Force a gift on the wrong person. A thinly veiled autobiography.


  1. Establish a connection with new colleague, ____, ideally because he invited you to lunch at a Mexican place off the beaten track.

  2. Arrive late at proposed meeting place, but text ahead.

  3. Catch up on life. Be grateful for the common friendship you share.

  4. Remind yourself that _____ is no better than you are.

  5. Struggle to tell _____ the real story of who you are even though you try to tell him the story you suspect he wants if he's to hire you.

  6. A week later, connect with _____'s colleagues over another lunch in your honor he also buys.

  7. Arrive late on the bus, text ahead.

  8. Listen to _____ introduce you to his brilliant colleagues as a cartoonist who needs to get out more, so you feel foolish.

  9. Amaze yourself as you manage to engage in good conversation with people doing things you know very little about.

  10. Allow your voice to be quiet and shaky. Remind yourself that this is compassion at work.

  11. Be grateful later for a private moment with _____ where you can "dig deeper" into how he might find your work valuable.

  12. Call back in a week to close the sale as _____ tries to tell you he doesn't need your help because your work is too existential and his work is actually taking off the way it is.

  13. Awkwardly shift gears and offer _____ a listening ear about his personal life.

  14. Listen to him say it was a loving gesture, but feel the sting when he accuses you of putting him on the couch.

  15. Three silent weeks later, listen to the trusted friend who introduced you share the story of how he and _____ ask each other "What was that?" When referring to their shared experiences of trying to work with you professionally.

  16. Go home and cook dinner for your family with earplugs in so you don't have to engage.

  17. Lose sleep that night.

  18. The next day, connect with an amazing new client who reminds you of this quote:

"When someone tells me "no," it doesn't mean I can't do it, it simply means I can't do it with them."  -Karen E. Quinones Miller