My first contact with Thomas
Smrt happened after I answered an ad that he placed in the
newspaper for a video editor. It was a blind ad, so I has
no idea that the creator of Shireland was on the other end.
Weeks went by and I didn't hear anything, so I forgot
about it. On a Saturday morning my phone rang at 7:30 AM,
a time I am not used to frequenting. It was Thomas Smrt.
In our brief phone
conversation, he drilled me with rapid-fire precision
about my background as a video editor. Even through he
owned very sophisticated video editing equipment, it was
obvious that he knew nothing about it. I assumed that
he probably had someone advise him about what to buy then
subsequently left the company. If that happened, it would
make sense that he would have no idea about the equipment that
he owned and would hire someone who did to operate it.
That was not unusual; the unusual part was to come:
I asked him about the job he
had available. He said that he "...had no job
available". I thought that was odd for someone to put
an ad in the paper who did not have a job available. He
told me that he looks for good people and then creates jobs
around them. That struck me as odd, but somewhat
acceptable. He felt obliged to tell me that he never got
past the 4th grade, but he was a millionaire several times over.
He told me he owned a paint spraying company, a horse farm and
was the creator of Shireland, the amusement park (Italics
added). He said that even through he handled huge business
transactions, he didn't even have business cards.
He went on to tell me
that "most people who come out of school are Dumb Sh*ts"!
That was O.K. , according to him, because he was a self
proclaimed "... Dumb Sh*t, as well". He said
that most people coming out of school can't even "...read
or write, because most teachers aren't worth a Sh*t".
He stipulated that this was in sharp contrast to England where
students learned how to "... read and write and
To say that I felt like I was
in the Twilight Zone was putting it mildly. I
couldn't believe that someone would use such pejorative language
to someone he didn't know, who he was considering hiring.
Based on his comments, and the time, I decided I had enough.
I said, "I am going to hang up now, because I am not
interested in your position", but before I could get my
last word out, he hung up on me.
Several years later (2006) I
would stick my head into the beast's mouth when I talked my way
into an interview and an actual position with Thomas Smrt.
Those details are on the next page.