• your name here (unregistered)

    STD ftw

  • Satanicpuppy (cs)

    Ewwww.

    TRWTF is that there is no WTF, just a story about a crappy manager.

    Oh, yea, what kind of company writes money code without an accountant making sure it balances? It should never be down to the programmer to set the number.

  • NH (unregistered)

    Some people just have it coming for them.

    But the problem is that they never realize that it's their fault, it's always somebody else's.

  • adiener (unregistered)

    I'd really be curious to know what this story was like before dramatization. Seemed way over the top on this one.

  • Joe the Programmer (unregistered) in reply to adiener
    adiener:
    I'd really be curious to know what this story was like before dramatization. Seemed way over the top on this one.

    Ditto.

    Although when you take out the over-the-top-ness, there doesn't seem to be much left. Boss wrote a piece of buggy code, maybe, and then was annoyed at being called on it, possibly...

    Seeing the code that always returned "0" instead of being told about it might have been fun though...

  • Mr B (cs)

    Yup, standard wtf:

    1. John Doe Joins MegaCorp on a promise.
    2. MegaCorp turns out to be just like every other company.
    3. Someone senior to John Doe does/has done something daft
    4. John Doe either blamed, or present when blame is apportioned for cockup in 3.
    5. John Doe hands in resignation with wry smile on face.

    This is done, presumably, to perpetuate the wtfness of companies, because it's easier to avoid these issues than to try and fix them.

    The reason you GET the three Bs is that no-one has the fourth "B" (ie. BALLS) to stand up and be counted. They'd much rather sit in the shadows and then leave when things get tough. That's TRWTF.

  • Dave (unregistered)

    Anyone else thing Student was kind of a pussy in this story? I've never been in the situation so I don't know exactly how I'd act, but I'd like to think that I wouldn't sign a piece of paper accepting blame for something I didn't do. Especially if the guy who was responsible was yelling obscenities at me.

  • Zylon (cs)

    "Superintendent Chalmers's"

    Oh, wow. It's been a while since I've seen apostrophe usage as fractally wrong as this.

  • CodeDude (unregistered)

    TRWTF is that Gary is a monumentally huge pussy.

    Why would anyone put up with that kind of nonsense anywhere, least of all work? If that's not bad enought, Gary then feels bad about telling the truth about Bill's competence. I mean, "...be the better man"? Jesus F'g Christ, Gary needs to start to BE a man first before he starts being the better one.

  • Jim Lard (unregistered)

    Unit tests? What're they? Real coders don't need no stinking unit tests, our code works right, first time. And if it doesn't, we just blame it on one of our minions.

    Captcha: genitus. Possibly the condition Bill has.

  • DOA (cs)

    I didn't quite get the bit about professional assistance. Could someone explain it to me?

  • Rootbeer (cs)

    TRWTFs are:

    1. HR not only allowed Bill to issue Gary a disciplinary warning without just cause, but actually was on Bill's side in doing so.
    2. Gary agreed to sign the warning (or did Bill forge his signature? The story leaves it ambiguous).
  • Maurits (cs)

    s/Gary/Walter Mitty/ and... no, still lame.

  • Mr B (cs)

    "The profession where they don't let you kiss them on the lips"

    Where do you get your real-world knowledge of this section of the services industry from? Chaucer? Milton? Moses?

  • Company names need to be used.... (unregistered)

    "you will sign this"

    That statement out of ANYONE needs to be replied with.

    "Like fuck I will. you cant make me sign anything."

    Come on people have some balls out there. Tell these kinds of assholes they can stuff it in their butt sideways.

  • Boris (unregistered)

    Never. Ever. Sign anything when you are NOT at fault. I don't care if they bully you. I don't care if they theaten to fire you. The simple fact that they were asking him to waive his right to sue (which you really can't do in most cases anyway) should have clued him into the fact that shady stuff was at foot.

    The only way to exist is to stand up for yourself when you are in the right. If you don't, idiot bosses like this guy continue to exist. I'm tired of junior level people in my organization just rolling over and taking it up the yingyang when they really -should- be upsetting the applecart. Its the entire reason many software companies are producing mediocre crap instead of quality. The smart people are being bullied and shouted down by the idiots. If enough smart people fight back, it will end. Fighting back doesn't mean tender resignation, it means letting everyone know the truth of the situations.

