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Makin' Friends In Business

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BUSINESS MENTOR
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I used to work at a very huge tech company. Not everybody dug us. You see, prior to Google, iPhones, Craigslist, and Pokemon, this place was kind of a big deal. And if there's one thing that gets North Americans' goat, it's other people's success stories.

This success wasn't mine, mind you; I pulled in $12 an hour at a Toronto call centre running FICO credit inquiries and listening to clients complain their alt key was sticking. Nonetheless, I'd made a lot of great co-worker friends in my time there, and my bosses were surprisingly cool. To the point where if they all blew up in a cartoonishly large explosion or whatever, I'd be pretty choked.

I worked until midnight one Friday, and upon exiting the building to head home, I realized I'd left my notepad in my desk. (A yellow scrapbook consisting mostly of ideas for some mediocre screenplay I was writing.) Upon returning to the front entrance, a security guard stopped me, saying I wasn't allowed to go back upstairs. When I pressed for a reason, he confided in me. "Somebody called in a bomb threat on the building."

Side note: this random happening was already a better idea than my half-baked screenplay. (That said, my half-baked screenplay was still better than Pan.)

For reasons still elusive, this information seemed less pressing to me than the need to take my notepad home for the weekend. As such, I felt obliged to ask, "What if I just run up there real quick-like and get it?" Security Guy raised an eyebrow, mulled over my request, then said, "Just promise you won't tell the late-shift workers about the whole bomb thing. We don't wanna panic anyone."

I nodded in agreement, my Faustian pact sealed. I took the elevator to the fourth floor, plucked the notepad off my desk and raised it for all to see. "Almost forgot this," I said to my possibly-soon-to-be-exploded co-workers, the survivor's guilt already welling up. "Ciao guys!"

I darted for the elevator. My co-workers waved, blissfully unaware of what might be their looming fate. One of them called out, "See you Monday, Steve." The elevator doors opened and I shuffled in. Oddly unencumbered by tact or social filters, I replied with, "Uh, yeah. I hope so." The doors closed and I got the F outta Dodge.

As difficult as the experience was, I'm glad I walked back into the building that fateful night. Closure is a powerful drug, and with all the wonderful friends I'd made at the company, I relish the fact they got their much-needed confirmation re: me picking up my notepad. I truly, truly loved that notepad.

As memory serves, the building wasn't engulfed by some Die Hard-style fireball. So hey, total happy ending. Well, except for the fact my screenplay never sold. I should have added a few more explosions in there, I reckon.

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