• I'm Jesse
      • My Birthday?
      • You Remembered!
• Pool? Animal Style!
      • Dumplings w/Neptune
• Sicilian Sculptor
• The Golden Years
• Human Hangers
• Just a Barista
• I Need to Dance
• Can't Stop Looking Up
• Be Careful What...
• The Collection
• Into the Light
• A Perfect Interview
• The Abbey
• Who You Know?
• What's This Life For?
• Unexpected Talent
• Just a Dog's Day
• Chester
• Darren
      • Darren and the Circus
• Voice of God
• Aaron
• 5350

Shorts
• Resurrection
• Private Dancer
• Eye Contact
• Bullying
• The Surreality of It All
• Sound of Silence
• 31 Days of Christmas
• Giant!
• Fear or Comfort?
• You're Different
• Another One Bites...
• Stroll with the Clouds
• Walking with Banshee

A Perfect Interview (03/01/21)

When The Center was designed, we worked with the local rail authority to ensure that we placed a station on the commuter train line within walking distance to the The Center. Even though we were located literally in the middle of nowhere, having a commuter train line that connected multiple surrounding communities, and the closest international airport, provided an invaluable link to our area populations, and easy tourist access.

My condo is located in a really small community about a 15 minute train ride from The Center, and on the other side of the mountains that isolated The Center in a valley where there were no other built structures.

About 10 minutes into the commute, the train would ‘round the bend’ and The Center would come into view. Though I had seen that view hundreds of times, going all the way back to when the property was unbuilt and in its raw, natural state, making it necessary for the team to travel to the location via all terrain vehicles, the initial view of The Center as we came around the corner was always inspiring.

This particular morning I had an early morning interview with a guy who could be our new Digital Communications Director. The young lady who had the position previously had moved abroad to curate several of our European branch locations, and she had made the recommendation we interview one of her friends.

I had walked from my condo to my local station, stepped on the train, and proceeded to find a seat close to the door, but at a location where I could admire the view as we approached The Center—this was part of my morning ritual.

Sitting across from me was a guy in his late 20s, uncomfortable in a suit and tie, carrying a briefcase that seemed completely out of place with him. He smiled and said good morning, and I could tell by his demeanor, he was nervous.

Jokingly after I said hello, I mentioned he looked like he was going for a job interview.

He looked at me, smiled, and said “Is it that obvious?”

I noticed though, he was wearing this gorgeous tie, made from a shimmering red fabric with black geometric and organic patterns overlaid with stunningly beautiful gold printed characters. The characters were not of a language I recognized, but I did know we sold those ties in The Center gift shop. He had great taste, and had obviously visited The Center at another time.

I started talking to him about where he was going, what job he was interviewing for, and when I found out he was the young man recommended by his predecessor, I changed the conversation to more of a cultural direction, just to see how this ‘kid’ would fit into the fantastic group of staff we had at The Center.

Though I had introduced myself as Dave, I had left it at that, not telling him that getting the job was completely at my discretion. I figured I’d do my part of the interview on the train, unbeknownst to him.

As we came around the bend and The Center came into view, I asked him if he’d been there before, which I already knew the answer to, but more to find out the extent of his visits. I was surprised to find out he was one of our frequent visitors, and had attended dozens of classes, lectures and exhibits, and visited our gift shop to buy the tie.

He sat in his seat with his neck crooned looking out at The Center in the distance. "This view always gives me shivers. It is such a beautiful addition to the landscape." Yes young man, you are correct with the view and the shivers. "I couldn't agree more." I told him.

During the course of this conversation, I found out he was extremely qualified, technically, for the position. In the short 10 minute ride to The Center, I’d made up my mind that if our Director of Human Assets felt he was the one for the job, the job would be his!

We stepped off the train, walked the short distance towards one of the massive vases of metalic flowers that dotted the exterior of The Center, and I guided him to the employee entrance, up the stairs to the administrative offices, got him settled in the lobby, and let his initial interviewer know he was there. I then proceeded to wish him the best of luck, and walked back downstairs to begin my morning tasks.

