How Can You Expect This?!

  • dlikhten 2008-04-22 10:12
    I love that: Do you want the job? No? Too bad we were going to reject you after you said yes anyways.
  • JJ 2008-04-22 10:13
    The first guy would have made a fantastic Unix admin.
  • LWD 2008-04-22 10:16
    Sounds like the poor guy from the first anecdote needs some counseling.

    For the second one, the real WTF is how he managed to get to the interview having a completely wrong address...
  • Johnny Walls 2008-04-22 10:22
    Fist! How could I expect that?
  • m 2008-04-22 10:22
    If there's another name change in the future, it's definitely to howcanyouexpectthis.com
  • tk. 2008-04-22 10:28
    Tricking people into having to code in CF? That's so cruel...
  • cyphax 2008-04-22 10:30
    Oh $50.000 a year? Oh yeah, from the job ad. Actually, we just say that to attract people; we only give you $15.000 per year.
  • MCS 2008-04-22 10:36
    Coming to an interview for a PHP coding position, only to be told 'we only code in ColdFusion' is the equivalent of buying a Transformer toy for your kid, only to find out that one of those crappy Go-Bots is inside the package.
  • Mark 2008-04-22 10:38
    reminds me of a job interview I went to several years back. They were advertising for a .NET position.

    Interviewer: So why do you want this job?
    Me: Well I've been learning .NET over recent years and would really like to start using it in a commercial environment.
    Interviewer: Actually we don't use .NET here, we use MFC. We might move to .NET in the future, but don't count on it.
    Me: Oh.
    Interviewer: So why do you want this job?
    Me: Ummm....
  • Jonas Hallgren 2008-04-22 10:39
    That first guy shows some serious signs of autism (or ADHD, can't remember which is which), who usually lacks the ability to think in hypothetical terms.

    Could possibly be a good problem solver as long as the task are very hands on and people skills are optional :)
  • Not Dorothy 2008-04-22 10:45
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.
  • [twisti] 2008-04-22 10:46
    People with OCD are handy to have around if you need new standards implemented or enforced. They also seem to really like cleaning up old code. Of course that all depends on the severity of their OCD.

    In any case, making fun of a mentally handicapped person (yes, severe OCD is considered a mental handicap) is pretty pathetic. What's next on TDWTF, making fun of a person in a wheelchair because he couldn't drive into the interview room ?
  • Eric 2008-04-22 10:49
    I have had interview like the second example... a head hunter sent me to a place that did ASP despite me having no experience in that area. And after having me fill out a form stating all the areas I did, or did not, have job experience...

    Eric
  • ForcedSterilizationsForAll 2008-04-22 10:53
    [twisti]:
    People with OCD are handy to have around if you need new standards implemented or enforced. They also seem to really like cleaning up old code. Of course that all depends on the severity of their OCD.

    In any case, making fun of a mentally handicapped person (yes, severe OCD is considered a mental handicap) is pretty pathetic. What's next on TDWTF, making fun of a person in a wheelchair because he couldn't drive into the interview room ?


    I think I'd actually make fun of someone for driving into the interview room for not having the foresight to park first.
  • Ron 2008-04-22 10:56
    The first guy was almost certainly a high functioning autistic. (My son is autistic, let's just say I have more than a passing familiarity with the behaviors...)
  • Tom Woolf 2008-04-22 11:03
    OCD - the write-up did not make fun of OCD, just made a comment giving his guess as to why the applicant was acting that way.

    PHP vs CF - I once had a headhunter who sent me to numerous interviews that I was either less than qualified for, or had explicitly stated was a position I was *not* interested in. I later found out that employment agency used the carpet bombing method to get an applicant hired - they would send 10-12 folks to be interviewed, regardless of the qualifications, until the employer finally gave in and hired one. (At the time I was young and stupid, so it took a while for me to find another agency. At least now I am not so young.)

    Oh, yeah, and the company with the position I had told the agency to *not* send me to? They had a gas leak and blew up one night a few months after I interviewed. Nobody was hurt, but the business was shut down for months...
  • rellekm 2008-04-22 11:03
    Did you want to read this post? No? Well, we've found someone else to read it anyway.
  • codeman38 2008-04-22 11:05
    Ron:
    The first guy was almost certainly a high functioning autistic. (My son is autistic, let's just say I have more than a passing familiarity with the behaviors...)

    Yeah, agreed. As a high-functioning autistic myself, I could totally understand the confused response— even now, I sometimes have a tendency to take things a bit too literally, and the stress of a job interview only makes it worse.
  • Pantsmaster 2008-04-22 11:17
    Jesum crow, people, chill out about the guy in the first post. Maybe he's a high-functioning autistic, maybe he's not. Whatever kind of eccentricity he's got, he's obviously barely functioning at all, and .. (wait for it) .. that's the humor.

  • CGomez 2008-04-22 11:21
    Holden: You're in a desert, walking along when -
    Leon: What one?
    Holden: What?
    Leon: What desert?
    Holden: Doesn't matter what desert it is, it's completely hypothetical.
    Leon: Well, how come I'd be there?
    Holden: Maybe you're fed up. Maybe you just wanted to get away from it all. Anyway. You're in a desert, walking along when you look down and you see a tortoise, Leon. It's crawling toward you.
    Leon: What's a tortoise?
    Holden: You know what a turtle is?
    Leon: 'Course!
    Holden: Same thing. So you reach down and flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon.
    Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden? Or do they write 'em down for you?
    Holden: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping.
    Leon: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I'M NOT HELPING?
    Holden: I mean you're not helping, Leon.
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 11:22
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.
    Please tell me that was 15-20 years ago. Or else, in Hyderabad.
  • Tasteless Bastard 2008-04-22 11:23
    [twisti]:
    What's next on TDWTF, making fun of a person in a wheelchair because he couldn't drive into the interview room ?


    MUHAHAHA!! Now THAT would be FUNNY!!!

    (Esp. if WTF was that he mis-wired the battery on his own wheelchair!)
  • eekee 2008-04-22 11:28
    +1 agreed. I'd suggest Asperger Syndrome as the particular syndrome. I guess some helpful friend or relative had told him to sit in the middle of the chair so he sat. exactly. in. the. mathematical. center. of. the. chair, because "middle" means "center" and nerves prompt one to get. it. right.
  • Mutant 2008-04-22 11:28
    Eric:
    I have had interview like the second example... a head hunter sent me to a place that did ASP despite me having no experience in that area. And after having me fill out a form stating all the areas I did, or did not, have job experience...

    Eric


    That's pretty much par for the course. You'd think they could figure out how to use a spreadsheet to match two completely meaningless skills (to them) like "ASP"... but I think they figure it costs them nothing (but a little time) to send people to an interview, so why not send everyone who's at least semi decent?
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 11:30
    Pantsmaster:
    Jesum crow, people, chill out about the guy in the first post. Maybe he's a high-functioning autistic, maybe he's not. Whatever kind of eccentricity he's got, he's obviously barely functioning at all, and .. (wait for it) .. that's the humor.
    Actually, the humor is the interviewer being confronted with a situation in which the behavior of an interviewee is bizarre. The thrust of the story is not, "Look at this autistic doofus!" It's, "Imagine yourself in the position of this interviewer."

    However unfair circumstance has been to the autistic guy, he seems to be functioning well enough to have made it through a screening process and into an interview. Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre? How about if we just pretend he doesn't exist, would that work better for you?

    Things like this happen. And they are funny. And it's quite possible to laugh at an awkward situation without laughing at those involved.
  • A N Other 2008-04-22 11:33
    Is $50,000 really that much for a dev job in the states?
  • Schnapple 2008-04-22 11:34
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?
  • I walked the dinosaur 2008-04-22 11:40
    CGomez:
    Holden: You're in a desert, walking along when -
    Leon: What one?
    Holden: What?
    Leon: What desert?
    Holden: Doesn't matter what desert it is, it's completely hypothetical.
    Leon: Well, how come I'd be there?
    Holden: Maybe you're fed up. Maybe you just wanted to get away from it all. Anyway. You're in a desert, walking along when you look down and you see a tortoise, Leon. It's crawling toward you.
    Leon: What's a tortoise?
    Holden: You know what a turtle is?
    Leon: 'Course!
    Holden: Same thing. So you reach down and flip the tortoise over on its back, Leon.
    Leon: Do you make up these questions, Mr. Holden? Or do they write 'em down for you?
    Holden: The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping.
    Leon: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, I'M NOT HELPING?
    Holden: I mean you're not helping, Leon.


    I would like to see an interviewer start off with this question and see if the interviewee picked up on it and played along! A geek who knows his Phillip K. Dick is the geek I would want to hire!
  • I walked the dinosaur 2008-04-22 11:41
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    Bangalore India, 2008?
  • Schnapple 2008-04-22 11:42
    FredSaw:
    Pantsmaster:
    Jesum crow, people, chill out about the guy in the first post. Maybe he's a high-functioning autistic, maybe he's not. Whatever kind of eccentricity he's got, he's obviously barely functioning at all, and .. (wait for it) .. that's the humor.
    Actually, the humor is the interviewer being confronted with a situation in which the behavior of an interviewee is bizarre. The thrust of the story is not, "Look at this autistic doofus!" It's, "Imagine yourself in the position of this interviewer."

    However unfair circumstance has been to the autistic guy, he seems to be functioning well enough to have made it through a screening process and into an interview. Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre? How about if we just pretend he doesn't exist, would that work better for you?

    Things like this happen. And they are funny. And it's quite possible to laugh at an awkward situation without laughing at those involved.


    For that matter, autistic or not, people are interviewed based on their abilities. You're being tested in an interview, and being measured against others in contention for the position. This guy flipped his wig over a hypothetical question. Assuming you wouldn't just fail him outright then and there, wouldn't he be the kind of person who flips his wig all the time? You probably don't want that kind of person working in a high-stress environment with a heterogeneous mix of technologies.

    Now, if had answered the question well and seem like the person that could get the job done, just with some Jerry-from-Boston-Legal style eccentricities that would be something else. But take away the entire first part of the story, and pretend that this is basically a "normal" individual except for the outburst in the interview. Would you hire him?

    Also - he yelled at the interviewer. He got MAD at the interviewer. I would imagine that a normal person wouldn't be hired for such a thing, why would a handicapped person be hired?
  • G Money 2008-04-22 11:44
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?
  • jtl 2008-04-22 11:44
    Jonas Hallgren:
    That first guy shows some serious signs of autism (or ADHD, can't remember which is which), who usually lacks the ability to think in hypothetical terms.

    Could possibly be a good problem solver as long as the task are very hands on and people skills are optional :)


    Somebody with ADHD would certainly not sit still for 2 minutes. ;-)
  • Will code for food 2008-04-22 11:55
    apetrelli:
    FRIST!!!!


    Congratulations. Your parents must be so proud.
  • Khalil 2008-04-22 11:55
    The guy in the first interview probably has aspergers syndrome, or some other form of mild autism.
  • Bruce W 2008-04-22 12:04
    The CF/PHP position reminds me of a job I am currently waiting to hear back about.

    Phone screen -- I completely messed it up:
    Question: so what attracted you to this company?
    Me: (completely confused the divisions of the company; raved about a different division)

    Question: what skills do you bring to the position?
    Me: (completely forgot what the position was; BSed about "aligning business and technology")

    Somehow I still get selected for an interview when they start messing up:
    1st Interviewer: "So, this position is a Senior Business Analyst. Is that what you expected?"
    Me: "Yes"
    1st Interviewer: "The position does the following...... Does that interest you?"
    Me: "Yes"
    2nd Interviewer: "Good; the previous candidate was told that the position was completely different"

    Second Interview:
    Interviewer: "I am seeing you in a Software Developer position."
    Me: "Uh, I thought I was interviewing for the Senior Business Analyst?"
    Interviewer: "Trust me--you want the Developer position."

    Strange thing is, I still want the job.
  • A N Other 2008-04-22 12:04
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Ok so £30k do people think that is good?
  • A N Other 2008-04-22 12:04
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Ok so £30k do people think that is good?
  • mithras 2008-04-22 12:06
    Clearly the first guy was Mr. Monk. He wasn't there to get an admin job; he was there to catch a murderer.
  • ChiperSoft 2008-04-22 12:09
    Shortly after the dot.bomb I posted my resume on Monster looking for some entry level IT work. I got a call from CitiFinancial, telling me they were interested in interviewing me for a position they had. I got all dressed up and drove down there for the meeting. When I got there three other people were waiting in the lobby for interviews.

    The interview went well, he asked me lots of questions about my goals and expectations, gave me a few hypothetical customer service sitations, and then dropped the bomb. "How do you feel about calling customers over the phone?"

    It turned out the job they were interviewing me for wasn't even computer related, it was telemarketing. They were grabbing random resumes off Monster and calling them in under false pretenses to find people who might just be desperate enough to take a job as a cold-caller.

    A few months later a friend of mine excitedly told me he had an interview with Citi Group for a computer job. I told him about mine, and when they called him back to confirm he confronted them about it. He saved himself a couple wasted hours of frustration.
  • Jake 2008-04-22 12:09
    I am also high-functioning autistic, and concur with the theory that the interviewee in the first anecdote had something similar. But this doesn't mean he can't be absolutely barking mad as well, trust me on this.
    He did however have something of a point; you're not going to get many illuminating answers to a question like that from the guy who's so new he still gets lost looking for the bog.
  • Zhouluyi 2008-04-22 12:30
    In Brazil a very good salary for a dev is about R$ 50,000. That makes about 25,000 in US dollars.

    Not every country in the world pay as much as US does, and not every country in the world has a high life cost as US does.
  • Roman 2008-04-22 12:32
    Maybe the wheelchair got a flat on the way?
  • akatherder 2008-04-22 12:32
    There's a difference between insulting someone for being autistic and reacting to a situation where a person (who is possibly autistic) verbally berates you for a simple request when he is in a position to impress you.
  • Loup 2008-04-22 12:44
    No one expects the ColdFusion inquisition!
  • Calli Arcale 2008-04-22 12:45
    jtl:

    Somebody with ADHD would certainly not sit still for 2 minutes. ;-)


    As a person with ADD, I can attest that that isn't necessarily true. The ADD stereotype is of a person who can't sit still, but the condition is one of *inappropriate* attention. That can be an absurdly short attention span or an absurdly long one. Or attention to completely the wrong thing, which can include one's internal monologue, resulting in the person making abrupt topic shifts with little warning.
  • BlitheringIdiot 2008-04-22 12:47
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Everyone in the world knows that the US dollar is the only currency that matters!
  • PennyPituna 2008-04-22 12:52
    Calli Arcale:
    jtl:

    Somebody with ADHD would certainly not sit still for 2 minutes. ;-)


    As a person with ADD, I can attest that that isn't necessarily true. The ADD stereotype is of a person who can't sit still, but the condition is one of *inappropriate* attention. That can be an absurdly short attention span or an absurdly long one. Or attention to completely the wrong thing, which can include one's internal monologue, resulting in the person making abrupt topic shifts with little warning.


    If thats true then I have ADD not ADH

    Oh look a red ball!
  • Dan F 2008-04-22 12:57
    I had a phone screen where the advertised position was for a C++ dev. After talking to the hiring manager for a few minutes he then said, oh actually the position was for Ruby On Rails and that he was looking for a generalist and didn't want to attract someone who only does Ruby...

    Another Interview I actually went to did something similar, but the RoR part was 30% and the C++ was the rest. Is there something wrong with hiring people who specifically know RoR?
  • Anon 2008-04-22 12:58
    I need this post to be in the exact center of this thread.
  • KattMan 2008-04-22 13:15
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Yeah ok, 30k Yen per year sounds much better!
  • PJ 2008-04-22 13:23
    Is there something wrong with hiring people who specifically know RoR?


    Yes -- they tend to make decent amounts of money. Those companies are looking for someone who doesn't know RoR but could learn it while working on the cheap.
  • shadowman 2008-04-22 13:26
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Pretty much anyone at any given location in the US would assume that. You've obviously never been here.
  • Rich 2008-04-22 13:40
    We just went through one ourselves.

    We're a relatively small company that has started growing rather rapidly. Due to reasons best left unsaid, the mid-level administrator left and we now had a vacant position. With the growth of the organization, the fact that the systems were never built to scale, and the lack of resources (people), we were quite anxious to fill this vacant position as quickly as possible.

    A posting was put up with a short job description and a top-end salary range (up to $60k). After narrowing it down to about 5 candidates, I contacted each one to schedule interviews. 4 were reachable and got scheduled quickly, while the remaining 1 went in to the "no" pile because he never returned any calls.

    One individual who really stuck out included a cover letter expressing his excitement over the position and even included a salary range of $40-$50k). His skill set was good, and we thought it would be a great fit.

    After interviewing all 4 candidates, we decided to move forward with the $40-$50k candidate because he seemed like the best fit, and his salary expectations were in the right range. The only catch was that he had a minor criminal record. After the obligatory background search and other stuff, it turned out that he really didn't, but he was led to believe that something in his past made it on to his record. Of course, all of this drags out for 3 weeks, but we finally made him an offer of $50k with the promise that the position had top-end room to grow in to (salary-wise).

    He turned down the position because he really wanted $58k and he washed his hands of the position. We (my boss and myself) were both left stammering amongst ourselves "but.. but.. you said your salary expectations were between $40k and $50k..."
  • Jay 2008-04-22 13:47
    Tangential remark: I've been on a number of interviews where I was rejected for what sounded to me like pretty trivial reasons. Like, I applied for one job where they asked me about many technologies -- Java, JSP, PHP, C++, SQL, etc -- and I knew everything they mentioned. I thought the interview went well. Then a couple of days later I got a call from the headhunter saying they had rejected me because my resume didn't mention Struts. Which I didn't know (and still don't), but they never even asked me about it. I can't help but wonder if they weren't really rejecting me for some other reason, like they just didn't like my personality or the way I dressed or they'd Googled me and found out something about my politics or religion or some such that they didn't like, but they didn't want to admit that.

    Hey, just gave me an idea for a fun experiment: Get somebody who is clearly highly qualified to go on interviews. Give an email address on the resume that's obviously from a personal web site, like if his name is Fred Stover have an email of "fred@stover.com". Make the web site full of articles with Fred's by-line that espouse pointed religious or political views. See if he gets the job, and then check the logs to see if anybody from the interviewing companies checked the web site. Try it again with different views on the web site, like a few times as far left and a few times as far right. Try various levels of extremism. I'd be amused to see the results.
  • Mr 2008-04-22 13:52
    ForcedSterilizationsForYou:

    I think I'd actually make fun of someone for driving into the interview room for not having the foresight to park first.


    Electric wheel chair?
  • SomeCoder 2008-04-22 13:59
    I went to school with someone that I suspect had Asperger's or some form of autism (he told a friend that he was autistic though didn't get into the details, obviously).

    While I can't see him doing something as extreme as what the interviewee in the first story did, I could see him doing something similar.


    Getting past disabilities or other disadvantages can be tough for employers. At my last job, I was asked to help conduct some interviews to fill a (very) low level developer position. I interviewed with a guy who didn't speak English as well as we would have liked but obviously knew his stuff. I wanted to hire him but the manager refused. We also interviewed another guy who was in a wheelchair and had some minor problem with his arms. His typing would have been slow (20 WPM) but again, he knew his stuff. I wanted to hire him as well but again, the manager said no.

    We ended up hiring some guy straight out of the local, *extremely* popular university. He was adequate, I guess, but only because the position was so low. The other guys would have been far better but because this other guy was - shall we say - of the popular persuasion, he got the job.

    In the long run, I'm glad we didn't hire the more intelligent guys because that position ended up getting removed and the new hire was laid off after only 6 months anyway.
  • Mr 2008-04-22 14:06
    BlitheringIdiot:

    Everyone in the world knows that the US dollar is the only currency that matters!

    - "US dollar falls again"
    - "USD is now 62% of its historical high value in 2001"
    - "New low"
    - "Dollar lowest since 1980"

    I agree. My local news news definitly mentions the US dollar more frequently now than they did before.

  • bighusker 2008-04-22 14:08
    Aside from the radically different syntax, I had no problems adapting to ColdFusion after only doing web devleopment in Perl and PHP. I wouldn't trust any company that blatantly lies in their job postings, but if you're a good developer, picking up a new language isn't going to be all that difficult.
  • G Money 2008-04-22 14:19
    Au contraire. You've obviously never been anywhere else.
  • G Money 2008-04-22 14:19
    shadowman:
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Pretty much anyone at any given location in the US would assume that. You've obviously never been here.


    See previous post. Dammit.
  • crystal mephistopheles 2008-04-22 14:22
    cyphax:
    Oh $50.000 a year? Oh yeah, from the job ad. Actually, we just say that to attract people; we only give you $15.000 per year.


    You laugh. That exact thing happened to me in college. A company that made VB6 apps for public schools to manage databases for student information advertised for part time help at $25.00/hr. I go to the interview, and I'm told I'll be paid $12.00/hr until I become full-time - I guess they assumed I would naturally want to continue with them after I graduated.

    Stupid me takes the job anyway (it was my first ever real programming job, so I don't hate myself too much for it). Only to find out I'm lucky if I get paid at all - the company was having money problems. Have you ever answered the phone at work and talked to a collections agency demanding your boss fax over a check immediately?

    And oh yeah, I'm the only programmer. This company, whose entire business was making software, was run by two people who didn't know the first thing about making software. So unless I, a lowly sophomore in college, who never had any experience making commercial-grade software, build this thing practically from the ground up (a previous contractor had made some basic screens before having the good sense to bolt), and make it shine so much that school systems around the nation line up around the block to buy it, I'm not going to get paid, ever.

    The systems were a total WTF as well. They had a machine with VB6 installed, and it worked alright during the day, but every single night, misconfigured backup software or something reverts every source code and project file to the same state it was in when I first saw the code. So unless I back up the files to my personal laptop every day, none of my changes will ever stick.

    I finally learned my lesson after about two months, and just stopped showing up. I don't remember if I even gave them a copy of my changes to the codebase.

    Looking back, the only red flag I should have needed was during the interview when they said, "we've hired a lot of programmers, and they've all left us feeling burned." Maybe if you can't get along with the entire class of people necessary to make your business work, you're in the wrong business.


