• jay (unregistered) in reply to Downfall
    Downfall:
    How could you turn down a client who accepts work like what was described, buys anything he sees on late night TV and (some how) apparently has access to significant assets?

    Yeah! And like, if you see a little old lady leave the bank stuffing a wad of bills into her pocketbook, how could you NOT follow her to an isolated place, beat her up, and steal the money? Like, if you don't, somebody else probably will, right?

  • Marvin the Martian (unregistered)

    I read it as "guy survives by catsitting, for crazy-yet-affluent lady; fails to come up with own harebrained scheme so buys them off tv".

    I think the prospective employer has already reached his peak in skills and income, so probably good to turn this down.

  • jay (unregistered) in reply to Wongo
    Wongo:
    There is an other variant of the get-rich-quick schemes nowadays: the dating-site-that's-gonna-end-em-all. I'm CTO of a web agency in Europe, and there's not a day where I don't get at least one person inquiring about setting up a dating site, along the lines of:

    "Ok, I've got this fantastic idea of a new dating site with an edge: ppl will be able to enter their specifics and the site will match them automatically. Smart, eh? It has to have a credit card system + Paypal, huge databases to accomodate millions of users, has to be friendlier, nicer and more intuitive than whatever is out there at the moment, unlimited space for the users so they can upload pictures and videos, a classified section (with unlimited space for the ads), and unlimited bandwidth. Obviously I shall be the owner of the source code. Oh, and it also has to double as some sort of Facebook + Myspace + Ebay thingy, only more user-friendly.

    I've heard of this "open source" thing, so I expect the site to cost less than $300.

    Now, onto my problem: do you think I should register a domain name, and should I set up a company for this?"

    Yeah, those are your real problems. Because the other thing, the actually-doing-stuff bit, can easily be solved by clicking on the "Create a full dating site in 1 sec and become immensely rich" button. It's carefully hidden in Windows, but programmers know where it is. It's their job, after all.

    Ditto. I don't know how many times I've heard someone say, "We should build a software app that does X but is faster / more reliable / easier to use / provides more cool features / whatever than anything else on the market." Then I ask exactly how they would go about making it easier to use or just how these cool new features would work, and they have no idea: that's my job as the programmer to figure out.

    Does this work in other fields? Maybe I should find an automotive engineer and say, "Hey, I think we should build a car that gets 600 miles per gallon, never gets in an accident, and provides all the comforts of a luxury resort. There, I provided the idea, now you figure out how to actually build the thing, and we can split the profits 50/50 ... I mean, 60/40."

  • jay (unregistered)

    P.S. You left out the part about, "Oh, and users shouldn't have to know anything about cameras or computers to be able to upload pictures, the system should just do it for them. And they shouldn't have to own a camera -- it should take their picture through the USB thing, that's like a camera, right?"

  • (cs) in reply to Justice
    Justice:

    Classic move. I got a voicemail from some guy claiming to be good buddies with a college friend of mine, saying that he'd gotten my number from said friend, and was wanting to discuss a business proposition. So far so good; my friend works in a sort of business analyst role for Big Retail Chain, and does some programming work in the course of the job, so it made sense that he might get word to me if something interesting came up.

    So I call the guy back, and while he seems fairly amicable, he's extremely cagey about details of this business proposition. Then he says he needs to meet people for dinner, so he has to cut things short, but I should call him back if I'm interested. At this point I still don't know what it is I'm supposed to be interested in.

    Later that day I finally get into contact with my friend, and it turns out he barely knows this guy; he's just some dude who goes to the same gym. And what's this guy's stellar business proposition, the one he wanted all these smart analyst/programmer types for?

    Amway.

    Needless to say I didn't call him back.

    With this story, though, it sounds like he just wanted a website done for his multi-level marketing (or other late-night TV money system) operation. I can understand objecting to it in principle, but it's not like he was demanding you sign on as his first referral or anything. If money's tight, why turn it down?

    Yeah, I had a similar thing happen with a new manager at a restaurant I worked for in college. It was Quixtar actually, which is an online subsidiary or whatever of Amway.

    When he heard I was in school for CS at the time, he started talking about this "Web business" he had on the side that he wanted some help with. The whole thing sounded like he wanted help designing, implementing, or updating a site.

