This actually happened and should bring a smile.
A very senior, highly respected candidate lost his job. He told me he wanted to do something different – he had worked for big agencies his whole career. He had become the director of account management at a highly respected large creative shop; now he wanted to try smaller.
After a few months of looking I came up with an opportunity at q well known recent start-up. At the time, they were about twelve or fifteen people - all young and aggressive. The chairman/creative director, who was about 32 or 33 was looking for a potential partner and a director of account management. I sent Steve. Now Steve was very dynamic, very quick on his feet and extremely outspoken. He was also about 5’7”, if that.
Steve interviewed, had dinner with the chairman and was hired. On his first day on the job he was taken around the agency and introduced to everyone. One person he met was an account executive who doubled as the head of new business. The chairman told the two of them that they should talk. Later in the day, Steve walked into the account person’s office and asked if he had a couple of minutes to chat. The account person, we’ll call him Alan, said he would come down to Steve’s office in a couple of minutes.
When he showed up, he was full of bravado, which took Steve somewhat aback. Their very brief conversation went something like this:
Alan: “How do you feel about being the oldest one here?”
Steve: “Not nearly as bad as I do about being the shortest one here.” The response was immediate and without hesitation.
Five minutes later the chairman came in and fired the new employee. No reason given.
You can’t make this stuff up.