Comment On The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

The Company Pond (from Adam) Our company had one of those decorative ponds located in front of the building where people can gaze out their cubicles and dream of being outside. It looked nice enough, but it was disgustingly dirty with runoff and probably about half full of goose droppings. [expand full text]
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Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 12:42 • by louis (unregistered)
first to comment!

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 12:42 • by Wazzat (unregistered)
Oh no. Must resist.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 12:49 • by Bit Head (unregistered)
I wasn't going to comment, but then I decided to go ahead and just do it.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 12:49 • by snoofle
Re: sixth guy - I've had a few like that - I indulge up to three questions, then respond: you've wasted enough of my time, thank you for yours

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 12:49 • by Jeff (unregistered)
He's right, to compile a COBOL program you "just do it". And if you get a compiler error, you call tech support and say "it won't let me."

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 12:54 • by Larry (unregistered)
can you at least tell me how DRAM memory cell works?
Being the third hardware question for what is apparently a programming job, it is time to stop answering and start asking.

"Will I need to know that for this job?"

No: "Then why are you asking this type of question?"

Yes: "Why wasn't this mentioned in the job description?"

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:00 • by Interviewer (unregistered)
344767 in reply to 344766
Larry:
Being the third hardware question for what is apparently a programming job, it is time to stop answering and start asking.
It sounds like a Stress Interview. The sixth guy's entire purpose may have been a psychological test of the applicant.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:01 • by @Deprecated
So did you actually prepare for the interview at all, or did you think you can just wing it?


Did you actually read the job posting before interviewing me, or did you think you can just wing it?

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:08 • by gazza (unregistered)
The Sixth Guy

An hour of being asked off-topic questions? I wouldn't hire you either.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:09 • by Charles (unregistered)
Never in my life, before or since, have I received such a tirade of abuse at the declination of the position. Apparently, I was throwing away my career and giving up the opportunity of a lifetime.
I can top that. My first ever job was as a dishwasher in a small cafe, owned by a fat slob whose business skills topped out at paying the vendors from the cash register and calculating his success by peering in the drawer at the end of each day. As it turned out, he paid employees only when there was "enough" left over, and there was a pecking order: cook first, waitresses second, dishwasher last.

Oddly there never seemed to be "enough" for the dishwasher. But -- "tomorrow will be better".

Naive as I was, I took it for a little while. But on the morning of the last day of my fourth week, I decided that was enough. "Pay me now -- right NOW -- or I quit."

"Quit! You little *******! After all I've done for you! I took a chance and gave you a job when you had no experience and all you want to do is f*** me in the a** and kick me in the b****!"

Yeah. So I quit, went back to school, and now I make enough that if I ever find the guy I'm thinking of hiring him to wash my dishes.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:09 • by Zaratustra (unregistered)
344771 in reply to 344766
That might just lead to a tirade on how the fundamentals of electronics are basic knowledge for any programmer and how you'd be a fool to think differently.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:11 • by pnieuwkamp
344772 in reply to 344764
snoofle:
Re: sixth guy - I've had a few like that - I indulge up to three questions, then respond: you've wasted enough of my time, thank you for yours
Well, if the rest went ok, explain to him he must've mistaken the room number, as you're there for a programming job, not for low level hardware design.

The way the interview is going he isn't going to recommend you anyway, and that way you can at least try and salvage the situation if there really is a miscommunication at play. Unless it's going to be your boss, letting one interviewer out of a whole procedure get to you isn't worth it.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:19 • by McFly (unregistered)
344773 in reply to 344761
"Moving on, why would one choose a power generation using the relative motion of conductors and fluxes instead of the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive duractance?"

There is only one correct answer to this:

Flux capacitor... fluxing!

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:20 • by Dave (unregistered)
344774 in reply to 344768
@Deprecated:
So did you actually prepare for the interview at all, or did you think you can just wing it?


Did you actually read the job posting before interviewing me, or did you think you can just wing it?


