Sam, a leggy blonde dressed in a navy blue power suit with high heels, stood outside Sterling World Plaza on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The former model had just been rejected.
"It was the most bizarre thing I've ever been through," said Sam, who lives in Los Angeles but wouldn't reveal her last name. "She stared at me, then looked away, took my resume, and said they would be in touch. But my friend's still in there."
Calling All Girls: The somewhat anonymous ad placed by Donald T. Sterling in the LA Times.
On Wednesday evening, Sam and several dozen other women walked into the first floor lobby of Sterling World Plaza to apply for "hostess" positions for real estate mogul and LA Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling. The applicants were expected to bring a resume and a photo and to look "attractive." Sam heard about the job from her father, who saw one of Sterling's poorly designed advertisements in the A-section of the Los Angeles Times.
"It was really a cattle call," said Sam, now reading a text message on her cell phone. "I noticed a lot of ethnic types made it through to the second line."
According to Sam, the women first stood on line to hand over their resumes and photographs. A Sterling employee then looked at the women, maybe looked at the resume, and either told them they would be contacted later or they should move to a second line. If you made it to the second line, another employee checked out the women and asked some questions. If you made it through that, you were interviewed again. Sam's friend, who just called on her cell phone, didn't have any problems. She was now taking an elevator somewhere for another interview, possibly with Sterling himself.
Sam, though, couldn't leave--she had driven her friend to the interview. The former model decided to commiserate with other women who had been rejected, whether they knew it or not. Two of them were from Orange County--both in their forties, somewhat plump by LA standards but pretty. Neither of them knew a thing about Sterling, who was sued unsuccessfully for sexual harassment by at least one female employee. He also settled a lawsuit out of court with his apparent mistress over the ownership of a Beverly Hills home.
"Wasn't it weird?" Sam asked them.
The two women nodded, then one of them said, "But I made it to the second line. Then they told me they would get back to me."
The woman said it in a way that she fully believed she would get the call. Her friend smiled. Sam looked at them.
"I don't know. It was just very weird. They weren't many blondes on the second line, right?"
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The women shook their heads, then walked off. Sam took another call on her cell phone. Her friend was waiting to be interviewed, and she wasn't sure how long it would take. Sam wished her well and hung up.
"I think it was also my resume," Sam said. "I have a lot of business experience. They probably don't like that."
Sam then bummed a cigarette off another reject and waited for her friend. Donald T. Sterling was nowhere to be seen.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.