The Next Big Thing, "The Best" Interview, & Too Primitive for COBOL

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  • Sec Ces 2009-05-13 09:10
    Oh yeah? Well I met your mother in South Africa. Woulda done her too but she was too old and primitive.
  • Rich 2009-05-13 09:12
    Seriously, guy doesn't even recognise the capital city of South Africa!

    Oh wait, or is that Johannesburg...?






    (hee hee)
  • Mel 2009-05-13 09:12
    Sec Ces:
    Oh yeah? Well I met your mother in South Africa. Woulda done her too but she was too old and primitive.

    Which might've sounded a bit odd, coming from 'Jill'...
  • Charles Bond 2009-05-13 09:14
    When I was in my 20s, I had this long list of attributes I was looking for in a woman.

    By the time I was 30, that list was down to one item: sane.

    Now that I am 40, I'm looking for the same thing in a supervisor.
  • C4I_Officer 2009-05-13 09:16
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer...oh well, I've lived through worse. Upon hearing my country of origin, certain people were expecting a to see a dark-skinned, Muslim guy, only to see another white, Christian guy :-D

    The blogging guy too...met a lot of those over ambitious guys that don't really know what their idea implies or if it has already been implemented. I even almost worked for one of them, once.

    About "The Best"...heh...self-confidence and relentlessness gone very, very wrong.

    Captcha: nimis.

    Oh, and fritz ;-)
  • campkev 2009-05-13 09:17
    Mel:
    Sec Ces:
    Oh yeah? Well I met your mother in South Africa. Woulda done her too but she was too old and primitive.

    Which might've sounded a bit HOT, coming from 'Jill'...

    FTFY
  • Scott 2009-05-13 09:20
    campkev:
    Mel:
    Sec Ces:
    Oh yeah? Well I met your mother in South Africa. Woulda done her too but she was too old and primitive.

    Which might've sounded a bit HOT, coming from 'Jill'...

    FTFY

    Actually when someone's mom gets together with 'Jill', I kinda like 'em primitive.
  • pitchingchris 2009-05-13 09:30
    I'll call the phone number thats blacked out ... 555-1234
  • You didn't see me right 2009-05-13 09:32
    Troy:
    Hey guys, are we turning tricks for pennies today?


    Yeah sure, why not.
  • IT Girl 2009-05-13 09:33
    C4I_Officer:

    The blogging guy too...met a lot of those over ambitious guys that don't really know what their idea implies or if it has already been implemented. I even almost worked for one of them, once.



    One of my favourite sitcoms has a scene where the loser son tells his dad that he's finally got a great lead on work. He's going to become a "dot com millionaire".

    His dad responds with "You have to have a great idea first" to which the son says, "That is a great idea... dot come millionaire"

    Fade to the next scene where he's asking his tech saavy younger brother where the "dot" key is on the keyboard. When shown the next question is, of course, "now, where's the com key".

    Love it!

    Captcha: augue - Charlie Brown's been reading these posts too.
  • EatenByAGrue 2009-05-13 09:34
    Apparently CPound has remembered one of the first things they teach you about contracts: a verbal contract is worth the paper it's written on.
  • Jamie 2009-05-13 09:38
    BLOG-GING guy:

    "Yeah, I'll take the job, and I'll start working from home 'cuz I have internet access there."

    Then just kick back and install some open source blogging package. Oh, and get another real job, too.

  • Demographics Dude 2009-05-13 09:40
    C4I_Officer:
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer...oh well, I've lived through worse. Upon hearing my country of origin, certain people were expecting a to see a dark-skinned, Muslim guy, only to see another white, Christian guy :-D

    Oh, you're from Minneapolis?
  • Zapp Brannigan 2009-05-13 09:44
    Charles Bond:
    When I was in my 20s, I had this long list of attributes I was looking for in a woman.

    By the time I was 30, that list was down to one item: sane.

    Now that I am 40, I'm looking for the same thing in a supervisor.
    I'm 48 your standards are too high.
  • Zapp Brannigan 2009-05-13 09:47
    Scott:
    campkev:
    Mel:
    Sec Ces:
    Oh yeah? Well I met your mother in South Africa. Woulda done her too but she was too old and primitive.

    Which might've sounded a bit HOT, coming from 'Jill'...

    FTFY

    Actually when someone's mom gets together with 'Jill', I kinda like 'em primitive.
    Dude, that's uncool. You're talking about his mom.
  • Trondster 2009-05-13 09:47
    The first interviewer - would that be Jeff, by any chance? After the MMO project failed?
  • srm 2009-05-13 09:52
    come on boys and girls!
    that's made up, right?
    that never happened.
    did it?
    come on! please - this can't be true!
    ...
    I want to cry.
  • Charles400 2009-05-13 09:52
    Post:
    “Okay,” he said in disappointed tone, “well now I know you’re lying. I mean really, everybody knows that Africa hardly even has electricity, let alone computers, let alone COBOL programmers! You could have at least picked a place like Scotland!”


    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...
  • DesGrieux 2009-05-13 09:55
    fail-ing
  • Alan 2009-05-13 09:56
    Once in Aberdeen I was in a taxi heading to a client. The taxi driver asked me what I was doing, I said I was going to fix a computer...

    At that point he slammed on the brakes and exclaimed "There's no computers where you're going!"

    Turns out he had misheard the address, but to this day I wonder where he was originally taking me.
  • Jaco 2009-05-13 10:03
    IT Girl:
    C4I_Officer:

    The blogging guy too...met a lot of those over ambitious guys that don't really know what their idea implies or if it has already been implemented. I even almost worked for one of them, once.



    One of my favourite sitcoms has a scene where the loser son tells his dad that he's finally got a great lead on work. He's going to become a "dot com millionaire".

    His dad responds with "You have to have a great idea first" to which the son says, "That is a great idea... dot come millionaire"

    Fade to the next scene where he's asking his tech saavy younger brother where the "dot" key is on the keyboard. When shown the next question is, of course, "now, where's the com key".

