The Missing Interview, Infantile Expectancies, & More

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  • schmitter 2010-02-09 09:10
    Kevin would like to print this comment in Java.
  • nnn 2010-02-09 09:10
    firstfirst
  • monkeyPushButton 2010-02-09 09:11
    nnn:
    firstfirst
    not like Kevin
  • Ian 2010-02-09 09:12
    Java has everything you'd ever need to do built into it by design. Just say "the _____ API" and you'll be right every time!
  • st0815 2010-02-09 09:14
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...
  • frits 2010-02-09 09:16
    ifth!
  • Sparky the IT Clown 2010-02-09 09:17
    So what's the Java API for posting comments?

    CAPTCHA: verto, when you get dizzy only halfway
  • sd 2010-02-09 09:17
    st0815:
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...


    Gotta agree with this. It probably took you longer to get ready and get there than you waited.
  • AndrewB 2010-02-09 09:18
    ??? I'm sorry, I don't understand what TheDailyWTF is driving at with this article. Also it took too long to read.
  • Kevin 2010-02-09 09:19
    Jeanne is clearly not like me. I'm awesome after all.
  • Phill 2010-02-09 09:30
    st0815:
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...


    Thankfully the job market is pretty good over here. Well, at least good enough that you don't have to beg and be grateful for any job that comes along.
    A job interview is not just to see if you are sufficiently awesome and lucky that someone wants to give you a job. It's also about seeing whether the company is a good fit for you.
    I'm pretty sure I don't want to work somewhere where my boss managed to forget about an interview and I was left sitting in a room by myself for 20 minutes.
    It may be an honest mistake but, in my experience, those kind of companies tend to have no documented requirements, awful code, barely implemented source control, and an unpleasant work culture.
  • Anonymous 2010-02-09 09:32
    st0815:
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...


    The article doesn't say anything about being unwilling to wait, just that he “went hunting for someone.” In the case of a misread, it's the receptionist getting ready to leave, not the protagonist.
  • Zecc 2010-02-09 09:35
    I'm not like Kevin, but I bet I'm pretty good at writing bugs.
  • Philipp 2010-02-09 09:41
    I love the Infantile Expectancies story. I think the correct behavior in such a case would be to poll the guy at least once a week until either of you die if he has already become rich with his brilliant company.
  • Anon 2010-02-09 10:01
    Kevin:
    Jeanne is clearly not like me. I'm awesome after all.


    I know Kevin, I've worked with Kevin, and you sir, are no Kevin.
  • Anon 2010-02-09 10:04
    Wow! That last reply in Infantile Expectancies even made me angry and it wasn't even directed at me. If I was Roger, I would definitely follow up after a few months to ask them how it's going (but to mainly call the CEO an asshole).
  • savar 2010-02-09 10:05
    Wow, equity in a worthless company. Gee, thanks, but actually, could you just pay me in toilet paper instead?
  • silent d 2010-02-09 10:10
    The "someone like Kevin" story makes me think of what I call the Good Ole Bob syndrome in help wanted ads. I think everyone will recognize the kind of ads I'm talking about. Good Ole Bob worked for the company for 10, 15, 20 years or more. Good Ole Bob had extensive knowledge of the company's systems, business processes, and data. Now Good Ole Bob has retired or otherwise left the company. HR decides to replace Bob by placing an ad listing all of the things that Bob did. The problem is, its not likely they will find one person that can fill that role. At least, not the way that Good Ole Bob did it.
  • Ramses So let it be written so let it be done 2010-02-09 10:10
    savar:
    Wow, equity in a worthless company. Gee, thanks, but actually, could you just pay me in toilet paper instead?


    Hey, toilet paper in some places is a luxury and worth a lot of money.
  • Paula B. 2010-02-09 10:10
    st0815:
    The job market must be brillant in the UK ...


    FTFY
  • Zylon 2010-02-09 10:12
    If I'd been forced to wait ive minutes, I probably would have walked out too!
  • @Deprecated 2010-02-09 10:18
    Philipp:
    I love the Infantile Expectancies story. I think the correct behavior in such a case would be to poll the guy at least once a week until either of you die if he has already become rich with his brilliant company.


    Needs something more...

    If the company is already advertising, it would be loads of fun to ask them more about the provided services, string them along, and then finally reply with "why the %$#@ would I pay for this when it's already available for free, at translate.google.com ?
  • AnonCoward23 2010-02-09 10:20
    That article is for too medicore for me.
  • FeepingCreature 2010-02-09 10:21
    To be fair, if you were asking me how to print with Java I'd be equally stumped - I'd assume you were asking about specifics of how to generate rich text for printing, what formats the API supports, text layout etc. An answer as trivial as "the printing API" would never come to mind.
  • FeepingCreature 2010-02-09 10:23
    To be fair, if you'd ask me "how to print with Java" I'd be equally stumped. I'd assume you were asking me what specific classes to use, how to format text for printer output, that kind of thing. Stuff that'd be clear with a few minutes of googling; but I couldn't answer that off the top of my head. An answer as trivial as "the printing API" would never even occur to me.
  • FeepingCreature 2010-02-09 10:24
    Admins; kindly remove the double comment - for some reason, submitting a comment seems to take me back to the comments form, so I'd assumed I'd hit the wrong button. (Konqueror/3.5.9)

    What is up with that anyway?
  • Adriano 2010-02-09 10:25
    sd:
    st0815:
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...


    Gotta agree with this. It probably took you longer to get ready and get there than you waited.


    It does sound like that. Unless the receptionist (who was leaving, remember) meant that the interviewer had already left too. Perhaps that's what the interviewee meant by the words 'oh dear, she forgot about you'.

    Otherwise, 10 minutes are still barely in my margin of politeness.
  • frits 2010-02-09 10:41
    FeepingCreature:
    Admins; kindly remove the double comment - for some reason, submitting a comment seems to take me back to the comments form, so I'd assumed I'd hit the wrong button. (Konqueror/3.5.9)

    What is up with that anyway?


    It's a feature. They provide you with a WTF even if the daily article doesn't have one.
  • Annoyed with RBS 2010-02-09 10:44
    RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) are that useless and inefficient that this particular story re. the interview doesn't surprise me. I've often done business with them and failed to get any sort of response or reply without bullying and chasing.

    They deserve to be in the terrible shape they're now in, it's comeuppance.
  • CiH 2010-02-09 10:49
    Coding Java is difficult, WHEN YOU'RE LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!
  • lolwtf 2010-02-09 10:54
    Zylon:
    If I'd been forced to wait ive minutes, I probably would have walked out too!
    Math fail.
  • ceiswyn 2010-02-09 11:00
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more?


    Well... no. No he didn't. At 4:55 he went looking for someone to find out why the interview was running late. And if you think that's an unreasonable thing to do, I wish you luck of being trapped in a bank after all the staff have forgotten about you, left and locked up :)

    Having ascertained that a) your interviewer has completely forgotten about you and b) that the forms you've just been given to fill in are exactly the ones you should least be allowed to see, the question becomes more how desperate you'd have to be to still want that job!
  • anon 2010-02-09 11:05
    FeepingCreature:
    To be fair, if you'd ask me "how to print with Java" I'd be equally stumped. I'd assume you were asking me what specific classes to use, how to format text for printer output, that kind of thing. Stuff that'd be clear with a few minutes of googling; but I couldn't answer that off the top of my head. An answer as trivial as "the printing API" would never even occur to me.


    But at least you would have said *something*. Even if you don't know exactly what the interviewer is looking for, a smart person can start a dialog about it. Staring blankly definitely would not be the right answer.
  • Centricity 2010-02-09 11:10
    Aside from the part where the receptionist gave him his own evaluation form, it might well have been a test. Yeah, "Leave him in a room for an hour and see how he acts" is something from a bad movie, but it can be useful to see if a candidate reacts when unsupervised. Does he/she take the initiative and go find someone, fall asleep, start texting friends on a cell phone? If they'll do it during an interview, they'll do it during work.

