Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Erzulie Lands a New Job – Part Two

To snag a job, one normally has to go through a string of interviews. Apart from talking to relatives and friends, I posted my CV on a few career related websites. One morning, I got a call from an unheard of advertising agency that spotted me online. The girl on the other end of the line cooed in a coy, Lebanese accent, "Would you like to schedule an interview at 11 AM tomorrow?" I hung up after telling her that that's fine. "It's my first interview," I thought, "Showing up wouldn't hurt."

The next day, I found myself walking across a street in Kuwait City to get to the building where the company was at. I went up the elevator and when the doors slid open, I knew that the next two hours would be a complete waste of time.

I went to the reception desk and was greeted by a Playboy Bunny. "You must be the girl who called me yesterday. I'm Erzulie." The Bunny bounced up from her seat and ushered me into a waiting room that was furnished with classically stiff brown sofas from Midas' 75% off sale.

After less than five minutes, I was escorted down the hall to meet the person in power and in less than one minute after meeting him, I discovered that the balding, 30-something Jordanian dude was not only a prick, but he was dumb too. The thing is, working with pricks isn't so bad in the short-run; although they can be assholes, they can still be great at what they're doing and you can learn a lot from them. Dumb pricks, however, are good for nothing.

Dumb Prick: So, are you Kuwaiti Erzulie?

Me: Yes.

Dumb Prick: Well, I just want to inform you that this job doesn't have fixed hours. Sometimes, we work after 5 PM.

Me: What does me being Kuwaiti have to do with the job's hours?

Now, I know where the Dumb Prick was coming from – although he could've been more subtle about it - since some Kuwaitis don't want to associate themselves with any job that requires them to work after 3 if not 2 PM.

Dumb Prick: Oh don't get me wrong! I love Kuwait! I love Kuwaitis and I love working with them!

I was surprised that his nose didn't grow ten miles when he said that last bit.

Me: Working long hours is fine by me. I rarely went back home at 6 PM sharp in my previous job anyway. Are there any Kuwaitis working here right now?

Dumb Prick: No, but I am looking forward to employ many Kuwaitis here.

Me: Have you worked in an advertising agency before?

Dumb Prick: No.

Me: So you've never worked in an agency and you want to run one?

Dumb Prick: Yes!

Strangely enough, I soon became the interviewer. He answered all of my questions in broken English and told me about his life, how he worked at one institution's marketing department for nine years in Kuwait ever since he graduated from college and how he's passionate about psychology.

Dumb Prick: I'm obsessed with psychology you know? For instance, if I see someone with their legs crossed, body slouched forward and left arm supporting their body weight, I would know that that person is nervous and not confident.

The annoying part is that I was seated exactly in that position. I looked down at my left arm that was propped on my knee before cocking my head at him. He could tell that I wasn't amused.

Dumb Prick: I didn't mean to say that about you! But are you nervous by any chance?

Me: No. There's no reason to be. Are you?

Dumb Prick: Oh of course not!

He went on about psychology, his college days and Jordan while I was thinking about how it would feel like if I just stood up and walked out.

Dumb Prick: Hello? Are you with me?

He was actually waving his hand at me. I looked at him, surprised. I wished my mother was there because everything was so amusingly surreal; I knew I couldn't recount the peculiarity of my outlandish experience.

Me: Yes, I'm listening.

Dumb Prick: I sensed that your mind was somewhere else.

Me: No, I was nodding and listening to you.

I was actually because I knew that I would never again get a kick out of any interview such as this one. I hit my limits when the Dumb Prick hunched over his desk as he doodled a diagram of how an advertising agency works.

Dumb Prick: First, we have the account management department. That includes the account director, manager and executive. In the creative department, we have the executive and creative directors, graphic designers and copywriters. In between them is a traffic manager. That person is, how can I explain this, communicates information between the two departments. Are you with me? I can explain each position's details later but is any of this making sense?

Me: Have you read my CV?

Dumb Prick: Of course I have.

Me: Well, if you did then you'll know that I've worked in an advertising agency as an XYZ for more than a year. I know how it works.

Dumb Prick: But I'm just drawing this diagram for you so you know the general structure.

