My heart sank, as it always did around great beauty. Chloe Hellmann was without doubt the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. For the last 15 years there would have been security guards preventing me from getting within 100 feet of her. Now she was sitting across from me in my new office. At this point I need to tell you I am not an attractive man: I am 50, balding and smell of divorce.
I got my start in recruitment in 1989 with William Russell Staffing, the original and biggest New York employment agency. It was a charnel house, but it taught me the game: how to cold call; spot a vacancy before the client knew they had one; collect a commission; and never pay a refund. Ex-Russell employees went on to create some of the big-name staffing agencies in the city today: Harrison Anderson and Associates, Le Stat and Louis, Girl Tuesday and Roquefort & Labne. But not me, I was the loyal journeyman, a 60 hour a week veteran with a work ethic that put an end to my marriage. I thought I’d see out my career at Russell’s as Vice President of Special Projects, but I should have known that job title has always meant the Kiss of Death. Six months ago I was shown the writing on the wall, and shortly thereafter the door.