See, there was an piece in Slate today, by a woman who wrote about her most bizarre interview. It was a doozy, and while I haven't had the experience of interviewing with a lunatic who proposed marriage on the follow-up interview, I have had a number of crazy interviews, but two stand head and shoulders above the others.
The first one was shortly after I quit a horrible job. (Actually, the job wasn't all that horrible. But my boss was an idiot scumbag prick, and if there's one personality type I will not suffer gladly, it's idiot scumbag pricks.)
The interview was for a marketing/writing job at a small office furniture distributor. Or maybe they were manufacturers. I forget. The place was run by a set of identical twins, Ed and Fred. Or maybe they were Ned and Ted, or Jed and Dred. (See, I don't wanna get sued.)
I first met with Ed/Ned/Jed, whose gargantuan office desk would have made Louis B. Mayer jealous. Then he took me around the warehouse. The good thing about Ed/Ned/Jed was the fact that his egomania was front and center. (The desk was the very least of it. It was his personality that was the tip-off.) I wouldn't have had to take the job, and down the pike realize I was working for a monster.
The above isn't a monster. It's some kind of ungulate. Clip art of egomaniacs is difficult to find.
I knew right then that I didn't want the job, but rather than say that straight out, I handed him the opportunity to save face. When he asked how much I'd want to be earning in five years, I said something like '$400,000 a year at the very minimum.'
Instead of pulling the plug right there, and sending me on my way, he handed me over to his brother Fred/Ted/Dred.
Fred/Ted/Dred's desk looked like it had begun life in an elementary school principal's office, circa 1965. Fred/Ted/Dred appeared to be the polar opposite of his brother, both desk-wise and personality-wise: low-key, pleasant, very chill. I'd have accepted a job offer from him in a New York minute. Several years later, I read that one of them, probably the less palatable one, was in jail. Some white collar crime, I think.
My next most bizarre interview:
This was a few years after the one above, and was for a copywriter job with the Big Cable Company. (I won't name it, but it's the one with headquarters in the City of Bothersome Love.)
The guy who was interviewing me, whose name may or may not have been Sandy Somebody, came out into the waiting room to get me. So I rise from my seat, and Sandy Somebody gets the exact same look on his face that Richie Cunningham got when the (unbeknownst to him, very tall) girl in the Statue of Liberty costume rose from her chair. Like 'Where does her height stop at??"*
*This scene is in one of the early Happy Days episodes.
I'm about 5'11" in heels, Sandy Somebody was maybe 5'6". I have a lifetime of dealing with people shorter than myself, and never before had I noticed an interviewer even registering our height disparities. So we go into his office, and I notice that he's checking to see if I have a ring on my wedding ring finger. Odd, right? Especially when you consider that Sandy looked to be in his late '50s, and by then I assumed -- being the utter dope I often am -- that he'd gotten his youthful horndog-ery out of his system.
There was no ring there, so the interview went fairly normally. He gave me a writing assignment, which he wanted me to take home, complete, mail to him, and then a follow-up interview would be scheduled.
I did what I could with the writing sample, and once it was polished and shined up and all pretty, I sent it in. Two days later, I got a call from Sandy Somebody to come in for the next interview. He starts the interview by saying that what I wrote was not quite what he was looking for, but then he instantly began to praise it to the high heavens, while at the same time...
staring intently at my legs. I am very VERY dense about men, always have been, but even I could see that he was far less interested in my writing ability than in my physical assets.
A few days later he offered me the job, and although I would have been making more than I was at the job I was currently at, and it would have been more along the lines I what I wanted to do, I turned him down.
Three or four years after that, the same job was advertised in the paper, and I sent in a resume, hoping that Sandy Somebody would have moved on, or retired, or been brought up on charges. I got a call a week later from Sandy about scheduling an interview. I asked, 'Is the job working directly for you?' He said yes. I then told him thanks, but no thanks. Amazingly, he was puzzled by this.
If you saw The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon twenty years ago or so, you may have been Sandy Somebody come on to give the Big Cable Company's donation to the cause.
PIZZA PARTY!! True fact: Philadelphia has more pizza joints than any other place in the WORLD. Alas, the very very best pizza place of them all, Do Do's, which was once in the Tacony neighborhood, is gone. Do Do's understood the true meaning of extra cheese better than any other pizza place I've even known. The above example of circa 1960 awesomeness is currently in my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/necktieparty
Sorry I haven't kept up with this, but our PAWS (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Something) cats are getting GREAT homes, at an almost record pace. But anyway, here's the current residents of the Petco at 9717 Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia.
Above is our dear Sebastian, the only cat from Adorable Adoptables Issue 1 who's still waiting for his furever home. He is really a marvelous cat, and I expect that his marvelousness will soon become abundantly apparent to exactly the right people, who are seeking to live with and love an extra-marvelous kitty. ADOPTED!!!
Above is little Jasmine, who a) is as sweet as they come, sweetness-wise, and b) is a tough kitty to get a good picture of. She actually looks a whole lot like...
The very handsome and Cary Grant-level charming Leni. He's actually a Lenny, i.e. a gent, but I have yet to meet a cat with good spelling skills. All our cats are spayed or neutered, and are as healthy as (little purring) horses.
a) I couldn't drag my husband out of bed to attend the sunrise service at Glen Foerd with me.
b) I didn't realize that my camera batteries were kaput, otherwise I'd have loads of neat things for you to see.
The great parts!
a) I LOVE LOVE LOVE the sunrise service. And this year, I didn't get too teary. Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who, when touched and/or moved, starts to cry.
b) The after-service breakfast at the Athenian Diner on Torresdale Avenue... Whoever from my church goes to the sunrise service, we always follow it up with breakfast at this diner. However, I'm fairly anti-breakfast -- even the word makes me cringe -- and most breakfast foods literally make me gag: eggs, bacon, sausage, and the most vile of all, scrapple. Usually I order pancakes. But in the last several months, I've really lost interest in the starchy things I used to love. And I'd only taken maybe four bites of the pancakes before I was happily done with them. (Until that point, I didn't realize that I no longer had any interest in pancakes.) The birds who hang out in my backyard got to enjoy the rest. If I could only figure out what caused me to turn my back against starch, I'd bottle it and sell it.