I learned to have little by way of expectations from others. People are guaranteed to disappoint. It’s not bitterness, it’s simply reality.
A few weeks back, I had contacted an old business friend of mine for a job. He’s a senior mucky muck in this company. He had a position and I came up to interview with his boss. The company is in the shitter, declining from 8000 to 2500 employees. Tired employees many with that ‘deer in the headlights’ look. My experience is once a company goes down, it don’t come back and all efforts to revive are fruitless. But hey, if it pays, I’ll pump sunshine up their ass.
I drive up, spend the night and meet his boss. 30+ years with the company, top floor, executive suite. He spends 1.5 hours yacking about the good ole days and asks me 6 questions the entire time. I sit there with my suit and tie which I dug out from my house and dusted off and just smiled and nodded. For all the talk, this guy had no clue how to rescue this piece of shit company and is simply hoping to make retirement before the lights finally went out.
Interview over. I did a stellar job of basically not fucking anything up. A week later I email my friend to see what is going to happen. He’s traveling in South America and I get a 1 line reply, “traveling , this isn’t on the fast track”. OK, not sure what that means. I wait.
The next week, I email my friend and leave him a brief voicemail, “give me a ring, let me know what’s going on”. I’ve known my friend for 10 years, worked with him at 2 companies and he was helpful in getting me a job at a 3rd. We know each other well. A week later again and I’m still waiting for a sign.
Having mastered Gay 101. No reply is an answer in itself. I could imagine all kinds of things. He’s busy. He’s working on it. He can’t hire me. Doesn’t want to hire me. I fucked something up. But no matter, it’s a 2 minute telephone call to tell it to me straight. Instead I have only “this isn’t on the fast track” as my sole answer.
Sadly, I’ve lost respect for my friend in this process. One of the characteristics of a ‘gentlemen’ is never to put someone in a position that you wouldn’t want to be in yourself. The reality he gave me an answer, cryptic as it may be, and while I might have appreciated a little more colour on the subject, it won’t change the outcome. Move on.