  • Bob N Freely 2008-04-22 14:22
    Jay:
    Tangential remark: I've been on a number of interviews where I was rejected for what sounded to me like pretty trivial reasons. Like, I applied for one job where they asked me about many technologies -- Java, JSP, PHP, C++, SQL, etc -- and I knew everything they mentioned. I thought the interview went well. Then a couple of days later I got a call from the headhunter saying they had rejected me because my resume didn't mention Struts. Which I didn't know (and still don't), but they never even asked me about it. I can't help but wonder if they weren't really rejecting me for some other reason, like they just didn't like my personality or the way I dressed or they'd Googled me and found out something about my politics or religion or some such that they didn't like, but they didn't want to admit that.


    I know exactly what you mean. I had an interview loop at a large web-based company once, for a test automation position. The interviews all went really well, I thought. I was straight with them about my level of web development experience (pretty low at the time), but they assured me that it wasn't a problem because they were looking for someone that could grow into the position. I spent several hours in interviews, after which they thanked me and told me I'd likely be hearing from them soon.

    So I get a call the next day from the recruiter, who tells me they've decided not to move forward. When I ask if there was any particular reason, she says "some of the interviewers didn't feel like you were excited enough about the job." Huh?
  • Kemp 2008-04-22 14:24
    Calli Arcale:
    jtl:

    Somebody with ADHD would certainly not sit still for 2 minutes. ;-)


    As a person with ADD, I can attest that that isn't necessarily true. The ADD stereotype is of a person who can't sit still, but the condition is one of *inappropriate* attention. That can be an absurdly short attention span or an absurdly long one. Or attention to completely the wrong thing, which can include one's internal monologue, resulting in the person making abrupt topic shifts with little warning.


    ADD != ADHD
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 14:32
    G Money:
    See previous post. Dammit.
    You know, there's a "Preview" button that lets you see what it'll look like and then do more edits. There's also an "Edit" button that'll let you go back in and edit even after posting, for the first five minutes or so.
  • Cybercat 2008-04-22 14:39
    I don't understand why more companies don't just use a single interview with a screening process. It's MORE than enough to weed out the outright failures and you're still safeguarded by a 30-90 days "tryout" period at which time you can FIRE THEM AT WILL. Seriously, it's not that big of a jump, people just get too damned nervous when finding new people (or maybe just don't want to do the paperwork).
  • Edward Royce 2008-04-22 14:42
    tk.:
    Tricking people into having to code in CF? That's so cruel...


    LOL. And if there's any Flex involved, well that's a Crime Against Humanity!
  • Pitabred 2008-04-22 14:44
    Bob N Freely:
    Jay:
    Tangential remark: I've been on a number of interviews where I was rejected for what sounded to me like pretty trivial reasons. Like, I applied for one job where they asked me about many technologies -- Java, JSP, PHP, C++, SQL, etc -- and I knew everything they mentioned. I thought the interview went well. Then a couple of days later I got a call from the headhunter saying they had rejected me because my resume didn't mention Struts. Which I didn't know (and still don't), but they never even asked me about it. I can't help but wonder if they weren't really rejecting me for some other reason, like they just didn't like my personality or the way I dressed or they'd Googled me and found out something about my politics or religion or some such that they didn't like, but they didn't want to admit that.


    I know exactly what you mean. I had an interview loop at a large web-based company once, for a test automation position. The interviews all went really well, I thought. I was straight with them about my level of web development experience (pretty low at the time), but they assured me that it wasn't a problem because they were looking for someone that could grow into the position. I spent several hours in interviews, after which they thanked me and told me I'd likely be hearing from them soon.

    So I get a call the next day from the recruiter, who tells me they've decided not to move forward. When I ask if there was any particular reason, she says "some of the interviewers didn't feel like you were excited enough about the job." Huh?


    Many times jobs like that are already earmarked for someone in-house to be promoted to, but company or government rules require them to interview and advertise the positions. So they do the dog and pony show, and come up with some trivial reason to reject all but the internal applicant. That way they can say "See, we tried!". Point is, don't take it personally... it was politics, nothing at all to do with your skills set or anything you did right or wrong. They never intended to hire anyone in the first place.
  • G Money 2008-04-22 14:47
    Edit doesn't work in Firefox. Thanks though, Sparky.
  • Schnapple 2008-04-22 14:47
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Why the US of course! Seriously, for most places in the US, in US dollars, $30K is not that much for a developer position, so I figured one of the following might apply:

    1) It's an entry level programmer position (where even $30K might be acceptable, though we know that he really got offered $15K)
    2) It's a location with a low standard of living (i.e., $30K will go far because things in the area are less expensive and/or are centrally located so not much driving will be involved so less gas, etc.)
    3) A combination of 1) and 2)
    4) It's a foreign country where either $30K USD is a lot of money or "$" in this context is really a stand-in for their local currency and 30K of that is a good salary
    5) The poster was being facetious
    6) The poster really does think $30K USD is a good salary
    7) The poster was generalizing using hypothetical numbers, so they interviewed for some position at $2X but then found out the position he's going for is only $X and to get $2X he'd have to basically be the owner.

    So you see, not an "Ugly American" comment (or at least not by design) but rather a "what's the story?" question.
  • G Money 2008-04-22 14:48
    FredSaw:
    G Money:
    See previous post. Dammit.
    You know, there's a "Preview" button that lets you see what it'll look like and then do more edits. There's also an "Edit" button that'll let you go back in and edit even after posting, for the first five minutes or so.


    See previous comment. Doesn't work in IETab, either.
  • G Money 2008-04-22 14:50
    Schnapple:
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Why the US of course! Seriously, for most places in the US, in US dollars, $30K is not that much for a developer position, so I figured one of the following might apply:

    1) It's an entry level programmer position (where even $30K might be acceptable, though we know that he really got offered $15K)
    2) It's a location with a low standard of living (i.e., $30K will go far because things in the area are less expensive and/or are centrally located so not much driving will be involved so less gas, etc.)
    3) A combination of 1) and 2)
    4) It's a foreign country where either $30K USD is a lot of money or "$" in this context is really a stand-in for their local currency and 30K of that is a good salary
    5) The poster was being facetious
    6) The poster really does think $30K USD is a good salary
    7) The poster was generalizing using hypothetical numbers, so they interviewed for some position at $2X but then found out the position he's going for is only $X and to get $2X he'd have to basically be the owner.

    So you see, not an "Ugly American" comment (or at least not by design) but rather a "what's the story?" question.


    4) It's a foreign country where either $30K USD is a lot of money or "$" in this context is really a stand-in for their local currency and 30K of that is a good salary

    Do you see "$" anywhere in the original post?
  • BadReferenceGuy 2008-04-22 15:09
    Pitabred:
    Many times jobs like that are already earmarked for someone in-house to be promoted to, but company or government rules require them to interview and advertise the positions. So they do the dog and pony show, and come up with some trivial reason to reject all but the internal applicant. That way they can say "See, we tried!". Point is, don't take it personally... it was politics, nothing at all to do with your skills set or anything you did right or wrong. They never intended to hire anyone in the first place.


    Don't forget the hiring manager's brother-in-law, and similar sorts of nepotism. The good news is that if you're in any sort of protected class (race, gender, etc) and the job is for an Equal Opportunity Employer, you may have grounds for a nice discrimination lawsuit.
  • CapitalT 2008-04-22 15:16
    Did you report the first guy as a replicant to the authorities?

    You know we can't have them running around unchecked.



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Replicant
  • Anon 2008-04-22 15:20
    Pitabred:

    Many times jobs like that are already earmarked for someone in-house to be promoted to, but company or government rules require them to interview and advertise the positions. So they do the dog and pony show, and come up with some trivial reason to reject all but the internal applicant. That way they can say "See, we tried!". Point is, don't take it personally... it was politics, nothing at all to do with your skills set or anything you did right or wrong. They never intended to hire anyone in the first place.


    Or they had to post the job in order to be able to get a visa for somebody.
  • Schnapple 2008-04-22 15:29
    G Money:
    4) It's a foreign country where either $30K USD is a lot of money or "$" in this context is really a stand-in for their local currency and 30K of that is a good salary

    Do you see "$" anywhere in the original post?


    It was there originally, but then it got mad when I asked the question, yelled at me and then stormed away.

    So, um... back to work!
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 15:36
    G Money:
    FredSaw:
    G Money:
    See previous post. Dammit.
    You know, there's a "Preview" button that lets you see what it'll look like and then do more edits. There's also an "Edit" button that'll let you go back in and edit even after posting, for the first five minutes or so.


    See previous comment. Doesn't work in IETab, either.
    Now you've forced me to use the classic developers' response: "It works for me."

    It does. In Firefox.
  • tk. 2008-04-22 15:41
    Pitabred:
    Many times jobs like that are already earmarked for someone in-house to be promoted to, but company or government rules require them to interview and advertise the positions. So they do the dog and pony show, and come up with some trivial reason to reject all but the internal applicant. That way they can say "See, we tried!". Point is, don't take it personally... it was politics, nothing at all to do with your skills set or anything you did right or wrong. They never intended to hire anyone in the first place.


    This is sooooo annoying. When I was going through a spate of interviews last summer, there was one at a government wildlife agency or somesuch. The interview placed me at the head of a large table with eight or nine people interviewing me, leafing through a fifty-page packet, asking me questions all over the map.

    It was about as nerve-wracking as it sounds, but I was confident that I had done really well. In the end, they just promoted from within. The recruiter who set me up with the interview apologized for that mess, at least.

    The real WTF is that nine people having nothing better to do with their time that all of them are sitting in on every hour-long interview, though.

    G Money:
    Edit doesn't work in Firefox. Thanks though, Sparky.


    Odd, it worked in my Firefox. Only thing it's got installed is Firebug.
  • not registered either 2008-04-22 15:57
    G Money:
    FredSaw:
    G Money:
    See previous post. Dammit.
    You know, there's a "Preview" button that lets you see what it'll look like and then do more edits. There's also an "Edit" button that'll let you go back in and edit even after posting, for the first five minutes or so.


    See previous comment. Doesn't work in IETab, either.


    I think you have to be registered if you want to edit your posts.
  • Leak 2008-04-22 16:05
    tk.:
    G Money:
    Edit doesn't work in Firefox. Thanks though, Sparky.


    Odd, it worked in my Firefox. Only thing it's got installed is Firebug.

    That might have something to do with you and me both being registered users and him coming from the unwash-, errr, unregistered masses...

    np: Kim Hiorthoy - Uprock work (45Tribute)
  • AndrewB 2008-04-22 16:17
    Rich:
    He turned down the position because he really wanted $58k and he washed his hands of the position. We (my boss and myself) were both left stammering amongst ourselves "but.. but.. you said your salary expectations were between $40k and $50k..."

    Are you and your boss actually that self absorbed? By your standards, a company can rightfully advertise a "best case" salary to a candidate, but a candidate advertising his "best case" salary expectations to you is shocking and abhorrent?

    I've interviewed the exact same way. When a company asks me what my salary expectations are, I always give them my hard minimum. The burden is on them to make the most competitive offer they can. Once I told a company that I would be willing to go as low as $35,000. Lo and behold, when I received their offer in the mail, it was for a salary of $35,000 per year. I then sent them an email saying the offer was insulting.

    That was a year and a half ago. I'm now 23, making $46k with guaranteed raises to at least $61k by 2011.
  • Schnapple 2008-04-22 16:29
    AndrewB:
    Rich:
    He turned down the position because he really wanted $58k and he washed his hands of the position. We (my boss and myself) were both left stammering amongst ourselves "but.. but.. you said your salary expectations were between $40k and $50k..."

    Are you and your boss actually that self absorbed? By your standards, a company can rightfully advertise a "best case" salary to a candidate, but a candidate advertising his "best case" salary expectations to you is shocking and abhorrent?


    First rule of negotiation: the first one to mention a dollar figure loses. They were prepared to go as high as $60K but he said $50K and so hey, we get him for cheaper.

    But I think what the comment really meant was that he had named a range which was less than they would have paid, so they offered him that, but then he declined when it didn't go as high as some number he had never mentioned before. The "washed his hands" bit implies to me that he took another job elsewhere. The poster and his boss never even got a chance to say "$58K? Sure, we can do that!"

    It might have been a case where the person got another offer and the real answer to why he took that offer was because they offered more money and instead of saying "oh well these guys just offered me more" it came across as "well you didn't offer me this magical number I never said before and so screw you guys."
  • MJ 2008-04-22 16:34
    So, if this were a blind person and they ran into an object that they couldn't see, would you think that "Things like this happen. And they are funny"? If a deaf person stepped out in front of a car because they couldn't hear the honking horn, would that be funny too?

    I hate to get up on the PC soapbox here but the answer to your question "Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre?" is YES.

    Making fun of a person on the spectrum's social issues is the equivalent to mocking a blind person because they can't see or a deaf person because they can't hear.

    It isn't all in good fun.

    Autism is a severe mental disability. If you do not understand it, now is a good time to learn more as it is autism awareness month. AutismSpeaks.org is a good place to start.
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 16:35
    AndrewB:
    I've interviewed the exact same way. When a company asks me what my salary expectations are, I always give them my hard minimum. The burden is on them to make the most competitive offer they can. Once I told a company that I would be willing to go as low as $35,000. Lo and behold, when I received their offer in the mail, it was for a salary of $35,000 per year. I then sent them an email saying the offer was insulting.

    That was a year and a half ago. I'm now 23, making $46k with guaranteed raises to at least $61k by 2011.
    Jack it up, man. You're dragging down the numbers.

    2007 Salary Survey

    Visual Studio Magazine:
    As is normally the case, leaders make the most money. IT managers had the highest average salary, at $87,103. Next came programming and networking project leads, at $84,004 and $82,725 respectively. Database admins, webmasters, programmers and network engineers averaged salaries in the low to mid-$70,000s, while help desk/user support personnel brought up the rear, with an average salary of $52,824. That makes sense, as those are usually entry-level jobs.
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 16:39
    MJ:
    I hate to get up on the PC soapbox here but the answer to your question "Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre?" is YES.
    No. The answer to the question is, no. We will not pretend things are other than what they are; we will deal with reality on its own terms.

    I see that you zeroed in on the "funny" statement to the exclusion of the rest of my post. Please set aside your righteous indignation long enough to go back and reread it.
  • akatherder 2008-04-22 16:39
    AndrewB:
    Once I told a company that I would be willing to go as low as $35,000. Lo and behold, when I received their offer in the mail, it was for a salary of $35,000 per year. I then sent them an email saying the offer was insulting.


    Employer: Would you be willing to accept $35k?
    You: Yes.
    Employer: We would like to offer you the position at $35k.
    You: WHAT THE FUCK!? I've never been so insulted!
  • Soviut 2008-04-22 16:45
    FredSaw:
    Pantsmaster:
    Jesum crow, people, chill out about the guy in the first post. Maybe he's a high-functioning autistic, maybe he's not. Whatever kind of eccentricity he's got, he's obviously barely functioning at all, and .. (wait for it) .. that's the humor.
    Actually, the humor is the interviewer being confronted with a situation in which the behavior of an interviewee is bizarre. The thrust of the story is not, "Look at this autistic doofus!" It's, "Imagine yourself in the position of this interviewer."

    However unfair circumstance has been to the autistic guy, he seems to be functioning well enough to have made it through a screening process and into an interview. Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre? How about if we just pretend he doesn't exist, would that work better for you?

    Things like this happen. And they are funny. And it's quite possible to laugh at an awkward situation without laughing at those involved.


    Are you kidding? I laugh at the autistic all the time. Its funny because its not me!!!
  • Kemp 2008-04-22 16:46
    MJ:
    I hate to get up on the PC soapbox here but the answer to your question "Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre?" is YES.


    Denying reality doesn't make things fluffy and nice. His behaviour is bizarre. We can ignore it, we can try to make people understand why he does it, but denying it is just lying to everyone (and yourself). Accepting the reality is just as important as understanding. To give an example that will most likely be called ridiculous, if I had a heart attack I would prefer that the paramedic didn't stand there saying "we need to pretend his heart is normal, pointing out its different behaviour is insensitive".
  • SomeCoder 2008-04-22 16:47
    akatherder:
    AndrewB:
    Once I told a company that I would be willing to go as low as $35,000. Lo and behold, when I received their offer in the mail, it was for a salary of $35,000 per year. I then sent them an email saying the offer was insulting.


    Employer: Would you be willing to accept $35k?
    You: Yes.
    Employer: We would like to offer you the position at $35k.
    You: WHAT THE FUCK!? I've never been so insulted!


    That is what I got out of his post too.

    If you say you're willing to take $35k then you should take $35k. If you get a job elsewhere for more, then good for you but you should be honest about what salary you want.
  • Ilya Ehrenburg 2008-04-22 16:51
    Kemp:
    Calli Arcale:
    jtl:

    Somebody with ADHD would certainly not sit still for 2 minutes. ;-)


    As a person with ADD, I can attest that that isn't necessarily true. The ADD stereotype is of a person who can't sit still, but the condition is one of *inappropriate* attention. That can be an absurdly short attention span or an absurdly long one. Or attention to completely the wrong thing, which can include one's internal monologue, resulting in the person making abrupt topic shifts with little warning.


    ADD != ADHD

    So true, but it's a real PITA to explain that to every sucker who read that only kids can have it and grow out of it by puberty. In my experience they only drop the H part.
  • akatherder 2008-04-22 16:52
    MJ:
    So, if this were a blind person and they ran into an object that they couldn't see, would you think that "Things like this happen. And they are funny"?


    It depends what object we're talking about. Running into a brick wall or a door probably wouldn't make me laugh. However, tripping over a wiener dog or knocking over a hobo would be awfully funny though.

    Interviewees are expected to have an appropriate decorum and be able to, at least, fake that they could handle the job. Going into an interview like that and acting flustered at a simple situation is like your blind guy interviewing for a security guard position. Technically, he could do it... but when the interviewer silently steals his pen during the interview to test his awareness, it's going to hurt his chances.
  • Bobble 2008-04-22 16:54
    So then it should be expected that you give the candidate (who will be expected to work on a team and handle stress) and fair shot at not having a meltdown during and interview. If they do, it should not be surprising that they are shown the door and I'd be damned if I'm not going to tell the story.

    This poor individual didn't recognize his limitations. A deaf person showing up for an interview at a call center or a blind guy interviewing on a surveying team should elicit similar snickers.
  • Bobble 2008-04-22 17:02
    akatherder:
    MJ:
    So, if this were a blind person and they ran into an object that they couldn't see, would you think that "Things like this happen. And they are funny"?

    is like your blind guy interviewing for a security guard position. Technically, he could do it... but when the interviewer silently steals his pen during the interview to test his awareness, it's going to hurt his chances.


    Ha. I was at a government building a month ago with a blind security guard. This building has labyrinthine corridors and my attempt to find out which hallway I needed to start at was unsuccessful. As he finished his attempt at describing where I should go, I stole his pen. I figured he wasn't going to be needing it.
  • Shill 2008-04-22 17:05
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    The US. You know, the one a majority of DailyWTF readers hail from as well as the authors of the site.
  • Confused... 2008-04-22 17:10
    AndrewB:
    Once I told a company that I would be willing to go as low as $35,000. Lo and behold, when I received their offer in the mail, it was for a salary of $35,000 per year. I then sent them an email saying the offer was insulting.


    Maybe I'm missing something... but why would you say that you're willing to go as low as 35k, if you were not willing to go as low as 35k?

    Why mention a figure as acceptable if it is not only not acceptable but even "insulting"? You're just deliberately setting up failure...
  • Asiago Chow 2008-04-22 17:16
    AndrewB:
    I've interviewed the exact same way. When a company asks me what my salary expectations are, I always give them my hard minimum. The burden is on them to make the most competitive offer they can. Once I told a company that I would be willing to go as low as $35,000. Lo and behold, when I received their offer in the mail, it was for a salary of $35,000 per year. I then sent them an email saying the offer was insulting.


    Yikes! That is NOT how you negotiate.

    Your best bet is to say exactly what you want. If they hedge or waffle give your arguments for why your numbers are right. "I want 90K to do the job you've described." "I'm sorry, we were looking for someone in the 60K range." "Yes, however, my experience in this industry increases my value to you. Hire a 60K person in this industry and you'll be training them for a year... at which point they'll quit and take a job for 90K. Save yourself the headache and hire the right person now."


    Your second choice is to highball. "I want 90K to do the job you've described." "I'm sorry, we were looking for someone in the 60K range." "Well, I can negotiate down to 75K in the short term but I'm going to want to see a path to 90K in the next 3-5 years."

    The only time you say your lower limit is when it is higher than their stated upper limit. "I understand you are listing this position as 50K, but my lower limit is 70K... however, I think I would bring a lot of value to your company and frankly it would be a real mistake for you to hire a less qualified applicant for the critical position you have described."

    All of that assumes you bring actual value to the employer. If not, why are you considering the job?

    AndrewBI:

    That was a year and a half ago. I'm now 23, making $46k with guaranteed raises to at least $61k by 2011.


    I am glad you are happy with the promises you have received from your employer. I hope you are still working for them in 2011 so you can realize your future salary. I am sad to report that $61K (USD) in 2011 will be, if current trends continue, something less than 52K USD of 2008 money. That means you have been promised an effective 5% raise every year. That is better than receiving a series of inflation-matching raises but it is not extraordinary. Young employees typically receive 5%+inflation or better yearly salary adjustments as they gradually stop letting employers take advantage of their youth.
  • MJ 2008-04-22 17:32
    I am not saying that we deny the reality of the behavior or that we ignore it. I think you have it exactly correct in that people have to be aware of what it is and understand why the person does it.

    That is not the same thing as laughing at it.

    To use your example of a heart attack, I think you would be understandably unset if people stood around and got a good laugh at how silly you looking lying on the floor.
  • MJ 2008-04-22 17:47
    Actually I did read your entire comment. I thought it was more polite to nicely try to point out the real lack of humor in autism rather than respond to your apparent lack of understanding of autism.

