Comment On The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

The Beacon of Hope (from Pete) My phone interview for a senior developer position in the banking industry started off pretty well. The jovial and affable development manager told me that my CV stood out "like a beacon of hope compared to the vast oceans of crap applicants" he had been sent by HR and various recruitment consultants. "I just have one question," he said with a smile in his voice, "how soon could can you start?" [expand full text]
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Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-05-31 13:17 • by Bridget (unregistered)
382319 in reply to 382312
Decius:

I love how you're privy to the qualifications of other applicants! That means that you got into the final cut, where you and the other short-short listers can meet in the lobby and compare notes. Since you obviously weren't the best, or even able to evaluate who was the best for the position, the reason you got onto the short-short list was because of positive discrimination.


Internal position. I work alongside the person who got it now. And all I'm saying is that the fear of negative discrimination is far greater and it's a nasty little question that's sitting along with 'did I ask for too big a salary?' or 'are my job skills lacking?' I try not to disclose disability status in interviews unless the interviewer notices just because I fear how heavily it'll count against me. And for the most part, it's not been an issue. When it was though, it was really ugly. So disclosing disability ever working in my favor? Maybe when someone offers to carry my groceries out to the car for me... but I find it incredible that it'd happen in a workplace. Maybe someday I'll be proven wrong, but I really like my current coworkers so it may be a while before I try for a better job.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-05-31 14:24 • by hr45u4y5y (unregistered)
382340 in reply to 382172
He sureley should'f.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-05-31 14:35 • by Nagesh
382342 in reply to 382220
Matt Westwood:
Larry:
Yes:
there are probably times when gender is important for a role (not that any such cases immediately spring to mind)
I know gender makes a huge difference in how much I'm willing to pay a stripper.


That's a bit sexist. How can the gender of the person make a difference to how efficiently they can prepare a wall for redecoration?


is simple. in most case guys will strip the wall quickly than women.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-05-31 15:18 • by Paul Neumann (unregistered)
382351 in reply to 382241
DaveK:
Coyne:
The Positive Attitude letter is a bit wordy. Fixed it:


To whom it may concern:

I have my head up my arse and am dazzled by my own brillance.

Best, XXX XXXX

Even Shorter'd That For Ya!
ftfy! Gah, some people's spelling.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-05-31 15:23 • by AN AMAZING CODER (unregistered)
382352 in reply to 382225
gilhad:
Yes:

That said, there are probably times when gender is important for a role (not that any such cases immediately spring to mind)




It's also not illegal if it matches the theme or brand of your establishment. For example, Hooters waitresses, Playboy's Casino dealers, etc.

Also, for the non-U.S. viewers -- it still happens all the time. the REASON why the penalty is so high is probably related to the fact that a company would have to have a proven history of discrimination in order to lose a case. Denny's didn't lose their discrimination case because 1 person was denied service and sued them, it was because thousands had been.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-05-31 15:42 • by Aaron (unregistered)
"...the proof is in the pudding..."

*facepalm*

I believe he means "the proof of the pudding is in the eating." How the heck could the proof be *IN* the pudding?

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-05-31 16:22 • by Andy (unregistered)
382358 in reply to 382356
It's a mangling of that figure of speech, but it's fairly common.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081213192730AAMBoGC

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-05-31 20:00 • by voyou (unregistered)
382385 in reply to 382211
Yes:
Vroomfundel:
Speaking about attitude towards discrimination on both sides of the pond, I can't help but mock the 'Equal Opportunity Employer' thing they have in the UK. On every other web site that accepts online applications you have this 'equal opportunity' section, which requires you to disclose your gender, race, sexual orientation and disability status.

Why, would a sensible person ask.
So that you won't be discriminated against, stupid! It's an equal opportunity program.
I thought about registering myself as disabled black lesbian just to see if they get tempted by the opportunity to score a tick in all boxes with just one candidate (because I fail to envisage any other reason why would they want this information, other than fulfilling a quota in all categories, i.e. for discrimination).
THIS, 100% THIS. Any organisation that wants to know any personal detail about you on the basis that they are an equal opportunity employer does not understand equal opportunities.

