Worst. “Meeting.” Ever.

Let me tell you a story. The story is about a man named Bill and his two friends.

I cannot accurately tell this story without first referencing what a MARTY is. Here is a down and dirty definition of a MARTY: “a MARTY is half party, half meeting. Complete with door prizes and a backdrop in which you can take pictures of yourself in front of hundreds of smiling LegalShield logos. Upon entering your MARTY, you will be given two drink tickets which you will hold on to for dear life and can be exchanged for beer or wine, both of which are a brand that would never cross the threshold of any respectable house. You will then be forced to talk to ‘entrepreneurs’ and alcoholics alike for the defined time of 120 minutes.”

So I’m at this fucking thing and I look like a gazelle on the plain, I was new, mostly sober, and not talking to anyone. That’s when I met Bill. He cornered me against some barstools where interrogated me about what I did and who I did it for. He proceeds to get a twinkle in his eye that says “sweet, a person who knows ‘computers’ and will probably talk to me.” In an effort to not be rude, I listened to him prattle on about LinkedIn and PowerPoint for about 20 minutes. Trapped against the bar, it’s not like I could excuse myself to freshen my drink so I loudly interrupted him stating that I needed another glass of wine. He then watches me turn around to order my drink and then he waits for me to turn back around to finish our one-sided conversation.

The LegalShield zombies were shutting the MARTY down and ushering everyone to the door because the bar had another party coming in (I am assuming there was no mandatory meeting associated with this party) and we needed to leave.

So Bill invites me to lunch to talk about some “work” he may have for us. Being that we were new in town and trying to get re-established, I agreed to meet him at the Holiday Inn some bullshit restaurant with a view.

The blessed day arrives. I’m wearing some semblance of clothing and I arrive early (of course) and he emails me to tell me that he is bringing a posse and he is running late but rest assured, he will be there. Thank god, because he said he would buy lunch.

I ride up in the elevator and decide to wander around and check out this view. It was nice, but the restaurant was filthy, that should have been my first clue.

Then Bill arrives with his fleet of people. He introduces me to the Smuckers Retard and the Guy Who Does Print.

We are seated. The waitress asks what we will have to drink. Bill responds with, “is tea included in the lunch?” The poor waitress says, “no, I’m sorry, it’s not.” Without consulting the rest of the table, Bill announces we will all be having water today. Without lemon.

The two other men grill me on what I do just like Bill, I’m assuming that’s why they are friends. Being that getting grilled is a hobby of mine, I was fine with it then subtly told them to eat a dick. I was already unamused.

The waitress comes back with our tap water and asks if we would like to see a menu. Bill, our leader, tells her that we will all be having the buffet today for lunch.

I don’t do buffets. If I need to eat something that has to be enclosed to protect it from your snot and saliva in the event that you sneeze, I will pass.

So we make our way to the buffet, which has fried chicken and other stuff that appears to be teeming with grease and cooties. I stick with fresh fruit. Fruit that at one time would be considered fresh.

We all get settled back in and Bill pulls out a stack of papers. It’s copies of a For Dummies book on Internet marketing. He brought copies for all of us. He then proceeds to spend the next 45 minutes reading us these pages and not taking questions.

He breaks to get more “food” and in the time he is gone, Smuckers Retard tells me that he is of the “Smuckers family” (he then recites all the brands associated with Smuckers) and that he is trying to raise money to ride his bike…somewhere. It looks like this dude has never rode a bike in his life. I will donate to a cause for him to ride a bicycle anywhere. Really. He also tells me he is a photographer and that he would like to sign me up for his email list in which he sends pictures of fucking whatever and an “inspirational quote” every “morning.” So, being that I am in a small and confined locale with this man-child and I don’t want to make waves, I agree to give him my email with the intention of unsubscribing immediately.

Bill is back. Father Time interrupts what could possibly be round 2 of Internet Marketing for Dummies: a Dramatic Interpretation, to ask me what my hourly rate is for “print design.” I explain to him that we have a blended rate, however we don’t do a lot of print. And that’s the end of that conversation.

Bill opens his mouth to speak again. I interrupt him, sort of, by telling him that I have to be somewhere (like my house. Alone) and that I should be going. He would have heard this if he hadn’t talked over me about some bullshit LinkedIn thing.

I believe this is what he wanted to do: he wanted to “harness the power of LinkedIn” and mass-mail all his connections or friends or whatever, a PowerPoint presentation. What’s in that presentation? One may never know. Also, if LinkedIn did this, there would be so much spam in the world we would all die. Literally, die. I told him that it could not be done, so he rephrased the question, I told him again, it could not be done automatically. He tried to rephrase the question again, like I’m an idiot and missed the first two questions. That’s when I changed the subject.

So I repeated myself that I had do go while standing up. I graciously thanked him for my mushy fruit and cold tap water and left while he was still talking.

This was two years ago. Up until a few months ago I have been trying to get off Smuckers Retards mailing list. He does some kind of BCC thing from his outlook and mass mails everyone without a unsubscribe link. Being that I am an asshole, and from the Internet, I Googled him. I found his phone number. So I emailed him to see if it was current because he wasn’t responding to all my emails about being removed, so I thought I could call him. The next day I was off his mailing list.

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