G: Bring the Kids - PG: Approach With Caution - PG-13: In-Laws, Coworkers Keep Out - R: Wife, In-Laws, Coworkers Definitely Keep Out - X: Probably Something Involving Robert Logan


Feb 2009

Gary and Shari, The Winning Team

After the dot-com bust, I had about two years of imposed freelancing (translated - mostly unemployed) where I scraped by with whatever side gigs I could scrounge up. Since so many designers were now out of work (one posted design job would turn up 450 resumes within days), getting an interview was a major event. This is when I was fortunate enough to secure one with Gary and Shari.

Gary and Shari (not their real names, but close enough) had two Internet businesses that survived. The first, an Internet dating service, the second, a place to trade food coupons through the mail. Not a dream job, but a job nonetheless. I got shaved, shined my shoes, put on my best suit, and drove down to their office in Aliso Viejo. I arrived, the door was open, but no one was around, so I sat and grabbed a magazine. After about fifteen minutes, Gary lumbered in. He was a huge, river-rat type guy, Hawaiian shirt, shorts, flip-flops, and no shave for days. I will note here that he had a horrible hangover, the likes of which I haven't seen since my eighteenth birthday. He sort of mumbled something, then motioned me by hand to a small office.

I started my pitch, showing him the best web and print stuff in my arsenal, when I noticed he was asleep, face in hand. I poked his arm, his eyes opened, he made a perplexed face, and mumbled, "I'll be right back." During the wait, a young designer came in and noted his interview was set for the exact same time as mine, and apologized for being so late.

About five minutes later, Shari arrived, apologized for Gary who 'wasn't feeling well', and said, "Well, what is it you do?" I started my pitch again, until I realized this wasn't her thing and she had no clue what I was talking about. I politely excused myself and told candidate number 2 it was his turn. Then I went home, pulled some cold pizza out of the fridge, got a Coke, and watched Regis in my underwear, which is what I would have been doing in the first place.

Rick Gagnon »