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Tales from Seattle Trek

As I boarded the plane, I looked forward to a relaxing weekend in Seattle (anagram of: last tee; now you try one). The cushy US Air seats immediately helped soften the blows I had been dealt by several firms in an industry that sounds like “gone sulking.” Never would I have predicted what was about to happen Saturday, Feb 18th at the SeattleTrek job fair.
The event started as one would expect. I scavenged the room for freebies while eager classmates distracted company representatives with subtle questions such as, “Will you hire me?” I had already secured a half-pound of Starbuck’s coffee, a Voicestream chocolate bar, and a Photoworks.com fridge magnet when a distinct odor caught my attention. I isolated it to a table occupied by Plaidshirt.com, a division of Bain & Kurt Company. The smell seemed to be wafting off the lone representative of this company who also had a big bloody gash on his head. He looked very familiar but I couldn’t make the connection until I focused in on the parent company’s name. And so the interview began….
Kurt Cobain: Hey.
Jeff Chochinov: Eh, I noticed your parent company’s name bears a striking resemblance to the late prophet of grunge rock, Kurt Cobain.
KC: I dunno what you mean?
JC: [Using the intuition I had gained from countless consulting cases.] I suspect that if you abbreviate the word Company to Co. and reverse the Kurt and Bain, you are left with Kurt CoBain and therefore, I conclude that there are approximately 15,000 inflatable goats in the US.
KC: Man, you’re the first dude to figure that out, have you considered a career in consulting.
JC: Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh, baaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh,
KC: Wouldja mind keeping this quiet. My fans wouldn’t understand.
JC: No problem, can I just ask you a few questions
KC: [Shrugs shoulders]
JC: First of all, aren’t you dead?
KC: Fortunately second round funding come through just be fore the crash of March 2000.
JC: No, I mean didn’t you blow your brains out?
KC: Didn’t everyone in the dot.com world?
JC: But your brains, weren’t they painted all over your garage wall?
KC: So like I was inspired by Jeff Bezos. He started Amazon.com out of his garage, but it was a so dingy in my garage. All it needed was a new coat of paint.
Sensing that zombie boy was not getting the question, I switched gears!
JC: After your apparent death, Nirvana was the most popular band in the world. Why not continue making music?
KC: I knew Act II would require a big departure from my earlier successes. I sensed the US Flannel plaid shirt market was underserved in the U.S. and had a vision of the web becoming huge. So I cleaned the garage and those pesky spiders were gone in no time. Get it-huge web – cleaned it, spiders gone.
Kurt began to laugh almost as uncontrollably as Jeff Bezos when asked by a shareholder if Amazon was a not-for-profit organization. I became scared and started to back away when Kurt’s laughter ceased.
KC: Hey man, stay for a bit, I’ll give you some TAZO Tea samples from the Starbucks table. That’s the first time I ever laughed in my life. You’re a funny guy. Are you interested in a summer internship?
Despite Kurt’s pungent body odor and the oozing bloody gash on his head, this was the best offer I had received this year. My BATNA was from the catering service at the Job Fair.
JC: I’m still in advance stages with several firms and do not feel comfortable pursuing other options at this point. If (read: when) those options do not crystallize, I would like to explore opportunities at Plaidshirt.com.
…and then he looked at my with those rabid puppy dog eyes and I couldn’t resist.
JC: Nevermind
After he removed his gloves with the fingertips cut off, we shook on it. Look forward to my summer job report on the career services web site.

February 26, 2001
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