Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Jay Meets an Eighties Guy

Here's a pretty good sign that you're not getting the job: You spent more time in the waiting room than you did in the interview, and you didn't spend more than ten minutes in the waiting room.

I had an interview at this place called "The Ladder," which is a website that matches, let's say, New Money with high-paying jobs. I think I applied to them through Craigslist, and they just said they were a website looking for some sort of developer, so I didn't know what I was getting into. Now, I'm barely able to contain my resentment. But anyway, things were looking pretty good before today; their hiring guy, David, sent me an e-mail that read, in part, "Jay, We received your resume and it looks Fantastic!" Capital F, exclamation point. So my spirits were pretty high when I went to meet with this David guy this morning.

David, it turns out, does not have a copy of my resume, and later evidence leads me to believe he never actually read it either. Let's start off by saying that in eight months of job hunting, I have never once needed to bring my own resume.... So, I've barely handed him my copy of my resume when he blurts out in that fast-talking, overconfident, completely irrelevant eighties voice of his: "What experience would you say is your most life-changing?"

How about we start with something easy, an icebreaker, tell me about yourself. Nope, our Eighties Guy doesn't have time for chit-chat. There's money to be made and a working-class to be leeched off of. Anyway, I start giving my standard (lying) spiel about how great Sparknotes is, partly because I've got it more or less memorized and partly because this lucky Eighties Son-of-a-Bitch doesn't give a shit about the many humiliations of my high school and college careers. Actually, he doesn't give a shit about anything I've got to say, which is kind of douchey, considering that I'm talking about what's supposedly the most profound experience of my life.

Wow, I didn't realize how much contempt I've got for this guy.

Next question, "What's polymorphism?" Way to segue, dude. I answer his first-semester computer questions, what's a semaphore, what's multiple inheritance, if you had a box what would you put in it and why? Huh? What part of your ass did you pull that one out of, Eighties Guy? He's got a completely straight face, like I'm supposed to be treating every one of his asinine questions seriously. So I ask him to repeat it like fifteen times before he finally tells me that this is a "right-brain" question — and come to think of it, I'll bet one of my many psychologists has asked me the same question — and it has no right answer, just a ton of absolutely retarded ones, none of which will help Eighties Guy Dave decide if I'm the right person for the job. I mumble something.

Finally, a few more questions: "What's your greatest accomplishment in life?" That's like a third-date question, totally out of my league. Besides, what's Eighties Guy's greatest accomplishment in life? He wrote a job-search computer program and meticulously finds ways to milk every last cent he can out of it. Good for him. Now go hire someone who cured cancer or brought peace between the Catholics and Protestants.

And "Where do you expect to be three to five years from now?" In some lame job, spending forty hours a week in a living death while jackass Type-A Eighties Guys like you run the world into oblivion, hoarding money like you'll be able to pay off God at the apocalypse.

Oh, wait, he wants me to be optimistic; he's actually asking me where I hope to be three to five years from now. In that case, on a golden throne with my enemies kissing my feet. How's that for an Eighties attitude.

Total interview time: eight and a half minutes.