Stored Procedures (from Liz)
There was an article posted a little while back (Does Not Compute) that featured confusion of fairly-common tech-isms like Cookies or the Recycle Bin. It was fun, but not terribly surprising considering that everyone is not technically inclined.

I was surprised, however, when a Does Not Compete happened during an interview for a database developer position. My question was fairly straightforward: tell me about your experience with stored procedures.

“I’m very familiar actually,” the candidate answered, “I’m currently working at Home Depot because I’ve had a hard time finding developer work, and everything there has a procedure, and there are so many forms to fill out. If you want to use the forklift to help a customer, you have to get it approved by your supervisor.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond, and that was OK. He just kept going, and going and going, describing in painful detail what his day-to-day duties were. Finally, he finished with “and that’s my experience with Store Procedure.”

The interview didn’t go very far after that.

 

The Porn Guy (from Jack)
A few years back, I was on the job hunt and found my way to a fairly casual lunch interview. After asking a slew of technical questions, one of the interviewers asked me what was the most interesting

thing I ever worked on. I struggled to think of something. Up to that point I had only done really boring in-house apps and lots of SQL queries.

And then it hit me.

“I used to be a photographer in the adult film industry,” I told them. I mean, that was pretty interesting, right? I’m often hesitant to discuss it, but the guys seemed like open-minded young males who wouldn’t take offense to it. I told them my short story, about how I fell into it right out of high school and made enough money to pay for university. They seemed intrigued, and things seemed to go well after that.

A few days later, I received a letter informing me that I hadn’t made the cut. I really liked the company, so I asked about re-applying once my skills were a bit more solid. They actually did respond, and I’ll never forget it.

“With the compilation of information we have gathered, we would suggest not reapplying in the future.”

Years later, I ran into a colleague who had just finished a stint working at that company, and I told him that I interviewed with them way back when.

And then something clicked. “No way,” he blurted out, “you’re the porn guy!”

Turns out, they were so offended by my past experience that they even severed their relationship with my recruiter. That also explained why she stopped taking my calls.

Obviously, I stopped talking about my checkered past to employers a long time ago... even if they seem cool and open-minded.

 

 

Non-returnable Email (from Lim Yeen Fei)
I received an email from a headhunter, offering a new opening at some consulting shop.

There were a few red-flags, but the last sentence really summed things up well.

Interested applicants are invited to email to us with detailed resume, stating age, qualifications, experience, current & expected salaries together with a non-returnable photograph to careers@-------.com

I decided not to respond.