    I don't think you want to have a lengthy discussion about what I think you appear to be missing about autism. And you don't seem like you meant to any harm by your statements, so just do me a favor and try and understand the disorder better before suggesting that it is humorous.
  • jbinaz 2008-04-22 18:06
    PennyPituna:

    If thats true then I have ADD not ADH

    Oh look a red ball!


    Q: How many ADD kids does it take to change a light bulb?

    A: Hey, wanna' go ride bikes?

  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 18:08
    MJ:
    Actually I did read your entire comment. I thought it was more polite to nicely try to point out the real lack of humor in autism rather than respond to your apparent lack of understanding of autism.

    I don't think you want to have a lengthy discussion about what I think you appear to be missing about autism. And you don't seem like you meant to any harm by your statements, so just do me a favor and try and understand the disorder better before suggesting that it is humorous.
    A quick off-topic suggestion for you, MJ: people will follow the conversation better if you'll use the "quote" button rather than the "reply" button. If you're responding to just a certain part, delete the rest. It helps.

    For a few years I dated a woman whose teenage son has Asperger's. I had ample exposure to him and discussion about it with her; I'm confident that I have a solid grasp of the basics. He used to do things like get right up in my face, eye to eye, and quote lines from movies and role-playing games in a loud, growling voice. At his mother's birthday party he did not grasp the humor when we tried to include him in a surprise spraying-down with silly string; he got agitated and ran to tell her. I knew how to deal with him.

    He is now about to enter college. He's mentally very bright; it wouldn't surprise me to hear that he went on to become a rocket scientist.

    You, MJ, are still confusing the condition of autism with the unexpected and startling situation in which the interviewer found himself. I will repeat once more, that it is the situation which was funny; and it was indeed funny. The humor is not directed at the interviewee or his condition.

    I'm sure you will not agree. That's okay. Just understand, I do know a little more about autism than you think; and I do know how to distinguish appropriate humor from the other.
  • Carnildo 2008-04-22 18:16
    Jonas Hallgren:
    That first guy shows some serious signs of autism (or ADHD, can't remember which is which)


    High-functioning autism. If it was ADHD, he wouldn't be sitting in a perfectly-positioned chair, he'd be sitting on the corner of your desk, and the bookcase, and the windowsill, and the light fixture, and....
  • upsidedowncreature 2008-04-22 18:19
    SomeCoder:
    His typing would have been slow (20 WPM) but again, he knew his stuff.


    Typing speed is a consideration when hiring a developer??

  • SomeCoder 2008-04-22 18:26
    upsidedowncreature:
    SomeCoder:
    His typing would have been slow (20 WPM) but again, he knew his stuff.


    Typing speed is a consideration when hiring a developer??




    Well not to me, but the manager seemed to think so. I wanted to hire him *shrug*
  • upsidedowncreature 2008-04-22 18:31



    Well not to me, but the manager seemed to think so. I wanted to hire him *shrug*


    Excellent! I'm off to include my typing speed on my CV (sorry, Resume) and highlight the fact than I can bring my own chair.

    Edit: Still can't quote...
  • miscreant 2008-04-22 18:49
    MJ:
    If a deaf person stepped out in front of a car because they couldn't hear the honking horn, would that be funny too?
    Yes, unless he was both deaf and blind.
  • ben 2008-04-22 19:02
    [quote user="upsidedowncreature"][quote user="SomeCoder"]
    Typing speed is a consideration when hiring a developer??
    [/quote]

    I'd take it as a given that a developer candidate can type reasonably fast, because most developers code by typing. If you can only type 20wpm you can't code fast and, more to the point, you probably haven't done much of it. A developer needs to be comfortable around a computer and know how to use it efficiently.

    Had a peer-coding session with a job candidate once and a small but telling black mark against him was his preference for a proportional font in his IDE. No-one who does much coding would do that.
  • OneUp 2008-04-22 19:06
    cyphax:
    Oh $50.000 a year? Oh yeah, from the job ad. Actually, we just say that to attract people; we only give you $15.000 per year.


    You think that's bad, just wait until you find out that they're from the US, which uses uses the comma and decimal point in opposite locations from what a European might expect.

    That's right, they want to pay you $15 per year and the extra zeros are just something they put in to attract more candidates.
  • AndrewB 2008-04-22 19:28
    Confused...:

    Maybe I'm missing something... but why would you say that you're willing to go as low as 35k, if you were not willing to go as low as 35k?

    It goes both ways. Why would a company say that that they're willing to go as high as 60k when they're really not? Is it sensible to use the bait-and-switch tactic? You could argue that it's not the best strategy, but at least argue it consistently. Don't single out the employee candidates who practice this method while at the same time overlooking the companies who do the same thing.

    Why mention a figure as acceptable if it is not only not acceptable but even "insulting"? You're just deliberately setting up failure...

    The idea, right or wrong, is to weed out the companies that are willing to lowball their employees and pay them just enough to hire them with no effective strategy on how they're going to retain them. Before you say "all companies do that," I can assure you that all companies do NOT do that.

    Let's give a salary of, say $60k. Ignore your situation; let's pretend this is a "good" salary for your qualifications and area of residence. Consider two types of companies: A) a company that wants to pay you as little as possible but is willing to give in and offer you 60k if necessary, or B) a company that wants to be competitive and attract/retain top talent by giving high initial offers.

    By lowballing your own stated expectations, you have the ability to discern which company falls into category A and which one falls into category B. By stating a salary expectation that is actually fair, you're more likely to get the same or similar initial offer from both companies, and therefore lose the ability to make this distinction.

    You might ask why it matters whether you're working for company A or company B given the same salary of $60k. Well, one can argue that a company in category A is more likely to have poor job security, overly demanding workloads, lower respect towards employees, and fewer opportunities for advancement. A company in category B (by obvious contrast) is more likely to have better job security, more relaxed workloads, better respect toward employees, and more opportunities for advancement.

    The entire concept of asking for "salary expectations" is dubious anyway. Even if a candidate does accept a lower offer, he's suddenly at risk for leaving to work with another company that offers a reasonable salary. It's generally in the best interests of companies to give salaries to their employees that are well adjusted to fair market value, and it's generally in the best interests of job seekers to stay away from companies that don't want to do this.

    Personally, having ended up working for a company that offered me more than my "stated" amount, and having found out that it fits into category B exactly, I can't help but feel some sort of understanding about the guy who turned down the offer that "met" his stated expectations. You can take that for what it's worth.
  • DKO 2008-04-22 19:38
    Rich:
    A posting was put up with a short job description and a top-end salary range (up to $60k). [...] One individual who really stuck out included a cover letter expressing his excitement over the position and even included a salary range of $40-$50k. [...] He turned down the position because he really wanted $58k and he washed his hands of the position.


    There was a reasonable text on joelonsoftware teaching amateurs like your company how to negotiate when hiring. If the candidate believes he will receive 50k, and you can pay 60k, then first offer him 50k, and then offer 60k (without him asking), just to make him think the company noticed how valuable he is. Don't forget that you are selling your company to the candidate; you shouldn't expect them to come crawling after whatever you want to pay them. If you want to pay bananas, you will only get monkeys.
  • aflag 2008-04-22 19:46
    The OCD guy went a little over the top, but the question was very dumb. How can he give an answer if he doesn't even know what mail server is being run?

    I'd probably answer that first I'd have to learn what's the company e-mail configuration. If I don't even know the servers, how can I give any kind of answer to the marketing guy? Except maybe "is the cable connected? Have you tried turning the machine off and on again?"
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 19:48
    AndrewB:
    It goes both ways.
    No it doesn't. You are so desperately without a clue that you absolutely stink of "I just graduated and therefore know everything".

    Suggestion for a fun learning project: save off this discussion to someplace safe. Return to it in, say, six to ten years. Read it over; break into laughter at your incredible mixture of naivete and arrogance. Then post it on TheDailyWTF to share the laughter all around.
  • AnonymousCoward 2008-04-22 20:12
    I once ended up with a job as a Clarion programmer. Apparently it was just like Delphi. I barely escaped with my sanity intact, and I suppose I should be thankful for not landing a CA Visual Objects job a few years earlier.
  • MJ 2008-04-22 20:26
    FredSaw:

    For a few years I dated a woman whose teenage son has Asperger's. I had ample exposure to him and discussion about it with her; I'm confident that I have a solid grasp of the basics.

    ...

    You, MJ, are still confusing the condition of autism with the unexpected and startling situation in which the interviewer found himself. I will repeat once more, that it is the situation which was funny; and it was indeed funny. The humor is not directed at the interviewee or his condition.

    I'm sure you will not agree. That's okay. Just understand, I do know a little more about autism than you think; and I do know how to distinguish appropriate humor from the other.


    Not to doubt your knowledge, but asperger's and Autism do have a few differences - the most notable being that people with asperger's does not have any significant impairment in communication just the social aspects of communication. So a person with aspergers would be less likely to misunderstand the question in the post than a person with autism.

    Regardless, I will say that the situation is humorous if you remove the autism aspect but with it back in I think I am going to have to strongly disagree that it is funny. I don't see anyway of separating out that you are laughing at the behavior or the situation caused from the behavior since that really is at the heart of what autism is.
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 20:31
    MJ:
    I will say that the situation is humorous if you remove the autism aspect but with it back in I think I am going to have to strongly disagree that it is funny. I don't see anyway of separating out that you are laughing at the behavior or the situation caused from the behavior since that really is at the heart of what autism is.
    Of course, none of us know what condition the interviewee may have had; the story doesn't say. You seem to be strongly for the assumption of autism. Would you then be willing to make a case for why he was there at all, and why the interviewer should have ignored his behavior and hired him?
  • Franz Kafka 2008-04-22 20:35
    BlitheringIdiot:
    G Money:

    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Everyone in the world knows that the US dollar is the only currency that matters!


    1. This is the daily wtf, and dollars usually means USD.
    2. it's the only one that matters when talking about a job in the US.
  • AndrewB 2008-04-22 20:39
    FredSaw:
    AndrewB:
    It goes both ways.
    No it doesn't. You are so desperately without a clue that you absolutely stink of "I just graduated and therefore know everything".

    Suggestion for a fun learning project: save off this discussion to someplace safe. Return to it in, say, six to ten years. Read it over; break into laughter at your incredible mixture of naivete and arrogance. Then post it on TheDailyWTF to share the laughter all around.


    Making an argument that can't be proven or disproven for the better part of a decade, and being a dick on an internet forum. You seem to have embraced the philosophy of "contribute nothing whatsoever."
  • Franz Kafka 2008-04-22 20:46
    MJ:
    So, if this were a blind person and they ran into an object that they couldn't see, would you think that "Things like this happen. And they are funny"? If a deaf person stepped out in front of a car because they couldn't hear the honking horn, would that be funny too?


    Blind steve walking into the copier now and again is someone I can deal with. Autistic Frank freaking out because someone moved his pen (3 inches) is not.
  • Franz Kafka 2008-04-22 20:49
    aflag:
    The OCD guy went a little over the top, but the question was very dumb. How can he give an answer if he doesn't even know what mail server is being run?


    That's the point of the question: what's your problem solving strategy? For all you know, the marketing guy is using some random software they installed on their desktop, their network could be down, the logfiles could be full, and so on.
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 20:51
    ben:
    upsidedowncreature:
    Typing speed is a consideration when hiring a developer??
    I'd take it as a given that a developer candidate can type reasonably fast, because most developers code by typing. If you can only type 20wpm you can't code fast and, more to the point, you probably haven't done much of it. A developer needs to be comfortable around a computer and know how to use it efficiently.
    Bullshit. Read again what he said about the guy's arms.
    We also interviewed another guy who was in a wheelchair and had some minor problem with his arms. His typing would have been slow (20 WPM) but again, he knew his stuff.
    Sometimes I sit for minutes at a time reading over my code, thinking about what it's doing and pondering whether this is the best way or not. Although I can type 85+ WPM, I'm sure when coding I never get faster than 35 or 40, tops, and that for only minutes or seconds at a time. What do you think we developers are doing--taking dictation? My overall speed is that slow because so much of my time is spent moving between pages, back and forth between UI, BL, and DAL, selecting, copying, pasting, compiling, testing, publishing, and so forth.

    Given the description of the candidate--"he knew his stuff"--I doubt that his typing speed would have been noticeable in his overall productivity.
  • FredSaw 2008-04-22 20:55
    AndrewB:
    Making an argument that can't be proven or disproven for the better part of a decade, and being a dick on an internet forum. You seem to have embraced the philosophy of "contribute nothing whatsoever."
    Oh, it wasn't an argument. And my contributions are what they are. Keep trying, dude.
  • Grassfire 2008-04-22 21:48
    BlitheringIdiot:
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Everyone in the world knows that the US dollar is the only currency that matters!

    *cough*
    Euro
    *cough*
  • Vred Ekrn 2008-04-22 22:38
    Unix? Don't you know that it is a dead language. Get in the 21st century man!
  • MJ 2008-04-22 22:46
    FredSaw:
    MJ:
    I will say that the situation is humorous if you remove the autism aspect but with it back in I think I am going to have to strongly disagree that it is funny. I don't see anyway of separating out that you are laughing at the behavior or the situation caused from the behavior since that really is at the heart of what autism is.
    Of course, none of us know what condition the interviewee may have had; the story doesn't say. You seem to be strongly for the assumption of autism. Would you then be willing to make a case for why he was there at all, and why the interviewer should have ignored his behavior and hired him?


    I think autism is a reasonable assumption given the two behaviors mentioned in the post.

    First is the fixation with his environment (the chair) with is part of autism but from my limited knowledge could also be OCD or something else along those lines.

    But the second behavior is what makes the case for me. There are three important parts here, the delay before answering the question, the misunderstanding of the implication of the question, and the inappropriate social response.

    You put those together and you have all of the criteria for an autism diagnosis under the DSM IV criteria.

    Do I think that the interviewer should have ignored this behavior and hired him? No. From the limited information presented it does not appear that the person is qualified to handle the job and having a disability does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that he should get a free pass. However, if the interviewer knew that the person had autism then he could have allowed a little extra latitude.

    But, and this is a big but, he should not be held up for public ridicule because his behaviors strike others are "bizarre".
  • MJ 2008-04-22 22:50
    Franz Kafka:
    MJ:
    So, if this were a blind person and they ran into an object that they couldn't see, would you think that "Things like this happen. And they are funny"? If a deaf person stepped out in front of a car because they couldn't hear the honking horn, would that be funny too?


    Blind steve walking into the copier now and again is someone I can deal with. Autistic Frank freaking out because someone moved his pen (3 inches) is not.


    You had best learn to deal with it. A little under 1% of male children have autism now - so in another decade or so you are going to be seeing a lot more adults with autism.
  • FredSaw 2008-04-23 00:56
    MJ:
    But, and this is a big but, he should not be held up for public ridicule because his behaviors strike others are "bizarre".
    Again and again and again: nobody was ridiculing the guy. Except, of course, the ones who had to try for a reaction check once somebody (you) objected.

    Okay--suppose we've both been assuming that which has been wrong from the beginning: that the incident was cited for humor. Suppose, instead, the submitter was going for this website's namesake. WTF???!!??111One??!!!11

    Sorry, my 1337zz rusty. Plz forgivz me teh codzz.

    Divorced from all humor, will it qualify as a valid WTF?
  • Velko 2008-04-23 02:00
    8) There are countries, where people are talking salaries PER MONTH. So 30K of <insert currency here> per month also may be a good salary.
  • ben 2008-04-23 02:28
    FredSaw:
    Given the description of the candidate--"he knew his stuff"--I doubt that his typing speed would have been noticeable in his overall productivity.


    The more he knew his stuff, the *more* it would have been noticeable, because his brilliance is only filtering into the real world at a rate of one character every 3 seconds.

    If you can make up for this with voice-activation or clever key-assignments or macros or whatever you need, fine, I don't care how you operate your computer. But 20 wpm is way too damn slow. That's hunt-and-peck speed for every line of code, every email, IM, commit comment, quick-and-dirty shell script, ad-hoc SQL query, random command-line piped rgrep, Wiki entry -- everything that a developer does all day.


  • Tenseiga 2008-04-23 03:19
    ben:

    The more he knew his stuff, the *more* it would have been noticeable, because his brilliance is only filtering into the real world at a rate of one character every 3 seconds.

    If you can make up for this with voice-activation or clever key-assignments or macros or whatever you need, fine, I don't care how you operate your computer. But 20 wpm is way too damn slow. That's hunt-and-peck speed for every line of code, every email, IM, commit comment, quick-and-dirty shell script, ad-hoc SQL query, random command-line piped rgrep, Wiki entry -- everything that a developer does all day.


    Hunt and peck usually is around 35 to 40 for a decent typist. 20 means he hasnt spent much time at a computer and that for me would count against him badly.(or should)
  • Sid2K7 2008-04-23 03:30
    I've been on the other side of this.

    At one point, I interviewed for a developer position in a company that specializes in claim management. So, I did a written test, and then they arranged for a meeting with the "big boss". On the way there, I saw an extensive collection of reclaimed property: Around two dozen Mercedes and Ferraris, as well as a recent Maybach... "no, no", my interview explained, "the Maybach isn't reclaimed. It is our bosses car, she thinks it should not be influenced by the presence of lesser cars on the employee parking lot."

    THAT should have been my first hint.

    After walking to the main building (which was labeled "main building" just because it contained the bosses' office(s)and... well... nothing else) we had to wait with the secretary. The secretary cleared us, stood up, and entered a 6-digit-code into a neatly recessed mahagoni keyboard at the bosses door. The door didn't open at once, because first, the boss had to enter HER code from the inside.

    Inside, I was impressed by the sheer size of the office, which was easily 20m by 12m (or 240 square meters). The office was empty except for a big (BIG!!!) Mahagoni desk standing on a 1-foot-elevation on the far side of the room, and a wooden folding chair in the middle.

    The elevation was accessible by a single chair, as well as a ramp - which I thought was odd. The boss was a seriously overdressed woman in her late 50s, but really friendly. Friendly as in "hugged me when I entered".

    She took a seat on her super-duper-bosschair and I took a seat on the folding chair, which squeaked suspiciously. She asked me a few questions, and all of a sudden, she pushed her chair down the ramp, stood up, and straddled it in reverse. She then began to circle me, slowly, sideways and facing in my direction, pushing herself off with a foot.

    And she kept asking me questions, which I answered. Sometimes, she reversed direction, so that I would be looking the wrong way. Whenever that happened, she shouted "Boo!" to scare me.

    Well, that was the first and only time I've ever ignored any mail from a specific company. And also the first time I bribed a postal service employee to write "Return to sender. Address Unknown" on an envelope.

    So, I'd doen't have to be the future employee who has lost it.
  • You didn't see me right? 2008-04-23 03:36
    akatherder:
    MJ:
    So, if this were a blind person and they ran into an object that they couldn't see, would you think that "Things like this happen. And they are funny"?


    It depends what object we're talking about. Running into a brick wall or a door probably wouldn't make me laugh. However, tripping over a wiener dog or knocking over a hobo would be awfully funny though.


    Sorry, but I have to disagree with you there. A blind person running into a brick wall could actually be pretty funny...
  • donniel 2008-04-23 04:07
    I walked the dinosaur:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    Bangalore India, 2008?


    True. If you were an Indian working in America, it wouldn't be that big a deal. But if you were earning that much in India, that would be damn neat - that's INR 100,000 p.m. which is pretty damn neat for a programmer.

    A good programmer/developer in one of the better multi-national companies [Microsoft, Google, Oracle] can expect to earn anywhere between INR 50,000 to INR 80,000 or more depending upon his skill, experience.

    However, if it was one of those cheap Indian outsourcing companies, programmers there earn about INR 5000 - INR 15,000 - USD 125 to USD 378 p.m. depending upon their experience. You can see why outsourcing is so popular for both parties.
  • Some guy from Sweden 2008-04-23 05:21
    ben:
    The more he knew his stuff, the *more* it would have been noticeable, because his brilliance is only filtering into the real world at a rate of one character every 3 seconds.

    No, one *word* (of 5 characters) every three seconds. That means he could have written my post quicker than I did, since I've gone back and edited time and again.

    Getting numbers from wikipedia, that's about the same speed as most people can copy down a text in hand-writing. Not very fast, but not horrible either.
  • Mel 2008-04-23 05:44
    G Money:
    4) It's a foreign country where either $30K USD is a lot of money or "$" in this context is really a stand-in for their local currency and 30K of that is a good salary

    Do you see "$" anywhere in the original post?

    Even if the "$" had been there, it couldn't have meant any other type of dollar. I mean, noone else uses their own dollar...
  • JimM 2008-04-23 06:11
    Still not sure what to make of the first story - so many WTFs; like, if someone has that low a level of function (i.e. not being able to distinguish hypothetical from real) why are they applying for a high pressure tech job (and how have they managed to previously hold down jobs to indicate they have the experience to do it?), and how come the interviewer didn't know that they were interviewing someone with a serious mental disability (it's a standard question on UK application forms so employers can make reasonable adjustments to their interviewing process to accommodate disability). Based on the story his condition is serious enough that potential employers should be making allowance in their interview process.

    To whomever asked if £30,000 was considered a good programming salary in the UK; yes, it is. Don't forget that's close on $60,000 now; and we get free healthcare (for most conditions) through the NHS, a statutory minimum of 20 days holiday, usually an additional 8 in public holidays, and strict working-hours directives controlled by the EU that limit the number of hours an employer can ask you to work. Plus I believe we also have much stricter (and easier to enforce) employment law so our jobs are more secure.
    I have seen starting PHP positions as low as £18,000, and Senior positions going up to £40,000 - £50,000. PHP tends to be slightly lower paid than .NET and Java as it's often regarded as something of a hobbyist language and is used more in the charity sector than in private industry. £25,000 is a reasonable starting salary in most programming environments.

