On Friends and Five Years Gone

My habit of holding onto old e-mails and documents paid dividends today.

At Natalie and Beau’s wedding reception Saturday night I found myself talking to Natalie’s cousin. I was trying to figure out how long I knew them. I ran the numbers in my head, and I decided that it was almost exactly five years ago.

Natalie worked for me at EB Games in Cary. I hired her before Shore Leave 2004, which meant that she’d have started in late June, so I’d have interviewed her a week to ten days before then.

(By the way, I am still seriously embarrassed that at that Shore Leave my geek-like knowledge of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band failed me. It was also the Shore Leave where I ran screaming from a room when Richard Roxburgh’s Dracula from Van Helsing was brought into conversation. And the Shore Leave where Robbie Greenberger had dyed his hair blue. That kid lived life without fear.)

The numbers I came up with then, at the reception, for when I met Natalie? I must’ve interviewed her about the 22nd, which was when we met, and I’d have called her — because her application came from another store — a few days earlier. Say, about the 18th. That’s what I decided.

When I did my store schedules at EB Games, I used a spreadsheet that the company provided. I still had my store schedules for June 2004 on my computer. And years of confidential EB Games e-mails and sales figures. :)

What did my afternoon researches turn up?

I e-mailed my boss on June 25th, saying that I needed an employee number for her. And her first work day was Monday, June 28th. Those are definite.

(The strange thing about the June 25th, 2004 link? It’s about That Thing You Do! and its soundtrack. One of the CDs I took with me this weekend for the trip to eastern North Carolina? The That Thing You Do! soundtrack. Life’s full of weird coincidences. Like getting an e-mail from Shore Leave before I left Saturday morning that The Oneders lead singer, James Mattingly III will be a guest at this year’s convention.)

Looking at the schedule, I would have most likely interviewed her on June 18th. Probably at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Therefore, I probably spoke with her on the phone for the first time on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 15th to schedule that interview.

Which was precisely five years ago yesterday. :)

I’ve never forgotten her interview. Months later, she asked me why I’d hired her. She thought she interviewed poorly. “I was nervous,” she said. “I stammered.” I thought she interviewed fine. And, as is typical with almost every hiring decision I’ve been a part of, I played the hunch that she’d work out and do well.

My hunches paid off more often than not. :)

Beau I would have met, in all likelihood, on July 3rd, a Saturday. It was my last day before vacation, and in those days he would pick her up after work on the weekends.

So that’s how long I’ve known them. Five years exactly. :)

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