Sunday, June 13, 2004

Issue 4: Pacific Heights

The plan: the summer associates from our office would head up to the San Francisco office for The Firm's chairman and CEO’s "State of the Firm" address. And then, off to CEO's house for a "cocktails and hors d’oeuvres’ party with the Hiring Committee. I think we can all see the potential pitfalls here.

We all left from the Valley WAAAY early. But we hit hella* traffic on the 101. I drove up with Aaron, who periodically flipped out that we were going to be late. (Considering that everyone from our office was also going to be late, I didn’t see why it was a big deal.) Ralph’s speech (what we caught of it) was … interesting. And by "interesting" I mean I couldn’t figure out why we were there.

A little bit of "kids from the suburbs let loose in the city" and we were off to the Big Boss's house. If you’ve never been to San Francisco, you don’t understand about steep streets. It’s bad on foot, but just the thought of driving around San Francisco in a stick-shift makes me tense. And then, there are the lights on the tops of hills. So you get stuck on a red light on street that is angled about 45 degrees. Very anxious-making indeed. the Big Boss’s house in the Pacific Heights neighborhood is one of the gorgeous Victorians San Francisco is famous for. As I learned during the party, the Big Boss's family lived in the guest house behind the building for 2.5 years while the building was renovated (it used to contain 20 medical offices.)

The Big Boss greeted us at the door, and said to me "I made a joke at the meeting, and you were the only one that laughed." Aaron said "Yes, well that’s Deepa all right." I’d been thinking about the same thing all day: how much I really enjoy the other summers, and how quickly we’ve all been able to get to know each other. I’ll come back to this topic.

As you know, I’m not always up for social situations – and this party was a doozy. So, I handled it like an adult and started drinking. Let’s look at the elements again shall we: potentially incredibly important party (quite the opportunity to make an ass of myself, at least), museum-like beautiful house with accompanying furnishings, my fellow summers with our penchant for mischief, open bar (only clear liquids, to protect the fabulous furnishings – i.e. no red wine or red cranberry juice), me and my low, low tolerance for alcohol. Right, good…moving on. Not to worry – I didn’t actually do/say anything incredibly stupid, at least I don’t think so.

I had an incredibly good, alcohol-enhanced time: I bonded with Jeet’s wife about Indian moms (thereby getting in good with Jeet since now his wife knows ALL of them are insane, and not just his in particular), met the summer associates in the SF office, and the significant others of our office summer associates, had a lot of conversations I don’t remember (but I was BRILLIANT and FUNNY!) Leaving the party, I thanked the Big Boss for the party and got into a conversation about DC (he used to live in Alexandria and teach in DC.)

Driving home with James, Stephanie and Aaron (other SV summers) we were cracking up about something or the other, and Aaron said "Let’s all come back to the firm, okay?" It was just so…sweet. And, really, what I want.

* Northern California term, meaning (as you could guess m context) "very" or "a lot"

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