    "I highlighted a bug that you created, in order to fix a bug that could have cost our department big time? And you want to punish me for this? I refuse to sign this." Walk away. If they fire you, get a lawyer. Chances are, they'll be too scared to fire you.

  • Anonymous (unregistered)

    I know some people are questioning the full details of this story and that's fair enough since we know stuff gets anonymised here. BUT, if there is even one ounce of truth to the part where Gary put his boss on loudspeaker to lament over his VD, then Gary is truly a God amongst men. For a guy in his first job that is an extremely classy way to quit.

    Also, see how much Gary has learnt in his first job. He's gone effortlessly from "don't throw Bill under the bus" to "let's share Bill's STD with the entire department!". That's extremely good progress.

  • Apostrophe (unregistered) in reply to Zylon
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Neil (unregistered) in reply to Mr B
    Mr B:
    "The profession where they don't let you kiss them on the lips"

    Where do you get your real-world knowledge of this section of the services industry from? Chaucer? Milton? Moses?

    I'm thinking Pretty Woman.
  • Jasmine (unregistered) in reply to Zylon
    Comment held for moderation.
  • ShatteredArm (unregistered)

    TRWTF is that Gary didn't threaten to sue THEM for trying to force him sign that document. There's no way I'd hire someone as spineless and pussified as Gary. But I suppose people who run large software shops sometimes feel differently...

  • nobody (unregistered)

    If the boss actually yelled "pick it the fuck up" in front of HR, not before or after, then employee should have looked across the table at the HR person and said "I will not take this kind of abuse, get him under control", stood up, and walked out. Boss's head might have exploded, but HR would have know full well the kind of trouble the company could have been looking at...

  • SomeCoder (unregistered)

    First off, I think you misplaced some "Garys" with "Bills". It throws off the entire story and makes it a little incomprehensible in the middle.

    Second, I agree with everyone else here: You do not sign anything admitting fault when there is no fault. No one can legally make you sign anything and most of the time even if you do sign something under duress, that signature is void.

    I think the real author of this story needs to stand up and remove at least a little of the sensationalizing from it.

  • Chris (unregistered) in reply to Dave

    I have been in a situation like this before. Just say no to signing the paper and contact a lawyer.

  • Josh K (unregistered)

    I'm loving the interrobang in the article.

  • MadtM (unregistered) in reply to ShatteredArm

    I worked in a small shop (not software) where the boss would toss his keys to the next in line and say, "Park my car in back for me." I'd get to hear lots of complaining from said next in line, but he never stood up to the boss.

    If you tolerate abuse, you're enabling. If you listen too long to the endless complaining by the "pussified" then you're enabling as well. He never tried tossing them to me.

    captcha: deedledo

  • MattB (unregistered) in reply to Dave
    Dave:
    Anyone else thing Student was kind of a pussy in this story? I've never been in the situation so I don't know exactly how I'd act, but I'd like to think that I wouldn't sign a piece of paper accepting blame for something I didn't do. Especially if the guy who was responsible was yelling obscenities at me.

    110% agreed.

  • Tris (unregistered)

    Interesting.... i work in the same building as a company called HTec..... i wonder if it's anyone i know.

  • Some guy off the web (unregistered) in reply to Mr B

    Here here, the guy missed a perfect opportunity to address an error in the code that he had already found and look like a wunderkind by describing how it had already been fixed. This guy is a pud. If he had a spine he would've told Bill to fuck himself when he demanded he sign the disciplinary notice.

  • Migala (unregistered) in reply to Boris
    Boris:
    The only way to exist is to stand up for yourself when you are in the right.

    +1

  • nitehawk (unregistered)

    Does anyone remember when the stories on this site were not complete bullshit?

    A guy getting threatened to be fired because he did not cover up for his supervisor? Please...

  • Matt S (unregistered)

    Jake, Please stop using the interrobang. It looks weird.

