It’s been years since Seinfeld originally aired on NBC’s “Must See TV” Thursday nights. My wife and I were slack-jawed as Jerry and his friends broke every taboo of primetime television. They made fun of everything and everyone without regard for the consequences. Sponges? Bras? Master of your domain? If you are a fan, you know what I’m referring to. The mere mention of “low-talker” or “Mulva” or “puffy shirt” still conjures a devilish grin on my face.
To this day, the recruiters in my office use similar nicknames to remember candidates, clients or situations that we have experienced. “Crazy, Pot-smokin’ Granny”, “Beatle Guy” and “Robert” (yes, we have a thing here for the name Robert), are just a few of the many nicknames that we’ve devised that represent a candidate that made us angry, embarrassed or just plain insulted. Just when we think we’ve “seen it all”, along comes another. Just as Seinfeld had his greatest nemesis in Newman, we have ours. His name is “Drunken No-Pants Guy” and he will go down as our ultimate recruiting horror story.
Drunken No-Pants Guy, heretofore referred to as DNPG, started as your typical candidate. He had the skills. We had the job. After an uneventful courtship, offer and acceptance, my partner, Shelley, arranged to meet DNPG at his hotel so she and I could escort him into the client for his first day of work. This was standard procedure for us in cases involving high profile clients. It was especially important in this instance, since we had never actually met DNPG. All our interaction with him to this point had been done via phone or email.
Shelley called DNPG when his flight arrived and arranged to pick him up the next morning since the hotel was on her route to the office. That’s where the “normal” part of the story ends. The horror story begins as she arrives at the office without DNPG in tow.
She’s as white as a ghost when she asks me to go back to the hotel with her. “He’s either sick, a pervert or drunk”, she says, as she tried to compose herself. “Why?”, I asked. “Because when he came to the door, he wasn’t wearing any pants”, she replied.
So up the hotel stairs we go, looking like we’re about to raid some seedy prostitution ring. I go to knock on the door but find that it’s ajar. I take my chances and go with what’s behind door number three for the win. As the door swings open, there sits DNPG, sitting on the sofa with a bottle of booze staring back at him from the pre-fab wood coffee table in front of him. “DNPG (of course I used his real name here), are you okay?”, I said. He stands up. He is fully-dressed from the waist up. He even has his tie neatly done in a classic Windsor. From waist-down, he is completely “nakey”, as my nine-year-old son says. Willie is Free. A snake is loose. You get my meaning.
He comes to the door as if he fully intends on going with us for his first day on the job. Two or three steps away from me, I catch the smell of B.O. (the B. stayed with the O. – for you Seinfeld fans). On top of that, I get a whiff of vodka and vomit, but not necessarily in that order. I give him the benefit of the doubt and ask “Are you drunk?” He mumbles. “We can’t take you to our client like this”, I tell him. He stumbles. I tell him to go back and lay down, but he gets hostile and decides that it would be a good idea to take a swing at me instead. The next thing I know, I am actually holding DNPG by the armpits so he doesn’t hit the floor with his face. I have asked Shelley to never tell me where his man-parts were as we both struggled to get him back to his bed. We locked the door behind us. I think we both burned the clothes we were wearing that day.
On the way back to the office, we tried our best to come up with a solution. We could tell the client he missed his flight. We could go back and pour a pot of coffee down his throat and deliver him in the afternoon. We could pay a sober, pants-wearing guy to be pretend to be DNPG, but then again, he wouldn’t possibly be able to actually be DNPG since he was sober and wearing pants…
In the end, we decided that the best option was to tell the client the truth. After all, who could possibly make all this up? Thankfully, the client understood and we were able to find a suitable replacement for DNPG, a wonderful gentleman whom we shall forever refer to as GWRDNPG (Guy Who Replaced Drunken No-Pants Guy).
The “teaching-points” of the story are quite simple. Tell the truth, no matter what. And have fun. Just like Jerry taught us. Sometimes you just have to laugh.
well i think the golden rule would necessitate that you turn the other cheek in regards to those who break it. just my opinion.
@Tino, i am not giving Gregg a pass. I am right there with him. Anybody who could not laugh at or poke fun at old "Parking Parker" the parking lot romeo is making life way too short. If you want to see a group of people make fun of others because they are in a unique position to do so go to an open AA meeting sometime and listen to the recovering community counselors tell their own and other's drunk-a-logs.
Not everything is a "teachable moment" in my world, some things are just bizarre and funny.
I think your attitude of using the bizarre as a training tool is great but i find your frontal blast here just a bit more than "holier than thou". But then, i'm a funny , sarcastic bitch who will not tolerate being lectured by anyone.
If there is anyone on this planet who is in the business of lecturing it's you. You're pride in being "funny, (and) sarcastic..." always amount to be a lecture of sorts on the RBC. And if anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of one of your tirades could look up at the truck that just ran over them--they'd see a license plate that reads, "holier than thou".
