“John, you look terrible,” observes our waitress Beverly. “I mean you look troubled…yes…that’s what I meant to say.”
“Yeah, I can hear your concern,” John replies sarcastically.
“No, Beverly is right,” I concur. “What’s troubling you, my friend?”
“We have to hire a new football coach,” John groans and shakes his head. “It’s so much work and I don’t know if I’m up to it.”
“Are you on the search committee?” queries Beverly. “Today’s coffee special should help. It’s a Peaberry grade Bani from the Dominican Republic.”
“Beverly, I think this looks like a two-pot day,” I warn.
“Better make it three,” John desponds, “Hiring a university coach is so grueling.”
“Well, I’m on a faculty search committee to hire a new assistant professor in journalism,” I note. “That’s far worse.”
“Yeah, right,” smirks John.
“Why is hiring a new professor so hard?” asks Beverly as she places Peaberry grade Bani pot one on the table.
“First, you have to get university approval to hire a new teacher.”
“That should be easy,” John jokes.
“Second, we have to form a departmental search committee,” I add.
“No problem there,” Beverly speculates as she pulled up a chair. “It’s a slow day…just you two guys,” she smiles.
“Third, we have to write a job description that everyone agrees on.”
“Everyone?” marvels John.
“Yup, including the university. Next it’s advertising the opening.”
“All standard stuff it seems,” Beverly comments.
“Next we have to review and evaluate the resumes of every candidate,” I continue.
“Just a single piece of paper front and back no doubt,” John suggests.
“In your dreams,” I rebut. “An average of 20 pages plus three examples of the candidates’ research.”
“You’re kidding?” Beverly voices.
“Oh, we’re just getting started. Now we have to call references.”
“What? You actually want a background check?” says a shocked John.
“I think it’s called vetting these days,” Beverly clarifies as she brings Peaberry grade Bani pot two.
“Not done yet,” I sigh. “Now we have to ask permission from the university to invite three applicants to campus for interviews.”
“You can do all three on the same day, right?” John assumes.
“Dream on smart guy,” Beverly guesses.
“After the applicants leave campus, our search committee has to debate whether we want to hire the qualitative researcher or the quantitative scholar.”
“The qual…what? What is that?” John stammers.
“Wait. We’re not done yet. Now it’s time for our faculty to vote…”
“Surely you’re joking,” John wonders as he pulls the second coffee pot to his side of the table.
“If the university agrees, then we can begin salary negotiations with the applicant.”
“And you’ll pay this person how much?” Beverly winks knowingly.
“About $60,000 a year,” I confirm with a smile. “
“No way!” doubts John.
“True, true. It takes about nine months and you have to start early. Why? How do you hire a new coach?”
“Well…the athletic director calls three of his buddies to get some names.”
“And…” Beverly folds her arms.
“You run the names by the president who meekly agrees,” John whispers.
“Then…” I press.
“You offer the job to the person who denies looking for a new job and publicly declares loyalty to his current school on Friday. Then shows up on Saturday at the new college where they are introduced as the new coach.”
“And this takes how long, John?” I anticipate.
“About 24 hours because these folks are in high demand.”
“Wait a minute! How much are we paying this person?” Beverly challenges.
“Uh..ahem…the contract is for five years for several million dollars. That includes a base salary plus extra money for TV programs, training camps and bonuses for winning bowl games and defeating football rivals,” John says defensively with head lowered.
“Unbelievable,” Beverly shakes her head. “I’m putting something extra in my coffee to make it through the day.”
“Could I have another pot of the Peaberry grade Bani,” I beg. “John’s job is finished. But I have months to go before I rest, months to go…”