It was Valentine’s Day a year or so ago, and a group of us rowdy girls were celebrating a screw-Cupid, antiromance evening. We’re all pretty much martini girls. Around our fourth or fifth round a woman started observing our table, almost lurking. She came over to me and was like, “Is that an apple martini you’re drinking?” It seemed odd, but I said, “Yes, it is. Do you want to try one, can we get you one, can I help you?” Apple martinis were the rage then. The next thing I know she’s pulling me out of my chair, up on my feet, and all my girlfriends are like, “What is this girl doing with our friend?” She drags me down to the dance floor, asks me my name, and says, “Wait here.” She runs up to the DJ and whispers something into his ear, and two seconds later the music stops and the DJ announces, “Everybody give it up for Melissa! She just won $500 for drinking our drink special for the evening!” It was a radio station promotion, and she chose me at random. The timing worked out really well: a few days later my job at a dot-com went under. To this day my friends tease me that I’m the only one who can go into a bar and make money without taking off her clothes.

–Melissa Foely, telecommunications executive