Umm, Steve Got Lost

  • Edowyth 2007-04-11 13:37
    Wow...

    I almost don't feel any pity for you guys. At least my problem with interviews almost always is the questions that I didn't ask...not situations I didn't recognize as unprofessional or couldn't allow myself to tell said professional.
  • Shaun 2007-04-11 13:40
    Now that's funny, I don't care who you are!
  • Anonymous 2007-04-11 13:54
    What's worse is working with the first guy.
  • Dax 2007-04-11 14:06
    I like the honesty of the first guy.

    I have had a few strange interviews but luckily so far no one has showed me a picture of their ass...
  • Anonymous Coward 2007-04-11 14:07
    All the better so you know where to kiss up to the boss.
  • Interviewee 2007-04-11 14:24
    So, what was the WTF in the first story? The answer, or the unbelievably stupid question he was asked?
  • thisGuy 2007-04-11 14:30
    Actually that is a popular interview question. I'm pretty sure my last interview involved that question verbatim.
  • ANONYMOUS 2007-04-11 14:30
    What do these have in common?
    Somewhere a tick's family is watching TV, wondering where Steve is.
    Ummm, Steve (the tick) got lost...
  • Therac-25 2007-04-11 14:32
    Interviewee:
    So, what was the WTF in the first story? The answer, or the unbelievably stupid question he was asked?


    I'm guessing the answer -- those questions can only serve to weed out people who can't come up with sufficiently opaque BS on the spot.

    Seriously, if he's going to be honest about that, I don't want to see what happens when the sales and marketing people corner him.
  • nobody 2007-04-11 14:41
    I had a phone interview like that.
    After 15 minutes, I called the company. They looked for the person who was supposed to call me, and, after 20 minutes, called me back.
    I eventually got the job, but had some bad feelings about the company. If I hadn't been desperate for a job I wouldn't have taken it. And the guy who was supposed to call me wansn't that bad; he was very busy, but I learned not to count on him showing up for meetings. It was the boss who was the jerk. (And I'm being polite)
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2007-04-11 14:48
    I really don't see the problem with the first one.. I mean I see that it's not the standard corporate bullshit "I'll do anything to help this company" answer that most drones seem to expect, but quite frankly the interviewee was right. If he's done of his part of the project, it's not his responsibility to aid the others. It might be a nice gesture, but it should never be a requirement. It's like those bullshit school projects; one or two guys do all the work, and the slackers just coast through because they know if they don't do it, the other guys will so the project gets completed.
  • Robin 2007-04-11 15:07
    One of our interview questions: “If you end up with a couple of days spare inyour schedule, what would you do with it?”. The best answer we’ve had so far is “stay at home and do some work for my freelance company.”.
  • Juenemann 2007-04-11 15:10
    Can I get sued for dispensing medical advice on an interview for an Ada job? Also, why would he take medical advice from a software developer.
  • Pap 2007-04-11 15:15
    "If you finished your part of a project early while others around you were still struggling to finish their parts, what would you do?"

    "Well, I really like watching TV. I'd probably go home early and watch some."


    Call me crazy, but I'm fairly sure that's what most people would do. Assuming the previous statement is true, then statistically speaking, anyone who answers "I would do whatever I can to help them" is likely lying. Anyone who answers "I would watch TV" is likely honest. This is just 9th grade probability theory here.

    So wouldn't it make more sense to hire the honest person?

    Just wondering. Please keep in mind that I was born on another planet so I may not be keen to the ways of you humans.
  • 242 2007-04-11 15:15
    While giving an interview not so long ago for an internship, the interviewee pulled a 'one cheek sneak'. Upon understanding what foul stench had invaded my nose, composure had to kick in to keep from: A)Gagging and B)Laughing.

  • AdT 2007-04-11 15:28
    The real WTF (ok, another real WTF) is the bad advice of suffocating the tick...

    This is how it's done properly.
  • a+bi 2007-04-11 15:28
    Pap:

    Call me crazy, but I'm fairly sure that's what most people would do. Assuming the previous statement is true, then statistically speaking, anyone who answers "I would do whatever I can to help them" is likely lying. Anyone who answers "I would watch TV" is likely honest. This is just 9th grade probability theory here.

    So wouldn't it make more sense to hire the honest person?

    Just wondering. Please keep in mind that I was born on another planet so I may not be keen to the ways of you humans.
    That's the way I've always felt. Loaded questions like that are incredibly stupid as 99% of people can figure out what the "correct" answer is.
  • tieTYT 2007-04-11 15:34
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I really don't see the problem with the first one.. I mean I see that it's not the standard corporate bullshit "I'll do anything to help this company" answer that most drones seem to expect, but quite frankly the interviewee was right. If he's done of his part of the project, it's not his responsibility to aid the others. It might be a nice gesture, but it should never be a requirement. It's like those bullshit school projects; one or two guys do all the work, and the slackers just coast through because they know if they don't do it, the other guys will so the project gets completed.


    Sounds like something a consultant/contractor would say rather than an employee.

    Anyway, asking around if anyone else needs help seems like a nice gesture but I agree with Brooks on this one: Adding more people to a problem usually gets it solved later rather than sooner.

    When someone says they CAN use my help and assign me a random bug this is what happens: I have to ask them a billion questions to figure out what they already know/don't know about it, what they have/have not tried, or, if they can't help, if there's someone better to ask those same questions to. While I'm asking these questions, the original developer has to stop the work he was doing and focus on me. Worst case he loses his train of thought, forgets what he was doing and creates another bug as a result.

    Or I can take another route and and not interrogate the developer who gave me the bug. The downside to that is there's a high probability I'll waste a lot of time researching things he's already researched or happens to know by being more familiar with the code. IMO, research is 90% of any bug fix. As a result, the fix takes way longer than it would have if he did it. Being ignorant of what you're modifying also has a high probability of introducing another bug.
  • tieTYT 2007-04-11 15:34
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I really don't see the problem with the first one.. I mean I see that it's not the standard corporate bullshit "I'll do anything to help this company" answer that most drones seem to expect, but quite frankly the interviewee was right. If he's done of his part of the project, it's not his responsibility to aid the others. It might be a nice gesture, but it should never be a requirement. It's like those bullshit school projects; one or two guys do all the work, and the slackers just coast through because they know if they don't do it, the other guys will so the project gets completed.


    Sounds like something a consultant/contractor would say rather than an employee.

    Anyway, asking around if anyone else needs help seems like a nice gesture but I agree with Brooks on this one: Adding more people to a problem usually gets it solved later rather than sooner.

    When someone says they CAN use my help and assign me a random bug this is what happens: I have to ask them a billion questions to figure out what they already know/don't know about it, what they have/have not tried, or, if they can't help, if there's someone better to ask those same questions to. While I'm asking these questions, the original developer has to stop the work he was doing and focus on me. Worst case he loses his train of thought, forgets what he was doing and creates another bug as a result.