    They blew it when they gave him the eval form, though.
  • Patrick 2010-02-09 11:15
    Given that last email to Roger, I would reply with "You are wrong and you will fail. Your last message describes yourself. Bye."
  • iToad 2010-02-09 11:17
    The Infantile Expectancies CEO is wasting his time in his current position. A big thinker with a total disregard for reality is more suited for politics - or investment banking.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2010-02-09 11:30
    I would wager that the "CEO" in the Infantile Expectancies story was probably some college kid who thought he had a brilliant (or brillant, as it were) idea and figured that he could hoodwink someone into working for free, and then take all the profits.

    Notice the language he uses in his correspondence: a lot of big, impressive sounding words, and often using two or three words where one would suffice. Real businesspeople don't talk like that, it's the crooks and idiots who do as a cover for the fact they don't know shit.
  • forgottenlord 2010-02-09 11:33
    anon:
    FeepingCreature:
    To be fair, if you'd ask me "how to print with Java" I'd be equally stumped. I'd assume you were asking me what specific classes to use, how to format text for printer output, that kind of thing. Stuff that'd be clear with a few minutes of googling; but I couldn't answer that off the top of my head. An answer as trivial as "the printing API" would never even occur to me.


    But at least you would have said *something*. Even if you don't know exactly what the interviewer is looking for, a smart person can start a dialog about it. Staring blankly definitely would not be the right answer.


    Yeah, like, "I'm not quite sure the exact methods, but I plan to Google for 'the Printing API' to find them"
  • Gerald the Traveller 2010-02-09 11:36
    "Coding Java is difficult, WHEN YOU'RE LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!"

    Oi! I resemble that comment! (I used to live in a truck, by the river Trent, and work as a coder for a flight simulator graphics engine company.

    Happy days :)
  • Stephen 2010-02-09 11:41
    What is it about CEO's that makes them so stupid?

    The last start up I worked for, the CEO had this mentality that he shouldn't have to pay me. So, he in fact stopped paying me and insisted that I'd be well taken care of when the company took off.

    Meanwhile, he was spending company (investor) money on personal items and a vacation for himself. I was young and stupid, so I stayed around and didn't get paid for 6 months.

    Then he was ticked at me for leaving...

    Last I heard there's some tax fraud case going on with him, as he decided he shouldn't have to pay taxes either. I got a call from an investigator, who told me that the CEO was claiming he didn't have any employees for that year, and made no sales.
  • moo 2010-02-09 11:49
    "Sufficed to say" -- what? Those words (is that even a word?) don't make any sense. I think you meant "suffice it to say", which, believe it or not, isn't just a series of sounds you can make with your mouth, but an actual set of words with meaning! Specifically, it means "it should be enough to say...", implying that you're understating your point. Suffice it to say, you should know that.
  • Danny V 2010-02-09 11:50
    Roger, the CEO in the Infantile Expectancies story wasn't looking for a guy like you. He wanted a guy that would get the job done without complaining. With superhuman programming abilities. With incredible amounts of charisma.

    He wasn't looking for you Roger Garrett. He was looking for Kevin.
  • VRAndy 2010-02-09 11:52
    'Charles Ross' should have been more modest. Clearly whoever processed the interview forms was worried that he'd take their job.
  • Vance 2010-02-09 11:54
    Most companies close at 5 P.M. in England: that's why pubs are full at 6 P.M. and you can't find a good dinner after 9 P.M.
  • Someone too lazy to login and at work 2010-02-09 11:57
    st0815:
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...


    Given the response of the receptionist, my guess was that the manager had already left.

    Also, the protagonist wasn't leaving, they just went to find someone to find out why they'd been sat around for 20 minutes - in my experience even if you turn up early someone will stick their head around to make sure you're still OK or offer you a drink.
  • Someone too lazy to login and at work 2010-02-09 11:59
    Ramses So let it be written so let it be done:
    savar:
    Wow, equity in a worthless company. Gee, thanks, but actually, could you just pay me in toilet paper instead?


    Hey, toilet paper in some places is a luxury and worth a lot of money.


    I believe their point was that toilet paper would actually be more useful than equity in a worthless company.
  • aristos_achaion 2010-02-09 11:59
    st0815:
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...


    The normal work day is 9 to 5. If nobody had come to see me at 4:55, I'd be worried too...not because I wanted to leave, but because I'd be afraid my interviewer had left. He didn't just walk out, he went to look for somebody, in case they'd forgotten he was there.
  • VRAndy 2010-02-09 12:01
    To be fair, if you'd ask me "how to print with Java" I'd be equally stumped.[...]

    Ok, but to be MORE fair, the candidate should have already implemented this feature in his pre-interview programming test. He was being given a second change with this option to answer verbally during the interview.

    We can debate about the usefulness of programming tests, but if someone hands one in unfinished, without so much as an acknowledgment that it's unfinished, then he's lucky to get an interview.
  • aristos_achaion 2010-02-09 12:03
    forgottenlord:
    anon:
    FeepingCreature:
    To be fair, if you'd ask me "how to print with Java" I'd be equally stumped. I'd assume you were asking me what specific classes to use, how to format text for printer output, that kind of thing. Stuff that'd be clear with a few minutes of googling; but I couldn't answer that off the top of my head. An answer as trivial as "the printing API" would never even occur to me.


    But at least you would have said *something*. Even if you don't know exactly what the interviewer is looking for, a smart person can start a dialog about it. Staring blankly definitely would not be the right answer.


    Yeah, like, "I'm not quite sure the exact methods, but I plan to Google for 'the Printing API' to find them"


    Honestly, probably even a misguided or incorrect attempt at an answer would've been better...who wants to hire somebody who just shuts down and stares blankly when presented with a problem he doesn't know how to solve?
  • Someone too lazy to login and at work 2010-02-09 12:04
    Vance:
    Most companies close at 5 P.M. in England: that's why pubs are full at 6 P.M. and you can't find a good dinner after 9 P.M.


    Mine finishes at 5:30pm, at 6pm I'm somewhere on the hell that is the London Underground and by 9pm I might actually be home, assuming the trains aren't entirely fucked.

  • Matthew 2010-02-09 12:04
    Centricity:
    Aside from the part where the receptionist gave him his own evaluation form, it might well have been a test. Yeah, "Leave him in a room for an hour and see how he acts" is something from a bad movie, but it can be useful to see if a candidate reacts when unsupervised. Does he/she take the initiative and go find someone, fall asleep, start texting friends on a cell phone? If they'll do it during an interview, they'll do it during work.

    They blew it when they gave him the eval form, though.


    Actually, given your theory, giving him an evaluation form was an excellent test. Integrity is essential for a bank (well... an honest bank, that is, if such a thing still exists). It might have been a test of morality to see what he would do with a sensitive document that he was not supposed to have.
  • VRAndy 2010-02-09 12:08
    Five minutes to quitting time and there's no indication that the person you're there to meet even knows you're there?

    I'd start asking questions too. I'd rather ask after the interviewer five minutes before she goes home than five minutes after she goes home.

  • forgottenlord 2010-02-09 12:21
    My wife's boss is priceless. You have a new product on the market - they can download a trial, register on their website and then pay for the premium version. Now, which is more important: the fact that 0 people are paying for the premium version or the fact that 50% of users who download the trial don't register. That's right, it's the users that don't register.
  • SomeCoder 2010-02-09 12:23
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I would wager that the "CEO" in the Infantile Expectancies story was probably some college kid who thought he had a brilliant (or brillant, as it were) idea and figured that he could hoodwink someone into working for free, and then take all the profits.

    Notice the language he uses in his correspondence: a lot of big, impressive sounding words, and often using two or three words where one would suffice. Real businesspeople don't talk like that, it's the crooks and idiots who do as a cover for the fact they don't know shit.


    I don't know about you, but ALL the businesspeople I know speak like this. Most of the ones I know like to use made up words too.

    There's a reason for this though: I know someone going for their MBA and they actually teach them to speak this way in classes.
  • ben 2010-02-09 12:26
    Seriously, you think that leaving someone waiting in a room and judging them by what they do while waiting is a fair test of anything? Never mind the creepiness of your instincts and the illegality of your hidden cameras, that's just stupid. What are they going to do, be productive and solve some of your company's problems while sitting in a closed room with their resume in hand? Have you just read about the working world online, or have you ever been in it?
  • WhiskeyJack 2010-02-09 12:28
    Adriano:

    Otherwise, 10 minutes are still barely in my margin of politeness.


