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THE JOB INTERVEW
I did not realize how complex and demanding the search for a job can be. Against my own rigid early morning standards, I turned on the TV and happened to land on one of those talk-talk shows that this morning dealt with the etiquette, protocol and planning of getting a job and going through the necessary interviews.
I was exposed to non-stop and endless descriptions of such elements as how to dress, the type, model and way to wear eyeglasses, how to practice in order to develop a straight, self-assured, honest look even if you have just completed a 20 year term in the local pen.
The all-important Resume deserved a long interval and a flow of generalities such as “chronological order”, “time and date of most important positions”, “nature of work”, “personal experience in the industry or position involved”, “qualities you possess to contribute to the success of the company and the world economy in general”, “how to walk into the interview room as you were about to deliver a State of the Union Message”, and of course “how to adopt a relaxed, self-confident manner”, during the interview.
For almost an hour, the program hostess and the three specialists, went back and forth discussing seriously whether shoe laces should be tied or not, how dirty jeans were unacceptable, smoking was out, no chewing tobacco nor chewing gum, how skirts must not be of the cheerleader cut, and the blouses must avoid tempting panoramas.
All this reminded me of my firs interview for a job when I was 14 years old. I don’t think I observed a single one of the rules suggested by the TV show. I just walked into the office of the Big Boss and the one responsible for job assignments, and just said: “Hey, I would like to do the signal job this week!’
I got the job and not only for that week but also for the rest of the summer. You see, I walked in my shorts, bare footed, from my wing of the house to my father’s office suite in our home in Boca Raton, Florida, and asked him for the job. I received 150 bucks a week as “Signal Admiral”, as Cristobal, the boat captain baptized me.
The family boat was a 70 foot long sail boat with a crew of three; the boat needed a “Signal Officer”. My job was to turn the running lights at sunset and the steaming light when appropriate. But the fun part was pulling the horn handle. You know, letting the blasts know whether you were turning, entering or leaving port and greeting other vessels at sea.
In the ensuing decades, I used a similar approach. My employer, always my father, never failed me. I ended up as CEO of one the old man’s Investment Brokerage firms pulling a cool 11 million a year.
Until the roof fell in.
This morning, after watching the show on The Job Interview, I received an email from the members of our board of directors advising me that they had decided to file for bankruptcy and would do so formally in the next few days. They also were decent enough to mention that my closing compensation package had been set at 75 million dollars.
So here I am at the age of 37, unemployed and still unmarried. But I still have the yacht job. Now, was it three blasts to indicate danger, turning to port or reverse propulsion?