    Or I can take another route and and not interrogate the developer who gave me the bug. The downside to that is there's a high probability I'll waste a lot of time researching things he's already researched or happens to know by being more familiar with the code. IMO, research is 90% of any bug fix. As a result, the fix takes way longer than it would have if he did it. Being ignorant of what you're modifying also has a high probability of introducing another bug.
  • Grant Johnson 2007-04-11 15:35
    The tick made laugh so hard it hurt. I have no idea how I would have reacted in that situation. The only thing I can think of is to allude to some strange STD that can only be caught in odd, unsanitary, twisted ways, and run for the hills laughing.

    My captcha was a strangely appropriate "sanitarium".
  • albee01 2007-04-11 15:57
    The tick was a test on how he handled bugs!
  • Oli 2007-04-11 16:00
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0151804/quotes
    (...)
    Joanna: You're just not gonna go?
    Peter Gibbons: Yeah.
    Joanna: Won't you get fired?
    Peter Gibbons: I don't know, but I really don't like it, and, uh, I'm not gonna go.
    Joanna: So you're gonna quit?
    Peter Gibbons: Nuh-uh. Not really. Uh... I'm just gonna stop going.
    Joanna: When did you decide all that?
    Peter Gibbons: About an hour ago.
    Joanna: Oh, really? About an hour ago... so you're gonna get another job?
    Peter Gibbons: I don't think I'd like another job.
    Joanna: Well, what are you going to do about money and bills and...
    Peter Gibbons: You know, I've never really liked paying bills. I don't think I'm gonna do that, either.
    Joanna: Well, so what do you wanna do?
    Peter Gibbons: I wanna take you out to dinner, and then I wanna go back to my apartment and watch 'Kung Fu'. Do you ever watch 'Kung Fu'?
    Joanna: I love 'Kung Fu'.
    Peter Gibbons: Channel 39.
    Joanna: Totally.
    Peter Gibbons: You should come over and watch 'Kung Fu' tonight.
    Joanna: Ok. Ok. Can we order lunch first? Ok.
  • rgz 2007-04-11 16:03
    Juenemann:
    Can I get sued for dispensing medical advice on an interview for an Ada job? Also, why would he take medical advice from a software developer.


    Because developers are expected to solve every single problem in the world for free?
  • Anonymous Coward 2007-04-11 16:09
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    If he's done of his part of the project, it's not his responsibility to aid the others. It might be a nice gesture, but it should never be a requirement.


    I don't know what your employment contract says, but mine says that the company gets 40 hours of my valuable time per week (plus unpaid overtime if necessary to meet deadlines). If I get done early, I don't go home early - I start the next project early.
  • ObiWayneKenobi 2007-04-11 16:16
    Actually I'm an employee, not a contractor or consultant. And I've been lucky I guess that every one of my employers have been the type who don't care as long as my project gets done. IMO that's the real way to run a business. If your current project is finished and the new one isn't due to start until another day or two, then do what you want since you finished it faster. None of this "squeeze every minute out of your employees" bullshit. To be fair though I don't leave and go home; I just spend the time reading up on new technology and things of that nature.

    Some day, God willing, I pray to be in a position of power so I can demonstrate that this is the proper way to run a business, not draconian "You better be working on SOMETHING or you're not doing your job" shit.
  • zip 2007-04-11 16:26
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I really don't see the problem with the first one.. I mean I see that it's not the standard corporate bullshit "I'll do anything to help this company" answer that most drones seem to expect, but quite frankly the interviewee was right. If he's done of his part of the project, it's not his responsibility to aid the others. It might be a nice gesture, but it should never be a requirement. It's like those bullshit school projects; one or two guys do all the work, and the slackers just coast through because they know if they don't do it, the other guys will so the project gets completed.


    You're one of those guys who finishes something, sits in his cube for the rest of week surfing the web instead of finding more work or telling anyone he's done, and then can't figure out why he gets laid off, right?
  • zip 2007-04-11 16:31
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Actually I'm an employee, not a contractor or consultant. And I've been lucky I guess that every one of my employers have been the type who don't care as long as my project gets done. IMO that's the real way to run a business. If your current project is finished and the new one isn't due to start until another day or two, then do what you want since you finished it faster. None of this "squeeze every minute out of your employees" bullshit. To be fair though I don't leave and go home; I just spend the time reading up on new technology and things of that nature.

    Some day, God willing, I pray to be in a position of power so I can demonstrate that this is the proper way to run a business, not draconian "You better be working on SOMETHING or you're not doing your job" shit.


    There's a HUGE difference between "your project is done" and "your part of the project is done"
  • Gman 2007-04-11 16:33
    I once was turned down for a position during the interview process because I sat near the window in the conference room in which we were meeting. I *sh!t* you not.

    The interviewer proceeded to tell me that the pupil-response to the brigher light at my back initiated a negative subconcious response; therefore, I should have chosen a seat that is more comfortable or pleasing to the eye for the decision maker. Giving them any chance to be negative will yield poor results. (And I was worried about being qualified?!)

    This *does* top it for me:

    On the way out, I was also asked if I was a "nice" guy or do I just come off that way? (No really, I'm an asshole, just itching to come out. You know, there is some truth to that.)

    ;)
  • themagni 2007-04-11 16:40
    zip:


    You're one of those guys who finishes something, sits in his cube for the rest of week surfing the web instead of finding more work or telling anyone he's done, and then can't figure out why he gets laid off, right?


    I've tried the "find more work" and the "I'm finished" behaviour patterns. They just don't work. All you get is pain and misery.

    It took me an hour to solve a problem that three guys have been working on since September. Instead of looking at my solution (which is in the repository), they've just excluded me from the project. All the tech talk is done in "french", despite getting warnings from higher-ups that it's not cool. They don't even say hello any more.

    I took the initiative and planned out some of the future stages of the project. The project manager decided to redo all the plans so it would like like he did all the work.
  • Drocket 2007-04-11 16:49
    Also, why would he take medical advice from a software developer.


    Well, I'm assuming that the important part was the 'asked about hobbies' that came right before it. If the interviewee actually DID answer that his hobbies included camping and boating, then odds are pretty good that he's had some experience with ticks. Hang around in the wilderness for long enough and you're going to get one sooner or later.

    It's still a horribly unprofessional thing to do, but it's not COMPLETELY out of the blue.
  • zip 2007-04-11 17:00
    themagni:
    zip:


    You're one of those guys who finishes something, sits in his cube for the rest of week surfing the web instead of finding more work or telling anyone he's done, and then can't figure out why he gets laid off, right?


    I've tried the "find more work" and the "I'm finished" behaviour patterns. They just don't work. All you get is pain and misery.

    It took me an hour to solve a problem that three guys have been working on since September. Instead of looking at my solution (which is in the repository), they've just excluded me from the project. All the tech talk is done in "french", despite getting warnings from higher-ups that it's not cool. They don't even say hello any more.

    I took the initiative and planned out some of the future stages of the project. The project manager decided to redo all the plans so it would like like he did all the work.


