Thursday, September 21, 2006


As a small child obsessed with Gilligan's Island, the Three Stooges, and Johnny Weismuller's Tarzan films, I once intercepted a phone call for my father that made my skin crawl.

The man identified himself as a headhunter.

I immediately envisioned my father's shriveled noggin swinging on a piece of twine from the roof of the caller's straw hut.

Horrified, I asked, "What do you want from him?"

His response pierced my heart like the icy blade of a spear:

"He called me, sweetheart."

"Why?" I whimpered.

"I guess he's not happy with his job."

Why on earth would a person with two small, relatively well-behaved, and pretty cute children voluntarily hand his head over to a complete stranger just because he didn't' like his job?!?

Perhaps because the man never once evinced other signs of savagery familiar to a seven year old anthropologist, like grunting "unga bunga" or pounding a bongo drum, or perhaps because some part of me refused to accept that my father was suicidal, I delivered the message to him.

I also did my best to eavesdrop on the conversation.

Later I asked, with the bravest face I could muster, "How come you called a headhunter, Poppie?"

"Well, little bubbie, I'm thinking about finding a new job."

"But why a headhunter?"

"That's just another name for a guy who helps people find jobs. Or helps companies find people."


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Blogger karen said...

I can't say I was as young when I first heard the term headhunter and had similar mental pictures float through my head, but I can totally relate!
I still don't like the term. It makes me think they're out to get you, not out to help you.
Great post, Meredith. Should I guess from this that you're looking for a new job? There's lots in NYC you know. . . :)

7:29 AM


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