Industry Insiders: Jack Dakin & Corbin Plays, Design Dream Team

Jack Dakin and Corbin Plays are two Northern California Bay boys who came to New York City to create lounges and restaurants that combine functional design with the cool factor. They ended up working for the likes of Serge Becker, Sean MacPherson, and Eric Goode and on venues such as: Joe’s Pub, The Bowery Hotel, Jane Hotel Ballroom, The Park, Dirty Disco, and Duke & Duchess. The duo plans to soon branch out to New Orleans, Dallas, and Philadelphia. We caught up with them before their national invasion.

Which present-day designer/architect does it right? Jack Dakin: Marc Newson. The man does an excellent job bridging the gap between fine art and design. Corbin Plays: Santiago Calatrava does it right. He combines function with form in a balanced way. He’s both an engineer and an architect.

What past designer/architect influences your style? JD: I have to thank Serge Becker for giving me my start in this business. He inspires me every day. Also, I have to admit — although it sounds cheesy — I do love all those midcentury designers: Gio Ponti, Alvar Aalto, Oscar Nemeyer. CP: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He designed on all different scales from large buildings to furniture. His ideas are clear throughout.

What venues around the world do you think are done well, with style? JD: The R- Bar in New Orleans. It’s an amazing balance of hipness and dive. Best Bar in America and two-dollar Miller High Life. La Esquina is still going strong, and I’m impressed at the way they make the components — taqueria, café, and restaurant — function so well. Also, I love L’asso on Kenmare … just plain amazing pizza. I’m very impressed with the new Standard, although I haven’t seen the whole thing. Also I recently stayed at the Standard in Miami and enjoyed that as well. CP: Clerkenwell on Clinton Street. Great food, people, vibe and location. Joe’s Pub has cool music and comfortable lounge chairs. Oyster Bar because the ceiling is great and food is good too. The Outrigger in Kona is my favorite hotel, because the bar hangs over the ocean, and you can sip cocktails and watch the fish and turtles swim by.

Favorite city for design? CP: Rome with the layers of history, and boldness of the architecture all stacked on top and interlaced. The downtown neighborhood of Testaccio — where the clubs are — is built into the ancient Roman amphora dump. All the walls are made of ceramic pots that they used to transport olives and wine back in the day. Like Rome, New York has those layers of history, and the old 1800s tenements are contrasted by the new modern glass structures. JD: If I don’t say New York, then I’ll have to ask myself why I’ve lived here for the past 14 years.

What’s special about New York in that regard? JD Different people mixing. Of all the places I’ve been, I’ve never experienced a place as diverse as New York. I think every New Yorker answers that question with my answer, so it’s a bit of a cop out, but very true.

What’s the next New York trend in architecture and design? JD: In the last ten years, New York has moved much more in the direction of cultural segregation, with the creation of a lot of insular cliques. I think that in the next couple years, the pendulum will swing back, and when you go out you might sit down with a prince, a punker, a banker, a model, and an artist. CP: My outlook on the future of architecture in New York is that the best way to make a more sustainable city is to not only build new buildings but to restore the well-built existing architecture from the past.

Where do you go when you go out? JD: I go to Oro, my local coffee shop, every day. Café Select also has a scene I enjoy, very low key but lively. Also, I have to mention the sound system at Santos, what the fuck? CP: The list would be too long, but most recently Spitzer’s on Ludlow, and Dumpling House on Eldridge.

Something no one knows about you? JD: I’ve always wanted to learn to play the violin. CP: I shed tears while watching The Deadliest Catch.

Photo by Ivory Serra

Not So Plain Jane

I’m real sick and tired of snarky wannabes who wouldn’t know what end of the bottle to pour booze from, declaring a place done 20 minutes after it’s open. I saw all sorts of silly comments on my friendly neighbor Scott Solish’s blog Down By The Hipster about how the Jane Hotel Ballroom is over. I decided to check out the Jane Ballroom on Friday night and see for myself. I had written about its opening but the distractions of summer have kept me away. A large crowd of attractive people were vying for the attention of the doorman. I approached James, who I didn’t recognize at first and said a few relevant things and was welcomed inside with my companion.