I noticed he was again beginning to get nervous, though he had calmed down substantially during our train ride, so I let him know he had nothing to worry about. "I'm sure you will get the job!" At that point, the only thing that would have negated my decision to hire him might have been a gallery robbery on his record, and even that I’d have to think about.

I went downstairs, and began my morning rounds. At one our group, all tooling around on our Segways, passed this young guy and our Director of Human Assets while she was talking him on a short tour of The Center. She mentioned they were almost done, but made no hint to the ‘kid’ I was next on his interview agenda.

After a few minutes, I was back in my office, and the two of them came in. He was a little shocked that the Dave he had talked to on the train was the same Dave that would make the final decision regarding his employment.

He apologized for being so ‘informal’ during the ride in. I just looked at him with a smile and told him that was the reason he got the job, and asked when he could start? After a few minutes of shock, he just chuckled when I told him that his interview with me really had taken place on the train, and that I felt he would be the perfect addition to The Center’s already excellent staff.

I took him to his new office and watched his jaw drop as he saw where he would be working. The administrative offices were on the second floor, extending along one corner of The Center, with solid one-way glass walls overlooking a large section of the facility. From his desk he could see many of the spaces he would be responsible for—including an entire section of digital art galleries, and digital research facilities made available to The Center staff, artists, and the public.

And on the wall on the other side of his desk, a vast collection of numerous large sized monitors, connected to every form of digital access he could ever need. His office literally looked like the control center of a giant city, which, technically it was.

A few weeks into his job, our newest Director was on the train, as usual, when I got on. We had become close associates, and I was extremely happy we had hired him. He fit in perfectly with our company culture, was a hard worker, and more important, had so many new and innovative ideas to extend the reach of our digital presence.

As we road in, he was talking about that first morning we had met and the conversation we had, and how it could have gone in a completely different direction if he had known who I was. I totally agreed with him, and complimented him on not doing the ONE thing that would have put an end to his interview before it even began; not once during the entire time did he look at his phone.

I had been accustomed to those of his age completely ignoring those around them and spending the entire train ride scrolling on their phones, ignoring the norms of social etiquette, and missing the stunning landscape, and 'appearance' of The Center as the train rounded the bend. That would have sealed his fate.

Thankfully he had the personality that did not ‘live’ on his phone at the expense of everybody around him, even though his job would entail complete days of digital exposure.

I had remembered the red tie our new Director had worn on his interview day, and realized he wore it at least once a week. I knew we sold them in the gift shop, so one day asked our shop manager where she got them from.

She gave me this strange, perplexed look. "I thought you ordered them!" and contined saying she didn't know where they came from, that they simply were in a box in the back room, so she put them out. And since they sold so well, she had priced them high, at $180 each, and yet they continued to sell out.

In a questioning manner, she said as soon as they sold out, another box appeared overnight in the back room, and she simply restocked the tie stand with them. "And they always come in a box of 7! Who ships only 7 at a time?" I thought the entire situation a bit strange, but wasn't going to question it. They were beautiful ties. I myself owned one.

I swore I had seen that material somewhere before. I began to look through a series of photos we had taken at the opening of our Scottish location, looking for the 4 banners hanging from the ceiling during the event. Though I remember those banners vividly, they were not present in any of the photos from the event.

I then remembered we had those same banners that were used during the Antonio Bianchi orchestral event in The Center. I called the Director of our event staging and asked about, and once again, though both of us remembered the banners hanging from the ceiling for the Bianchi event, neither of us could find a single photo of them.

This piqued my interest. I asked our Director of event staging to spend a few minutes and see if she could locate the banners.
"Don't spend a lot of time looking for them, but if you happen to come across them, let me know. If you need a reference to the material they were made of, just head down to the gift shop and grab one of the red ties."

She looked at me and chuckled. To this day I have yet to hear back about those banners.

 

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