March 9, 1994
Had an interview at an agency. I made an immediate, intense connection with Jeanette, the interviewer. By the end of the interview we were practically crawling across her desk to claw at each other’s clothing. I don’t know what came over me (us). She called my references preparatory to the meeting and I got good press. She said, “Mark, everybody loves you.” I said, “Do you mean all around the world?” She was flirtatious. It wasn’t my imagination. This time.
She said without a college degree there’d always be a glass ceiling at any company I worked for, which is the truth I resent the most. At the conclusion we shook hands but wouldn’t uncouple. We just stood there looking at each other. Blue eyes and nice teeth. I said, “I don’t know if I should cultivate a professional relationship with you or seduce you.” She smiled. The next day she called to give me the specifics of an interview she’s arranged and kept calling me “honey,” in a soft tone, which has always been my kryptonite. Laura used to do it and I think that’s why I fell so hard, so fast, so irrevocably.
I went to opening night of Merce Cunningham’s “Sounddance” at City Center with Ann and an uber-wealthy family who are clients of hers. It was absolute torture. I’m so ill at ease around wealth. The kids, 16 and 18, have never wanted for anything. They were perfectly charming and polite. They weren’t precocious, snotty rich kids, although at intermission the dad whispered to me that they were both spoiled rotten.
The son goes to Dalton. The daughter is on her way to an Ivy League but will first spend the summer with her friends at their Hamptons home (which, Ann later told me, is palatial). She said she got valuable lesson on how unfair life can be when she saw how many of her friends got into Ivy’s. Apparently, intellectual capital doesn’t count for everything when applying to top colleges. She said if you not well-heeled with connections or a minority you’re “screwed.” Then the two of them told me all about last year’s trip to Cambodia. It was agonizing to listen to. They were nice kids but I was so consumed with envy and self-loathing that I just hated them, which is to say, I hated myself. The performance, a revival from 1977 was very good. Very energetic.
Read a Joyce Carol Oates interview in Playboy. She said she uses every single waking moment to take notes and jot down ideas. Said sleeping is a waste of human existence. That’s what it takes. Everyone knows it but few are willing to pay the bill, present company included. Bukowski died today. He had leukemia. It gives me the dirty low-down blue blues.
Dude: you had moxie! That “Dynasty” nonsense would never fly today, on either side of the interview table. I’ve never had that kind of confidence in my life.
We couldn’t help ourselves. There’s no explanation for it. Chemistry. All these years later I can’t even remember what she looks like.
After reading one of these “way back machine” posts, I end up thinking about what I was doing at that time and how different our experiences were (of course, part of that is because I’m so damned much older than you!). Your interview experience wouldn’t happen today that’s for sure! But, sadly, we’re still seeing legacy admissions to colleges/universities. xo
I would very much like to think that it COULD happen today. That’s just the romantic in me.
Nope, that interview style wouldn’t happen today. Them’s firin’ words!
And yup, legacy admissions are still alive and well. My son’s dad graduated from Yale and our son, who is intelligent but not inspired by academics, was accepted. He passed his grade 12 but with nothing higher than 70! He didn’t attend as he was mature enough to realise that university wasn’t his road, at least not then.
Ah, the good old days. When you can let yourself become overwhelmed with passion for no good reason and not suffer consequences.
You are very evolved for not forcing your son to take a path he knew wasn’t for him. I’ll bet there are lots of parents who would’ve forced the issue.
Damn. Nearly all of my early interviews with old, fat guys.
I should’ve been concentrating on a career instead of socializing.
I would much rather have an interview like that than concentrate on my career.
Only ever had one job interview…with a bunch of elderly chaps who would have qualified for the finals of ‘the least likely to arouse passion in the female breast’ contest.
ONLY ONE?! How did you manage that feat? They’re just awful. It’s like being judged at a cattle call.
Being admitted as a pupil to chambers. Was lucky enough to be kept on at the end of my year and stayed.
Whoa, you are slick! I don’t believe in my hundreds of job interviews anyone ever once uttered the word “seduce”.
Honestly, it was just that once. Never happened again. Feeling bad about myself continued.
Oh come on, all you dismally-minded interviewees out there! Of course it can happen nowadays. It happens! If it’s not you’re either retired or closing yourself down in some way.
I loved reading this Mark. I was with you all the way, and fucking brilliant that you said that to her.
It can happen today but if it goes wrong there are real consequences! Women don’t put up with unwanted advances anymore. And, lets face is, most men, myself included, can’t distinguish between polite conversation and a come-hither look. I think I had more confidence then. And nothing to lose.
I work in a hospital with surgeons, now there’s a place for envy, at least with some of them. They’ve studied and worked hard though so their kids could possibly be like the ones you described. Your interview sounded a bit Film Noir.
That interview would’ve been excellent film noir fodder if she asked me to help murder her husband. All he wanted was a job and look what I got.
I could have sworn she was going to turn out to be your wife. Happily ever after and all that. Schmaltzy romcoms have taken over my brain!
A lot of fireworks. No longevity. I swear I have no memory of who this person is. Good thing I kept these journals.
Highly entertaining as always. What I find fascinating about your old journals is how you were writing blog posts long before blogs even existed.
Thanks, Linda! Nice of you to say so and to stick around for so long. Have you ever heard of Samuel Pepys? Now, THAT’S a blog.
You’re such a charmer…
So, did you end up seducing Jeanette or do I have to wait for part 2?
I didn’t get the job or the girl. Sadly. Would’ve like both.
Did you ever get called for a second interview? If not the job, per se, but maybe for a different, umm, position?
I didn’t get either, umm, position. I don’t even remember what she looks like.
Jeanette ever come back into your life? Just curious, because I never had an interview like that. I’ve also never given an interview like that.
Great story. This is why you should quit. What will the daughters and wife think of you? Even though it is the opposite roles of job interview sexual harassment, it doesn’t matter. You will never be the victim. Also having sex in 1994 after just meeting the recipient is not very smart. IMHO LOL
What you said about intellectual capital when applying to top colleges is sadly true of Oxbridge these days I fear.
August 1st… that’s like a long time ago. A couple of holiday seasons, right.
The air is out of the balloon. The tank is out of gas. I’m out of metaphors. I’ve migrated to Instagram which is image-based and, thus, less taxing on the aul’ cranium.
can you point me to your instagram?
It lives here: https://www.instagram.com/mark.cashion/
I’ll drop by. Don’t have an account myself so I suppose it would be hard to comment without one. Mostly just want to see your photos. Must admit, I’m going to sorely miss your journal posts.