    To Andrew B and his $35k; grow up. If you say you will accept an amount, then of course an employer will offer you that - their business is making money, and they will pay you as little as they can get away with it. It's nothing to do with poloitics or how they treat their staff; it's economics. Imagine if you went to buy a car; the dealer says they will take as low as $10,000 for it. You offer them $10,000 and they say they are insulted by your offer and want more. What would you think of them? I'd think they were an arse, which is pretty much exactly what I think of you...
  • Valacosa 2008-04-23 06:21
    MJ:
    Regardless, I will say that the situation is humorous if you remove the autism aspect but with it back in I think I am going to have to strongly disagree that it is funny.
    Whoa there! Are you saying the humour of the situation depends on whether or not the person has autism? What you are doing is discrimination. You know that, right?
  • the real wtf fool 2008-04-23 06:39
    Khalil:
    The guy in the first interview probably has aspergers syndrome, or some other form of mild autism.


    I have thought for a while now that any programmer above half decent is in a significant position on the autistic spectrum. It takes a certain degree of autism to not be completely bored out of ones skull by programming. Those that are completely lacking in autistic traits end up in marketing or management.
  • JM 2008-04-23 06:52
    ben:
    Had a peer-coding session with a job candidate once and a small but telling black mark against him was his preference for a proportional font in his IDE. No-one who does much coding would do that.

    You, my friend, have just told a programmer with 15 years of experience spread out over C, C++, Java and .NET that you would consider not hiring him because of his esthetical preferences. Congratulations.

    In my experience, programmers insist on monospace fonts because they're either used to them from days of yore when there was effectively no other option, or because they're used to manually lining up things with spaces and tabs, or because they actually find monospace code easier to read, none of which I find particularly compelling.

    I don't fiddle around with layout and use indentation on a purely logical level (one tab = one level and nothing else). This works, yields readable code and saves me from having to think about things which I ought need not think about.

    I for one don't mind using those newfangled IDEs (like, post-70s or so) that do automatic code formatting and make your choice of font a matter of personal preference. And so my code displays in Cambria, which is easier on my eyes than nostalgic typewriter emulations. (I use Consolas for those occasions where monospace does matter, i.e. hexdumps.)

    Show the proportional font programmers some love. We aren't many, but that doesn't mean we need the prejudice.
  • Sjaak spoiler 2008-04-23 06:59
    cyphax:
    Oh $50.000 a year? Oh yeah, from the job ad. Actually, we just say that to attract people; we only give you $15.000 per year.


    Actually I've encountered a company like that in Holland.
    Not even one of the smallest though.
    The HR manager somehow failed to mention that almost 20% of the salary consisted of a bonus that one would receive only after working for the company for more than 1 year.


  • M.I.K.e 2008-04-23 07:01
    AnonymousCoward:
    I once ended up with a job as a Clarion programmer. Apparently it was just like Delphi. I barely escaped with my sanity intact, and I suppose I should be thankful for not landing a CA Visual Objects job a few years earlier.


    Well, Delphi is based on Pascal, as far as I know.

    Clarion on the other hand is a weird mixture between Modula-2, BASIC, COBOL and FORTRAN. I know this sounds odd, so let me explain it:
    Clarion had keywords quite similar to Modula-2, but the parser worked differently. All name definitions (be it variables or procedures) had to start in the first column, everything else must not, which reminded me of Fortran. Variable definitions could include pictures that describe the display format, which reminded me of Cobol. And like in some old BASIC interpreters linebreaks actually were part of the syntax...

    All the code was held in a big binary Application file, which then was used to generate the actual code via templates which then was compiled. Obviously this is a great way to have several people working on the same application and using PVCS for version control...
    Then there was the Dictionary file, which described all the database tables (in this case called Files). Every tiny change to the Dictionary automatically led to the Application being generated and compiled completely from scratch.
    In the beginning I was working on a 486DX-50, and one day I had to test how certain database changes would affect the application. I cannot remember how many changes I actually performed, but making those changes just took a few seconds and the rest of the day I was waiting for hours and hours to see what the result was.

    Also nice was the fact that new versions of Clarion kept changing the templates, ie. the files that describe how the code is generated.
    In one change they managed to ignore the fact which Files (ie. database tables) were needed in a module and simply generated code for all files in the dictionary. Due to that some routines became too big for the compiler to handle. Thus I hacked the templates to generate several smaller routines.
    One of our customers was still using Windows 3.11 (some may guess what comes next), so we had to use the 16-bit compiler. While the compiler was able to handle the routines just fine after my template hack, the resulting object file was larger than 64K and the linker was unable to handle it...
    In the end I had to dive deeper into the inner workings of the whole system, found out that there was some kind of flag to test if a file was acutally used in a module and then hacked the template to only generate code for the needed files.

    Yes, Clarion could induce insanty at times...
    I'm still surprised that someone else remembers it.

  • Polar 2008-04-23 07:11
    MCS:
    Coming to an interview for a PHP coding position, only to be told 'we only code in ColdFusion' is the equivalent of buying a Transformer toy for your kid, only to find out that one of those crappy Go-Bots is inside the package.


    Ahhh...Go-Bots. The toy that tranformed from a car to a car with its doors open.
  • Mel 2008-04-23 07:31
    MJ:
    I hate to get up on the PC soapbox here but the answer to your question "Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre?" is YES.

    I have to disagree. Pretending someone's behaviour is not bizarre doesn't do anyone any favours. Surely it's better to recognize a person's behaviour as bizarre, accept them and move on? I used to work with a guy who was somewhere toward the 'bad' end of the autism spectrum. Some of the things he did were unusual, and did raise a few smiles. But some things were annoying or even a bit creepy. Those things were overlooked somewhat, because they are just part of who he is. It can't go both ways: either the behaviour is accepted as bizarre and dealt with as such, or everyone pretends it's not, and he's held responsible for his actions exactly the same as anyone else.

    Is it ok to laugh at the guy for having autism or anything else? No, of course not. Is it ok to find it amusing that someone is kneeling backwards on a chair in the middle of the office and spinning - and leaves a worn circle in the carpet? Yes, I think so.

    Another example: I don't use drawers for my clothes. The last time I tried, I ended up virtually hysterical at just the thought of my folded up clothes not fitting the drawers perfectly. Once I recovered a bit, I found the whole situation amusing. Annoying because I now have nowhere to put my clothes, but amusing. My boyfriend and I can laugh about it. But if he laughs at *me* for being 'different' (I've never been diagnosed with anything, but I've never been 'quite right'), he can expect - and deserves - a very, very hard slap. Luckily, he can tell the difference between the person and the situation. Maybe you should start learning about that...
  • SQB 2008-04-23 07:35
    I agree with AndrewB here. Most companies will play the no-you-name-your-figure-first game, so a way to break out of it is to name two figures. The low one is your bottom line and you should make it clear that you'd only accept it if the rest of the deal is extraordinary. The other one is what you expect to get from any reasonable competitor.

    With used cars, sometimes it actually works the same, at least in my (Dutch) experience. Some sellers, especially with cheaper cars, will advertise with a here-is-the-key-see-if-it-runs price and a higher service-and-guarantee-included price.
  • Dave 2008-04-23 07:37
    JM:
    ben:
    Had a peer-coding session with a job candidate once and a small but telling black mark against him was his preference for a proportional font in his IDE. No-one who does much coding would do that.

    You, my friend, have just told a programmer with 15 years of experience spread out over C, C++, Java and .NET that you would consider not hiring him because of his esthetical preferences. Congratulations.

    In my experience, programmers insist on monospace fonts because they're either used to them from days of yore when there was effectively no other option, or because they're used to manually lining up things with spaces and tabs, or because they actually find monospace code easier to read, none of which I find particularly compelling.

    I don't fiddle around with layout and use indentation on a purely logical level (one tab = one level and nothing else). This works, yields readable code and saves me from having to think about things which I ought need not think about.

    I for one don't mind using those newfangled IDEs (like, post-70s or so) that do automatic code formatting and make your choice of font a matter of personal preference. And so my code displays in Cambria, which is easier on my eyes than nostalgic typewriter emulations. (I use Consolas for those occasions where monospace does matter, i.e. hexdumps.)

    Show the proportional font programmers some love. We aren't many, but that doesn't mean we need the prejudice.


    I tried proportional fonts recently. I don't get it. You said you only indent one level. That doesn't really work for me. Does none of your code (or other people's code which you have to maintain) have nested if/for/while loops?? I can see one level of indentation being sufficient for simple SQL stored procedures, or assembly language, but I'd find practically anything else (vb.net, javascript, html) extremely hard to read.

    Also, which font do you use? Many fixed-width fonts have sensible distinctions between 0,o,O etc. I'm not sure this is such an issue for proportional fonts.
  • JM 2008-04-23 08:26
    Dave:
    You said you only indent one level. That doesn't really work for me. Does none of your code (or other people's code which you have to maintain) have nested if/for/while loops?? I can see one level of indentation being sufficient for simple SQL stored procedures, or assembly language, but I'd find practically anything else (vb.net, javascript, html) extremely hard to read.

    Clarification: I meant I use one tab per level and nothing else. So


    if (condition) {
    <TAB> statement;
    <TAB> statement;
    <TAB> if (condition) {
    <TAB><TAB> statement;
    <TAB><TAB> preposterouslylongfunctioncall(
    <TAB><TAB><TAB> argument1,
    <TAB><TAB><TAB> argument2,
    <TAB><TAB><TAB> argument3-255,
    <TAB><TAB> );
    ...

    In particular, I never do something like this:


    int a;
    longertype b;

    and other manual line-up tricks that encourage you to waste time fiddling with spaces and break too easily.


    Also, which font do you use? Many fixed-width fonts have sensible distinctions between 0,o,O etc. I'm not sure this is such an issue for proportional fonts.

    True, this is an issue with most proportional fonts, but not one I have trouble with in practice. Unless you're talking cryptic command line input, avoiding code that freely mixes "l" and "1", "O" and "0" etc. is good even with a monospaced font (they're not so different even in the extremely popular Courier New, for example, which doesn't use a slashed zero!)

    In fact, if you use a font like Georgia, with its distinctive
  • Survey User 2338 2008-04-23 08:27
    >>Have you ever answered the phone at work and talked to a collections agency demanding your boss fax over a check immediately?

    Remember if you fax cash over to get a receipt.
  • JM 2008-04-23 08:29
    I got cut off there. I wanted to mention that Georgia uses text figures for numbers, which are easy to distinguish from letters, but in fact the "0" does not descend below the baseline and the "0" and "o" look extremely similar in Georgia, so it's not an argument.
  • KenW 2008-04-23 08:51
    Schnapple:
    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    Extreme upstate NY (Plattsburgh, to be exact), 1994. $30K was a great salary at the time for that area; people who made $40K were considered to be really rich.
  • utunga 2008-04-23 08:54
    AndrewB:
    Rich:
    He turned down the position because he really wanted $58k and he washed his hands of the position. We (my boss and myself) were both left stammering amongst ourselves "but.. but.. you said your salary expectations were between $40k and $50k..."

    Are you and your boss actually that self absorbed? By your standards, a company can rightfully advertise a "best case" salary to a candidate, but a candidate advertising his "best case" salary expectations to you is shocking and abhorrent?

    I've interviewed the exact same way. When a company asks me what my salary expectations are, I always give them my hard minimum. The burden is on them to make the most competitive offer they can. Once I told a company that I would be willing to go as low as $35,000. Lo and behold, when I received their offer in the mail, it was for a salary of $35,000 per year. I then sent them an email saying the offer was insulting.

    That was a year and a half ago. I'm now 23, making $46k with guaranteed raises to at least $61k by 2011.


    So it was you!! (No just kidding).

    Mate. Seriously! If I was hiring and you were using this totally bass ackwards negotiating tactic, it would really irritate the crap out of me.

    For goodness sake your tactic will only ever do you damage in the negotiation - even if they do come up with an offer high enough to satisfy you - its always going to be at the lower end, closer to your lowball offer than the high end of what you would like.

    OK lets picture you in a big market/bazaar. I'm looking for a nice rug. You are a beautiful well qualified Afghani rug (and rug seller combined).

    The rug seller shouts out "$200 for this rug, $200 for this lovely rug!" I come over - and now just for the sake of argument, imagine I'm not in the mood to haggle. So I just say OK sure! I'll buy that. I start to hand over the money and the rug seller says" Outrageous how dare you offer me what I asked for!" At that point I'd certainly be like whaa? I'm clearly dealing with a madman with no idea how this works.

    Here's how its supposed to work - the seller gives a figure that is high enough to have a good starting position... but *and here's the thing* not so high that it would frighten off potential buyers that won't even bother looking further at the rug or beginning negotiation.

    Lets consider a real example - I was looking for a programmer in a junior role and we were looking to pay $50K or so (Manhattan, 2006). I saw some good resumes but anything over $80K or so, well I just save the time and effort for everybody. Someone that wants $60K, say, well maybe we can go up, or they can come down.. lets look into it a bit further.

    Personally I don't put salary ranges in at all. I just say I'll entertain your best offer. This has always worked pretty well for me..

    Hmm.. Hopefully you all figured it out now yeah?

    PS

    This reminds me of a funny encounter I once had at a market in Budapest. I was looking at a wooden chess set (nicely carved pieces) and thought I had haggled the guy down to 10 bits (Google tells me they are called Forints) anyway due to language misundersandings the seller thought we'd settled at 20. So he very carefully counts out all the pieces and takes the time to wrap it up in a bag. He hands me the chess set, I hand him a 10.. He's like "No!" and I'm like "What? I thought 10" (Hold up both hands with fingers out). He thinks I am trying to haggle after the sale is made - and clearly an idiot with no idea how this works. (I tell you just an honest misunderstanding!) Anyway at this point he's really mad - grabs the chess set back, waves me away from his stall and calls after me..

    "Don't you go to Istanbul!! Don't you go to Istanbul!!"

    A classic scene I can still picture it. Can't imagine what trouble I would get in there. He he.

    And you sir.. Please don't come by looking for a job at my place work or you will most surely drive me crazy with your insane idea of negotiation tactics!
  • KenW 2008-04-23 09:06
    G Money:
    Edit doesn't work in Firefox. Thanks though, Sparky.


    Works fine here (FF 2.0.0.14 on WinXP SP2). Perhaps it's a PEBKAC?
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2008-04-23 09:11
    Personally, I don't get what the big deal is. If I say I'm looking for something around $60K, then obviously $60K is the minimum I would be willing to accept - I expect you to try and negotiate more to show me why I should work for you, not offer the bare minimum I asked and throw me a bone. And people wonder why programmers often jack up their asking price - it's to avoid situations like this. If I really would be comfortable with $55K, I'll say 65K+ just because I know most companies are going to go for the lowest figure I ask for.

    Seriously, employers need to learn that they do NOT hold all the cards. They need to negotiate for a qualified candidate, not go with the lowest bidder or just toss out the minimum a candidate asked for. A minimum is just that - the lowest. A company that wants quality talent should negotiate for quality talent, instead of simply saying "Well, he said 35K was the lowest he would accept, so 35K it is"

    That IS insulting to the potential employee; it shows that the company has no value whatsoever of your skills, and is just looking to lowball you.

    That said, however, I would never call the cheapskate company on it and say they insulted me.
  • KenW 2008-04-23 09:12
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Why the US of course! Seriously, for most places in the US, in US dollars, $30K is not that much for a developer position, so I figured one of the following might apply:

    1) It's an entry level programmer position (where even $30K might be acceptable, though we know that he really got offered $15K)
    2) It's a location with a low standard of living (i.e., $30K will go far because things in the area are less expensive and/or are centrally located so not much driving will be involved so less gas, etc.)
    3) A combination of 1) and 2)
    4) It's a foreign country where either $30K USD is a lot of money or "$" in this context is really a stand-in for their local currency and 30K of that is a good salary
    5) The poster was being facetious
    6) The poster really does think $30K USD is a good salary
    7) The poster was generalizing using hypothetical numbers, so they interviewed for some position at $2X but then found out the position he's going for is only $X and to get $2X he'd have to basically be the owner.

    So you see, not an "Ugly American" comment (or at least not by design) but rather a "what's the story?" question.


    4) It's a foreign country where either $30K USD is a lot of money or "$" in this context is really a stand-in for their local currency and 30K of that is a good salary

    Do you see "$" anywhere in the original post?


    I think we've figured out that the problem is definitely a PEBKAC.

    Seriously, we've seen you can't figure out how to edit, but now you can't figure out how the quotes work? (If you could, you wouldn't have quoted the entire series of prior quotes, and then copied and pasted #4 again to reply to only it.

    Let me show you how it works. See your comment above? Here it is again:

    G Money:
    Do you see "$" anywhere in the original post?


    See how easy?

    Maybe you should hire someone from these forums to show you how to use your computer. (Sorry, I'm not available - got a real job and all.)
  • KenW 2008-04-23 09:19
    MJ:
    I hate to get up on the PC soapbox here but the answer to your question "Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre?" is YES.


    I hate to slap you back down from that soapbox, but no one here made fun. It was a description of physical and emotional behavior, and nothing more. There was nothing offensive whatsoever.

    I'd suggest, if mere discussion of peculiar behavior by someone suffering from ADD/ADHD/Asperger's troubles you so much, you tune in to the ABC television show Boston Legal. Jerry's representation of an Asperger's sufferer should cause you to have an actual coronary, and then you wouldn't be able to climb on that high horse you seem to want to be on.
  • John 2008-04-23 09:25
    Everybody would be better off if high functional autists
    actually would tell that they are when they land a job.

    This would save everybody a lot of annoyance and
    misunderstanding.
  • MJ 2008-04-23 09:42
    FredSaw:
    Again and again and again: nobody was ridiculing the guy. Except, of course, the ones who had to try for a reaction check once somebody (you) objected.

    Okay--suppose we've both been assuming that which has been wrong from the beginning: that the incident was cited for humor. Suppose, instead, the submitter was going for this website's namesake. WTF???!!??111One??!!!11

    Sorry, my 1337zz rusty. Plz forgivz me teh codzz.

    Divorced from all humor, will it qualify as a valid WTF?


    Divorced from humor it would qualify for a WTF for the interviewer. But the reason it does it because the interviewer is not prepared to deal with a person with autism. Since autism isn't that common in the adult population I guess that could be understandable.

    However, I don't think items are posted to the site unless they are meant to be humorous so the implication being that the situation and therefore the condition itself are worthy of laughing at. I see no humor in detailing how a person is tripped up by their disability.

    You may think I am just being difficult and that I am over sensitive, and that may well be the case. But there is a serious lack of understanding of what autism is and how many children are affected. 1 in 150 - which translates to about 20,000 children born each year will go on to develop autism.
  • Mel 2008-04-23 09:53
    MJ:
    Divorced from humor it would qualify for a WTF for the interviewer. But the reason it does it because the interviewer is not prepared to deal with a person with autism. Since autism isn't that common in the adult population I guess that could be understandable.

    However, I don't think items are posted to the site unless they are meant to be humorous so the implication being that the situation and therefore the condition itself are worthy of laughing at. I see no humor in detailing how a person is tripped up by their disability.

    You may think I am just being difficult and that I am over sensitive, and that may well be the case. But there is a serious lack of understanding of what autism is and how many children are affected. 1 in 150 - which translates to about 20,000 children born each year will go on to develop autism.

    Please, get over yourself. I personally have found your comments to be by far the most offensive in this particular discussion.
  • suprynowicz2 2008-04-23 09:54
    More likely they had already decided to hire the CTO's nephew, but needed to hop through legal hoops first.
  • KenW 2008-04-23 09:54
    AndrewB:
    Confused...:

    Maybe I'm missing something... but why would you say that you're willing to go as low as 35k, if you were not willing to go as low as 35k?

    It goes both ways. Why would a company say that that they're willing to go as high as 60k when they're really not?


    The company here did nothing wrong. They said they'd go as high as $60K, not that they were going to pay $60K. They lived up to what they said they'd do.

    Saying that you would accept as little as $60K, and then refusing an offer of $60K, is wrong. You said you'd do something, that something was proferred, and you didn't do what you said you would - that's wrong.

    I've always believed that your word had to be good in order to maintain your reputation. Someone who says they'll do something and then for no valid reason doesn't do it hasn't kept their word. It's pretty simple.

    It's the same thing as saying to a client, "Sure. I can do that for $50K, and finish it by the first of the month. If you need it a week before that, I'll have to set aside other work and will lose that revenue, so I'll have to charge you an extra $10K."

    The client says, "Ok. The first of the month for $50K is fine." You then do the work and meet with the client on the first of the month, and say, "Ok. Before I can turn this over to you, I need $60K." The client says, "But you said $50K if I'd wait the extra week!" And your response is, "But I didn't mean I'd really do that. I just had you base your whole business plan on the work I was doing for you so I could jack the price up at the end."

    If that's how you practice your business ethics, fine. Don't expect to stay in business too long, though.

    AndrewB:
    Is it sensible to use the bait-and-switch tactic? You could argue that it's not the best strategy, but at least argue it consistently. Don't single out the employee candidates who practice this method while at the same time overlooking the companies who do the same thing.


    But as I explained above, you're comparing apples and oranges. The company didn't practice bait and switch; they did exactly what they said they'd do. The person refusing the salary they said they'd accept because it was too low did not do what they said they'd do. Period. End of story. That individual is an ass.

    AndrewB:
    The idea, right or wrong, is to weed out the companies that are willing to lowball their employees and pay them just enough to hire them with no effective strategy on how they're going to retain them. Before you say "all companies do that," I can assure you that all companies do NOT do that.


    Again, your logic is based on invalid thinking. The company did not lowball. They didn't say "We'll pay at least $60K." They said, "We'll pay up to $60K." There is a difference, and if you can't see it you need to take classes on both reading comprehension and basic logic.

    AndrewB:
    Let's give a salary of, say $60k. Ignore your situation;


    Kill more flawed logic here as well. I'm tired of reading the same nonsense.

    AndrewB:
    Personally, having ended up working for a company that offered me more than my "stated" amount, and having found out that it fits into category B exactly, I can't help but feel some sort of understanding about the guy who turned down the offer that "met" his stated expectations. You can take that for what it's worth.


    And that's the company's choice to offer more than you offered to work for; obviously they felt it was in their best interests to do so. It still has nothing to do with the original point.

    Look, let's try once again to see if you can understand.

