Are you a passionate leader looking for autonomy and exciting career possibilities? Are you ready to bring positive vibes to an “old school” corporation? Are you a change maker, ready to bring 21st century positive culture to a driven work-aholic dinosaur? Email your resume and 30-60-90 day plan…
Simple black pantsuit, white blouse, top button only open, pearl necklace, sensible heels, mid-size black leather satchel. Resume in manilla folder, with copies of awards and additional certifications. Arrive 15 minutes early.
“So you graduated college in 2010?”
“Correct- Summa Cum Laude” –is he calculating my age?”
“It says that you ran a department of 15 associates, achieved 15% sales growth and nearly eliminated turnover? Tell me about that?
–what is he- like mid 50’s? Not a top exec, but the gatekeeper. No wedding ring, slight paunch, receding hairline. What angle do I take?-
“When I started, the turnover was nearly 100%, the struggles in our department were affecting the rest of the company, sales were down. It wasn’t just in-fighting over commission- it was a toxic environment in every way.” –did he just look at my chest? Did an extra button pop open? Did I spill coffee? Forget it, stay focused-There was one associate at the heart of the drama. Essentially, once I eliminated the problem, the team was able to focus, shift gears, work together, support each other’s sales and everything fell into place.”
“What was the one person doing?”
“Everything you can imagine-back talking, pot stirring, inappropriate jokes, inappropriate touching, sale stealing, sowing mistrust with clients, undermining management.”
“Who was he touching?”
-here it comes, he’s going to label me a trouble-making femenist. Maybe…-
“She. Actually it was a woman. She was very aggressive with the other women- shoving, smacked someone’s derriere. She made the men uncomfortable- always cracking dirty jokes, hands on their thighs, shoulder massages.”
“The men were uncomfortable? They should have loved that! Unless they were, you know….” He let his wrist drop. “I bet she wore short skirts too! Do you like to wear dresses?”
–um, what? Just ignore it- “The men were all extremely professional, and felt the behavior was distracting. -what an asshole-
“So is that an engagement ring?”
-are we making small talk or is he digging- “Yes.” -see where it goes. Don’t give too much up at once-
“Never married myself. This job is demanding. 24 hour commitment, never had time to find ‘the one’”
-air quotes? Seriously?- “Oh, I see.”
“No, princess, I don’t think you do see. When you come home at 10pm, your fiance will start making accusations. Your marriage will start to fall apart and then you’ll decide to have a baby to fix it. Then you’re going to complain that you have to leave work before 7 for the sitter, and demand a place to pump milk because the ladies’ room isn’t good enough for your precious spawn. Who will raise your kids? The nanny?”
-he really went there? What a piece of work! Who says I want kids? Maybe my husband will be a wife! Maybe he or she plans on being a stay at home parent. What does this have to do with the position? AND DID HE CALL ME PRINCESS?! Deep breathes, deep breathes-
“Ah! Well, I am here to demonstrate that I am the perfect woman to change the culture of this archaic corporation. Specifically- the job description states that drastic change is needed to bring the company into the 21st century. When I spoke with Martin- your boss I believe?- he stated that the entry level positions are difficult to fill and even harder to keep. There are few women or minorities above mid-level management and the average tenure of anyone below mid-level is two years.
The driven culture that thrived in the 20th century is dying. People- men and women want to enjoy family, free time, vacations- life! No one wants to be a wage slave.
Are you, sir, happy?”
“Happy?! I’m extremely successful! I have a new sports car every few years, a penthouse in the city and I date models!”
“I’m sure that will look snazzy on your gravestone. You are financially successful. But are you happy?”
“Happiness is overrated.”
“Not according to the generation that is entering the workforce. They watched their parents struggle, take two weeks vacation and back to the grind. They may have accumulated wealth, but they never enjoyed it. These young men and women followed the rules, went to college, and now there are few decent jobs available so they live with their parents. They don’t see how they can have the monetary success of their parents and they don’t really want it. We spend 40 to 60 hours a week at work and they don’t want to hate it.”
“Snowflakes. They have no place here.”
“Sir, no disrespect, but the ice age cometh. The snowflakes are your generation’s replacements. If this company wants to survive, to employ another generation, then it needs to adapt to the modern world. And the modern world accommodates working parents, vacations, work-life balance. This company accommodates nothing, and is currently listed as an endangered species. Evolve or die. What do you choose?”
“Pansies! In my day, we worked! I had a job at 16! No one paid for my education- I worked my way through, I carried my own student loans. I didn’t want to slave in some factory like my father! Work smarter, not harder! Keep your nose to the grindstone and get ahead!. This generation has everything handed to them and they have no work ethic. Freaking mental health days! Flirting makes them uncomfortable! And everyone wants rights. Bah!”
“So to be clear, you are choosing extinction?” -nailed it! Stayed calm under pressure and drove my point home. He doesn’t realize that Martin already hired me, and I’m currently studying the company’s interview process!-