The crowd was simply great. It was the kind of crowd that moves a little to the left to let you pass often with a nod and a smile. This was a weekend night in the heart of the summer and the place was packed with sharp scenesters. There were celebrities: an Olson and that skinny, tall, British, rock-starish, actor Russell Brand. He, like everyone else, moved to the left and allowed me to pass behind him with a smile. The DJs were great laughing and playing fun tunes and the crowd was wildly into it. The lighting isn’t great and it’s a bit hard to see how beautiful the room looks.

My only real criticism is that the bartenders aren’t fast enough and there are certainly not enough of them. I couldn’t find Carlos Quirarte or Matt Kleigman to say hello. There didn’t seem to be anybody in charge or “working the room,” but maybe that’s a great thing. Maybe it’s about the room, the music and crowd rather than the personality of an operator. The place is a smash. Is it the next Beatrice? I don’t even know what that means. Why can’t it just be the Jane Ballroom?

I have yet to see one critical comment, which lays out in terms that I can grasp, what is wrong or expected. I actually believe that the writers of these silly quotes are people who could never make it past James. That doesn’t make them necessarily bad people but it does in so many ways discount the value of their point of view. Jane is near perfect and if some people don’t like it they just shouldn’t go. I hear Bowlmor is open late for them. A joint doesn’t have to cater to people who declare something over simply to impress their loser friends that they’re way cool. A joint doesn’t have to cater to anyone but the crowd they want and not some anonymous loser who can peck unsubstantiated bile on an open forum blog. A joint can define itself and be grand without the validation of people who know so very little about the process. The Jane can cater to a vibrant crowd and be fabulous without the approval of negative nellies. The Jane is great. I say so.

I don’t often disagree with DBTH as they have their thing and I have mine, but I do believe that their article the other day about “ballroom blow,” was a low blow and not worthy of the intelligence, wit and insight that I, as a daily reader, have come to expect. As one person said, it can and does happen everywhere. I didn’t understand the entry. To me, it could only be seen as an attack, an attempt to bring the authorities down on the new establishment. I know that it hurt the operators who didn’t understand why Scott would do this. The Jane is not over. It is brilliant. It is one of the more significant nightlife entries this year. They’re not even up to speed yet. They opened in the middle of the summer and the food element and outdoor spaces will make the place undeniable.

I live near Cafe Gitane in Nolita, and the notion that Luc will bring his considerable restaurant skills to the premises is brilliant. Gitane keeps me fed and will be a great asset to the west side, and as for the Jane, I think all the loser commentators that will now rain down their blubbering bullshit on me should open their own joint and try to make it work. The place would play music that even they wouldn’t like and be inhabited by that too-cool-to take-a-shower hipster crowd. No one would talk, just tweet anonymous downer remarks at each other, and they would declare it over before the bartender could say PBR. The Jane Hotel is operated by Sean MacPherson and Eric Goode. These guys have brought us the B Bar, The Bowery Hotel, The Maritime Hotel, and The Park. Eric Goode gave us Area, easily one of the top 5 clubs of all time. The Smile, Carlos and Matt’s Bond Street entry is one of the great places in my hood. I’d love these snarky know-it-all commentators to open a joint. That space wouldn’t last an Andy Warhol 15 minutes.

When the High Line Was for Lowlifes

I was in my friend’s apartment at the magnificent new Caledonia on 17th Street a couple days ago. His joint is one flight above the grand new High Line, which was being readied for its opening yesterday. That affair, which attracted the mayor and all sorts of dignitaries, is a proud moment for this town. The energy and flavor the new park will bring to the West Side will be a much-needed shot in the arm for our city’s culture and economy. When I was standing there watching the workers, I realized that I couldn’t hear the drills and heavy tools they were using. I asked about the glass and got a rather long technical answer which I think meant it was thick. The insertion of mega habitats like the new Caledonia into the club ecosystem of the West Side will not be without conflict. It reminds me of all those people who build in suburban Los Angeles. They put up a gaggle of homes in a desert and are flabbergasted when a coyote grabs the cat. It seems that in this case, the surroundings — which include 1Oak, Avenue, and The Park — were thoughtfully considered. Traffic problems seem to cause the most beef with cabbies and other drivers blaring their horns trying to enter 10th Avenue, and a crane added to the congestion for eons.