    Love it!

    Captcha: augue - Charlie Brown's been reading these posts too.


    I remember that... It's from an episode of My Family, isn't it?

    People really find it hard to believe, sometimes, just how much technological advances are made in South Africa. (and yes, I am a programmer in Cape Town :-P)
  • Bruce W 2009-05-13 10:13
    Jaco:

    People really find it hard to believe, sometimes, just how much technological advances are made in South Africa. (and yes, I am a programmer in Cape Town :-P)


    But are you a COBOL programming? We still haven't proven if Cape Town is cool enough for COBOL.
  • SenTree 2009-05-13 10:14
    Charles400:
    Post:
    “Okay,” he said in disappointed tone, “well now I know you’re lying. I mean really, everybody knows that Africa hardly even has electricity, let alone computers, let alone COBOL programmers! You could have at least picked a place like Scotland!”


    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...

    Now just a frakking centon ...
  • T-Biscuit 2009-05-13 10:15
    Interview WTF's are my favorite, they have so much entertainment value.
  • IT Girl 2009-05-13 10:16
    Jaco:

    I remember that... It's from an episode of My Family, isn't it?

    People really find it hard to believe, sometimes, just how much technological advances are made in South Africa. (and yes, I am a programmer in Cape Town :-P)


    It is.

    And the only reason I didn't comment on the Cape Town interview is because my jaw hurt from hitting the desk. The incredible ignorance of some people astounds me. I mean, seriously what makes him think there are Cobol programmers in Scotland? Ridiculous...
  • Code Dependent 2009-05-13 10:25
    Scott:
    Actually when someone's mom gets together with 'Jill', I kinda like 'em primitive.
    Google "Robert Crumb's Angelfood McSpade".
  • dystopia 2009-05-13 10:28
    it's awesome that cape town now does a large portion of offshore coding for backwards places like the united states

    captcha: distineo
    i don't know what it is, but it sounds awesome
  • Thnurg 2009-05-13 10:30
    Scotland is supposed to be primitive according to some. I used to work for an Edinburgh based software house. On a business trip to Athens I shared a taxi with two American girls. They asked what I did and when I told them I was a computer programmer in Scotland they replied "You have all that over there?"

    Sheesh.
  • Code Dependent 2009-05-13 10:34
    C4I_Officer:
    Upon hearing my country of origin, certain people were expecting a to see a dark-skinned, Muslim guy, only to see another white, Christian guy :-D
    My college math professor was from South Africa. A sixty-something white female who spoke with a crisp British accent. Or at least, it was what I would call "British". Obviously, it was actually a "South African accent". She would assign certain problems from the textbook as homework, and finish up with, "So do that lot, and see you tomorreau."
  • Code Slave 2009-05-13 10:36
    Charles400:
    Post:
    “Okay,” he said in disappointed tone, “well now I know you’re lying. I mean really, everybody knows that Africa hardly even has electricity, let alone computers, let alone COBOL programmers! You could have at least picked a place like Scotland!”


    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...


    We buried them there for good reason! Would you idiots please stop digging them up?
  • Schnapple 2009-05-13 10:41
    C4I_Officer:
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer...


    Not to excuse him or imply that it's OK, but the story opens with "Nearly twenty-five years ago...", so hopefully the person in the story isn't indicative of today's society. Or he's become more enlightened since then.

    Or he's dead. That would work, too.
  • Jaco 2009-05-13 10:42
    Bruce W:
    Jaco:

    People really find it hard to believe, sometimes, just how much technological advances are made in South Africa. (and yes, I am a programmer in Cape Town :-P)


    But are you a COBOL programming? We still haven't proven if Cape Town is cool enough for COBOL.


    The most popular payroll package in SA was developed by Cape Town-based company in COBOL...
  • Jaco 2009-05-13 10:45
    IT Girl:


    And the only reason I didn't comment on the Cape Town interview is because my jaw hurt from hitting the desk. The incredible ignorance of some people astounds me. I mean, seriously what makes him think there are Cobol programmers in Scotland? Ridiculous...


    This is totally off topic, but have you by any chance ever worked at M-Web?

    Captcha: ingenium
  • Pim 2009-05-13 10:52
    Bruce W:
    But are you a COBOL programming?
    Sorry, which language is that in?
  • Schnapple 2009-05-13 10:57
    T-Biscuit:
    Interview WTF's are my favorite, they have so much entertainment value.


    Yeah they're easily my favorites, too. I would love to go on one of these interviews where you walk away thinking the company is a complete disaster. Or in the case of "blog-ging" guy, an abortion aspiring to be a disaster.
  • jobrahms 2009-05-13 11:02
    C4I_Officer:
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer...oh well, I've lived through worse. Upon hearing my country of origin, certain people were expecting a to see a dark-skinned, Muslim guy, only to see another white, Christian guy :-D

    The blogging guy too...met a lot of those over ambitious guys that don't really know what their idea implies or if it has already been implemented. I even almost worked for one of them, once.

    About "The Best"...heh...self-confidence and relentlessness gone very, very wrong.

    Captcha: nimis.

    Oh, and fritz ;-)


    We have a programmer from South Africa here at work. He's the weirdest-looking African American I have ever seen...
  • Sionnach 2009-05-13 11:12
    Same here!
  • Dan T. 2009-05-13 11:13
    The iPhone does have a .com key on its virtual keyboard, at least in some entry modes (where you're typing an Internet address).
  • hikari 2009-05-13 11:17
    Code Dependent:
    C4I_Officer:
    Upon hearing my country of origin, certain people were expecting a to see a dark-skinned, Muslim guy, only to see another white, Christian guy :-D
    My college math professor was from South Africa. A sixty-something white female who spoke with a crisp British accent. Or at least, it was what I would call "British". Obviously, it was actually a "South African accent". She would assign certain problems from the textbook as homework, and finish up with, "So do that lot, and see you tomorreau."


    One of my English teachers at Secondary School was South African; she was fond of saying "You lie!".

