I could write a book about my previous life at a small flooring concern—but let’s be honest, I probably won’t. Instead, I’ll just share the Improbable Tale of how I was able to secure my first job out of school armed with nothing but a useless B.A. and a hangover.

I saw an ad on Workopolis for an administrative assistant in the shared “boutique” office space of a commercial background music provider (think Muzak) and a flooring supplier/contractor. Intriguing combination. I pictured drafting boards, and men wearing buttoned down flannel shirts tucked into jeans, and foam-padded recording studios and oversized LCD monitors on every wall and Godknowswhatelse. I was 24 and therefore quite stupid.

After being phone-screened by a nice lady, I met with my future employer in a 20′×20′ windowless office on King street east. It was not quite what I envisioned, but I wasn’t deterred. The man behind the desk was a friendly-looking man with curly hair. He wore shorts. Like me, he was also a Western grad so we chatted about living in London, campus bars, and the associated debauchery for about 30 minutes. It was a great interview and about a week later, I was hired.

My boss later admitted that the odds were stacked against me as he had plucked out the resumes with boys’ names on them and shredded them. When he came to mine he was unsure. My name was ambiguous enough that he thought I might be a “hot Russian stripper” (his words). I let him down in that department, but otherwise I was a dedicated employee.

This shadowbox was a marketing piece depicting our company logo in green and brown glass tiles. It’s one of the most beautiful things we put together as a team. The off-kilter logo was an apt metaphor for the atmosphere around the office. Unfortunately, so too was the edition in the lower left corner.