    We've all seen the car ads on television that say, "No interest for a full year." We've also seen the small print that says, "For credit qualified purchasers." or "For individuals who meet credit rating criteria" or some such verbiage. That clearly indicates that there are conditions that can make the interest something other than zero, right?

    We've also seen the advertisements offering to buy gold or jewelry or something. There's one running right now in my area where they're trying to get you to sell them gold; a woman says, "I made $5,000 by going through my jewelry drawer, for things I never wear anyway!"

    Do you think that that means that every single person who opens their jewelry drawer and sends in their gold will receive at least $5,000, no matter how many items they send, or whether or not their jewelry happens to be real, or no matter what the quality of the jewelry is? I don't, and the small print at the bottom of the screen indicates this for people who aren't smart enough to figure that out for themselves.

    There are also the "get rich quick by selling crap over the World Wide Web" ads running now, or "you can make a fortune buying and selling foreclosed properties"; in each case, someone says "I made $100,000 in a single month!", while at the same time the fine print at the bottom of the screen says "Results are not typical. Your income may be substantially lower.". Can you see where you might make less than $100K a month here? (I'm suspecting not, based on the flawed logic you insist on above, and in that event I have a bridge in Manhattan I'd like to offer to sell you.)
  • Mel 2008-04-23 10:18
    Yeah, I'm bored today with nothing better to do. But anyway...

    AndrewB:
    Consider two types of companies: A) a company that wants to pay you as little as possible but is willing to give in and offer you 60k if necessary, or B) a company that wants to be competitive and attract/retain top talent by giving high initial offers.

    By lowballing your own stated expectations, you have the ability to discern which company falls into category A and which one falls into category B. By stating a salary expectation that is actually fair, you're more likely to get the same or similar initial offer from both companies, and therefore lose the ability to make this distinction.

    You might ask why it matters whether you're working for company A or company B given the same salary of $60k. Well, one can argue that a company in category A is more likely to have poor job security, overly demanding workloads, lower respect towards employees, and fewer opportunities for advancement. A company in category B (by obvious contrast) is more likely to have better job security, more relaxed workloads, better respect toward employees, and more opportunities for advancement.

    I don't buy your whole company A / company B thing. In my first web dev job, I was offered less than I had been led to expect - $25k instead of $30k(NZD). I wasn't all that happy about it, but took it anyway. Turns out it was the right choice - within a year I was on $40k, had been given training in new technologies, and was generally happy with the place (expect the prick of a boss, but that's another story). I left after 18 months to study full-time, while I was there I think 2 people left, both for personal reasons. In short, it was a great place to work, with great people who were respected and wanted to be there. Using your thinking, I would've missed out on one of the best opportunities I could've hoped for.
  • KenW 2008-04-23 10:29
    aflag:
    The OCD guy went a little over the top, but the question was very dumb. How can he give an answer if he doesn't even know what mail server is being run?

    I'd probably answer that first I'd have to learn what's the company e-mail configuration. If I don't even know the servers, how can I give any kind of answer to the marketing guy? Except maybe "is the cable connected? Have you tried turning the machine off and on again?"


    Ummm... Ask?

    Seriously, don't you have the capacity to think? The person being interviewed had some information - he was being hired as a Linux administrator.

    I'm not a Linux person at all (have experimented with it for a few months at home), but let's see... I'd start with finding out what server their email system ran on; that should be documented somewhere.

    Ok. Got the server located. Let's access that server and look at logs. See what's configured to run, and what error messages have been logged. What processes are running now on that server?

    That's just in about two seconds, off the top of my head. Why would you expect someone interviewing for a full time position as a Linux admin to do even less than I would with little or no Linux experience?

    If you didn't come up with any kind of answer other than "Is the cable connected?" or if you even suggested just "turning the machine off and on again" when you knew we were discussing a server, I'd immediately say, "Thanks for coming in. We'll get back to you soon. B'bye now." and show you to the door.
  • KenW 2008-04-23 10:32
    AnonymousCoward:
    I once ended up with a job as a Clarion programmer. Apparently it was just like Delphi. I barely escaped with my sanity intact, and I suppose I should be thankful for not landing a CA Visual Objects job a few years earlier.


    Nah, Clarion is nothing like Delphi, except maybe in it's dreams. <g>

    And feel very very very lucky you didn't get that CA VO job. I'd be thanking /insert your deity here/ every single day for that! (From someone who was forced to try and use CA VO to port a Clipper app to Windows back in the mid-90's; I have the gray hair to prove it.)
  • KenW 2008-04-23 10:36
    MJ:

    Regardless, I will say that the situation is humorous if you remove the autism aspect but with it back in I think I am going to have to strongly disagree that it is funny.


    And I'm going to have to strongly disagree with you and suggest that you not visit a site based on having a sense of humor when you so clearly are lacking that same sense.

    You're really starting to sound ridiculous here. The humor is based on something totally other than autism or Asperger's; it's based on the inability of the interviewee to respond appropriately in an interview that he himself requested. Your trying to turn this into a political correctness discussion is ludicrous.
  • Dave 2008-04-23 10:37
    JM:

    In fact, if you use a font like Georgia, with its distinctive


    ...automatic sentence completion option?
  • KenW 2008-04-23 10:43
    AndrewB:
    Making an argument that can't be proven or disproven for the better part of a decade, and being a dick on an internet forum. You seem to have embraced the philosophy of "contribute nothing whatsoever."


    I have to agree with FredSaw here, Andrew. (FredSaw, don't expect that to be a habit. <g>)

    It's not an argument that can't be proven or disproven for a decade; it's the fact that you're showing your obvious lack of adult intelligence and common sense, and your lack of job experience, and it'll probably take you a decade before you lose your juvenile intellect and grow up. At that point, you'll be able to understand how wrong you are. IOW, it's not the proving or disproving that takes a decade; you're wrong now period. It's just you're not mature enough to realize it; that part will take a decade (maybe more, based on your posts so far).

    And as far as being a dick on an internet forum, I think that honor belongs to you. You're the first one that started calling people names, after all.

    You also haven't contributed anything of meaning here. So I guess "internet forum dick who posts meaningless drivel" belongs to you. Congratulations. Your certificate will arrive via USPS in 4 to 6 weeks.
  • KenW 2008-04-23 10:48
    Tenseiga:

    Hunt and peck usually is around 35 to 40 for a decent typist. 20 means he hasnt spent much time at a computer and that for me would count against him badly.(or should)


    No, in this case it means you fail at reading comprehension. He typed 20 wpm because of a physical disability; it had nothing to do with how much time he'd spent at the computer. For all you know, he could have spent the last 20 years writing code at the computer, could design extremely complex algorythms in his head, and had an IQ of 225. All you managed to do is read the part about slow typing.
  • Thuktun 2008-04-23 11:17
    MJ:
    Not to doubt your knowledge, but asperger's and Autism do have a few differences - the most notable being that people with asperger's does not have any significant impairment in communication just the social aspects of communication. So a person with aspergers would be less likely to misunderstand the question in the post than a person with autism.
    I think the question was well understood, but it's difficult for someone with AS to think in terms of "what if" as opposed to something more concrete and immediate. His thought processes were clearly on the right track, but rather than realizing that perceived impediments could be abstracted away as steps to resolving the problem, he broke down assuming he had been presented with an insoluble problem.

    My son's been diagnosed with AS and he has this type of problem. I see many of similar traits in myself sometimes, and I probably have borderline or mild AS. The situation in that interview room is something I worry about my son being in later in life, something I hope he's able to avoid.
  • Dave 2008-04-23 11:45
    KenW:
    Tenseiga:

    Hunt and peck usually is around 35 to 40 for a decent typist. 20 means he hasnt spent much time at a computer and that for me would count against him badly.(or should)


    No, in this case it means you fail at reading comprehension. He typed 20 wpm because of a physical disability; it had nothing to do with how much time he'd spent at the computer. For all you know, he could have spent the last 20 years writing code at the computer, could design extremely complex algorythms in his head, and had an IQ of 225. All you managed to do is read the part about slow typing.


    Yeah, some people think that Stephen Hawking is pretty smart, but I just don't believe that anyone who's apparently been working in Physics for that long would be that slow at typing.
  • ideo 2008-04-23 12:25
    A N Other:
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Ok so £30k do people think that is good?

    Where in the UK are you?
    What level are you?

    Graduate and that is rather good. Out side London and you can get by on it quite nicely.
  • MJ 2008-04-23 12:28
    Mel:

    Please, get over yourself. I personally have found your comments to be by far the most offensive in this particular discussion.


    Ok, I'll bite, which parts of my comments did you find "offensive. Please quote the exact text that bothered you.
  • MJ 2008-04-23 12:43
    KenW:
    And I'm going to have to strongly disagree with you and suggest that you not visit a site based on having a sense of humor when you so clearly are lacking that same sense.


    Actually I normally do find the site funny, just not in this case.

    KenW:
    You're really starting to sound ridiculous here. The humor is based on something totally other than autism or Asperger's; it's based on the inability of the interviewee to respond appropriately in an interview that he himself requested. Your trying to turn this into a political correctness discussion is ludicrous.


    And you just don't get autism. Autism IS the "inability of the interviewee to respond appropriately" - the disability is by definition the behaviors. There is no autism without the behaviors and the behaviors are the disability. I don't know how much clearer I can make this.

    A blind person's problem is that they can't see. Your statements are equivalent to saying that we aren't making fun of the blind person, just the fact that he can't see.

    You are saying, we aren't making fun of the autism, just the fact that they have obsessive rituals, have issues with communication, and have issues with appropriate social responses. The point you are missing is that IS autism.

    So when you ridicule those behaviors you are ridiculing autism.
  • Mel 2008-04-23 13:01
    MJ:
    Ok, I'll bite, which parts of my comments did you find "offensive. Please quote the exact text that bothered you.

    Pressed for a quote, I'd go with:
    MJ:
    Regardless, I will say that the situation is humorous if you remove the autism aspect but with it back in I think I am going to have to strongly disagree that it is funny.

    But it's more just your attitude. You seem to be suggesting everyone should pussy-foot around someone who's 'different'. I find that offensive. Saying "you shouldn't laugh, because he's handicapped" is just as bad as laughing at someone's wheelchair tipping over. Which I don't find funny, btw.

    You're saying I should treat this guy differently because he isn't as 'good' as the interviewer, or you or I. Like he's damaged or something. He doesn't deserve or need your pity just because his brain is wired differently to yours, but I feel like you're lavishing it on him. That's what I find offensive.

    And someone pointed it out before, but... noone here was actually laughing at the *guy*, but the *situation*. Maybe it's too subtle for you, but there is a difference.
  • Jay 2008-04-23 13:53
    JM:
    True, this is an issue with most proportional fonts, but not one I have trouble with in practice. Unless you're talking cryptic command line input, avoiding code that freely mixes "l" and "1", "O" and "0" etc. is good even with a monospaced font (they're not so different even in the extremely popular Courier New, for example, which doesn't use a slashed zero!)


    At a job many years ago, my boss got so tired of all the problems from users trying to type the letter el for one and the letter oh for zero that he simply changed the numeric input routine to interpret els as one and ohs as zero. Changing the software to deal with the user's preconceptions can be so much easier than changing the user to deal with the software's preconceptions!
  • Jay 2008-04-23 13:56
    One of them replied, "Oh, PHP? Oh yeah, from the job ad. Actually, we just say that to attract people; we only do ColdFusion here."


    After reading this yesterday, it occurred to me: Surely the correct response would have been to say, "Oh, ColdFusion, yes, I'm an expert at that. I know it inside and out." Then when they hire you for the job and it turns out you don't know it at all, just say, "Oh, ColdFusion? Oh yeah, from the job interview. Actually, I just said that to attract job offers; I only know PHP."
  • Jay 2008-04-23 14:12
    As we've drifted from software development to social commentary, let me throw my two cents in:

    How come calling bizarre or antisocial behavior a "mental illness" suddenly protects the person doing it from criticism? Most of these mental illnesses seem to be defined simply as such-and-such bizarre or anti-social behavior.

    Like, someone routinely screams obscenities at people at the slightest provocation. We used to call this "extreme rudeness" and fired the person or kicked him out of class or whatever. Pretty soon he learned that this behavior was unacceptable and he stopped doing it. But now we call it "Tourret's syndrome" and it's a mental illness and no one is allowed to complain. So now there is no penalty for outrageous behavior and the person continues doing it forever.

    Hey, what if I simply say that my tendency to laugh at people who do stupid things and to refuse to work with people who do antisocial things is a mental illness? I can even make up a fancy name for it, umm, I'll call it Don Rickles Syndrome. Then if anyone criticizes me for this behavior, I'll put on a hurt look and say, "How can you criticize me. I can't help it. I have Don Rickles Syndrome. How cruel of you to make fun of me for my mental illness. etc."
  • ebs2002 2008-04-23 14:48
    MJ:
    Regardless, I will say that the situation is humorous if you remove the autism aspect but with it back in I think I am going to have to strongly disagree that it is funny.


    Wow, MJ, you're discriminating against him. If he didn't have autism, you'd laugh; if he did, it's not funny. So, you treat him differently because he's disabled than you would an able-bodied person.

    Just as my own 2-cents to this discussion: MJ, the great thing about humor is that it's SUBJECTIVE. You can get offended at a joke about September 11th (I chose something extreme to make a point, for the record), but someone else can find it funny. You may make your own judgments about the laughing person's character, but you can't tell them that they shouldn't find it funny. At least, in America, we have the freedom to think however we choose.

    I've worked with autistic children before (two years of teaching children how to make video games in a summer-camp environment; it attracted a fair amount of autistic/aspbergers/HFA children, in addition to those with other disabilities), and I treated these kids like everybody else.

    In one example, a student with Aspberger's had an issue with the schedule changing from day to day. We had been going to lunch at 12:30, but due to a conflict we had to leave at 1, and he kept telling me what time it was (I did tell the class we were going to lunch later that day). After the third time in 10 minutes, when I called on him, I said "John! It's 12:37! Do you have a question?" (with a smile). He laughed, and the other kids did as well. I took him aside and we had a brief chat about the issue, and then talked to the class as a whole (including "John"), and nobody gave him a hard time about it; in fact, people started conversations with "Ebs! It's 1:52! Wanna see my game?" The parents thanked me at the end of the week for how I handled the situation, and John loved me all week.

    Long story short; people with disabilities shouldn't be given special treatment because of their disability. If you want them to integrate cleanly into our society, treat their disability and their rituals the same way you'd treat someone with a different religion and rituals, and that does permit the occasional good-natured joke, and laughing at awkward situations after the fact. I feel bad that the interviewee didn't get the job, but in a high-stress job situation dealing with people, he probably shouldn't have been in that particular interview to begin with. Just like a Quaker wouldn't be able to work for a Defense Contractor, there are some jobs that aren't suitable for those with certain disabilities.

    Now, I'm going to give the obligatory tl;dr!
  • Mel 2008-04-23 15:46
    ebs2002:
    Long story short; people with disabilities shouldn't be given special treatment because of their disability. If you want them to integrate cleanly into our society, treat their disability and their rituals the same way you'd treat someone with a different religion and rituals, and that does permit the occasional good-natured joke, and laughing at awkward situations after the fact.

    Thank you for putting what I wanted to say so eloquently :)
  • Um 2008-04-23 16:34
    Jay:
    Like, someone routinely screams obscenities at people at the slightest provocation. We used to call this "extreme rudeness" and fired the person or kicked him out of class or whatever. Pretty soon he learned that this behavior was unacceptable and he stopped doing it. But now we call it "Tourret's syndrome" and it's a mental illness and no one is allowed to complain. So now there is no penalty for outrageous behavior and the person continues doing it forever.


    Like, you don't understand what Tourette's syndrome actually is. A person with that disorder does not have control of what they are saying (the vocal outbursts are often accompanied by a uncontrollable physical tic). It simply is not a case of a normal person who does not know better. Indeed, such a person will often be horribly embarrassed after a particular episode has passed. You might as well suggest that a epileptic patient would "learn" to stop having seizures if only people made fun of him every time he had one.
  • real_aardvark 2008-04-23 16:43
    crystal mephistopheles:

    Looking back, the only red flag I should have needed was during the interview when they said, "we've hired a lot of programmers, and they've all left us feeling burned." Maybe if you can't get along with the entire class of people necessary to make your business work, you're in the wrong business.
    Well, that's an easy red flag to miss.

    You heard: "We've hired a lot of programmers, and they've all left us feeling burned."
    They said: "We've hired a lot of programmers, and they've all left us, feeling burned."

    You can't really fault them for honesty on that one.
  • real_aardvark 2008-04-23 16:54
    Dave:
    KenW:
    Tenseiga:

    Hunt and peck usually is around 35 to 40 for a decent typist. 20 means he hasnt spent much time at a computer and that for me would count against him badly.(or should)


    No, in this case it means you fail at reading comprehension. He typed 20 wpm because of a physical disability; it had nothing to do with how much time he'd spent at the computer. For all you know, he could have spent the last 20 years writing code at the computer, could design extremely complex algorythms in his head, and had an IQ of 225. All you managed to do is read the part about slow typing.


    Yeah, some people think that Stephen Hawking is pretty smart, but I just don't believe that anyone who's apparently been working in Physics for that long would be that slow at typing.
    Clearly you are a know-nothing autistic troll of the highest order.

    How fast do you have to be to type E=mc²? Granted, you might have to swap the golf-ball around for the power of two, but really ...
  • MJ 2008-04-23 17:23
    Mel:
    But it's more just your attitude. You seem to be suggesting everyone should pussy-foot around someone who's 'different'. I find that offensive. Saying "you shouldn't laugh, because he's handicapped" is just as bad as laughing at someone's wheelchair tipping over. Which I don't find funny, btw.


    I am not suggesting that everyone needs to "pussy-foot around" someone who has issues or to ignore the fact that some of the behaviors can be unusual. I am saying that you should be aware of the issues involved with the disability and to treat the person with respect. When you laugh at a disability you don't show the person respect.

    You're saying I should treat this guy differently because he isn't as 'good' as the interviewer, or you or I. Like he's damaged or something. He doesn't deserve or need your pity just because his brain is wired differently to yours, but I feel like you're lavishing it on him. That's what I find offensive.


    I don't think he needs your pity and I am not saying that he "isn't as 'good'". As far as treating him differently, do you not normally treat people with a basic level of respect?

    If someone is missing an arm, do you "treat them differently" when you fail to ask them to carry a box for you? Does the fact that you recognize that hey, he is working with different set of abilities and doesn't have two arms mean that you view him as inferior or not as good? No, it means you acknowledge his limitation and work around them.

    And someone pointed it out before, but... noone here was actually laughing at the *guy*, but the *situation*. Maybe it's too subtle for you, but there is a difference.


    I fully understand what you are saying, but you seem to be missing what I am saying. The "situation" is a direct result of behaviors caused by autism.

    Autism IS behaviors.

    It doesn't matter what euphemism you use to indicate that you find the situation or actions or the behaviors or the responses funny you are still saying that the results of autism is funny.
  • MJ 2008-04-23 17:30
    Jay:
    How come calling bizarre or antisocial behavior a "mental illness" suddenly protects the person doing it from criticism? Most of these mental illnesses seem to be defined simply as such-and-such bizarre or anti-social behavior.


    Go and do some research about autism and try and come back and make that statement with a straight face.

    Jay:
    Like, someone routinely screams obscenities at people at the slightest provocation. We used to call this "extreme rudeness" and fired the person or kicked him out of class or whatever. Pretty soon he learned that this behavior was unacceptable and he stopped doing it. But now we call it "Tourret's syndrome" and it's a mental illness and no one is allowed to complain. So now there is no penalty for outrageous behavior and the person continues doing it forever.


    If you think autism can be cured by simply telling the person to not do it, again, go do your homework.

    Hey, what if I simply say that my tendency to laugh at people who do stupid things and to refuse to work with people who do antisocial things is a mental illness? I can even make up a fancy name for it, umm, I'll call it Don Rickles Syndrome. Then if anyone criticizes me for this behavior, I'll put on a hurt look and say, "How can you criticize me. I can't help it. I have Don Rickles Syndrome. How cruel of you to make fun of me for my mental illness. etc."


    Thank you for the perfect example of why people need to be more aware of autism and what it means. If you think it is anything like you just described in any way, shape, or form you really need to spend some time with people who are actually affected by it and hopefully come to understand why it isn't like you think.
  • ebs2002 2008-04-23 17:55
    Going for the low-hanging fruit, are we, MJ? I'm not trying to bait you with this post, but since you responded to the clearly trolling person who said that Mental Disorders are something people made up, maybe I should act more ignorant so I'll have your attention. ;)
  • Doesn't matter 2008-04-23 18:39
    MJ:

    If someone is missing an arm, do you "treat them differently" when you fail to ask them to carry a box for you? Does the fact that you recognize that hey, he is working with different set of abilities and doesn't have two arms mean that you view him as inferior or not as good? No, it means you acknowledge his limitation and work around them.


    Are you saying that you purposely wouldn't ask someone with one arm to carry a box for you?

    You see, I'd call that discrimination based on your own presumptions.

    I thought I'd stick my oar in because I really do only have one arm, and it pisses me off a treat when other people presume what I can and can't do. It's just as bad when people get offended on my behalf about disabled jokes. I even told one myself once, and someone had the gall to say to me "You of all people shouldn't find that funny".

    WTF? If joke made at the expense of someone offends them, fine, apologise, feel bad, don't do it again. If it doesn't, so what? Getting on your high horse feeling offended by proxy for a demographic you don't belong you is somewhat weak, however.
  • An Aspie 2008-04-23 18:52
    Wow, MJ, your ignorance knows no bounds, and the first screwup you make is in using "Autism Speaks" (an organization that speaks against autistics, and not for them: nobody on the spectrum gets enough respect from them to participate in any decisions, and their whole mission is to eradicate autistics from being anything but a footnote in history books, while making money in their fundraisers by making autistics look like the absolute worst possible disease on earth) as a reference, and then claiming autism (the more classically-recognized kind) is different from Asperger's and Asperger's isn't autism? Wow...

