Comment On A Bit Off Kilter

There was something that seemed a bit off kilter about Victor C’s new boss. He was a nice guy and all, but his social skills seemed to be somewhat lacking. There weren’t any glaring red flags, but Victor noticed a few things in the interview – nervous leg bouncing, awkward small talk, and a way-too-frequent throat-clearing – that weren’t exactly typical. Then again, it was Victor’s first real job, so he hardly had a frame of reference. Maybe all programmer-turned-CEO’s had a few quirks like that? [expand full text]
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Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:04 • by Paul A. Bean (unregistered)
Have you got my comment yet? Well, have you? C'mon, don't leave me hangin' bud, respond! I'm frist and all, but still, gimme some credit! Hello? Are you there?

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:05 • by Fubar (unregistered)
Hmmm, I'm sure my Ex had a stalker that said pretty much the same thing to her :/

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:05 • by Jayman
Wow. Slightly psychotic boss. Considering how much I value my personal time, I don't think I could have handled it as well as (or as long as) Victor...

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:06 • by Mike Caron (unregistered)
hey u there

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:07 • by Fred (unregistered)
John is insecure and has abandonment issues.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:07 • by RBoy (unregistered)
292743 in reply to 292736
Paul A. Bean:
Have you got my comment yet? Well, have you? C'mon, don't leave me hangin' bud, respond! I'm frist and all, but still, gimme some credit! Hello? Are you there?


Let me know b4 you post frist, k?

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:07 • by Paul A. Bean (unregistered)
No.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:08 • by Mike Caron (unregistered)
292745 in reply to 292740
did u run awy??????

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:09 • by highphilosopher (unregistered)
It may sound funny for a boss to worry about someone disappearing, but my first job was to replace the developer of a web based company that went to lunch one day, and didn't come back. He called six months after I started and apologized saying, "He just couldn't take it anymore". I lasted there for 3 1/2 years before I had the same response. At least I put in two weeks though!

Captcha: Populus - Combination of popping a number off a stack and adding to it.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:14 • by anon (unregistered)
have u finished writing ur comment???

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:16 • by Procedural (unregistered)
Come back tomorrow, 'k ? There'll be another article. Don't forget !

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:19 • by ConstantLurker (unregistered)
uhm... check in tomorrow again k??

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:28 • by Anon (unregistered)
TRWTF is that there are people who think abbreviating text messages that way is acceptable.

Seriously, "ure"?

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:28 • by Procedural (unregistered)
292752 in reply to 292737
Fubar:
Hmmm, I'm sure my Ex had a stalker that said pretty much the same thing to her :/


Sounds like you would personally know about that !

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:30 • by toth
292753 in reply to 292737
Fubar:
Hmmm, I'm sure my Ex had a stalker that said pretty much the same thing to her :/


Would that be you, by any chance?

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:31 • by Anon (unregistered)
The lesson for today is to not give you boss your cell phone number.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:31 • by Some Guy (unregistered)
292755 in reply to 292752
Procedural:
Fubar:
Hmmm, I'm sure my Ex had a stalker that said pretty much the same thing to her :/


Sounds like you would personally know about that !


Pwned :-P

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:33 • by Steenbergh (unregistered)
So I take it the phone used for all this texting was provided by the boss?

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:37 • by acc (unregistered)
292757 in reply to 292756
ssssseee

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:37 • by akatherder
That's just scary. During the interview, it's fair to ask if anything is expected of you outside normal business hours. However, you won't get an honest answer to that question, especially from the people who have the most to hide.

Not a big problem, unless you left a good position to end up in a hellhole like this.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:39 • by Dan (unregistered)
while reading i kept visualizing John as Rhys Darby both in Flight of the Conchords and Yes Men

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:42 • by Spoe (unregistered)
And he ran.
He ran so far away.
He just ran.
He ran all night and day.
He couldn't get away.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:44 • by Sounds Familiar (unregistered)
I worked for UK2.NET ... they were very much like that.

Actually it's a story worthy of a WTF article ... endless phone calls every few hours with less than 5 hours solid sleep between them at most (at the weekend) but no on call allowance, being told that all the (GPL'd) software I had written up to that point now belonged to the company, booting dozens of servers (with tends of thousands of customers on them each) all from floppy disk because the guy who set it up didn't know how to install LILO/GRUB....

Beneath the slick exterior sales website was a big pile of badly mangled crazy.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:44 • by OMG (unregistered)
You're going to have to make some adjustments to your home life to accommodate TDWTF.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:46 • by Anonymouse (unregistered)
If my boss asked me to "restructure my home time to accommodate the company" I'd ask him to "restructure my pay to accommodate the extra 16 hours a day I'll be working".