    Uh, did you guys all forget that the guy showed up at 4:30 for a 4:45 interview? By 4:55pm, he'd been waiting far longer than 10 minutes.
  • rlauriston 2010-02-09 12:29
    "What is it about CEO's that makes them so stupid?"
    Programmers tend to be grounded in reality; surprisingly enough, that's not a universally desired position. How attitude trumps reality is described in the book "Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America". Not just in the US, I'd bet.
    There is a grain of truth in every lie: in marketing, perception can be reality.
  • Superman 2010-02-09 12:31
    As a supergenius ability level of programmer, I would have produced a software vehicle that redirects to Google Translate.

    Not in 3 minutes, of course. First you ask how soon he needs it. Then you promise to deliver it in half that time, but he must pay you 50% cash and 50% equity.

    Double your hourly rate so you break even. Spend 5 weeks generating large piles of paper, typing incessantly, basically anything that looks busy. Collect your pay and go home. Make sure your name's not on the code for when Google comes after him for scraping their service.
  • Marc B 2010-02-09 12:32
    CiH:
    Coding Java is difficult, WHEN YOU'RE LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!

    You, sir, win today's internet for that one.
  • Java Niceday 2010-02-09 12:36
    Ok, you have text on your screen. You want to get that text from your screen onto a piece of paper.
    You hit the print-screen key of course! Why would anyone ever bother coding to a print API?
  • Good Old Bob 2010-02-09 12:40
    HR decides to replace Bob by placing an ad listing all of the things that Bob did.
    Which, no doubt, is the first time anyone at the company bothered to understand even half of what I was doing for them!

    Sure, I'll come back. My terms are: time-and-a-half, 20 hours a week, office with windows. But no Windows(TM).
  • darkmage0707077 2010-02-09 12:40
    Adriano:
    sd:
    st0815:
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...


    Gotta agree with this. It probably took you longer to get ready and get there than you waited.


    It does sound like that. Unless the receptionist (who was leaving, remember) meant that the interviewer had already left too. Perhaps that's what the interviewee meant by the words 'oh dear, she forgot about you'.

    Otherwise, 10 minutes are still barely in my margin of politeness.


    If it was somewhere like, say, a factory or busy office, then I might be willing to wait longer, but this was at a bank, of all places. Banks are known as places for maticulous efficiency (at least with non-tech related matters) and for being competitive with government institutions as sticklers of time and rules (usually for better, sometimes for worse). Not to mention that an interview is a somewhat important first impression on BOTH sides of the table. Being 10 minutes late to start an interview does not usually bolster confidence in the perspective job on offer.
  • YourNameHere 2010-02-09 12:40
    silent d:
    The "someone like Kevin" story makes me think of what I call the Good Ole Bob syndrome in help wanted ads. I think everyone will recognize the kind of ads I'm talking about. Good Ole Bob worked for the company for 10, 15, 20 years or more. Good Ole Bob had extensive knowledge of the company's systems, business processes, and data. Now Good Ole Bob has retired or otherwise left the company. HR decides to replace Bob by placing an ad listing all of the things that Bob did. The problem is, its not likely they will find one person that can fill that role. At least, not the way that Good Ole Bob did it.


    Yes, a company which makes huge printing presses advertised for a year or more for an expert with both VB5/VB6 AND Windows C++ device driver experience. This is in a relatively small New England town. I don't think they have filled that position yet.
  • Ivan 2010-02-09 12:42
    Philipp:
    I love the Infantile Expectancies story. I think the correct behavior in such a case would be to poll the guy at least once a week until either of you die if he has already become rich with his brilliant company.

    Just forward him any Nigerian scamspam you get. Bet he'll fall for every one of them!
  • Higher Me 2010-02-09 12:46
    Centricity:
    ...it might well have been a test. Yeah, "Leave him in a room for an hour and see how he acts" is something from a bad movie, but it can be useful to see if a candidate reacts when unsupervised. Does he/she take the initiative and go find someone, fall asleep, start texting friends on a cell phone? If they'll do it during an interview, they'll do it during work...

    So, I shouldn't start making sketches of the vault area, and checking the ceiling tiles to see if they're loose?
  • Carl 2010-02-09 12:49
    Stephen:
    What is it about CEO's that makes them so stupid?

    The last start up I worked for, the CEO had this mentality that he shouldn't have to pay me. So, he in fact stopped paying me... I stayed around and didn't get paid for 6 months.

    If you stayed more than two hours after the first paycheck went missing, I'm thinking it wasn't the CEO who was "so stupid"...
  • Rick 2010-02-09 12:51
    darkmage0707077:

    ...
    Banks are known as places for maticulous efficiency.
    ...


    Huh!!! Really? Was this a troll? You could NOT POSSIBLY believe this. Have you read a paper in the last 2 years?
  • Fred 2010-02-09 12:53
    True story: a guy wanted me to build a website to make him rich. The specs: "Just like ebay, but for cars." He figured I'd do it in a couple evenings of my spare time as a favor (in other words, free) because he was a friend of my cousin.
  • Jeff 2010-02-09 12:55
    Rick:
    darkmage0707077:

    ...
    Banks are known as places for maticulous efficiency.
    ...


    Huh!!! Really? Was this a troll? You could NOT POSSIBLY believe this. Have you read a paper in the last 2 years?

    maticulous: Skilled in ripping off the taxpayers by becoming "too big to fail".
  • Matt 2010-02-09 13:04
    Fred:
    True story: a guy wanted me to build a website to make him rich. The specs: "Just like ebay, but for cars." He figured I'd do it in a couple evenings of my spare time as a favor (in other words, free) because he was a friend of my cousin.


    Those are by far my favorite requests from people. At this point in my life I just stare at them like they're from another planet. Then I ask them if they'd be willing to return the favor with something that they're experts at (whatever their day job is). Usually they think I'm retarded for asking them to work for free. At that point my faith in humanity seems to go further in the red than before.

    Have some fun with these people. C'mon. We're all intelligent techs. Take a direct quote of the person's total requirements EX: "Make me a game like Halo, but cooler", then blog it. Ping them every few months and ask how that get rich quick scheme is coming along. Then remember over the course of their lifetime what a$$holes they are, and let everyone who knows them know it. Makes for great dinner party fodder.
  • frits 2010-02-09 13:07
    Matt:
    Fred:
    True story: a guy wanted me to build a website to make him rich. The specs: "Just like ebay, but for cars." He figured I'd do it in a couple evenings of my spare time as a favor (in other words, free) because he was a friend of my cousin.


    Those are by far my favorite requests from people. At this point in my life I just stare at them like they're from another planet. Then I ask them if they'd be willing to return the favor with something that they're experts at (whatever their day job is). Usually they think I'm retarded for asking them to work for free. At that point my faith in humanity seems to go further in the red than before.

    Have some fun with these people. C'mon. We're all intelligent techs. Take a direct quote of the person's total requirements EX: "Make me a game like Halo, but cooler", then blog it. Ping them every few months and ask how that get rich quick scheme is coming along. Then remember over the course of their lifetime what a$$holes they are, and let everyone who knows them know it. Makes for great dinner party fodder.


    AKA: How to win friends and influence people.
  • DavidTC 2010-02-09 13:08
    I don't think I'd want to work for anyone who thinks the problem with automated translation is lack of _programming skill_.

    Translation is an AI-complete problem. You can't throw code at it and make it work.

    Now, you might be able to throw more _time_ at it and make it better, but that time would have to be the time of professional linguists and semantictician. (Or whatever that word is.) Explaining every double meaning, every colloquialism, how to naturally phrase everything, etc. You'd need programmers to turn that into code, but not 'genius programmers'.

    Likewise, it's possible that some 'logical' breakthrough could help there, in how sentences get treated internally, but, again, that's not really a 'programming' issue, that's a 'computer science breakthrough in the field of language processing' issue.

