Tuesday, March 4, 2014

My Encounter with a Russian Oligarch

For those of you who have better things to do than follow my blog, Part 1 of this adventure started here

Today I had my first encounter with a Russian oligarch, which was even stranger than I had expected. I was given less than 24 hours notice of our meeting, which left me scrambling for attire that would be fitting for a job interview. I left all of my conservative work apparel in America, but I don’t think that’s something Russians girls have ever heard of. In fact, most Russian skirts are so short that the wearer requires a Brazilian wax before stepping out in public. Thus, I decided to go straight to the section of my wardrobe that I would normally reserve for nightlife. I made Liz evaluate my outfit, asking if I looked like a prostitute.  “No!”  she said.  “Well, maybe like an executive prostitute, but definitely not a cheap one!”

When I arrived at the office, the woman who’d previously interviewed me smiled and said, “I’m so glad you’re wearing business attire. I meant to remind you not to wear jeans or something.” I can’t decide if I’m more horrified that someone would wear jeans to a meeting with a billionaire or that she deemed my outfit office appropriate.  She also warned me not to speak too quickly and gave me some other advice, but I missed most of it because I was otherwise occupied ensuring that I was seated in a position that wouldn’t lead to a Basic Instinct moment.

I was told the oligarch was quite busy and would probably only give me five to ten minutes of his time, but we ended up chatting for about 20-25 minutes. He was charismatic and friendly, but didn’t actually ask me a single question about my experience. Instead, he filled me in on the particulars of the job and told me that it really came down to a personality fit. To test that, I’d need to spend more time with him.

“How about coming to the Altai Mountains with my girlfriend and me for ten days? I own a hotel out there. You’re not bothered by -20 °C weather, are you?”

I nodded to the first question, shook my head to the second question, and was shuffled out of the office with a copy of his memoirs, a promise that his girlfriend would take me shopping for ice skates later this week, and the nagging suspicion that my mother’s warnings about harems weren’t totally unfounded. A Siberian adventure with a Russian oligarch is a good idea, right?  Right.


  1. I call dibs on the Baby Jess-Jess comforter in case this Siberian adventure goes horribly awry.

  2. Mannnnn. This might turn out better than the automan story.

  3. OMG if you stop blogging I will assume the worst. Please provide moment to moment updates.

  4. OMG if you stop blogging I will assume the worst. Please provide moment to moment updates.