|None of these are our guy|
Seems that our guy had been through nearly a dozen rounds of interviews when the HR Department called him back for one final discussion. He was told that if this last guy liked him, then he had the job. So he shows up at 7:30 am and sits down with a middle-aged exec. After an exchange of pleasantries, the Salomon guy tells the kid that everyone likes him, but the final call is his. He then asks what position our young candidate plays on the Columbia baseball team. "I'm a pitcher," he replies.
After which the Salomon gatekeeper, who's probably pulling down $20m a year or so in that go-go era (check my math, TR), but thinks nothing of fucking with a college kid, opens his desk drawer and pulls out a baseball-sized stress ball. He points across the trading desk to a water fountain on the other side of the room. "If you can hit the middle of the water fountain with that ball, the job is yours. If not, you can go fuck yourself."
It's early, our guy is nervous, and there's a whole floor of traders watching. And he's not entirely sure what's happening. But he does his best, winds up, and lets fly. The ball starts out on a true path, but as those flimsy things do, spins off target and rises high and away, just nicking the upper corner of the fountain.
"Go fuck yourself," says the bondsman.
And so our hero does, leaving the building never to hear from Salomon again.
Things worked out okay for him, judging from many of the other things he had to say, so it's now just a funny story. And a whole lot went to hell for Salomon Brothers not long after this incident, so we can only hope bad things happened to the interviewer, though it's just as likely that he landed on his feet and tortured other young masters of the universe. Hell, maybe TR works for him.