Friends and Frustrations

Let's start with the good news: I met my very first HBS friend! Vivek, a 20something in operations management at Lockheed Martin, and I met up at Starbucks last week to chat about our prematriculation woes and mutual excitment. So far, we are the only two admits from Florida and I was actually hoping he'd be a fellow Gator grad, but alas he went to Cornell and grew up in New Jersey. Regardless, it was such a relief to hear that he's a little intimidated by Harvard too and that he still hadn't told his boss that he'd be leaving (ditto on that one, although I plan to spill the beans tomorrow during our weekly call -- wish me luck on that, I'm so nervous!). Overall, it was amazingly refreshing to speak to someone that I feel I'm on the same level with intellectually (Did that come across cocky? Totally not my intention, just referencing the many "I-don't-care-about-anything-but-beer-and-sex" people that I met in my time at UF. I have to be careful here as the rumor is HBS grads tend to be really arrogant and I already promised my best friend Aynsley that this would not become the case with me!). The funniest (read: awkward) moment of the night came when we were discussing what we hope will be six digit salaries upon graduation and the 35% tax bracket that would come along with it. Vivek laughs and says, "Well, we better become Republicans by then," to which I sheepishly responded that I already was a Republican. This naturally lead to a debate on presidential candidates, the war in Iraq, religion and all the other topics you typically should not broach upon first meeting someone. Whoops!

Before I move on to the frustrations section of this entry, a quick non-HBS related shout out to my Delta Zeta little sister and newlywed Meredith who was married this past weekend in a beautiful ceremony in Longwood (followed by an equally gorgeous reception at the Ritz Carlton). She's the beautiful blushing bride in this entry's photo -- Congratulations Mrs. Rauch!

And now onto the venting. I'm attempting to stay really cool and collected in the face of my extremely long, customized checklist that HBS has set up for me, but the obstacles continue to build up. If I haven't already mentioned it, HBS hires an outside background checking company (Kroll) to verify the employment information you submitted with your application. It all makes me feel a little bit like a criminal who is trying to hide something, despite the fact that I was totally honest in my application. What complicates things is that you have to be extremely precise about your job title, salary and employer contact information when filling out Kroll's release form because any inconsistencies misconstrued as lying could mean withdrawl of your admissions offer.

When I filled out my HBS application, I was asked to list my salary, and since I'm paid hourly, I multiplied my wages times an average work week and 52 weeks a year to get my estimate (there was no opportunity to list an hourly wage). I also listed a job title that my department had come up with (Print Public Relations Coordinator) that may or may not be in WDW's HR computer due to the fact that I'm a consultant (who knows what they have listed?). Naturally with these things in mind, I wanted to discuss this with a person so they don't get the wrong impression. Of course, Kroll offers zero opportunity to do just that -- there is a voicemail where you're asked to leave your name, phone number, e-mail, shoe size, hair color (okay maybe not those last two, but they do ask for all possible biographical information) with a promise to get in touch with you regarding your query. Three weeks and two voicemails later and no response.

This lack of contact from Kroll lead me to call HBS and e-mail the representative there who handles employment verification. I thought perhaps she'd respond more swiftly, but it's been over a week and I still haven't heard from her either :::grabs a pillow and screams into it before regaining composure:::. Sigh.

On top of this, I called my doctor to schedule a physical today (mandatory) and the first available appointment is May 6th! When I asked why I'd have to wait 3 months to get a physical when I could book an appointment for a dealthy illness and get in tomorrow she replied that they only do two physicals a day. Sometimes I wonder why doctors make such ludicrous and inefficient rules (perhaps something to bring up in my technology and operations management class?).

With that said, it's time to sign off and head home for a fantastic night of reality television (Survivor: Fans Vs. Favorites!!) and left-overs. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!