Monday, June 21, 2010

Do You Know Who I Am?

Clearly, the end of times is coming.

I was in a Duane Reade on Saturday and the guy behind the counter was polite and actually hurried to provide assistance.  In Manhattan, this is the equivalent of finding a Leprechaun riding a Unicorn.  Something's up with Duane Reade lately...the stores are cleaner, their new line of branded products is pretty good (beware the brownie bites at the checkout stand - pure evil in a delicious chocolatey square.)

But we can't dwell on the DR - we've got too much to cover today.

First, I need to tell you about the funniest job interview ever.  No not me - I love my job (which will remain my official position as long as my boss and co-workers read this blog, but has the advantage of actually being true.)

My friend, ummm, (this nickname thing sucks.)  Let's call her, Croquette.

You see, Croquette is one of the thousands of New Yorkers whose youth evaporates as the enthusiasm of their 20s rapidly slides into the bitterness and alcoholism of their 40s with a single bitter career move known as working for a large law firms.  You know these places: operating under a string of surnames that could only possibly belong to long-dead white protestants who once owned a completely different kind of slave (or, more recently, possibly-still-alive but totally fossilized old Jews who are descended from slaves and we should know better - shame, shame!) These law factories are responsible for the fact that virtually everything you do these days is front-ended by a process that requires you to give up your legal rights (that little pop up window that you simply click "Agree" to everytime you purchase a new Apple product?  Congratulations, paragraph 384(b)(7)(ii) requires you to name your child Harold.  Even if it's a girl.)

Anyway, Croquette has had enough, and she's getting out.

So, finally, she dedicated at least 15 minutes (which was billable to a client because she was sort of thinking about them while she was pursuing a career change) to updating her resume, her linked in profile, and reminding herself that she didn't go to Princeton and Georgetown to work a pole, or a corner, even metaphorically.  The result was an interview with a storied New York firm of Surname Surname (not their real name).

Be not confused, dear reader.  Despite bearing the names of rich white people, this is not a law firm, rather a financial services firm - though the difference in life or lifestyle is negligible.  This would not be a trade up.

Still, an interview is an interview and it's always good practice.  So Croquette took the day off, put on a clean black conservative suit (of which New Yorkers own several dozen apeice) and headed over to their offices.

You'd imagine a firm this sophisticated would have a crack HR process for recruitment, especially since their turnover is so high.  Yet, Croquette had to talk to three people before she found someone who had any clue why she was there, or what she was interviewing for.  I suppose this wouldn't have been so trying, if the people who kept coming by to figure out who the hell she was didn't keep leaving her in a small HR office.  In the dark. 

By the way - her name isn't Croquette, but it's not exactly Jane Smith - the fact that they didn't even know who she was is inexcusable.

Finally, someone figured out who she was and took her through a labyrinthine venture to a conference room where she was told to wait and, if anyone asked why she was here, to just say she was there for "a meeting."  Apparently, these oblique instructions would be enough, as a company which attracts some of the most talented financial minds in New York probably doesn't employ people who would have the slightest curiosity as to who the "meeting" was with, what the "meeting" might be about, or why this girl no one's ever seen before was attending it (not to mention, where she came from.)

So, clearly, at this point Croquette has figured out she's interviewing for a job not yet vacated by its-soon-to-be-previous occupant.  And the story could reasonably end here.  But, it would be incomplete to omit that, despite accepting these circumstances (and the knowledge that should would NOT accept a job here under any circumstances,) Croquette inquired about using the restroom.  To which the HR lady asked, "Can you hold it?"

This is the point in the story where, if it had happened to me, I would have peed on the conference table.  And left.  After getting them to validate my parking.

I guess it really is a rough job market folks.

No comments:

Post a Comment