    It's amazing how many 'business men' seem to have done exactly no research at all for the product they wish to supply, especially WRT to computers. It's like their business plan is: 'I will build a machine that turns lead into gold, and lease the use of that to others.'

    I once had a boss ask how hard it would be to write our own antivirus, and I had to point out that antiviruses are actually fairly easy...the hard part is keeping the damn thing up to date, which apparently hadn't occurred to him.
  • Paul O'Ticks 2010-02-09 13:17
    DavidTC:
    It's like their business plan is: 'I will build a machine that turns lead into gold, and lease the use of that to others.'

    Not quite. It's more like: I will hire a guy smart enough to make a machine that turns air into gold, but who hasn't made one for himself yet, then I'll pay him nothing, collect those lease payments, and trust that no one else will copy me.
  • Anon 2010-02-09 13:20
    ben:
    Seriously, you think that leaving someone waiting in a room and judging them by what they do while waiting is a fair test of anything? Never mind the creepiness of your instincts and the illegality of your hidden cameras, that's just stupid. What are they going to do, be productive and solve some of your company's problems while sitting in a closed room with their resume in hand? Have you just read about the working world online, or have you ever been in it?


    I'm sorry, IANAL, but since when has it been illegal to put cameras in your own place of business, hidden or otherwise. I'm pretty sure there is no law against it, otherwise businesses would have all their cameras painted bright orange to ensure they don't get accused of hiding it.
  • Rick 2010-02-09 13:21
    Paul O'Ticks:
    Not quite. It's more like: I will hire a guy smart enough to make a machine that turns air into gold, but who hasn't made one for himself yet, then I'll pay him nothing, collect those lease payments, and trust that no one else will copy me.

    And, I won't bother learning anything about how the machine works, or paying the upkeep, which is why I'll be so surprised when it goes into reverse and turns me into air!
  • Anon 2010-02-09 13:22
    Anon:
    ben:
    Seriously, you think that leaving someone waiting in a room and judging them by what they do while waiting is a fair test of anything? Never mind the creepiness of your instincts and the illegality of your hidden cameras, that's just stupid. What are they going to do, be productive and solve some of your company's problems while sitting in a closed room with their resume in hand? Have you just read about the working world online, or have you ever been in it?


    I'm sorry, IANAL, but since when has it been illegal to put cameras in your own place of business, hidden or otherwise. I'm pretty sure there is no law against it, otherwise businesses would have all their cameras painted bright orange to ensure they don't get accused of hiding it.


    Oh, and another thing, nobody mentioned cameras hidden or otherwise. You brought that idea up.
  • Just this guy, you know? 2010-02-09 13:37
    Ugh, that 'Infantile' story was painful, because people like that megalomaniac business owner are far too common. In fact, I have some friends who work for someone just like that.

    These jerks are all alike. They have grandiose ideas and thinks no one else has thought of them first; they can't take criticism and insult anyone who tries; they can talk big to woo investors and keep their sorry little empires afloat; they promise the impossible to their clients and expect their employees to deliver (and berate them when they fail).

    Roger is probably glad that this fool so obviously fit the pattern.
  • Mike 2010-02-09 13:40
    silent d:
    The "someone like Kevin" story makes me think of what I call the Good Ole Bob syndrome in help wanted ads. I think everyone will recognize the kind of ads I'm talking about. Good Ole Bob worked for the company for 10, 15, 20 years or more. Good Ole Bob had extensive knowledge of the company's systems, business processes, and data. Now Good Ole Bob has retired or otherwise left the company. HR decides to replace Bob by placing an ad listing all of the things that Bob did. The problem is, its not likely they will find one person that can fill that role. At least, not the way that Good Ole Bob did it.


    Yeah, I'm Good Old Mike, and my very last assignment at my last employer was to replace myself on the way out the door. I finally settled on 3 new employees and let my old understudy weed them out.
  • Wolfan 2010-02-09 13:42
    DavidTC:
    I don't think I'd want to work for anyone who thinks the problem with automated translation is lack of _programming skill_.

    Translation is an AI-complete problem. You can't throw code at it and make it work.

    Now, you might be able to throw more _time_ at it and make it better, but that time would have to be the time of professional linguists and semantictician. (Or whatever that word is.) Explaining every double meaning, every colloquialism, how to naturally phrase everything, etc. You'd need programmers to turn that into code, but not 'genius programmers'.

    Likewise, it's possible that some 'logical' breakthrough could help there, in how sentences get treated internally, but, again, that's not really a 'programming' issue, that's a 'computer science breakthrough in the field of language processing' issue.

    It's amazing how many 'business men' seem to have done exactly no research at all for the product they wish to supply, especially WRT to computers. It's like their business plan is: 'I will build a machine that turns lead into gold, and lease the use of that to others.'

    I once had a boss ask how hard it would be to write our own antivirus, and I had to point out that antiviruses are actually fairly easy...the hard part is keeping the damn thing up to date, which apparently hadn't occurred to him.


    I agree, the problem really in the second story is that Marketing is again assuming that Software Production works like any other kind of production and feels the need to tell us what to do because "That's what will sell.". Like the dark and the light Marketing vs. IT will forever be at a constant struggle, and if a company ever finds a way to let the two balance out that company will make millions.
  • Procedural 2010-02-09 13:45
    Isn't the "someone like Kevin" a Douglas Adams reference ?
  • sino 2010-02-09 13:47
    FeepingCreature:
    Admins; kindly remove the double comment - for some reason, submitting a comment seems to take me back to the comments form, so I'd assumed I'd hit the wrong button. (Konqueror/3.5.9)

    What is up with that anyway?
    If i had to guess...
  • Procedural 2010-02-09 13:48
    Procedural:
    Isn't the "someone like Kevin" a Douglas Adams reference ?


    "Anyway, this neutrino hit something. Nothing terribly important in the scale of things, you might say. But the problem with saying something like that is that you would be talking cross-eyed badger spit. Once something actually happens somewhere in something as wildly complicated as the Universe, Kevin knows where it will all end up — where "Kevin" is any random entity that doesn't know nothin' about nothin'."
  • sino 2010-02-09 13:50
    Stephen:
    What is it about CEO's that makes them so stupid?
    What is it about CEO's what? Semantic Differentials?
  • acsi 2010-02-09 13:56
    darkmage0707077:
    Adriano:
    sd:
    st0815:
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...


    Gotta agree with this. It probably took you longer to get ready and get there than you waited.


    It does sound like that. Unless the receptionist (who was leaving, remember) meant that the interviewer had already left too. Perhaps that's what the interviewee meant by the words 'oh dear, she forgot about you'.

    Otherwise, 10 minutes are still barely in my margin of politeness.


    If it was somewhere like, say, a factory or busy office, then I might be willing to wait longer, but this was at a bank, of all places. Banks are known as places for maticulous efficiency (at least with non-tech related matters) and for being competitive with government institutions as sticklers of time and rules (usually for better, sometimes for worse). Not to mention that an interview is a somewhat important first impression on BOTH sides of the table. Being 10 minutes late to start an interview does not usually bolster confidence in the perspective job on offer.
    Meticulous. For (or about, or on, but definitely not of) time and rules. Confidence in a person, or person-based conglomerate, not a thing.
  • Franz Kafka 2010-02-09 14:01
    Fred:
    True story: a guy wanted me to build a website to make him rich. The specs: "Just like ebay, but for cars." He figured I'd do it in a couple evenings of my spare time as a favor (in other words, free) because he was a friend of my cousin.


    My first though: "Why would I do all that and just give it to you?"
  • Rootbeer 2010-02-09 14:01
    DavidTC:
    Translation is an AI-complete problem. You can't throw code at it and make it work.


    Based on my experiences with a professional translations & software localization firm, you can't solve the problem just by throwing human beings at it, either.

    When a client with two semesters of collegiate German a decade ago is finding grammatical errors in your delivered translation work, you might need to reconsider your process.
  • Franz Kafka 2010-02-09 14:04
    Rootbeer:
    DavidTC:
    Translation is an AI-complete problem. You can't throw code at it and make it work.


    Based on my experiences with a professional translations & software localization firm, you can't solve the problem just by throwing human beings at it, either.