EO is not about balancing workplaces into demographics that reflect the real world. EO is about hiring the best person for the job irrespective of their heritage, personal life or colour car they drive. By asking whether someone is a particular gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation we are simply setting up a list we can use to discriminate against some candidates.
For example, "We are an equal opportunity employer, what is your gender?" would imply that they believe they have an imbalance in the workplace toward one gender and are looking to hire the other - this is not EO. Ideally (and of course it's not always possible because of the human factors and occasionally language problems) the 1st page of a resume (assuming it contains onley personal infromation) can be thrown out, and the resume' assessed for it's content with no concern for WHO the applicant is, just HOW WELL they suit the position...

That said, there are probably times when gender is important for a role (not that any such cases immediately spring to mind)


You're both misunderstanding the point of these Equal Opportunities questions. They don't use this information to make a decision about who to employ; indeed, if they're doing it right, the people making hiring decisions never get to see this information (otherwise, the company is opening itself up to lawsuits). The point of asking for this information is so that the company can see, for instance, whether the percentage of women who apply is greater or less than the percentage who are invited to interviews.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-01 05:46 • by Mathew (unregistered)
382398 in reply to 382242
Tobi:

Swissgerman:

Danke für de gueti bricht, ich han mich köschtlich amüsiert.
Chasch den du überhaupt no schwizerdütsch?
Gruess us Rapperswil
Tobi


Hey, du verdammte löli, du hesch gschecht ned tscheggt, er isch nöd en schwiitzer. hohlio behindi. liebi grüess.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-01 05:46 • by Mathew (unregistered)
382399 in reply to 382242
Tobi:

Swissgerman:

Danke für de gueti bricht, ich han mich köschtlich amüsiert.
Chasch den du überhaupt no schwizerdütsch?
Gruess us Rapperswil
Tobi


Hey, du verdammte löli, du hesch gschecht ned tscheggt, er isch nöd en schwiitzer. hohlio behindi. liebi grüess.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-01 07:46 • by Level 2 (unregistered)
382403 in reply to 382144
emaN ruoY:
Also, in the US, asking about family during an interview is considered very taboo. Is that not the case in the UK?


The other guy mentioned wife and kids in his CV. The interviewer commented on that. He did not ask for information.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-01 07:47 • by Vroomfundel
382404 in reply to 382385
voyou:

You're both misunderstanding the point of these Equal Opportunities questions. They don't use this information to make a decision about who to employ; indeed, if they're doing it right, the people making hiring decisions never get to see this information (otherwise, the company is opening itself up to lawsuits). The point of asking for this information is so that the company can see, for instance, whether the percentage of women who apply is greater or less than the percentage who are invited to interviews.


I don't think that's entirely plausible - even if the person making the hiring decisions doesn't get to see this information (even though this can happen off the record) HR do - and they are the ones that get to send the interview invitations, so in the best case we move the positive discrimination one step ahead.
And of course Mr. or Ms. big boss can always hire that white straight male no matter the other options as these traits are usually readily evident.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-01 12:38 • by ceiswyn (unregistered)
382438 in reply to 382404
[quote user="Vroomfundel"]I don't think that's entirely plausible - even if the person making the hiring decisions doesn't get to see this information (even though this can happen off the record) HR do - and they are the ones that get to send the interview invitations[/QUOTE]

The person in HR who sees the Equal Opportunities information is generally not the same person who makes any interview decisions. And in any case, in most of the companies I've worked for HR haven't been the ones making the interview decisions; they're not qualified to! They just collate all the CVs, remove the equal ops info, and send the rest on to the manager responsible for the vacancy that's being filled. And that's who makes the interview decisions.

[quote]And of course Mr. or Ms. big boss can always hire that white straight male no matter the other options as these traits are usually readily evident.[/quote]

Of course they can. And if they are consistently hiring the straight white male no matter the other options, the equal opportunities records will provide a paper trail showing that that's what's happening. Being as that's what they're for, an' all.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-01 13:43 • by Tom (unregistered)
382449 in reply to 382404
Depends on the environment, of course, but I wrote a recruiting system for a company a few years back. The EEO questionnaire was voluntary and required to be anonymous to HR, who filtered and scheduled the interviews.

An enterprising web admin or DBA probably could have matched EEO answers to applicants, of course. But to the people in the hiring process, it was pretty well anonymized.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-01 15:34 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
382466 in reply to 382385
voyou:
The point of asking for this information is so that the company can see, for instance, whether the percentage of women who apply is greater or less than the percentage who are invited to interviews.

