I thought it over and tried to think if I'd have done it differently — not taken the food home but every time I came around to the same thing: I just couldn't have allowed that food ("that perfectly good food," as my father would say) to be thrown away. It went against the grain. No matter how it looked, doing anything else wouldn't be me. And if they were thinking of hiring me, they needed to know who I was. Still, not being asked was gong to hurt.
I went in to work subdued. I knew people would be asking me all day. I got in to my cubicle and buckled down to my IBM Selectric 3 and then, the phone rang.
It was Mike offering me the job! I hung up the phone smiling. I sat with the news a few minutes and then went to whisper to my friends all over the office. Before long, I thought to call Dick Lidz, the guy who'd recommended me for the job. I'd been working on a series of twelve career-education paperback books Dick's company was producing for Random House. Adventures in the World of Work was a compilation of job interviews with all the people involved in delivering a product or a service (Who Puts the Plane in the Air? Who Puts the Blue in the Jeans?). It was gonna be a great set of books and it was going to be my last job at Random House.
"Dick! Just wanted to thank you. Butterick offered me the job."
"I know, that's great!" he replied, "You really WOW-ed them — they had alotta questions and you had the answers. AND — " he lowered his voice and said in a confidential tone, "John and Mike were really happy you could hold your liquor."
"What about Marsha? She kept pointing out and didn't seem too happy I wasn't a teacher or a home economist."
"Now, shes a stumper. She wasn't keen on you at all until she came back from your lunch and told Mike, 'She did what a home economist would do.' Whadaya think that was?"
So. I got the job because I drank three straight Scotches and took the doggy bag from lunch.
|Pancetta and all...|
But the next day when I was reheating the vegetarian slice of Marge's pizza, I got out that pancetta, sprinkled it on top of the cheese, arugula, and tomatoes and reheated that piece. As I bit into that delicious leftover, I realized that — for the most part — being who I am, acting the way I believe, has served me well and if I was going to have any success in his new chapter of my career, maybe — maybe I'd better keep on doing what I do and hope for the best.