    When a client with two semesters of collegiate German a decade ago is finding grammatical errors in your delivered translation work, you might need to reconsider your process.


    At least you didn't translate '7 days' into an idiom for judgement day or anything...
  • Gordonjcp 2010-02-09 14:09
    It's probably not really worth waiting around for the interview at 16:55 if the company closes at 17:00, is it?
  • Zylon 2010-02-09 14:26
    lolwtf:
    Zylon:
    If I'd been forced to wait ive minutes, I probably would have walked out too!
    Math fail.

    Spelling comprehension fail, smart guy.
  • Jabba 2010-02-09 14:27
    More to the point, Kevin is in a low level role and wants to move up in the world. His boss agrees, but HR has to create a position for Kevin to move into. Because it is a new position, HR has to advertise it, but they have no idea what the position entails. So they ask Kevin's boss to write the position description. Kevin's boss is usually too busy for HR stuff, so gives it to Kevin to write (after all, Kevin is the one who wants to move on up).
    You end up with a position tailored to Kevin (although not usually to this extent).

    I know, I have been on both sides of the Kevin advert (as the Kevin writing the JD, and as the hapless interviewee responding to a ad for a position that you are never going to fill - because you aren't Kevin).
  • A Gould 2010-02-09 15:03
    Centricity:
    If they'll do it during an interview, they'll do it during work.


    I'd disagree - if I'm in the waiting room, I'm on my own time. That would be like saying that since you eat on your own time, you'll eat during work.


    They blew it when they gave him the eval form, though.

    Definitely agree on this one - although I'd have been far more... interesting in my replies. And kept a copy.
  • A.F. 2010-02-09 15:09
    Actually, this may also work the other way round. Say, you have a job opening and you know someone who is a perfect fit for the job. This might, for example, be an intern you want to take over.
    Under certain circumstances, it is still required to publish a job offering. Now, what you do is you fit the job description to perfectly fit your candidate, allowing you to turn down all other potential candidates for "not being a perfect fit".

    Still, I wouldn't have been so upfront as saying "someone like Kevin" in that situation :)
  • Anonymous 2010-02-09 15:29
    ben:
    Seriously, you think that leaving someone waiting in a room and judging them by what they do while waiting is a fair test of anything? Never mind the creepiness of your instincts and the illegality of your hidden cameras, that's just stupid. What are they going to do, be productive and solve some of your company's problems while sitting in a closed room with their resume in hand? Have you just read about the working world online, or have you ever been in it?


    That's the charm of Tales from the Interview - all these weird suggestions on how to interview with bizarre tests.
  • Machtyn 2010-02-09 15:31
    moo:
    "Sufficed to say" -- what? Those words (is that even a word?) don't make any sense. I think you meant "suffice it to say", which, believe it or not, isn't just a series of sounds you can make with your mouth, but an actual set of words with meaning! Specifically, it means "it should be enough to say...", implying that you're understating your point. Suffice it to say, you should know that.


    Suffice to say, I should of recognized that.


    (I wonder how many people will realize what the second mistake is in that sentence.)
  • ChiefCrazyTalk 2010-02-09 15:33
    The Real WTF (tm) is walking out of an interview based on an incompetent receptionist.
  • dpm 2010-02-09 15:33
    DavidTC:
    I once had a boss ask how hard it would be to write our own antivirus, and I had to point out that antiviruses are actually fairly easy...the hard part is keeping the damn thing up to date, which apparently hadn't occurred to him.
    Your boss *asked* first? Score!
  • Scott L 2010-02-09 15:42
    Printing in Java is actually quite easy - you make something implement Printable, and then you draw to the Graphics object in the print() method you must make. Then you create a PrinterJob from withing java.awt.print.

    In most cases, you're printing exactly or close to exactly what's on the screen, so your print() method will just call the paint() method.

  • Kelvin 2010-02-09 15:49
    Can i apply for that job? Oh wait... I have more than 5 years of experiance...
  • Anon 2010-02-09 15:57
    I'm kinda surprised by all the attempts to explain the "someone like Kevin" requirement. It's quite obvious to me that HR asked the hiring manager what the requirements were and they listed off some requirements and then said something like "you know, like Kevin". The HR drone being as thick as too short planks just went right ahead and added that verbatim to the job description.
    If anything the 3-5 years experience is TRWTF. So you don't want anybody with 5+ years experience? Although again, the motivation here is that they want somebody with some experience, but they won't/can't pay for a lot of experience.
  • TimG 2010-02-09 15:59
    Fred:
    True story: a guy wanted me to build a website to make him rich. The specs: "Just like ebay, but for cars." He figured I'd do it in a couple evenings of my spare time as a favor (in other words, free) because he was a friend of my cousin.

    Another, equally dumb, true story: a guy (boyfriend of a friend of my now ex-girlfriend) wanted me to build him a website where, get this, there would be "web banners" that people would "click on" and this would generate him "income". This guy didn't seem to understand the whole users-come-to-websites-for-the-sake-of-content concept.

    No amount of explanation would get him to understand that search engines wouldn't magically bring users to his site full of ads. Finally the (blessedly brief) discussion ended with him accusing me of trying to steal his idea: "I'm going to patent this!" Good luck with that, man.
  • SQLDave 2010-02-09 16:14
    Sparky the IT Clown:
    So what's the Java API for posting comments?


    Pish!... Kevin would know.
  • SQLDave 2010-02-09 16:22
    Centricity:
    Aside from the part where the receptionist gave him his own evaluation form, it might well have been a test. Yeah, "Leave him in a room for an hour and see how he acts" is something from a bad movie, but it can be useful to see if a candidate reacts when unsupervised. Does he/she take the initiative and go find someone, fall asleep, start texting friends on a cell phone? If they'll do it during an interview, they'll do it during work.

    They blew it when they gave him the eval form, though.


    As long as we're going down the "bad movie" road... perhaps the eval form was ALSO part of that test. If he's honest, he returns the form to the receptionist with a comment along the lines of "I think perhaps you gave me this form accidentally. It doesn't look like one I should be filling out."

    Ya know, I think I'll suggest that we use this technique in the future. BRILLIANT!
  • Kevin 2010-02-09 16:33
    I left that position for another company that wanted someone like Paula.
  • SQLDave 2010-02-09 16:34
    Just this guy, you know?:
    These jerks are all alike. They have grandiose ideas and thinks no one else has thought of them first; they can't take criticism and insult anyone who tries; they can talk big to woo investors and keep their sorry little empires afloat; they promise the impossible to their clients and expect their employees to deliver (and berate them when they fail).


    Based on my experience, I agree wholeheartedly.
  • SQLDave 2010-02-09 16:43
    sino:
    Stephen:
    What is it about CEO's that makes them so stupid?
    What is it about CEO's what? Semantic Differentials?

    Damn thee. I as just a-fixin' to post that very message.

    www DOT apostrophe DOT org DOT uk

    (akismet thought it was spam with the actual periods in the address... sheesh)
  • sino 2010-02-09 17:04
    SQLDave:
    sino:
    Stephen:
    What is it about CEO's that makes them so stupid?
    What is it about CEO's what? Semantic Differentials?

    Damn thee. I as just a-fixin' to post that very message.

    www DOT apostrophe DOT org DOT uk

    (akismet thought it was spam with the actual periods in the address... sheesh)
    TRWTF... ;)
  • forgottenlord 2010-02-09 17:14
    Procedural:
    Procedural:
    Isn't the "someone like Kevin" a Douglas Adams reference ?


    "Anyway, this neutrino hit something. Nothing terribly important in the scale of things, you might say. But the problem with saying something like that is that you would be talking cross-eyed badger spit. Once something actually happens somewhere in something as wildly complicated as the Universe, Kevin knows where it will all end up — where "Kevin" is any random entity that doesn't know nothin' about nothin'."


    Well in that case, would you want someone that isn't like Kevin?
  • RogerInHawaii 2010-02-09 18:25
    Machtyn:

    Suffice to say, I should of recognized that.