    Nice lady; she and her husband quit South Africa because they refused to live in a country with apartheid.

    Also, their accent is nothing like ours :P
  • Maurits 2009-05-13 11:21
    Rich:
    Seriously, guy doesn't even recognise the capital city of South Africa!

    Oh wait, or is that Johannesburg...?


    South Africa has three (count 'em, three) capitals.

    One of them is, indeed, Cape Town.

    None of them are Jo'burg, though.
  • SenTree 2009-05-13 11:22
    jobrahms:
    We have a programmer from South Africa here at work. He's the weirdest-looking African American I have ever seen...

    Reminds me of the overly-PC TV interviewer:
    "So, Mr. Mandela, how does this issue affect you as an African American ?"
  • A Nonny Mouse 2009-05-13 11:22
    Jaco:
    IT Girl:


    And the only reason I didn't comment on the Cape Town interview is because my jaw hurt from hitting the desk. The incredible ignorance of some people astounds me. I mean, seriously what makes him think there are Cobol programmers in Scotland? Ridiculous...


    This is totally off topic, but have you by any chance ever worked at M-Web?

    Captcha: ingenium
    Jaco - I'm not IT girl, but I worked there :) back in the beginning of 2000...
  • amischiefr 2009-05-13 11:24
    Is it just me or have we seen the first one before?
  • operagost 2009-05-13 11:33
    C4I_Officer:
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer

    I think ignorant covers it pretty well, since he didn't indicate intolerance or feelings of superiority (some communities in some African countries have primitive cultures with low levels of technology; that's a fact) in his statement. When we throw the "racist" label around just because an unpopular or ignorant statement was made involving non-white people, it trivializes the suffering caused by true racism.
  • GalacticCowboy 2009-05-13 11:42
    Dan T.:
    The iPhone does have a .com key on its virtual keyboard, at least in some entry modes (where you're typing an Internet address).


    As does the Tablet PC input panel.
  • awfwefewa 2009-05-13 11:46
    Hey, I think I've worked with The Best at more than a few places.
  • Anonymous 2009-05-13 11:51
    operagost:
    When we throw the "racist" label around just because an unpopular or ignorant statement was made involving non-white people, it trivializes the suffering caused by true racism.
    I heard that racism was a myth perpetrated by the government to keep the white man down.
  • rast 2009-05-13 12:09
    hikari:
    One of my English teachers at Secondary School was South African; she was fond of saying "You lie!".

    Nice lady; she and her husband quit South Africa because they refused to live in a country with apartheid.


    ..and then, after apartheid ended in '94, they moved back?
  • qrt 2009-05-13 12:11
    I think someone listened a bit too much to a certain Tina Turner song
  • Jay 2009-05-13 12:13
    I wonder if there's ANY country in the world today where there aren't at least some computers around. I mean, even in the poorest, most primitive country, there must be some number of relatively wealthy people who have nice houses and all the modern conveniences. Powered by a generator in the basement if necessary.

    I recall years ago talking to a woman who was a missionary in, umm, Cote D'Ivoire I think, in a place remote from any modern civilization. But she had solar panels on the roof of her house that provided enough power to run lights and a small refrigerator.
  • IT Girl 2009-05-13 12:13
    Thnurg:
    Scotland is supposed to be primitive according to some. I used to work for an Edinburgh based software house. On a business trip to Athens I shared a taxi with two American girls. They asked what I did and when I told them I was a computer programmer in Scotland they replied "Y'all have that over there?"

    Sheesh.


    FTFY
  • Jay 2009-05-13 12:15
    Charles Bond:
    When I was in my 20s, I had this long list of attributes I was looking for in a woman.

    By the time I was 30, that list was down to one item: sane.

    Now that I am 40, I'm looking for the same thing in a supervisor.


    Hey, that's an idea!

    After two divorces, I'm beginning to think that hospitals for the criminally insane may NOT be the best places to go to meet women.
  • Jay 2009-05-13 12:16
    I thought Scotland was just a bunch of guys running around in skirts carrying claymores. They have COMPUTERS there now?
  • IT Girl 2009-05-13 12:18
    A Nonny Mouse:
    Jaco:
    IT Girl:


    And the only reason I didn't comment on the Cape Town interview is because my jaw hurt from hitting the desk. The incredible ignorance of some people astounds me. I mean, seriously what makes him think there are Cobol programmers in Scotland? Ridiculous...


    This is totally off topic, but have you by any chance ever worked at M-Web?

    Captcha: ingenium
    Jaco - I'm not IT girl, but I worked there :) back in the beginning of 2000...


    Nope
  • Americium 2009-05-13 12:24
    Jaco:

    People really find it hard to believe, sometimes, just how much technological advances are made in South Africa. (and yes, I am a programmer in Cape Town :-P)


    I'm more surprised by how many primitive life forms live near Cape Town. The Great Whites are well known. I'm partial to the Coelacanth, our oldest living four-limbed relative.
  • Mogri 2009-05-13 12:42
    C4I_Officer:
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer...


    You either need to look up "racist" or visit South Africa...
  • Milligan 2009-05-13 13:13
    Charles400:
    Post:
    “Okay,” he said in disappointed tone, “well now I know you’re lying. I mean really, everybody knows that Africa hardly even has electricity, let alone computers, let alone COBOL programmers! You could have at least picked a place like Scotland!”


    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...


    Yes, and the heiroglyphs are all upper-case.
  • CoyneT 2009-05-13 13:34
    Charles400:
    Post:
    “Okay,” he said in disappointed tone, “well now I know you’re lying. I mean really, everybody knows that Africa hardly even has electricity, let alone computers, let alone COBOL programmers! You could have at least picked a place like Scotland!”


    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...