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:50 • by Paul A. Bean (unregistered)
292764 in reply to 292758
akatherder:
That's just scary. During the interview, it's fair to ask if anything is expected of you outside normal business hours. However, you won't get an honest answer to that question, especially from the people who have the most to hide.

Not a big problem, unless you left a good position to end up in a hellhole like this.


It isn't fair to ask a question you know you won't get an honest answer to. "Fair" would be to state your exact feelings about out-of-hours availability, and request that they take that into consideration before making you an offer. Fairness and a hard close into the bargain. Win!

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:53 • by @Deprecated (unregistered)
I need a LOT of sleep so that I can be at my very best for increased productivity at work! So, I will be 'checking out' at 6pm every night!

Man that is a whole bag of crazy.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 09:59 • by onk (unregistered)
292766 in reply to 292745
what are you dooooing?


Maybe that boss is Canadian?

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:00 • by Tom Woolf (unregistered)
292767 in reply to 292760
... my gosh - that song is a quarter of a century old, and that is the frist time I heard or saw a reference to it where I did not feel nauseous.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:12 • by Niels (unregistered)
So it sounds like the boss may have had some kind of OCD and should probably consult a psychiatrist. TRWTF was that nobody gently nudged the boss in that direction.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:15 • by Anonymously Yours (unregistered)
Were I in his position, I would probably have changed my text message alert noise to a rotation of quotes from the turrets in Portal.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:16 • by javabeats (unregistered)
I'm stupefied O.O

Maybe my job ain't so bad, after all.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:25 • by justsomedude (unregistered)
Bah, just make the company pay for the cell/txt service and script his questions over to iGOD for responses.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:28 • by Dave Rodenbaugh (unregistered)
292772 in reply to 292766
Sounds more like Cardassian to me. Ugh.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:32 • by akatherder
292773 in reply to 292764
Paul A. Bean:
akatherder:
That's just scary. During the interview, it's fair to ask if anything is expected of you outside normal business hours. However, you won't get an honest answer to that question, especially from the people who have the most to hide.

Not a big problem, unless you left a good position to end up in a hellhole like this.


It isn't fair to ask a question you know you won't get an honest answer to. "Fair" would be to state your exact feelings about out-of-hours availability, and request that they take that into consideration before making you an offer. Fairness and a hard close into the bargain. Win!


Right, because they are legally bound to everything they tell you in the interview. That's so cute :P

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:47 • by Sindri
To be fair, that boss does have good reason to worry that his staff will do a runner at lunch (I might have done just that).

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:48 • by toshir0
“We really value communication here, and you’ll need to restructure some of your home time to accommodate the needs of the company.”


Immediate conclusion if I once hear a sentence like the one quoted above : "This person is my former employer".

I'm just stunned.
I can't imagine if i'd have laughed or cried... is this story real ? My sanity begs that it's a fake.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 10:58 • by mbvlist
Sounds like somebody really needs to know he has Asperger :X

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:00 • by ObiWayneKenobi
A lot of startups seem to have this "I need to get a hold of you at any time" mentality. Guy I currently work for calls me at odd times during the day (7am call, etc) and expects me to be around at all times, working during the day AND be up from 10pm onward to communicate with the Indian team he's outsourcing all the programming to. I get to work from home so that's kinda good, but it's not worth the hassle.

People like this should be run out of business.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:03 • by Anonymous (unregistered)
I would never ever give my employer my mobile phone number. If they need to contact me then they can buy me a company mobile but I will still insist on turning it off as soon as I leave work for the day. If it is outside of working hours then I couldn't care less about their problems.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:04 • by ObiWayneKenobi
292780 in reply to 292774
Sindri:
To be fair, that boss does have good reason to worry that his staff will do a runner at lunch (I might have done just that).


Given the story, it sounds like his staff SHOULD be taking lunch and never coming back.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:08 • by Berislav (unregistered)
292781 in reply to 292760
Oh dear, a FoS reference! Now I'll never get it out of my head...

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:19 • by Quietust
If you're getting the feeling that you've read this story before, you're probably remembering this "Side Bar" WTF from last year, "World's most clingy boss".

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:24 • by dkf
292785 in reply to 292751
Anon:
Seriously, "ure"?
It's a river.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:26 • by Bruce W (unregistered)
292787 in reply to 292779
Anonymous:
I would never ever give my employer my mobile phone number. If they need to contact me then they can buy me a company mobile but I will still insist on turning it off as soon as I leave work for the day. If it is outside of working hours then I couldn't care less about their problems.


