“So, Steve Straslinger…huh. I bet that’s fun to say with a lisp: Thteve Thtrathlinger! Yeah, I like it: THTEEEEVE THTRATHHHLINGERRR!”
That was how Steve’s job interview started, and it got weirder from there. The interviewer, who called himself DJ, was the supervisor of the department, and appeared to be a world-class flake.
But two days later, DJ called Steve and offered him the job, and Steve needed it, so he accepted it.
He arrived at the office Monday, and it turned out DJ had the rest of the staff in on the “Thteve Thtrathlinger” joke. That’s all anyone called him: “Hey–THTEVE THTRATHLINGER!” And they were especially fond of yelling his lisp name at him in long, drawn-out syllables:
In fact, that’s about all any of them seemed to do. Steve noticed pretty quickly that there didn’t seem to be much work getting done in the office at all. He’d go to DJ and ask what it was he was supposed to be doing or learning, and DJ would just blow him off, tell him not to worry about it and that for right now, he should just “observe”. The problem was, the only things he observed were people shouting “THTEVE THTRATHLINGER!” at him, and occasionally, a co-worker here or there hunched over their desks at random times of the day, engaged in what sounded like threatening phone calls.
So while it was shocking, it wasn’t entirely surprising to Steve when the cops raided the office a month or so after he’d started. It turned out DJ and his staff were running a two-bit numbers racket. No one had revealed to Steve the true nature of their business yet because they first had to decide if they could trust him (that’s what the cops told him, anyway).
And then it suddenly made sense to Steve why DJ had always been so vague about the job, ever since the first interview, and why he had always placed so much emphasis on Steve’s employment being on a “trial basis”.
THE MORALS OF THE STORY?
1) Those HR career advice people are right: When you go for a job interview, make sure you ask plenty of questions and know what you’re getting into. Steve didn’t, and look what happened to him: He spent three hours in an interrogation room with detectives playing “good cop/bad cop” until they were finally convinced he wasn’t a significant part of DJ’s illegal lottery. And what did he gain from the experience? Not something he could put on his resume, that’s for certain.
2) “Steve Straslinger” really is fun to say with a lisp. Go ahead, try it.
I know, right?