Updated: Feb 2, 2021
It was the shortest interview I ever had.
He threw me out of that office.
I thought I was gonna faint.
You ever faint?
Everything goes light, your arms and legs
(from the blood surging to core
Leaving the extremities to their own devise.)
That’s how it was on the elevator down.
And then in the street my head pounded from adrenaline
Like when you wake at the wheel
to the sound of rubber over reflectors
After dozing at 75.
That day I leaned on a light pole, then doubled over.
Viscerally torn in pieces
But couldn’t vomit.
And I couldn’t cry either.
This feeling was different.
The shame in confronting my own hubris.
I was sure everyone passing by could see it on me,
or smell it on me, the stink of shame:
from failure, from Hubris,
to have believed that which you are not.
Thought I was a real hot shot
cause I used a briefcase or somethin'.
I heard coffee cake voices on the sidewalk:
"There's the guy who just got chucked out of that office"
If it wasn't the shortest interview,
it was the most humiliating.
I can still get the sick feeling from the experience
Thinking about it now.
So I’ll stop that.
Fainting at the Opera, Carmen, The Met, NYC:
I don't know if it was the first time I fainted
And I don't think it was the last time,
But it was before the turn of the century
That's for sure.
Lincoln Center, The Met, NYC Opera.
They let just about anyone in that place
(who's willing to stand).
I think I paid 10 bucks.
I may have been wearing
in an ill fitting black velvet sport coat
(the top half of a suit
that I bought cheap in Italy second hand).
When I woke up from the faint.
It was heaven.
I didn't know where I was
but there was live opera and dim light,
and fucking red velvet everywhere.
The thing about the Met
(and any acoustical environs)
is there ain't no sharp edges in construction.
Even the walls are convex.
Great places to faint.
(Top on list of "Bad Places" to faint:
Sailboats, Boats in general:
Hard immobile edges everywhere.)
At the opera before the faint I felt that lightness
Fusing with the 2 (or 3) whiskies
and the pre opera spliff.
And I knew something was happening.
I felt my pulse.
The beauty of the opera began to fade,
I might have taken a step backwards,
What I know is that when I fell backwards, unconscious,
it was a short distance to the outer most convex of the back wall.
I kinda just slumped down the arc of the convex
to the tangential neighbor till my hinnie hit the floor.
Safe as a kitten.
Faded to complete black.
Then my eyes slowly opened
to "Carmen." Music.
A human voice that sounds like an angel.
They gave me orange juice
And after that they lead me and my buddy
to seats pretty darn near front
for the rest of the show.
In the shortest interview.
I was prepared to discuss
the business history and model,
the budget, the stakeholders,
current literature, my experience etc etc.
It was the shortest interview.
He said, ”So tell me about myself.”
And I didn’t know enough.
“I run a billion dollar enterprise here,”
And he swept his hand over the city
29 stories below us.
He had a piece of it all.
“You should know... and he began to list the shit
I should know about him...
He was pissed and on a roll...
he got down to
"You should know how many children I have…
And their names.”
(And that was 12 years ago
When info was a bit harder to come by.)
(I don't think he really wanted me
to know the names of his kids.
I'd bet a nickel there was some newspaper article
that pictured him with his family,
all fucking smiling,
And he might have even pointed to the door
and I imagine a thunderclap,
but that was just in my head.
I sure am grateful for all that.
Devoid of Reasonable Excuses:
Research became very important to me.
(I suppose I learn by the stick.)
I hadn't done enough research.
And my incompetence was most upsetting to him.
Since that time,
If I apply for a job (or request an interview)
or am writing a Lifestyle Profile.
I read everything about the company
And all the folk running it
and where they used to work.
I look at every single IG post.
I must see it all.
Google, Google News, Linked In.
(I consider Facebook Dead,
too personal and furthest from Primary Source
And thus mostly beyond the scope of business research.)
If you have a website:
I have read every page.
If it is a company:
I've read every bit of press.
I've reviewed every pair of the 273 sunglasses you sell.
I signed up for the website and put my favorites in the cart
And most of the information,
I never mention.
The point is not to assume a familiarity
or perform a card trick of knowledge
Is the basis of informed decisions,
I'm asking you:
Before your job interview, meeting,
first meeting, ZOOM Introduction:
Did you research enough?
Note on Fainting: Keep your knees unlocked.
(Increase risk of fainting with empty stomach, 2 or 3 whiskies and spliff)
Note on "My Buddy" from the Opera.
Scott Bearden, Opera Singer.
Big Man Baritone.
Also my companion for The Westminster Dog Show.
Ha. An aristocrat.