[Phoenix-pm] The employement escapades of Scott

Scott Walters scott at illogics.org
Fri Oct 21 13:51:49 PDT 2005

Just in case anyone out there is actually amused by my antics (doubtful as
it is), here's the latest chapter: someone calls and leaves me a message
at home (with someone who foolishly picked up the telephone -- will
people never learn!?). I call them back (I should have known better). 
Now, I'm a consultant, and I establish that immediately. Not only
am I a consultant, but as far as they're concerned, I'm staying that way.
They interview me. They ask for an example of integration. They belittle 
it because the company was small. They ask for an example of a large dataset. 
They belittle it because it's offline. They never ask about high-profile
clients but I start to tell them just to shut them up. They interrupt me.
Of course, you don't interview consultants -- you hire them, or you 
ask for a proposal, and if you ask for a proposal, you accept it or ignore

The next day, they email me. My reply is below. The barbs included, among
other things, my description of having delt with plenty of fibrechannel,
load balancing, SSL acceleration etc, hardware, but never having employed
it for high-volume sites as the kind of dot coms that buy it generally
go out of business, suggesting I think they're going to go out of business. 

But the jokes on me. They emailed me telling me to call their CEO so they
can tell me I didn't get the job. I called the CEO to tell him I'd sent
as I didn't have his email address and wanted to him to know that his
underlings (Jeff, in this case) had a written explanation of why I was
refusing the position. His reply was, in a Brooklyn accent, "Yeah, I'm the 
CEO, I own the company, and they already got someone", and he hangs up. 
You can never be rude too early -- try to be nice and professional about
delivering a turn-down letter and they just beat you to the punch. Damnit.
I lose again.

Then there's the bigger picture -- the dot-coms startups are getting snotty 
again, acting like they're hot sh!t. Business has been picking up a little,
but the level of snottiness far exceeds the level of success of the little


----- Forwarded message from Scott Walters <scott at illogics.org> -----

Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2005 13:32:52 -0700
From: Scott Walters <scott at illogics.org>
To: Jeff <Jeff at ....com>
Subject: Re: ..... group
Content-Disposition: inline
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.5i

Hi Jeff,

After some reflection, I've concluded I don't have the time or energy to deal 
with this project. 

Sorry I didn't pick up the phone, but after the barbs I threw in return, I 
really didn't expect to hear back. 

I'm quite fond of my "mom and pop" businesses you spoke derisively of -- and
they represent real businesses, not dot-com speculation. Your average "mom
and pop" brick and morter store gone online drives more traffic than your
average dot-com. The little brick and morters I did in 1998 are still around. 
All of the dot-coms are gone. I have one "mom and pop" outfit in mind that
badly needs some performance tuning and profiling. I'm sure you guys won't
have any problem at all with the load. 

Since the slights of yesterday didn't cut it, maybe mean names will:  You goons
probably all golf and drive BMWs. Working with folks like that is fine if your
only ambition is to fund your own golf and BWM habits, which I lack. 

You may find that anyone who has programmed heavily since before the advent of
the Web will become irritable when questioned about their ability to do Web

Perhaps what hit my nerve was that you guys are about the third North
Scottsdale company this month to try to interview me unexpectedly -- and
the others, after using my time friviously, concluded "there are better Perl
programmers in the valley" -- yes, there are -- about two. We all hang out 
together and organize the local Perl users group. But I think you'll find a 
junior programmer, fresh out of school, to mesh better -- and be perfectly 
qualified to modify a Perl app. Heck, I may even turn you off to Perl all 
together. I'm sure you'll find Python and PHP programmers much more agreeable.
Us Perl programmers are mostly just grumpy old sysadmins and hackers with far
more interesting projects to work on -- like maintaining strong typing 
implementations for dynamic languages, and writing langauge backends to target
other VM's bytecodes. Busy, busy, busy!

Seriously, though, I wish you guys the best of luck with @Mail, if you decide
to use it, and with your project that you've worked so hard on. If you're
still shopping for a Perl programmer, please consider using http://jobs.perl.org,
which is considered _the_ place to go for Perl programmers. Oh, and there are
plenty of programmers with high-profile jobs on their resume who are complete
idiots -- when interviewing in the future, consider giving more attention to
actual accomplishments and less to employer names. 


On  0, Jeff Mangan <Jeff at magentatech.com> wrote:
>    Bob wants to talk with you, please call us at 480-216-3972 or
>    602-708-1250 ASAP.
>    Thanks.

----- End forwarded message -----

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