In the go-go 1990s, when everybody was in a rush to do something “internety,” I got a call from a recruiter, who breathlessly starting describing a position in the Chicago suburbs.
I told her I lived in the city, was not at all interested in commuting to the suburbs, so I didn’t think I’d be a fit for the job.
Though I agreed to send here a résumé.
She called back a few days later and, breathlessly began telling me about the greatest job in the history of our solar system.
A few minutes in, I told her that I wasn’t interested.
I reminded here I lived in the city, and didn’t have a car, and had no interest in buying a car. Thus I was not all that interested in talking further.
The recruiter wanted to talk anyway, and she did. The position was with an advertising agency, that had “been in business for 30 years.”
I already worked at an ad agency (that had been in business for 100 years), but I didn’t want to work in the agency business any longer, and was planning to leave Illinois in a few years. I began to tell her that.
“I am not interested because ……” I said.
She interjected “They have one client, but it’s a huge one. ”
One client? My interest dropped from “Very Little” and was quickly approaching zero.
She added “Have you heard of McDonald’s?”
Hmm…moving on to a condescending approach? Didn’t seem like a particularly solid technique to win somebody over.
“McDonald’s: that’s their client. For 30 years! The company ‘does the work’ for their Monopoly game. They loved your résumé and are very interested in talking to you.”
“Does the work” and could mean anything: printing, graphic design, strategy, etc. and maybe even something internety.
I almost asked her to elaborate, but there was no chance in my pursuing that job.
I said, “It doesn’t matter who the account is. I don’t plan to work for a company with only one customer. My current company had a client for 75 years and they lost it last year. Furthermore, I don’t want to work in the suburbs. I don’t even have a car.”
“Well, you could JUST buy a car?”
“I don’t want a car. There are many reasons why I got rid of my car. I’d be happy if I never had a car again.”
“Well, you could JUST take a train.”
The location wasn’t near a commuter rail station, so transit would involve several bus transfers; therefore a lot of time, and I reiterated that I wasn’t interested.
She was getting exasperated, and said, “They loved your résumé and want to know how soon you could start.”
WHAT?!? That was the second time she said she had shared my résumé. It didn’t properly register with me the first time.
“You shared my résumé?!? Why did you do that?!? And who makes decisions to hire people without an interview?” I asked, in a whisper-shout.
She replied, “I knew you’d be perfect. And I’m sure that they’ll make it worth your while to commute out there. Or you could buy a house near their office. They have a big budget for this job, you could probably buy a nice house…”
I was way past done. With every fiber of my being, I tried to restrain myself and I reiterated all of my key points: I didn’t want to commute to, or move to, the suburbs, I didn’t want to buy a car, or spend hours commuting trains and buses.
She tried her money line again, “But, they’ve had the McDonald’s business for 30 years, and…”
After some effort, I was finally able to convince her that I wasn’t interested. She signed off with a disdainful “OK. This is your loss.”
And then she added a sullen “Bye.”
I didn’t think much of the conversation until a couple of years later when there was a high-profile scandal involving the McDonald’s Monopoly game and some of their promotional vendors were axed. I had already relocated to Michigan, and was doing internety things.
I don’t know if the agency that the recruiter was trying to push into was affected, but it really would have sucked to buy a car, or a house and then have the best job in the solar system evaporate and to have been stuck with a car loan and/or a mortgage.
Glad that I didn’t put all my eggs in that one McMuffin.