    So you work at a shitty company, with shitty people... that sucks. I guess I was talking about the appropriate way to handle being done with your tasks at a company not run by clowns. Which DO exist.
  • Boo 2007-04-11 17:04
    Yes, teamwork is good thing, and surely company expects developer to help other when he is done. On the other hand - one dev produces great code with a low number of bugs. Another produces a pile of crap and now first one has to deal with it. I sometimes can't help wondering if working slow and NOT finishing earlier than other is better...
  • VGR 2007-04-11 17:10
    It's not the same as a tick, but... I'm sure residents of the eastern U.S. remember when the 17-year cicadas arose just a few years ago, swarming over the land like a plague.

    I was going to interviews at that time. In the middle of one such interview, I discovered a cicada was resting on my shoulder.

    Fortunately, the interviewer was amused. We put it outside and continued the interview.
  • Tom Dibble 2007-04-11 17:12
    Have to agree on the responses to the first one. The question itself is a stupid question as:

    1. Anyone can see what the "expected" answer is and give that, and ...
    2. The more desirable employees are likely the ones who answer either honestly, candidly, or with open hostility to the question ("I'd begin a letter-writing campaign to get those slackers fired for incompetence"). AND ...
    3. The absolutely MOST desirable employees will simply get up and walk out, insulted by the question. Any place which feels the need to ask boneheaded questions like that to weed out the absolute boneheads is not a place I want to work (you can much more effectively weed out the boneheads by observing them in the interview and from their descriptions of past actions).

    The Real WTF (tm) is the question, not the answer. Fits well with the other two anecdotes in which the quality of the interview should have warned the interviewee away from the company.

    BTW, my approach in the situation given is either to grab something obvious to do or to ask the project manager what should be done next. It does help to choose a non-dysfunctional place to work where the fact that you are asking for more work gets noticed and eventually rewarded, of course. In the end, though, I'd rather have something to do and feel productive instead of surfing the net the rest of the week.
  • Former Jr. Programmer 2007-04-11 17:29
    I joined a Midwestern branch of an international association of computer-type people quite a few years ago, right out of college.

    One day, about six months into the job, I was summoned (nee YANKED) from my cubicle, handed 3 sheets of paper, and asked to interview someone young guy down the hall. That was about the extent of my instructions as the director was "too busy" to do anything and all the senior staff were "too busy" as well.

    I hastily looked at the resume I had been handed and proceeded to ask a number of questions from the candidate. I made sure to ask which job he was applying for, so I'd ask the right questions. He was about to be fresh out of college and looking for a job. He had driven here all the way from another town which was a 5 hour drive away. I kept him there about forty-five minutes until we pretty much ran out of conversation. Heck, I was fresh out of college; what the heck was I going to ask this guy?

    At the lull, I told him I'd "be right back" and I went to get someone else. I informed the director that I interviewed him and needed to pass him along the food chain. He told me it was fine and things were taken care of and that I should just send him home.

    So I went in and told him, "OK, I guess that's all we need at the moment." And he left to drive home.

    Then I found out that no one else had interviewed the guy. At all.
    The director, "Oops."

    I gave him the thumb's up, but I think he either wasn't offered a job or didn't take it.

    - - -

    Two months later, I went to my director for something "to work on"; he passed me to a senior programmer who passed me to another senior programmer and around I went in circles. I spent 2 days doing this, then told everyone that if they needed me or had anything for me, I'd be in my cubicle.

    I spent 3 lazy months doing independent research on company time and scored a job at twice the pay.
  • Owen 2007-04-11 18:51
    I had one kind of like that, and it was funny because I messed up by being 15 minutes late to the interview ( car repair ), but the managers/interviewers were very swamped and I don't think they noticed. In fact, they were backed up and still hadn't interviewed the guy in line in front of me. So, since they were so busy they asked if we'd mind doing a group interview after our 10 minute written test. I said sure, why not, but the other guy was totally uncomfortable with it. Not sure why, I mean it's not like they ask you any personal questions; maybe he was just shy. In any case I ended up getting the job; a 3 month contract, but better than nothing at the time.
  • Eric 2007-04-11 19:49
    When you went to a computer job interview 25 to 30 years ago, they always wanted to show you the computer.

    It was a box. Everything interesting was inside but all they wanted to show you was the outside cabinet.

    I didn't land one job I was applying for simply because I didn't show any interest at all in looking at the outside of the computer cabinet.
  • Mike 2007-04-11 20:16
    If I was asked what I'd do if my coworkers were stuck trying to solve a problem, I'd ask "are you suggesting you hire people that can't handle the job?"
  • sf 2007-04-11 20:17
    I was in on a second interview once for a guy who took a cell phone call during the interview. This put off the initial interviewer but, due to his technical strengths, we decided to call him back. Besides, maybe he was waiting for an important medical related call or something that day.

    So in the middle of OUR interview, sure enough, his cell phone rings and HE TAKES THE CALL! Plus, he didn't just say "sorry, I can't talk right now." We had to sit there while he chatted with his wife for 1/2 a minute or more. Needless to say this disrespect, and his general arrogance, made him a bad fit for our team.
  • tendrel 2007-04-11 21:33
    I should have known when they asked me a social question along the lines of "what would you do if you had an urgent project going out the door, but need help from a certain higher-up (sign-off or something) and they are simply not available?"

    Its all good, but that should have told me more than it did at the time.

    edited to add that this comment from Therac-25, what I wouldn't give to see it myself!
    "Seriously, if he's going to be honest about that, I don't want to see what happens when the sales and marketing people corner him."
  • COB666 2007-04-11 21:48
    SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOON

    That's what a Ben Edlund Tick sounds like!
  • triso 2007-04-11 21:56
    Sum Yung Gui:
    ...Of all the things I could think of to say, I proceeded to give him instructions on how to extract it. You know, some alcohol on a cotton ball to suffocate it ... once dead, it will be easily removed.

    I prefer to take the Dogbert approach and give bad advice: Burn it out with a BIC lighter, Pry it out with a rusty nail or Pack the hole with salt and cover it with a band-aid.
  • Beltira 2007-04-11 22:10
    Clock ticks in the wilderness? Must have long battery life on the laptop.

    OK, bad joke.

    Bad, bad joke. Now go sit in the corner until I tell you that you can come back out.
  • CynicalTyler 2007-04-11 22:19
    zip:
    So you work at a shitty company, with shitty people ... I guess I was talking about ... a company not run by clowns.


    This statement is highly inflammatory and offensive to those of us who work for the firm of Bonko, Giggles, and Frownclown. We demand you cease such blatant clownist propaganda. Thank you.
  • Bart 2007-04-11 22:29
    The interviewee was a woman, fwiw.
  • Bart 2007-04-11 22:29
    The interviewee was a woman, fwiw.
  • Spacecoyote 2007-04-11 22:58
    [quote user=ObiWayneKenobi]Actually I'm an employee, not a contractor or consultant. And I've been lucky I guess that every one of my employers have been the type who don't care as long as my project gets done. IMO that's the real way to run a business. If your current project is finished and the new one isn't due to start until another day or two, then do what you want since you finished it faster. None of this "squeeze every minute out of your employees" bullshit. To be fair though I don't leave and go home; I just spend the time reading up on new technology and things of that nature.