That's how I read it, too...sounds like the guy just got called back from his day off, and didn't give a damn.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:23 • by eric (unregistered)
I once turned down a frankly middling job offer and received a similar tirade. They'd put me through a wringer of an interview - not difficult, but loooong, including one phase where the CEO took me into his office and spent about 25 minutes berating my resume ("C++? Pft. Who DOESN'T know that?") and telling me what an awesome programmer he was (which was, actually, true, he was sort of locally legendary). I found all this odd, but let it slide.

They did apparently decide I was the best candidate for the job...and then promptly offered me about 10% less than the salary I had at the time, with fewer benefits.

I called them back, and very politely said I appreciated their offer but would not be accepting it. If they were willing to negotiate I would consider it, etc etc. All the kind of diplomatic niceties you go through when you get an offer you can't take.

I was not expecting the head of the department to then start calling me names, accusing me of "wasting their valuable time and costing them money" and the litany of things about how my career was now over, I'd made a horrible mistake, I'd regret this for life, etc. I was sort of stunned. In fact I was so stunned that I just sat there listening to this ongoing rant instead of at least attempting to cut them off. Eventually she just hung up on me.

A few months later I met the guy who eventually did get the job, and apparently he had lasted all of six weeks in the position. He didn't have to quit, although he considered it, because the company hit some financial bumps and laid off the entire IT department. Last I heard that department manager was selling hats. The CEO runs a startup somewhere, and the rest of the company got chopped up and sold off to a few different organizations.

I've not really had much in the way of regret.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:27 • by Steve H. (unregistered)
Those hardware questions are rough, even for the average hardware guy. Well, maybe not the first question, depending on how in-depth physics you want to get (i.e. what it does is easy, how and why it does it is much harder).

The question about duractance made me look up the word only to find the joke. Well played.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:27 • by akatherder
344777 in reply to 344764
snoofle:
Re: sixth guy - I've had a few like that - I indulge up to three questions, then respond: you've wasted enough of my time, thank you for yours


It's a game more than anything. They're trying to see how long he can ask questions before you give up. Nobody knows everything so they want to know how you react when presented with something you don't understand.

Will you waste everyone's time by declining each question individually, hoping to stumble on an easy enough question that you can formulate an answer and earn the interviewer's approval?

Will you throw a hissyfit and whine about him wasting your time?

Or will you explain that there must be some misunderstanding? This wasn't part of the job description and given the line of questioning, he might as well be speaking Greek. You're willing to hear him out, but you have zero knowledge/experience with the subject matter.

New Rule

2011-04-19 13:33 • by Where's the Wtf? (unregistered)
New rule: when reporting on weird-as-hell interviews, you must report the year the interview took place, and more importantly, the name of the company. Otherwise, nobody will take your report seriously and assume you are just winging it.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:34 • by boog
The sixth guy sounds like he had somebody else in mind for the job and was trying to sabotage John's chances of getting it. I know that's pretty cynical, but I can't imagine why else he'd ask such useless questions.

I'd like to think I'd have asked him to please just stick to questions relating to the job's ultimate responsibilities, but I know I really would have just declined the position halfway through the interview.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:42 • by C-Octothorpe (unregistered)
You Just Do It:
Reminds me of a guy I worked with many a year ago at a insurance company. I was already there for several months and as the project was winding up, we needed another developer on the project to help with the work load. My non-technical boss hired Yugoslavia Bob without checking with me first... I still remember the first day he showed up: dude with a wicked cookie duster (always with a piece of food in it of course), tinted glasses and always wore a corduroy blazer with jeans...

He was nice enough, though he didn't know the difference between a value type and a bag of peanuts (it was a .Net role). His answer for when he didn't understand or know was always "yes, yes, conceptually... yes, yes." I would say "conceptually what? I was asking you if you were passing in an integer as a parameter". Then if you pressed him, he would just ignore you until you went away! He would literally just turn back to his computer and keep looking at you from the corner of his eye until you left.

