Almost there...

Saturday, March 27, 2004

So Tuesday was a not fun day at work, as noted before. But what sense is there in complaining if I'm not willing to do something different?

So I decided to go up the casting call for "The Apprentice 2" today in San Francisco. I arrived at 8 and stood in a line that wrapped around the entire block, then was just beginning to curl back on it's tail. That U-Turn spot made for some instant bonding in the line. Within minutes, a chap from Lake Tahoe (Stan) had me in a picture with him, and we were all swapping stories about what brought us there today.

At 9am, they started handing out wristbands, and the line structure started collapsing, but I managed to stay close to Stan and Chrisalyn and Larissa, and we all started our long journey around the block. They handed out nearly 700 wristbands, and I was number 576. You would think that standing on a sidewalk with 700 strangers would be boring or torturesome, but really, I had a grand time.

I got to read a bit of my book, but mostly I got to spend a lot of time getting to know a dozen or so different folks. I would've expected to find more unemployed folks there, but everyone there seemed to be working and very successful. There were people from so many different arenas of business - a sales engineer at Cisco, a finance manager for Triple A, an interior designer, a real estate broker, a chap who works in mergers and acquisitions, an entrepreneur creating his own products, and so on. If you ever wanted to know what to do with your life, asking these 700 people what they're doing with their lives might be a good start.

At some point, it really was an endurance test.

I made it through the first three sides of the block before I had to break down and run find lunch, but a four block walk to Togos was just the refreshment I needed. The line really brought out the best in everyone. People were plenty willing to hold a spot for you while your ran to get food or coffee or to the bathroom. People even watched your bag or moved your chair along for you. Everyone in line was being the best person they could be that day, and that alone was worth my time.

At 4:30, we were at the door, and we had a team of 8 together who were sticking together. They were interviewing in groups of 13, so we had a few extra folks with us, but it was almost instantly apparent that we had an advantage by having gotten to know one another over the past 8 hours. Brandon, the interviewer, asked us a few questions about current events, then asked us about the current season, and finally, asked us who we felt was a leader amongst us. I was so pleased when Stan, the fellow who I was going to name as a leader in my opinion, named me as the one who he thought was a good leader. I was so surprised, but I couldn't have been more tickled. After 20 minutes, it was all over, and we were back on the street headed home. I don't know how he managed it, but I suggested we all get a photo, and Brandon, who had been interviewing all day long, as part of a 20 day, 5 city trip to do these interviews, was kind enough to take the photo for us.

I don't know what will happen next. If they decide I'm "Apprentice" material, they'll call back sometime this week. If not, that's okay. I'm glad I went just for the sake of the experience. Now if only I'd worn sunblock...


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