Meeting Mel Haber

It was a very late evening in September of 2011 when I was checking out the “Computer Gigs” postings on Craigslist. I found a post “Computer Whiz Needed“. It was for a small 30 room Boutique hotel in Palm Springs, California. “We are looking for a part-time, 2 days a week, computer literate person with some graphics experience.” Sounded like something right up my alley. I replied to the post, “This Whiz can be had for $16 an hour, assuming 2 days at 8 hours per day.“, sent out the email and went to bed.

The next morning I checked my email and found that I got a reply. They asked if I could come in that morning at 9 a.m. I quickly replied to the email, “Yes!“, shifted into gear and got ready to head out to my interview at the Ingleside Inn.

I arrived at the Ingleside Inn at the appointed time and entered the Lobby of the hotel. I met Armida, the Hotel Manager, and she asked if I wanted something to drink while waiting and that Mr. Haber would be ready to meet me shortly.

A few minutes later Mr. Haber exited the back office and entered the lobby. He had a stack of resumes in his hand and introduced himself and shook my hand and said to follow him down to the restaurant. If you ever had the chance to walk the veranda with Mr. Haber, then you know that man doesn’t doddle. After a short and fast power walk to the restaurant we sat down at his table.

Melvyn Haber is a one-of-a-kind personality with his quick wit, hundreds of stories and his never ending smile. He told me about the Ingleside Inn and Melvyn’s Restaurant and then told me a story about when Steve McQueen and Ali McGraw drove up on a motorcycle on Melvyn’s opening night and He turned them away not knowing who they were and told them they were not dressed properly for his “black tie” event. He then told me about the Frank Sinatra and Barbara Marx’s pre-wedding dinner and that he was intimidated by Frank Sinatra.

I had not had the time to prepare a resume before the interview and started to tell Mr. Haber about myself and the work I had done in the past. He wanted me to design a new website for the Inn. “No problem“, I answered. When I told him about the new electronic theorem that I created when in college and a little bit about my background, I now also intimidated him. I told him that, “I am not that scary“. We both laughed and he asked me to start the following day. I am not sure if he interviewed anyone else after me. I thanked him and replied, “Sure, I will see you in the morning.” We parted with what I would call him at work, Mr. Haber or Boss. I chose “Boss” since he ran the joint. I have never before called anyone Boss during my career.