    I write this from the perspective of being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and having an older sister that's more of the classic diagnosis, though she's also quite high functioning (another pejorative term: just because someone isn't verbal in a manner everyone else understands doesn't mean they're "low-functioning" or have a lower IQ) and the reality is that brain wiring is very much the issue of differences that are largely tied to sensory input/output processing, and certain things not being processed in the same manner. You're looking at the outward appearances and describing that as what it means to be autistic: I'm informing you of your ignorance that the outward appearances you mention as "Behavior defining what it means" is, at best, the iceberg approach: you only see the top 10% and assume that there's nothing below the water line.

    Those on the autistic spectrum (it's not all cut and dried, just like there's people that have a low IQ and people that have a high IQ and everywhere in between, autistics also have IQ's all over the map) are all unique, just like everyone else. There are those that many just see as "a little odd" and may not recognize themselves how they're different, if they're not told what constitutes a diagnosis and you don't look too closely into their developmental history. When you get into some profession, hopefully you do it with understanding yourself and what your strengths and weaknesses are, because everyone has them, to some degree or another. If you truly can't tolerate change (I prefer large denomination bills instead, personally) then that greatly limits your options as to what will be a good fit.

    Here's the thing: I find it uproariously funny having been in similar shoes in the past, where I've gotten bent out of shape over things others don't give a rat's rear about being vague. What's really funny to me is this guy was clearly thinking it all through *very completely* and he was doing a valid analysis with the information he started from. I wager he was in sensory overload (remember my previous mention about brain wiring being the 90% of the iceberg you don't see?) and he probably lost a few things that weren't processed clearly in time during the interview, and he instinctively reacted according to how you can expect to handle things under sensory overload: he didn't realize how loud he was, and didn't come across nearly as well as hoped. Ok, so he choked: HARD! If they'd given him another chance with that in mind, they might find he was definitely worth keeping, with the observation that perhaps he needs to take breaks every so often to escape stupid people like you assuming his behavior is all that defines him, so he could go and recover from sensory overload caused by emotional stress combined with external/internal stimuli. Chances are, he'd get everything working to perfection, inasmuch as the company provided the resources to do so. I think that company missed out on a potentially great worker.

    My personal experience? I've been a developer since 92, and I'm currently working as a white box QA engineer for one of the world's biggest internet companies, working on a MPP database. In short, even though they were not aware of my diagnosis at the time they chose to hire me (first as a contractor, then as a full-time, permanent employee) it seems (in many ways, not all) a mutually beneficial use of my very nature. The thing is, though, that regardless of how capable of understanding the technicalities and reasoning for some particular arbitrary job, I know I won't do well at them for various reasons, one of which may be my poor motor skills. So, if I'm wrong about this guy going into overload (I suspect not) the real WTF on his part is not understanding his limitations for what he can tolerate.

    And no, autism on any part of the spectrum is NOT a "mental illness" so thanks for playing and screaming that we're all defective, all while we keep advancing your computer technology (amongst others) because people like you are too busy socializing and keeping track of silly fashions and other social crap to advance things from the status quo.

    MJ:
    Jay:
    How come calling bizarre or antisocial behavior a "mental illness" suddenly protects the person doing it from criticism? Most of these mental illnesses seem to be defined simply as such-and-such bizarre or anti-social behavior.


    Go and do some research about autism and try and come back and make that statement with a straight face.

    Jay:
    Like, someone routinely screams obscenities at people at the slightest provocation. We used to call this "extreme rudeness" and fired the person or kicked him out of class or whatever. Pretty soon he learned that this behavior was unacceptable and he stopped doing it. But now we call it "Tourret's syndrome" and it's a mental illness and no one is allowed to complain. So now there is no penalty for outrageous behavior and the person continues doing it forever.


    If you think autism can be cured by simply telling the person to not do it, again, go do your homework.

    Hey, what if I simply say that my tendency to laugh at people who do stupid things and to refuse to work with people who do antisocial things is a mental illness? I can even make up a fancy name for it, umm, I'll call it Don Rickles Syndrome. Then if anyone criticizes me for this behavior, I'll put on a hurt look and say, "How can you criticize me. I can't help it. I have Don Rickles Syndrome. How cruel of you to make fun of me for my mental illness. etc."


    Thank you for the perfect example of why people need to be more aware of autism and what it means. If you think it is anything like you just described in any way, shape, or form you really need to spend some time with people who are actually affected by it and hopefully come to understand why it isn't like you think.
  • Doesn't matter 2008-04-23 18:58
    In the same vein...

    I was talking to someone once who'd asked my lack of left hand, how I coped, blah blah blah, when he comes out with this absolute gem:

    "Yeah, my sister's deaf."

    And there's me going "Err, so what? WTF does that have to do with anything?"

    And he says, straight face, "Well, I know what it's like to live with a disability".

    Yeah, right buddy. Because the problems (or "challenges" as they like to call 'em these days) faced by disabled people are the same across the spectrum, hmmm?
  • MJ 2008-04-23 19:19
    ebs2002:
    Wow, MJ, you're discriminating against him. If he didn't have autism, you'd laugh; if he did, it's not funny. So, you treat him differently because he's disabled than you would an able-bodied person.


    If he doesn't have a disability that influenced or caused the situation then it would be an average person acting in a manner that is unusual, if the person has a disability that directly contributes to the situation then it is no longer something worthy of humor.

    To use a silly example, when I was younger I was walking down the sidewalk not paying attention to where I was going and walked into a low hanging sign. It knocked me off my feet. Even though it was humiliating (to me) it was funny and worthy of humor - especially since the sign made a loud bonging noise when I hit it.

    Now, if that was a blind person, who was paying attention but couldn't see the sign walking into it and was knocked off their feet, would it still be funny?

    Take it one step further, the story in the post, a non-autistic person fails to understand the interview question either because they just missed it or are having a bad day or for whatever reason. They react badly. That could be accepted as funny.

    Now take a person with autism. They fail to understand the question not because of anything they did or didn't do but because for whatever reason their brain couldn't process the question at that moment. They become stressed and flustered which leads them to a socially inappropriate outburst which they don't have the ability to control at that moment in time. Still funny?

    Just as my own 2-cents to this discussion: MJ, the great thing about humor is that it's SUBJECTIVE. You can get offended at a joke about September 11th (I chose something extreme to make a point, for the record), but someone else can find it funny. You may make your own judgments about the laughing person's character, but you can't tell them that they shouldn't find it funny. At least, in America, we have the freedom to think however we choose.


    Let go with your example, say you are telling a joke about 9/11 and someone who lost a family member on 9/11 walks into the room. They object to the joke as tasteless and you say we aren't joking about your spouse dying, just the situation in which they died, you should stop being so serious about it. Sure you have the "freedom" to say something like that but I would think that most people who understood what 9/11 was about would find it in poor taste. In a similar vein someone whose children who have autism may react poorly to what you think of as just a joke.

    I've worked with autistic children before (two years of teaching children how to make video games in a summer-camp environment; it attracted a fair amount of autistic/aspbergers/HFA children, in addition to those with other disabilities), and I treated these kids like everybody else.


    You should treat them like everyone else.

    In one example, a student with Aspberger's had an issue with the schedule changing from day to day. We had been going to lunch at 12:30, but due to a conflict we had to leave at 1, and he kept telling me what time it was (I did tell the class we were going to lunch later that day). After the third time in 10 minutes, when I called on him, I said "John! It's 12:37! Do you have a question?" (with a smile). He laughed, and the other kids did as well. I took him aside and we had a brief chat about the issue, and then talked to the class as a whole (including "John"), and nobody gave him a hard time about it; in fact, people started conversations with "Ebs! It's 1:52! Wanna see my game?" The parents thanked me at the end of the week for how I handled the situation, and John loved me all week.


    Nice story, I suggest trying it with someone who isn't HFA or an Aspie and see how well it works. In my experience, taking a child with autism aside and attempting to explain something to think will only work if they are able to understand what it is you are trying to say and why their behavior is not appropriate.

    Long story short; people with disabilities shouldn't be given special treatment because of their disability. If you want them to integrate cleanly into our society, treat their disability and their rituals the same way you'd treat someone with a different religion and rituals, and that does permit the occasional good-natured joke, and laughing at awkward situations after the fact.


    I didn't get the feeling that the person interviewed had a good laugh at the situation afterwards, did you? And while I agree that you don't give special treatment you do acknowledge the limitations that they work under and accept them - not laugh at them.
  • MJ 2008-04-23 19:22
    ebs2002:
    Going for the low-hanging fruit, are we, MJ? I'm not trying to bait you with this post, but since you responded to the clearly trolling person who said that Mental Disorders are something people made up, maybe I should act more ignorant so I'll have your attention. ;)


    I assumed that the post was legit. I have run into people who have seriously used those arguments (sad as that is). Maybe I better get a new troll radar...
  • MJ 2008-04-23 19:31
    Doesn't matter:
    MJ:

    If someone is missing an arm, do you "treat them differently" when you fail to ask them to carry a box for you? Does the fact that you recognize that hey, he is working with different set of abilities and doesn't have two arms mean that you view him as inferior or not as good? No, it means you acknowledge his limitation and work around them.


    I thought I'd stick my oar in because I really do only have one arm, and it pisses me off a treat when other people presume what I can and can't do. It's just as bad when people get offended on my behalf about disabled jokes. I even told one myself once, and someone had the gall to say to me "You of all people shouldn't find that funny".

    WTF? If joke made at the expense of someone offends them, fine, apologise, feel bad, don't do it again. If it doesn't, so what? Getting on your high horse feeling offended by proxy for a demographic you don't belong you is somewhat weak, however.


    If you do have one arm, I apologize, I did not mean to imply that you would be unable to lift a box, it was meant as an illustrative example, perhaps a poor one.

    However, by your own logic, telling me not to get on my high horse goes against your own advice. My children do belong to the "demographic" and it 15 short years it could be them out there trying to get a job and running into an interviewer doesn't understand what autism is and the fact that they are still very capable people even though they have issues that they can't control. And if they have a bad enough day, maybe their interviewer will find it funny enough to submit to WTF so that even more people can get a laugh at their expense.
  • ebs2002 2008-04-23 20:01
    MJ:
    To use a silly example, when I was younger I was walking down the sidewalk not paying attention to where I was going and walked into a low hanging sign. It knocked me off my feet. Even though it was humiliating (to me) it was funny and worthy of humor - especially since the sign made a loud bonging noise when I hit it.

    Now, if that was a blind person, who was paying attention but couldn't see the sign walking into it and was knocked off their feet, would it still be funny?


    Assuming he wasn't seriously injured, if this were a friend of mine, we probably would joke about it. Not because we're saying "haha you're blind!", but because he ran into a sign. Whether he had any control over the situation is irrelevant. I also laugh when a father is helping his kid ride a bike and the kid blows into his crotch. There was nothing the father could do about it. If the father was seriously bothered by the joke, I wouldn't push it, but I can't promise I wouldn't laugh about it if it came up again. The important distinction is that I'm not laughing at the father, I'm laughing at the situation. With the blind friend, we're joking to make the situation less depressing for him; he wouldn't want my pity, he'd want me to be his friend. With the interviewee, I chuckle because of what must have been running through the interviewer's mind at the time, and because the interviewee didn't somehow prepare himself OR the interviewer for what may (and did) ensue.

    Take it one step further, the story in the post, a non-autistic person fails to understand the interview question either because they just missed it or are having a bad day or for whatever reason. They react badly. That could be accepted as funny.

    Now take a person with autism. They fail to understand the question not because of anything they did or didn't do but because for whatever reason their brain couldn't process the question at that moment. They become stressed and flustered which leads them to a socially inappropriate outburst which they don't have the ability to control at that moment in time. Still funny?


    Yes, because control over the situation has no bearing on my perception of humor. If you disagree, so be it, but you can't tell me what I should find funny and what I shouldn't. I wouldn't mock the person if he was upset, but I'm not convinced that the person wouldn't find humor in the situation after the fact. It's not his fault he reacted that way, but he did. It's not my fault I have ADD and forget that I was cooking a ham, but I did. I can either curse the gods for giving me ADD, request people and myself to just accept that it's just the way I am and ignore the situation, or I can laugh at the charred remains of what was to be a delicious meal and learn from it.

    Let go with your example, say you are telling a joke about 9/11 and someone who lost a family member on 9/11 walks into the room. They object to the joke as tasteless and you say we aren't joking about your spouse dying, just the situation in which they died, you should stop being so serious about it. Sure you have the "freedom" to say something like that but I would think that most people who understood what 9/11 was about would find it in poor taste. In a similar vein someone whose children who have autism may react poorly to what you think of as just a joke.


    I would note that I shouldn't tell this joke when such a person is in the room as I wouldn't want to offend them. I was just trying to say that you can't tell someone else that they're wrong for laughing. Some people don't like Dead Baby jokes because they're tasteless, some because they've lost a child, and some because they don't find them funny. Arguing with someone who just told the joke, however, is futile. You're not going to change their mind no matter how hard you try. That was my point with that paragraph.


    Nice story, I suggest trying it with someone who isn't HFA or an Aspie and see how well it works. In my experience, taking a child with autism aside and attempting to explain something to think will only work if they are able to understand what it is you are trying to say and why their behavior is not appropriate.


    I reminded him that the time for lunch had changed, and that I know he wants to go to lunch right now but if we left now, we wouldn't get to eat because there would be nowhere to sit. I wasn't explaining to him why his behavior was inappropriate, because it wasn't inappropriate. And I'd love to try that with someone who is "lower" on the spectrum, except of course it wouldn't. You treat every situation differently.

    I didn't get the feeling that the person interviewed had a good laugh at the situation afterwards, did you? And while I agree that you don't give special treatment you do acknowledge the limitations that they work under and accept them - not laugh at them.


    I don't know. I would hope so. Kurt Vonnegut said, "Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." I'd like to think he did. If he didn't because of pride or some other human emotion not related to his autism, then...well, as my friends and I say, "sucks to be him", because he's hurting himself. If he didn't because his condition caused him to be incapable of finding any humor in the situation, even after a long period of time, then I think he really shouldn't have been interviewing for that position to begin with, and I still don't feel bad for being under the wrong impression. I'd still laugh at the thought of what the interviewer was going through, though.

    And you're saying "laugh at them" at the end, as if that is what people are doing. They're not (or at least I'm not). Laughing when a blind man walks into a sign is not laughing AT the blind man, it's laughing at the fact that he walked into a sign. Laughing when an autistic person goes into sensory overload and the interviewer is left stammering and confused is not laughing at the autistic person, it's laughing at the effect his erratic behavior is having on the interviewer.
  • Doesn't matter 2008-04-23 20:05
    [quote user="MJ"]
    If you do have one arm, I apologize, I did not mean to imply that you would be unable to lift a box, it was meant as an illustrative example, perhaps a poor one.
    [/unquote]

    No need to apologize, I'm not actually that offended, mainly because I understand how easy it is to put your foot wrong - but I might have terribly offended, who knows? I think a lot of this discussion hangs on the subjectivity of it all. Something is said which affects Guy A, Guy A is not bothered, that's cool. Something else is said which may or may not affect Guy B, he gets offended (and justifiably so).

    That, I think, is life and something we all just deal with as it comes.

    [quote]
    However, by your own logic, telling me not to get on my high horse goes against your own advice. My children do belong to the "demographic" and it 15 short years it could be them out there trying to get a job and running into an interviewer doesn't understand what autism is and the fact that they are still very capable people even though they have issues that they can't control. And if they have a bad enough day, maybe their interviewer will find it funny enough to submit to WTF so that even more people can get a laugh at their expense.[/quote]

    I understand your concern for your kids and the desire to not have them endure ridicule. As it's generally not a well understood subject to the layman, you're just going to have to do your best to educate others in the most effective way possible, and also, if possible, see if there's a way your kids can deal with others in the most expedient manner. If it's possible to throw a humourous light on things without upsetting anyone, great. Personally, in a wider sense, I don't think that anyone's exempt from being the butt of a joke, PROVIDED it does not upset them.

    I've had plenty of gags aimed at me over the years, and to be honest, the only ones that upset me were when people were TRYING to upset me.

    I think in this case, the interviewer saw some eccentric behaviour, thought "how odd, this guy just isn't seeing the problem I've described, what on earth is he doing this interview for?" as opposed to "Wow, a mentalist autistic, let's have some fun here."

    Strange behaviour without context is simply that, strange behaviour. I'd hope that if he knew beforehand that the candidate had autism to enough of a degree that it would affect his interviewing skills it would have been possible to structure it somewhat differently to help the candidate. As it was, he observed some outlandish behaviour which admitted no explanation and has shared it with as an "odd interview tale"
  • MJ 2008-04-23 20:17
    An Aspie:
    Wow, MJ, your ignorance knows no bounds, and the first screwup you make is in using "Autism Speaks" (an organization that speaks against autistics, and not for them: nobody on the spectrum gets enough respect from them to participate in any decisions, and their whole mission is to eradicate autistics from being anything but a footnote in history books, while making money in their fundraisers by making autistics look like the absolute worst possible disease on earth) as a reference, and then claiming autism (the more classically-recognized kind) is different from Asperger's and Asperger's isn't autism? Wow...


    Heres a hint, I am not ignorant of how AS is thought of in parts of the autistic community, I am very well aware of it. Judging from what you are writing I would guess that you are more on the ND side of the debate. I choose to believe that AS is doing some good even though they have issues. You are free to disagree.

    I never said that aspergers isn't autism, it is a spectrum after all and asperger's is on it. However, there are those who would agree that they are distinct conditions.

    I write this from the perspective of being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, and having an older sister that's more of the classic diagnosis, though she's also quite high functioning (another pejorative term: just because someone isn't verbal in a manner everyone else understands doesn't mean they're "low-functioning" or have a lower IQ) and the reality is that brain wiring is very much the issue of differences that are largely tied to sensory input/output processing, and certain things not being processed in the same manner.


    If you are on the spectrum I think you understand full well the different labels used for the parts of the spectrum and the rationale - even if you don't agree with the reasons.

    You don't have to agree with then but they are commonly used terms in the field and have commonly understood meanings. I was not trying to achieve a high degree of precision in the nuances of autism so I was using terms that would be easier to understand.

    And I think you also understand full well why it is called a spectrum - just about every person on the spectrum presents differently - up to and including identical twins.

    Not every person on the spectrum has sensory issues but it is a common theme. For you sensory issues might be the major problem but for others they are not.

    You're looking at the outward appearances and describing that as what it means to be autistic: I'm informing you of your ignorance that the outward appearances you mention as "Behavior defining what it means" is, at best, the iceberg approach: you only see the top 10% and assume that there's nothing below the water line.


    From a medical diagnosis perspective, the behavior defines the disease. The DSM IV criteria and all of the diagnostic testing refers to the behaviors of autism to make the diagnosis. Since there is no known cause the behaviors are the only defining characteristic.

    I am sure that you know this.

    You may chose to regard the disease as something other than the behaviors, you probably a better perspective on it, at least as far as your particular form goes.

    Nor am I saying that people with autism are only the behaviors, they are clearly much more than that, I am defining the disease as the behaviors. The person isn't autism, austism is a condition that they suffer from.

    But I am sure that you will strongly disagree with that statement.

    Regardless, the point of what I making was in rebuttal to claims that the autism itself wasn't being laughed at, only the behaviors, so the purpose of those statements was to illustrate that the behaviors are autistic and to mock the behaviors is to mock having autism.

    Those on the autistic spectrum (it's not all cut and dried, just like there's people that have a low IQ and people that have a high IQ and everywhere in between, autistics also have IQ's all over the map) are all unique, just like everyone else. There are those that many just see as "a little odd" and may not recognize themselves how they're different, if they're not told what constitutes a diagnosis and you don't look too closely into their developmental history. When you get into some profession, hopefully you do it with understanding yourself and what your strengths and weaknesses are, because everyone has them, to some degree or another. If you truly can't tolerate change (I prefer large denomination bills instead, personally) then that greatly limits your options as to what will be a good fit.


    I think we agree on all that.

    Here's the thing: I find it uproariously funny having been in similar shoes in the past, where I've gotten bent out of shape over things others don't give a rat's rear about being vague. What's really funny to me is this guy was clearly thinking it all through *very completely* and he was doing a valid analysis with the information he started from. I wager he was in sensory overload (remember my previous mention about brain wiring being the 90% of the iceberg you don't see?) and he probably lost a few things that weren't processed clearly in time during the interview, and he instinctively reacted according to how you can expect to handle things under sensory overload: he didn't realize how loud he was, and didn't come across nearly as well as hoped. Ok, so he choked: HARD! If they'd given him another chance with that in mind, they might find he was definitely worth keeping, with the observation that perhaps he needs to take breaks every so often to escape stupid people like you assuming his behavior is all that defines him, so he could go and recover from sensory overload caused by emotional stress combined with external/internal stimuli. Chances are, he'd get everything working to perfection, inasmuch as the company provided the resources to do so. I think that company missed out on a potentially great worker.


    You have the right to find humor in it if you desire. You can obviously function well enough to reflect on your own actions to see the mistakes that were made.

    Would you agree though that the situation was funny if the person in question lacked the ability to reflect on their own actions in that way? And I think you and I both know, even though I am sure you will disagree, that there many on the spectrum who lack that capacity.

    My personal experience? I've been a developer since 92, and I'm currently working as a white box QA engineer for one of the world's biggest internet companies, working on a MPP database. In short, even though they were not aware of my diagnosis at the time they chose to hire me (first as a contractor, then as a full-time, permanent employee) it seems (in many ways, not all) a mutually beneficial use of my very nature. The thing is, though, that regardless of how capable of understanding the technicalities and reasoning for some particular arbitrary job, I know I won't do well at them for various reasons, one of which may be my poor motor skills. So, if I'm wrong about this guy going into overload (I suspect not) the real WTF on his part is not understanding his limitations for what he can tolerate.


    This is one of the biggest myths out there. Having autism does not make you a good techie. Having a logic mind and the proper skill set makes you a good techie.

    And no, autism on any part of the spectrum is NOT a "mental illness" so thanks for playing and screaming that we're all defective]


    I have to disagree with you there. Autism is a disease. That is not the same as saying you are defective.

