For those of you who are bored of this saga, I promise this will be the last I write about it!
I finally had dinner with the headhunter on Saturday night- I was surprised to find out when I saw him that it had not been him who was contacting me, but an over-zealous recruiter (more on him later). He was a Canadian man nearing retirement, who worked for a hedge fund in London. He knew who my current employers were and their current woes- being the diplomat (and fully aware of Group Policy) I was not at liberty to talk about it, but he did proffer that the company he worked for was not morally dubious since it was one private individual’s hedge fund.
He brought this up because he’d read my thesis and noticed that in the first non-dedication page I had quoted John1:1-4 in Latin, and worked out from that and the fact I’d thanked the folk in my church that I was a Christian, which is why he brought up morals. I explained that I was involved in fraud prevention so I didn’t have any moral issues with my job, and he agreed. He told me he was a Catholic, and we talked about how faith helped us through difficult times, and how it is important to have a personal faith and not just rely on the fact your parents or friends are Christians. He told me about his first and second wives (I didn’t inquire as to what became of the first wife for fear of appearing judgemental or bringing the tone of the conversation down) and I explained to him how I became a Christian.
He then asked me about my thesis and why I decided to go down the route that I did, and how he was impressed that I didn’t seem to seek publicity for what I’d done, and how this kind of attitude would fit in with his company. I told him I was flattered and explained the reasons for not wanting publicity. I then explained to him how it did not feel right for me at this time, and he accepted it. I told him that I wished the recruiter would have accepted it so readily and he explained that the recruiter was probably in it for himself (they get a commission for every job they find), which would explain why he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He promised me he would tell the recruiter to leave me alone (which sadly hasn’t happened). Then we had a discussion on whether we thought P=NP (look it up on wikipedia), with the conclusion being that it’s probably not, and it would be better for us all if it wasn’t.
If I’m honest, I was a little on edge all night, but at least the food at Hadrian’s Brasserie is good, albeit in very small portions. At the end, he told me I was a “remarkable young man”, which I’ll take as a compliment. We said our goodbyes and I went to a ceilidh at church, and did the hokey cokey. A stark contrast, but a welcome one.
But I’m thankful now that it’s all over, and can return to eating a Kasbah curry on a Saturday night instead.