Green Eyes On A House Of Cards

I wonder what you’ll think about this. And I wonder what you’d have done in my position…

As a recruiter I interview all the time. It’s my job. But having been given a position of responsibility in the consultancy I work for (well I’d like to think I’ve earned it), team management comes into play too. But we’re a quirky little group whose individual idiosyncrasies are our very raison d’etre. And that means if you’re gonna join us, you’ve got to be something pretty special, and a little bit “different”.

Okay, so the other day one of directors asked me to interview someone he’d seen recently whom he thought might be a great acquisition for the company. I guess it’s a testament to how well I’ve done here that it’s fallen to me to run the others on a daily basis; so switching professions from good old media sales when I did is still proving to be the right move then. It’s something I now take pretty seriously too. No more shenanigans like at Archers once upon a time. Work and play, though both governed by the arguably masked assurance of who I’ve become, have for a long time now measured their mutual success by leading very separate lives. So you’d say I’ve compartmentalised then? Maybe so. Anyway, it helps.

However, having met her there’s since been a wobble on all I’ve meticulously crafted over the last four years. And I’m talking seriously big tremors on the Richter Scale here, not merely those usual glitches like when I get clumsily drunk or occasionally waylaid by a melancholy “sometimes” moment over Jane.

It wasn’t entirely instantaneous. When we shook hands I’ll admit she was arresting but hey I’m used to that now, and I’ve probably had my fair share (something you’d have never said about me once upon a time). I mean I’ve at least broken one rule in this gig and that’s involved the odd dalliance with a candidate or even client, but these were safe and we all knew the score (sort of) so I’ve let myself off on a technicality since strictly speaking they weren’t under this roof. Anyway, yes she was indeed arresting; blonde, nice figure, classily spoken in a Scandinavian kind of way (Danish), about my age (34) or slightly older and stylishly businesslike. Notice how typically blokish my description is. I mean that’s how I’d been approaching things for a long time now, that’s how I’d been preferring to have fun; keeping it light, keeping it uninvolved.

And then we sat down and started to talk, me combing her CV for clues, she responding coolly, calmly, assertively. It should have been a duel. I mean if she was going to work for us then I was supposed to get under skin at least a little. But with every question came a measured answer, and quite a smile, and behind both an insight I started to find compelling. Not only compelling but also unsettling. It wasn’t that she could match me (which by the way she did with effortless aplomb); it was more that I was starting to enjoy just chatting to her. So much so that inwardly I was rapidly beginning to get bored with merely sticking to the interview script and found myself preferring to wander down different, unrelated paths that talked anything but shop.  
The big wow though was her eyes. Green eyes. And she spoke, smiled, laughed with them as much as she used her voice, their very expressiveness the captivating clinch. And I don’t know why, and maybe I’m being fanciful here, but I could tell (I’m sure of it) that her replies were becoming more than just “saying the right thing” to please a potential employer/manager because pretty soon we really were just talking. And because we were talking, and clicking (we had mutual interests, mutual humour, mutual perspectives) I was starting to forget myself.

But here’s the thing. I’ve come across people like this before, and fancied them like hell, and over the last four years “things” have happened as a result. But here, here it was slightly different. I wasn’t entertaining the usual more shallow thoughts that often accompanied such acquaintances. Instead I could have just happily sat there talking to her all day, all night, all year! In fact leaping into bed with her (which don’t get me wrong was an enticing prospect) was way secondary to just the charm I felt in her company. That was it; I started “liking” her. And how the f*** was I going to “manage” someone if those sort of feelings were playing around my head.

When we eventually said goodbye, shook hands, smiled some more, parted in so obviously mutual wonderful moods, she must have thought I’d pass on my recommendations to my director to take her on. But in fact I did the very opposite, saying she wasn’t quite “us”, even though I hadn’t really dug deep enough to find that out for sure. Why did I do that! Why have I pretty much broken a law? Because how could I have worked with her, let alone managed her? Can you imagine the conflict that might arise, having to juggle ruthless professionalism and unbiased parity with a white picket fence fantasy? Even if she “did” possibly feel the same, it’d be such a bad move.

Okay then, so if we’ve turned her down then I’m going to look her up again free of this constraint instead right? God no. I mean if she ever found out that I didn’t give her a shot (I’ve heard she was interested in one) purely to maintain my own equilibrium do you reckon she’d give me the time of day? I think not! Look I know I’ve been musing lately on the possibilities of relationships etc but in this instance I think I’ll have to let it lie.

But you know such green eyes, and such “something”; hell I’m rattled…   


By Bastian Dash

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