Times Are Tough; Be Prepared

Quote of the Day:      “When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em “Certainly I can!” Then get busy and find out how to do it.”     —Teddy Roosevelt

One of the risks of having a blog of observation, instigation and conversation is that some day in the invisible future somebody I might ask to give me a job might run a little internet search and find this little corner of the universal web and might not care for Philosobaen, Radicalbaen, or even pickinbaen. It’s never been easy for TB to get a job and with the economy shedding jobs like Paula Abdul sheds brain cells, it occurs that it might be tough for a lot of folks to get hired and that I might use this little forum to provide you with a few tips for your next interview, along with an illustration of a true interview transcript from TB’s past.

In your interview, here are some Do’s and Don’ts:

  • When asked where you see yourself in the company, DO say “in your job eventually.” DON’T add “cause you don’t do jack!”
  • When asked what your hobbies are, DO say, “I like to read.” DON’T follow that up with, “Say….you ever check out Travellinbaen?”
  • They will usually ask you about your salary requirements. DO say, “I need my pay to be comparable to the prevailing wages in the area for this job.” DON’T add “but even that’s not enough to buy enough weed AND booze  to get me through the week so really, you’re gettin a bargain.”
  • If they want to know how you heard about the opening, DO say “your wife mentioned it to me through a mutual acquaintance.” DON’T say that “by the way she’s got a nice ass. Really, I like ’em big like that. So does my buddy. That’s why he became a gigolo.”
  • And if they want to know if you have experience in front of a crowd, DO say “I sang a little at this club when I was in college.” Leave it at that. DON’T say, “I call it the Proud Larry’s story…..”

And now, the promised transcript, exactly as it happened almost exactly eleven years ago:

Larry–Good morning TB. Thanks for dropping by.

TB–Well, I had court in town this morning and it was convenient. I’m really interested in your opening and I think I’m just what you’re looking for.

Larry–Great. Well, let’s get started. Do you have a resume I can look at?

TB–Uhhh. No. I didn’t even know I’d be coming by to talk to you until I got a call from JBE yesterday.

Larry–Oh, sure. No problem. Tell me about your law school career. How were your grades?

TB–(seeing the writing on the wall–I ain’t getting this job)–I had a 2.46. People say I should round it up to 2.5 but I kind of like to be more specific.

Larry–Ummm. Ok. Well, how about extracurricular activities? Law Journal? Moot Court? Legal fraternity?

TB-Nope, none of that.

Larry–Well, how’d you do in undergrad?


Larry–That’s pretty good. What did you study?


Larry–Oh. (pause) How about extracurricular activities in undergrad? Were you in a frat?

TB–Nope, GDI. But l I did play a lot of intramurals. Mainly I just drank a lot of beer and chased girls. Pretty much the same thing I did in law school.

Larry–High School? 

TB–Mostly B’s. I played baseball a couple of years.

Larry–Were you in Beta Club? Key Club? AP classes?

TB–Nope. Wait, I think I got inducted to Key Club in 12th grade, but I never went to a meeting or anything. I’m in the yearbook picture so I guess that’s close enough.

Larry–(at a loss for words)<blank stare>

TB–<blank stare>(letting the silence hang uncomfortably for a few moments; then,)–Look, here’s the deal. If you want someone with good grades, a lot of college activities, frat connections and that sort of thing, I’m not your guy. But if you want someone who knows how to try a case, has two years of experience going to court nearly every day, can step in and cross examine a witness on day one and will work cheaper than anyone else you’re going to interview, I’m your man.

Maybe you’re damn dubious about whether it happened this way, but it did. And for some reason I got the job.


A little lagniappe–here’s Elizabeth Cook, my favorite XM 12 DJ who I have a bit of a crush on (Larry I bet you like her too) singing “Times Are Tough in Rock and Roll.” The lyrics are pretty bland and the accent is borderline offensive, but the overall tune has a hypnotic effect on TB and I kind of dig it. MD, don’t click. It will make your head explode.

About travellinbaen

I'm a 40 year old lawyer living in Ridgeland, Mississippi. I'm several years and a couple hundred miles removed from most of my old running buddies so I started the blog to provide an outlet for many of the observations and ideas that used to be the subjects of our late night/happy hour/halftime conversations and arguments.
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7 Responses to Times Are Tough; Be Prepared

  1. DWit, I know you’ve got some wisdom to add to my list, so fire away.

  2. Stone says:

    Larry interviewed you?

    I would love to have seen that.

    You interviewed me. I like to think I got hired because I answered the play calling question correctly.

  3. Third and goal from the one. You said fake the dive, roll out and hit the tight end stepping across the line and that earned my endorsement, so you had that going for you. Which was nice.

  4. Madd Dawg says:

    My interview for my three-month stint at your old firm was on the beach at Horn island drinking lots of beer and talking about football with RW, you, Stone and JE.
    No legal/resume questions were asked. I was hooked.

  5. sweet says:

    how can you get to Horn Island when you don’t get on boats? did they airlift your ass?

  6. Ashley says:

    I like this approach. Honest. Forthright. No bullshit. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to get an interview. I get slammed with the same bs questions over and over (except they are along the lines of “what are your best qualities?” “what are your worst…blah blah blah” If I ever get another interview, which seems doubtful at this juncture, I’m taking the TB approach. I’m smarter than most people employed here, and I can do the job if you’ll give me a gd chance. What do you think?

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