Francisco had already dropped off his resume in 15 offices by lunch and 10 more after. He managed to have conversations with receptionists in nearly every office and got called in to a couple offices for more in-depth conversations with Chiefs of Staff and Legislative Directors. Most of the conversations started out, “We aren’t really looking to hire anybody right now but…” It was frustrating.
He’d recently finished his degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley. He’d been a fraternity man, an active part of the student government, and a board member of the Inter-Fraternity Council. He had been well-known and well-liked back in Berkeley. But all of that meant nothing here. He was unknown and nobody wanted to go out of their way to help.
Katharine’s father, a politically-connected businessman, had helped Francisco with a list of offices he should hit while in town. Among them were state senators, gubernatorial appointees, lobbyists, campaign strategists, and researchers. So far, his troubles had been fruitless. If this trip didn’t provide any new job leads, Francisco would have to move in with his parents in the Central Valley. That wasn’t much of an option for him.
There were two resumes left in his hand. He looked down at his list and picked the most promising names: Ted McGuiness and Senator Smith. McGuinness was the only campaign strategist left on the list. The Senator had been a favorite professor of Francisco’s before getting elected. He was standing in front of the Capitol and the strategist’s office was near Katharine’s place.
The professor’s office was first. Unfortunately, the staff had already left for the day except for a disinterested secretary. Francisco quickly scribbled a personal note to his former professor and asked the secretary to be sure her boss got to see the resume. She assured him she would. He was sure his resume would be stuck in her inbox long after he’d been forgotten.
Only one more stop to go then he needed a drink. “Maybe Kathy has some whiskey in her kitchen,” he thought to himself.
He walked down the street the few blocks to the address for the campaign strategist’s office. The firm was housed in a restored Edwardian house with a stained glass window featuring a sailboat. A small sign in front of the building read, “McGuinness Group.”
He straightened his tie and adjusted his jacket before climbing the stairs to the open front door, stopping to knock on the screen.
There was no answer.
He knocked again and called out, “Hello?” as he opened the screen door and took a step into the hallway.
“Can I help you?” a voice called from the room with the sailboat window.
“Hello! I’m Francisco. A friend of mine said I ought to speak with Mr. McGuinness while in town. You see, I’ve recently graduated from Cal and…”
“You’re looking for a job. Cary sent you, right? Come in here and let’s take a look at your resume,” the man interrupted.
Francisco followed the man into a well-appointed office, too large for a receptionist and with furnishings too nice for an assistant.
After reviewing the resume, the man chatted with Francisco about Berkeley and the prospects for the football season next year. It was clear that Francisco was talking with Ted McGuinness, himself. Embarrassed, he realized that he must have used the wrong door. There must have been a door downstairs on the ground level. When Ted walked him out of the building, he found that main entrance was actually in the back of the building.
Ted explained, “With a little more experience, I think you have the makings to be a top notch staffer. I’ll keep an eye out for you and we’ll see if we can find something for you,” before he walked Francisco out and left him with a handshake.
Francisco realized this was a form of, “don’t call us, we’ll call you,” but was more encouraged by this meeting than he’d been by any he had yet today.
As he walked toward Katharine’s apartment, he checked his voicemail. One message.
“I think I know about a job for you…”