The High Line was unrecognizable from the last time I was this close to it. Michael Alig had an after-hours club called Lotto which was all the rage. We were doing Redzone together and needed to have a place to service our friends and clientele after the club closed at 4am sharp, as they did back then. Peter Gatien won a lawsuit that allowed clubs to stay open after the bars were closed. His argument was that the places that had cabaret licenses should be allowed to have dancing at any hour. He argued that the city-issued cabaret license had nothing to do with the regulations of the state-issued liquor license. He won the case which makes the late-night boogies at Pacha kosher. Anyway, back to Lotto, which was located in an old Meatpacking office. When Michael showed me the place, I went through papers strewn everywhere ,and there wasn’t one newer than 1975. The building had an old rusted door leading to the abandoned railroad tracks which have since been upgraded to the High Line.

Michael thought of lavish dinner parties up there long before someone with clout got it done. The concept behind this place was as follows: about $1,500 was spent, some went to doorman Kenny Kenny, some to a security guard, some paid for the booze, and the rest was given to various artists who would decorate the rooms daily so that each time you went it would look different. Everybody paid five bucks to get in and paid five more bucks for a cocktail, and when the money was recouped, the front doors were closed, the drinks became free, and it was fun fun fun till it wasn’t. One night — er, morning — a particularly unsavory character known to all and feared by many arrived past the cutoff. He made a great deal of noise and brandished a serious weapon. Myself and a few friends eventually persuaded him to go away, but we unfortunately made a little bit too much noise in our persuasion, and the authorities arrived in numbers. Someone barricaded the doors, and I was told that the loud banging sound was a fireman breaking down the door to get us. I didn’t know what “get us” meant, but I elected to join an eclectic band who were going out the rusted door onto the tracks. I didn’t believe that the unsavory character would go to the police and accuse me of “persuading” him, but the tracks seemed fun anyway, and the banging seemed to indicate the authorities were upset. I was the only one wearing a suit, so I might have been assumed to be in charge and, well, it was a beautiful dawn. So I headed north on the future High Line. Our band — which included a few club kids dressed a bit like characters from Munchkinland — must of looked very odd to the birds and squirrels who lived up there. I loved the flora and fauna, but I wasn’t there to camp out and I wasn’t seeking the Wizard of Oz. I needed a way down.

Lotto was on 12th Street, I think, and when we got to 14th, there was a massive building — derelict then, really neat now — and a homeless man a bit startled by our legion. I asked him how to get down, and he pointed north and said 34th Street. Tall grass and birds nests lined our yellow brick road, and we were a merry band on this beautiful day. Dogs went nuts at us from tenement apartment windows, and there was barbed wire at every possible escape route. Finally I found stairs leading down to a little yard with more barbed wire over the top of a chain link fence. Early-bird hookers were harassing me as I tried to climb in cockaroach-killer shoes (I used to love them impossibly pointy). I climbed anyway, and when I got to the top, I threw my faux leopard sports jacket, which I had bought at Pat Field’s that long ago day before, over the barbed wire. The cop car that pulled up was alerted by the hookers trying to buy their way out of a jam with my skinny ass. The cops looked up, but some urgent call sped them away. The hookers told me incessantly as I dangled how lucky my skinny ass was. I carefully climbed over the wire and, feeling like James Bond, snapped my new jacket to safety. The barbwire took the lining, and it fell apart in my hands. For years I would drive by and watch that lining gradually disintegrate.

The rest of the crew got down in the 30s; I went back to the club and was told that the cops just laughed at the club kid crowd and told them never to lock the door again, then went away. Somebody alerted the landlord, and Lotto was done. Looking down from my friend’s window, I realize how much of a jackpot I hit when I lived and worked in that golden age of clubs. What was that line from Some Like It Hot? I think Osgood Fielding III, played by Joe E Brown, is picking up Jack Lemmon, who is in awful drag. Osgood points out his yacht The New Caledonia. It had replaced the old Caledonia, which went down in a storm off Cape Hatteras. The old railroad track has been replaced by the brand new High Line. Let’s hope that all the new buildings have thick windows, and the city can navigate the eventual storm as development of the High Line encroaches on the giant club strips in its path. I understand that at the new Caledonia — for the most part — the neighbors are embracing the vibrancy of their new neighborhood with very few grumbling politely. To me, it’s a great place to live and eat and play, to visit art galleries and the river. I love it, and I’m sure almost everyone will, as some like it hot. I suggest Long Island, the Upper West Side, or thicker glass for the rest.