I also remember he would go running over to random strangers if they were having a conversation and start laughing with them. I remember he did this several times a day: his ears would perk up, then he would stand up to acquire his target, then like a flash he would run over and start laughing with complete strangers...

I wasn't sad to see him leave (he got end-dated, and also black-listed for future positions). I don't mind inexperience, but when you flat out lie and waste everyone’s time, that pisses me off.

The funny thing is that I remember seeing him walking into the building a couple of months later... Apparently he was working under a different group in the organization. I looked him up in the email address book, and strangely couldn't find him until I accidentally misspelled his name. He applied for (and got) a role under a fake name...

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:42 • by The Great Lobachevsky (unregistered)
344782 in reply to 344773
"Moving on, why would one choose a power generation using the relative motion of conductors and fluxes instead of the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive duractance?"

I wonder how many other people here got the Retroencabulator reference :)

damnum - damnum Askismet...

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:44 • by shadowman
344783 in reply to 344770
Charles:
Never in my life, before or since, have I received such a tirade of abuse at the declination of the position. Apparently, I was throwing away my career and giving up the opportunity of a lifetime.
I can top that. My first ever job was as a dishwasher in a small cafe, owned by a fat slob whose business skills topped out at paying the vendors from the cash register and calculating his success by peering in the drawer at the end of each day. As it turned out, he paid employees only when there was "enough" left over, and there was a pecking order: cook first, waitresses second, dishwasher last.

Oddly there never seemed to be "enough" for the dishwasher. But -- "tomorrow will be better".

Naive as I was, I took it for a little while. But on the morning of the last day of my fourth week, I decided that was enough. "Pay me now -- right NOW -- or I quit."

"Quit! You little *******! After all I've done for you! I took a chance and gave you a job when you had no experience and all you want to do is f*** me in the a** and kick me in the b****!"

Yeah. So I quit, went back to school, and now I make enough that if I ever find the guy I'm thinking of hiring him to wash my dishes.


Wow, he really did a lot for you. An opportunity to do shit work for no pay! And who the hell needs experience to get a dishwashing job? Sad thing is, I've seen some small-time restaurant owners like that. The guy probably really did think he was doing you a favor.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:45 • by cappeca (unregistered)
344784 in reply to 344773
"Moving on, why would one choose a power generation using the relative motion of conductors and fluxes instead of the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive duractance?"


You just do it.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:55 • by frits
344785 in reply to 344773
McFly:
"Moving on, why would one choose a power generation using the relative motion of conductors and fluxes instead of the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive duractance?"

There is only one correct answer to this:

Flux capacitor... fluxing!

Hardly...

The correct answer is to provide inverse reactive current for use in unilateral phase detractors and to automatically synchronize cardinal grammeters. Everybody knows that.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 13:59 • by nonpartisan
344786 in reply to 344767
Interviewer:
Larry:
Being the third hardware question for what is apparently a programming job, it is time to stop answering and start asking.
It sounds like a Stress Interview. The sixth guy's entire purpose may have been a psychological test of the applicant.

Possibly, but I'd say that Occam's Razor says he thought he was interviewing someone else or was told the wrong position for this interviewee. If the first five interviewers were on topic, it seems totally bizarre that the sixth would be so completely off-base.

Re: New Rule

2011-04-19 14:03 • by John Smith (unregistered)
344787 in reply to 344778
Where's the Wtf?:
New rule: when reporting on weird-as-hell interviews, you must report the year the interview took place, and more importantly, the name of the company. Otherwise, nobody will take your report seriously and assume you are just winging it.


Well You Just Do It didn't give a year but had a decade, but that just made it less believable as the IBM DBMS was named DB2 in 1983.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:08 • by Dazed (unregistered)
The last one is a mirror image of one of my experiences. We were looking for a programmer in a boom period when programmers were hard to find. I did the general interview for one young lady who came over pretty well, and then passed her on to a couple of the technical guys (who I didn't know very well) for the technical interview. Their report was negative, but they were a bit vague on just why they rejected her. This put me in a quandary - were they just being sexist?

