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Boston Consulting Group

BCG Corporate Card

Full time employment as the assistant to the Network Specialist on a combined Token Ring and Local Talk Network connecting over a hundred PC and Macintosh workstations. Front line support for endusers, interfacing with consultants and corporate structure. Software, hardware installation and troubleshooting.
So I spent the summer of 1993 crawling around under the desks of highly paid, highly mobile management consultants. I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the people we represented. They took themselves pretty seriously.
It wasn't bad to work there - they had a lot of resources, and there were so many secretaries to flirt with. Every two days, BCG had a new load of fresh fruit brought in, bananas, oranges, cherries, grapes, peaches, plums - it was heavenly, the hardest part of the job to give up.

there were so many secretaries to flirt with.

I was eighteen, just graduated high school, doing a lot of drugs and feeling pretty virile. I'm amazed they put up with me. I guess I did my job, and I even wore a tie!

I got this job through my friend Brian Townley, whom I met at Kanbay.

Corporate Culture

In July, I had the priviledge to attend a company retreat in Lake Geneva, Wisonsin.
It was plush. Full expense account for activities and meals and massages and spas. Invited were aall the employees, consultants and staff, as well as their spouses and offspring, from the Chicago office.

The first night, we gathered in the ball room for some corporate debauchery. Tables laden with oysters, shrimp, food of varying ethnicity, and an open bar. Pretty soon people were getting tanked, things began to get a little mad. Brian, his wife Tricia and I stayed sober, watching the action.

I remember watching one staff member, Sean, wandering from table to table muttering

"fuck. fuck. fuck. fuck."

What are you swearing for?

"Because I can't at work."

Attempting humour, some senior exec gave an extended slide show on mushrooms. I wondered if the entire group missed the psychedlic tie-in, or if that was the point. It wasn't clearly funny otherwise. More surreal.

I came out of the company party a little tipsy, and feeling my oats, when an extremely attractive older woman, with two tattoos and a poofy minskirt, came out of the resort discotech and told me what she thought about the poor-quality of the music they were playing;
"I'd much rather listen to Bobby-Brown, 'I Like to Hump', or Salt 'n Pepa"
I agreed, stupified, and walked with her the short distance to the woman's bathroom. She went in. I stood outside, contemplated the situation and decided.

When she came out I said to her,

"Hi, I've never really done this before, but I'm eighteen and I think you're extremely attractive and I was wondering if you would like to come back to my room with me?"

(or something equally as clever - wasn't honesty the best policy?)
She said that she wanted to dance some more but she would walk around with me for a little while.

a 43 year old school teacher and mother from St. Louis who was high on hash

She turned out to be a 43 year old school teacher and mother from St. Louis who was high on hash for her birthday. We walked around the resort, talking to the people that worked there, who knew her and wanted to fuck her too and she told jokes like this: "What's twelve inches and hangs in front of an asshole?" "Bill Clinton's tie."
She eventually decided to go back into the Discotech. We tried to go in together, they wouldn't let me in without ID, so she asked for my room numer and went in alone.
I went back to the party and watched fifteen drunk BCG consultants and support staff karaoke Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina." Reputed for her poor disposition, the most humourless boston consultant was drunkerd n' hell, she put her arm around me and announced to no one in particular that the two of us were flying to the Carribean tomorrow.

she put her arm around me and announced that the two of us were flying to the Carribean tomorrow.

I hooked up with a 23 year old woman from accounting. She had two different colour eyes, and a strong face - almost Native American. We both were pretty drunk, she drunker than I, and we went back to my room for drunken groping and sex. She slept there and we woke up together.
Returning to work meant flirting, one woman thought I would dig her friend, a 28 year old Robin. We telephoned each other, spoke a few times, and made a blind date to go see Jurassic Park. The whole thing had a strange air to it, I was 18, she 28, I made sure she knew that I had one month and a half left in Chicago.
We went out for a beer and french fries at the Northside cafe afterwards and she drove me back to my house. We ended up on the leather couch in the library necking and I felt her tits and she said she had to get up for work and we were moving too fast and she left and called me a few times to get me to go bike shopping with her and listen to her problems, none of which I had an interest in. I called her a year later, she had a boyfriend younger than me.
my drunken friend and I talked a lot at work, and finally coordinated an evening together, where I went over to her place and walked with her on the beach and talked about car accidents and life and journalism. She had been in a most incredible car wreck, where the car had hit a barrier and flown up, slamming against the green and white highway sign. She showed me her scars. She was from Ohio, moved to the city, she too wanted to be a journalist.
kindred souls, writers in the midst of bizinis.

eventually, I met Grace, and left for Swarthmore.

at the request of bcg,
I have removed a few names and proper nouns.

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justin hall | <justin at bud dot com>