the knot that got me my job — or not.

i don’t have a very deep wardrobe as far as ties are concerned, so when i found out i was flying up to boston to interview with a public relations firm i did what any reasonable man would do:

i grabbed my (female) friend from the cubical next door and went to macy’s.

shirt, tie. got a jacket later (finene’s basement, much cheaper). honestly, i looked pretty good. but, when i got up to boston for my interview, i had actually had to look up how to tie a tie in the current corporate environment.

for all intents and purposes, the last time i tied a tie was in 2004 and it was one of those skinny little quarter knots that were “in” back then — not the big chunky knots that people are rolling with today. something as fat as a windsor knot a decade ago would have triggered some sort of “the 70’s called, they’d like their tie back” reference.

so i downloaded the above photo on my phone in the bathroom of the starbucks on the corner of berkeley and boyleston, locked the door, and spent ten minutes figuring it out. (fwiw, there was a line when i came out.)

obviously, everything when fine at the interview but during the course of the meeting i got mocked — mocked? yeah, let’s go with mocked — by the CEO for wearing a tie to the interview.

… and it’s been a thing ever since.

over the next 8 weeks, pretty much every email thread i had with the man with the name on the door included some reference to that tie.

now, the additional layer of “funny” on this topic is that my dress for the interview serious deliberation at the recruitment firm behind my hiring (i was headhunted at a conference i spoke at, and ironically it was such a poorly run conference i had vowed to never speak at it again).

even the head of the recruitment firm chimmed in, but after about 20 minutes of deliberations but it was finally decided that i could “get away” without a tie, but it would be a risk because “boston is much more conservative than D.C.”

turned out that may not have been the case.