The people in the middle are not the same people I was writing about, despite their central position on the page. The guys in the middle were HVAC dudes talking about family type things, and I didn’t spend my energy hating them the way I did for the businessmen. The hands - that’s where the story is.
I went to this bar near one of the museums in New Orleans just off the Central Business District, behind the Federal District court building. I was sitting next to super business-type businessmen. They were so into their spiel they seemed like caricatures of themselves, like villains from an 80s movie. They kept talking about “associates” and “marketing” and who should be doing better or worse than they were actually doing in life according to their education or former career path. I think one guy was in the process of interviewing at the other guy’s workplace, so they were kind of networking/schmoozing/talking shop.
The prospective employee was dressed business casual, but the other guy was decked out in an expensive looking grey suit and a giant gold watch that looked to me like a recipe for carpal tunnel. The besuited gentleman’s gestures made it seem as if his entire life was a powerpoint presentation, hands carefully posed at all times.
They eventually noticed me eavesdropping and writing, which excited the yet to be employed guy. Golf shirt was hoping that my writing would somehow bring him fame, while the suit was clearly a bit apprehensive. “You’re not tape recording us, are you?”, he asked me.
"No, no, just writing", I lied.
Not having any real understanding of their topics, I decided to ask them what an associate was, hoping to glean some basic knowledge. I was bored and figured I would be able to hear their conversation regardless, so I might as well participate. It’s also a world that I have never really been a part of and despite my distaste, I was genuinely curious. Unfortunately, their answers didn’t really tell me anything. Apparently, business associates investigate profitability, mergers, acquisitions, and participate in raising capitol. But they don’t actually research profits (that’s a numbers guy thing), present the information, or find the businesses for mergers or acquisitions. I still have no idea what they actually do, but I get the impression that they do it for a lot of hours of their lives.