  • Lego (unregistered) in reply to Mr B
    Mr B:
    "The profession where they don't let you kiss them on the lips"

    Where do you get your real-world knowledge of this section of the services industry from? Chaucer? Milton? Moses?

    Julia Roberts, in "Pretty Woman"

  • Voodoo Coder (cs) in reply to nitehawk
    nitehawk:
    Does anyone remember when the stories on this site were not complete bullshit?

    A guy getting threatened to be fired because he did not cover up for his supervisor? Please...

    Or the same supervisor sharing details of his romp with a prostitute?

    Or how he contracted an STD?

    I guess I've met people with very little shame...but I gotta say, even they had their limits on who they would tell something to...

    I'm calling shenanigans on this one...somebody get me my broom...

  • Neil (unregistered)

    I think the best way to deal with a boss like that is to hold on to all the abuse until one day you show up with an AK-47 and mow down him, and anyone else nearby.

  • Beavis (unregistered)

    You know, I wonder about the quality of my education sometimes..

    I was taught that If it ends with an S, put an apostrophe behind it for possessive, but don't add another s.

    As for Gary and Bill, I have no sympathy for Gary. He should have tried a lot harder to get Bill fired.

  • Voodoo Coder (cs) in reply to Beavis
    Beavis:
    You know, I wonder about the quality of my education sometimes..

    I was taught that If it ends with an S, put an apostrophe behind it for possessive, but don't add another s.

    As for Gary and Bill, I have no sympathy for Gary. He should have tried a lot harder to get Bill fired.

    Naa, that's just how you comprehended it..

    The scenario you're talking about is if, say there are multiple Garys...and they all own something...then it would be Garys' Something.

    Or you were getting paid for a couple of weeks. "Two weeks' pay" is correct.

    Plural possessives get just the apostrophe, which is where the confusion stems from. Supernintendo Chalmers's is correct, since Chalmers is not plural.

  • Jeff (unregistered)

    I'll POST this COMMENT.

    And seriously, I agree with all the comments. STUDENT! You are a spineless little wimp.

  • dingbat (unregistered)

    The onerous chore of babysitting the router

    The irritating holier-than-thou office Christian

    The logfiles with the desktop IP address and farmsex.net

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs)

    Agreeing with the others here. Gary is a total pussy for even signing the document, and even more of a pussy for not throwing Bill under the bus.

    Bill: You will sign this disciplinary action. Gary: No, I will not. Bill: Then you're fired. Gary: So long, fuckface. You'll be hearing from my lawyer.

    Of course, if Gary worked in a right to work state, then "Refusing to sign a trumped up disciplinary action" is all fine and legal, and depending on the state the company can actually deny you unemployment by saying you violated something in their employee handout (in Florida, for example, that's a valid reason to deny unemployment).

  • Buffled (unregistered) in reply to Zylon
    Zylon:
    "Superintendent Chalmers's"

    Oh, wow. It's been a while since I've seen apostrophe usage as fractally wrong as this.

    Eh? That's absolutely the correct usage. "Chalmers'" is used but it is incorrect. Usually it is only acceptable when the name ends in "es" like "Jones"; and even then it's probably safest to use 's.

  • Bappi (cs) in reply to Mr B
    Mr B:
    "The profession where they don't let you kiss them on the lips"

    Where do you get your real-world knowledge of this section of the services industry from? Chaucer? Milton? Moses?

    That euphemization of "prostitution" was about as subtle as being french kissed by a locomotive.

  • hatterson (cs) in reply to Rootbeer
    Rootbeer:
    TRWTFs are: 1. HR not only allowed Bill to issue Gary a disciplinary warning without just cause, but actually was on Bill's side in doing so. 2. Gary agreed to sign the warning (or did Bill forge his signature? The story leaves it ambiguous).
    The second half of the story was difficult to follow.

    "Teeth clenched, he hammered out a probation notice for Gary, clutching it with a heavy, sweaty fist from the printer, and then dragging Bill into a meeting with HR so quickly that Bill's feet barely touched the ground." Doesn't make sense, I believe the 'Bill's should be 'Gary'

    "Gary felt about two feet tall as he watched Bill carve his signature the form." The his is ambiguous. As you said, we can't tell if Bill is signing Bill's signature, or if Bill is signing Gary's signature.