    But then a few days later, he finally brings in a CD for me to listen to (now I'm thinking WTF? but I'll keep an open mind). So I listen in the car on the way home and it sounds like some motivational speech on why you should "franchise yourself" and make a lot of money in business for yourself, etc.

    I looked up Quixtar on the web later on and realized it was just some MLM horseshit. It was pretty obvious the guy just wanted me to start my own Quixtar business under his. Then the freakin' wierdo calls me at home that night asking me about what I thought. I said I didn't have a chance to listen yet. The next day I just gave it back and said no thanks.

    The guy turned out to be a bit of a freakshow soon after that. He missed a day or two in a row about a week later and then returned with some BS story about him or his wife being in the hospital or something. Didn't lose the job then, but ended up leaving a few weeks shortly thereafter anyway.

    For me it was pretty hard to take him seriously after the Quixtar thing though.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to Marvin the Martian
    Marvin the Martian:
    I read it as "guy survives by catsitting, for crazy-yet-affluent lady; fails to come up with own harebrained scheme so buys them off tv".

    I just short circuited into crazy cat guy and started wondering how he managed to keep a mortgage with 3 years of get rich quick.

    jay:
    Ditto. I don't know how many times I've heard someone say, "We should build a software app that does X but is faster / more reliable / easier to use / provides more cool features / whatever than anything else on the market." Then I ask exactly how they would go about making it easier to use or just how these cool new features would work, and they have no idea: that's my job as the programmer to figure out.

    Does this work in other fields? Maybe I should find an automotive engineer and say, "Hey, I think we should build a car that gets 600 miles per gallon, never gets in an accident, and provides all the comforts of a luxury resort. There, I provided the idea, now you figure out how to actually build the thing, and we can split the profits 50/50 ... I mean, 60/40."

    Yeah, that's the part where I explain about value add and the value of ideas ($0.01, roughly) and tell them that if I can figure out X, I'll just go it alone and keep the money for me :)

  • (cs) in reply to snoofle
    snoofle:
    Re get-rich-quick-scheme-victims: one word: retainer!
    Shouldn't you get rich before you start to think about hiring a butler?
  • (cs) in reply to lolator
    lolator:
    Adam:
    I don't see why; maybe he just liked cats, for heaven's sake. I like cats :3

    I can haz $obscene_hourly_rate for teh programang of websait?

    I maded you a websitez....

    ... but teh TDWTF crowd eated it...

  • Hank Yarbo (unregistered) in reply to shadowman
    shadowman:
    Yeah, I had a similar thing happen with a new manager at a restaurant I worked for in college. It was Quixtar actually, which is an online subsidiary or whatever of Amway.

    ...

    For me it was pretty hard to take him seriously after the Quixtar thing though.

    Yeah, I've had this happen to me with no less than three of my friends. The irritating (and disappointing) thing is that all three of them used the "I know you from church" angle.

    The first time, the husband of a friend asked if he could come over and talk to me about this online business opportunity. I didn't know better, so I agreed. He showed up at the door with his father, which was a little unexpected. What stuck out most in my mind was that his father had a cold and a runny nose, and at one point touched his nose before tapping the sheet of paper they were using to write down all these figures. He got a great big blob of snot on the paper. I was not too impressed, and threw it all away (and sanitized the table) as soon as they left.

    The second time, I got a call, also talking about online business opportunities. I had my guard up this time, but all he did was hand me a tape and ask me to listen. I looked up the name of the person on the tape -- sure enough, Quixtar. I returned the tape and said "no thanks". He looked at me, genuinely shocked, as if I had just declined to take a free sack of cash.

    By the third time, as soon as I heard the words "online business opportunity" I said, "This is Quixtar, isn't it? I'm not interested". HE seemed surprised that I knew what he was going to say.

    Then there was the day a friend of my mother came over and tried to sell us all on Primerica... sigh.

  • (cs)
    Robb:
    Shoot, I have three cats. Cats don't make you crazy do they?
    They appear to make you crazy enough to try and force a meme... I hereby declare that "Shoot, I $VERB three cats. Cats don't maek you crazy do they?" is NOT A MEME.
  • William N (unregistered)

    I'm too ethical to allow any of my clients to believe that they will "get rich quick" off of a website that isn't backed by sound business practices and I certainly won't knowingly accept money to create one.