    Some day, God willing, I pray to be in a position of power so I can demonstrate that this is the proper way to run a business, not draconian "You better be working on SOMETHING or you're not doing your job" shit.[/quote]
    What, you don't look for places where your code needs improvement :p

    Addendum (2007-04-11 23:05):
    I fubared the quote.

    Alex, this edit time limit is really annoying.
  • Rod 2007-04-11 23:22
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I really don't see the problem with the first one..


    Boy I'm sure glad I don't work with you!!! Haven't you ever heard of teamwork?!!
  • icelava 2007-04-11 23:25
    Did Steve's other name happen to be "Forest"? and he just decided out of the blue to jog across three states?
  • amandahugginkiss 2007-04-11 23:45
    Tom Dibble:
    Have to agree on the responses to the first one. The question itself is a stupid question as:

    1. Anyone can see what the "expected" answer is and give that, and ...
    2. The more desirable employees are likely the ones who answer either honestly, candidly, or with open hostility to the question ("I'd begin a letter-writing campaign to get those slackers fired for incompetence"). AND ...
    3. The absolutely MOST desirable employees will simply get up and walk out, insulted by the question. Any place which feels the need to ask boneheaded questions like that to weed out the absolute boneheads is not a place I want to work


    What a load of bollocks. You obviously haven't done much interviewing, because if you had, you'd understand the amount of crap prospective employees there are. Those questions are specifically for weeding guys who say things like 'I'd go home' and are easy to administer. You don't have to guess at nuances when someone gives themselves away so easily.

    As for your comments on the most desirable employees... this couldn't be more wrong. The most desirable employees are not the easily insulted, emotionally volatile ones. They're the polite ones who behave professionally. Having a tender ego does not indicate underlying skill in any way.

    If you would be insulted by something as innocuous as that minor question, insulted enough to walk straight out of an interview, I would hate to be your colleague.
  • James Sebastian-Cole Manson 2007-04-11 23:48
    When I was first out of Uni, I'd been working at a very small business and wanted to move on. So I went through the process of applying for various positions and was called up for several interviews.

    One particular interview was for a mining company where i'd be working on embedded systems for some oil refinery up North (Western Australia). I'd been perfectly fine in my other interviews, no nerves or anything, and was looking forward to this particular interview as it seemed like a lucrative industry to set my sights on.

    For some reason or another, I talked it up too much in my head and completely lost it at the start of the interview, nerves got the better of me. Anyway, I was asked:

    "Name a few words to describe something positive about your self"
    Usual Drivel followed, (Hardworking, problem-solver, Attentive, works to deadlines)

    Then:

    "Name a few words to describe something negative about your self"
    I couldn't for the life of me think of anything to say and said the first word that came to mind... "Lazy"

    I don't actually consider myself lazy, and I didn't mean to say it, needless to say the interview ended very quickly afterwards. What I wanted to get at was that I've found I can work like a freight train when there's a goal in sight, but with drifting deadlines, and dead end projects, or odds and ends I often find myself lacking motivation, as you would.

    What If?? I could be neck deep in C code controlling the pressure release valve of a undersea gas/oil pipe at 900PSI. I'm perfectly happy in the financial sector at present though, all good.

    CAPTCHA: dreadlocks, purely because thats one of the moments I wish I missed out on a job due to appearance as opposed to pure stupidity.
  • amandahugginkiss 2007-04-11 23:49
    Mike:
    If I was asked what I'd do if my coworkers were stuck trying to solve a problem, I'd ask "are you suggesting you hire people that can't handle the job?"


    *writes on interviewer's notepad "Doesn't understand the concept of a new pair of eyes. Possibly would refuse help from others because he 'knows everything'*
  • GACk 2007-04-11 23:50
    lol
  • nwbrown 2007-04-12 00:29
    Pap:
    "If you finished your part of a project early while others around you were still struggling to finish their parts, what would you do?"

    "Well, I really like watching TV. I'd probably go home early and watch some."


    Call me crazy, but I'm fairly sure that's what most people would do. Assuming the previous statement is true, then statistically speaking, anyone who answers "I would do whatever I can to help them" is likely lying. Anyone who answers "I would watch TV" is likely honest. This is just 9th grade probability theory here.

    So wouldn't it make more sense to hire the honest person?

    Just wondering. Please keep in mind that I was born on another planet so I may not be keen to the ways of you humans.


    Not to spoil your cynicism, but I have seen plenty of people (myself included) offer to help once all our work is done. I don't think I've ever seen someone take half a day and go home to watch TV when their co workers were struggling to meet a deadline. Most people treat the entire project as their responsibility and work cooperatively to get it done (yes, I know, the word 'cooperatively' is not often used in the IT world).

    Maybe my employer asks most interviewees that question (they didn't ask me) and it really does work to filter out the slackers like ObiWayneKenobi.
  • nwbrown 2007-04-12 00:42
    sf:
    I was in on a second interview once for a guy who took a cell phone call during the interview. This put off the initial interviewer but, due to his technical strengths, we decided to call him back. Besides, maybe he was waiting for an important medical related call or something that day.

    So in the middle of OUR interview, sure enough, his cell phone rings and HE TAKES THE CALL! Plus, he didn't just say "sorry, I can't talk right now." We had to sit there while he chatted with his wife for 1/2 a minute or more. Needless to say this disrespect, and his general arrogance, made him a bad fit for our team.


    Sadly enough, this isn't that uncommon. I was at a job fair at my university (you know the kind, where hundreds of college students desperate for jobs line up for hours for a slim chance to slip their resume into a prospective employer's hands and maybe have one or two minutes to talk about potential jobs at the company) and almost the exact same thing happens. I was something like fourth in line, when the guy talking to the recruiter gets a call on his cell phone. He answers it and talks with the guy on the other line for a few minutes, all while standing right in front of the recruiter. I mean he didn't even have the decency to excuse himself and leave so one of us other desperate college students could have our turn.

    Needless to say, the recruiter was a bit pissed off, and stopped talking with students one on one after that.
  • WIldpeaks 2007-04-12 02:43
    Bart:
    The interviewee was a woman, fwiw.

    Gee thanks for this very important information. So what.
  • cardboard box 2007-04-12 02:56
    Well, Ive done exactlty two work interviews. Both were more than a little odd. My first inteview ever was with an IT support company for a side job during college. I had plenty of common knowledge understanding of networking but not too much hard facts to give then. One guy asked me about a default gateway and what it was for in lan communications. I explained it as well as I could, that it was used when there was no direct route to host. The guy corrected that all traffic in a lan went thru the default gateway when it was given.That did not make sense for me so I dared to disagree. I never heard from them again.

    The second one was odd because the interviewers had no clue what position they were hiring me for. They did hire me tho and my new boss gave me a "small" task of parsing info from some log files. In two months I had started devloping tools they desperately needed so I was moved from production to IT and I love it here. Blind luck I guess :)
  • Maty 2007-04-12 03:57
    It depend,Am I paid as team???
    If i have same salary but better result then rest of the team where is no place for team spirit...so going home and watching tv is a good idea.
  • General Dogsbody 2007-04-12 04:06
    I promise this is the absolute truth....

