Hmmm. Where to start? This was the first part of my weekend of Trying to Impress Big Calgary Firms, and so of course I ended up getting a touch of food poisoning and feeling pretty out of it for the whole weekend.
Bruce and I had both accepted the kind invitation of Firm B-, and were unsure as to whether another student would also be attending. Since Bruce doesnít live anywhere near me any more I had to take the bus downtown after dark by myself on a Friday night, and then walk down this poorly-lit side street in my extremely uncomfortable high-heeled shoes, and as if that werenít enough, another student who had just been to Il Terrazzo had told me it was in an alley. I sort of felt like I had entered the twilight zone looking for this place, and it was a great relief when I finally did find it.
I met Bruce at the door and we were shown to our table, where we met the firm rep. I think in the end it was probably a good thing for her to have invited a third student, because Bruce and I might have been too alarming for her on our own. I think we all really clicked right away, and we took Gordís advice (he had already been for dinner with a firm) and ordered some drinks. The third student arrived and we all chatted for a while.
Our waitress, who was (charitably) somewhat strange, brought by some bread with like a pesto or something, but we were all so busy gabbing that it went completely untouched. In a moment of sheer ďWhat was I Thinking!?Ē I ordered the lamb sausage fusilli, I guess because I donít like fish (what the other student ordered) and didnít want to have to try to eat something with my hands in front of someone who might want to give me a job, and probably because fusilli are short pasta and I didnít want to be slurping anything, but I like, really donít like lamb and I was obviously just not thinking.
Oh, well, I kind of was, because this dish also had mushrooms in it, and so as not to appear fussy in front of the firm rep I decided to not try and order the dish with no mushrooms and opted for ordering it with mushrooms and hoping they were the correct size (they were).
Anyway, the firm rep ordered a whole rack of lamb, or lamb steak, or something like that. Needless to say, Il Terrazzo is the kind of Italian restaurant that not everything on the menu is pasta. Bruce ordered some other dish that also had the fusilli in it. The food came, and it was actually pretty tasty (except for the part about my not liking the taste of lamb, and having to try to pick the mushrooms out in the dark and without it looking like I was picking out the mushrooms). The fusilli had a very tasty sauce, and the lamb sausage was almost spicy enough to drown out the sweaty sock taste, but I stopped about halfway through because I was feeling a little funny.
We ordered big lattes and a dessert sampler. As weíre sitting at the table waiting for the desserts to come, I start to feel SERIOUSLY funny, and Iím thinking, okay, I donít want to come across like a cheap drunk (I had not even had one full glass of wine - it was definitely not overindulgence in alcohol that was making me feel this way), Iíll just sit back in my chair and take a big sip of water and be quiet until I feel normal again, but my cunning plan did not work and despite my determination not to say anything about how awful I felt I guess the firm rep could tell anyway, because sheís like, ďShannon, are you okay?Ē and at that point I thought, well, thereís nothing for it, so I just said that no, I wasnít feeling okay (even though the desserts had just arrived), and so she sent me home, and as Iím walking out to the taxi Iím thinking, well, scratch Firm B- off my list since Iíve just totally ruined my chances with them, and Bruce, who is walking me out to my taxi, tells me that heís not feeling very well either.
There are several morals to this story.
- Apparently getting food poisoning at your firm dinner is not necessarily the kiss of death, because the firm rep was very apologetic to me the next day at interviews, kept asking if I was okay, and has arranged for me to go have a tour of their office at Christmas.
- There may be a possibility that the third student was trying to poison me and Bruce in order to get the undivided attention of the firm rep, or at least thatís what the firm reps from a different Firm B- told me the next night. They also indicated that their firm would reward such behavior. I donít think itís a very strong possibility though, because the other student is such a nice girl.
- The prof I had last year for property and who I also have for two classes this year also had an adverse reaction to his first dinner with a firm, many years before I was born, except he was eating a crab salad that caused him to break out in extremely uncomfortable hives for two days, and the firm reps didnít even notice.
- Donít eat at Il Terrazzo. I talked to several other students who had been to Il Terrazzo, either with a firm or on their own, and everybody seemed to have some kind of food poisoning story from there.
Il Terrazzo gets 2 pints of absinthe. It tastes kind of funny, and you feel really sophisticated when youíre drinking it, but it can have pretty unpleasant consequences.