(Last September 2, the author, on assignment from the Detroit Free Press Magazine, went "job hunting" at General Motors National Headquarters in Detroit. His experiences follow.)
INTERVIEW DAY! 9:30 at General Motors.
What a great assignment. Go interview with some big company. Act like you want to get a job there after you graduate next year. Put them on. Play is straight.
Okay, I'm on my way. Dress up. How about the moustache. Off, for General Motors. I take my moustache off to you, GM. Sideburns? Wait, no. Sideburns stay. Johnny Carson is growing his, so they're all right. White shirt. All set.
Where is it. Where is General Motors? I don't know. Stop off for a cigar or two and find out.
"Gooood Morning! General Motors!"
"Hey, excuse me, good morning, can you tell me where you are."
"Excuse me sir, did I hear you correctly?"
"You must be new here, then."
"No ma'am. I just don't know where General Motors is, that's all." But son, don't you know that what's good for General Motors is good for the country? Yes sir, I know that, but I don't know where the country is, Sir.
Driving over to the place you know if you know what's good for you, I'm thinking of some good questions, speaking them into my little tape recorder that I'll use to catch my fresh thoughts upon my immediate return from The Meeting. Can't take notes. No. I am undercover. Underground. Underground Job Applicant, what will you ask? Tell it true.
SIR, I have heard many things about rows and rows of neatly symmetric desks, with neatly symmetric businessmen behind them, and about automated managers running them, these are all cliches without a grain of truth, aren't they?
SIR, what kind of personal conformity do you require, what are your dress standards, your hair standards, how are you adjusting to the pepsi generation?
SIR, what particular abilities do you search for in your executives? Do you have openings for somebody of general intelligence who doesn't have a specific business skill?