Photo: Jonathan Flaum

Summer Nights: Changing of the Guard

A game of musical chairs is being played by most of the major promotional entities as the summer roof season is upon us. While the highly successful 230 Fifth will still dominate this market just as the Empire State Building dominates its incredible view, some places remain unsettled or don’t have a clear opening date due to a myriad of problems. Highbar is getting a quick polish, while the roof at the Stay Hotel is still under construction. Mixed reports come from Cabanas and The Park, and the highly-touted Above Allen will finally get to open its windows amidst hopes that the sound spill doesn’t disturb too many hotel guests and nearby residents. Daemon O’Neil, Rose Bar’s patient, sweet, and very good-looking door guru (not to be confused with Damion Luaiye), is packing his clipboard and heading over to the Bazaar Bar at the upcoming Trump Soho hotel. The economic downturn, a weak dollar, and a laundry list of safety issues make travel abroad a lot less attractive this season. I hear reports that Hamptons summer rentals are sluggish, yet the Surf Lodge in Montauk is riding high.

I caught up with super duper and uber owner/outdoor space promoter Jeffrey Jah of 1Oak and other fabulous places, and he told me he was bringing back the “changing of the guard” at Groovedeck at Hudson Terrace this summer. “With Groovedeck, we’ve assembled an insane team from Bijoux (Dimitry and Francois) to Pavan and the 1Oak team. We’ve booked the Hamptons Magazine summer kick-off party as well as Lydia Hearst hosting the last International Film Premiere event.” I asked Jeffrey how the whole outdoor summer club thing started for him.

It’s pretty simple … the first real outdoor parties were “Groove on the Move,” with Mark Baker and I back in the early 90s, moving from the Central Park Boathouse to Tavern on the Green, and then permanently at Bowery Bar with Eric Goode and Serge Becker. There really were no other outdoor parties; then in 2000, I moved to Pier 59 Studios and created the deck with Scott Sartiano and Richie Akiva — that’s where Remi Laba and Aymeric Clemente were given their fist taste of club promotions. They were low-level maitre d’s. In 2003, we were forced to move it to BED (the same team), and then they tried to get smart, and Baker, Remi, and Karim sold them on a cheaper deal without the 1Oak crew, but they were done after four weeks. We missed two seasons, and we’re now back at Hudson Terrace.

I asked Jeffrey if the problems with international travel these days, the weak dollar, and pandemic diseases would keep people closer to home. “Yes, the economy will keep people here. New York is the capital of the world. What’s more important is that Europeans will venture more to America with the weak dollar and get more value for the buck. We will see a lot of Euros this summer. New York is resilient, we’ve seen worst times apres 9/11. People want to blow off steam, and if the product is good, they will come again and again. A lot of people are not taking houses in the Hamptons this summer because institutional money and jobs evaporated over the last half of 2008 and first quarter of 2009. Hence I’m betting that we will see a much stronger city summer.”

I also asked Hudson Terrace co-owner Michael Sinensky about the economic impact. “If you can build one of the nicest venues in New York City, people will come out to escape what’s going on in the world. In this economy, you have to really service the customer and think outside the box to keep your patrons entertained, happy, and feeling satisfied enough that they’ll come back. I don’t think it’s all about having the best promoters and DJs and strictest door anymore — I think that’s a formula to stay open 6 to 12 months. Hudson Terrace wasn’t built to follow the models-and-bottles formula and meet their steep table minimums. Instead, we’ve taken pages from our other successful eating and drinking establishments such as the Village Pourhouse, Sidebar, and Vintage Irving, with offerings like pitchers of sangria and margaritas.” They’re pitching a happy hour concept from 5-7 p.m. I’m proud to say that Hudson Terrace was designed by my partner Marc Dizon.

The roof parties and a stop-start economy will get us through the heat of summer. An added value is that outdoor parties are generally blessed with quieter music, as sound travels and Manhattan gets more crowded by the minute. The music played in most clubs theses days — especially the clubs catering to these particular crowds — has stagnated. The isolation of Hudson Terrace and Jeffrey’s commitment to play it a little forward should educate a crowd to new tastes. Steven Greenberg’s 230 Fifth bans hip hop altogether in favor of mostly rock fare. This space is the highest-grossing joint in New York nightlife history. I know only a little about music made in this century, but I do know this: The crowds I DJ to these day are growing, and my CD collection isn’t. I play almost an entirely rock set, and there seem to be a lot more people interested in it than a year ago. Oh, if you want to hear me DJ or toss an egg or discuss clubdom, I’ll be at 38 Howard Street off Broadway tonight; I go on at 12:30 a.m., right after the bands.

