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I’ll start by saying this: I hate cocaine. It’s always hard to find, and when someone does find it, it’s never that good. The handful of times I experimented with it, I was a college wildman kicking in doors at the frat house just because I could. Wait. I love cocaine. I just can’t handle it these days as I masquerade through life as a guy that has it together with a successful oil and gas career.
This industry is full of excess. It’s the wild west. Anyone with a strong work ethic and a high school education can flourish. If you don’t mind shaking hands, eating shit for a while, and dealing with the mind wrecking highs and lows, you can be somebody. Unfortunately, this business is cutthroat. A handshake doesn’t mean what it used to, so you have to constantly watch your back. Paranoia brings on stress, and stress requires coping mechanisms.
When the price of oil dropped back in 2014, shit got real. Despite the constant reassurances from corporate that my company was well equipped to handle prices bottoming out, the entire office was in panic. Gchat went from planning happy hours to planning career changes. Resumes were updated, and cover letters were drafted. Through it all, though, people partied. The stress from not knowing whether we’d be cleaning our desks out the next day lead to raging of epic proportions. Some went harder than others, as I found out one random, belligerent Thursday.
On this particular Thursday, the entire team decided to let off some steam at our usual watering hole downtown. This was no different than what I’d been participating in the previous few nights, but this time, it had the company seal of approval. Naturally, I went and had my fair share of top shelf drinks on the their dime, but I got out of there a little early because of the bachelor party I was leaving for the following day. Lame, I know, but a guy needs some sleep.
I left my car at the office that night because parking downtown gives me crippling anxiety. After being dropped off by my Uber, I ran upstairs to grab my laptop. Even though there was no way in hell I’d be working over the weekend, I couldn’t just leave it there as a reminder to everyone that I’d be doing terrible things while they were at work. When I got back into the building, I noticed all the lights were still on. It was 9 p.m., so this was a little unusual.
I walked back to my office (yep, I had an actual office) which was located directly across the hall from my boss’s. As I went to flip my light on, I started hearing music. Randy Travis, if I remember correctly. It kinda creeped me out, because I was sure I was alone. The boss’s door was cracked, so I decided to peep my head in. That’s when it happened. I stood there in awe as I watched the man that micromanaged me take down a finger-sized gator tail. I had no idea this guy went that hard.
For context, here’s some background on my boss former boss. Early forties, two ex-wives, and two young kids. He came over to the company after an acquisition we made in 2009 and ended up scaling the ladder in unprecedented fashion. Imagine Ryan from The Office with a West Texas drawl and a not so subtle love for the bottle. Total badass. I know.
A smarter person would have backed away, but I just stood there like a moron. It’s like I was waiting for him to notice me, which he did. “Hello, Adrian” (Not my real name) he said. “How was happy hour?” I just watched this guy take down a crazy amount of white stuff, and he’s asking me about happy hour? FOMO is real. “Good?” I uttered with a puzzled tone. “Come have a drink with me” he confidently requested. Me being 25, kind of drunk, and a little bit of a scum bag, I accepted his invitation.
He stumbled over to his wet bar, and poured me a scotch. Neat– The scotch, not the situation. We talked about happy hour, the volatile market, OPEC, my future with the company, and… the 8-ball just sitting on his desk like that was completely normal. “It’s probably for the best you don’t tell anyone what I was doing up here.” I knew exactly what he meant by that. Then it happened:
“It’s the best I’ve tried. Helps me work late. Want some?”
Fuck. What’s the move here? Say no, and he’ll never trust me again. Say yes, and I’m bound to this man forever. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a “do some of this and go back to happy hour option,” so for the next two hours or so, I drank scotch and did cocaine with my boss. He wasn’t lying either. That shit had my entire face numb.
Two dudes doing blow. It was surreal. We paced around the office rambling on and on about all sorts of pointless shit. I learned that he got absolutely smoked in both divorces. I learned that he’d been arrested twice. I learned that he loves Waylon Jennings. I also learned that he thought about letting me go after he became my boss. That was awkward. Not as awkward as having to look him in the eyes the following Monday, but still pretty awkward.
All in all, it was pretty standard cocaine talk. Much of it was nonsensical, some of it was way too real (he told me he was “tagging” one of his second ex-wife’s friends in remarkably graphic detail), and much of it I don’t even remember.
Are there perks for doing illegal drugs with your superiors? Of course. To my knowledge, I was the only person in that office that knew his secret to success, so that had to count for something. I also felt like my job security was monumentally better after that infamous night. But, man, it sure was an awkward few months after that, and my hangover the next day was just brutal. Aside from the mandatory meetings, my boss and I did our best to limit any interaction. It was like we hooked up and regretted the hell out of it.
In case you’re wondering, I’m not working there anymore. I got an offer from a company in my home town for more money and less awkwardness, so naturally, I took it. My new boss is an 70-year-old man, but in the event that I end up doing drugs with him, I’ll be sure to let you know what went down. .
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