    There are two very different types of developers. Those who will charge what they think they can get out of a client and those who charge based on what it costs them to develop something.

    Professional developers do not endeavor to scam their clients or bleed them dry, especially if/when they stand to gain financially from doing so.

  • Gerrit (unregistered) in reply to jay
    jay:
    Ditto. I don't know how many times I've heard someone say, "We should build a software app that does X but is faster / more reliable / easier to use / provides more cool features / whatever than anything else on the market." Then I ask exactly how they would go about making it easier to use or just how these cool new features would work, and they have no idea: that's my job as the programmer to figure out.

    Does this work in other fields?

    Once at a party I talked to a guy who worked for one of the huge chemistry internationals. He was in product development. He bragged about this marvellous idea for a new material he was working on. I forgot what it was, but to me it sounded about as incredible as inventing bricks that fall upwards. So I asked him if this could actually be done. With a condescending tone in his voice he said: "Oh, the chemists just have to invent it."

  • Mogri (unregistered)

    Wait, Alice and Bob have a kid? They can't even communicate properly!

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered)
    Robb:
    Shoot, I have three cats. Cats don't make you crazy do they?

    crap.

    naw, crazy gets you cats.

  • Franz Kafka (unregistered) in reply to Gerrit
    Gerrit:
    Once at a party I talked to a guy who worked for one of the huge chemistry internationals. He was in product development. He bragged about this marvellous idea for a new material he was working on. I forgot what it was, but to me it sounded about as incredible as inventing bricks that fall upwards. So I asked him if this could actually be done. With a condescending tone in his voice he said: "Oh, the chemists just have to invent it."

    You know chemists - try to solve heart disease and you get hardon pills. easily distractem, that lot.

  • (cs)
    Robb:
    Shoot, I have three cats. Cats don't make you crazy do they?

    crap.

    In Soviet Russia, you make cats crazy.

  • Pedo Fiale (unregistered) in reply to Mel
    Mel:
    Daryl:
    Amazed that noone has said this but...

    WTF = the guy's name is GAYE.

    • runs childishly away! -
    I wondered about this. I've met a few people called 'Gaye', but without exception they were women aged 50+...

    Oh sure, make fun of someone with an unusual name (for Americans.) While were at it how about Pat or Chris. Oooh! Is it a man or a woman? Geez grow up people....

    -Pedo

  • Gruntled Postal Worker (unregistered) in reply to @Deprecated
    Comment held for moderation.
  • JV (unregistered) in reply to Mogri
    Mogri:
    Wait, Alice and Bob have a kid? They can't even communicate properly!
    Yeah, they didn't let Eve come between them...

    I thought the real WTF is the "trapezoid" scheme is just a pyramid scheme without any brains at the top.

  • The Wanderer (unregistered) in reply to shadowman
    shadowman:
    I looked up Quixtar on the web later on and realized it was just some MLM horseshit.
    Actually, Quixtar isn't purely MLM - and it isn't half bad if you treat it as a channel to buy things through instead of a way to make money; my family have been buying many of our nonperishable groceries that way for years, and according to those who actually do that part of the shopping, it does in fact save us money. (We don't do the MLM side of it, though - it became clear not long after getting started that making that pay off would take far more investment of time and energy than it would be worth.)

    Even as MLM it's better than most such schemes, since it has an actual business model underlying the pyramidal structure, and can therefore make money and survive without constantly bringing in new people. It's not all MLM purports itself to be, no, but then no MLM scheme ever is.

  • SomeCoder (unregistered) in reply to Hank Yarbo
    Hank Yarbo:
    ... Then there was the day a friend of my mother came over and tried to sell us all on Primerica... *sigh*.

    Back when the dot-com bubble burst, I was young and looking for work. I posted my resume to one of those big job hunting sites.

    A few weeks later, I got a call from a guy that sounded a lot like the guy in today's story. He said he was interested in interviewing me for a position at his company. I was thrilled and agreed to an interview.

    Once I get there, I realize he was talking about some sort of insurance company... or something. The interview didn't go too well and since I wasn't interested in the job anyway, I didn't think much of it.