Ian Gerard & Gen Art

imageI’ve known Ian Gerard of Gen Art from the beginning. Gen Art parties are must-attend events that combine an eclectic mix of the film, art, and an amazing social scene in clubs around town. Ian was originally very hands-on with the details at every event, and he did everything short of popping the popcorn. He booked the films, did the invites, arranged for the after-party venue, got the liquor sponsor, invited the crowds, did the door, then went inside and schmoozed with everyone — and at the end of the night, he swept out the place. Gen Art has gotten too big for that much control, and Ian has delegated to a creative crew, but the upcoming Gen Art Film Festival has gotten better and better and more significant over the years. I stole Ian away from his furious preparations for this years’ festival to ask him a few questions about Gen Art.

What is your title at Gen Art? I am the CEO and co-founder.

Tell me what Gen Art is. We are a national arts entertainment company that showcases the best emerging talent in fashion, film, music and art. We’re based in New York but we have offices in LA, San Francisco, Miami, and Chicago. We produce fashion shows for young designers, film festivals, and screenings for independent filmmakers, live music events, art fairs, etc.

How long has it been going on? We started in 1994, so this is unfortunately a bad year, but it’s our 15th anniversary.

Right from the start you had a relationship with nightclubs, and you still do a lot of events at nightclubs. Why is that? The big thing is that we’ve always had a huge social element to all our events. It’s never been just a fashion show where you walk in, watch the show, and you walk out. It’s about bringing together the people that enjoy these art forms. We want them to see the shows, but we also want them to interact with each other. Obviously nightclubs are a place for social activities to occur, so whether we’re doing an event that’s actually taking place in a nightclub, or we’re doing an after-party for an event taking place somewhere else, there’s always that social element where people that have similar backgrounds can mingle and talk about what they’ve seen.

The Gen Art Film Festival is coming up; what are the dates? It’s April 1-7, and the tagline is “Seven Premieres and Seven Parties,” so we’re very upfront about the social aspect. There is a red carpet premiere each night followed by an after-party at one of the many hot spots in New York — for instance, this year we have events at Hudson Terrace, 1Oak, Antik, and then some that have been around a little longer like Home and BLVD. We do the big opening at The Park because we need a place that can hold 1,000 people.

So it’s not the Sundance Film Festival, it’s not the New York film festival — what is the criteria for this? What’s the difference between a Gen Art film and a Sundance film? There’s more of a difference in the format and the fact that we do only seven premieres — which mean’s it’s one short film and one feature, so we’re really highlighting a very small number of filmmakers. That means that you don’t have to be an industry insider to know what to see. If you go to Sundance, which is 150 different films, by the time you figure out what’s the buzzed-about film, it’s completely sold out. Here, because we’re doing only seven nights, any night is going to be a good film. So you don’t have to have the inside track; you can just pick whatever night you want to go, and it’s going to be an awesome film.

I see you promoting on Facebook, which is something I do also; it’s become an important part of getting my word out there, and it seems effective. Yeah, we just sold out two shows on Friday. I put the word out to my friends on Facebook because I wanted them to actually go out and buy tickets for the nights that I knew they were going to be more interested in. I got that out there before I even got the official invites out to our regular supporters.

I think it’s important to have this social aspect because I know that if I was going to a film that interests me, chances are that the people in the audience share some kind of creative interest with me. We have had weddings come out of Gen Art, and a lot of other stuff that doesn’t go anywhere near weddings, but yeah, it’s very social … it’s probably about 75 to 80 percent single people and people with similar interests, so it’s a great way to meet somebody. It gives you something to automatically talk about when you’ve just seen a great movie or a cool fashion show — it’s better than a pick-up line.

The Gen Art Film Festival is in New York; does it travel to the other cities you’re in? It doesn’t travel, but with Acura, who’s our title sponsor, we launched a secondary festival in Chicago three years ago that happens in June. It follows a similar format, but it’s a little smaller … it’s only four nights of premiers and parties. It’s the same basic concept, but there are different films.

