A horrible interview experience with Harpo Productions, Inc., the media fiefdom of Oprah Winfrey, became the impetus of this blog and was featured prominently in a Wall Street Journal column by Management News Editor Joann Lublin, which I wrote about last October.
Last week, I visited a former colleague, a corporate communications executive for a major entertainment company in NYC. The executive had been my original conduit to Lisa Halliday, Harpo's top flack, and the soulless sociopath who treated me so badly after essentially promising me a job during an interview many years ago. The former colleague I visited in Manhattan had given Halliday her first job in PR, and they had stayed in touch over the years.
I originally came to Halliday's attention after she called my former colleague and asked for Chicago-area candidates she could interview for an opening. My former colleague (and Halliday's former boss) recommended me.
Minutes after getting that initial call from Harpo, I shot my resume over to Halliday, and we met within a few days, during which time she told me the job was mine and we'd take care of the details after she took a previously planned vacation. (You can read the rest of my fairy-tale-turned-nightmare story by clicking here.)
Fast-forward five years, to my interview with The Wall Street Journal's Lublin, who subsequently recounted my Harpo interview experience in the pages of the newspaper (without, however, naming Harpo or Halliday). Seems when Lublin called Halliday for comment about why she had treated me so badly, Halliday became very, very worried about how said column would reflect upon Harpo and her. She called her old boss/my former colleague to enlist his help in refreshing her memory about our interview. As he recounted the conversation to me, it seems she had ABSOLUTELY NO MEMORY WHATSOEVER of my interview with her and all of the marvelous things she said to me about my imminent employment with Harpo! Nothing, nada.
Exactly how little emotional intelligence are people required to have to be hiring managers? Or put more simply, "Who raised these people?"