Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Here's a column about yesterday's job fair. More observations that didn't make the column are below, in the next post. Those are the exclusive "weblog job fair outtakes," available only in the weblog (or in every conversation I'll have for the next three days, until I've gotten maximum mileage out of every funny thing I can possibly think of about the fair).

A Trip to the Job Fair

I showed up too late to the job fair this past Friday. All of the stress balls were gone. They’re my all-time favorite job fair giveaway. Overall, I was pretty underwhelmed with the things the law firms had for us. I ended up with a yo-yo, a couple of highlighters (including a really cool – but fundamentally impossible to hold in one hand and actually write with – three-sided futuristic highlighter-slash-boomerang), more pens than I’ll ever use, a garbage pail full of fake-velvet pen cases (the point of which are completely and utterly unclear to me – are they saying their pens are so valuable, you need to protect them in a tiny bag or risk them getting – what – dusty?), and a tremendous block of post-it notes from the law firm of Sticky & Stickier. LLP. Whatever that stands for. Lonely Law-firm Partners. Lawyers Loot People. Less Life Probable. Long Long Projects. Let us Leave, Please.

The yo-yo I got came in an impenetrable container. I felt awfully silly standing in front of the recruiter trying to wedge open the box. “I’m not smart enough to open a metal container, but I’d like a job at your firm.” I would have felt stupider if I’d actually handed her a resume. I only gave out one resume. Printed on plain white paper, rolled up in a ball in my pocket. Only because the woman asked for one when I reached for the velvet pen case. “Which office do you want to work for?” she asked. “New York,” I said, confidently. “Oh. We don’t have a New York office.” “I meant Washington, DC.” “We don’t have a Washington office.” “Boston?” “Nope.” She pointed to some pile of glossy literature I hadn’t noticed, in between the mints and the chocolate bars. “Our offices are listed in here. Atlanta, Milwaukee, and San Francisco.” “I guess I’ll go with Milwaukee,” I said, hoping I wouldn’t be asked why. “Why?” she asked. “I hear it’s nice there,” I lied. “Okay,” she said, pitying me and my chances of finding a job. Amazingly enough, she actually wrote Milwaukee on the top of my resume and put it in a pile. That pile just happened to be in the trash can. As I walked away, I saw her take the “moron” rubber stamp from her pocket, and stamp my resume three times. One for each city I didn’t know they didn’t have offices in.

Undergraduate job fairs were more fun than this one. I went to a technology job fair once, and walked away with seven t-shirts, four stress balls, a koosh yo-yo, three cookies, a Nerf football, four daily planners, and, unfortunately, an interview. Which, oddly enough, ended up being the job I took coming out of college. “I traded my resume for a t-shirt at a career fair, and it just sort of snowballed from there,” became the line I’d use when people asked me why I chose to come work there. No one else seemed to find it amusing.

On my way out of the job fair, I passed by the ACLU table. They were giving away some kind of small metallic container with a pull-tab. It looked very much like those small cream cheese packets they have at the Hark, or you get on airplanes or in the kinds of restaurants where waffles are available twenty-four hours a day. Cream cheese or jelly, perhaps. I was sure it was one of the two. I was assuming they had run out of bagels, and were just left with the spreads. I’m glad I didn’t ask them about the bagels. Because it wasn’t cream cheese. And I’m not sure that a bagel and a condom makes for a very satisfying afternoon snack. Seriously, why would the ACLU decide to give out condoms at a career fair? What career were they pushing? Does taking a bunch of free condoms make you a more attractive potential employee? “Hey, you taking all the condoms – looks like you’d be perfect around the office. With our Christmas party coming up and everything… can I see your resume?”