The Logical Philosopher

Sunday, November 13, 2005

No job for you!

Yesterday opinionistas posted a scathing, yet witty, posting entitled "perception", which outlines a story that happened when a sr. partner at her law firm mistook her for the secretary & asks her to make copies and keep the coffee coming. Her witty paraphrased response:

"I would be happy to arrange for a secretary to handle all of this for you, I'm sure one has been assigned to assist you fact, I'll ask my favorite secretary to handle it, who should have some free time today. His name is Richard, I'll be sure to bring him by and introduce you later this afternoon."
I must say O showed restraint beyond what I probably would have done.... While it has (almost) never happened to me it reminds me that you've got to treat everyone the same, no matter their perceived place in life. It amazes me how some people can be aloof and only start to clue in when they realize they just lost out.

I'm sure this guy I met a few months ago still hasn't realized it: I was working on my thesis earlier this year and while I didn't know any of the grad students in the computer lab, I got to know the faces while I pulled a huge long-weekend "write as much as I can" session. One of the students I saw almost every day was in to check email and the job postings as he was obviously very keen to get placed after the program. While sitting there, researching away, I couldn't help overhear him talk excitedly to his friend about this new job posting.

"This is totally up my technical alley...I did this before coming to this town and if I can nail this job, I can stay here. Very good. Very good." he nodded to his friend as he was pointing at the screen and printing off the job posting.

"What's the job requirements?" the other asked. I noticed they were being quiet as not to "disturb" others in the lab. In real life they were hoping nobody else heard there was a new job up. As well I was the only other one in the lab, which made it funnier.

He responded "Well, it's pretty well the same technical field, but they use the technology from Company Z - their XXX product line at the installations. They want someone with who can use these, and it should be easy to do some research on it, figure out how they implement them and put that in my resume".

I looked over and saw, to my amusement, him starting to do considerable research on this XXX product line. Why was this funny? Well because 5 years prior I worked for Company Z and was the main design engineer on the project and received several patents from it. It was safe to say I know how it worked, what features it had and where it was used at the job site he wanted to get in at.

I let him do some reading for a few minutes and then leaned over "What's the new job posting for?". He totally ignored me, even shifted away at the sight of me peering at his "dream" job.

No response so I tried again "Is there a new job posting up?". While keeping his head concentrated on the computer screen I saw his eyes flicker over to me and he mumbled something totally incomprehensible. I guess he didn't want me to get anywhere near his potential job.

This should be fun...A third try sealed the deal when I persisted "Is that Company Z's XXX product?". He shot me one of those "keep your mouth shut" looks and said "yep, kinda busy here if you don't mind." and he went back to his reading.

At this point I was working pretty hard not to start laughing as all I could keep thinking was "what a wanker!". He was looking for information that, within 10 minutes, I could have shared with him to nail his job but he was "kinda busy here" and didn't want to share his potential job posting (which ironically was public for everyone to see). He sat there for 2 or 3 more hours looking over the technical notes for the XXX product, trying to figure out how it worked in the industry and how he could work it into his resume. I noticed he was also looking at the WRONG datasheets for the industry he needed, so anything he found wasn't that applicable to the job...what a wanker.

The really funny part was that for the next 3 or 4 weeks I saw him in the computer lab almost every day looking for a job...about 5 months later I ran into the Co-op coordinator at the university and told him the story. He asked who it was and I described him...his response "yep, some people never learn. In fact, he's one of them and is still looking for a job...".

So, No job for you because you never know who's sitting next to you...