    I attended two interviews in the UK for a job building servers for banks in the Middle East. I passed the written and practical tests fairly well and finally had to have a two hour interview with the CEO. This took place in a triangular office overlooking the town reclining in lazy-boy chairs.

    The interview was relaxed and pleasant until this question reared its ugly head.

    "It's customary for our customers to take their guests to the local executions where they have prominant front-row seats. How do you feel about that? What would you say when asked without offending them?"

    Needless to say when I was later offered an IT job in the National Health Service I jumped at it rather than wait for the results of the previous interview!
  • shawnz 2007-04-12 04:10
    the tick one sounds like either a lie or a test to see if you'd just walk out
  • Anonymous Coward 2007-04-12 06:08
    When I was interviewing for my current job, we were all posed the question while being shown around by our potential employer (yes all interviewees at the same time), So... why do you want to work for us?

    One lady pipes up: Oh, just 'coz it's another job isn't it? Fills the gap d'un it?

    Needless to say she was unsuccessful and I was victorious!
  • TheJasper 2007-04-12 07:11
    General Dogsbody:

    "It's customary for our customers to take their guests to the local executions where they have prominant front-row seats. How do you feel about that? What would you say when asked without offending them?"

    Needless to say when I was later offered an IT job in the National Health Service I jumped at it rather than wait for the results of the previous interview!


    Why is that needless to say? I wouldn't be thrilled by going to executions either. However, unless you want to say that you wouldn't deliver any kind of software for people like that, then the question is meant to see how you would react to what is probably the more difficult of their customers. Obviously you didn't qualify for the job on the grounds that you can't handle the social implications. Allthough, it is a valid choice not to work for people like that. Just give up large parts of the world as potential employers/customers.

    What get's me about the first story, is the reaction of people. The was honest, but unless he was also brilliant it was a bad answer. Managers aint lookin for honesty, they have boots that need lickin. Seriously, he gets points for being honest, and demerits for being a (social)moron. Also, unless you're getting paid by the hour, you really are stealing company time.

    My boss got it right though. He told me (in the interview) I don't care how many hours you make, I only check what you produce. If I could do my job in 1 hour a week, he wouldn't care. Ok maybe not that extreme (there's always things need doing around here). you get the point though.
  • nwbrown 2007-04-12 07:56
    Maty:
    It depend,Am I paid as team???
    If i have same salary but better result then rest of the team where is no place for team spirit...so going home and watching tv is a good idea.


    I think its time to declare it, "The Real WTF Here" is the reactions people here are having to this story. I really hope you all or kidding, or that I'm never put on the same team (or hell, work for the same company) as you guys.

    Anyways, what makes you think your result is better than the rest of the team? A bunch of you "I really would go home and watch TV" guys seem to be assuming that the coworkers in this hypothetical question are simply doing a poor job due to the fact that they can't get their work done, but that is unlikely the case. There are dozens of reasons why it would take one person longer than another to finish their work. The most obvious being that they had a harder job. It is almost never the case that the workload is distributed evenly when it is assigned to different team members. Its also perfectly feasible that these are less experienced team members who are struggling to learn the new material and could benefit greatly from the help given by more experienced team members.

    And if you need more motivation, those employees that show themselves to be competent, helpful, and dedicated team members will often get rewarded with promotions, raises, bonuses, etc. Those that show themselves to be arrogant lazy pricks will often get rewarded with a stagnant career or a pink slip.
  • AndyB 2007-04-12 08:15
    I have been an interviewer many, many times but the way I was assigned this task is the best:

    One day I was sitting at the desk (as a developer) doing my ordinary coding job, and the receptionist comes up and says "Is <boss> around?". "No", says I, "He's gone to the xyz show with the networks manager, he'll be back in tomorrow.".

    "Oh, ok", says receptionist. "Well his interviewee has arrived, here's his CV".

    That'd be bad enough, but my boss had arranged no less than 4 interviews for that day....


    He was good with interviews - another day, we were down the pub at lunchtime with the boss (and taking our time about it.... the boss was there so it was OK) and one of the contractors rushed in, "where's <boss>, where's <boss>?" he exclaimed, "his interviewee's just turned up".


    And when he interviewed me? He kept me waiting for 50 minutes (another 10 and I wouldn't have been there...), and during it the rest of the team had a meeting so he nipped out to participate for 5 minutes.

    It turned out OK though, I enjoyed working there, possibly because of his responsibilities that we could take on.
  • Grrr 2007-04-12 08:26
    I have been an IT project manager at a bank for 3 years.

    I knew it was my responsibility to divide up tasks and to make certain they meet the deadlines we agree with the customer (mostly other bank departments) and developers about.

    Thus as part of my responsibilities, it was setting realistic deadlines for tasks and subtasks. If a person has done his task sooner than expected, I can and will of course assign him a new one. I might take into account that he is quicker on uptake and I can ask for a leaner deadline for next task possibly.

    However, I would never ever think bad of a programmer because he wasn't utilizing the extra time he received by being quick, on asking for new tasks. I made it clear that I wanted them to do the job that we agreed upon, in time we agreed upon. As long as they did that, I was happy and our customers were happy too, because they got what they wanted in time we agreed upon.

    Funnily enough, we were quite succesful, and the most curious part was my programmers really WERE coming up to me and asking for extra tasks to do, even though I didn't ask them to.
  • akatherder 2007-04-12 09:12
    In my 9 year career (spanning three positions), I have NEVER had nothing to do. Between the major projects, training, defect fixes, planning, support tickets, and helping out teammates there's always something to do.

    Granted... I have never worked a contract job, so my experiences may be different than others.
  • Maty 2007-04-12 09:42
    once again - this is simply, give me extra money i will do extra tasks, otherwise i do what is my "duty".
    Once i finish some tasks very soon before dedline, from this time my boss shorted always deadlines for me and i worked under big pressure.

    no more.
  • rgz 2007-04-12 10:17
    Reply to nwbrown, quote omitted.

    Don't know if they are serious or not but the indignation people show here is the honest and sensible reaction when you find out that your employer expects you to do more work than what he is willing to pay you for doing.

    Agreed when you work by project it makes sense to help others so long as you get credit for it, or if you have to work a given amount of time. But this obviously is a "by task" job.

    I think most of us will actually try and help struggling coworkers, but to be expected to do it without it being part of the job description, is a very shameless thing to ask for.
  • zip 2007-04-12 10:25
    Maty:
    once again - this is simply, give me extra money i will do extra tasks, otherwise i do what is my "duty".
    Once i finish some tasks very soon before dedline, from this time my boss shorted always deadlines for me and i worked under big pressure.

    no more.


    Did it ever occur to you that it's a lot easier to ask for "extra money" if you have actually shown that you're able to work faster or do more than your peers?
  • zip 2007-04-12 10:35
    rgz:

    Don't know if they are serious or not but the indignation people show here is the honest and sensible reaction when you find out that your employer expects you to do more work than what he is willing to pay you for doing.


    What the hell are you talking about? My employer expects me to work for 8 hours a day. They also expect me to keep them abreast of my progress and to stay busy.