And you plan expanding to other cities? What does Gen Art do in the other cities? We do the whole range of programming in other cities, but we don’t do the festivals — doing two is complex enough, so I don’t think we’re going to travel with it, and generally it really takes a lot of dollars, so Acura really made that possible. In the other markets we do our “Fresh Faces in Fashion,” which is our anchor fashion program that we do in all of our markets, in addition to special-event screenings and parties for independent films one night before they get released to the public. We do behind-the-scenes art collector tours of galleries and auction houses, dealers’ homes in all the markets, shopping events where we take the young designers’ items off the runway and you can buy then directly — 50 designers in one place on one night instead of having to travel all over the city to find them.

In the beginning it was all Ian Gerard — you did everything. How have you found delegation to be? How difficult has it been as the company grows to delegate responsibility to others? It definitely was a learning experience, and it took awhile to figure it out. But I quickly realized that the first thing I definitely had to delegate as the company grew was to people with expertise. I had a cursory knowledge of the art and fashion worlds, but once we actually started getting into that programming, I needed to bring on people that knew those worlds. So once I had a fashion director and a film director, it was easy to delegate to them. But in terms of the events, it’s a little bit harder for me to totally step out; I’m a little bit of a micro-manager, making sure we have a good list of people showing up, etc.

Blackbook is now available on iPhones and Blackberries; are you making those sort of moves? Will Gen Art be on a phone soon? We just finally got around to re-launching our website after about seven years, so that was our newest initiative; we’re trying to get a lot of our content out via the website, in terms of video contact from our events and things like that. We haven’t really gotten to the mobile scene yet. I know that’s the next frontier, but I think we need to conquer the internet first.

So you mentioned that it’s not exactly the best year to celebrate your anniversary; how is the economy treating you? It’s obviously a harsh economic climate out there, so one of the few nice things has been that consumer interest has not gone down at all. In all of our markets, we’re selling out tickets faster; I think people realize that our events are actually a great deal. Instead of going out to 1Oak and spending $18 on a drink just to go there for the night, you can come to one of our events that has the open bar built in, and it’s a whole packaged evening that’s not that expensive. For the film festivals, the regular night is only $30, and that gets you a premier and a two-hour open bar at these clubs — that’s a steal, because when I go out, I spend god knows how much money each night. So I think that the good thing about the economy is that people are focused on things that they enjoy and that are cost-effective. And one other really fun thing about the “Seven Premieres and Seven Parties” is that since we use a non-commercial theater — we use the SVA theater — we’re actually able to serve cocktails and drinks before the movies, so we get in the social aspect even before the films start, which is cool. You really have to give people something worth their money.

Straight Up: Sean MacPherson

pf_main_seanmcph.jpg Sean MacPherson and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore must use the same beauty treatment. Both have the gangly strides and the “dude” demeanor of a Valley teenager, and the energy of a golden retriever. “It’s taxidermy,” says MacPherson, who we caught up with while he galloped on a treadmill in Manhattan. “I’m pickled in alcohol.”

The bi-coastal MacPherson, 42, fresh off the success of the West Village’s Waverly Inn—which he co-owns with longtime business partner Eric Goode—recently opened Bar Lubitsch in Hollywood, a Russian-themed vodka emporium. The Mao-red space has already become the hot ticket for a subtly-chic tribe of Angelenos who aren’t looking for a trendy, micro-mini-wearing set, but are looking for a sophisticated outpost to chill in (with 200 vodkas behind the bar). No surprise that his partner, Jared Meisler, managed cool-and-collected Bar Marmont when MacPherson owned that hot property too. In Los Angeles, MacPherson still presides over the enduring Swingers, the Mexican cantina El Carmen, and the accommodating Jones. In New York, he co-owns The Park, the Maritime Hotel, and together with Goode, he’s just opened two new boutique hotels, the posh former brothel Lafayette House (where Ross Bleckner and Julian Schnabel have been doing time), as well as the antiques-crammed, architectural salvage outpost that is the 135-room Bowery Hotel.

Growing up “between Malibu and Mexico,” MacPherson may have picked up a little of both place’s laissez-faire vibes. “I’ve worked my whole life,” he says, “but I’ve never had a job.”