Note: That's not me. I look much YOUNGER!
When did I first come to realize that the moon was over the mountain at least as far as my working career?
I was being interviewed for a job at the tender age of 57 or 58 because the Company I had worked for over a number of years had moved out of the area.
“I’m Bob French,” said the interviewer. “Nice to meet you, Perry.”
Friendly enough dude and the interview seemed to be going well. Then I asked a question to display my interest in the company.
“Tell me about your management team, Bob," I asked.
“Oh, yes, good question, Perry!” said Bob.
It’s always nice when someone says you’ve asked a good question. Much better than being told “the answer to that question is self-evident and you’re an idiot.”
Not that that’s ever happened to me.
“Well, Perry,” said Bob, “We have a good strong YOUNG management team.”
Did he actually say that they have a good strong YOUNG management team?
Most executives doing interviews these days are trained to avoid mentioning age, and most likely Mr. Johnson was so trained as well. But apparently he just hadn’t made the leap from not asking about age to expressing a preference for youthful over alta cocker vintage, not that Bob would know what an alta cocker is.
“We have a good strong YOUNG CFO named George Strapling,” Bob went on.
He’s two for two, I thought.
“And our new sales VP, Ralph Barkley is a good strong YOUNG marketing guy from Kropotkin and company.”
Three YOUNGs in a row! I wonder if they have milk and cookies and naptime here too.
"And we’re just bringing in a new good strong president, George Marchese,” Bob continued.
At last, I thought!
Bob has either caught on to today’s prevailing business wisdom or George Marchese’s age is lofty enough that he can join AARP without having to show ID.
“It’s hard to believe how much George has achieved at his prior jobs as YOUNG as he is,” raved Bob.
I should never have doubted Bob’s proclivity for blithely making wrongheaded and illegal statements.
From there on in, the interview progressed OK, although I made sure to refrain from making references to the Truman Administration.
"Would you like something to drink, Perry?” asked Bob. “We have a good strong YOUNG vending machine in the lobby with good strong YOUNG snacks and of course, good strong YOUNG Coca-Cola.”
I made up that part.
I asked one more question before leaving, bracing myself for the answer.
“Can you tell me how old the company is, Bob?”
“Sure, Perry. It’s two year old.”
Of course. The answer to that question was self-evident and you’re an idiot, Perry.
At least Bob didn’t say “two years YOUNG.”
I didn’t get the job, of course, but Mr. French’s transgressions were safe with me.
I’m not the suing type.
After all I’m not a good strong YOUNG applicant and frankly, I just don’t have the strength for it.
If you liked this post, you'll like my book Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute. If you hated this post, you'll LOVE my book Perry Block - Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute.
Why? That's just the way it works.