Me: I know the (friggin') structure (you friggin' piece of shyt).

The atmosphere was tense and I liked it that way. I knew I wasn't going to work there even if my life depended on it. This might sound evil, but I drove all the way downtown for this so I might as well enjoy making the guy squirm in his sweaty seat.

The Dumb Prick and his tacky suit soon took off for a meeting and I met up with the temporary creative director who was basically responsible for setting up the advertising agency from scratch before fleeing for good. After exchanging a few words and looking through my portfolio, he spoke my thoughts.

Creative Director: You've done some great work.

Me: Thanks.

Creative Director: Erzulie, I probably shouldn't tell you this but this place is too young for you. It's all in-house, below-the-line work. It wouldn't be the best place for you to grow.

Me: Yeah. I know. All right, I'm off.

Creative Director: Good luck.

Speaking of good luck or in this case, its irony, the up-and-coming advertising agency's mother company and sole source of revenue went bankrupt three days later.

To be continued...

at 8:30 AM


  1. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 10:26 AM  

    Basameech Baby Stewie-ya ;p I could just hear you mentally calling out for "Lois" and plotting how to mess with Mr. pop psychobabble pseudo-advertising industry "creative" "mizzundastood" CEO dude's career aspirations.

    Sij i5wara
  2. Blogger daggero posted at 4:12 PM  
    Erzulie :

    IN every mess there is an opportunity . Since their mother company is bankrupt it is time you go back to them and make them an offer to buy it for peanuts say 10% on the cost all included license, office ,and staff including the bunny .

    You know how the Advertising business is run . You will find investors from your family and friends .The good guy ( he will be helpful to get you inside information ) still there and the Dumb Prck will be shown the door .

    Think about it seriously ,

    It beats working for another agency
  3. Blogger Bodie Broduas posted at 5:39 PM  
    I wanted to post a comment, but where do I start? The Seinfedian NTTAWWT? Or the "ambition" of this clearly delusional individual? Jeffrey Goines has nothing on this guy.
  4. Blogger Erzulie posted at 6:03 PM  
    ms.baker: i know this might sound downright wrong but baby stewie-ya is a "lovely compliment" (said with an english accent) :P~ 5wartain! it was entertaining though, while it lasted...

    daggero: while that's true, i wouldn't count on doing ALL of that just to work there. it's not worth it. i know i can do better with time.

    bodie: hey that was the best looking nutcase i've ever seen! if this dude was as good looking well, i wouldn't have minded to stay longer or possibly be less frigid. but he deserved it. god what a dumbass. unfortunately, there are A LOT of dumbasses who have their asses situated in really high positions. geez...
  5. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 7:20 PM  
    I love it that during the entire bozo interview, you were thinking about what a GREAT blog entry it was going to be! ;-)
  6. Blogger eshda3wa posted at 2:16 AM  
    i love how the creative director knows what a crappy company it is
    and when someone is too good 4 it
  7. Blogger Zeecu posted at 9:45 AM  
    Very interesting, you handled the situation very well it seems. I've been in the same place when I first started applying for jobs, going to an interview knowing that I'll never end up in that place, but simply to hone my skills of being interviewed by idiots.

    It means you're nervous? But.. but that's my favourite sitting position! drat.. now I'll need a new power sitting position to match my newly acquired power suit, power tie, and power lunches.

    Corporate Kuwait requires too much ass-kissing for me. Why can't a person earn a good living by doing manual labour like the job the guy from 'Office Space' ends up doing.
  8. Blogger Erzulie posted at 1:05 AM  
    intlxpatr: well, i have to admit that i did think of that afterwards. it was one hell of an hour to say the least :)

    eshda3wa: i know of the CD from other people. i was just not interested and when he said that i thought, "figures. whatever."

    zeecu: corporate kuwait is nonexistent; no matter how big of a name or size the company is, it still operates like a family-run convenient store.
  9. Blogger Bodie Broduas posted at 4:51 PM  
    corporate kuwait is nonexistent; no matter how big of a name or size the company is, it still operates like a family-run convenient store. <--- that's because it is a family run convenience store.

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