    However, this is not the time or place for that particular argument.

    all while we keep advancing your computer technology (amongst others) because people like you are too busy socializing and keeping track of silly fashions and other social crap to advance things from the status quo.


    I hate disagree with you but I am also busy with computer technology nor do I spend any amount of time "tracking fashions" or "other social crap (can you add any more cliches btw?). I am too busy trying to help my daughters with autism overcome their condition and learn those "silly" skills like talking.

    Its a good thing you pointed out my ignorance.
  • ebs2002 2008-04-23 20:19
    MJ:
    However, by your own logic, telling me not to get on my high horse goes against your own advice. My children do belong to the "demographic" and it 15 short years it could be them out there trying to get a job and running into an interviewer doesn't understand what autism is and the fact that they are still very capable people even though they have issues that they can't control. And if they have a bad enough day, maybe their interviewer will find it funny enough to submit to WTF so that even more people can get a laugh at their expense.


    (This paragraph is long to respond to, and I don't want to break it up to keep context, so I'm going to bullet point it. It's not meant to be insulting or anything, it just helps me keep my thoughts organized)

    A. Your children, your friends, and your significant other is not yourself, and getting you are in fact getting offended by proxy. His point was that, unless you yourself are autistic, you shouldn't be speaking about what life is like for an autistic person.

    B. I am glad you are encouraging your children that they are still very capable people. Kudos. To that effect, though, I think there's such a thing as going overboard in this situation. Your children aren't in this situation, and nobody is laughing at them.

    C. If your children are interviewing for a job, and a similar thing has happened to them, then one of a few things must have happened.
    ..1) Your child may not have informed them of his condition (I'm not sure what the P.C. term is to describe autism, I apologize if this is incorrect), for one. Autism is not a visible condition like blindness or one-armedness. You can't reasonably assume somebody will be able to deal with these situations if they aren't aware of them to begin with. The humor is in the miscommunication.
    ..2) Your child informed the HR person, but the HR person didn't inform the interviewer. The story would still be funny, but because of the miscommunication.
    ..3) The interviewer was informed of your child's condition, but wasn't able to handle your child well because he's ignorant of what autism is and is not. Then, usually we're laughing at the interviewer.

    D. You can't control what people laugh at. It's unfortunate, but it's a fact of life. People laugh at dead baby jokes, people laugh at slapstick, people laugh at racial jokes, people laugh when others get hurt, people laugh at socially awkward children, people laugh at the poor, people laugh at how others dress, and people laugh at ideas that seem absurd or impossible to them. I hope you're able to one day teach your kids to let the laughter not bother them (I acknowledge that I don't know where your kids are on the spectrum), and as a result to not let it bother you.

    You have control over what bothers you and what doesn't. And your kids will learn to be bothered by the things that bother you. Instead of getting angry, you could recognize that they don't understand, and laugh at them for it. Or you could ignore it, and ensure that your children find a job that is understanding of their behavior and a good fit for themselves.
  • An Aspie 2008-04-23 20:41
    Now, you see? That's where the real WTF is: people like you that conclude that anything that isn't "normal" like they presume to be, are clearly a diseased organism! Now THAT'S really funny!

    A cat that doesn't bark and wag its tail like a dog isn't a defective dog, but merely a different animal, and what's "normal" for a dog and a cat aren't very compatible, but they can live together quite well, assuming they don't consider the other type of critter as being diseased and defective, ala "Autism Speaks" which is all about scare-mongering to raise funds for the future world where no autistics are ever born (yes, born) while doing absolutely nothing to assist the existence of those present. And I'll give you a reality check now: autistic children will invariably grow up to become autistic adults, period, unless some of those like the leadership of "Autism Speaks" have their way and kill them off either physically, or mentally do such damage to them that they take their own lives: yes, there's at least one of them that went out of their way to make a video stating they'd rather have murdered their daughter than have her be autistic, with her present and next to her during the taping of it! Now, there's yet another serious WTF, and shows their blatant disregard for those they presume to speak for.

    It's all fine and well to try to defend family from being ridiculed, but by the same token, if you go too far the other way, you make things far worse for them.

    MJ:

    I have to disagree with you there. Autism is a disease. That is not the same as saying you are defective.

    However, this is not the time or place for that particular argument.
  • mdkess 2008-04-23 21:25
    It sounds more like the interviewee was high on cocaine than autistic.
  • Fnord Prefect 2008-04-23 21:26
    Bruce W:
    Somehow I still get selected for an interview when they start messing up:
    1st Interviewer: "So, this position is a Senior Business Analyst. Is that what you expected?"
    Me: "Yes"
    1st Interviewer: "The position does the following...... Does that interest you?"
    Me: "Yes"
    2nd Interviewer: "Good; the previous candidate was told that the position was completely different"


    Reminds me of a job I went for some time ago.

    The ad I read stated that the hours were from 1pm to 9pm (lots of after-hours processing of data involved). Fine, that suits me perfectly.

    Get to the interview, and pretty much the first question I get asked is whether I am aware of the job hours... turns out that several other candidates had been sent by recruiters, and the recruiters had "forgotten" to mention the odd hours required.

    Stupid recruiters...
  • MJ 2008-04-23 21:39
    ebs2002:
    You have control over what bothers you and what doesn't. And your kids will learn to be bothered by the things that bother you. Instead of getting angry, you could recognize that they don't understand, and laugh at them for it. Or you could ignore it, and ensure that your children find a job that is understanding of their behavior and a good fit for themselves.


    I understand what you are saying and I am not actually angry or offended at the conversion. The point of the exercise as far as I am concerned to the raise awareness (I hate that phrase) of what autism is and what it looks like so that the future will be better for people like my children.

    Right now it is not a common condition and the public as a whole does not understand it. It is quickly becoming a common condition (although not everyone would agree with that statement) and it will become more common in the future. It is only by more people becoming aware of it or hearing a discussion about it that it will become more understood and accepted. Only 20 years ago it was accepted and common to put these people in institutions for the rest of their lives. 20 years from now I hope that there will be better solutions solutions for the people affected and situations like the one in this post don't have to happen.
  • Fnord Prefect 2008-04-23 22:08
    AndrewB:
    FredSaw:
    AndrewB:
    It goes both ways.
    No it doesn't. You are so desperately without a clue that you absolutely stink of "I just graduated and therefore know everything".

    Suggestion for a fun learning project: save off this discussion to someplace safe. Return to it in, say, six to ten years. Read it over; break into laughter at your incredible mixture of naivete and arrogance. Then post it on TheDailyWTF to share the laughter all around.

    Making an argument that can't be proven or disproven for the better part of a decade, and being a dick on an internet forum. You seem to have embraced the philosophy of "contribute nothing whatsoever."

    Before you ridicule his suggestion, how about you consider it seriously? Heck, just thinking about my expectations and attitudes 10 years ago versus now, and I'm surprised my first employer kept me on as long as they did. And I doubt that I'm alone in that position - I'm sure plenty of other folks here could give examples of their attitudes/behaviour early on in their careers that would make you laugh and/or cringe.
  • MJ 2008-04-23 22:14
    An Aspie:
    Now, you see? That's where the real WTF is: people like you that conclude that anything that isn't "normal" like they presume to be, are clearly a diseased organism! Now THAT'S really funny!


    What part my statement that autism != you was difficult to understand?

    So lets try this; you say that you have aspergers. If that is the case then by definition that means that your symptoms developed before the age of three and that you had no noticeable delay in functional language. But you should have noticeable issues with social situations and at least a few stims.

    So, if you wouldn't mind answering the following: what age were you diagnosed, what type of professional gave you the diagnosis, and what diagnostic test did they use to establish the diagnosis?

    A cat that doesn't bark and wag its tail like a dog isn't a defective dog, but merely a different animal, and what's "normal" for a dog and a cat aren't very compatible, but they can live together quite well, assuming they don't consider the other type of critter as being diseased and defective


    Bad analogy, unless you are really claiming that autism is a different species of human. And if you feel that you are I would suggest that you have nothing in common with my children, they are definitely human.

    So lets try this one. How about a person who can't talk, who can't express their thoughts and feeling because the pathways in the brain that would normally allow them to communicate are damaged and don't work?

    How about a child who's immune system is attacking their own body and disrupting the normal development process to the point where they lose skills that they have already mastered?

    How about having so much abdominal pain that you can't sleep lying down for the first 1.5 years of your life? And the good news is you can't even tell anyone what is wrong because you can't communicate.

    How about your body can't absorb the nutrients it needs from food so you have deficiencies in common chemicals needed for the body to function like iron and zinc?

    If none of the above sounds familiar to you then your part of the spectrum is not like the one that I deal with.

    But, but all means, lets ignore all of the above like the ND dogma teaches and concentrate on those cats and dogs. And of course, the boon to the tech sector from all those aspies with good programming skills.

    , ala "Autism Speaks" which is all about scare-mongering to raise funds for the future world where no autistics are ever born (yes, born)


    If there was a cure or prevention of autism that was found that did not involve the wholesale abortions of every child with autism (ala Downs) then I would say whole heartedly that it should be done.

    while doing absolutely nothing to assist the existence of those present.


    I think we agree on that point, Autism Speaks does not do nearly enough to assist people currently living with autism nor do they do enough research into effective treatments.

    And I'll give you a reality check now: autistic children will invariably grow up to become autistic adults, period


    Hate to break it to you, there are people out there who have been "cured" enough that they either have no autistic symptoms or can compensate well enough that you would not be able to tell.

    Have you ever met one any of them? I have.

    unless some of those like the leadership of "Autism Speaks" have their way and kill them off either physically


    You are seriously asserting that the leadership of autism speaks is attempting to assassinate people with autism?

    or mentally do such damage to them that they take their own lives:


    I think you had a better argument with the assassination attempts.

    yes, there's at least one of them that went out of their way to make a video stating they'd rather have murdered their daughter than have her be autistic, with her present and next to her during the taping of it!


    Really, care to provide a link to the video?
  • Jean Naimard 2008-04-23 23:44
    Dan F:
    Is there something wrong with hiring people who specifically know RoR?
    They tend to be autistic...
  • Jean Naimard 2008-04-24 00:07
    ben:
    a small but telling black mark against him was his preference for a proportional font in his IDE. No-one who does much coding would do that.
    What IDE would allow for such a thing???
  • An Aspie 2008-04-24 04:16
    I don't feel like doing all the quote/unquote stuff, so here goes:

    MJ:
    An Aspie:
    Now, you see? That's where the real WTF is: people like you that conclude that anything that isn't "normal" like they presume to be, are clearly a diseased organism! Now THAT'S really funny!


    What part my statement that autism != you was difficult to understand?
    I understood perfectly what you were saying: I do not agree that it is a component of me that can be separated, regardless of desire. That's why it is called a "Pervasive Developmental Delay" because it permeates how I process things. It affects how my IQ as measured (I won't state what I've heard from when it was tested at age 10: not relevant here) and what I can do, as the same advantages it gives me in certain types of thinking and processing are equally balanced out otherwise for other things.

    So lets try this; you say that you have aspergers. If that is the case then by definition that means that your symptoms developed before the age of three and that you had no noticeable delay in functional language. But you should have noticeable issues with social situations and at least a few stims.

    So, if you wouldn't mind answering the following: what age were you diagnosed, what type of professional gave you the diagnosis, and what diagnostic test did they use to establish the diagnosis?

    1. 31, on Friday, December 13th, 2002
    2. A psychologist provided by a large church
    3. Many sessions of observation and talk therapy: just what are the proper "formal" methods for diagnosis? Plus, deeply diving into my personal history, as well as consulting others that have known me for many years. It's a pity they couldn't discuss my past with my parents, but they died in 98 and 99, but yes, I most definitely had documented proof (observation) of requisite patterns of behavior before the age of 3. I distinctly remember the earliest instance of severe sensory overload that I can also corroborate with witnesses present at the time: the time I dived into my first birthday's birthday cake with my left hand, and promptly overloaded. All the people speaking in the room sounded rather distorted, too. That hasn't changed all that much in many situations as an adult, and I'm blessed/cursed right now with working in a very diverse office with many different voice ranges and accents from many countries and sublanguages of countries. My parents had taken a picture (don't know where it is these days: I've never been much of a picture-keeper) of me before I could walk, where I balanced a transparent plastic ball that contained a plastic rocking horse in it for very long periods of time on my feet, and somehow never managed to drop it on my head. There are other things, too, but I don't see any point in going into more detail.



    A cat that doesn't bark and wag its tail like a dog isn't a defective dog, but merely a different animal, and what's "normal" for a dog and a cat aren't very compatible, but they can live together quite well, assuming they don't consider the other type of critter as being diseased and defective


    Bad analogy, unless you are really claiming that autism is a different species of human. And if you feel that you are I would suggest that you have nothing in common with my children, they are definitely human.

    How many analogies are absolutely perfect? That analogy was to make a point, and often you need to exaggerate things a bit to make the point more apparent. A perhaps closer analogy (but also imperfect) would be comparing the neurological processing style as to being closer to that of the characteristics that define an ethnic group you'd often typically associate with clearly visible physical features, but it isn't something that can be determined by looking at a still photograph of someone. Can you tell someone with an IQ of 40 from someone that has an IQ of 180 merely by looking at their still picture?



    So lets try this one. How about a person who can't talk, who can't express their thoughts and feeling because the pathways in the brain that would normally allow them to communicate are damaged and don't work?

    My older sister didn't speak until at least 3 years old: now she won't shut up :) Not everyone develops in exactly the same way, regardless of how they're labeled, as we've already agreed. I believe I spoke at a normal age, with a typical pattern, but... due to sensory issues, I had to undergo many years of speech therapy, and it still isn't quite "perfect" or "normal" in the best of times now, it seems, and it goes down hill rapidly once I start going into sensory overload. I can't sense properly to truly know how I'm moving my body accurately, and my tactile feedback is also whacked, amongst other things, and I have a hard time processing speech sounds even in silent backgrounds, let alone noisy ones, despite my hearing testing as "high normal" according to the very limited standard audio testing, and that's even at this time. Having a degree in electronics, I've actually tested my hearing range at a frequency far above normal human hearing range: for all you know, your kid is also sensitive in the same way (I can speculate) and what you witness for behavior when it hurts the ears for them but you can't tell, may be them hearing harmonics or components you can't.

    The biggest issue (again, I've got the electronics degree combined with lots of personal research into other computer-related stuff) for understanding spoken language and also being able to reproduce it reliably can most accurately be compared to dealing with an audio amplifier that's in a feedback loop, causing more noise than signal: once that noise is at the top level, and the waveform is a single frequency or effectively flat-lined at the top, you can't make sense of anything else: this is the essence of sensory overload: sensory overload is cumulative over time due to the same principles, and is why "quiet time" is needed to recover, combined with the problem that autistics don't have a problem with not having the bandwidth so much as the fact that they can't shut out as much as they'd want to, in order to get only what they need in a given situation: there is no "off" switch and no volume control.

    How about a child who's immune system is attacking their own body and disrupting the normal development process to the point where they lose skills that they have already mastered?

    You try to shoot me down for one thing that you don't believe fits the criteria, and you bring this up? That's an interesting turn. Well, I most definitely do have immune system problems, with inflammation being a consistent overall pattern: asthma, allergies, perpetual skin problems, intestinal issues (hey, know of anyone else that's passed a kernel of undigested corn out their urinary tract? I did on August 29th, 2003: very memorable, I daresay!). But, the fact of the matter is this: no diagnostic criteria specifies anything about the immune system: that's merely what would be termed "comorbid" and while it may be common, it isn't part of anything that can be defined by observable behavior.

    How about having so much abdominal pain that you can't sleep lying down for the first 1.5 years of your life? And the good news is you can't even tell anyone what is wrong because you can't communicate.

    How about your body can't absorb the nutrients it needs from food so you have deficiencies in common chemicals needed for the body to function like iron and zinc?

    If none of the above sounds familiar to you then your part of the spectrum is not like the one that I deal with.

    Believe it or not, I don't believe in the full spectrum of neurodiversity with all the various categories as being valid and normal: if someone is having delusions due to bipolar disorder, is clinically depressed with no psychological explanation as to why, or is schizophrenic or a bunch of other things where they're not fully living an a consistent objective world, then they aren't functioning in an appropriate manner. But, autism has no delusional component, and things are very real and self-consistent, if unpleasant at times, and no unreality is involved.

    But, but all means, lets ignore all of the above like the ND dogma teaches and concentrate on those cats and dogs. And of course, the boon to the tech sector from all those aspies with good programming skills.

    , ala "Autism Speaks" which is all about scare-mongering to raise funds for the future world where no autistics are ever born (yes, born)


    If there was a cure or prevention of autism that was found that did not involve the wholesale abortions of every child with autism (ala Downs) then I would say whole heartedly that it should be done.

    while doing absolutely nothing to assist the existence of those present.


    I think we agree on that point, Autism Speaks does not do nearly enough to assist people currently living with autism nor do they do enough research into effective treatments.

    And I'll give you a reality check now: autistic children will invariably grow up to become autistic adults, period


    Hate to break it to you, there are people out there who have been "cured" enough that they either have no autistic symptoms or can compensate well enough that you would not be able to tell.

    Have you ever met one any of them? I have.
    Sure, I can pass off as "normal" with effort, and so can many others on the spectrum. But, deep down, their inner nature is hidden, and if they're under enough stress, it will manifest itself. Been there, done that, seen others do it, too. Oh, it is also stressful to fully emulate "normal" and that wears you down. I'm self-confident enough, though, that I don't try to be "perfect" because of the law of diminishing returns.

    unless some of those like the leadership of "Autism Speaks" have their way and kill them off either physically


    You are seriously asserting that the leadership of autism speaks is attempting to assassinate people with autism?

    You're putting words into my mouth, and I fear my messed-up immune system won't be able to handle that assault of the bad things stuck to them! Please, be merciful! ;)


    or mentally do such damage to them that they take their own lives:


    I think you had a better argument with the assassination attempts.

    yes, there's at least one of them that went out of their way to make a video stating they'd rather have murdered their daughter than have her be autistic, with her present and next to her during the taping of it!


    Really, care to provide a link to the video?


    Here's the link to the 7 minute (there's a longer version that has been produced: note that comments are turned off) and note at about 4:10 into the video: it's there. Sure, there's a lot surrounding it, all explaining the statement, but there's absolutely nothing that's balanced about this video: it is purely negative in the absolutely most extreme way, and was engineered to be so. If these parents can show nothing remotely of a happy or at least neutral nature, they're not fit to be parents. Even if they can (I'd have to hope they can, if they try) Autism Speaks didn't want to have that in there, because it doesn't serve their needs.

    Because I have a sufficient understanding of how people can (mal)function under long-term stress, I can appreciate that sometimes unspeakably bad thoughts will go through the heads of people, where they might do something they wouldn't think of doing while not under stress. I don't for a moment believe it was an accident that her autistic daughter was in the room while it was being filmed: I also don't believe for a moment that it was an accident that the video was released with that being said while her autistic daughter was in the room: on top of that, I don't believe they can conceive of how much damage that is likely to do to her autistic daughter that likely understands far more than they give her credit for, and may very well remember that videotaping until her dying day, much like I remember my first birthday, and my older sister remembers fine details of things at very young ages, too, and internally process all that it means. Furthermore, even if her daughter was blessed to somehow not be able to remember that, and hasn't somehow figured all that out from absorbing everything like a sponge about her mother's thoughts, that video will exist until she's dead, and she may very well have that replay over and over again to taunt her.

    This is a case where the old refrain truly applies: "Think of the children!" and yes, they have, but not in a benevolent fashion, but in a self-serving fashion.
  • An Aspie 2008-04-24 04:17
    Please elaborate on how that's a bad thing: I expect this to be truly entertaining to see you write yourself out of this hole :D

    However, it's far more likely you've aborted looking at/replying to this thread, sadly, or even if you look, you won't respond.
  • An Aspie 2008-04-24 04:19
    (I shouldn't be doing this at 1:20 a.m. my time)

    This post was meant to be a quote of Jean Naimard's post...

    An Aspie:
    Please elaborate on how that's a bad thing: I expect this to be truly entertaining to see you write yourself out of this hole :D

    However, it's far more likely you've aborted looking at/replying to this thread, sadly, or even if you look, you won't respond.
  • Mel 2008-04-24 04:54
    An Aspie:
    Here's the link to the 7 minute (there's a longer version that has been produced: note that comments are turned off) and note at about 4:10 into the video: it's there.

    Looks like you forgot the link... :)
  • Anonymous Cow-herd 2008-04-24 05:16
    I wonder if the company in the second story realised that what they were doing was illegal in many parts of the world (possibly including their own)?

    (brought to you by the nobody-else-really-cares dept.)
  • An Aspie 2008-04-24 06:48
    D'OH! You're absolutely right: I guess I forgot a keystroke or two in the copy/paste sequence!

    Here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDMMwG7RrFQ



    Mel:
    An Aspie:
    Here's the link to the 7 minute (there's a longer version that has been produced: note that comments are turned off) and note at about 4:10 into the video: it's there.

    Looks like you forgot the link... :)
  • KenW 2008-04-24 08:51
    MJ:

    And you just don't get autism. Autism IS the "inability of the interviewee to respond appropriately" - the disability is by definition the behaviors. There is no autism without the behaviors and the behaviors are the disability. I don't know how much clearer I can make this.

    A blind person's problem is that they can't see. Your statements are equivalent to saying that we aren't making fun of the blind person, just the fact that he can't see.


    God, I can't believe you're really this dense.

    Your analogy would be great if the interviewee had either put on their resume that they suffered from autism, or had informed the interviewer at the start of the interview. Then the interviewer is aware of what the problem is, and can alter either the interview or his views of the behavior accordingly. The interviewee did not do either of those things.

    No, making fun of a blind person isn't funny. But laughing at someone walking blindly into a wall is funny, if you don't know that the person is actually blind. If you can't see the difference, perhaps you need to go back to school and work on your skills.

    MJ:
    So when you ridicule those behaviors you are ridiculing autism.