    Not only that, but the original Long Count calendar algorithm was developed in COBOL.
  • Code Dependent 2009-05-13 13:47
    Americium:
    I'm more surprised by how many primitive life forms live near Cape Town. The Great Whites are well known. I'm partial to the Coelacanth, our oldest living four-limbed relative.
    Yes, well, you coe one lacanth, you've coen 'em all.
  • Hans 2009-05-13 13:50
    Yep. Instead of throwing rocks at each other, they are now throwing computers.
  • Monday 2009-05-13 13:52
    Hours of entertainment: ask "The Best" why they're the best at html/javascript/.net/c/cobol/sql/etc.

    Usually after that we'd offer them a job in marketing
  • Smash King 2009-05-13 14:11
    Jay:
    I wonder if there's ANY country in the world today where there aren't at least some computers around.
    Elbonia.

    Oh wait, you meant a real world country?
  • C4I_Officer 2009-05-13 14:15
    Mogri:
    C4I_Officer:
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer...


    You either need to look up "racist" or visit South Africa...


    Why? Isn't considering an entire continent pretty much stuck in the stone age racist enough? OK, he could have thrown a blatantly racist remark like "Dem niggaz still live in da trees no nuthin' 'bout computers, knowhatumsayin?" but a remark doesn't have to be at the crude level of a Oi! bangin-skinhead to be considered as such.


  • Procedural 2009-05-13 14:22
    Troy:
    Robajob:
    Alex Papadimoulis:

    Without saying a word, he clicked his pen, shook his head, and dropped my resume down on his disk.


    Please tell me this was supposed to say "on his dick".


    Hey guys, are we modifying quotes today? Yes? No? Cashier?


    yes.
  • Procedural 2009-05-13 14:29
    IT Girl:
    Jaco:

    I remember that... It's from an episode of My Family, isn't it?

    People really find it hard to believe, sometimes, just how much technological advances are made in South Africa. (and yes, I am a programmer in Cape Town :-P)


    It is.

    And the only reason I didn't comment on the Cape Town interview is because my jaw hurt from hitting the desk. The incredible ignorance of some people astounds me. I mean, seriously what makes him think there are Cobol programmers in Scotland? Ridiculous...


    I phoned up one of those companies advertising in Computer Shopper way back in the early nineties. Upon hearing the name of my country the guy said (totally serious):

    - I don't think we can arrange shipping. I don't think Fedex has dog sleds to go up there. I didn't know they even had power in Canada !
    - (equally serious) They installed it last week.

    (That, and we are powering up a good chunk of the North East USA, dumbass)
  • My Name 2009-05-13 14:45
    Milligan:
    Charles400:

    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...


    Yes, and the heiroglyphs are all upper-case.

    What a surprise! I would have expected APL to be far more popular than COBOL in ancient Egypt.
  • John 2009-05-13 15:25
    You interviewed Kyle...*cough* I mean Lyle... too!
  • Some Wonk 2009-05-13 15:31
    A friend of mine moved to Albuquerque. The worst of it, he always said, was dealing with companies out of state. "Oh, I am sorry, we do not ship outside the United States."
  • shadowman 2009-05-13 15:31
    McGuire: I just want to say one word to you – just one word.
    Ben: Yes, sir.
    McGuire: Are you listening?
    Ben: Yes, I am.
    McGuire: “Plastics.”
    Ben: Exactly how do you mean?
    McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?
    Ben: Yes, I will.
  • IT Girl 2009-05-13 15:41
    shadowman:
    McGuire: I just want to say one word to you – just one word.
    Ben: Yes, sir.
    McGuire: Are you listening?
    Ben: Yes, I am.
    McGuire: “Plastics.”
    Ben: Exactly how do you mean?
    McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?
    Ben: Yes, I will.


    Oooh.. you're a graduate!

    captcha= consequat: what happened to "the best" when his graduation was questioned.
  • IT Girl 2009-05-13 15:44
    Procedural:


    I phoned up one of those companies advertising in Computer Shopper way back in the early nineties. Upon hearing the name of my country the guy said (totally serious):

    - I don't think we can arrange shipping. I don't think Fedex has dog sleds to go up there. I didn't know they even had power in Canada !
    - (equally serious) They installed it last week.

    (That, and we are powering up a good chunk of the North East USA, dumbass)


    Ah, Canadians vs Americans... you must be on a border town like I am. It's a wonderfully long standing misunderstanding. My favourite is from a border guard:

    Skis attached to roof rack in July, driver: "How far do I have to drive before I hit snow?"

    Considering we're really no where near mountains, pretty darned far.
  • Yohan J 2009-05-13 15:49
    Jaco:
    IT Girl:
    (snip...)


    This is totally off topic, but have you by any chance ever worked at M-Web?


    You're doing it wrong. the first question should've been:
    a/s/l?
  • D C Ross 2009-05-13 15:49
    Code Dependent:
    Google "Robert Crumb's Angelfood McSpade".


    That earned me a link to this page.

    Now I am enlightened.
  • Joon 2009-05-13 16:31
    Jaco:

    I remember that... It's from an episode of My Family, isn't it?

    People really find it hard to believe, sometimes, just how much technological advances are made in South Africa. (and yes, I am a programmer in Cape Town :-P)


    Heh, a fellow reader from Cape Town, home of the world's first successful heart transplant

    Lyk my nou is daar ten minste twee van ons...

    Captcha: Enim. Anyone else feel there's a letter missing?
  • Code Dependent 2009-05-13 16:51
    shadowman:
    McGuire: “Plastics.”
    I always figured it was phrased just that way so that we would look at all the social climbers in the room and recall Frank Zappa's famous song (cf. "Absolutely Free").
  • Herby 2009-05-13 17:09
    Not an interview, but at a job fair. I handed my nicely printed resume to the HR droid (I don't think they qualified for that, but I digress). It was summarily handed back with the comment "we only take college graduates". I mentioned "HUH?" and she (yes, it was a she) had only looked at the first line which indicated my high school education (I thought it was important, it was a private school), and the NEXT line mentioned my college degree. Evidently they didn't read past the first line.

