It Was 2010. I Had $20 to My Name.

It was 2010.  I had $20 to my name.

I wanted a drink really bad.  I drove my Lexus GS 350 to this bar called Cafe Bleu.  I walked down the bar, saw all the seats were filled.  I walked back down the other side I already passed.  I saw one empty seat.  I tapped the person sitting next to it and asked if anyone was sitting there.  He shrugged his shoulder at me.

I sat down.

The bartender approached me.  I ordered my go to drink.  Black.  Rocks.  I knew this was the only drink I could have that night, as they were $12 at the time.  Including tip, I would be left with $5.

I drank as slowly as I possibly could.  Twenty minutes went by.  I glanced over.  I saw the person sitting next to me had a bottle of Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Out of curiosity, I asked him, “Excuse me, is it your birthday?”

He looked at me with a weird glance and said, “What do you mean?”

“Well,” I said with a pause, “People in this town only order Blue Label on two occasions.  1. To celebrate accomplishing something.  2.  Because its their birthday.  Are you celebrating something or is it your birthday?”

He muttered, “Every day is my f’king birthday.”

I responded, “Oh.”

We both went back to drinking our drink.  About ten minutes went by.  I was about to be finished with my drink.  The bartender came up to him and asked him for a shot. He turned to me and asked if I wanted a shot.  I said sure.  There was absolutely no way I would turn down a shot of free alcohol.

We had a shot together.  Then we started to get to know each other.  We talked business and what we do.  He was talking about what he was doing with his career.  I was discussing my marketing background with him.  I even went back to my car to get a case of the product I was marketing at the time and gave it to him.

He decided to continue to drink with me.  We talked more.  Then, he took me over to another bar.  He ordered another bottle of Blue Label.  We drank more.  Then, we went to another bar.  He ordered another bottle.

I was thinking this guy was absolutely insane.  He just spent $1,200, excluding tip, in Koreatown on scotch.  Not Hollywood.  Not Santa Monica.  But Koreatown.  What the hell was on this guy’s mind?

Well, anyways, we continued to drink.  Then he decided that he needed a ride home.  I took him to his hotel, three blocks away from where we were.  He dropped $100 in the passenger seat of my car, then went upstairs.

Oh, did I mention that he covered the drink I originally ordered as well?

On another occasion, when we hung out, he ordered $100 in Tortas and Burritos.  He took them all back to his hotel.  I can just imagine how he felt when he woke up to more food than he could eat in a week.

Originally posted on Quora.

Leonard Kim is Managing Partner at InfluenceTree. At InfluenceTree, Leonard and his team teach you how to build your (personal or business) brand, get featured in publications and growth hack your social media following.


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