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs) in reply to hatterson
    hatterson:
    As you said, we can't tell if Bill is signing Bill's signature, or if Bill is signing Gary's signature.

    If Bill is signing Gary's signature then it's fraud, isn't it?

    Maybe it means Gary signed it (pussy) and then felt two feet tall while watching Bill sign it too (typically managers sign a disciplinary form too)

  • Zapp Brannigan (unregistered)

    Is kissing a prostitute on the mouth a 'may not' or 'should not' situation? Why would you want to? Given their occupation, would they care?

  • EatenByAGrue (unregistered)

    This was Gary's first gig out of school. Should Gary have quit? Probably. But in his defense there were a number of good reasons why he didn't:

    1. It's a bad job market right now in general.
    2. In a lot of markets for programmers, "entry-level" means 3+ years of experience. It's extremely difficult to get those first 3 years in.
    3. He hadn't had enough time on the job to build up a financial cushion to get through a period of unemployment.
    4. Student loan payments.
    5. Having to explain in each job interview why his first job out of college lasted only a few months. And "My boss was a complete jerk" actually is about the worst possible explanation to give even if it's true.
  • Dan (unregistered)

    Technically, the whole plural vs singular possessive use of apostrophes is as described - ie. Chalmers's is correct.

    However, from a desire to tidy things up - and not sound like a troop of hissing poofs - when a singular ends in "s", only the apostrophe is appended....no additional "s".

    Convention is 9/10ths of grammatical law ;)

  • darkmage0707077 (unregistered) in reply to Boris
    Walk away. If they fire you, get a lawyer.

    Junior Employee steps onto soap box

    DISCLAIMER: For those who want a summary of this "little" speech, skip on down to the bottom. For those who want to see my points and reasoning, keep reading.

    Oh, so THAT'S what to do if I lose my only source of income unjustly! All I need to do is hire a lawyer to fight it!

    One question: who's money will I be paying with? Yours? Not mine: I need that money to live off of while I look for another job, maybe even to support a fledgling family that some people just out of college have. Not that I have that much to begin with, considering I'm just starting out and so haven't had much time to save (let alone if I have student debts still outstanding).

    Oh, use a public defender? Yeah, that's really going to work against corporate-level lawyers. These people are used to traffic tickets and other low-level litigation. You would have to search for a very long time to find one who is capable enough to defend against a large company, and the more time you spend, the colder the trail gets.

    Fight it myself? With who’s time? I'm using mine to FIND a job, since unjust firings usually DO happen overnight ("just" ones have a documentation trail, and if I'd FOUND a job already, don't you think I'd have told my "boss from hell" where to shove it before now?). And I'll probably be looking harder the usual, considering that

    1. I lack the documented POSITIVE experience on my resume that my more senior counterparts have (I had to discount quite a few "entry-level" positions just out of college because they had "2+ years experience required" on them).

    2. The job-market is still very poor due to the economy, and is expected to shrink.

    So I need to concentrate just about 100% of my time trying to find a job so I can get food in my mouth.

    Speaking of trails, where's my evidence of an unjust firing? If the company is as dishonest and shady as you claim it to be, then it will have destroyed the alleged form to be signed and any copies of it (if there were any), and Bill will be working over his staff so they'll support him (for fear of losing their incomes in a still-troubled economy). Then they just have to use the whole "disgruntled employee" excuse: Gary showed shoddy workmanship at his job and, after attempting to blame his boss for it, got fired. Bill would probably have performance reviews showing middling or poor performance (I doubt he has more then 1 or 2 "great" reviews for any employee of his whole career the way he's described), so they would have a documentation trail. If not, it would be easy to modify a few previous ones (dishonest, remember?).

    And what does Gary have as proof of HIS claims? Nothing.

