Chapter 1. Breakfast with Mr. Shmooze

Like any good intern, I was determined to show up at our Atlanta office bright and early on my first day of work. I was quite pleased to find that I had arrived before Mr. Shmooze and was eager to see his surprised expression when he showed up. Suddenly, my phone rang. I wondered who had my new number and who would be calling me at 7 AM.

"Kid, I am pulling into the Ritz-Carlton for breakfast. Just a minute. ..." Mr. Shmooze spoke to someone away from the phone. I would later come to know the man he was speaking to: Rudy, the carhop at the Ritz. "Hey, Rudy, how's your wife's cold? Better? Good. Listen, my client will be showing up in a silver Lexus. Would you have someone send it through a wash and have it parked in front when we come out? Thanks, buddy. Oh, here's a couple of those new Macanudos. Yeah, try these. They're great!" His voice became louder and I knew he was speaking to me again. "Kid, run over to a newsstand, pick up a new Forbes, and bring it to the Ritz. My client's biggest customer is featured. Meet me in the dining room. Hey! Glad you're on board! We're going to have some fun!" As I hung up I could feel my adrenaline pumping. I was already in motion and, in just 60 seconds, had gotten a glimpse of the summer ahead: a summer with Mr. Shmooze.

Running toward the door, I happened to glance into Mr. Shmooze's office and noticed something peculiar. Whereas everybody else's desks were covered with in and out boxes, neat and not-so-neat ...

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