Wednesday, February 29, 2012



     About five years ago, I had a funny experience during a series of job interviews in Philadelphia.

  The organization doing the hiring was a large, prestigious non-profit, and although the position in question represented a potential change from my usual area of professional endeavor, I was very interested even though the salary was modest. 

   Initially I met and spoke to four or five subordinate attorneys in the department, all of them intelligent and pleasant, during the course of several hours, recounting my life story and reciting my resume skills in various characterless offices and conference rooms, regarding Philadelphia's gray-brown frost outside the windows. 

     Finally, I was ushered in to meet the General Counsel, a woman with a lot of presence who simultaneously gave an impression of accomplishment, joy and melancholy. 

     We had a good discussion about the position, the organization and both our careers and backgrounds.  She had been a nurse before going to law school which, given her field of legal specialty, was a valuable qualification in terms of both the analytical and affective components of her job. 

     Midway through our conversation, describing her approach to work, she said "I'm an alcoholic."  She quickly corrected herself, substituting the word "workaholic," looking surprised and embarrassed, but laughing. 
   It was an awkward and unsettling moment.  From the instant I met her, I had wondered whether she was an alcoholic. 

     I didn't get the job.  They told me that the funding required for the position never came through, something I'm happy to say I was able to confirm through other sources. (I'm distrustful by nature.)  This recession has been a brutal depression, really, a terrible long winter.


  1. All I can say is, if, in a subsequent incarnation on another planet, I should happen to be recast as a hiring director, and offered only the photos in this post in lieu of their respective resumés, I don't think James Mason, Ray Milland, Jack Lemmon or Susan Hayward would need to be in any hurry to relocate to the area.

  2. I know. None of them seems to be able to hold that "I'm at work" mask in place, which is funny because they're all being photographed at work. What faces and suggestions of movement! My problem as an actor was always my inability to speak lines and move my body in space simultaneously. I don't think I have a good acting voice either. Happy Birthday! Curtis