It was the first month of my tenure here at Feintuch Communications as the brand new head of our brand new healthcare and life sciences practice, and one of our brand new clients needed to appear brand new at a trade show I’d never been to before.
Anyone who’s ever worked at a trade show knows how intense they are, both in the preparation and in the execution of the work. So to say that it was stressful would be an understatement. Except we only had two weeks to prepare for the show – do all of the creative, draft and produce all of the content, oversee all of the production, not to mention staffing – the whole magila. Two weeks. Two. Weeks.
After a momentous push by our superstar team, and some last minute crisis management, we managed to get the client to the show and demonstrating the product to passersby.
Cut to day two of the show, and I’m on my way home from a long day of booth management, having to get into a tuxedo for a gala celebration that night. I’m literally one block from my apartment door when I’m accosted by a group of garrulous individuals wearing t-shirts that say “jules 4.0…”
Needless to say, my curiosity is piqued.
As I’m reading their t-shirts, trying to figure out what they mean, the loudest of the group grabs me by the arm and tells me I simply must have a drink with them. I’d had a day already, so the idea wasn’t out of the question, but technically, I was on the clock, and don’t like to indulge. Also, I was scarfing down a slice of pizza in preparation for what could have been a night of necessary imbibing at the hands of a new client and a fairly new employer. But to be accosted in the street by strangers and implored to drink with them?
I explained very demurely that I would love to have a drink with this mob (who wants to take chances), but that I really had to get home and change for a work event, and could I take a rain check. They were not having it. They absolutely insisted, explaining all of the benefits of having a drink with them (carefully leaving out the potential damage they could have done to my person). I agreed, indicating that this agreement was based only on the fact that they were wearing t-shirts with my name on them. This information incited the rowdy crowd even more – they gathered around me, took pictures with me as part of the group, and ushered me across the street to the bar on the corner – Cowgirl (a plug for them – they’re quite good). All the while, the group was cheering and making overtures that they were “going to get extra points for this one!” I wondered if it was the suit or the name. I wondered what “extra points” entailed. Would I ever see my beloved wife and child again? Would I be allowed to escape the labrynthian confines of Cowgirl? Either way, I’d never been considered extra points before, so I was intrigued.
Finally, upon one more picture being taken at the back of the bar, it was finally explained to me. A woman named Jules was having her 40th birthday party at Cowgirl (another plug, they have a nice party room in the back) and had asked all of her friends (and she has a lot – way to go Jules!) to go on an “Amazing Race”-like adventure. One of the requirements was to usher a stranger into the bar and have a drink with them. My being named Jules did indeed garner the yellow team extra points, and me a yellow Jules 4.0 t-shirt.
So Happy 40th Jules. I’m right behind you soon. And thanks for an amazing (and kind of weird) 15 minutes sandwiched between a wacky couple of workdays.