Fenno stepped off of the elevator on the thirtieth floor of the skyscraper. A beautiful, dark wood surrounded him. The reception area of the law firm was completely quiet. He tried to steady the shaking of his hands. Of his forty-eight interviews, this was the only callback that he had received. He had to make this one work.
“Hi, um, my name is Fenno. I’m here to speak with Mr. Davis.”
“Down that hallway — room 3005,” said the receptionist. She didn’t even look up.
Fenno walked towards the room trying to assume an air of power. He walked into room 3005. The hiring partner was on the phone, but he looked up long enough to gesture to Fenno that he should have a seat. Fenno wondered who he could be speaking to so harshly.
“That’s right I don’t care…No, you will definitely be working all this weekend…Did we ever say that we guaranteed a braces-for-your-kid-bonus? He’ll learn to live with a lisp…Yeah, and after you do that call my broker and have him short some more airline stock,” said the partner. He slammed the phone down.
“Fenno! Sorry about that. I’m so glad you were able to make it down here.”
“Well, I really appreciate your inviting me down here.”
“It is our pleasure, Fenno. Mind if I smoke?” He lit a cigar and began blowing smoke rings. Fenno couldn’t be sure, but it seemed that the partner was taking extra care to blow the smoke directly into his face.
“Fenno, we think that you could potentially be a great part of our team.”
“Well, I really appreciate you saying that sir. I have a great deal of admiration for the lawyers who make up your litigation group particul-“
“What did you say?” asked the partner. Fenno cocked his head in confusion.
“Did you say something about law? You think we want you for law Fenno?!” The partner exploded in laughter. He picked up Fenno’s transcript off of the desk and released a series of chortles and snorts that were very hyena-like. Then the laughter stopped. He put the transcript down and put his cigar out on it.
“I didn’t bring you here to crack jokes, Fenno, though what you said was very humorous. I thought that your resume and transcript would have made clear that we could never want you for any law job.”
“We want you to work as a summer cook in our kitchen. I saw at the bottom of your resume that you listed gourmet cooking as one of your interests.”
“But I go to Harvard Law School! Cooking is just a hobby!”
“Hobbies are what we call jobs during bad times, Fenno! In a depression, there are no hobbies. Do you want the job or not?”
Fenno pressed his temples. This could not be happening. He refused to accept that timing alone could make his fate and Mark Cuban’s so different.
“Can I think about it until tomorrow?” said Fenno. The partner nodded as Fenno stood up and walked out of the office. He felt heavy as he approached the elevator.
“Hi Fenno,” said a passing voice. Fenno picked up his head long enough to see that it was a jubilant Dave Min heading to an interview. Min paused and barfed in a trash can just before leaving the reception area. He seemed to suck his teeth for a moment, and then in a heartbeat he was smiling again, headed down towards room 3005. Fenno hoped that he would not be working in the kitchen too.
As Fenno rode the elevator down, he wondered if working in a law firm’s kitchen would fit within the LIPP guidelines. He pondered whether or not the Bush administration would reinstate debtor’s prisons. He hoped so. It would be like an HLS reunion, if things kept up.
When Fenno got back to Harvard, he climbed the steps out of the subway station. He decided to head to OCS to see what they could do. As he walked, Fenno glanced to his left and noticed the graveyard on Mass Ave. He started whistling.