I’m currently writing from the Sheraton in Boston enjoying a cup of New England Clam Chowder, and here’s reason #8,013 why I’m not perfect (I know, it’s a conservative number, but bear with me). My lovely girlfriend is taking the Massachuesets bar exam today, after having taken the multistate and New York state exams over the previous two days. Let me start off by saying she’s been an absolute saint for taking this and has been pretty good for the whole process. No breakdowns. And the bar process is miserable, no mistake about it. My condolences and congratulations to everyone who had to partake over the last few months.
So, we’ve been preparing for this for a little bit and I knew I was going to be in Boston on Thursday and Friday morning with free time. To stay busy, I reached out to Noam Wasserman, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School and best selling author of “The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup .” Noam was very friendly over email and accepted my invitation for an interview. This morning, I showed up on campus at 10:15 AM for a 10:30 meeting, walked around a little bit, went to the 2nd floor of the Rock Center, and knocked on his door. Someone who was not Noam opened the door, I looked in, and saw Noam and some others in the middle of a meeting. After fumbling around for words, Noam asks me to come back later. On a second review of our email exchange, Noam had asked me to stop by on Friday and not Thursday. I was a full 24-hours early. I turned around, got back to my hotel, did some work, and I’m sitting at the bar right now.
This is not the first time this has happened. It’s the 3rd time in the past year. About a year ago I was interviewing for a new role in my firm. The one group I desperately wanted to get into extended me an invitation to interview. Tuesday morning, I showed up 10 minutes early for an 11am meeting, greeted the manager, and she informed me I was twenty minutes late. Wrong time, 10:30 meeting. The manager was annoyed but ultimately understanding and re-scheduled for the next day. The next day, I showed up 10 minutes early, had the secretary call the manager and waited for 15 minutes. The manager finally emerged from from an elevator bank, walked up to me and asked “what the hell are you doing on the wrong floor?” First day, wrong time. Second day, wrong floor. Even more idiotically, I showed up on the correct floor the first day. Don’t ask me how, but yes, I got the job. Third experience? Right place, right time, wrong day.
Those are the instances that stick out in my mind, but I’m sure it’s much more common place than that. In each one, I was thoroughly prepared. I researched my groups or interview subjects and was ready to discuss whatever. There’s just that little detail of the when and where. I’ll figure it out someday.
Anyways, I meet Noam tomorrow. I’m excited to talk about his book, which was on the reading list and is now finished. That will eventually get posted to the Harbor.
If I meet with anyone of you readers in the future, please do me a favor. Can you send me the calendar invite? As my brother frequently tells me, for a smart kid, I’m really dumb sometimes. And as Bill Simmons frequently says, the lesson as always? I’m an idiot.