Shorty Gets the Shaft

A couple of years ago, I was contacted by a search consultant (also euphemistically known in the business community as a “headhunter”) about a very senior business development position at a major financial institution in Chicago. I was very excited about this opportunity, because it was a HUGE job, with a HUGE salary, at a VERY, VERY prestigious establishment.

Once the headhunter received my resume’, he was as equally excited about this opportunity, saying that it would be a perfect match for someone with my credentials and experience. We hurriedly set up lunch for the very next day at the Tower Club in the Civic Opera Building at 20 N. Wacker Dr. in Chicago. (For those not in the know, the 20 N. Wacker building is a veritable warren of both headhunters and outplacements consultants. I wonder if they feed off of each other.)

At any rate, on the day of the luncheon, I put on my best blue suit, had a smile on my face, and a very positive and confident attitude. I was at the “top of my game”, so to speak.

As I strode through the door of the Tower Club, I saw the headhunter, whom I had never met before, standing in the doorway. I confidently put out my hand to shake his, and he looked at me and said, “I was expecting someone taller.”

With that, he closed his portfolio and put his pen back in his pocket. We sat down and had a very pleasant lunch. But, the issue of the job never came up.

All of my education, all of my experience, all of my connections, all of my hard work for so many years—meant nothing.


After lunch, we shook hands and parted. There were tears in my eyes as I walked back to the office.

The headhunter never returned my phone calls, when I followed up to enquire about the job-and, I never heard from him again.

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