Before I get to the interview, let me just give a few quick thoughts about the Apprentice. If you haven’t watched it, skip to the next paragraph. This episode was a disgrace to the game, and the previews for next week appear to be even worse. First things first. Brian is an idiot. He thinks he is God’s greatest gift to earth, but I find it difficult to believe he could even manage a vending machine. Kristen is also an idiot. Just shut up, would ya? Verna is lucky! Good thing Trump appreciates comebacks (ya think he knows anything about comebacks? HA!), because otherwise, she should have been fired. It was interesting to see Carolyn in a caring way, but I wish we could have seen more of her interaction with Verna. Whatever she did or said, it was an apparent emotional turnaround for Verna. Speaking of Carolyn – HA! She cracks me up! In the boardroom she’s so serious and tough, but out on the street, she has a hard time holding back her laughter. Especially when they left the plastic on the mattresses, she tells the camera about it, and as she tries to hold back her laughter, she says “I don’t understand that too much.” Of course she can’t come right out and inform the team of the oversight, so right before she leaves the room, she sit on the bed one last time and as she gets up, she says “It’s a little crunchy” as she darts for the door and probably laughs uncontrollably outside. OK, so Michael and Magna won, and they get to hang with Steve Forbes on his yacht – how cool is that! In the boardroom, Carolyn says it best as she again is laughing in disbelief, “Brian is a waste of our time.” Brian tells Trump he should fire him, and not 5 minutes later he tries to say he didn’t say that until he’s backed into a corner, and inevitably fired by Trump. Next week looks even worse, as someone quits. I think right now John has the best shot at winning. Very cool, high charisma, and very street savvy. What do you think?
OK, so you want to know about the interview? Well, it rained the entire drive down to Ft. Worth. There’s just something about the Ft. Worth downtown skyline that I love to see, but the visibility was horrible today. On top of that, the rain and poor visibility made traffic a little thick on 35, but Diana Krall (very good jazz artist) helped keep me relaxed. So I make it to the Chase Tower (as you can see in this pic here that I took today, especially for my blog viewers) and I find the parking garage.
I’m driving through the garage, looking for a space, and can’t find one until I get to the roof of the garage, which is uncovered, and it is raining. So I park as close to the door as I can, which is a good 100 feet, and I run in as quickly as I can. So here I am, it’s 3:10pm, and I am soaking wet. I walk through tunnel that attaches the building to the garage, and I look for a restroom to try and dry off a little. I can’t find one, so I ask the security guard and he says “There’s actually not one in the lobby. Ask the receptionist on the floor you are going to for a key and you can use the restroom there.” Argh! So I think, what the heck, it’s no secret that it’s raining, so what do they expect? So I go up to the 27th floor (which by the way, is high enough to make your ears pop) and as soon as I step out of the elevator, there is the receptionist. It didn’t seem too appropriate at the time to ask for the key to the little boys’ room, so I simply stated my name and purpose, and with a smile was handed an application (UGH!) and asked to complete it. Now some of you may also understand this, but in my opinion, though not always correct, but as a general rule if a job requires that you fill out an application, there’s a good chance you’re overqualified for the job. I do not mean this in a hoity toity way, because some companies simply require it, even if you make $300,000 per year. I just know that almost all of my jobs were gained by simply sending in a resume, and having a meaningful conversation or two with the decision maker. Applications are so silly and unnecessary, and a HUGE waste of time. Just my opinion. So I proceed to fill out the 6 page application, copying things directly off of my resume – tell me why again I can’t just turn in another resume? Anyway…by now, I’m dried off for the most part. And I have to pee, but I’m not asking for the bathroom key since here for an interview, not a potty break. I hand the receptionist my resume and she calls the HR person down. Meanwhile, we make small chat about her taking Algebra and her asking if the MBA program at MSU is hard to get into. Obviously, she’s unfamiliar with MSU! So the HR lady arrives, and MUCH to my pleasant surprise, she says “Thank you, I’ll make a copy of this and let Susan know you are here.” I thought I was going to have to tell this HR chick my 3 strengths/weaknesses, where I see myself in 5 years, and all those other textbook, meaningless interview questions. :) So 2 minutes later, I am being escorted by her up to the 32nd floor, where Barbnet Investment Company is located. She instructs the receptionist to call for Susan, and as