and before i start getting hate mail from baltimore supporters, let me say this - i am sure baltimore is a perfectly nice city. it simply was not the right place for me between October 1992 and April 1993.
and it was mutual.
i did not like baltimore.
baltimore did not like me.
i got to baltimore because of a man.
a man i had met in vail.
a man I thought i was in love with and could not live without.
apparently i was wrong.
he lived in NY.
the company i worked for was transferring me and i had a choice of destinations - so i picked the east coast to be closer to him.
huge life altering mistake.
in the seven months i suffered in baltimore, i saw him once.
while in baltimore, i held two jobs. one with the company that transferred me cross country and another waiting tables at an olive garden in columbia, md. the second job, i enjoyed. the first, not so much.
anyway, on Easter Sunday of 1993, i put my back to that city on the Chesapeake Bay and drove away.
never, ever to return.
but return i did. this week. for my current work.
and it weren't so bad. a few brief stomach turning moments, but i survived...
work was great. demo went beautifully.
had some FABULOUS seafood. soft shell crab, lump crabmeat et al.
so wednesday morning we (my coworker and i) show up at the customer site. meet their team. as usual - very nice, capable, talented people. the young woman in charge of the team is familiar to me. that's pretty common - as i have met so many customers over the years. so i try to place her. ask if she went to our conference in vegas last month. no. has she ever been in any of my classes? no.
hmmm. i am imagining things. oh well.
back to business. we dial up the office in the UK and start the presentation. goes well. really well. so we invite their team out to lunch afterwards. we decided to head down to the Inner harbor for some seafood.
in the car on the way down, their team leader asks if this is our first visit to baltimore. i wasn't really going to volunteer that i had spent 7 hellish months in their lovely city but before i could compose my response, my coworker volunteered that i had actually lived in baltimore once.
i said yes, i lived here, briefly. before moving back home to mississippi.
and this is where it gets good...
so this young woman i had been working with all day - the lead on their team - says to me, "i knew a t_cole once that moved to mississippi. we waited tables together."
"at the olive garden" i almost screamed.
"YES!!!" in unison!
Holy Crap! of all the people in all the buildings in all of downtown baltimore my customer's team lead ends up being someone i waited tables and partied with 13 years earlier?
WHAT ARE THE CHANCES PEOPLE?????!!!!!!!