Wow. How long have you worked in IT? I value my personal time but I know that when the shit hits the fan, who cares what time it is. Likewise, I expect my employer to understand that if there is a family emergency, I'm gone. Professional courtesy goes both ways.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:29 • by RHuckster
292788 in reply to 292769
Anonymously Yours:
Were I in his position, I would probably have changed my text message alert noise to a rotation of quotes from the turrets in Portal.


WIN

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:40 • by Shon (unregistered)
This story sounds terribly familiar.

I worked at a company once and build a certain web app.
Because it was only temporary I informed my replacement of all the things to do and all the ins and outs of the app.
I even made him take notes for step-by-step instructions on how to put it in production.
Just in case he had any questions or problems I gave him my number so he could call me.

About a week later I got a call: how to fix a certain issue... for a totally different web app.
Granted, I worked with that other app, but not anymore. It is supposed to be his job.
Couple of days later I get another call: how to add a certain feature... which I already explained to him step by step and made him write down.
I left there 2 months ago, yet he still calls once every week. If I don't respond, every day after that.

I pretty much still work there, but am not getting paid.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:40 • by Flexible Worker (unregistered)
292790 in reply to 292787
Bruce W:
Anonymous:
I would never ever give my employer my mobile phone number. If they need to contact me then they can buy me a company mobile but I will still insist on turning it off as soon as I leave work for the day. If it is outside of working hours then I couldn't care less about their problems.


Wow. How long have you worked in IT? I value my personal time but I know that when the shit hits the fan, who cares what time it is. Likewise, I expect my employer to understand that if there is a family emergency, I'm gone. Professional courtesy goes both ways.


QFT. The company I work at has a great working environment, and is very flexible about working hours. If I want a long lunch, I just stay out for a long lunch. If I need a day off, I simply declare that I am taking the day off; technically there is an "approval process", but I've never heard of one such request ever being denied in the history of the company.

Likewise, if they call me up on a Sunday morning because the e-mail server isn't working correctly, then I'll spend the hour or two to set it right. It's give and take. I don't track it to the minute, but I am happy with the balance.

That said, if a company wants to be a dick about coming in to work at precisely X AM and leaving no earlier than Y PM and taking no more than Z minutes for lunch, then outside of work hours (or during the Z minutes for lunch), they can fuck straight the hell off.

"Professional courtesy goes both ways." True dat.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:51 • by Anonymous (unregistered)
292792 in reply to 292787
Bruce W:
Anonymous:
I would never ever give my employer my mobile phone number. If they need to contact me then they can buy me a company mobile but I will still insist on turning it off as soon as I leave work for the day. If it is outside of working hours then I couldn't care less about their problems.

Wow. How long have you worked in IT? I value my personal time but I know that when the shit hits the fan, who cares what time it is. Likewise, I expect my employer to understand that if there is a family emergency, I'm gone. Professional courtesy goes both ways.
I've worked in IT long enough to know that I can earn my wage without being anybody's bitch. I'm contracted to work 8 hours a day and I perform to the best of my abilities during that time. But once that time has passed, I'm gone and I'm not stopping for anything or anyone. And they still have to accomodate me if I have a "family emergency" or anything else, because they know good and damn well that they need me more than I need them. As far as I'm concerned, professional courtesy works one way because I have the upper hand and I couldn't care less about my employers or their success in the marketplace. This attitude has being honed by many years in an unforgiving industry. If you stick with it for long enough you'll get there eventually.

Re: A Bit Off Kilter

2009-12-08 11:58 • by IT Girl (unregistered)
292793 in reply to 292787
Bruce W:
Anonymous:
I would never ever give my employer my mobile phone number. If they need to contact me then they can buy me a company mobile but I will still insist on turning it off as soon as I leave work for the day. If it is outside of working hours then I couldn't care less about their problems.


Wow. How long have you worked in IT? I value my personal time but I know that when the shit hits the fan, who cares what time it is. Likewise, I expect my employer to understand that if there is a family emergency, I'm gone. Professional courtesy goes both ways.


I'm guessing those that are drawing the line, haven't been in IT very long. Must of us see some kind of overtime/pager pay/lieu time/whatever to compensate for the fact that when you're needed, you're needed. My blackberry is provided by the company and I get paid to have it on. Mind you it still gets turned off when I'm on my time, but it's pretty easy to gauge when it's "safe" to be incomunicado and when it's not a good idea to be unreachable.
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