    Again, compare apples with apples, not humor based on circumstance with some moronic idea about political correctness. Your line of thinking is the same as thinking that a wolf is a bigot because he favors rabbit over skunk.
    I happen to think it's because the wolf dislikes the stench of the skunk before the feast.

    But if it makes you feel so much better to stand on your imaginary soapbox and preach about perceptions of injustice where there is none, feel free to do so. Just take it somewhere more appropriate - this is a technological humor site.
  • KenW 2008-04-24 09:06
    MJ:

    If someone is missing an arm, do you "treat them differently" when you fail to ask them to carry a box for you? Does the fact that you recognize that hey, he is working with different set of abilities and doesn't have two arms mean that you view him as inferior or not as good? No, it means you acknowledge his limitation and work around them.


    No, of course I don't ask them to carry a box for me. However, I would still ask them to carry my laptop case for me, so that I could carry the box. That's the point you're missing.

    You seem to think that I should totally avoid asking them to carry anything, because of course they're missing an arm and should be treated with kid gloves in every aspect.

    You're also still missing the point of the entire discussion, which is that the interviewee did not inform the interviewer of his condition. If the interviewer had been aware, things may have been different.

    You're expecting the interviewer to make allowances for a disability that he was unaware of; this is like someone complaining that there's no wheelchair ramp to your minivan when you have no idea the passenger you're picking up for your company at the airport is wheelchair bound.

    MJ:
    I fully understand what you are saying, but you seem to be missing what I am saying. The "situation" is a direct result of behaviors caused by autism.

    Autism IS behaviors.


    No, we all get that. You seem to be missing what everyone else in this thread is saying, which is that if someone is aware of the handicap it's different from when they are not aware.

    Again, if I'm standing in the park, and I see what appears to be a perfectly normal individual (no seeing eye dog, no white cane with a red tip, etc) walk into a tree face first, I'm going to laugh. If he has the white cane, though, I'm not. See the difference? If not, I'd suggest that the real issue here is that you're "intellectually challenged", and you should seek help with that immediately.

  • Random832 2008-04-24 09:43
    Sid2K7:
    Well, that was the first and only time I've ever ignored any mail from a specific company. And also the first time I bribed a postal service employee to write "Return to sender. Address Unknown" on an envelope.


    Considering that you can send a much clearer message by writing yourself "Refused - Return to sender" on it, that was a waste of a bribe.
  • KenW 2008-04-24 09:45
    MJ:
    I understand what you are saying and I am not actually angry or offended at the conversion. The point of the exercise as far as I am concerned to the raise awareness (I hate that phrase) of what autism is and what it looks like so that the future will be better for people like my children.


    I'm sorry, but you're failing. I don't see how addressing a humorous story in an invalid and inappropriate manner makes things better for "people like your children".

    You're coming across as an ignorant, pedantic, self righteously political correct jerk who has no capacity to comprehend or tolerate other people. You also have no ability to reason, as many people have pointed out to you how wrong you are and why, and you just can't seem to grasp it. You insist on comparing apples to oranges.

    You really need to pay attention. The fact that dozens of people are telling you you're wrong, and none are saying you are right, should tell you something.

    If the interviewer was not made aware of the autism issue, they have no responsibility to make allowances for it. Unless, of course, the person is being interviewed by a psychiatrist for a receptionist's or nurse's position or something.

    If you want people to make allowances for a condition you have, you need to let them know about that condition in advance. If you do, and they fail to make those allowances, it's their fault. If you don't, it's yours.
  • Doesn't matter 2008-04-24 09:55
    Gotta say I'm with KenW on this one.
  • KenW 2008-04-24 10:07
    MJ:

    So lets try this one. How about a person who can't talk, who can't express their thoughts and feeling because the pathways in the brain that would normally allow them to communicate are damaged and don't work?


    That's easy. They suffer from autism, whereas you suffer from MJ Disorder (MJD), which is slightly different.

    MJD is symptomized by a person who can't understand basic humor, and responds by climbing onto a soapbox and ranting at great length about things that have no bearing on the topic at hand, trying to justify that rant with some babble about making people aware of a condition that isn't necessarily applicable either. (We don't know that the interviewee suffered from any form of autism, as we have nothing from either the interviewee or his physician providing that definitive diagnosis.)

    A further result of MJD is the inability to think rationally or understand common attempts to communicate. This is evidenced by the sufferer ignoring all efforts to communicate (or at least failing to understand those efforts). Instead, the MJD sufferer simply continues to exhibit the same symptoms I outlined in my earlier paragraph, repeating the same blathering over and over again where it is clearly not applicable.

    The only known treatment for MJD is to totally ignore the sufferer and hope that they go away.

    So, I wish you well, my friend. Enjoy your trip.
  • Frunobulax 2008-04-24 11:17
    FredSaw:
    AndrewB:
    It goes both ways.
    No it doesn't. You are so desperately without a clue that you absolutely stink of "I just graduated and therefore know everything".

    Suggestion for a fun learning project: save off this discussion to someplace safe. Return to it in, say, six to ten years. Read it over; break into laughter at your incredible mixture of naivete and arrogance. Then post it on TheDailyWTF to share the laughter all around.


    Amen, brother! Preach!
  • Jay 2008-04-24 13:04
    Sigh. Do I have to give credentials to discuss mental illness? My brother spent years in psychiatric therapy -- I don't remember now what the diagnosis was, I was young at the time. My ex-wife was diagnosed manic-depressive. My son is presently in a mental hospital, diagnosed with schizophrenia. My father just had brain surgery and spent months with a variety of symptoms that would surely be defined as mental illness, from inabilty to recognize his own children to making bizaree outbursts.

    No, I wouldn't expect a person with polio to be able to walk if I just encouraged or berated him enough. But that's how physical illness is different from many mental illnesses, isn't it? Many mental illnesses are treated with counseling. That is, they talk the person in to behaving differently in one way or another. So apparently the question is not whether the person is capable of changing his behavior given the proper environment. The question is what the proper environment is. Is it people telling him that he better stop doing this or he will face this and this consequences? Or is it people telling him that everything is just fine and if others object to his behavior, he should bring law suits against them for discrimination?

    I don't doubt that there are physiological things that can go wrong with the brain, that are "illnesses" in the same sense that cancer is an illness, and that can be treated with drugs and/or surgery. I don't doubt that there are people who are truly insane in the traditional sense of the word, people who are completely divorced from reality and think that they are Napolean or God or a bottle of ketsup or whatever. My point is that we have "progressed" to the point where every unproductive behavior is classified as a mental illness.

    It's one thing to tell a person with polio that he should just get up and walk and get a job that requires running and jumping. It's a very different thing to tell a person who is a lazy couch potato that he should get up and walk and get a job that requires running and jumping. In the first case the person is incapable of doing what you ask no matter how hard he tries. In the second case he is perfectly capable, but as simply decided that it's too much trouble and if he doesn't bother, others will take care of him. In the latter case, telling him that we're cutting off his allowance and he'd better straighten up and get a job might well be sufficient motivation.

    I suggest that the same could be said about real mental illness and many things that today are called mental illness.
  • IAmTheLizardQueen 2008-04-24 20:09
    I'm just surprised that someone interviewing sysadmins couldn't spot stressed-out autistic/aspie behavior in a heartbeat.

    Them's my peeps. We get precise and literal under pressure. Many of us make outstanding sysadmins.
  • MJ 2008-04-24 22:54
    KenW:
    That's easy. They suffer from autism, whereas you suffer from MJ Disorder (MJD), which is slightly different.


    Wow, that was a well thought out and fully rational comment. You know that the rational part of the discussion is over when one of the participants feels it is necessary to use personal attacks.

    So, oh rational and enlightened one, please explain the errors on my ways. So, lets go down the path to enlightenment.

    The initial comment that started this was by FredSaw who said :

    However unfair circumstance has been to the autistic guy, he seems to be functioning well enough to have made it through a screening process and into an interview. Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre?


    Please note the direct mention of autism in the person's comment. I replied :

    I hate to get up on the PC soapbox here but the answer to your question "Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre?" is YES.

    Making fun of a person on the spectrum's social issues is the equivalent to mocking a blind person because they can't see or a deaf person because they can't hear.

    It isn't all in good fun.


    To which you replied (eventually) with such thoughtful comments such as

    God, I can't believe you're really this dense.


    which I will have to agree, I guess I am dense.

    and

    Your analogy would be great if the interviewee had either put on their resume that they suffered from autism, or had informed the interviewer at the start of the interview. Then the interviewer is aware of what the problem is, and can alter either the interview or his views of the behavior accordingly. The interviewee did not do either of those things.


    And since you seem to have some knowledge of this interview outside of what was posted on the site, I guess I will have to bow to your superior knowledge of the facts that aren't anywhere in evidence, because certainly you would not assert things if you didn't know them to be true, right?

    You continued

    No, making fun of a blind person isn't funny. But laughing at someone walking blindly into a wall is funny, if you don't know that the person is actually blind. If you can't see the difference, perhaps you need to go back to school and work on your skills.


    Now we come to something that I don't understand, although there are many such things. You are asserting that it is acceptable to make fun a person's disability as long as we don't know they are disabled.

    Yet if you read the initial comment that I responded to you will see that my response was directed at the fact that the person said that even if they have autism it would be funny.

    Clearly someone as dense as I am must be missing here.

    You continued :

    Again, compare apples with apples, not humor based on circumstance with some moronic idea about political correctness. Your line of thinking is the same as thinking that a wolf is a bigot because he favors rabbit over skunk.


    Again, my feeble mind appears to fail me. So you are saying that it is the nature of people to laugh at disabled people and it is ok because they are like wolves? No, that's right, it is fine as long as we don't know they are disabled. No, that's not right either.

    So what was the point and how were apples involved again?

    In another post I said :

    If someone is missing an arm, do you "treat them differently" when you fail to ask them to carry a box for you? Does the fact that you recognize that hey, he is working with different set of abilities and doesn't have two arms mean that you view him as inferior or not as good? No, it means you acknowledge his limitation and work around them.


    To which you replied :

    No, of course I don't ask them to carry a box for me. However, I would still ask them to carry my laptop case for me, so that I could carry the box. That's the point you're missing.


    So again, I cannot perceive the errors of my way. I suggested that you acknowledge the limitation and attempt to work around it.

    Which you so rightly correctly my ignorance and replied that no, you give him the lighter package that he would be able to carry any you would carry the heaver package that he cannot.

    Which is clearly not working around the fact that he would be unable to carry the heavy box.

    I think I am starting to see the error of my ways. Perhaps some more words of wisdom from the enlightened:

    You're also still missing the point of the entire discussion, which is that the interviewee did not inform the interviewer of his condition. If the interviewer had been aware, things may have been different.


    Now I clearly must agree that there was no other communication outside of the post especially since you have repeated the knowledge twice. It is starting to get into my dense head.

    Your wisdom continued

    You seem to be missing what everyone else in this thread is saying, which is that if someone is aware of the handicap it's different from when they are not aware.


    Clearly I am now I am seeing my grasp of the english language did indeed fail me when I read that initial comment. I did not see the error on my ways.

    The everyone on the thread apparently does not include the initial people nor the people trying to make the distinction that it is only the behaviors that are funny not the autism.

    I am starting to see.

    You're coming across as an ignorant, pedantic, self righteously political correct jerk who has no capacity to comprehend or tolerate other people. You also have no ability to reason, as many people have pointed out to you how wrong you are and why, and you just can't seem to grasp it. You insist on comparing apples to oranges.


    Now I fully understand the error of my ways, I never learned the difference between apples and oranges. If only I had paid more attention in grade school I would not be in this sorry state now.

    You really need to pay attention.


    Thank you for reinforcing that fact for me.

    The fact that dozens of people are telling you you're wrong, and none are saying you are right, should tell you something.


    Now I see that I apparently can't count either. I counted maybe three people having an continuing discussion with maybe another five dropping random comments. Clearly I did not understand that 8 people is equivalent to dozens.

    So we come back to your most wise pronouncement


    A further result of MJD is the inability to think rationally or understand common attempts to communicate. This is evidenced by the sufferer ignoring all efforts to communicate (or at least failing to understand those efforts). Instead, the MJD sufferer simply continues to exhibit the same symptoms I outlined in my earlier paragraph, repeating the same blathering over and over again where it is clearly not applicable.


    Where my "ignorance" is exposed for all to see.

    Thank you for taking the time to enlighten me.

    Clearly I am just a "ignorant, pedantic, self righteously political correct jerk who has no capacity to comprehend or tolerate other people".

    I am sorry that I disrupted your enjoyment of laughing at the poor potentially disabled person - not that you knew that when you laughed.

    Was there anything else I missed?

    I'd suggest, if mere discussion of peculiar behavior by someone suffering from ADD/ADHD/Asperger's troubles you so much, you tune in to the ABC television show Boston Legal. Jerry's representation of an Asperger's sufferer should cause you to have an actual coronary, and then you wouldn't be able to climb on that high horse you seem to want to be on.


    Oh yes, I actually think that Boston Legal is funny and the character of Jerry is decently well balanced.

    But that might just me being ignorant again.
  • MJ 2008-04-24 23:02
    An Aspie:
    yes, there's at least one of them that went out of their way to make a video stating they'd rather have murdered their daughter than have her be autistic, with her present and next to her during the taping of it!


    In the video link you posted the mother in the video actually said that she would rather driver her car off a bridge with her daughter in it rather than "put her in one of those schools".

    While I don't think that a good way to combat school overcrowding and lack of educational resources for people with autism that is not the same as what you asserted she said.
  • Worldwalker 2008-04-26 18:13
    ben:
    I'd take it as a given that a developer candidate can type reasonably fast, because most developers code by typing. If you can only type 20wpm you can't code fast and, more to the point, you probably haven't done much of it. A developer needs to be comfortable around a computer and know how to use it efficiently.

    I worked for several years for a man who typed with one finger (sometimes two when he really got rolling). He was a superb programmer, one of the best I've ever known. Maybe he got his code right the first time because fixing it would have taken forever? Whatever the reason, he was damn good. There is no reason why a man with a physical handicap that slows his typing speed (such as the rejected applicant in the original post) couldn't be just as good a programmer as my old boss, the one-finger typist.
  • real_aardvark 2008-04-26 19:26
    IAmTheLizardQueen:
    I'm just surprised that someone interviewing sysadmins couldn't spot stressed-out autistic/aspie behavior in a heartbeat.

    Them's my peeps. We get precise and literal under pressure. Many of us make outstanding sysadmins.
    And, on a different topic, what precisely is the point of sysadmins?

    We used to get along quite nicely without them in the old days.

    I mean, what the fuck do they do?
  • Reality Check 2008-04-26 20:08
    Jay:
    It's one thing to tell a person with polio that he should just get up and walk and get a job that requires running and jumping. It's a very different thing to tell a person who is a lazy couch potato that he should get up and walk and get a job that requires running and jumping. In the first case the person is incapable of doing what you ask no matter how hard he tries. In the second case he is perfectly capable, but as simply decided that it's too much trouble and if he doesn't bother, others will take care of him. In the latter case, telling him that we're cutting off his allowance and he'd better straighten up and get a job might well be sufficient motivation.

    I suggest that the same could be said about real mental illness and many things that today are called mental illness.

    Many years ago, I once went three days with nothing to eat.

    Was it because I had no food? No.

    Was it because I was physically incapable of preparing it? No.

    It was because I was suffering from major depression.

    Nothing, not even hunger, one of the most basic animal drives, something even a paramecium can feel, was sufficient to motivate me to so much as open a can of beans. It was too much effort. It was not until the low point of that particular bout of depression passed that I was capable of making myself a sandwich. I think I speak for most of the people who share my particular mental illness when I say we don't want to be this way. It is not fun. It is often fatal. If it was something that could be cured by "motivation" and we could "straighten up" if we wanted to, then by God we would. I certainly had the motivation to get something to eat; but, in the depths of a depressive crisis, I did not have the capability to act on that motivation.

    Counseling can help. It can teach the sufferer strategies to cope with their condition. It can teach them workarounds to some of the mess in their heads. But it cannot cure the underlying problem. It cannot make their brain produce more serotonin. And if you "cut off the allowance", as you put it, to someone with major depression in order to force him to get a job, etc., that still won't cure the problem. Odds are, he'll just kill himself. Be very thankful that you have never been in a situation where self-extinction appears, to you, the only logical, rational, and practical solution, and the only reason you do not do it is it would require too much effort. Thank God every day for that. I would not wish this condition on anybody.

    Have you ever gone without food for three days? Try it sometime (I'd suggest a long weekend, as it'll mess you up at work). Now think about how unable to function a person has to be to endure that when they have plenty of food available, they just have to open the drawer and take out the can opener. Then try to tell me that it's just laziness, and sufficient coercion will overcome it.

    I have lived with this my entire adult life. I have learned to cope, and medication (SSRI's) helps a lot. But it is something that can only be treated, not cured. It is something I have to live with every minute of every day. And it is not something I would endure if I had any alternative, especially one as simple as "getting up off the couch." Nobody wants to be like this. I sure as hell don't. I struggle every day not to let this thing rule my life. I fight harder to maintain a basic level of function than you do to live your normal life, and for far less reward.

    I don't want your pity, or your sympathy, or even your understanding. I just want you to use that neurotypical brain that you're so proud of winning in the lottery of life and get it through your neutronium-plated skull that nobody wants to have a condition that makes their life hell and is likely to make them kill themself some day and dealing with it is not just a matter of wishing it didn't exist. Believing otherwise is not far removed from those people who don't take their children to doctors because "faith" will cure any disease, and if they die, well, they just didn't believe hard enough.
  • TadGhostal 2008-04-28 12:03
    I partly agree with those who don't find the humor in making fun of someone with an obvious handicap - but only partly. I *do* see the humor - I just choose to rise above it, or laugh inside.

    Is it wrong to find situations like this humorous? Of course not - in fact it's human.

    Is it wrong to point out that humor to others on a fairly well-read website? Probably.

    Is it wrong to do so when you're in the position of the interviewer? Absolutely.

    I call bad form, bad taste, and bad judgement on the OP here.

    I certainly hope that the interviewee doesn't frequent this site for the OP's sake. If he did, and if he was as petty as the OP, he might be inclined to pursue legal action.

    Heck, he might not have a case, but what if he did? What if he was able to cause the OP some financial grief, or at the very least some professional embarrassment? He could then post his own WTF here. It'd certainly be as funny as the OP's WTF, wouldn't it?

    I sure hope the interviewer's real initials aren't K. D... Now THAT would be the real WTF.
  • shreesh 2008-04-29 05:01
    Real life example ::

    Go through the recruitment ads of pinstorm , a SEM company based out of Mumbai,India.

    I went to their office after reading about requierements that they had for Java/C++ application developers.

    Turned out that what they actually wanted were Perl/Php developers!!

    What a waste of time it was.
  • Wodderwick 2008-04-29 12:10
    Vred Ekrn:
    Unix? Don't you know that it is a dead language. Get in the 21st century man!

    Language?
  • djclintoris 2008-04-29 16:07
    this isn't the position you were looking for. move along. move along.
  • Tom_fan_63 2008-05-07 10:18
    Grassfire:
    BlitheringIdiot:
    G Money:
    Schnapple:
    Not Dorothy:
    Been there. The ad said that you could earn 30k as a programmer. But it turned out you had to be promoted to department head to actually get that.


    What situation were you in (location, time frame) that $30K is seen as a good salary?


    What location are you in that you would assume that everyone uses US dollars?


    Everyone in the world knows that the US dollar is the only currency that matters!

    *cough*
    Euro
    *cough*


    Luckly in Denmark are still resisting to the temptation... DKK forever ;-)

  • Ettina 2008-05-14 18:13
    "I hate to get up on the PC soapbox here but the answer to your question "Shall we pretend that his behavior is not bizarre?" is YES."

    Erasing our differences does us no good. I'd rather they acknowledge that he's different and judge him on his merits, not based on anti-weirdo prejudice.

    "If you do not understand it, now is a good time to learn more as it is autism awareness month. AutismSpeaks.org is a good place to start."

    The organization that threatened to sue an autistic teen who made a parody website 'NT Speaks'? The organization who had a representative of theirs say, on US national television, *in front of her autistic child*, that the only reason she didn't do a murder-suicide with that child was because of her other (neurotypical) child? You want that organization to be their introduction to autism?
    Well, personally, I want them to think we're human beings, not detestable walking tragedies that anyone neurotypical who knows an autistic can get on a soapbox and insult us.
  • Daniel 2008-09-10 09:31
    *laugh* I've been exactly in the same situation. I applied for a position as Sr Java Developer. After having a very nice conversation for 45 minutes one of the three interviewers asks: "How well do you know ColdFusion?". I replied: "Well, I know a little ColdFusion. However, if you are you planning on migrating a legacy app to Java, I am sure that this wouldn't be a problem for me". They replied: "No, actually, we do most of our things in ColdFusion."

    Needless to say my face morphed to questionmark-shape.
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  • Peter 2008-12-01 06:40
    akatherder:
    There's a difference between insulting someone for being autistic and reacting to a situation where a person (who is possibly autistic) verbally berates you for a simple request when he is in a position to impress you.


    See, that's the point: for him, it's not a simple question. Maybe for you it is, perhaps even for me (I've got a mild form of Asperger's syndrome), but he simply couldn't imagine the situation. For him, it's just as easy as flying by flapping his arms up and down. (No pun intended on the hand flapping.) So that's why he panicked, and that's why he started shouting.

    The thing is, people with an autistic spectrum disorder tend to be very good at skills that are required in IT, so you get quite a few of them. I'm not saying that the interviewer should have been prepared to get someone with an ASD, because there's such a lot of ignorance on the subject (of which your post is unfortunately an example), but the word has to be spread around.

    In fact, ignorance is so wide-spread that the interviewee might not know that he has an ASD; I myself didn't find out until the age of 38, and only because my son was diagnosed with a mild form of high-functioning autism (there's a strong genetic factor involved in autism).

    So, this guy would have been excellent if he were stuck away in a room, given very clear instructions that couldn't be mis-interpreted, and preferably nobody would ring him. Which would make him, I think, unsuitable for the job that was advertised.
  • sfsad 2009-01-21 23:50
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