    A month later I got a call from the guy. He had found my resume and was interested in interviewing me. I had to remind him that I had been in a month ago for an interview. He literally had no idea.

    I went in for a "second" interview and he offered me the job. I figured I could take the job for a little while to make ends meet and then when a development job came around I'd quit, so I accepted.

    Soon after, I had to watch the "video". Turns out this wasn't some insurance company but it was Primerica. The video I sat through was terrifying; it was like watching an intro video for a cult or something. I packed my things, left as quickly as I could and never looked back :)

    I've also had similar experiences with Quixtar (after being hauled to a meeting by a friend). I remember asking the girl how I was supposed to make money with it about 12 times in a row before she finally said "I can see you are a guy that likes to know how things work. So can I sign you up?"

    facepalm

  • Zapp Brannigan (unregistered) in reply to Yup
    Yup:
    Wongo:
    Yeah, those are your real problems. Because the other thing, the actually-doing-stuff bit, can easily be solved by clicking on the "Create a full dating site in 1 sec and become immensely rich" button. It's carefully hidden in Windows, but programmers know where it is. It's their job, after all.

    Shit. You found that button too? There goes my whole business plan.

    Is there also a slider control to set the ease of use of the website?

  • k3vlar (unregistered) in reply to Mike
    Mike:
    With parents named Alice and Bob, I was expecting a cryptography reference in there somewhere.
    Strangely enough, my grandparents are named Alice and Bob... and I've never made the cryptography connection until you mentioned it...
  • (cs) in reply to Meh
    Meh:
    Morals?
    The moral thing to do would be to take on the work, and set him straight.
  • Edward Royce (unregistered) in reply to Chris
    Chris:
    Cailin Coilleach:
    Wait a minute! -My- website works with a single index.php with different GET variables. I thought it works quite nicely. Am I missing something? O_o

    Same here, although I do use mod_rewrite to turn those nasty looking query strings into neat looking URL's...

    Hah! I've transformed my website and no longer rely on such antiquitated technology as "query strings"!

    And what is wrong with making a website hard to read? If it's easy to read people will simply skim it rather than putting in the effort to read and comprehend it.

    That's the problem with the internet today. Everything is too easy!

  • ClaudeSuck.de (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    [Post attempt #3]

    Is [Post attempt #xyz] a new CAPTCHA?

    Or does it stand for: xyzst!!!

  • Konsultant (unregistered)
    All page links were to index.php with different GET variables

    This is a common thing in pre-MVC frameworks. You pass the module name and the action in as parameters and you then do logic and render some template.

  • moz (unregistered) in reply to DaveK
    DaveK:
    Robb:
    Shoot, I have three cats. Cats don't make you crazy do they?
    They appear to make you crazy enough to try and force a meme... I hereby declare that "Shoot, I $VERB three cats. Cats don't maek you crazy do they?" is NOT A MEME.
    You ought to read "The Selfish Gene" again after making a comment like that. It won't tell you much of use, but 200 pages of Richard Dawkins should help you to remember that replicators are so named because of what they, as a class, do, and not because each one does it.

    In other words, "yes it is".

  • Jam (unregistered)

    Surely there is something open source that you can paint red and then sell to him.

  • Nick (unregistered)

    "half-million-dollar homes with the occasional Bentley or Rolls Royce in the driveways"

    Ok, either this guy knows nothing about realestate, or is completely full of it.

    Who has a $500,000 house with a $100,000 - $300,000 car?

    For that matter who considers $500,000 a nice house.

    Hell, here for $500,000 you are looking at a either a crappy house in a bad neighborhood or something so far out of the city it would take you 2hrs to get to work each morning.

  • Richard (unregistered) in reply to Nick
    Nick:
    "half-million-dollar homes with the occasional Bentley or Rolls Royce in the driveways"

    Ok, either this guy knows nothing about realestate, or is completely full of it.

    Who has a $500,000 house with a $100,000 - $300,000 car?

    For that matter who considers $500,000 a nice house.

    Hell, here for $500,000 you are looking at a either a crappy house in a bad neighborhood or something so far out of the city it would take you 2hrs to get to work each morning.

    So the OP lives somewhere where real estate prices haven't spiraled into insanity. (Though I'll agree that the Bentleys around here tend to go with the $1,000,000 homes.)