    I should HAVE recognized that.
  • RogerInHawaii 2010-02-09 18:33
    Anon:
    If anything the 3-5 years experience is TRWTF. So you don't want anybody with 5+ years experience? Although again, the motivation here is that they want somebody with some experience, but they won't/can't pay for a lot of experience.


    I encounter this all the time. Nearly every job posting for software engineers specifies 3 - 5 years experience. I have 35 years experience. But they're looking for someone barely out of college. Someone they can pay the least amount of money. And they also want that 3-5-year person to have tons of experience in all the latest technologies. I only ever came across one manager who actually valued the fact that I had genuine EXPERIENCE in software engineering and that my experience would contribute to the success of the company. But then some higher-ups decided to have their hardware supplier write the software for them.
  • RogerInHawaii 2010-02-09 18:40
    YES ! Yahoo! Yippee! I'm famous!

    My story actually got published on "TheDailyWTF" !

    When do the residuals start pouring in?

    Do I get a WTF T-shirt?

    - Roger Garrett
  • CiH 2010-02-09 19:09
    Roger in Hawaii, eh?

    I didn't find CEO John's ad on Hawii's Craigslist, but I found something almost as good.

    http://honolulu.craigslist.org/oah/sof/1578913860.html


    I NEED SOMEONE TO TRANSLATE MY IDEA FOR A SOCIAL NETWORKING iPHONE APPLICATION INTO A REALITY ON THE APP STORE. IF YOU HAVE PRODUCED AN APPLICATION THAT IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FOR THE iPHONE I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

    DEPENDING ON EXPERTISE LEVEL I AM OPEN TO A RANGE OF COMPENSATION PATHS.
  • Procedural 2010-02-09 20:28
    forgottenlord:
    Procedural:
    Procedural:
    Isn't the "someone like Kevin" a Douglas Adams reference ?


    "Anyway, this neutrino hit something. Nothing terribly important in the scale of things, you might say. But the problem with saying something like that is that you would be talking cross-eyed badger spit. Once something actually happens somewhere in something as wildly complicated as the Universe, Kevin knows where it will all end up — where "Kevin" is any random entity that doesn't know nothin' about nothin'."


    Well in that case, would you want someone that isn't like Kevin?


    For a tester ? No, that's almost an asset.
  • Mr.' 2010-02-09 20:48
    Sparky the IT Clown:
    So what's the Java API for posting comments?
    It's pretty straightforward. You can use it like this:
    CommentGeneratorFactory factory = CommentGeneratorFactory.getInstance();
    
    String textSource = Configuration.getInstance().getDataDir() + "enterprise/text/paula.xml";
    MarkovParams params = new MarkovParams();
    params.symbolType = MarkovParams.Words;
    params.markovStringLength = 3;
    TextGenerationPolicy generationPolicy = new TextGenerationPolicy(new MarkovTextGenerator(textSource, params));
    CommentGenerator generator = factory.getCommentGenerator(generationPolicy);
    Comment comment = generator.generateComment(policy);
    String forumDataFile = Configuration.getInstance().getConfigDir() + "enterprise/fora/dailywtf.xml";
    Poster poster = PosterFactory.getInstance().getPoster(forumDataFile);
    poster.setParam("name", "Mark V Shaney");
    poster.setParam("subject", "RE: The Missing Interview, Infantile Expectancies, & More");
    poster.setParam("comment", new CommentSerializer(comment).getSerializedData());
    poster.setParam("appendCaptchaToPost", true);
    poster.post(new HttpTransport(Configuration.getInstance().getConfigItem("forumName"), Configuration.getInstance().getHttpPortNumber()));
  • korvaks 2010-02-09 21:04
    Machtyn:
    moo:
    "Sufficed to say" -- what? Those words (is that even a word?) don't make any sense. I think you meant "suffice it to say", which, believe it or not, isn't just a series of sounds you can make with your mouth, but an actual set of words with meaning! Specifically, it means "it should be enough to say...", implying that you're understating your point. Suffice it to say, you should know that.


    Suffice to say, I should of recognized that.


    (I wonder how many people will realize what the second mistake is in that sentence.)


    That's easy. Recognise is spelled with an 's'. As is realise. OK, so I use UK spelling, but I know the actual problem:
    you misspelled "'ve" (which is an contraction of "have") as " of".
  • Nick 2010-02-10 00:50
    Centricity:
    Aside from the part where the receptionist gave him his own evaluation form, it might well have been a test. Yeah, "Leave him in a room for an hour and see how he acts" is something from a bad movie, but it can be useful to see if a candidate reacts when unsupervised.
    Reminds me of a good movie called "The Method": http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427582/

    Adding a bit more text so the comment system doesn't think this is spam.
  • OMG_PONIES!!! 2010-02-10 03:07
    moo:
    "Sufficed to say" -- what? Those words (is that even a word?) don't make any sense. I think you meant "suffice it to say", which, believe it or not, isn't just a series of sounds you can make with your mouth, but an actual set of words with meaning! Specifically, it means "it should be enough to say...", implying that you're understating your point. Suffice it to say, you should know that.



    Actually it's suffice to say, no "it".
    You should know that.
  • Rodnas 2010-02-10 05:03
    I am exactly like Kevin, and so is my wife
  • Someone too lazy to login and at work 2010-02-10 05:38
    Jabba:
    More to the point, Kevin is in a low level role and wants to move up in the world. His boss agrees, but HR has to create a position for Kevin to move into. Because it is a new position, HR has to advertise it, but they have no idea what the position entails. So they ask Kevin's boss to write the position description. Kevin's boss is usually too busy for HR stuff, so gives it to Kevin to write (after all, Kevin is the one who wants to move on up).
    You end up with a position tailored to Kevin (although not usually to this extent).

    I know, I have been on both sides of the Kevin advert (as the Kevin writing the JD, and as the hapless interviewee responding to a ad for a position that you are never going to fill - because you aren't Kevin).


    Hmm, here the second case would possibly never happen. As far as I know all positions have to be advertised internally first, so you would just advertise internally and then hire Kevin for the role. I don't know that there's any requirement that the role be advertised externally as well.
  • Someone too lazy to login and at work 2010-02-10 05:45
    korvaks:
    Machtyn:
    moo:
    "Sufficed to say" -- what? Those words (is that even a word?) don't make any sense. I think you meant "suffice it to say", which, believe it or not, isn't just a series of sounds you can make with your mouth, but an actual set of words with meaning! Specifically, it means "it should be enough to say...", implying that you're understating your point. Suffice it to say, you should know that.


    Suffice to say, I should of recognized that.


    (I wonder how many people will realize what the second mistake is in that sentence.)


    That's easy. Recognise is spelled with an 's'. As is realise. OK, so I use UK spelling, but I know the actual problem:
    you misspelled "'ve" (which is an contraction of "have") as " of".


    The OED favours the -ize suffix over -ise and both are perfectly valid in British English. In fact both have been in use in English for longer than the USA has existed.
  • grammer nasty 2010-02-10 06:01
    WhiskeyJack:
    Adriano:

    Otherwise, 10 minutes are still barely in my margin of politeness.


    Uh, did you guys all forget that the guy showed up at 4:30 for a 4:45 interview? By 4:55pm, he'd been waiting far longer than 10 minutes.


    But the first 15 minutes were his fault
  • Anon Jr. 2010-02-10 06:20
    Getting someone overqualified is almost as bad as getting someone underqualified. If you are a senior forced to do grunt's job you are going to do it half heartedly and will go away at the earliest opportunity, and you probably don't have the stamina to do the manual labor part that is required. Would you really go and fetch your boss a cup of cofee if you're old enough to be his father?
  • Bellinghman 2010-02-10 06:23
    OMG_PONIES!!!:
    Actually it's suffice to say, no "it".
    You should know that.
    Oh, I do love the Intaweb. You can always find someone spouting incorrect information, and swearing it's true.

    For what it's worth, my hardback dictionary (Chambers 20th Century) insists on the 'it'. It notes that 'suffice it' is equivalent to 'it is enough'.

    'suffice it to say' => 'it is enough to say'
    'suffice to say' => 'is enough to say' (?)

