The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

That's just a straight shooter with "upper management" written all over him.

In case you're wondering, the answer is, yes, I do get all of my ideas for posting from BTQ. I have no original thoughts/ideas of my own and must therefore pillage them from my betters. That said . . . Fitz-Hume has a hell of a post on what is undoubtedly the worst job interview story I have ever heard. I wish I could match it, but I can't. However, I did have one adventure in interviewing hell.

I was so concerned about finding the right place to clerk that I took interviews with a wide variety of firms in terms of background, size, and location. One of those firms, I'll call it Abbott & Costello, L.P., had given me a callback (for you non-law speaking types, most law firms begin their interview process by having short interviews on campus with a number of students and then narrow their list and offer those people a callback, or chance to visit the firm and go through a battery of interviews). My original interviewer had obviously been chosen for her ability to make an impression; she was about 5'11", blonde, and built like a Barbie doll, and I was looking forward to the trip for that reason alone. This firm was across the country from my law school, so, as I had never been to this city and wanted to look around, I asked them to put me up for the weekend after my interview on Friday, October 30.

The fact that the interview was on Oct. 30 is key to my story in that the Saturday I stayed over was Halloween night. I love Halloween. Other than Arbor Day, it is my favorite holiday. So, while I was miffed that I wasn't going to get to enjoy Halloween festivities at home, I realized that this was all for the best in the long run.

After classes on Thursday, I flew all the way to the city and cabbed late to the hotel - everything is fine. I went to the firm and generally had a great day - only one odd event, as I remember it. One of the interviewers, a senior associate, was listening to the radio because she was waiting for some random piece of information, and he left the radio on the entire interview. Odd. I had lunch with another associate and one of the partners, and we had a blast telling war stories about politics and law. At the end of the interview day - about 4 p.m. - the associate I had lunch with caught me at the elevator and asked if I wanted to get a beer, and then proceeded to lead me to a corner room in the firm that had a pool table, entertainment center, and a refrigerator filled with Sierra Nevada, Newcastle, and several other bottled reasons that I see as proof of a divine hand guiding human events. In short, I was feeling pretty good about this place.

My new drinking buddy also told me that I would be going to dinner with Barbie and a male second-year associate. He warned me the guy was Barbie's man-thing on the down-lo so that I wouldn't say anything, well, male. We ended up going to a very nice jazz club and having a fantastic dinner. The only blip was that the third associate who joined us looked like she was dressed more for McDonald's than a nice place, but whatever. After dinner they took me to a bar loaded with the cream of the city's crop. Unfortunately, my stomach wasn't with the drinking program, so I had to bail early. On the way to the hotel, Barbie informs me that she and her roommates were having an early Halloween get together and were then doing a warehouse party the next night, and asked if I wanted to come. Oh, yeah. She tells me that she will pick me up at 11:00 a.m. the next morning and we'll look around, do lunch, get a costume, and then party like it's 1999. By now, I friggin' love this place.

Saturday morning I got up, showered, and eagerly awaiting the day. About 10:45, I sit down to watch a little TV while I waited for Barbie. 11:00 . . . 11:30 . . . 12:00 . . . 12:30 . . .I get a call from Barbie at 12:50 - a mere 2 hours after I was supposed to be picked up - telling me that she had "some emergency thing at the office" and that she was really sorry. I was a bit pissed, but what are you going to do? Work comes first, right? Anyway, she says that her roommate will be picking me up around 4:30 to take me to get a costume, and I agreed to wait. I realized that this really gave me no time to see the town, but it seemed like a fair tradeoff to attend the warehouse party. So, I walked over to the frou-frou shopping center across the street and had a nice lunch and walk before getting back to the hotel to meet the roommate. 4:30 . . . 5:00 . . . 5:30 . . . 6:00 . . . .9:00 and I am steaming. I've tried calling Barbie's cell phone all evening, but no luck. By 9:30 I accept the fact that I've been stood up, that the day is blown, and that all I want is some beer and some food. Resigned, I walk down to a Mexican place about a half-mile away from the hotel, drink several Dos Equis, and return to my hotel room. I flew back home the next morning without ever hearing from her.

I'm an easy-going guy. I can put up with a lot of crap, but getting stood up really started wearing on me as I mulled it during my long flight. By the time I got home, I had officially stricken Abbott & Costello off my summer list, and decided not to go there even if I got an offer. And I did, of course. The funny thing was, Barbie had been my contact person at A&C and the only person I'd talked to on the phone, but the partner I had lunch with called me to make the offer. I'm guessing that was done for a reason. Ironically, if Barbie had let me fend for myself on Saturday, there's a good chance I would have gone there for the summer and might be working there as you read this.

Eventually, the wheel turned. I ended up choosing to work that summer Dallas, and I didn't think that much about it. Months after my trip, I received a letter in the mail from A&C. It seems that they wanted to have me fill out a written interview regarding my callback . . .

How in the world you gonna see,
Laughing at fools like me?
Who in the hell do you think you are,
A super star?
Well, right you are.
Centinel 2:46 PM #


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