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The VP

So there I was working in that shithole Harvard, hoping that I would get my “Big Break”. My Mother from the start of the gig in Harvard was telling me that I would be able to interview for the Manager job. This kept me in Harvard, in retrospect I think my Mom was only trying to help her friend the GM of Harvard. And I also think the interview was pure chance.

The interview was on a Monday, the GM in Harvard being the understanding person she was had me work the weekend. I worked third shift Friday, Saturday, and she wanted me to do Sunday. She felt that I could work that night and get off at seven in the morning and still have plenty of time to go home change and then drive to Chicago by ten am. This is how this ladies thought process’s worked.

Finally I persuaded her to let me have off on Sunday. I used Sunday to prepare for my meeting with the VP. I read all of my Dilbert collection in preparation for the meeting. I also did a search on the net for the company just to see what I could find on the. I found lots of interesting things about the company. I found press pieces, stock market reports and a few other interesting things like an earnings statement from 98. I looked my directions over and got dressed in my 300 buck suit and got in my piece of shit Dodge Shadow and left for Chicago.

The drive to the offices in Chicago was almost trouble free. I did make a wrong turn off the interstate that had me go into O’Hare Airport. I still made it on time. I was almost am hour early. My mother had borrowed me her cell phone in case I had any breakdowns with my trusty Dodge Shadow. I was in a state between excitement and nausea so I called my good friend Izer to tell him I made to Chicago. He wasn’t home so I decided to go in and make sure I was at the right place. They have a real nice offices in some building that rents out space that overlooks some kind of small manmade lake, it is very picturesque. So I went in and found the right office and asked the receptionist if the VP was in and that I had a appointment with him.

The receptionist told me the VP was in but in a meeting and that he asked if I would just wait and he would be right with me. I was early so I told the receptionist that I was going to duck out for a smoke. I have a major dislike over upper management and lawyers, it stems from my dislike from authority figures.

I went back in after I finished half of the pack of smokes I had on me. So I figured it was time to go in and get it over with. I sat for about five minutes waiting for someone to come and escort me to the VP. This was my first surprise from the VP. The VP came and met me himself. That he didn’t send his secretary (oops, that’s administrative assistant) to get me. That the VP came himself to get me was a nice touch. I liked that it showed he was not to high and mighty to need someone to do simple task for him. The next surprise was that he asked me if I wanted a cup of coffee. I figured he would definitely have his admin assistant do this menial task. But again he showed that he was able to do those things you usually expected VP’s to make the peons do. I politely told him no thanks I don’t drink coffee. After it was all done and over with I felt that not taking the coffee was some kind of sign to the VP that I wasn’t a team player. But I convinced myself I was being paranoid. The VP then led me to his office and asked me to sit. We didn’t sit at his desk, we sat around this very nice and personal table near a window. I’m sure it was a management technique he read in a magazine somewhere.

As I sat there in front of the VP I took him in and formed my gut opinion of the guy. I remember thinking this guy reminds me of a fucking gangster. This is what I felt and I could not shake that feeling. Just think of James Caan in Honeymoon In Las Vegas and you have the idea. The VP definitely seemed like the type to break your legs if you were late paying back money he borrowed to you. Now don’t have anything against the VP. In that matter I have nothing against mobsters, most of those boys are Italian. And most of my relatives are Italians. That and I think mobsters might take offense to being compared to some upper management guy. Mobsters have more morals.

The conversation with the VP isn’t something I remember like it was a yesterday. I remember bits and pieces of it. I also remember how I felt the whole thing was going. The VP would ask a question and I would answer defensively. Then the VP would come back with something like “I wasn’t saying that” or “I’m not accusing you of anything,” I remember I was worried about if the pervious hotel would come up. And it did, he asked and I told him I felt it was ok being on unemployment so long because they owed me. I never went into the how’s and why’s, I only told him that I had a problem with the front desk manager. This website was never mentioned. I figured the VP would not be impressed by it. By the time it was almost over I felt that I had blown my chance for getting the job. But somehow I got lucky in a Rindfleisch kind of way and got the job. The VP wrote out a figure on a piece of paper and I agreed with the first amount no questions asked. I probably was to enthused by the offer. The VP had his secretary get me a copy of their standards/policy manual. This was a hefty bastard. The VP also did a few things that I find weird now that I have time to reflect on it. First the VP did not have me do paper work then and there. He also had to figure out where I was to go. This is where I make my point.

The point is that this mobster like VP didn’t have his shit together. He was like the absent minded professor. The paper work thing haunted me for about a month. It caused my first paycheck to be late. Secondly if there was such a hurry for me to get out in the field the guy took his time figuring out where he was sending me for training. He should have known right then and there where I was going. I also laugh now about this, the VP told me to consider him my Mentor. Now this I really laugh at, I’m sorry. Maybe my definition of mentor is different from his. If Alexander The Great had mentors like him, old Alex wouldn’t have conquered his own backyard. There was also the fact that the VP didn’t want me going to their GM training classes. A choice I still think is not fair. But that comes up later. And the VP will be mentioned many more times. So please don’t get me wrong, I think the VP is a ok guy (I’m only saying this because he threatened to break my legs otherwise).

In the next part of Management Memoirs I’ll talk about some of the insight I received in Mosinee. And I promise it won’t be as lengthy as this one.


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