    Leaving out the 'it' is therefore incorrect according to Chambers, since it omits the subject. It is probably a widespread usage however, and given that the phrase has become pretty much a black box, I'm not going to jump on anyone who elides the 'it' any more than I'm going to correct someone who says 'please' on its own rather than the original full phrase. But please, please, don't think that 'suffice it to say' is incorrect just because you don't encounter it.
  • New Labour - Rewarding Failure since 1997 2010-02-10 06:27
    Annoyed with RBS:
    RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) are that useless and inefficient that this particular story re. the interview doesn't surprise me. I've often done business with them and failed to get any sort of response or reply without bullying and chasing.

    They deserve to be in the terrible shape they're now in, it's comeuppance.


    I'd hardly call being thrown millions of taxpayer's money as a bailout "comeuppance".
  • Bosshog 2010-02-10 06:33
    Fred:
    True story: a guy wanted me to build a website to make him rich. The specs: "Just like ebay, but for cars." He figured I'd do it in a couple evenings of my spare time as a favor (in other words, free) because he was a friend of my cousin.

    Amen brother - people request things like this from me all the time! Also: "I've had a great idea: why don't you have a great idea and then I can be your business partner!"
  • sagaciter 2010-02-10 06:34
    Anon Jr.:
    Getting someone overqualified is almost as bad as getting someone underqualified. If you are a senior forced to do grunt's job you are going to do it half heartedly and will go away at the earliest opportunity, and you probably don't have the stamina to do the manual labor part that is required. Would you really go and fetch your boss a cup of cofee if you're old enough to be his father?

    Thats what secretaries are for.
    If the boss aint important enough to have one of those, he's not important enough to suck up to. :)
  • Bosshog 2010-02-10 07:12
    SQLDave:

    As long as we're going down the "bad movie" road... perhaps the eval form was ALSO part of that test. If he's honest, he returns the form to the receptionist with a comment along the lines of "I think perhaps you gave me this form accidentally. It doesn't look like one I should be filling out."

    Ya know, I think I'll suggest that we use this technique in the future. BRILLIANT!

    Maybe his whole life is now part of the test! When he's on his death bed, the HR reps will spring out of the cupboard, give him the antidote and tell him he starts on Monday.
  • petere963 2010-02-10 07:23
    ... that would be ebay then ...
  • lesle 2010-02-10 08:37
    RogerInHawaii:
    Machtyn:

    Suffice to say, I should of recognized that.


    I should HAVE recognized that.


    I'd've written: I should've recognized that.
  • Anon 2010-02-10 09:34
    Someone too lazy to login and at work:
    korvaks:
    Machtyn:
    moo:
    "Sufficed to say" -- what? Those words (is that even a word?) don't make any sense. I think you meant "suffice it to say", which, believe it or not, isn't just a series of sounds you can make with your mouth, but an actual set of words with meaning! Specifically, it means "it should be enough to say...", implying that you're understating your point. Suffice it to say, you should know that.


    Suffice to say, I should of recognized that.


    (I wonder how many people will realize what the second mistake is in that sentence.)


    That's easy. Recognise is spelled with an 's'. As is realise. OK, so I use UK spelling, but I know the actual problem:
    you misspelled "'ve" (which is an contraction of "have") as " of".


    The OED favours the -ize suffix over -ise and both are perfectly valid in British English. In fact both have been in use in English for longer than the USA has existed.


    Not only that, but in today's economy I feel it is important to use the -ize suffix because otherwise z is in danger of being laid off altogether. And with today's job market, it's never going to find another gig. Think of it's kids!
    It is already suffering from an identity crisis from not knowing if it's "zee" or "zed".
  • Infantile Expectant 2010-02-10 09:42
    I wonder if Roger still has the CEO's e-mail address.
    I, too, would like to try pissing him off.
  • Anonymous 2010-02-10 10:27
    Scott L:
    Printing in Java is actually quite easy - you make something implement Printable, and then you draw to the Graphics object in the print() method you must make. Then you create a PrinterJob from withing java.awt.print.

    In most cases, you're printing exactly or close to exactly what's on the screen, so your print() method will just call the paint() method.

    I think you've badly missed the point of this website. These aren't challenges for you to complete, hotshot, they're examples of morons out in the field of IT. On second thought, your work might actually fit in nicely around here...
  • Stephen 2010-02-10 11:28
    Carl:
    Stephen:
    What is it about CEO's that makes them so stupid?

    The last start up I worked for, the CEO had this mentality that he shouldn't have to pay me. So, he in fact stopped paying me... I stayed around and didn't get paid for 6 months.

    If you stayed more than two hours after the first paycheck went missing, I'm thinking it wasn't the CEO who was "so stupid"...


    Well, yea. I said I was young and stupid.

    I was in college still, I had flexible hours, and the guy promised me the world. The next paycheck was always right around the corner, and we were "all going to be millionaires". Sigh.

  • Last King of Scotland 2010-02-10 11:33
    Phill:
    st0815:
    So you were supposed to be interviewed at 4:45 and at 4:55 you decided the job wasn't worth waiting for any more? The job market must be brilliant in the UK ...


    Thankfully the job market is pretty good over here. Well, at least good enough that you don't have to beg and be grateful for any job that comes along.
    A job interview is not just to see if you are sufficiently awesome and lucky that someone wants to give you a job. It's also about seeing whether the company is a good fit for you.
    I'm pretty sure I don't want to work somewhere where my boss managed to forget about an interview and I was left sitting in a room by myself for 20 minutes.
    It may be an honest mistake but, in my experience, those kind of companies tend to have no documented requirements, awful code, barely implemented source control, and an unpleasant work culture.



    // Java ___Printing___ API

    public static void translateAndPrintComment(string CommentToTranslate)
    {
    if (CommentToTranslate == "It may be an honest mistake but, in my experience, those kind of companies tend to have no documented requirements, awful code, barely implemented source control, and an unpleasant work culture.")
    {
    System.Out.Println("This is normal in just about every company I've ever worked in.");
    }
    else
    {
    System.Out.Println(CommentToTranslate + " Brillant");
    }
    // etc

    }
  • amused 2010-02-10 17:09
    Rodnas:
    I am exactly like Kevin, and so is my wife


    This is pure gold! GOLD I SAY!
  • mypalmike 2010-02-10 18:21
    aristos_achaion:
    Honestly, probably even a misguided or incorrect attempt at an answer would've been better...who wants to hire somebody who just shuts down and stares blankly when presented with a problem he doesn't know how to solve?


    I'd far more prefer hearing, "I don't know. I've never printed with Java before," than a bunch of verbal diarrhea that is just plain wrong. Where I work, we don't hire people who try to BS their way through interview questions. It means they are weasels.
  • StychoKiller 2010-02-10 19:46
    forgottenlord:
    Procedural:
    Procedural:
    Isn't the "someone like Kevin" a Douglas Adams reference ?


    "Anyway, this neutrino hit something. Nothing terribly important in the scale of things, you might say. But the problem with saying something like that is that you would be talking cross-eyed badger spit. Once something actually happens somewhere in something as wildly complicated as the Universe, Kevin knows where it will all end up — where "Kevin" is any random entity that doesn't know nothin' about nothin'."


    Well in that case, would you want someone that isn't like Kevin?


    Actually, in that case you want someone that's almost, but not entirely, unlike Kevin.
    Captcha: incassum - noun, the technique of using knotted bits of string for calculating inventories.
  • gdjfkghl 2010-02-11 03:26
    iToad:
    The Infantile Expectancies CEO is wasting his time in his current position. A big thinker with a total disregard for reality is more suited for politics - or investment banking.


    Do you really think that Steve Jobs must go into politics?
  • Tanel 2010-02-11 06:22
    Maybe they ought to hire Kevin Mitnick:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Mitnick
  • Tanel 2010-02-11 06:22
    Maybe they ought to hire Kevin Mitnick:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Mitnick
  • Jay 2010-02-11 13:38
    RE Infantile Expectancies:

    I long ago learned a simple rule of thumb: If you ask someone a question like "How do you know that?", "Do you have any evidence to back that up?", or "What makes you think this will work?", responses tend to fall in two categories.

