Got the reject letter from AF today. Not surprised at all, especially given the importance of the interview portion. I'm not sure if I should ask to be considered for the next board because I had possibly the worst interview in the history of the AF JAG program. I interviewed in August, but I wrote down what happened the next day so that I would not forget this historic occasion.
-kept me waiting for 20 minutes outside the office while the SJA talked to his buddy on the phone about working out
-immediately told me upon walking in the room that I was probably going to be rejected (before reviewing any of my application)
-SJA said that the way he did things was that he would ask questions from a canned interview prompt, and I would answer...1 sentence maximum. Talk about really being able to sell yourself!
-was admonished for my lack of trial experience (aside from the fact that I AM A 3L AND CANNOT PRACTICE LAW...) even though I have significant experience prepping litigators, moot court, and clinical experience. This didn't really matter though (my explanation was longer than one sentence).
-Was told that the number of times I smoked pot probably wasn't accurate and consistently pressed to give a higher number. I think we finally settled on 50. After discussing with my friends, they agreed that he had me in a trance-like state because that number just isn't possible.
-Buddy of SJA (presumably from pre-interview workout strategy session) called again during the interview...they had to talk lifting strategy again for 15-20 minutes....sat there...waited...thought, "Are they testing me?"...waited some more.
-After about 2 hours, it was FINALLY my turn to ask questions. Obviously, I planned to use this time to ask a general question about experience/reason for going into the Air Force/areas of law, etc. so that I could immediately relate these to my own experiences. After he had already entered in my information into the canned brief, I doubt any of it mattered. SJA was not interested at all in the one year internship I did for the Governor...the 3 years I spent working for the State DOT on construction management, dispute resolution and contract administration. Said that non-legal experience didn't matter. At all.
-After asking how he likes the AF JAG (he hates it..."I can't believe they put me on this base"), I inquire into the possibility of specialization. Not possible, says SJA. "Well sir," I say, "I saw it on AF JAG website so I thought I would inquire." "Not possible...it's just a recruiting website. Half the time you won't even be doing legal work." OH NOW IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE WHY MY NON-LEGAL EXPERIENCE DOES NOT MATTER.
-Was told that "this is your time to ask me anything you want...you have as much time as you need." Excited, I began...again. But OH WAIT--There is a knock at the door!! Who is it?? Oh OF COURSE...it's his four year old daughter and his wife...and his mother-in-law. Completely appropriate. Apparently, SJA was jerking me around because he had scheduled a lunch date with his family and my time was up. What a jokester!
-After getting up to leave, I'm told to stick around for a little. SJA closes the door and brings his four-year-old in the room and starts bouncing her on his knee, talking to me about the importance of family, etc. Then, she craps her pants. Awesome. Immediately realizing that the smell is very real and this insane debacle is in no way some sort of test, I look for the way out. Door shut. Leg immovable. Looking down, I see SJA Daughter with some sort of vice grip on my leg, then tugging on my pants, then pulling on my tie...and very smelly. I think that there is no way this can get worse.
-I was wrong. By trying to graciously-and playfully (no need for crying babies) remove SJA Daughter from my leg, I accidentally waft the smell towards my nostrils. It's bad. Very bad. SJA sees my face and instead of doing something reasonable like apologizing, giving SJA Daughter to his wife, mother-in-law, secretary, haz-mat team, etc...he takes his own reasonable steps. It appears that a test is in store for me today. The test is named: Guess What SJA Daughter's Feces Smells Like. After insisting, repeatedly, that "No sir, it was definitely not me that crapped my pants..." SJA says "Well, let's guess what hers smells like. What do you think she had for breakfast?" I think he is joking. He is not. He is SO not joking that he picks her up, carries her over by me and begins waving her around to spread the smell so I have "an easier time figuring it out." I stammer and cannot think of what the heck to say because at this point I think that I'm on Candid Camera and my family is hiding behind a fake wall.
-Thankfully, SJA Wife walks in the room and everyone is so happy that SJA Daughter pooped her pants and that the interview is over and they can finally go to lunch as one big, happy family. I try to bolt for the door after a queasy handshake obligatory Thank You. SJA wants me to walk out with his family. Apparently, this is bonding. I figure this is my LAST chance to make any sort of impression on this guy. I said in my interview that I speak Italian fluently (because I am), and there are lots of Italian restaurants in the area (which I am familiar with) and try to tell him some of the good places to eat. He stops, looks me directly in the eye, and says "There is no other food I hate more than Italian."
-Went home, slept for 5 hours. Woke up, realized it wasn't a dream. Talked to my career services office, my parents, my boss, my co-workers and fellow students. All of them reiterated that this was not my doing, so I felt a little better. BUT COME ON, REALLY AIR FORCE??!?!
That is all. Thank you, AF JAG, for rejecting me. I am definitely NOT qualified with my moot court, clinic, trial advocacy and pro bono experience. I am definitely NOT qualified with my grades, fitness (crossfit everyday for the past 2 years), one-year paid clerkship for the Attorney General, language fluency, background in international relations and diplomacy, 5 year work history for state government and intention on putting in a solid 20 years. Lastly, I am definitely NOT qualified because if you guys hired this dude...then this is something I do not want to be a part of.