    Another company I interviewed for was (and still is) attempting to produce CD to IPOD loaders. They are attempting to sell these devices for around $300. It looked like I was going to be one of the first employees, and they were attempting to "offer" me a salary that was about half (yes half!) of what I was expecting (I talked to others and a "fresh out of college" person might have been offered more in other companies). They had grand ideas and while the concept looks good, I talked to my niece, and she has a 5 year old kid that can put music on their IPOD, so a $300 piece isn't something they might buy. I realized that they were attempting to get me "on the cheap" to avoid paying the head hunter's fee, but I had STRONG doubts that their business model would "take off", I declined. Then the offer went up by 25% and I still declined, they then offered me some contract position, and I was very nice in saying "No thanks".

    Of course, if you want a nice little computer to play with, and can be handy with your hands, the $300 box can be yours. Just plop in some more memory, and a disk drive, adding a monitor, and you are set. No need to use it for the original purpose. No, I haven't gone that far!
  • Da' Man 2009-05-13 18:13
    IT Girl:
    The incredible ignorance of some people astounds me.
    Come on, everybody knows that companies that hire COBOL programmers have hardly ever looked on their calendar, let alone a world map...

    It's the 21st century, guys. Let the sleeping dinosaurs die!
  • SenTree 2009-05-13 18:24
    My Name:
    Milligan:
    Charles400:

    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...

    Yes, and the heiroglyphs are all upper-case.

    What a surprise! I would have expected APL to be far more popular than COBOL in ancient Egypt.

    Win.
  • rfsmit 2009-05-13 18:37
    Schnapple:
    C4I_Officer:
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer...


    Not to excuse him or imply that it's OK, but the story opens with "Nearly twenty-five years ago...", so hopefully the person in the story isn't indicative of today's society. Or he's become more enlightened since then.

    Or he's dead. That would work, too.

    Generally, once a bigot, always a bigot. Maybe he's improved his stance on race -- maybe it stuck in his mind and he educated himself -- but it's still highly likely he still discriminates against women. Notice that he was just looking for "proof" that the candidate was lying on the basis that she's female and was applying for a programming job. I wonder what his take on gay marriage is? "Frettens my marrij!" Only if your wife is a man and he's seeing someone else.
  • Duke of New York 2009-05-13 20:13
    IT Girl:

    One of my favourite sitcoms has a scene where the loser son tells his dad that he's finally got a great lead on work. He's going to become a "dot com millionaire".

    His dad responds with "You have to have a great idea first" to which the son says, "That is a great idea... dot come millionaire"

    Fade to the next scene where he's asking his tech saavy younger brother where the "dot" key is on the keyboard. When shown the next question is, of course, "now, where's the com key".

    Must be one of those shows that people assume is funny because it has a laugh track.
  • Buzzard 2009-05-13 20:40
    Schnapple:
    T-Biscuit:
    Interview WTF's are my favorite, they have so much entertainment value.


    Yeah they're easily my favorites, too. I would love to go on one of these interviews where you walk away thinking the company is a complete disaster. Or in the case of "blog-ging" guy, an abortion aspiring to be a disaster.




    Mine too, I recall one where the interviewers
    ( . Y . ) popped out.
  • Chris 2009-05-13 21:54
    The Sout Africa story reminds me something I was told ...
    I used to leave in South West of France, close to a mountain. When one of a friend's relatives came to visit us from a "very big town", he told us
    "Believe me, when I first arrived, I was so surprised to see you had electricity! Even toilet in your house, instead of the garden! I really thought you didn't have all that!I mean, you're in the mountains so ..."
  • hey persto! 2009-05-13 23:21
    EatenByAGrue:
    Apparently CPound has remembered one of the first things they teach you about contracts: a verbal contract is worth the paper it's written on.


    That's strange, when I studied contract law one of the first things that we were taught is that the requirement is 'communication' rather than any specific medium. It is only in few rare cases where written word (in the form of a deed) is required.

    I imagine I am in a different jurisdiction, however I expect that this is the same in most western countries.
  • PseudoBovine 2009-05-13 23:36
    Herby:
    my nicely printed resume ... was summarily handed back with the comment "we only take college graduates". I mentioned "HUH?" and she (yes, it was a she) had only looked at the first line which indicated my high school education ... Evidently they didn't read past the first line.


    They probably figured that anyone ignorant enough not to be aware of the standard *reverse chronological order* used on resumes is not worth hiring. Seriously, it's usually the first thing they tell people about writing resumes, right after "don't spell your name wrong".
  • Atario 2009-05-14 01:47
    The Best was in the middle of lecture about how completely unnecessary Object Oriented Programming was.
    Well, theoretically, you can write anything you want with bare machine code. So, technically, he was right. Which is, of course, The Best kind of right there is.
  • Lee K-T 2009-05-14 02:20
    Jay:
    I thought Scotland was just a bunch of guys running around in skirts carrying claymores. They have COMPUTERS there now?


    Yes, and I think their capital is named Cobol.
  • Mummy 2009-05-14 03:23
    Code Slave:
    Charles400:
    Post:
    “Okay,” he said in disappointed tone, “well now I know you’re lying. I mean really, everybody knows that Africa hardly even has electricity, let alone computers, let alone COBOL programmers! You could have at least picked a place like Scotland!”


    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...


    We buried them there for good reason! Would you idiots please stop digging them up?


    Yes, please stop it! Isn't it enough that inventors of COBOL are being shown in museums around the world, wrapped with thin, white stripes of COBOL listings!
  • julmu 2009-05-14 03:48
    C4I_Officer:
    Mogri:
    C4I_Officer:
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer...


    You either need to look up "racist" or visit South Africa...


    Why? Isn't considering an entire continent pretty much stuck in the stone age racist enough? OK, he could have thrown a blatantly racist remark like "Dem niggaz still live in da trees no nuthin' 'bout computers, knowhatumsayin?" but a remark doesn't have to be at the crude level of a Oi! bangin-skinhead to be considered as such.