Eventually I decided to go with their judgement, and rang her to let her know that we weren't interested. The response was a torrent of abuse which at least let me know that I'd made the right decision ...

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:10 • by Jellineck (unregistered)
How exactly do you work with the Stress Interviewer if you end up getting and accepting the job? The way I've always seen it, I am interviewing prospective coworkers as well.

I imagine I would think that there are five people I can work with, but be surprised that someone higher up thinks that presenting a clueless and pompous ass to a candidate would reflect positively on the company.

I guess on the other hand, I have never been asked to be "that guy", so I must have done something right.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:20 • by imgx64
I'm pretty certain that the big-name company is Google.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:25 • by Hasteur
Wow... I'm not going to begin to consider how messed up it is to

1. Bring your kids to a job interview
2. Leave them in the car during the day
3. parent them in the fact that it's perfectly ok to get naked in public and swim in strange pools.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:28 • by nonpartisan
344792 in reply to 344786
nonpartisan:
Interviewer:
Larry:
Being the third hardware question for what is apparently a programming job, it is time to stop answering and start asking.
It sounds like a Stress Interview. The sixth guy's entire purpose may have been a psychological test of the applicant.

Possibly, but I'd say that Occam's Razor says he thought he was interviewing someone else or was told the wrong position for this interviewee. If the first five interviewers were on topic, it seems totally bizarre that the sixth would be so completely off-base.

Or, in finishing reviewing other comments, it's likely Occam's Razor says I've been very, incredibly lucky, haven't done enough interviews, and have no idea what I'm talking about. Yes, that's much more likely . . .

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:34 • by Ken B. (unregistered)
I hear that the COBOL guy went to work for Nike. :-)

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:35 • by neminem
344794 in reply to 344791
Hasteur:
Wow... I'm not going to begin to consider how messed up it is to

1. Bring your kids to a job interview
2. Leave them in the car during the day
3. parent them in the fact that it's perfectly ok to get naked in public and swim in strange pools.

While I would agree entirely with the first two, depending on the age of the children (or possibly not), it's entirely possible to imagine that they were certainly *not* being brought up to think that that was perfectly ok... but decided that they were going to do it anyway. Possibly even specifically for that reason. Did you never do anything your parents didn't want you to as a small child?

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:37 • by Calli Arcale (unregistered)
344795 in reply to 344773
McFly:
"Moving on, why would one choose a power generation using the relative motion of conductors and fluxes instead of the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive duractance?"

There is only one correct answer to this:

Flux capacitor... fluxing!


Heh -- nope. More of a turboencabulator. ;-)

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:38 • by Bert Glanstron (unregistered)
344796 in reply to 344785
frits:
McFly:
"Moving on, why would one choose a power generation using the relative motion of conductors and fluxes instead of the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive duractance?"

There is only one correct answer to this:

Flux capacitor... fluxing!

Hardly...

The correct answer is to provide inverse reactive current for use in unilateral phase detractors and to automatically synchronize cardinal grammeters. Everybody knows that.

You are an idiot and should be banned from using your mommy and daddy's modem.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:38 • by Nagesh
Looks like COBOL guy rejected call with Google.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:45 • by Joe (unregistered)
344798 in reply to 344785
Just like back in the Academy.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:49 • by JJ (unregistered)
"Things were looking up great."

As opposed to, you know, things looking up badly.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 14:51 • by C-Octothorpe (unregistered)
344800 in reply to 344799
JJ:
"Things were looking up great."

As opposed to, you know, things looking up badly.


No, things were looking down terrible.

PS - didn't you know Nagesh does the proof reading around here?

Re: The Sixth Guy

2011-04-19 14:54 • by Mike (unregistered)
"Define the universe - give three examples"

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:00 • by abadidea (unregistered)
It's sad how many brilliant people there are who simply cannot communicate. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he could boondoggle the frabbulators in his sleep, but he literally has no idea how to put the process into English..., which means that on the face of it, he could do the job great, but he couldn't document anything nor train anybody.