    On the flip side, if I'm more efficient than my coworkers, I expect to be rewarded.

    Once they fail to me my expectations, then I'll fail to meet theirs.

  • KenW 2007-04-12 10:59
    Maty:
    once again - this is simply, give me extra money i will do extra tasks, otherwise i do what is my "duty".
    Once i finish some tasks very soon before dedline, from this time my boss shorted always deadlines for me and i worked under big pressure.

    no more.


    And your duty is to work the number of hours per day/week/month/year that your job calls for and you are paid for. If I'm paying a developer a salary based on the expectation that s/he will work a 40-hour week, I expect them to work a 40 hour week. If they don't, they don't work for me. I'm paying the salary for work, not for loafing.

    If a developer is obviously working at less than their level in order to avoid work or come in early against a deadline, they'd quickly either get much shorter deadlines or again, be looking for a different job.

    You'd be looking for a job very quickly, I suspect.
  • el jaybird 2007-04-12 11:25
    Anonymous Coward:
    So... why do you want to work for us?

    One lady pipes up: Oh, just 'coz it's another job isn't it? Fills the gap d'un it?


    I used to call BS on these kinds of stories until I saw it for myself (well, second-hand). At the job I'm in now, I was talking with my manager and coworkers and they were telling me about some of the other prospects they were considering before finally settling on me (the req had been open for 6 months!) One fellow in particular started off the interview by saying "I'm not really interested in this position, but the HR folks wanted me to come".
  • Saladin 2007-04-12 11:26
    Maty:
    It depend,Am I paid as team???
    If i have same salary but better result then rest of the team where is no place for team spirit...so going home and watching tv is a good idea.

    I hope I never end up with someone like you as my co-worker. I actually like my coworkers, and find it important to help them if they're stuck on a trouble spot. Going home and watching TV or saying "I won't help my teammate to ensure the success of this project unless you pay me extra" makes you look like the biggest prick in the universe, which probably wouldn't be all that far from the truth.
  • CynicalTyler 2007-04-12 11:39
    Maty:
    It depend,Am I paid as team???

    The other WTF here is when the hell did people stop associating the success of their company with their own success? At a small company, your efforts directly effect the bottom line of the company: if you work hard, you'll probably increase your chance of success. And if the company is succeeding it means you don't have to get another job (heck, maybe it means bonuses too.) Now I can see how this might be harder to see at a large corporation, but even then it's not untrue. And just look at what disgruntled, lazy employees can do when they're not at home watching TV. In software, an unusable application can sink a company.

    So yeah, maybe that's why they ask that question.
  • Corporate Cog 2007-04-12 11:56
    The tick story gave me the heebiedabajeebies
  • Eduardo Habkost 2007-04-12 12:07
    AdT:
    The real WTF (ok, another real WTF) is the bad advice of suffocating the tick...

    This is how it's done properly.


    The real WTF is that the URL above says "see Figure 3" while there is no figure in the page.
  • Grrr 2007-04-12 12:33
    FWIW, my take:

    KenW:

    And your duty is to work the number of hours per day/week/month/year that your job calls for and you are paid for. If I'm paying a developer a salary based on the expectation that s/he will work a 40-hour week, I expect them to work a 40 hour week. If they don't, they don't work for me. I'm paying the salary for work, not for loafing.

    This is simply 1 approach to "job". Another one is that I am paying for a job that needs to be done, and I pretty well know how much time it could realistically take.

    If a developer is obviously working at less than their level in order to avoid work or come in early against a deadline, they'd quickly either get much shorter deadlines or again, be looking for a different job.

    You'd be looking for a job very quickly, I suspect.


    So, instead of having a quantifiable estimate of my work - ie. done task X in amount of time Y, you want me to show up that I am doing amount {as_much_as_i_can} in amount of time Y, and moreover you would be the judge based on how many of my peers are doing another stuff in the same time... taking into consideration that in development there are generally not 2 people working on the SAME task (wouldn't make sense, would it?).

    I find the whole ideology of "from 9 to 5 your ass is mine" repulsive. It is never yours, you don't hire my brain, we contract to do a task, or a number of tasks. That's it. I do my tasks, you give me checkie, period. If you want more, go offer me stock options or something.

    Sounds lazy? Hell, if I wanted to work my ass off, I'd start my own company instead of working for somebody else. Paid work is for those of us lazy enough to not to want to go to the hassle.

    Don't get me wrong. It is my responsibility as a hired worker to do my tasks on time, and in good quality, provided of course they are doable(Half of WTFs here btw, is about mgmt expecting the manna from heaven by lunchtime). It is part of my ethics as a co-worker, to help my colleagues when I can.

    However, I'll be damned if I stay for one hour in any company where the boss thinks that the fact I work here, means I can't organize my work to take a 5min break to read my email or go take a walk through nearby park, if needed. I know when my brain needs cooling, and I refuse to be a tube filled with stimulants by the age of 40, while the company thinks ... hmm, this guy is nearly burnt out, let's kick him and take another.
  • Patrick 2007-04-12 13:01
    zip:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    I really don't see the problem with the first one.. I mean I see that it's not the standard corporate bullshit "I'll do anything to help this company" answer that most drones seem to expect, but quite frankly the interviewee was right. If he's done of his part of the project, it's not his responsibility to aid the others. It might be a nice gesture, but it should never be a requirement. It's like those bullshit school projects; one or two guys do all the work, and the slackers just coast through because they know if they don't do it, the other guys will so the project gets completed.


    You're one of those guys who finishes something, sits in his cube for the rest of week surfing the web instead of finding more work or telling anyone he's done, and then can't figure out why he gets laid off, right?



    That's probably not the reason you get laid off. The reason guys like that get laid off is because they don't have work to do. And they don't have work to do because 1) They're incompotent. Anything remotely important has been taken away from them and management it just waiting for an excuse to fire them. 2) They're lazy, and weasel their way out of doing anything and management lets them get away with it because... 3) Their job just isn't that important.
  • Wolfger 2007-04-12 14:46
    Anonymous Coward:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    If he's done of his part of the project, it's not his responsibility to aid the others. It might be a nice gesture, but it should never be a requirement.


    I don't know what your employment contract says, but mine says that the company gets 40 hours of my valuable time per week (plus unpaid overtime if necessary to meet deadlines). If I get done early, I don't go home early - I start the next project early.


    So the real WTF is, "why would anybody ever let themselves finish early?". When the only reward for doing good work is *more* work, what's the point?
  • akatherder 2007-04-12 15:51
    Wolfger:
    So the real WTF is, "why would anybody ever let themselves finish early?". When the only reward for doing good work is *more* work, what's the point?


    Fighting communism and working for a raise.
  • AGould 2007-04-12 15:58
    Anonymous Coward:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    If he's done of his part of the project, it's not his responsibility to aid the others. It might be a nice gesture, but it should never be a requirement.


    I don't know what your employment contract says, but mine says that the company gets 40 hours of my valuable time per week (plus unpaid overtime if necessary to meet deadlines). If I get done early, I don't go home early - I start the next project early.


    And somewhere, there is an Executive laughing on a golf course because people buy into that logic.

