Chapter Three – And The Fellow Meets Jayne

It was another un-extraordinary day at the firm. The office smelled like a smorgasboard of scents, familiar yet unfamiliar. From the piercing aroma of the coffee brewing in the office kitchen, to the latest Dior that her fellow finance and accounting recruiter Ellen was wearing, to the warm toasty donuts that were sitting on the conference table. Anyone walking through their domain was bound to wince at least once or twice or even sneeze at the crafty combination of scents that filled the office.

Gray cubicles dubbed as the ‘bullpen’ contained young and hyperactive recruiters eager to get their early start in leaving voice mails for prospective clients. Alice walked in with her Bottega Veneta clutch wearing her black stilettos which she deemed fitting for what she had planned with her day today. She was hoping to catch Darren before their meeting to tell him about her new venture. She took a deep breath as if she were marching down a church isle to attend a funeral.

If I give my two-week notice now, I might be able to take some time off before I start at Cave.

Alice had met with Jayne Harrison shortly after her interview with Terri Mayland. It turns out that they absolutely loved her and Terri wanted her to meet Jayne as soon as possible.

A couple of days later she found herself in the very same fishbowl discussing org charts and labor structure redesign with Jayne Harrison, Cave’s Regional Director of Human Resources. Two hours later she found herself on the phone with Terri accepting the offer to work at Cave as the Human Resources Administrator for a couple of the newest acquisitions that Cave had just inked a deal with. She had no idea at the time the effect that both Jayne and Terri would have on her outlook and career at Cave.

All three recruiters in  the hub ran full desks – this meant that they hunted for both clients and candidates. Last months numbers put the hub into billing over $500k after closing  seven direct-hire positions back to back. You see, we use the term hunt since they were typically referred to as ‘headhunters’ in the industry. Out to poach talent from competitors and place them in the innocuous organizations that negotiated the best percentage per any given job order. Thinking about this made Alice’s stomach turn. No matter the money she brought in with Fellow, there was something distasteful about holding out a candidate for the highest bidder. These people had their careers in their hands after all.

Ring. Without hesitation she answered her phone.

“Fellows Staffing, this is Alice McQueen.”

A frantic voice greeted her on the other line.

“Alice, I thought you should know that Darren’s deal fell through with Brazen Corporation today, the Corporate Controller declined the offer. So today may not be a good day to tell him that you are looking for another job.”

It was Stella, the Account Executive that doubled as their receptionist.

“No problem Stella, I wasn’t planning on giving notice today. I haven’t heard back from Cave yet.”

Alice surely did not want any of her co worker’s knowing about her plans to abandon ship prior to her letting Darren know and she surely was not going to let the gabby little Stella in on the secret.

“Ok, but I thought I would just give you a heads up – he hasn’t checked his messages yet.”

Alice hung up and poked her head up from her cube. She motioned for Stella to hang up her phone and as she did Alice quietly raised her forefinger to her mouth in motion for her to hush. Stella nodded in a schizophrenic rhythm and returned back to working on her computer.

I swear, she’s going to be the death of me. She thought quietly.

It was 7:38 am and getting close to their daily meeting when  Darren Gaspar entered the bullpen and tossed his Louis Vouitton monogram messenger back onto his desk. Darren was the hotshot recruiter that was promoted to a hub manager two months before she was hired He had given himself quite a reputation at Fellow by filling twelve corporate controller positions in just under three months of getting hired. Today was the big day for Darren as he knew that another one of the magical deals would be closing.

Darren managed to consistently harbor a great attitude no matter what.  She wondered what his reaction would be to the news about Brazen. He smiled and greeted everyone in the bullpen.

“Ladies, I am getting ready to close the biggest deal that this firm has ever seen.”

Ellen looked up from her desk, her wiry frame and huge horn-rimmed glasses gave people the impression that she was always look at something other than you when she spoke.

“What is it today? A 75K fee?” She paused as if to interrupt herself and slowly mumbled, “I really hope this closes Darren, we have been working on this deal for over two and a half months.”

“Oh ye of little faith, didn’t anyone ever tell you how annoying it is when you are that negative?”

“I was just saying.” Ellen retorted.

Alice tuned the twosome out as they discussed their candidates and reasons why this position would be filled in a matter of minutes. All Darren had to do was call the candidate to see if he accepted the offer. She heard him speaking faintly in the background.

“I spoke with my candidate last night and he was thrilled when I called to tell him that Brazen was making him an offer. I wonder why he hasn’t called me yet to tell me the good news? — eh, maybe he’s holding out, I better call him.”

Alice interrupted.  “On second thought Darren why don’t we have our meeting first?” She graciously took the phone out of his hands and place it back on the receiver.



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