Keeping my spelling-checker busy

May 31st, 2014

From Paul Ford's It Is Impossible to Believe How Mindblowing These Amazing New Jobs Are:

Are you a native full-stack visiongineer who lives to marketech platishforms? Then come work with us as an in-house NEOLOGIZER and reimaginatorialize the verbalsphere! If you are a slang-slinger who is equahome in brandegy and advertorial, a total expert in brandtech and techvertoribrand, and a first-class synergymnast, then this will be your rockupation! Throw ginfluence mingles and webutante balls, the world is your joyster. The percandidate will have at least five years working as a ideator and envisionary or equiperience.

A paragraph which inspired by far the best comment I've read today:

Jeb Hoge

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Did he say 'Uninterrupted Spasm State' or 'Uninterrupted Spam State'?

September 26th, 2013

Nicholas Carr's latest entry in his Realtime Chronicles predicts where technology will lead us once we're enmeshed in the Internet of Things:

People are forever buttonholing me on the street and saying, "Nick, what comes after realtime?" It's a good question, and I happen to know the answer: Ambient Reality. Ambient Reality is the ultimate disruption, as it alters the actual fabric of the universe. We begin living in the prenow. Things happen before they happen. "Between the desire / And the spasm," wrote T. S. Eliot, "Falls the Shadow." In Ambient Reality, the Shadow goes away. Spasm precedes desire. In fact, it's all spasm. We enter what I call Uninterrupted Spasm State, or USS.


In Ambient Reality, there is no such thing as "a shopper." Indeed, the concept of "shopping" becomes anachronistic. Goods are delivered before the urge to buy them manifests itself in the conscious mind. Demand is ambient, as are pricing comparisons. They become streams in the cloud. […]

Of course, this assumes that you have enough income to be worth providing goods and services to even before you even realise you might want them or even need them. Those with less impressive credit scores will find themselves on call 24/7, bidding every day in the hopes of landing an opportunity to spend a morning delivering the sandwiches and umbrellas to their betters.

[Zero Hours link via MetaFilter]

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Only 1 left in stock – order soon

January 27th, 2013

Philippe Dubost, a web product manager seeking a new job, built himself an online resume that looks a bit familiar:

Amaze-ing Resume

(That's just a section of the page: the whole site is much better.)

It's cute, but five or ten years from now if Amazon have moved into the online resume business then we'll all have real pages like this and none of us will find it at all amusing.

Imagine potential employers paying us in items from our wishlist rather than with money.

[Via Slate]

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Interview 2.0 meets Curiosity 1.0

March 13th, 2012

I think I'd have responded the same way Grig Larson did to this job interviewer's question…

Riddled (from Grig Larson)
Not too long ago, I applied for systems administrator job. The interviews were going very well, and I had to return twice because they flew people in to meet me. One of them was a guy who, God love him, seemed like a great person but his interview skills were a little hackneyed. […]

"If you had to move Mount Fuji," he asked, "how would you do it?" I recall thinking, "why is he asking this? What does he mean by Mount Fuji?"

"You mean, Mount Fuji, the volcano in Japan?"

He looked confused I asked. "Er, yes. How would you move it?"

What he didn't know was I was a science fiction author as well. I spent a lot of time asking odd questions like these. […] But like a writer, I had to have a principal motive of the protagonist.

"Why?" I asked.

The man chuckled as if he had never thought about that before. "Just how would you move it?"

I felt I didn't explain my question. "I mean, who is my customer? Why does he or she wish to move Mount Fuji? I mean, to move Mount Fuji seems like the middle of a plan; it's a verb that has an end mean. Like, does my client want the rubble? Do they want to move it 10 meters to the left? What drives such a vast plan?" […]

… which means it's probably just as well that I haven't had to undergo a job interview in almost fourteen years now. If that's the state of the art in interview questions then I'm destined to be a long time unemployed if my current job ever goes away.

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Crisp v Apple Retail

November 12th, 2011

Remember when Apple made TV adverts styling themselves as opponents of Big Brother. Judging by a recent Employment Tribunal finding, that stance is inoperative:

Crisp, who worked in an Apple Store, posted derogatory statements on Facebook about Apple and its products. The posts were made on a "private" Facebook page and outside of working hours. One of his colleagues, who happened to be a Facebook "friend", saw the comments, printed the posts and passed them to the store manager. Crisp was subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct.

The employment tribunal rejected Crisp's claim for unfair dismissal. […]

Despite having "private" Facebook settings, the tribunal decided that there was nothing to prevent friends from copying and passing on Crisp's comments, so he was unable to rely on the right to privacy contained in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (covered in the UK by the Human Rights Act 1998). He retained his right to freedom of expression under Article 10, but Apple successfully argued that it was justified and proportionate to limit this right in order to protect its commercial reputation against potentially damaging posts.

