I was sitting at my desk munching on a take-out salad from the cafeteria downstairs, when the email from my boss came through. I glanced at the large computer monitor sitting to my left, but didn’t bother opening the email. I already knew what it was.
I had been expecting the email since earlier in the day when my boss told me that our company, Goldman & Stern Management Consultants, had won a ten-million-dollar management consulting contract with Wright Enterprises, and that I would be one of the management consultants on the team.
I chewed a mouthful of lettuce and leaned over to read the subject line: Confirmation of Meeting Scheduled with Tanner Wright at Wright Enterprises.
I clicked the link that would automatically add the meeting details to my electronic schedule and went back to eating my salad.
A year ago, I would have been jumping up and down at the thought of meeting with billionaire entrepreneur, Tanner Wright, and his team. Now, this would be just another in a long line of boring meetings with rich douchebags who used Goldman & Stern’s management consultants – like me -- to do their dirty work.
Wow, sometimes I was amazed at how tarnished I had become in just one short year at Goldman. I don’t remember what I expected this job would be, but this wasn’t it.
Still, it was better than slaving away at a non-profit for twenty-grand a year. That was more fulfilling, but this allowed me to buy a lot cooler stuff.
I sighed as I stabbed a cherry tomato and bit it in half with my front teeth. I had already Googled Tanner Wright in anticipation of the meeting. Not that I didn’t already know who he was. Everyone in business knew who Tanner Wright was because he was the stuff of legend.
Thirty-five years old, single, tall, dark, and handsome; with the build of an athlete and the brain of a Rhodes Scholar.
He started Wright Enterprises as a little computer fix-it service in his parents’ basement fifteen years ago, and the company did six billion in revenue last year.
Wright was in to everything now: from computing to networking to cyber-security software to fiber optics. But it took more than generating a ton of revenue for a guy to impress me these days. In my mind, I already had him pegged as just another billionaire playboy who thought he could buy the world and everyone in it.
I took a sip of the watery iced tea that came with the salad and looked out the twentieth-floor window at the hazy Chicago skyline.
“I’ll bet he’s a major douchebag,” I heard myself say.
I couldn’t help it.
Whenever I thought about men these days the word “douchebag” automatically came to mind.
In fact, the word “douchebag” was becoming synonymous with the word “man” in my mind.
Call me jaded, but in my mind, they were one and the same.
I took another bite of the lettuce and munched as I sighed. Why do men have to be such douchebags, I wondered. Aren’t there any good men left in the world? Surely, they’re not all gay or married.
Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating just a little bit. Maybe not all men on planet earth are douchebags. Maybe it’s just the males of the species that I have personally met over my twenty-four years on the planet were douchebags.
They didn’t all start out that way, of course. Some of them were perfectly nice in the beginning. They seemed to evolve into douchebags after they met me. Maybe that was it. Maybe I was the common denominator. Maybe I took perfectly nice guys and turned them into total douchebags. I was patient zero!
I licked the dressing from my lips and reached for the tea. Maybe that was my special power, I thought. I had the power to turn perfectly nice guys into douchebags.
Nah. Who am I kidding.
I don’t have special powers.
Men are quite capable of becoming douchebags all on their own.
They certainly didn’t need any influence from me.
The most recent douchebag in my life was my ex-boyfriend, Scott, who dumped me after dating for five years because his mother didn’t think I was good enough for him.
He actually said those words to me.
“I’m sorry, Candice, but Mother doesn’t think you’re good enough for me.”
“I’m not marrying your mother, Scott,” I shot back. “The question is, what do you think?”
The prick didn’t hesitate. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “I think Mother is probably right.”
And with that, he turned and walked out the door and never looked back.
I was like, are you kidding me, mother f*cker?
I’ve dated your douchebag ass since freshman year at college, saved my virginity for our wedding night, and two months before the wedding, I’m not good enough for you?