Friday, June 23, 2006

The Supposed Golden Path or Adventures in Interviewing

It’s hot. It’s very fucking hot. The hottest day of the week, and I’m dragging my sweaty ass, in full corporate attire plus pantyhose plus suit jacket plus torturous black pumps, down to Wall Street, the land of the dead, for a job interview.

Why? Why in the fuck of all fucks would I, a recent refugee of CorporateBitchLand, return to its Mecca in search of new employment?

It all started with a stupid recruiter and a compensation package.

“Hi L, this is N from XYZ Recruiting and I have an exciting job opportunity as a Conference Coordinator for our largest client, Goldman Sachs. Please call me at 212-123-4567 to discuss.”

Oh, why the fuck not? So I call, so we meet, so the job seems somewhat interesting, despite most of his responses to job description queries being, “You’ll find out more from K when you meet him for your first interview.” The kicker: it pays a lot. The ultimate kicker: four weeks paid time off.

And here I am, on the hottest and most humid day this year, trudging through a sea of suits and ties and Starbucks coffee cups somewhere downtown downtown, near Wall Street, passing JPMCs and HSBCs and CSFBs and UBSs as I go. A quick stop in Au Bon Pain to mop away the sweat dripping down the bridge of my nose and I’m signing in at the reception desk of a large building made entirely of glass. They hand me a visitor’s pass and tell me to join the line of corporate drones putting their laptop bags through an airport x-ray machine. I start to walk up the stairs to the elevator, when a security guard stops me to take my pass. He notes the look of confusion on my face. “You need to go to the Goldman Sachs desk and sign-in again. This is just a temporary pass.”

“I needed a pass to go the twenty feet from the front desk, through the security check, and towards the elevator?”


“And now I need another one?”


I’m tempted to scream, “Bomb,” at the top of my lungs and send swarms of pressed collar shirts and striped ties squawking around the lobby, fighting to get through the revolving doors, but I figure that won’t get me any closer to un-unemployment.

I sign-in again, shoot up thirty-one flights and sit on a plush leather chair, struggling to keep my back straight as a board against the mooshy leather so as not to wrinkle my suit, while I wait for my interviewer. I read the Goldman Sachs annual report they conveniently have laid out on the coffee table. “We made a lot of money this year. We made a bunch of rich people richer this year. We kick ass.”

The interview is pretty standard. He asks me about my goals, my past work experience, why I want to leave my current job. I answer, I smile, I laugh at his jokes, I cross my hands across my lap.

“Do you have any questions?”

This is my favorite part (that's sarcasm).

“What exactly are the day-to-day requirements of this position?”

He’s taken aback. He looks at me incredulously. “You didn’t get a job description?”

“Er, ehm, uh, er….(thinking, thinking, thinking, did I get a job description? Was I too lazy to read it? He’s looking at me like I’m mentally disabled. Quick! Say something!) Well, uh, N er, told me, uh, that you would be able to, like, describe the job in, like, detail because he, like, didn’t know all the, uh, details.”

I am extremely eloquent when I’m nervous.

“He should have sent you a very detailed job description. It would take me hours to describe the job to you.”

“Uh, okay, well, like, er…he told me, that I would like, be planning the events, bu—“

“There’s no planning involved in this job. The conferences are already planned. You would be executing.”

This is awesome.

“Oh, er, okay, well, like, I uh…”

“What you have to do is email N, ask him for a detailed job description, and get back to me. You can’t apply for a position when you don’t know what you’re applying for.”

“Yeah, uh, okay, I will.”

He laughs heartily, “Usually I send applicants to meet the manager immediately, but they would ask you technical questions, so I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

Me, drooling, in fetal position.

So, that was the end of it. We shook hands, I shrugged a lot. I made a weird little noise because I couldn’t actually remember whether or not I had gotten a job description (I did, but it was very basic, not the 2-3 page detailed description I should have gotten), and I got into the elevator and shwooped back to ground level. My ears popped as I walked through the revolving doors, back into the sweatbox of downtown downtown Manhattan.

The song “Golden Path” by the Chemical Brothers was playing in my head over and over as I slithered back to the train station passing suits on cigarette breaks as I went (if you don’t understand this, click the link).

In conclusion: The job pays significantly less than what I was told. I would be a glorified hostess. I definitely would have screamed “Bomb!” one day during work and gotten shot. People on Wall Street do not sweat despite how much clothes they are wearing in 90 degree heat because they do not have souls. It’s hot in hell.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha that's great... stupid recruiter!
and i hate interviewing in the summer.

good post =)

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the way you write.

I really, really, really, really do.

/runs away

3:51 PM  
Anonymous km said...

lol... well originally i would've left the usual, "good luck blahblah" but being that u dont sound as enthusiastic (spell check, i'm an idiot) anymore, i'll just say i love the last paragraph.

6:41 PM  
Blogger sc said...

so you're not working? wanna come upstate with me, greg, and our friend adam from monday night to wednesday? we're staying at greg's house there. we can eat, drink, smoke, throw some pots. come! we were just trying to decide if i should go and we thought i should bring someone and we were laughing at your entry and i realized you're not working! let me know-

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugh, tell me you went back to the recruiter and bitched him out???

sounds like you were in my building...

11:24 PM  
Blogger -t- said...

You should thank your recruiter, you dodged a bullet. One that wouldn't have killed you, instead putting you in a coma of corporate drudgery and stagnant career options. But hey it beats dustbusting a conference room!

2:58 PM  

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