    If I'm on salary, that means I get paid X to do Y. If I'm expected to work longer when we're running behind schedule, then I expect to get time off when we're running ahead of schedule.

    Your boss doesn't work for free, and neither should you.
  • zip 2007-04-12 16:02
    AGould:


    If I'm on salary, that means I get paid X to do Y.


    Too bad Y in this case is "work 40 hours a week," unless you are a contractor.
  • KenW 2007-04-12 16:26
    zip:
    What the hell are you talking about? My employer expects me to work for 8 hours a day. They also expect me to keep them abreast of my progress and to stay busy.

    On the flip side, if I'm more efficient than my coworkers, I expect to be rewarded.

    Once they fail to me my expectations, then I'll fail to meet theirs.


    Ummm... You are rewarded. You do cash your paycheck, don't you?

    If you feel you've proven that you're more efficient than your coworkers, negotiate a raise for yourself. If you decide to fail to meet theirs instead, you have no one to blame but yourself for failing to progress or for losing your job.
  • KenW 2007-04-12 16:40
    Grrr:

    This is simply 1 approach to "job". Another one is that I am paying for a job that needs to be done, and I pretty well know how much time it could realistically take.


    I don't know what that's supposed to mean (or refer to, even) in relation to my post.

    You seem to be referring to doing work for hire, where I ask you to do a project and you quote me a number of hours and an hourly rate. That isn't what we've been talking about here.

    Grrr:

    So, instead of having a quantifiable estimate of my work - ie. done task X in amount of time Y, you want me to show up that I am doing amount {as_much_as_i_can} in amount of time Y, and moreover you would be the judge based on how many of my peers are doing another stuff in the same time... taking into consideration that in development there are generally not 2 people working on the SAME task (wouldn't make sense, would it?).


    Again, I don't know what you're talking about here, unless it's again the work for hire thing. My "quantifiable estimate" of your work would be in monitoring your progress on the work you'd been assigned to complete, and comparing it to your observable skills and level of competency. No one said anything about two people working on the same task; at least I didn't.

    Grrr:
    Don't get me wrong. It is my responsibility as a hired worker to do my tasks on time, and in good quality, provided of course they are doable(Half of WTFs here btw, is about mgmt expecting the manna from heaven by lunchtime). It is part of my ethics as a co-worker, to help my colleagues when I can.

    However, I'll be damned if I stay for one hour in any company where the boss thinks that the fact I work here, means I can't organize my work to take a 5min break to read my email or go take a walk through nearby park, if needed. I know when my brain needs cooling, and I refuse to be a tube filled with stimulants by the age of 40, while the company thinks ... hmm, this guy is nearly burnt out, let's kick him and take another.


    I again never said anything about being able to take a break or check email. I never said that you shouldn't be able to surf the web for job-related materials, either.

    Look. My post was related to all the posters who responded positively to the "go home and watch TV" comment. If you're being paid to work 40 hours a week, and you finish your assigned work in 30 instead, you don't "go home and watch TV", or "surf the web", or "play games", or anything else like that if there is work remaining on the project. You check to see if you can help by taking over part of someone else's task, or help track down an elusive bug by being another set of eyes. Hell, work keeping the damned coffee pot fresh or be a gofer for sodas to help keep the other coders at their desks if you want. Just do something that advances the project toward the deadline. Completing projects is what keeps the company in business, remember? Which in turn keeps the paychecks from bouncing.

    I'm all for flexible hours. You'd rather work 7 to 3 instead of 9 to 5? Fine. Want to work 10 to 6 instead? Sure, no problem. Want to work 10 to 2 and play foosball the rest of the day? Fine, if you're not being paid hourly and the project is finished. Don't think that's fair? We can handle that. We can change you to an hourly employee so that you only get paid for the hours you actually work, or we can arrange for you to permanently locate the nearest exit. Your choice.
  • KenW 2007-04-12 16:42
    Wolfger:
    So the real WTF is, "why would anybody ever let themselves finish early?". When the only reward for doing good work is *more* work, what's the point?


    No, the point is that people who finish early and help other developers or start the next project are the ones who get promotions and raises. If that doesn't happen where you work, find another job.
  • zip 2007-04-12 16:44
    KenW:
    zip:
    What the hell are you talking about? My employer expects me to work for 8 hours a day. They also expect me to keep them abreast of my progress and to stay busy.

    On the flip side, if I'm more efficient than my coworkers, I expect to be rewarded.

    Once they fail to me my expectations, then I'll fail to meet theirs.


    Ummm... You are rewarded. You do cash your paycheck, don't you?

    If you feel you've proven that you're more efficient than your coworkers, negotiate a raise for yourself. If you decide to fail to meet theirs instead, you have no one to blame but yourself for failing to progress or for losing your job.


    Maybe that wasn't clear. I meant I expect to be able to negotiate a larger reward if I do my job well.

    I was responding to the sentiment "my employer won't reward hard work, so I won't work hard" by saying that I assume the opposite -- I'll work hard and be rewarded. I realize I will have to take control of my own destiny on the reward side of things... it's the business world. I just didn't spell that out.

  • PartTuna 2007-04-12 17:35
    Once I interviewed some wise guy kid. At the end of the interview, where his body language made it obvious he didn't care about the job - I concluded and asked him if he had any questions: "yeah, where'd you get that shirt, man?"
    I was wearing an American Eagle Outfitters shirt.
    I told him I got it at Ross, thanked him and chucked his resume in the bit bucket.

    Oh, and once when I was 'between jobs' after the big dot-bomb, I was being interviewed and the VP asked me "...so, what kind of schedule would you like?"
    I told him I liked the schedule I had - you know, sleeping past noon, getting up to check email, surf the net, and then back to bed for a nice nap... we laughed, and I still got the job. It was so... "office space" b/c I really didn't care at that point.

    captcha: alarm - pulling one prior to your interview is a good way to dodge it.

  • nwbrown 2007-04-12 20:29
    rgz:
    Reply to nwbrown, quote omitted.

    Don't know if they are serious or not but the indignation people show here is the honest and sensible reaction when you find out that your employer expects you to do more work than what he is willing to pay you for doing.

    Agreed when you work by project it makes sense to help others so long as you get credit for it, or if you have to work a given amount of time. But this obviously is a "by task" job.

    I think most of us will actually try and help struggling coworkers, but to be expected to do it without it being part of the job description, is a very shameless thing to ask for.


    Every job I've ever worked, from software development jobs to working at the supermarket, its always implied that you will not just do the minimum amount of work that you can get away with. Its not shameless, its expecting your employees to be responsible adults.
  • Andie 2007-04-13 01:24
    I was interviewing for a contract position with a retailer once to design and implement their replication for their point of sales system. I had been a SQL dba for 6 years at that point. I started the interview with "I have never done replication. Do you want to continue this interview?"

    I worked there for 19 months until we were all done. And a lot more than just the replication.
  • Maty 2007-04-13 04:42
    KenW:
    Maty:
    once again - this is simply, give me extra money i will do extra tasks, otherwise i do what is my "duty".
    Once i finish some tasks very soon before dedline, from this time my boss shorted always deadlines for me and i worked under big pressure.

    no more.


