Monday, March 02, 2009

Interviews From Hell Part 1

(This is a relatively long post due to my need to vent. Sorry about that!)

Last week was simply too draining to write in my blog. I went through two interviews from hell.

Let me add that my current job is still limping along, but I'm looking for something more fast paced and exciting and that is why I'm looking: I'm tired of stagnation.

I will start with the first interview, which I am happy to say that I turned down, as it was totally craptastic.

I had received a call from someone who had seen my resume, and he wanted to schedule an interview at a nearby hotel to consider me for a partnership position. This sort of thing isn't uncommon: Sometimes owners or hiring managers will fly down to do a spate of interviews and the hotel setting is the most convenient.

When I showed up, I saw a very flashy elderly gentleman; obviously a Donald Trump wannabe. He had white roots, and the remainder of his hair was dyed a flat walnut brown. He wore it in thick waves. He was sporting a pair of Cartier glasses, flashy capped teeth, and had so many wrinkles it was hard to tell what he originally had looked like.

"Donald" was wearing a grey cashmere sweater over slacks, and was sporting a pair of gentleman's dress boots which I haven't seen since the 1970s. He obviously saw himself as a true sartorial wonder.

We chatted briefly, and he asked me to fill out a form. I did so, but omitted my social security number deliberately: You never know who you're dealing with.

He asked me to accompany him to his suite upstairs, and I didn't have any problems with that. The girls at the desk knew I was there for an interview (I had asked them where he was when I entered the lobby), and he left his door wide open to the hallway.

We settled down, and he asked me to tell him a little about myself. "Well," I began, "What would you like to know? Personal or professional?"

"Anything, anything," he said breezily.

I had just begun to tell him a little bit about myself when he interrupted me. "That reminds me of..." Donald began, and he was off and running. This was typical of the entire interview: He wanted to know little to nothing about me, but he was most anxious to preen himself and let me know how amazingly desirable he was.

During the course of my "interview", Donald told me that:

1. He had two ex-wives, both of them "beauty queen gorgeous".

2. He was currently divorced from Ex-Wife #2, but claims he still lives with her simply for the convenience of it.

3. He once told Ex-Wife #2 that he would leave her if she kept whining about how he still loves Ex-Wife #1. Ex-Wife #2's "petty jealousy" was getting under his skin.

4. He says that Ex-Wife #1 wants him back, because she married a man that is 25 years older. I did some investigation when I got home. If her new hubby is 25 years older than Donald, he is 95 years old.

5. Donald brought Ex-Wife #1 flowers and a cake for his son's birthday a couple of days ago. Even though he keeps assuring Wife #2 that he has no interest in Numero Uno. And then he went to the diner up the street, where the owner has supposedly been dying to date him. He lost her phone number, so he decided to drive over there in person, instead. I'm sure she was overjoyed.

6. Donald goes constantly to a nightclub for the local trailer park crowd called "New York, New York" and claims to be a regular.

7. Donald felt it important that I should know that he used to own a horse ranch north of here.

8. He was eager to tell me that he once hired friends who were lawyers, then promptly fired them when they cost him an account through error. The account's is supposedly worth was over a half a million dollars per year. The account was worth more than the friendship.

9. His last "Girl Friday" quit because she was getting married. He made it very clear that he didn't want another complication like that again. Those silly women, with their personal lives and such.

10. He used to golf a lot with the former owner of the Home Shopping Network: He was a "close, personal friend". So it might surprise Donald to learn that the guy doesn't golf. How do I know? I happen to know the former owner of the Home Shopping Network.

11. Even though the day of our interview was his son's birthday, Donald wasn't going to go to the birthday party. Instead, he was going to the bar for the evening. As Donald said dismissively, he'd already sent his kid a present.

12. Those marvelous Cartier glasses and the BMW that Donald drives are 100% his, and they are there to impress. Additionally, he will not do business with anyone who doesn't drive a BMW. Apparently if you don't drive a BMW, you have not arrived.

13. His favorite drink is beer. It used to be wine. He stopped drinking mixed drinks when he once had so many rum and cokes that he couldn't stand up when it came time to get up. Another important factoid I couldn't live without.

14. He had bragged to me (twice) that he had another candidate and he had been able to get her best friend to cough up the fact that her husband was a cocaine addict. He felt this made her a less-than-desirable prospect.

15. He claims he makes millions of dollars a year, and those who work for him will also do extremely well. I admit that this is the only appealing thing that I heard.

At the beginning of the interview, Donald mentioned that he had pulled his shoulder out. Because I saw no harm in it, I told him I knew of an excellent massage therapist (my friend Lisa). Due to all his "ladies' man" talk, I later warned him that Lisa was off-limits: She doesn't date clients.

So when Donald called Lisa to make his first appointment, he thought he was being clever when he told her that he was an ex-boyfriend of hers. Once that little prank fell flat, he added that I said they couldn't date, as they both were too crazy.

Lisa didn't bite (which must have disappointed him) but she did schedule him for a massage the next morning. She needs the business, and she is able to deal with wackos.

I had already decided I didn't want to work with this idiot, so I was formulating a "Thanks But No Thanks" letter when she called me the next day to let me know that Donald had told her he wasn't sure if I had enough fire, and asked a lot of prying questions about me (just as he had done with his other candidate).

That was it. I sent him a letter that was a real eye-opener (if he had the guts to read it). Strangely enough, when I researched his company I saw that Wife #2 seems to be the owner of the company. As I sent the letter to their generic email address, she may have seen it before he had a chance to delete it.

"You asked me what my main motivator was, and my answer was "money". You said that was the right answer, and this was your main motivator too. But you didn't listen when I said what my other motivators are. In fact, I doubt you could tell me what I said. What you didn't understand is that money is only my main motivator in a job. I want money, and the more money the better, but this is balanced by my sense of professional and personal ethics. I must also work with people that I can respect.

Do I have fire? Yes. As I told you during our interview, I have plenty of fire. And I have fire enough to tell you that your position isn't right for me."


Angela said...

I have to say I would not have sat around and listened to his nonsense. I hate it when people waste my time and I would rather not waste other people's time. I think I would have politely dismissed myself after only a few minutes of the worthless personal chatter.

I always go into interviews with a set agenda, specific questions, etc. Whether I am interviewing someone or being interviewed I generally keep it very to the point.

Sorry you had to suffer through this man's arrogance.


Saur♥Kraut said...

Ange, Oh trust me, he got a lot out in a hurry - it didn't take him long. And what kept me there for a little while was the promise of a lot of money and a lucrative partnership.

The Lazy Iguana said...

At least the hotel probably had a bar.

You could have gone there, ordered something (anything - it does not really matter) then LOUDLY tell the bartender (who would not really care but would pretend to listen) about the ass clown in the suite upstairs.

If the ass clown were to hear you, then you would not need to have written any letter.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, No bar there, though I'm sure there's many a candidate that wished for it. :P

He was really ludicrous - almost a caricature of a tycoon.

I sure would've liked the money, but it's doubtful he was genuine at all.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Well, even the real Donald Trump is an ass.

And bankrupt. Again.

How can someone who can not run a casino in Atlantic City claim to be a business genius and expect to be taken seriously??

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, I agree so very much. I have always been amazed at the popularity of The Apprentice when there has been so much evidence as to The Donald's poor management strategies!

The Doozie said...

I would like to go ahead and add to your letter. "Donald, you are a pontificating asshat. WHen you return your rental BMW every night and have to go back to your cardboard box city, are you able to wash your cool clothes? I hope so. Also, walmart is having a sale on clairol color in walnut brown.