Reference Check Girl

Once upon a time, there was a high-energy, constantly-red-in-the-face, yet easily excitable IT agency recruiter in his early twenties from Long Island, Patrick Dublin, who worked for a small staffing agency above Madison Square Garden called Unicorn Staffers.

            Unicorn Staffers specialized in recruiting and placing Unicorn UX Designers, who also did the nitty-gritty back- and front-end coding. They made billion-dollar apps and various new age tech startups come to life, blessed with visionary founders brilliant enough to avoid sexual harassment charges at work by creating in-office innovations such as designing a panic-free, jerkoff-safe space bathroom.

            So, security never had to escort you from the building, legs first, from the bathroom stall, only to knock your head against the mildew-lined walls one more time before hearing the security guard croon, in his best Tom Petty voice, “You don’t come around here no more.” 

            Since the era of #METO began, Unicorn Staffing had to conduct more rigorous background checks with ex-girlfriends for the Unicorn star studs they represented who couldn’t control their urges to whip it out during a Zoom call, despite the Head of Application Development from South Wales, Australia trying to manage unwanted sexual harassment claims at work in a post-virtual meeting, COVID-controlled universe gone cagy nuts by addressing his team of developers and designers with, “Welcome, all. Now, if everyone is going to feel safe during this Zoom meeting, let’s raise all our hands high, where I can see them.            “Please don’t be such a knee-jerk reactionary cunt about it, you Jefferey Toobin wannabes at the New Yorker; thanks.” 

            Sexual harassment was a dirty secret infesting the tech startup world today, even among the biggest tech company in the world, Google, despite most of the employees being too busy banging out to code to actually hit on girls at work while sporting their yenta noise cancellation headphones, in the first place.

            Plus, your typical software command script at Google (or elsewhere) wasn’t “Massage my carpel tunnel, ho.”

            Now Patrick the IT Recruiter is conducting a background check with a 25-year-old, chesty Digital Marketing manager, Lisa, based on her LinkedIn profile picture. She used to date his star candidate (who was awaiting a verbal offer of 145K for a new permanent Creative Technologist Director position with a cannabis lifestyle startup,, from Oakland, CA, that was looking to expand its online digital magazine division here in NYC. It was targeted towards working, functional pothead millennial mousketeers).

            Patrick takes a deep breath, loosens his tie a tad, and gets ready to call Lisa, the Digital Marketing Manager for Hip Hops, a new multi-level old-school hip-hop gastropub club in the East Village. He wants to talk about the extent of her past relationship with his star candidate, whom he’s very proud of connecting with after LinkedIn banned him from the site for sending too many failed connection requests before he enrolled in a Spam A Lot Less Sales Seminar offered by a former power ballad songwriter-for-hire-turned-Life Career-Coach, Michael Rocker.

            Patrick calls and says, “Hi, Lisa. This is Patrick Dublin. I’m an IT recruiter for Unicorn Staffers, and I’m calling you about Max Diesel, who’s being considered for a top Creative Technologist Director position for a cannabis startup,

            “Can I ask you a couple of quick questions about your relationship with Max, in the past?”

            Lisa says, “Yeah, we only hooked up once after meeting at the Windows Expo in downtown LA.

            “It was right around the time Microsoft bought LinkedIn. I was working as a bartender hostess at the event before I met the CEO of Sierra Nevada at that same event, before becoming their Digital Marketing Manager, after I started riffing while making some drinks, insisting that Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA blows all other IPAs out of the water.          “Then I crafted their sentimental-laced campaign for the 30-year anniversary of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, calling it “the pale ale that gets stale.”

            “I conceptualized the guerilla marketing campaign for printing a bunch of bar napkins with love poems on them in honor of first loves; my personal favorite being, “I fell in love with you from the start. You’re my favorite valentine etched on my heart. You made love spill out of me like overflowing treasure. The idea of pounding you again gives me non-stop pleasure. You were my first love, when I didn’t know what that meant. All I knew is that we’re heaven-sent. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, You Never Got Over Us, Did You?

            “So, Max starts flirting with me after I snagged the business card for the CEO of Sierra Nevada, and said, “This is my impersonation of merger talk between Dr. Dre and Eminem after Microsoft paid 4.5 billion for LinkedIn: ‘Hey, Slim, Microsoft paid 4.5 billion for LinkedIn. Eminem says, ‘Worrdddddddddd. LinkedIn lamer than ever yoh.’

            “Personally, Max had me at ‘Hey, Slim’, because he dropped his voice low enough to pull off a semi-decent doctor impersonation.

            “Hey, did you know Hitler’s birthday is on 420? Puffing the bong to more Tuff Gong never felt so wrong. I haven’t felt this betrayed since Sly Stallone snuck Mel Gibson into Expendables 3.        “So, to answer your question, I hooked up with Max on the dance floor sky bar in West Hollywood later that night, but then Frans Drescher from The Nanny caught his interest, and I never heard from him again.

            “He left me a business card and said we should stay in touch through LinkedIn, which I’ve never got over, completely, especially knowing how I got interested in hooking up with Max only after he dumped on LinkedIn in the first place.”

            Patrick finally interrupts Lisa, trying to be as diplomatic as possible, afraid of blowing his potential nine-grand commission tip in the making, and says, “Well, Max thought enough of you to list you as reference for ex-girlfriends, to a conduct a background check to assess his sexual harassment factor risk at

            “Did Max ever touch you on the dance floor too aggressively, at the Sky Bar?”

            Lisa says, “Hell no. I’m the one who shoved his hand up my skirt. I told him my panties were packed in my purse and we could go skinny dipping at this house in the hills that my friend was house-sitting for. It’s next to Roman Polanski’s old house (he’s a serially underrated rapist compared to Cosby, in my book. I still don’t understand how they pulled the Roseanne show off the air, yet have no problem showing ads for Ambien between replays of the Cosby Show, on syndication on Nick at Night).”

            Patrick says, “You’re really funny. Why are you doing wasting your time doing digital content marketing for a living?”

            Lisa says, “I’m too sexy for stand-up, Patrick. Sara Silverman and Chelsea Handler twenty years ago were never in my league of looks.

            “Also, I don’t see myself posting endless naked pics of myself, like Chelsea Handler, with another book in hand to showcase my social justice warrior-reading credo to downplay the world from my tits’ sagging popularity in the process, either.”

            Patrick says, “So, if called you tomorrow to ask you if Max was a sexual assault liability in the making, what would your response be, exactly?”

             Lisa says, “That all depends on you, Patrick. Do you like old school hip-hop like most old school wigger Irish dudes from Long Island?”

            Patrick says, “How do you know I’m from Long Island?”

            Lisa says, “I already looked you up on LinkedIn. You’re cute. Why don’t we wrap this interview up at Hip Hops, later tonight?

            “I crafted the playlist. I’m playing only old school rap, myself. It’s flush with songs by Biggie, Nas, and even Snoop. Who cares if Snoop’s brain hovers a notch below Porn Hood Hell?” 

            “My exact measurements are 36d; my pic on LinkedIn doesn’t give my balling beauties justice.”         Patrick thinks to himself, “I better learn how to code, because that safe space room to get my whack on can’t come soon enough.”

Michael Kornbluth

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