    If the company as a whole isn't that dishonest and horrible, then perhaps it was just Bill being a problem, but then we have the "unequal power" situation: Bill had probably been there for quite some time. Gary had not. Bill had allies in the heads and senior execs (which is probably how he found out that it was GARY who'd named him). Gary (obviously) does not. Also, at a point in the story when Bill went to Asia, it mentions how he enjoyed being "treated like a human being by the rest of the staff", meaning that he didn't have many friends/allies amongst them, so probably nobody who would be willing to step up for him (and possibly take blame, as well).

    The fact that the senior board initially thought it was Gary's fault shows that there may not have been anything actually tracking Bill's changes outside of the project group's tools. This would eventually cause the truth to come to light, but by then it may have been too late, and Bill would already have fired him. And be honest: given a choice, would you want to go back to work for a company that also hired the "boss from hell" that had fired you initially? Neither would I.

    So, unless "Bill" gets on here to defend himself, I interpret the sequence of events to be this:

    1. Gary got called into a meeting by senior execs and was accosted with a defect they though was HIS faulty, but he knew was his BOSS'S.
    2. Gary realized he had a choice: either be fired for a costly mistake, or admit it was his boss (who could probably take the hit) and hope that those in the meeting have the moral fiber not to name names with whistle blowers. He chose the latter.
    3. Turns out he also chose wrong. Bill comes in and demands he sign a new waver. Gary is AGAIN confronted with a choice: either don't sign and get fired (probably immediately), or sign and bide his time until he can leave on his own. At this point, Gary probably realized he had to get out of there, and so chose the latter so he could have time to look for a new position at another company while still earning a paycheck (better bargaining position, no REAL urgency, etc).
    4. Gary finds said position while still working.
    5. In a display of unprofessionallism/revenge/justice, Gary humiliates Bill in front of the whole company.
    6. Gary turns around and hands in his resignation, waving a finger in the air as he heads for his new (hopefully better) job.

    Aside from point 5 above (Gary, come on: what happened to "being the better man"?), I agree with him on all of his decisions thus far. The company was behind Bill on this, and it doesn't seem that Gary had any recourse to present his side of the story. So he went along until he COULD fight/flee, and then did so.

    I do say this, though: if Gary did NOT have a job at the time he did what he did, then I'd have to call him a moron for not spending his prior borrowed time wisely to look for that job.

    All-in-all, though Gary wasn't a perfect angel here (by any means), I don't fault him for folding when he did. In a perfect world/company, he'd be able to challenge Bill about the signing, or better, never have to deal with it at all since Bill wouldn't be able to find out who named names (come to think of it, Bill wouldn't exist in a perfect company, so that last sentence is moot). But since we're not, and Gary needs to eat to live, and needs money to eat, and needs a job for money, it's understandable that he'd choose to do what he had to keep his job.

    steps off box with one foot

    I think he did what he had to. Dignity and virtue are only an issue when your basic human needs (a job, since human needs are now dependant on it) are met and secure. It sucks, but that's life. Blaming him for realizing that rule and following it is pointless and (to me) short-sighted.

    steps off with other foot, walks back into the internet

  • Kef Schecter (unregistered) in reply to Buffled
    Buffled:
    Eh? That's absolutely the correct usage. "Chalmers'" is used but it is incorrect.

    No. Both Chalmers' and Chalmers's is correct, depending on the style guide being followed.

    I hate it when people get locked into thinking that a certain way of doing things is "correct" without stopping to question whoever taught them. It's not like God created rules for apostrophe usage. It's merely a convention, and sometimes different people/organizations have different conventions.

  • Matthew Greet (unregistered)

    I agree with everybody that Gary is a wimp and shouldn't have signed anything. Gary's policy should be to not mention a name until specifically asked, then state he's certain because the source control logs confirm this. Then offer to show the logs on his desktop "if they really want to see it". This tells them that hard evidence can be found amongst a web of lies and blame shifting. Then explain a solution of using unit tests and independent testing to catch bugs earlier. Emphasise that you're trying to fix the problem and blame no one. Get their interest so they remember you as someone who works at problems, not diverts blame.

Leave a comment on “Hell Hath No Fury”

Log In or post as a guest

Replying to comment #:

« Return to Article