And you're right. You're not giving Gregg a pass. You're giving him a boost which would make you birds of a feather. EVERYTHING is a teachable moment. Exactly what are you teaching, or should I say, Preaching? What goes on in AA meeting is totally unrelated to the "holier than thou" judgements Greg, his crew and now you seem to be handing out.
And trying to brow beat me into not confronting BS that has an odor says more about you than it does about me. And spinning this discussion away from job applicants being made fun of by recruiters is not lost on the literate. You're dealing two pair to four Aces.
Had an engineering candidate go into a client interview with a shoe box tightly secured with "probably hundreds of rubber bands" to quote my client.
When asked "What's in the box?" he replied "Everything I just might ever need."
We did not make fun of him. He did not get the job. We still call him "The Crazy Box Guy".
Is this out of line? I think not. I'm an old (and getting older) recruiter who has seen it all.....until someone else who's seen it all tells me about something they've seen which I never have seen........Can ya dig it?
You do what you feel is right. You're on a roll.
I'm not here to keep you in line. You’re on your own recognizance and I'm entitled to my opinion. Can you dig it?
Hogwash Tino! I am never under the delusion that my opinion is anything but my opinion.
If you feel like you are being brow beaten i think that may be your problem. If i state my opinion or you state yours and anbody takes exception to it defend it or don't.
what all of us are talking about here is the labeling that we do internally of crazy candidates who do bizarre crazy stuff. Do we make fun of them by labeling them. I don't think so. I doubt that any of us would face to face call the candidate "The Crazy Box Guy", "Parkin' Parker, DNPG, or any of the other labels we put on them.
As to spinning this away from recruiters calling fruit cakes , fruit cakes or any other label. I believe you mentioned that you take exception to anyone in a professional role who has a unique position to do so making fun of someone. Thus my referfence to several other instances where people are labled and/or given less than politically correct nicknames.
I am more than happy to fly with the dirty birds who don't regard every nutty thing that happens as a teachable moment and have no problem sticking a funny label on a candidate who does outlandish, crazy things. I do not find it reprehensible, if you do then don't do it. As an animal advocate your profile pic of a terrified animal diving into a crowd to escape the horror of a bull fight turns my stomach but i know that you are probably not an advocate of torturing animals and simply found the pic of a large bull diving into a crowd as funny. I would suggest to you that those of us who label our crazy candidates are no different than you thinking that the bull diving into the crowd is funny. So i won't blast you about the bull or the bull fight based on my personal feelings about bull fighting making you a bad guy because you use it as a profile picture or accuse you of taking the low road because you use it. There's a teachable moment for you.
...oh the horror of it is you still don't get it. Making fun of candidates seeking employment who come under your inspection and somehow fail to pass do not need to be made poster children for your official amusement. And to crow about it on the RBC paints a picture of a bunch of recruiters having a laugh at the expense of job applicants.
You sound like you’re bursting with funny stories you want to share here and it looks like you have found the appropriate audience because it seems like I’m the only one who views it as unprofessional and below a standard I live by. If that’s the case…I might have under estimated this group and the sense of common decency I thought existed here. Being put down for it is truly a surprise. Go figure.
And then there was Nervous Nellie who took a friend's valium the night before her drug test because she was nervous about taking the drug test. Her comment when asked what she was thinking was, "It looks like Nervous Nellie shot herself in the foot all by herself." And we all laughed including Nervous Nellie.
Not here for Thanksgiving. My younger sister passed away un-expectantly and most of my family has moved out of state or to the UP of Michigan so my home became the gathering place and hotel up to and after her memorial. They all left by Wednesday evening.
I think you should know that even though I found your story telling hilarious and your story a complete horror story; I would never make fun of any candidate. When I did work at a firm with other recruiters there were never any jokes about candidates - or clients for that matter - the professionalism toward each person we met was a part of us - a part of what set us apart from other firms. There were no nicknames, no funny comments, and certainly no making fun of anyone we talked to or met. Always professional at all times – even when not working, as you never know who you will run into - candidate or client or potential client. I treat my own practice, which I started in 1993, with the same professionalism. This may be why I am able to have so many clients referred to me by people I have met or talked to and been able to weather the recession without lowering my service fees, standards or income. When I deal with people in my practice I deal with them as professionals - as the professional I hope I am and they are or try to be. Some may falter at times of stress or nervousness but that doesn't mean they are to be the cause of jokes for our entertainment. So, while I totally disagree with your firms actions towards people – do you know all the members of RBC? I believe some are not third party recruiters - I think you are a good story teller.
Greg Eastmer said:
Thank you for the compliment Cora. I have had a horror story similar to yours as well. With all that family around, it sounds like you will be enjoying a great Thanksgiving. Have fun!
Greg- Remember: In the end Jerry Seinfeld and all of his cohorts went to jail.....