Are You Sure You Know What That Is?


Location: The main bar at Nic’s - a martini bar on Canon in Beverly Hills Day and Time: Friday, 11:39PM, summertime Music: Live jazz Characters: B - married friend of E; Joe - guy in workclothes Bystanders: E - friend of B; John - guy in workclothes, friend of Joe

JOE offers a handshake to B.

JOE Hi, my name is Joe.

B shakes Joe’s hand.

B Hi, I’m B.

JOE What do you do?

B I’m an actress and personal trainer. [pause] And what do you do?

JOE I work in private equity.

Joe proceeds to give B a schpiel about what private equity is.

B …Oh I know what private equity is.

JOE Do you? Are you sure you know what private equity is?

B looks at E and shrugs.

B I don’t know. Maybe not. [thinking, “Maybe I just said that to get you to shut up.”]

E finishes the last of her drink.

We zoom in on E.

E voiceover This is interesting, because my initial reaction is to pass off this guy with one of those “Wow, what a jerk” dismissals. And then I think about the core of what he said and it’s actually pretty intriguing. I mean, Joe apparently is in need for us to understand the magnitude of private equity, truly. Not only that, there is a crisis ensuing because of the mere prospect that my friend B might not really know what he does for a living as she says she does. That would make B out to be a liar.

It is up to Joe, here, to inform us either on our ignorance or praise us on our still-scant knowledge of private equity. Clearly, we only qualified for the former. I know, somewhere, the vast divide between the expectation that B and I be impressed at his career thoroughbreeding in contrast to our bleak knowledge on private equity is lost upon us and I order another drink instead of searching for where that flying something flew off to.

As the importance of being impressed by matters of private equity is lost on B, I note that my friend Sean had said that that field was the thing to go into after B-school. After all, it’s supposedly the most lucrative. Yet, I’m not really buying into this “should” business. I’m just not feeling it, and we are both feeling especially disgusted by Joe. The type of guy who’s defined by his career, by his spending power, by matters of prestige - matters of which “private equity” is to be included. Typical. After all, we were in Beverly Hills. Still, disappointing.

I’d take interesting over prestigious, any day.

Thankfully he wasn’t talking to me.