RE: interviewing mother, poor thing - everyone with kids is put into a mortifyingly embarrassing situation by said child processes at least once. The real kicker is she was probably thinking, "Once I get this job, this will be the last time I have to take my kids out because I can't afford a babysitter."

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:08 • by Nagesh
344803 in reply to 344800
C-Octothorpe:
JJ:
"Things were looking up great."

As opposed to, you know, things looking up badly.


No, things were looking down terrible.

PS - didn't you know Nagesh does the proof reading around here?


You're damn iritiating mosquito!

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:13 • by da Doctah
344804 in reply to 344784
cappeca:
"Moving on, why would one choose a power generation using the relative motion of conductors and fluxes instead of the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive duractance?"


You just do it.


And if you need anything further, you can find me out front, skinny dipping in the pond.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:15 • by C-Octothorpe (unregistered)
344805 in reply to 344803
Nagesh:
C-Octothorpe:
JJ:
"Things were looking up great."

As opposed to, you know, things looking up badly.


No, things were looking down terrible.

PS - didn't you know Nagesh does the proof reading around here?


You're damn iritiating mosquito!


See? Damn, you're good...

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:15 • by frits (unregistered)
344806 in reply to 344804
da Doctah:
cappeca:
"Moving on, why would one choose a power generation using the relative motion of conductors and fluxes instead of the modial interaction of magneto reluctance and capacitive duractance?"


You just do it.


And if you need anything further, you can find me out front, skinny dipping in the pond.

I'm pretty sure you be arrested and charged with indecent exposure if you did that.

Your not too smart, are you?

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:15 • by pasqldba
344807 in reply to 344789
I interviewed at a dinosaur computer company in suburban Philadelphia back in 1999. The manager of the department had three teams that reported to him. During the interviews I got along well with the leaders of two of those teams, but no so well with the leader of the third. They extended me an offer, but were unsure of which team I would work in. I think I was supposed to rotate through the three teams at some point.

When I arrived for my first day at orientation, I discovered that I reported to the person I didn't get along with. I only lasted four months. He wasn't a terrible guy, he just didn't seem to want to be bothered with having me report to him.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:19 • by cheap jersey slink (unregistered)
For this comment, inspired me, feeling this author words into my heart.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:19 • by cheap jersey slink (unregistered)
344809 in reply to 344802
abadidea:
It's sad how many brilliant people there are who simply cannot communicate. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he could boondoggle the frabbulators in his sleep, but he literally has no idea how to put the process into English..., which means that on the face of it, he could do the job great, but he couldn't document anything nor train anybody.

RE: interviewing mother, poor thing - everyone with kids is put into a mortifyingly embarrassing situation by said child processes at least once. The real kicker is she was probably thinking, "Once I get this job, this will be the last time I have to take my kids out because I can't afford a babysitter."


For this comment, inspired me, feeling this author words into my heart.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:25 • by Kensey
In the part of Unisys I worked in, up to at least early last year they had the opposite of the Exclusive Interview: employees were apparently expected to apply and interview for outside jobs regularly. They implemented a years-long salary freeze (including transfers and promotions within corporate units), but if you had a written offer for an outside job, they would try to match it to get you to stay.

Oddly, I didn't know anyone who took the matching offer.

Re: The Sixth Guy, The Company Pond, and More

2011-04-19 15:32 • by boog
344811 in reply to 344805
C-Octothorpe:
Nagesh:
C-Octothorpe:
JJ:
"Things were looking up great."

As opposed to, you know, things looking up badly.

No, things were looking down terrible.

PS - didn't you know Nagesh does the proof reading around here?

You're damn iritiating mosquito!

See? Damn, you're good...
It's surprising what excellent grammar he exhibits when he really wants to (or more likely, when he forgets to stay in character).
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