I'm not saying that the tribunal's findings are wrong in law: apparently Apple Retail's 'social media policy' emphasised that employees were forbidden from posting unfavourable opinions on the company's products on social media sites, so on the face of it the ex-employee was in breach of this policy.

My problem is threefold:

  1. With the tribunal, for apparently holding that even though the employee used Facebook's privacy controls to restrict access to his comments the fact that someone could have copied-and-pasted the text of those comments negated his right to privacy.1 By that logic, if he'd been talking to a couple of friends in a pub or in his home, the fact that one of his pals could have surreptitiously recorded his comments using their smartphone renders those comments public too. This is a terribly bad idea.
  2. With Apple Retail, for trying to gag their employees outside working hours. I don't doubt that their social media policy bans derogatory comments from employees. I just think that a) they shouldn't be trying to control what employees do when they're not at work, and b) they need to distinguish between genuinely public expressions of dissatisfaction and private letting-off of steam.
  3. With the little shit who ratted on his 'friend'2 to his Apple Store bosses.

[Via The Register, via Risks Digest Volume 26: Issue 60]

  1. I'd be more well-disposed towards the finding if they'd held that Facebook's policy of frequently expanding the boundaries of what portions of a user's content is publicly available means that a Facebook user couldn't be sure how long private postings would remain private!
  2. Yet another demonstration of how unsuited that term is to the way social networking actually works.

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A Big Picture Thinker

June 2nd, 2011

Another week, another epic cover letter:

From: Thomas B——-
Sent: Friday, April 08, 2011 10:37 AM
To: James S——
Subject: RE: Written Test

When a big picture thinker with nearly 20 years of experience in IT sends you a resume and cover letter like mine and says that he can help you win a client that is pulling in 1.3 Billion per year, here's what you don't do:

  1. Set up an interview with a couple of in-the-box thinking Microsoft drones with questions on minutia.
  2. Hand him a test to see what his "style", attention to detail, and problem solving approach is.

Here's my style: I am certain that I can run circles around your best developers with my own, original, incredibly efficient model; but more importantly, I am a director that can help them run circles around their own current misguided misconceptions. But I am thankful for this lesson, as I have learned that I need to add a cover to my cover letter that reads: If you are an in-the-box thinking Microsoft house, and you find yourself regurgitating terms like OOP, MVC, TDD, BDD, Cucumber, etc…, without really understanding what it all means and how much it is actually costing your company to have bought into that industry pushed bullshit, then DO NOT contact me. I'd save you too much money, and you obviously do not want that.

So the question now is: Did I pass the test?

The answer is: Fuck yes I did.

Thomas B——-

PS. You forgot to attach the quiz.

Do this: Print out a copy of it, ball it up, and throw it at your own forehead, because that's what I would do if I were there.

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May 24th, 2011

The best cover letter of all time?

[Via web-goddess]


RPS CV-speak

December 12th, 2010

The Redundant Public Servant has been so busy submitting job applications lately that he found himself quite unable to change gear when the time came to draft his family's Christmas round robin letter:

Mrs RPS has had significant experience of leading and change management over the last year should have been Mrs RPS has had to deal with an increasingly grumpy husband who is losing his job.

RPS Daughter 1 has a strong track record of achievement in key aspects of the person specification was where I meant to say RPS Daughter 1 has continued to get great grades at school.

Son of RPS has demonstrated his commitment to personal and professional development through his pursuit of a comprehensive learning plan should really have been Son of RPS appears to have an active university social life so far as we can tell from what he writes on Facebook.

RPS is now looking for a new opportunity in an organisation which shares his commitment to excellence and passion for customer service was a convoluted way of saying His Nibs is being made redundant, any chance of a job?

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Job satisfaction

June 3rd, 2010

Christopher Andrew, MI5's official historian, on job satisfaction:

[Andrew…] also claimed that the human resources consultants employed to discover the levels of job satisfaction at the British domestic intelligence service had found that there was "only one organisation they had investigated that had higher morale: the publisher Mills & Boon".

Which does rather beg the question of which other organisations they had investigated.1

  1. I'm sure MI5 is a much happier place to work right now than, say, BP's PR agency.

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12. I write a killer resume

January 29th, 2010

If you were the Duke of Milan's Human Resources manager, would you recommend hiring this guy?

9. Where the operation of bombardment might fail, I would contrive catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other machines of marvellous efficacy and not in common use. And in short, according to the variety of cases, I can contrive various and endless means of offense and defense.

10. In times of peace I believe I can give perfect satisfaction and to the equal of any other in architecture and the composition of buildings public and private; and in guiding water from one place to another.


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