    The only racist here is you:
    1) if you're black then for assuming that only a non-black person could be ignorant.
    2) if you're not black then for assuming that a black person couldn't have been a interviewer.
  • Anon 2009-05-14 04:46
    Another Cape Town based South African here.
    Regarding South African accents:
    This is a Souf Effrican English aksent, as spoken by the European Africans here.
  • dkf 2009-05-14 04:59
    hey persto!:
    That's strange, when I studied contract law one of the first things that we were taught is that the requirement is 'communication' rather than any specific medium. It is only in few rare cases where written word (in the form of a deed) is required.

    I imagine I am in a different jurisdiction, however I expect that this is the same in most western countries.
    It's more complex than that, especially if you're dealing with countries that don't use Common Law (assuming that's where you're based, of course), such as most of the EU. There are really significant differences, and lawyers who specialize in this sort of thing do earn their (very significant) crusts.

    OTOH, it's a really good idea to have a permanently recorded version of the contract anyway, whatever the jurisdiction, since that makes life much easier when it comes to enforcement.
  • illtiz 2009-05-14 05:28
    julmu:
    C4I_Officer:
    Mogri:
    C4I_Officer:
    WTF @ that racist, ignorant interviewer...


    You either need to look up "racist" or visit South Africa...


    Why? Isn't considering an entire continent pretty much stuck in the stone age racist enough? OK, he could have thrown a blatantly racist remark like "Dem niggaz still live in da trees no nuthin' 'bout computers, knowhatumsayin?" but a remark doesn't have to be at the crude level of a Oi! bangin-skinhead to be considered as such.


    The only racist here is you:
    1) if you're black then for assuming that only a non-black person could be ignorant.
    2) if you're not black then for assuming that a black person couldn't have been a interviewer.


    Eh, no. An ignorant racist is an ignorant racist. His or her heritage is not of consequence.

    To clarify: Even if an African American who was actually born in South Africa makes that statement, it's ignorant and dare I say even racist.

    Is this when I don my asbestos suit?
  • Skizz 2009-05-14 05:39
    Charles400:
    Post:
    “Okay,” he said in disappointed tone, “well now I know you’re lying. I mean really, everybody knows that Africa hardly even has electricity, let alone computers, let alone COBOL programmers! You could have at least picked a place like Scotland!”


    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...


    No, those hieroglyphs are obviously an early form of APL!
  • burp 2009-05-14 05:54
    dkf:
    hey persto!:
    That's strange, when I studied contract law one of the first things that we were taught is that the requirement is 'communication' rather than any specific medium. It is only in few rare cases where written word (in the form of a deed) is required.

    I imagine I am in a different jurisdiction, however I expect that this is the same in most western countries.
    It's more complex than that, especially if you're dealing with countries that don't use Common Law (assuming that's where you're based, of course), such as most of the EU. There are really significant differences, and lawyers who specialize in this sort of thing do earn their (very significant) crusts.

    OTOH, it's a really good idea to have a permanently recorded version of the contract anyway, whatever the jurisdiction, since that makes life much easier when it comes to enforcement.


    It's more complex than that, especially if you're dealing with countries that don't use Common Law (assuming that's where you're based, of course), such as the rest of the world...
  • Nome 2009-05-14 07:03
    Nothing beats the ignorance in southern Ohio. My wife, an Italian, was once telling her coworkers that she was going to call her mom in Italy later. The response was "They have phones in Italy?"
  • GalacticCowboy 2009-05-14 07:16
    illtiz:

    Eh, no. An ignorant racist is an ignorant racist. His or her heritage is not of consequence.

    To clarify: Even if an African American who was actually born in South Africa makes that statement, it's ignorant and dare I say even racist.

    Is this when I don my asbestos suit?


    Clearly, you are unaware of the corollary - only a white male can be racist. Everyone else is just spiteful.
  • J 2009-05-14 07:26
    Thnurg:
    Scotland is supposed to be primitive according to some. I used to work for an Edinburgh based software house. On a business trip to Athens I shared a taxi with two American girls. They asked what I did and when I told them I was a computer programmer in Scotland they replied "You have all that over there?"

    Sheesh.
    I think that's more to do with American girls being thick rather than anyone thinking Scotland is primitive. Did they manage to open the taxi door by themselves when they were getting out?
  • ClaudeSuck.de 2009-05-14 07:32
    Zapp Brannigan:
    Charles Bond:
    When I was in my 20s, I had this long list of attributes I was looking for in a woman.

    By the time I was 30, that list was down to one item: sane.

    Now that I am 40, I'm looking for the same thing in a supervisor.
    I'm 48 your standards are too high.


    Confirmed. I am happy when they are healthy, physically.
  • ClaudeSuck.de 2009-05-14 07:33
    J:
    Thnurg:
    Scotland is supposed to be primitive according to some. I used to work for an Edinburgh based software house. On a business trip to Athens I shared a taxi with two American girls. They asked what I did and when I told them I was a computer programmer in Scotland they replied "You have all that over there?"

    Sheesh.
    I think that's more to do with American girls being thick rather than anyone thinking Scotland is primitive. Did they manage to open the taxi door by themselves when they were getting out?


    Hair color? Blonde?
  • South Africa 2009-05-14 07:45
    A few years ago I was in Atlanta visiting family who'd emigrated there. My sister was house-hunting and I rememebr one eldely estate agent earnestly explaining to me how a microwave-oven works, after I told her I'm from South Africa.
  • Thnurg 2009-05-14 08:34
    I don't know if they could open the door. The doorman at the hotel opened it to let them get in, and I got out first.

    However, they were definately blonde.
  • jaco 2009-05-14 08:36
    Joon:
    Jaco:

    I remember that... It's from an episode of My Family, isn't it?

    People really find it hard to believe, sometimes, just how much technological advances are made in South Africa. (and yes, I am a programmer in Cape Town :-P)


    Heh, a fellow reader from Cape Town, home of the world's first successful heart transplant

    Lyk my nou is daar ten minste twee van ons...

    Captcha: Enim. Anyone else feel there's a letter missing?


