My living arrangements aren’t exactly in keeping with someone who has 20K to burn). My attempts to pretend I’m the sort of person with money to burn failed miserably, but I don’t think they noticed.
But it was still very different to going on a date with a random bloke I met in a bar, or someone on Tinder.
The Big Short, the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' book of the same name about the causes of the financial crisis, opens in UK cinemas this weekend.
How will the story stack up against the greatest films about business?
The set-up is distinctly old-fashioned, as Mairead explains: “We introduce you to a few people, and if you want to meet up, and they want to meet you, then we give the guy your number.
We personally interview every client who joins us, either in person or by telephone, so that we can get to know you and the sort of person that you hope to meet.
We also check all our members’ ID so that we can reassure you that everyone you will meet through us is genuinely who they say they are.
In many ways the experience was easier – a third party conducting things meant there were no miscommunication, and the amount of money people were sinking meant everyone was pretty committed to meeting a partner. We limit ourselves tentative text messages and emails so we never get hurt. That’s the point though – Berkley International is designed for the sort of people who have neither the time or the inclination to mess around.
And maybe that’s something plebs like me can learn from.
Before I get ready to go on my dates, I meet Mairead to discuss my possible matches (Mairead deals with the international business, while the lovely Jo manages the London office and usually deals with local clients).