And what, pray tell, can they then do with that information? The only logical opportunities are (a) do nothing, or (b) send out a memo to their hiring managers saying, please try not to hire so many redhead Welshmen; we're over quota there.

The first of this is pointless, the second, pure an simple, constitutes institutionalized discrimination against whatever demographic that happens to be over quota this year.

I had to fill out these forms when I applied for a job at a British "university" about a decade ago. With the application I put down my race (they claimed to be asking about "ethnicity", but the non-write-in options included "white" and "black") as "none of your business". Then after being hired, I was required to fill out another form of the same kind, in which I disclosed my "ethnicity" as "Smurf". A couple of years later after I left, I briefly came back to finish a paper while otherwise being between job. I then put myself down as ethnically "get lost, you racist fucks". And then the department head had the chin to order ME to apologize!

An no, no single one of these forms marked the question as optional or in any way evidenced any unease about asking them (though some people have later tried to defend said "university" by claiming that it was actually the British government that required them to act like racist fucks and they themselves could do nothing about it ...)

Sheesh.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-01 20:27 • by Tatterdemalion (unregistered)
I'm fairly sure Positive Attitude Guy is actually an AI.

"...Well this is part of who I am: I can reach my very core and rewrite it on demand, I'm not stuck with the limitations of a rigid personality"

"You must have gotten a brief glimpse at who I am at this point, but I would rather not spill the beans right away"

And the grammar/syntax has definitely got my Turing-sense tingling. An AI that knows it's an AI? And is applying for random tech jobs? Man, I kind of want to write the screenplay....

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-02 01:10 • by Tupac (unregistered)
382482 in reply to 382147
Nagesh:
Anon:
They really like to chase the chicks


I call BS on this one. He was supposed to be British, so I'm pretty sure he would have said:

They really like to chase the birds


our school book say - bat hunting and fox hunting are fond time pass of lords and ladies in England.


This is probably the funniest thing I have ever read

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-02 05:24 • by bjolling
382485 in reply to 382319
Bridget:
Decius:

I love how you're privy to the qualifications of other applicants! That means that you got into the final cut, where you and the other short-short listers can meet in the lobby and compare notes. Since you obviously weren't the best, or even able to evaluate who was the best for the position, the reason you got onto the short-short list was because of positive discrimination.


Internal position. I work alongside the person who got it now. And all I'm saying is that the fear of negative discrimination is far greater and it's a nasty little question that's sitting along with 'did I ask for too big a salary?' or 'are my job skills lacking?' I try not to disclose disability status in interviews unless the interviewer notices just because I fear how heavily it'll count against me. And for the most part, it's not been an issue. When it was though, it was really ugly. So disclosing disability ever working in my favor? Maybe when someone offers to carry my groceries out to the car for me... but I find it incredible that it'd happen in a workplace. Maybe someday I'll be proven wrong, but I really like my current coworkers so it may be a while before I try for a better job.
Sorry to be so blunt about it but judging from what you post on the TDWTF forums, I'd guess that it's your personality holding you back: being quick to judge, not held back by actually knowing what's really going on

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-03 08:10 • by swissguy (unregistered)
382502 in reply to 382158
szeryf:
This SuperGenius guy from the second story would feel at home in the bank from the first story :)

If the bank is the one I suspect, he would be at home, indeed.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-03 12:25 • by Johann (unregistered)
This is the most wonderful two submissions I ever read on this site. I laughed so much, thanks :)

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-03 12:31 • by Johann (unregistered)
382505 in reply to 382504
"he was wearing a wristwatch the size of a dinner plate with more telemetry than a jet cockpit."

AHAHAHAHA!!!

Seriously, I'm STILL laughing at all of it... they're both pure poetry. Great writing like this makes this site so much more enjoyable than just the bare fuck-ups of others would. Schadenfreude wears out quickly, but some words are for eternity :D

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-04 02:57 • by Xingularity (unregistered)
382508 in reply to 382480
Tatterdemalion :
I'm fairly sure Positive Attitude Guy is actually an AI.

