Last night I went to a going away part for someone at work. It was a good time, and much needed since we just finished the busiest part of our year. Everyone was ready to blow off some steam, and a co-worker leaving was the perfect excuse.
We went to the District Chop House, an upper mid price place about three blocks away from the office. The Chop House is one of those big places that makes its own beer and serves steak with virtually every entrée. Even the dinner salads.
We pretty much took over the small bar area upstairs on the 2nd floor loft. There were two pool tables, but they charged $13 an hour and I couldn’t convince anyone else to play. Since work was picking up the food and drink tab, most everyone went way overboard with the Summertime Mint Margaritas and Chocolate Martinis. With my recent health problems, I’m still not supposed to drink much alcohol so I had a beer and followed it up with several glasses of Coke.
I’m not usually much for larger parties, but this was nice. Since my office is in a different building from most of the staff, it gave me a chance to catch up with people I don’t normally see and gossip with.
After a while of making the rounds, someone grabbed my elbow. It was our newly hired graphic designer. We’ll call him Designer Gary. “So I’m betting you’re a writer of some kind,” he said.
“Umm…yeah,” I responded. “I write a lot of book reviews, and a short story now and then. How did you know?”
“I can tell by the way you’re acting,” Designer Gary said. “You talk a bit, but mostly you listen. Unlike a lot of people at parties, you like you’re actually listening beyond the usual bar chatter. And every now and then you pause, look around the whole room, and the re-focus. It’s just a very writerly way to act.”
I nodded. “Yeah, I guess it is. I don’t really think about doing it, but I guess it is kind of writerly. But it looks like I’m not only observant one here.”
He laughed. “My first design job was with a newspaper, and I worked with a lot of writers. I just know what to look for. Either that, or you’re a spy.”
We both laughed at that, although it’s not the first time I’ve been accused of being a spy.
So be careful out there, fellow writers on the lurk and prowl. A few regular people out there know what to look for.