    Ek is seker daar is heelwat meer van ons hier...
  • One Night at the Computer History Museum 2009-05-14 09:30
    Mummy:
    Code Slave:
    Charles400:
    Post:
    “Okay,” he said in disappointed tone, “well now I know you’re lying. I mean really, everybody knows that Africa hardly even has electricity, let alone computers, let alone COBOL programmers! You could have at least picked a place like Scotland!”


    Idiot! Archeologists frequently unearth COBOL listings in the pyramids...


    We buried them there for good reason! Would you idiots please stop digging them up?


    Yes, please stop it! Isn't it enough that inventors of COBOL are being shown in museums around the world, wrapped with thin, white stripes of COBOL listings!

    I'm picturing green-and-white mummies (greenbar!), in sarcophagi made of IBM 360 cabinets, decorated with grave goods and jewelry made from Hollerith cards... Nice. I like it.
  • Bosluis 2009-05-14 10:09
    I'm from South Africa (JHB) and this reminds me of a story my mate (white guy) was telling me when he went over to the states a few months back.

    He met a black guy (I mean "African American") and told him that he was African just like him, the Dude FLIPPED out and went crazy... my friend then replied "I've lived in Africa for 26 Years, how long did u stay there?" ... needless to say, it didnt end well.

    Oh and for people who want a place to go on hoiliday, come to South Africa .. its R9 for a beer here which is around $0.90 and the weather is always good. :)
  • Someone You Know 2009-05-14 11:14
    Herby:
    Not an interview, but at a job fair. I handed my nicely printed resume to the HR droid (I don't think they qualified for that, but I digress). It was summarily handed back with the comment "we only take college graduates". I mentioned "HUH?" and she (yes, it was a she) had only looked at the first line which indicated my high school education (I thought it was important, it was a private school), and the NEXT line mentioned my college degree. Evidently they didn't read past the first line.


    Traditional resumes have the most recent material at the top. I think a droid could be forgiven for assuming that was the case with yours.
  • Gharp 2009-05-14 11:40
    Chris:
    The Sout Africa story reminds me something I was told ...
    I used to leave in South West of France, close to a mountain. When one of a friend's relatives came to visit us from a "very big town", he told us
    "Believe me, when I first arrived, I was so surprised to see you had electricity! Even toilet in your house, instead of the garden! I really thought you didn't have all that!I mean, you're in the mountains so ..."


    Seems this happens everywhere... On a trip from Seattle to Washington DC, I had a lady ask "if we were still having problems with the Indians". She was rather offended when I told her the Indians are quite happy with their casinos and inquired how the war with the red coats was going.
  • Teh Irish Gril Riot 2009-05-14 12:01
    Gharp:

    Seems this happens everywhere... On a trip from Seattle to Washington DC, I had a lady ask "if we were still having problems with the Indians". She was rather offended when I told her the Indians are quite happy with their casinos and inquired how the war with the red coats was going.


    Obviously she was a Tory.
  • Jay 2009-05-14 12:20
    hey persto!:
    EatenByAGrue:
    Apparently CPound has remembered one of the first things they teach you about contracts: a verbal contract is worth the paper it's written on.


    That's strange, when I studied contract law one of the first things that we were taught is that the requirement is 'communication' rather than any specific medium. It is only in few rare cases where written word (in the form of a deed) is required.

    I imagine I am in a different jurisdiction, however I expect that this is the same in most western countries.


    I'm not a lawyer, but I've had to study legal issues now and then, and my understanding is that, yes, a verbal contract is theoretically just as binding as a written contract. But in practice, it is much more difficult to enforce. If you go to court and you have a signed contract in your hands in which the other guy promised to deliver 200 widgets on March 3 for $500, then if you can demonstrate that you paid the money but he did not deliver 200 widgets on March 3, you should easily win the case. But if all you have is a verbal agreement, and he tells the judge that the agreed price was $5000 and so you never paid the full amount, or that he never promised to "deliver" them and you never showed up at his warehouse in Timbucktu to pick them up, or whatever, then you are left with the difficult problem of proving that he actually agreed to what you say he agreed to. If there's nothing on paper and no unbiased witnesses, how will you prove anything?

    I strongly suspect that judges groan when these cases come to them, because they are left trying to guess what reasonable people might have agreed to.

  • PicklePumpers Dot Com 2009-05-14 12:41
    Ugh, can we please at least use our brains and call BS on the fake stories? The Next Big Thing (from "CPound") is clearly total Bull. Next he'll be telling us about users who can't figure out how to use their drink holders.
  • m0ffx 2009-05-14 12:48
    Bosluis:
    I'm from South Africa (JHB) and this reminds me of a story my mate (white guy) was telling me when he went over to the states a few months back.

    He met a black guy (I mean "African American") and told him that he was African just like him, the Dude FLIPPED out and went crazy... my friend then replied "I've lived in Africa for 26 Years, how long did u stay there?" ... needless to say, it didnt end well.


    To be honest I'm not too surprised that a black American might get pissed off at a white South African. Apartheid ended not long ago, and there are probably people of all races who would assume all white South African's were pro-apartheid.
  • JohnB 2009-05-14 14:24
    Maurits:
    Rich:
    Seriously, guy doesn't even recognise the capital city of South Africa!

    Oh wait, or is that Johannesburg...?


    South Africa has three (count 'em, three) capitals.

    One of them is, indeed, Cape Town.

    None of them are Jo'burg, though.

    Having lived there (many years ago) and having learned how to program COBOL there (yup, seriously) ... Pretoria is the executive capital (a quite impressive sweep of a building; I lived in the city for a year or so), Bloemfontein is the judicial capital (visited for a couple of days) and Cape Town is the legislative capital (visited for a couple of days). Johannesburg (aka Jo-burg or Joeys) was a great place to live, party, work ... I miss it.

