The old man was the real tip-off. The leer on his face was almost frightening. It was like looking into the eyes of a tall hyena with a living sheep in its mouth.
So did I ever tell you guys about the time I went to Wal-Mart Global HQ, in the hip-hop-happenin' town of Bentonville, Arkansas? It's been on my mind lately because of all the worker protests (and consequently up-leveled retaliatory ratfuckery on the part of the corporation) of the last year or so. And as you know, I hate those motherfuckers -- Wal-Mart, not their underpaid, shat-upon, locked-in, dignity-stripped workers, I mean -- and have hated them pretty much my whole life. So why did I go to their HQ?
Well -- I was desperately unhappy at my old day job, as you all were well aware. I had a bitchin' LinkedIn profile and was actively seeking a new gig (I think all the top-tier interviews I got could actually smell -- no, see -- the waves of desperation coming off me). One day out of the blue, I got an email from ... a recruiter at Wal-Mart. Real sweet gal, said she liked my profile a lot, and would I be interested in the attached job description?
In my head I'm all, hell to the fuck no, you guys are my mortal goddamned enemy. But -- desperation. So I looked at the attachment. The job was a fantastic fit, no kidding around. Just, it was for Wal-Mart. And it was in Bentonville, AR. I wrote back and said it looked great, but I am not interested in relocating from the SF bay area, so let me know if this could be remote/telecommute; otherwise, nah. Imagine my surprise when she wrote back a couple weeks later to say that actually, they might could do this out of their Peninsula office and would I like to interview? So -- fighting my gorge -- I say yes. We set it up -- first a quick phoner w/the recruiter (in which we discuss a salary about 30% more than my current one, yay!), then several hours in the Peninsula office (O SHATNER DO I HATE THE 101 FREEWAY) meeting with five different people, as is the custom around here. This seems to go smashingly. I do a Skype-y thing with my prospective direct manager; it also goes smashingly (I think because I go in to the interviews with the desperation-free attitude of, "Fuck all y'all, I don't want to work for you, I'm just enjoying making my horrible boss paranoid.").
Another phone call with the recruiter, who chooses this moment to lay it on me about their monthly 7:30 a.fucking.m.-to-9:30 a.m. Saturday morning all-hands mandatory rah-rah/cult meeting, and the general companywide 7:30 start time to the workday (WTF?), and the bullshit cheap-ass holiday/PTO policy ... but I'm sofa king desperate at my job, I'm still listening to these guys. They invite me to Bentonville. I decide, whatever, I hate you guys anyway, and tell the recruiter that o by the waaay, full disclosure, FYI I'm 5 months pregnant; I lay out my Californian expectations for maternity leave (the standard 4 months, during which -- because it would be a new job and I'm a real swell person, plus this is my second so I know how this parenthood thing rolls -- I'd keep in touch). They -- because legally I'm pretty sure they have to, to avoid a lawsuit -- say it's cool, no prob, here's your flight details. I take a day off work, fly out on a Sunday, cry hormonally throughout the two (2) flights because of missing a precious weekend day with Kid Gleemonex and Mr. G., and arrive in Old Bentone.
[Stay tuned for part two, in the next post]