    And your duty is to work the number of hours per day/week/month/year that your job calls for and you are paid for. If I'm paying a developer a salary based on the expectation that s/he will work a 40-hour week, I expect them to work a 40 hour week. If they don't, they don't work for me. I'm paying the salary for work, not for loafing.

    If a developer is obviously working at less than their level in order to avoid work or come in early against a deadline, they'd quickly either get much shorter deadlines or again, be looking for a different job.

    You'd be looking for a job very quickly, I suspect.


    exactly, be managed=stressed by a big dick, who is not able to wrote one line of code,who is thinking that i will work for his company more then 40 hours a week-to fulfill his incredible requests (yes sometimes it goes easy, sometimes you need more time)- and of course only for enjoying of work (without payment)???
    Maybe you will be suprised, but work and success of my company aren't most important things in my life.
    If somebody offers me a better job, i don't care about company, i will go...
  • felix 2007-04-13 05:04
    Regarding the first case, I'm firmly in the "I'd try and help the others out" camp. But I think that deserves an explanation, so let me tell you my reasons:

    1) I happen to care about my work. When I'm on a project, I want to see it finished - and to get it right.
    2) I actually like to help. Maybe it's just me, but I do.
    3) If I didn't like and trust my team mates, I wouldn't be on the team in the first place.

    The "trust" part deserves a little more detail. I trust my team mates to handle their assignments as best as they can. So if I finish my part early, my automatic assumption is that they hit a snag or something. I don't question their competency or dedication unless they give me big, fat reasons to do so.

    As for Brooks' Law, sometimes a new pair of eyes can help tremendously, simply because the newcomer thinks differently and (at first) looks at the problem from outside. Unless, of course, there's too much explaining to do. It really depends on the situation. I recommend wisdom.
  • Edss 2007-04-13 09:09
    I read these when I eat my lunch at work.




    I almost choked on my pasta during "I think I have a tick".

  • KenW 2007-04-13 09:35
    felix:
    Regarding the first case, I'm firmly in the "I'd try and help the others out" camp. But I think that deserves an explanation, so let me tell you my reasons:

    1) I happen to care about my work. When I'm on a project, I want to see it finished - and to get it right.
    2) I actually like to help. Maybe it's just me, but I do.
    3) If I didn't like and trust my team mates, I wouldn't be on the team in the first place.

    The "trust" part deserves a little more detail. I trust my team mates to handle their assignments as best as they can. So if I finish my part early, my automatic assumption is that they hit a snag or something. I don't question their competency or dedication unless they give me big, fat reasons to do so.

    As for Brooks' Law, sometimes a new pair of eyes can help tremendously, simply because the newcomer thinks differently and (at first) looks at the problem from outside. Unless, of course, there's too much explaining to do. It really depends on the situation. I recommend wisdom.


    You, I'd hire in a heartbeat! Someone with ethics and a sense of responsibility!
  • cklam 2007-04-15 04:27
    Beltira:
    Clock ticks in the wilderness? Must have long battery life on the laptop.

    < Snip>



    Solar Charger, hand-crank generator, bicycle-typed jury rig ... etc.
  • cklam 2007-04-15 04:40
    nwbrown:
    Maty:
    It depend,Am I paid as team???
    If i have same salary but better result then rest of the team where is no place for team spirit...so going home and watching tv is a good idea.


    I think its time to declare it, "The Real WTF Here" is the reactions people here are having to this story. I really hope you all or kidding, or that I'm never put on the same team (or hell, work for the same company) as you guys.

    Anyways, what makes you think your result is better than the rest of the team? A bunch of you "I really would go home and watch TV" guys seem to be assuming that the coworkers in this hypothetical question are simply doing a poor job due to the fact that they can't get their work done, but that is unlikely the case. There are dozens of reasons why it would take one person longer than another to finish their work. The most obvious being that they had a harder job. It is almost never the case that the workload is distributed evenly when it is assigned to different team members. Its also perfectly feasible that these are less experienced team members who are struggling to learn the new material and could benefit greatly from the help given by more experienced team members.

    And if you need more motivation, those employees that show themselves to be competent, helpful, and dedicated team members will often get rewarded with promotions, raises, bonuses, etc. Those that show themselves to be arrogant lazy pricks will often get rewarded with a stagnant career or a pink slip.


    Excuse me, but which planet are you on ? The one sure-fired thing for a corporate career to become stagnant is to be a specialist who is/has become too good in his expertise and job position. The management will be happy to have (finally) put a square peg into a square hole. On the other hand, "arrogant lazy pricks" correlates pretty good with "PHB" ...........
  • cklam 2007-04-15 04:47
    Eduardo Habkost:
    AdT:
    The real WTF (ok, another real WTF) is the bad advice of suffocating the tick...

    This is how it's done properly.


    The real WTF is that the URL above says "see Figure 3" while there is no figure in the page.


    I followed the US Army link mentioned in the URL above and found the figures there.
  • Been Interviewing People Lately? 2007-04-15 16:16
    Actually, that's a pretty poor example of a question, in the first one, but not total crap. I use variants of it (with a bit more leeway) to determine what type of person I'm dealing with. I don't expect anyone to give the obvious "wrong" answer (though it has happened, rarely), but rather I look for variations. For example, do they handle minor problems by immediately hauling in the boss or by talking to the folks involved or what...and do they seem comfortable with the answer they give. I seldom use more than 1 such question in an interview, with an "obvious" answer, but I'm usually looking for the variations in that "obvious" answer when I do. The folks who give the obviously-wrong answer just amuse me and weed themselves out.
  • Kuba 2007-04-16 05:34
    Mike:
    If I was asked what I'd do if my coworkers were stuck trying to solve a problem, I'd ask "are you suggesting you hire people that can't handle the job?"


    It's not about being able or unable to handle the job. <b>Handling</b> the job implies solving problems, and sometimes being stuck. If you never face any challenges, and never get stuck, then your joob is too easy.
  • EA Refugee 2007-04-16 11:39
    When companies stopped taking care of their people.

    It used to be that you could spend an entire career at a company and be taken care of from the day you start to the day you die. Those days are long gone and most employees are treated as disposable cost centers. Companies would rather screw you around, screw you over or offshore you. That's why so few people associate their own destiny with that of their employeer anymore.

    When I was at EA, my bonus for a title that was a best seller was less than the bonus I got for a dud that we shipped prior to being assimilated (by EA). The bestseller sold 100x more copies than the dud did.
  • nony 2007-08-17 14:28
    EA Refugee:

    When I was at EA, my bonus for a title that was a best seller was less than the bonus I got for a dud that we shipped prior to being assimilated (by EA). The bestseller sold 100x more copies than the dud did.


    but everyone who works in games knows EA sucks period. it's why so many people jump ship when their company gets bought out.
  • Steve Juenemann 2008-01-17 00:00
    Juenemann:
    Can I get sued for dispensing medical advice on an interview for an Ada job? Also, why would he take medical advice from a software developer.
  • 855 2008-11-28 21:02
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