    Category A will explain their reasons and their evidence. Even if I do not have the expertise to really judge the validity of the evidence they offer, the fact that they can present evidence and logical argument indicates they have at least given this subject serious thought. Sure, there are kooks who can put together elaborate theories by piling one unsubstantiated claim on top of another, but these people tend to be relatively rare.

    Category B will reply with something to the effect of, "I'm an expert, you should just trust my judgment", "You wouldn't understand, this is far too complicated", or "How dare you question me!" When I hear that kind of response, I take it as a good working assumption that the person has no credible evidence to back up what he's saying. Sure, it's possible that he has a pile of evidence and he's just fed up with being asked stupid questions by ignorant people -- but usually not. Knowledgeable, intelligent people are usually eager to explain all the hard work they had to go to to arrive at their conclusions. When someone tells me that he has lots of evidence to prove his claims but he refuses to show it to me, I just don't believe him.

    This applies to everything from ideas for start-up companies to politicians' policy proposals to lots of things that are called "science" today. If the best argument you can give me is, "All the experts agree this is true, we don't have time to explain the evidence to you, and if you won't take my word for it that just proves that you're some kind of crazy irrational extremist" -- thank you, but I regret I must decline to invest in your company / vote for you / donate to your cause.
  • Sou Eu 2010-02-11 16:17
    Printing in Java is actually quite easy - you make something implement Printable, and then you draw to the Graphics object in the print() method you must make. Then you create a PrinterJob from withing java.awt.print.

    You would think it was that simple, but you must deal with font metrics and paging. Oh, and why does Java insist on centering graphics vertically on the page?
  • Tom 2010-02-11 21:50
    Replicating functionality available on google is actually a perfectly reasonable thing to do for embedded systems that may not have internet access.
  • RogerInHawaii 2010-02-11 22:25
    Anon Jr.:
    Getting someone overqualified is almost as bad as getting someone underqualified. If you are a senior forced to do grunt's job you are going to do it half heartedly and will go away at the earliest opportunity, and you probably don't have the stamina to do the manual labor part that is required. Would you really go and fetch your boss a cup of cofee if you're old enough to be his father?


    The problem is that nearly every ad I've come across, and even those jobs I've found through employment agencies, indicate a desire for someone with 3 - 5 years experience. Does that mean that there are no jobs requiring a higher level of experience? Is every software engineer obsolete after five years?

    In my particular case I am retired but always open to working on a new and interesting project, or for a start-up. And I've got plenty of energy and enthusiasm for the right position. Although I would draw the line at getting coffee for the boss
  • RogerInHawaii 2010-02-11 22:39
    Infantile Expectant:
    I wonder if Roger still has the CEO's e-mail address.
    I, too, would like to try pissing him off.


    j.catalyst@hawaiiantel.net

    But you didn't hear it from me.

    And his craigslist posting was back in June, so it's long gone.
  • CreepySpiritualGuy 2010-02-12 02:56
    RogerInHawaii:
    Infantile Expectant:
    I wonder if Roger still has the CEO's e-mail address.
    I, too, would like to try pissing him off.


    j.catalyst@hawaiiantel.net

    But you didn't hear it from me.

    And his craigslist posting was back in June, so it's long gone.


    Ugh!

    http://www.flagforallpeople.com/contactus.html
  • Cbuttius 2010-02-12 05:51
    Problem with programming nowadays. Not an art anymore, just a matter of knowing hundreds of APIs and being expected to know the business logic when nobody who actually knows it will spec it properly and they are all far too busy to explain it to the new guy properly, and when they new guy actually suggests improvements he gets yelled down with "don't change anything, you have no idea what you might break".

    Probably why the best programmers run from one job to another disillusioned.
  • Anonymous 2010-02-12 06:44
    Phill:

    It may be an honest mistake but, in my experience, those kind of companies tend to have no documented requirements, awful code, barely implemented source control, and an unpleasant work culture.


    You have no idea how closely you summed up working for that bank
  • tristique 2010-02-13 10:03
    gdjfkghl:
    iToad:
    The Infantile Expectancies CEO is wasting his time in his current position. A big thinker with a total disregard for reality is more suited for politics - or investment banking.


    Do you really think that Steve Jobs must go into politics?


    I'm opposed to mixing politics and religion.
  • Doug 2010-02-19 20:06
    That's why you see those signs outside that say 'these premises monitored by cctv' (or some variant).
    No, you do not get to put up hidden cameras and record people without warning.
  • Paul 2010-02-23 07:09
    RogerInHawaii:

    The problem is that nearly every ad I've come across, and even those jobs I've found through employment agencies, indicate a desire for someone with 3 - 5 years experience. Does that mean that there are no jobs requiring a higher level of experience? Is every software engineer obsolete after five years?


    Ah, but you're not thinking laterally!

    It doesn't say what you have to have 3-5 years' experience in!

    I have 3-5 years experience in... having a daughter in Junior School, or... playing Eve Online, or... Visual Studio 2005 development

    I have a lot more experience in C++ development or Windows development.

    Also, it doesn't say it needs to be the most recent 3-5 years. So I have 3-5 years' experience in embedded programming, although that was 20 years ago.

    It CAN'T be wanting "3-5 years' experience in everything", as I have much more experience than that in walking, or breathing. Even someone called Kevin will probably have more than 3-5 years' experience of being 'someone like Kevin' before they are of any use to this employer.



  • Ferret Chere 2010-03-01 19:49
    Could we get a link to the company or job ad offering equity in the company? I enjoy playing with the minds of morons like that.
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  • Ron 2010-06-10 16:07
    Adriano:


    It does sound like that. Unless the receptionist (who was leaving, remember) meant that the interviewer had already left too. Perhaps that's what the interviewee meant by the words 'oh dear, she forgot about you'.

    Otherwise, 10 minutes are still barely in my margin of politeness.


    Just curious what would be the acceptable limit to wait without checking? Clearly in this case, 10 minutes was too long.
  • Ron 2010-06-10 16:16
    Infantile Expectant:
    I wonder if Roger still has the CEO's e-mail address.
    I, too, would like to try pissing him off.


    Funny, I had the same thought! Almost as much fun as baiting Nigerian email scammers...
  • Ron 2010-06-10 16:29
    Mike:

    Yeah, I'm Good Old Mike, and my very last assignment at my last employer was to replace myself on the way out the door. I finally settled on 3 new employees and let my old understudy weed them out.


    Reminds me of a company I saw that was looking for one person to essentially do the work of 3, for the pay of 1/2 of one. I actually talked to them and told them that what they needed was 3 people and the company I work for has at least that many doing the tasks they required. Their response was that the position has only ever been held by one person and there was no chance of it being split. I didn't ask, but I assume the position was held by a fresh from college, unmarried kid that didn't have a life and liked to be abused, but eventually grew tired of it.
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  • Uncle Buck 2011-06-10 10:39
    I understand Kevin's frustration.

    I took a day off to prepare. Went to the interview. The receptionist wasn't aware I was coming and then 20 minutes later a guy brought me to a conference room. After three generic question I asked.

    "How long have you been here?"... "Two Months, the manager assigned to interview you has gone home sick today..."

    "What is the growth rate and turn over level?"... "I am not sure but sure sales are up"

    "Describe a type of task for this position."<rephrased>..."You will make minor tweaks to formulations"

    "Couldn't the machine operators make these on own and file with office?.... "Probably"

    "Where is the money coming from for the rapid expansion?"... "Private investors" <Knowing two SEC are filed related to excessive salaries and misleading investors>

    "We'll have you back next Thursday for a second interview with Barbara." Out of humor I called Barbara and she said candidate list was presented to HR for processing....

  • Prism 2011-07-11 06:48
    Franz Kafka:
    Fred:
    True story: a guy wanted me to build a website to make him rich. The specs: "Just like ebay, but for cars." He figured I'd do it in a couple evenings of my spare time as a favor (in other words, free) because he was a friend of my cousin.


    My first though: "Why would I do all that and just give it to you?"


    Because it was his fuckin idea dammit!
  • Mike 2012-11-20 17:19
    This is why it's not a good idea to read dailywtf at work. Everyone in the office is staring at me because I'm laughing hysterically.