May 3, 2005
Oh Fudge

We're not getting our new Office Manager, after all.

Armand, the vaguely sinister Dirt Company CEO, sent out a brusque all-staff e-mail late last week announcing his decision. (Actually, what he did was cc: everyone in the company on the rejection e-mail he sent to the OM candidate, which I thought was all kinds of weird and unprofessional. Then again, this is the guy who routinely forwards Blonde Jokes to the entire company, under the Subject Header "Important!!  Please Read!!" So there you go.) 

Armand's No-Thanks e-mail went something like this:


After very careful and serious consideration , we have decided not to offer the General Manager position to you. This very difficult and agonizing decision was made upon checking several references and very long and serious discussions with The Dirt Company Board Members. I have tremendously enjoyed our pleasant dinners and detailed technical discussions, and  believe you possess great overall strengths blah blah blah blah blah.

Armand The Dirt Company CEO

The grapevine immediately went berserk, cooking up theories as to why New Scott didn't get the job. Salary disputes. Commute difficulties. Personality differences. (*My* theory -- that he didn't get the job because he showed up at the interview wearing his shirt inside-out  --   was dismissed out of hand, primarily because ALL of the Nerdy Geotech Guys have come to work that way, at least once or twice.) The most prevalent theory, though -- and the most interesting, by far -- is that the guy's professional references didn't check out. 

In other words: he lied on his résumé.  

As it happens, I've still got a copy of the résumé in question in my bottom desk drawer. The morning he was due to come in for his interview, the résumé was distributed to everybody in the office ... ostensibly so we could all get a *feel* for his background, his potential managerial style, his vast reserves of geonerdy grooviness, blah blah blah. I remember taking one look at it -- at four pages' worth of poorly formatted/murkily-photocopied/indecipherable geopeak -- and stuffing the whole thing into my file drawer. Then I went online and Googled his name, and within thirty seconds I knew more about the guy than his own mother knows, probably. (He's a Wine Guy, apparently. And a semi-professional billiards player. And at one point he had a really, REALLY fugly moustache.) Now I'm sitting here looking at the résumé one last time, before I plunge it into the shredder, and I'm wondering ... did he fudge on it?

I'll admit: I've lied on the occasional job application, over the years.  Everybody has. My lies have generally been of the sin-of-omission variety: 'forgetting' to include a telephone number for a problematic previous employer, for instance, or neglecting to mention that I'd been fired from my previous job for indulging in cyber sex on company time. (Hiya, EdKaz!) Once or twice, when I was much younger and much more inclined to casual larceny, I lied outright about having graduated from college. But when it comes to my
résumé, I have always been borderline obsessive about accuracy. Everything on my résumé -- now, then and always -- is totally, completely, 100% verifiable. I don't even exaggerate my Excel prowess or try to pass off a family member as a "professional" reference.  I guess my feeling  is that a job application is a disposable commodity -- here today, compost fill tomorrow -- whereas a résumé has a tendency to linger in a HR file for months, sometimes years, and is therefore vulnerable to scrutiny (and verification) at any given moment. You just don't lie on a résumé.  Plain and simple.

Too bad New Scott didn't share *my* jobsearch ethic.

So now we're back to where we were before: a rudderless ship, cruising aimlessly through choppy Dirt Company waters. The corporate office assigns us a new Suit every few months ... someone from one of the other offices, to
fly in and babysit us for a couple of days, every week. Our current Suit, Bob M., flies in on Tuesday mornings, sits in the empty OM office for a few hours listening to his voicemail messages, and then flies back to Arizona late Tuesday afternoon. As Temporary Suits go, we all like Bob just fine.  He's neat, he's quiet, he's polite, he doesn't get all up in your shidt over minutiae. Still, no one wants to get overly attached to Bob. Time and experience have proven that no Suit last forever: eventually they get tired of commuting to Oakland every week, and they either find some way to wriggle out of the responsibility, or else they flat-out quit the company altogether (like New Franz did last summer). The thing I worry about the most, I suppose, is that eventually they're going to run out of Temporary Suits to loan us: next thing you know, those Blonde Jokes will be emanating from the Oakland office, two days a week.

Then we really will be fudged.

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corey clark??  yeah, RIGHT  ...  and simon had
an affair with that chick with the fuschia hair.