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(Ep. The Barber)

Seinfeld - The Barber (3).jpg

George’s Strategy

By Amir Faress • 12/25/19

Before George’s job interview is interrupted, his boss-to-be complements him on how he just “gets things” and that he “doesn’t need things explained” to him. The interview ends in a cliffhanger; George cannot be sure if he is actually hired, as the words “You’re hired!” were never uttered. And he can’t just call and ask (that would mean he doesn’t actually “get things.”) To make matters worse, the boss will be on a vacation for the following two weeks.

So George decides simply to show up. What’s the worst thing that could happen?

If he was actually hired, the staff certainly did not know about it. When on his first day at work a staff member suggests calling the boss to ask about the office assigned to him, George refuses and settles for the smaller office. There’s a logic to George’s strategy. If he is hired, he is hired. If he is not hired, he intends to put in a couple of weeks of free work in hopes of impressing the boss or at least guilting him into hiring him.

What confounds the story is that George does literally no work in the course of the two weeks that he awaits the boss’s return. Even when given an assignment (the Penski file), he does not take even the smallest steps toward figuring it out. This part is counterintuitive. He has every motivation to do some work. It makes no sense for George not to work on the Penski file, because even if he was actually hired, he would certainly lose his job for failure to do any work, which is exactly what happens when the boss returns.

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