When the person who is supposed to give you the DL ends up being the unpaid PR person

I had a call scheduled this morning to chat with Chris’s friend who works at a company that I’m interested in. He’s been friends with her for a few years, but I’d never met her before since he likes to keep separate parts of his life separate, and there was really no reason for me to meet this person, so I never really cared to ask. So I called her to get a sense of what the company was like and how she liked it, and it was clear from the beginning of the call that she really loved working there. She talked about the company leadership, the culture, the nature of her work, and she gushed endlessly about how great it was. It got to a point where the entire conversation just seemed like the type of conversation I’d have with the company’s HR or recruiting team; she said glowing, nearly-canned positive things about the company like “great work-life balance,” “everyone is so amazing here,” and “senior leadership is really accessible, their ‘door’ is always open for you; the only blocker to developing a relationship with them is yourself.” I nearly vomited in my mouth a little when she said that last part. How often have I heard that from recruiting teams in the past, or people who truly drink the kool-aid.

While I appreciated the time she spent to chat with me, I didn’t really appreciate the PR-spin on her perspective; it came off as too enthusiastic, a bit disingenuous, and well, not authentic. Luckily for me, I have other contacts I can speak with at the company through personal connections, so I can get a more well rounded perspective, but it just struck me as odd that she was technically supposed to be a personal connection through Chris, but she gave me a not-very-personal perspective of the company.

My mom always says that the older you get, the wiser you get. I actually don’t really agree with this. The older I have gotten, the more confused I have gotten about why and how people are so twisted and weird.

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