I sit down, Susan walks in. So we exchange greetings enthusiastically and proceed to the coolest office I have ever seen in my life. I felt like I was in a Wall Street movie. It was about 4:15pm and most of the office was apparently already gone for the day, except for one guy at the trading desk. He had 2 phones to his ears and was sitting in front of 6 monitors. I could quickly make out 2 Bloombergs, some stock charts, and I don’t know what else. There were several workstations setup like this. My adrenaline starts pumping and my mouth start salivating! So we proceed into a boardroom, with a wonderful view of Ft. Worth from 32 floors up, except it was still raining. She was a nice lady, easy to talk to, so we “clicked” right away. She started off by telling me who she was (Equity Trading Manager) and who the company is. In a nutshell, this is a private investment firm that does the trading for 2 mutual funds ($1.2bil and $300mil) and manages the Bass family’s money. That’s it. No customers, just two mutual funds and the Bass family, who are probably trillionaires. Anyway, the job sounds awesome! Basically I’d be on the phone with institutional brokers buying and selling stocks for the portfolio managers of the mutual funds, and the Bass’ money, but the tricky part would be to not let the street (brokers, traders, analysts, etc) know our intentions. So if you need to sell a million shares of IBM, you don’t do it all at one time because it’s unlikely you’d find a buyer for all one million shares. Plus, you’d have to advertise the offer, and that would cause other investors to start dumping IBM, causing your capital gains to decline as the share price declines. So to avoid this, you call up different brokers in the morning and have them each sell 30,000 shares. Then an hour later you call them back (or other brokers) and have them sell a little more. So by 3:00pm your goal is to have slowly and methodically dumped all one million shares without the stock price dipping because the word got out of what you were doing. So when you try to get your brokers to sell your stock for you, you also give them some market color (describe the current news of the stock relative to the rest of the market) to try and get them to sell it at a higher price to their buyers. Anyway, you’re probably just skimming by now. The job would also entail monitoring the stocks in the Bass’ portfolio. It’s beautiful because you don’t have to “sell”, and the salary is not commission based. I hate sales. So we went on to talk about my resume and my experience, and we asked each other questions for a little while. It was a great exchange, and by the way, she never looked at my application, only my resume. I honestly feel like I did a great job answering her questions, and defending my biggest challenge of having a higher number of jobs than normal in a matter of 7 years. She said at the end of the interview that by looking at my resume, she would not have called me, but because I had the experience she was looking for, she decided to have me come in, knowing that I probably had some good reasons for the job changes, such as Herbert R. Smith selling part of their business, thus eliminating my job. Anyway, she said she was glad she had me come in, and directed towards my resume and overall interview, she told me I looked very good. However, she said she was also interviewing quite a few people this week and next. At the end of next week, she will choose 3-4 people and have them come back to spend more time going over what “I” will actually be doing, and also getting more of an idea of what I’m capable of doing right now. So…I think it went pretty well, but it is entirely possible, and mathematically probable, that I won’t get called back in for the 2nd interview…but with lots of prayer from myself AND YOU, maybe God can intervene on this one! J When I left, I was expecting them to validate my parking ticket so I didn’t have to pay, but they didn’t offer, and I wasn’t going to ask. I only had $3 with me, since I always use my debit card, and didn’t think to bring parking garage money. Well, I had been there 2 hours, and according to the sign, that was $5. ARGH! So, I had to use my ATM card in the lobby, and get charged $2 by them, and another $1 by my bank…I get to the gate and as I’m handing the attendant my ticket and a fresh, crisp twenty, I see a sign that says “We accept VISA/MC” - ARGH!!! Oh well. I get my change, leave the garage, and have an uneventful drive home. Like a good interviewee should always do, I wrote my thank you letter, called my friend Wendell for some constructive criticism, made some edits, and then drove it to the post office. I dropped it in the box at 11:15pm, and the last pickup is at 11:45pm, so with a little luck, she’ll receive it tomorrow. If not, it will be a great reminder for her on Monday of our nice little interview. I got back home, watched Apprentice, wrote this short little note, and now it’s 2am, and I’m going to bed. :) Sorry it’s so long. Should I start attending BA? (Bloggers Anonymous) Good night!