For the last two years I've been serving on the Alumni Board of the College of Arts and Humanities at my alma mater, the University of Maryland. It's been fun -- the main purpose of the Board is to come up with ideas and plans for events that connect alumni with students. In the past, the Board sponsors a yearly event that included a keynote speaker, networking tables, and a career fair. It was a very popular event, but it got to be a bit too big.
This year, because of a lack of university staff, we did not have this event. Instead, we gave grants to student clubs who wanted to put on similar networking events for their own clubs.
Anyway, last week I got a nice email from the Director of Development inviting me to lunch with her and the Assistant Dean. I had a feeling that I knew what they were up to, but I played along and accepted. I suggested that we meet at the nearby Ruby Tuesday, because it was close to my office and it was a sit-down joint.
Ten minutes before the appointed time I headed out to the restaurant.
And when I got there, it wasn't.
The damn place was closed. As in gone, kaput, done, shuttered. Even the sign was gone! There was a notice on the front door that read "The restaurant will close at 5 pm for an employee meeting." My guess is that it was a very short meeting. "Sorry, everyone -- the restaurant is no more, so you're fired. Have a nice life!"
Aw jeez. Now what? I walked in circles for a couple of minutes, then called the Director's office and left a message, hoping against hope that she would check in when couldn't find the goddamn Ruby Tuesday.
Luckily, that's what happened. She got my message, got my cell phone number from her admin, and called me. Whew!
She picked me up and we met up with the Assistant Dean, and we went to a lovely French bistro called Le Chat Noir. We had escargots and crepes, and poached pears in red wine for dessert. We yakked and joked and then...
They asked if I would serve as president of the board next year.
Just as I suspected! After all they did buy me lunch!
I guess I better rub Testudo's nose for luck.