  • Douglas (unregistered) in reply to JuanCarlosII
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Still Not Tim (unregistered) in reply to Gruntled Postal Worker
    Gruntled Postal Worker:
    What is $3000 for building a website? That would have to be so small and simple that it's designed, built, supplied with content, deployed and tested in 3 to 4 weeks tops, and it wouldn't include hardware, service and hosting. A website at 4-digit dollar cost isn't exorbitant but on the cheap.

    Well that assumes the "website" isn't a single page of static html. :)

    It is common to see adverts in magazines and local newspapers offering: "A WEBSITE - FOR ONLY £100".

    People see these adverts and apparently assume their £100 will get some facebook/ebay/amazon hybrid - with added meerkats.

    Several times I've had to carefully explain that such "£100 websites offers" are normally 5 pages - often only 3 - of static html, often thrown together using a template from an old version of FrontPage or Dreamweaver...

    Looking at the "examples of our previous work" cited in such adverts reveals pages with multiple nested tables, prodigious use of spacer.gif, dozens of &nbsp, multiple images downloaded at 300 x 300 resized in the browser to 50 x 50, a complete absence of CSS, x hundred errors in html validators, and large amounts of copy-pasted javascript that doesn't actually do anything... not forgetting the pages that look completely wrong in anything other than IE6...

    And yes, this includes websites created within the last 12 months.

    But the seed of "£100" has been planted, so any higher price is "too high", no matter what features/artwork/custom javascript/database would be included in that higher price.

  • Jasper (unregistered) in reply to Anonymous
    Anonymous:
    This is about average where I work.
    Do you have multiple cats? Are you sure your name isn't "Vilhelm"?
  • (cs) in reply to Pedo Fiale
    Pedo Fiale:
    Mel:
    Daryl:
    Amazed that noone has said this but...

    WTF = the guy's name is GAYE.

    • runs childishly away! -
    I wondered about this. I've met a few people called 'Gaye', but without exception they were women aged 50+...

    Oh sure, make fun of someone with an unusual name (for Americans.) While were at it how about Pat or Chris. Oooh! Is it a man or a woman? Geez grow up people....

    -Pedo

    1. I'm not American
    2. None of the 'Gaye's I've known were American
    3. I certainly wasn't making fun of an usual name. I just pointed out that the guy in the story had a name I personally associate with women (and I don't know of it being a male name in other languages, like 'Jan'). I've heard of a few women called 'Steve', and had the same reaction.
  • SR (unregistered) in reply to Mel
    Comment held for moderation.
  • (cs) in reply to SR
    SR:
    Mel:
    Pedo Fiale:
    Oh sure, make fun of someone with an unusual name (for Americans.) While were at it how about Pat or Chris. Oooh! Is it a man or a woman? Geez grow up people....

    -Pedo

    1. I'm not American
    2. None of the 'Gaye's I've known were American
    3. I certainly wasn't making fun of an usual name. I just pointed out that the guy in the story had a name I personally associate with women (and I don't know of it being a male name in other languages, like 'Jan'). I've heard of a few women called 'Steve', and had the same reaction.

    @Mel - check the name of the guy/gal you're arguing with...

    Oh, and WHOOSH!

    d'oh... :)

  • HopelessIntern (unregistered) in reply to Mel
    Mel:
    Pedo Fiale:
    Mel:
    Daryl:
    Amazed that noone has said this but...

    WTF = the guy's name is GAYE.

    • runs childishly away! -
    I wondered about this. I've met a few people called 'Gaye', but without exception they were women aged 50+...

    Oh sure, make fun of someone with an unusual name (for Americans.) While were at it how about Pat or Chris. Oooh! Is it a man or a woman? Geez grow up people....

    -Pedo

    1. I'm not American
    2. None of the 'Gaye's I've known were American
    3. I certainly wasn't making fun of an usual name. I just pointed out that the guy in the story had a name I personally associate with women (and I don't know of it being a male name in other languages, like 'Jan'). I've heard of a few women called 'Steve', and had the same reaction.

    ...did not see the joke..?

    Did anyone see the IT Crowd episode with Peter File?

  • SpamBot (unregistered) in reply to Mel
    Mel:
    Pedo Fiale:
    Mel:
    Daryl:
    Amazed that noone has said this but...