    Of course, for those who enjoy cryptic crosswords, the real capital of South Africa is the rand.
  • Vechni 2009-05-14 16:13
    THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST
  • Furis 2009-05-15 00:53
    And in Africa we still don't have internet. I sent this comment via carrier pigeon. I would have used my personal zebra to take me into town, but a lion ate it. :(
  • StevenMcD 2009-05-15 04:43
    yeah, I just arrived at work and parked my Lion outside. To get internet access, us developers in South Africa dial up via smoke signals.

    The ignorance of some people really really amazes me. This had to have been an American interviewer. No offense to you Americans that actually do have a brain, but I've found that the majority of Americans I've dealt with online are a bunch of retards that couldn't point out South Africa on a map, let alone know anything about any country outside of the "mighty USA".
  • someone else 2009-05-15 05:07
    Thnurg:
    Scotland is supposed to be primitive according to some. I used to work for an Edinburgh based software house. On a business trip to Athens I shared a taxi with two American girls. They asked what I did and when I told them I was a computer programmer in Scotland they replied "You have all that over there?"

    Sheesh.


    Sounds like an opening scene from a porn movie.
  • Franz Kafka 2009-05-15 17:28
    m0ffx:
    Bosluis:
    I'm from South Africa (JHB) and this reminds me of a story my mate (white guy) was telling me when he went over to the states a few months back.

    He met a black guy (I mean "African American") and told him that he was African just like him, the Dude FLIPPED out and went crazy... my friend then replied "I've lived in Africa for 26 Years, how long did u stay there?" ... needless to say, it didnt end well.


    To be honest I'm not too surprised that a black American might get pissed off at a white South African. Apartheid ended not long ago, and there are probably people of all races who would assume all white South African's were pro-apartheid.


    How would the black guy know this? It sounds like he flipped out at the idea of a white african.
  • rodgerlvu 2009-05-18 01:22
    I wonder if there's ANY country in the world today where there aren't at least some computers around. I mean, even in the poorest, most primitive country, there must be some number of relatively wealthy people who have nice houses and all the modern boots. Powered by a generator in the basement if necessary.

    I recall years ago talking to a woman who was a missionary in, umm, Cote D'Ivoire I think, in a place remote from any modern civilization. But she had solar panels on the roof of her house that provided enough power to run lights and a small refrigerator.
  • Mr. Ging 2009-05-19 00:52
    I'm building a computer program that allows you to put these special tags into little text files. The program will display the tags as blue, underlined text, and when you click on the text, it'll load another page-- possibly even from another computer!

    Then, since you really can't tell if a remote text file is really there or not, I'll make a living writing programs that generate remote text files on the fly, which will result in "interactive" programs that are really just remote documents.

    I'm thinking of calling the entire concept "Energetic Text." Nobody's thought of it before me!
  • few 2009-05-19 06:56


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  • Isaac 2009-05-22 17:08
    Jay:
    I wonder if there's ANY country in the world today where there aren't at least some computers around. I mean, even in the poorest, most primitive country, there must be some number of relatively wealthy people who have nice houses and all the modern conveniences. Powered by a generator in the basement if necessary.

    I recall years ago talking to a woman who was a missionary in, umm, Cote D'Ivoire I think, in a place remote from any modern civilization. But she had solar panels on the roof of her house that provided enough power to run lights and a small refrigerator.


    A Nigerian friend has told me that many people in Nigeria use smartphones, rather than PCs, for various reasons. It's likely that he's talking about middle class urban Nigerians, but I've also heard about poor villagers in places like Africa and India, who own a SIM card, and hire a phone when they need it. Tech-savviness seems to be much more widely distributed than we might think.
  • That's for sure 2009-06-07 08:55
    Charles Bond:
    When I was in my 20s, I had this long list of attributes I was looking for in a woman.

    By the time I was 30, that list was down to one item: sane.

    Now that I am 40, I'm looking for the same thing in a supervisor.


    Amen, Brother!
  • That's for sure 2009-06-07 09:03
    Someone You Know:
    Herby:
    Not an interview, but at a job fair. I handed my nicely printed resume to the HR droid (I don't think they qualified for that, but I digress). It was summarily handed back with the comment "we only take college graduates". I mentioned "HUH?" and she (yes, it was a she) had only looked at the first line which indicated my high school education (I thought it was important, it was a private school), and the NEXT line mentioned my college degree. Evidently they didn't read past the first line.


    Traditional resumes have the most recent material at the top. I think a droid could be forgiven for assuming that was the case with yours.


    Yeah, man . . . we wouldn't want the HR toad to waste any of their precious time reading the whole document now would we? They have much more important things to do (things so secret that they are unknow to all of us that do real work).
  • I <3 MFD 2009-06-08 08:42
    The Best Comment
  • Risita 2009-06-13 16:12
    Jay:
    I wonder if there's ANY country in the world today where there aren't at least some computers around. I mean, even in the poorest, most primitive country, there must be some number of relatively wealthy people who have nice houses and all the modern conveniences. Powered by a generator in the basement if necessary.

    I recall years ago talking to a woman who was a missionary in, umm, Cote D'Ivoire I think, in a place remote from any modern civilization. But she had solar panels on the roof of her house that provided enough power to run lights and a small refrigerator.


    Yup - I read somewhere that even in North Korea, a few top-ranking officials have dialup Internet access.
  • wm 2009-07-06 05:17
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  • aphro 2011-11-02 22:20
    The Next Big Thing (from "CPound")

    Surprisingly this actually, happens, alot. It's usually when a marketing person, usually of the older generation, who have delved into traditional business, think they can plug a market with something on the "internet" and pile "SEO" into it and it will be successful.

    Unfortunately I had the experience of working with someone exactly as above. Constantly being reminded that 300000GBP was invested in this, and my recommendations weren't "working" and that what he already had was "working" (600 users a day, bounce rate of 50%), my suggestions were to remove the 150+ html errors found by the W3C checker and remove javascript generated content for "SEO" and untangle the spaghetti code, as he was throwing features at me quicker than I could even work out his current stuff.

    Anyway long story short, this story made me laugh so much :P cheers