Two Whiskies and a Spliff: Fainting at the Opéra and the Shortest Job Interview. Research.

Updated: Feb 2

It was the shortest interview I ever had.

He threw me out of that office.

So fast.

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.

Shame.

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'.

Cripes.


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.

A race.


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.

Song.

Glory.


They gave me orange juice

and cookies.

And after that they lead me and my buddy

to seats pretty darn near front

for the rest of the show.


https://www.metopera.org/




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,

names included.)

He stood.

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.

_________________


An Equal and Opposite Reaction

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.

2,900 posts?

No problem.

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

without context.

No.

That Information

Is the basis of informed decisions,

Mine.

And theirs.


Research.


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.








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