    WTF = the guy's name is GAYE.

    • runs childishly away! -
    I wondered about this. I've met a few people called 'Gaye', but without exception they were women aged 50+...

    Oh sure, make fun of someone with an unusual name (for Americans.) While were at it how about Pat or Chris. Oooh! Is it a man or a woman? Geez grow up people....

    -Pedo

    1. I'm not American
    2. None of the 'Gaye's I've known were American
    3. I certainly wasn't making fun of an usual name. I just pointed out that the guy in the story had a name I personally associate with women (and I don't know of it being a male name in other languages, like 'Jan'). I've heard of a few women called 'Steve', and had the same reaction.

    woosh!

  • Peter (unregistered) in reply to HopelessIntern
    HopelessIntern:
    Did anyone see the IT Crowd episode with Peter File?
    Yes. I'm not that Peter.
  • Vilhelm (unregistered) in reply to William N

    The story is actually incorrect. I am Vilhelm and my prospective client was named Gaye.

    William N:
    I'm too ethical to allow any of my clients to believe that they will "get rich quick" off of a website that isn't backed by sound business practices and I certainly won't knowingly accept money to create one.

    There are two very different types of developers. Those who will charge what they think they can get out of a client and those who charge based on what it costs them to develop something.

    Professional developers do not endeavor to scam their clients or bleed them dry, especially if/when they stand to gain financially from doing so.

    This is my mindset towards charging. While it may not reap the highest dollar amount per job, it allows me to sleep at night.

  • Not Bob (unregistered) in reply to Mogri
    Mogri:
    Wait, Alice and Bob have a kid? They can't even communicate properly!

    Well, Alice has a kid, but it's not exactly Bob's.

    It was a bit of a man-in-the-middle attack.

  • Sir Wilhelm (unregistered) in reply to DWalker59
    DWalker59:
    He was looking around for a visual aide? Really?
    Of course! It's natural to have an AIDE installed with so many cats around the house, you'll need to watch out for any dogs trying to get inside!.
  • Anon (unregistered) in reply to Mel
    Comment held for moderation.
  • spede (unregistered) in reply to Daryl

    That's what I was going to say!

  • Adam V (unregistered) in reply to DaveK
    DaveK:
    I hereby declare that "Shoot, I $VERB three cats. Cats don't maek you crazy do they?" is NOT A MEME.

    Idiot. Don't you you expected to all the verbs?

  • Pedo Fiale (unregistered) in reply to Mel
    Mel:
    Pedo Fiale:
    Mel:
    Daryl:
    Amazed that noone has said this but...

    WTF = the guy's name is GAYE.

    • runs childishly away! -
    I wondered about this. I've met a few people called 'Gaye', but without exception they were women aged 50+...

    Oh sure, make fun of someone with an unusual name (for Americans.) While were at it how about Pat or Chris. Oooh! Is it a man or a woman? Geez grow up people....

    -Pedo

    1. I'm not American
    2. None of the 'Gaye's I've known were American
    3. I certainly wasn't making fun of an usual name. I just pointed out that the guy in the story had a name I personally associate with women (and I don't know of it being a male name in other languages, like 'Jan'). I've heard of a few women called 'Steve', and had the same reaction.

    It's a joke, I say, a joke son! Don'tcha get it? Kids these days no sense of humor....

    Look at "my" name, perhaps say it out loud. You think a person with a name like that might be a bit oversensitive about names, yes?

  • Guido (unregistered) in reply to Pedo Fiale
    Pedo Fiale:
    Look at "my" name, perhaps say it out loud. You think a person with a name like that might be a bit oversensitive about names, yes?

    I thought your name was Italian and I said it like "PAY-dough Fee-ALL-eh". Took me a while to see what your problem was.

  • nickel730 (unregistered) in reply to ContraCorners
    ContraCorners:
    Anonymous:
    This is about average where I work.
    Don't you know anything? You're supposed to write "First" in the first comment.

    Geez... some people!

    Don't you know anything? You're supposed to write "Frist" in the first comment because you're in such a hurry that you haven't time to proofread a one-word post.

  • Brazen (unregistered) in reply to @Deprecated
    Comment held for moderation.

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