two men get up from their chairs.  They shake hands solidly, just as their dads had taught them when they were four.

John opens the door and starts to walk out –

“ – oh John I have to ask you one last question.”

“Yes I can accept the job right now,” John replies wittily, “but seriously, ask me anything, Alex.”

“It’s just this question that HR wants me to ask all interviewees.  I forgot to ask you because we were having such a pleasant conversation, in spite of the fact that you’re a Yankees fan!” a hearty laugh comes with the joke.  “An employee a few years back had a bit of a drinking problem and turned the 2013 Christmas party into the most unforgettable party this office park has ever seen.”

“Do you mind if I ask what happened?”

“Perhaps when you start here, John, I’ll tell you more.”

“I’ll hold you to that, Alex”

“Anyway, I now have to ask all interviewees whether you have, or have ever had, a problem with alcohol or any other form of controlled substance?”

“Never.  I enjoy a drink every now and then, but that’s it.”

“Excellent.  That’s what I thought.  I’ll mark down just a social drinker.”

“Well . . .”

“Well?”

“Well . . . I wouldn’t say I’m a social drinker.”

“What type of drinker would you say you are then?”

“More of an individual drinker, an alone drinker, I like to . . . just, you know, drink alone.”

“Of course, we all enjoy a beer every now and then just by ourselves.  Completely understandable.”

“Well . . .”

“Well what?”

“It’s just that I only drink alone.  I never drink with other people.”

“Right but just like a beer or a glass of wine right?”

“Oh yes to start, definitely.”

“And then you have more . . . while you’re alone?”

“Sure.”

“How much do you drink?”

“You know just as much as anyone else.”

“But alone?”

“Yes, alone only.”

“Okay then.”

“There is just something more rewarding about drinking alone.”

“ . . . ”

“Alone, I drink sip by sip with my attention focused solely on me, my surroundings, and the effects of the alcohol.  With each sip, the alcohol’s effect changes and compounds on the previous sip.  Only when I am alone can I truly experience each increment of intoxication.  When I drink with others, conversation carries the night and, next thing I know, I’m drunk.  That’s not necessarily bad.  But alone, I have a deeper understanding of how alcohol impacts my body and how joyful and different each little sip can be.”

“So you really like drinking then?”

“Oh I wouldn’t say like.”

“ . . .”

 

“I’d say love.”

“Okay well.  Thank you for this information, and . . . we . . . we’ll be in touch with you.”

 

Big Rand

Randall Weber-Levine holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. in philosophy and economics from Colgate University. He is an aspiring writer who has been published in and served as the editor of, Columbia Law School’s literary magazine, the Morningside Monocle.

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