date: Mon, May 18, 2009 at 2:49 AM
subject: my interview experience
Dear Mr. Rosenbloom,
To say that I was disappointed in the execution as well as the outcome of my recent experience as a management candidate for your latest Water Taxi Beach venture would be a massive understatement. While I in no way hold out any expectation that contacting you will result in my being re-considered for a position in your company, I do hope that perhaps my effort will at least make you think twice before a similar situation causes any of you to behave so reprehensibly in the future.
After an initial productive and very pleasant first interview, I had high hopes that my job search might be coming to an end. Everyone I met during that encounter was easy to talk to, responsive and able to create a level of excitement in me which, quite frankly came as a bit of a surprise. After all the positive press I have read the last two summers in all the coverage of the LIC Water Taxi Beach, I was surprised to find it rather unimpressive. Pretty much a dingy and slightly run-down parking lot covered in a truckload of sand. The obvious selling point being a spectacular view.
In spite of this I approached the opportunity to report for computer training with the rest of the management team as a very hopeful sign. Indeed, in one of the conversations I had with Mr. Gallego before the morning of training, he stated that I would be filling out paperwork that day. Of course I took this to mean (as anyone with similar experience would) that I was all but hired.
So I was shocked and more than a little dismayed to find my self confronted first by Mr. Gallego and later by Mr. Rosenbloom and Mr. Davidoff, over allegations that my job history was checked for references and "B.B. King's had told us not to hire you." To say that I was taken aback by such a statement would be putting it mildly.
As I stated at the time, I had left my position at B.B. King's of my own volition. At the time, I had what I believed was an opportunity to open and run as a General Manager a new bar/nightclub/cabaret venture downtown on the Bowery. And while the lack of funding and budget for this venue ultimately resulted in this opportunity to not come to fruition, my time at B.B. King's was up. Again, let me reiterate that I have no doubt that we parted ways legitimately, amicably and without incident. I gave two weeks notice to my General Manager, and fulfilled that responsibility to the day. I did nothing during those two weeks to cast my tenure or departure in a negative light. I took the time to ask for and receive a letter of recommendation from the only General Manager I worked with during my employment. This is the letter of recommendation I described to Mr. Gallego, Mr. Rosenbloom and Mr. Davidoff during our conversations. I was completely puzzled as to why Mr. Rosenbloom would express no interest in seeing it when I offered to produce it as soon as possible, but I have attached a copy of this letter from October of 2005.
Without rehashing my entire resume, what I find most unsettling, besides being accused of being a "bad hire" without anyone being able to substantiate it, is the fact that I repeatedly offered to clear up whatever misgivings or misconceptions were being characterized regarding my employability. I was told alternately that "it wasn't necessary", I wasn't "being pre-judged" you were "keeping an open mind" and despite my attempts to end the day right there if necessary I was told on several occasions by Mr. Gallegos and Mr. Rosenbloom to remain in the training facility and finish the day. Which I did, despite being fairly humiliated and wildly uncomfortable. I had no idea who in the room was aware of these false accusations and what was discussed before I had arrived or whenever I left the room.
Despite having to endure "the cold shoulder" from Mr. Gallego and a series of blatantly snide and dismissive remarks courtesy of Mr. Rosenbloom I still finished the afternoon and came away demoralized but convinced that my services would prove invaluable. It was very clear to me that I was far and away best qualified to utilize the Micros POS system we were training on. I have used that system extensively and it was obvious that the learning curve for everyone in that room would be steep without some assistance. I find it unfathomable that anyone I worked with that day would be in a position to train a new staff, read and run the reports that would be generated and troubleshoot all the unfinished data management and input that will without question take place when computer technicians install a restaurant and bar POS. I dare say I actually have far more experience with the hand-held devices, their pluses and minuses and practical capabilities than even the Micros technician that was doing our training did.
In addition, I was very concerned that no one in the room seemed to have a plan in place for the kind of volume in terms of people,
cash management and security that a location such as the South St. Seaport will entail. I am confident my 5 years as a bartender in two locations at the Seaport would have come in handy, as well as my management experiences both at B.B. King's and many other large scale television, concert and private events. My impressions after the day I spent with the team you have assembled thus far are that you are woefully unprepared for the task at hand on the timetable you seem to be confidently stating.
In the last two years I have managed concert events for Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Natasha Bendingfield, Kanye West, Hot 97 as well as multiple events for the cast of Hairspray, Legally Blond, The Tony Awards, The NY Film Critic Awards and MTV. And while I failed to hold up under your no-doubt thorough reference check, I did manage to withstand the scrutiny of security teams from Mayor Giuliani, Mayor Bloomberg and former President Clinton. Be that as it may, I am completely aware that New York State is an "at will" employment state, and you are free to offer me a position or terminate the offer or my position at any time.
What I would like you to be aware of is how unprofessionally and immaturely I felt I was treated in the course of my dealings with all of you that day. If, at any time, someone would have taken the initiative to "man up" and tell me that you had reconsidered or it wasn't going to work out, I would have been just as disappointed but I would have packed up and left without incident. I am hardly physically intimidating. Instead you opted to make vague references, hold out hope that this could be resolved, and otherwise obfuscate what seems to be the truth, that you had no intention of hiring me after all. And all of this was based on someone's (nameless) opinion, not supported by any truth or facts, because there are none.
You should know that I intend to forward a copy of this e-mail to Tom Fox at Harbor Experience Companies. In addition, I will be contacting Tsion Bensusan at B.B. King's. It is my intention to remind him that New York State Labor laws allow for former employers to confirm employment dates and history, and in broadest terms recommend or not recommend someone for future employment. In my specific case, since I am confident that neither Mr. Bensusan nor anyone still connected with B.B. King's four years past my employment can offer even a single shred of disciplinary, legal or employment difficulties related to me, I will also not hesitate to point out that to continue to do so will be exposing himself (or whoever is to blame) and his company to charges of libel, slander and interfering with my ability to seek gainful employment.
I hope that this clears up a rather unpleasant and regrettable experience between your company and my self. I sincerely hope that in the future, everyone at your company takes the time to consider the consequences before leveling unsubstantiated accusations at an individual you barely know, and that you think twice before treating someone like an unwelcome suspect without any kind of recourse for defense.