"...Well this is part of who I am: I can reach my very core and rewrite it on demand, I'm not stuck with the limitations of a rigid personality"

"You must have gotten a brief glimpse at who I am at this point, but I would rather not spill the beans right away"

And the grammar/syntax has definitely got my Turing-sense tingling. An AI that knows it's an AI? And is applying for random tech jobs? Man, I kind of want to write the screenplay....


I initially thought that... but it could just be someone with a 90% grasp of English and a really outgoing personality (or, more likely, put on for attention -- see-also the peacock)

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-04 05:38 • by Mr Spiggott (unregistered)
382509 in reply to 382319
Bridget:


I try not to disclose disability status in interviews unless the interviewer notices just because I fear how heavily it'll count against me.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-04 08:13 • by Bridget (unregistered)
382512 in reply to 382485
bjolling:
Sorry to be so blunt about it but judging from what you post on the TDWTF forums, I'd guess that it's your personality holding you back: being quick to judge, not held back by actually knowing what's really going on


That is rather hysterical, considering what website we're on and all.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-05 15:43 • by rast (unregistered)
382594 in reply to 382319
Bridget:
Decius:

I love how you're privy to the qualifications of other applicants! That means that you got into the final cut, where you and the other short-short listers can meet in the lobby and compare notes. Since you obviously weren't the best, or even able to evaluate who was the best for the position, the reason you got onto the short-short list was because of positive discrimination.


Internal position. I work alongside the person who got it now.


Yeah, I hate when I get passed over in favor of someone less qualified, too. But since I'm a straight white normal (that is, not disabled) male, I can't blame discrimination. Instead, I assume the relevant manager made a mistake. That's just what managers do.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-07 09:42 • by Clevel (unregistered)
382700 in reply to 382204
Chelloveck:
While working my way through school back in the 1980s, I spent a couple summers working in a hospital human resources office. One government regulation required that we report demographic information, including race. Another regulation prohibited us from asking for such information. I forget exactly how it was resolved, but I think the HR director just made up a bunch of numbers and called it close enough.


Generally this is done by having separate forms, the one containing demographic details is separated kept out of the hiring process. With electronic applications its just a matter of storing the demographic details in separate tables or what not, and then having a view for the hiring process which does not contain any of those details.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-08 19:36 • by e john (unregistered)
382895 in reply to 382237
Frank:
Your Name:
WinDef:
In Germany a company has to meet a quota on woman and disabled people if they have more than 10 employees.

If not the owner has to pay a fine of 1500 Euro a month (worst case).

So one could say women and disabled people get their jobs mainly to avoid a fine and not because of their own merits...
One could say that, but one would never say it, because then one would be facing a crowd of women, minorities, and disabled people. A very angry crowd. Angry because deep in the hidden recesses of their own minds, they have wondered the same thing, only to immediately suppress the thought.

But then, who cares? They're minorities. That means we have them outnumbered! Yeah for democracy, where the majority is always right!


Women, of course, are not a minority ... just those willing to date me.

captcha: ratis. short for ratissimus dorsae, the long flat muscles along both sides of your face that twitch whenever you're about to lie to a child so you can dump him on some other family member and get out of there to go chase birds. Or chicks.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-06-10 18:36 • by Goob (unregistered)
I had no idea Tim Ferris was a Java programmer...

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2012-07-06 06:22 • by Cbuttius (unregistered)
The real WTF is putting such a big emphasis on the covering letter, never mind looking for buzzwords on a CV.

The first application step should always be an online technical test that is relevant to the job and will be marked automatically. Will instantly filter out the candidates who are no-hopers.

Then get them to write code.

Too many people get jobs because of having the wrong skill-set, e.g. CV, covering letter and interview technique.

Don't require a covering letter in the first place as part of the selection process and you won't get ones like the one above.

In addition I see far too many job specs as a list of technical requirements and no mention of what the person is being brought in to do. Bringing someone in based on one skillset then getting them to do something different on a day-to-day basis does not lead to a good hire. The most skilled person isn't always the one to do the job, not because of their "personality" or ability to write covering letters well, but simply if the job doesn't demand their expertise, meaning they will be bored.

For those jobs that require a high level of competency, unless they are very short-term hires, tools / products can be learnt. Basic computing competency is a lot harder to acquire.

Re: The Beacon of Hope and A Positive Attitude

2013-09-04 07:06 • by blaj (unregistered)
416268 in reply to 382143
Sounds like markov chains...
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