It's still just a truck.



  •  

    I know it's a tad long, but I present the story of one of my recent interviews for, hopefully, someone's enjoyment:

    <o:p> </o:p>

    Having just graduated with an electronics engineering Masters degree, I have been interviewing for jobs in my field from coast to coast.  The most interesting interview so far, however, was actually from a major defense contractor...

    <o:p> </o:p>

    I submitted my resume online for their review and, a short hour-and-a-half later, received a phone call from their recruiters:  "Hey, we saw your resume this morning and want to know if you'd like to come out for an on-site interview and a tour of our facilities next week!"  Though he never gave his name or even the position for which I was to be considered in the (brief) conversation, I couldn't pass up the chance for an on-site, and gave him my e-mail.  By the time I returned home, there was an e-mail in my inbox already framing travel arrangements they were making for me.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    By this point, I was quite impressed.  I had never seen this kind of speed/efficiency in a company, and I was excited to work somewhere where big contracts didn't necessarily mean big corporate inertia.  That, and the chance to tour top-secret manufacturing plants is worth a company-paid trip.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    A week passed, and I arrived in the lobby of the defense contractor... along with over twenty other prospective employees.  As we all started making somewhat confused conversation, I found that my fellow candidates and I did not even share fields of interest.  It looked like some high school field trip -- with suits. 

    <o:p> </o:p>

    As the tour itself commenced (interviews were to be later in the day), the whole group of 25-or-so of us were led through vast, empty hallways where we were told by a guide in a timid voice what *could* be going on behind this closed door or that sealed lab. 

    <o:p> </o:p>

    After an hour or three of this, the guide announced that we would now be taken to their warehouse/testing grounds.  "Finally," I thought, "the chance to actually *see* something."  Fat chance.  Upon entering the factory, we were shown a truck, and told "This is the system upon which our new top-secret mobile Smart-SAM and cross-pulsed (etc. etc.) radar will be mounted!".  But it wasn't yet mounted.  It was a truck. 

     

    Just a pickup truck with a bike rack and some camouflage paint. Just a truck.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    And that was it for the tour.

    <o:p> </o:p>

    The interview itself was a totally unspectacular finale to an unspectacular day.  The interview lasted all of thirty minutes, most of which was occupied by my interviewer telling me about the biggest power supplies he had ever built.  The rest of the time was spent explaining how “I know this isn’t exactly the type of work you applied for, but I think you can get to like it, or at least get some experience so you can move on.”  Not a single technical question was asked of me. 

    <o:p> </o:p>

    I made my way out of the building with little fanfare, and caught my flight home the next morning.  I have to say I was relieved by the company's continued quick responses, as I received an email just two days later telling me that the position was not mine.  

     

    I'm okay with that. 



  • Sometimes, it's more than just a truck.



  • Just a truck? You never know when there may be more than meets the eye. 



  • This is how it goes when you're interviewing for secret work and don't already have a clearance. Right out of college I interviewed for a very rare (almost unheard of, really) Macintosh programming job in Northern Virginia. They could only tell me that they did contract work for a government agency. They couldn't tell me which one. They could tell me that I would be writing Macintosh software and that the work was "cool," but that was it.

    They offered me a job and, fool that I was, I didn't take it. If I tell you what I do for a living today, I don't have to kill you. :(



  • @flaquito said:

    Just a truck? You never know when there may be more than meets the eye. 

     

    Robots in disguise!? 



  • Well he did go on and on about power supplies. Transformers. Hmmm ...

    @devurand said:


    Robots in disguise!? 




  • Ceci, n'est pas une truck. 

    I can't believe it's not a truck! 



  • @dhromed said:

    Ceci, n'est pas une truck. 

    I can't believe it's not a truck! 

     

    What's in a name? that which we call a truck
    By any other name would smell like sweat



  •  What on earth would you have been programming? The number of Macs used by the DoD is probably about 4.



  • @Arenzael said:

     What on earth would you have been programming? The number of Macs used by the DoD is probably about 4.

    I'll never know. My guess, though, is the agency they couldn't tell me about was the NSA. I think if it had been anyone else, they would have been able to tell me. I mean the CIA recruited right on campus - no big secret there.

    Since they asked questions about serial port programming in the interview, their client may have had special, custom hardware they wanted computer UIs written for. And this was in 1991, so the Mac was still being taken somewhat seriously. I don't think Windows 3.0 had even been released at that point and OS/2 1.x wasn't getting any traction. Maybe the Mac was the only pretty UI they cared for.



  • Little did you know the real interview was taking place the whole time you were there as they read your thoughts (and tested their new thought-reading machine) throughout the day....



  •  

    Little did you know the real interview was taking place the whole time you were there...

    Yeah, I wondered about that, but then the tour guides told us that they were from a different branch of the company and weren't even allowed (by some odd regulation) to even comment on us for interview purposes.  shrug



  • Just be happy they didn't (not) show their brand-new topsecret invisible truck (no touching allowed!)



  • @Kefer said:

    Just be happy they didn't (not) show their brand-new topsecret invisible truck (no touching allowed!)

     

    Even the dumbest jarhead might become suspicious if they see a bunch of fingerprints and nose smudges floating by accompanied by diesel engine noise. 



  • @MarcB said:

    a bunch of fingerprints and nose smudges floating
     

    How visible do you think those might be? 



  • Would you rather have been shown a series of tubes?



  • @dhromed said:

    How visible do you think those might be? 
     

    Depends how greasy the print-leavers were, I s'pose. ANd then also depends on how dusty the area is. An invisible truck ain't much use if the dust coating it picks up isn't taken into account, as well as the tire tracks and exhaust fumes. And I suppose rain drops/hail stones as well.  



  • @Quietust said:

    Would you rather have been shown a series of tubes?
    What the truck?



  • You'd be surprised. There's quite a few Macs in the US Government (around 7,000 - 8,000 at the NIH alone), especially in the agencies and centers that do R&D work. The Army in particular uses them for hosting their website and at the Advanced Research Center in Huntsville.



  • @North Bus said:

    Yeah, I wondered about that, but then the tour guides told us that they were from a different branch of the company and weren't even allowed (by some odd regulation) to even comment on us for interview purposes.  shrug

    Well, of course that's what they told you. And they mentioned that you believed them when they made their report



  • Wouldn't assume it was the NSA, after all, the NSA doesn't exist. ;)

    Reason being, I was on a campus that the CIA interviewed at.  Actually had an oncampus interview with them, but they were looking for IT guys to setup routers etc, not looking for any hardware/software guys.  But even they were able to describe the TYPE of work I'd be doing.  However, when I went through a recruiter and was talking about working for a defense contractor in Schenectady, NY they coudln't/wouldn't tell me 1) The contractor and 2) the agency/agencies they contracted for.

     TRWTF is expecting to see some "top secret" stuff during an on-site interview without having clearance.  It's not called "Top Secret, except during interviews" :D

     The whole experience, does remind me of the way Cessna does interviews, however.  I showed up, there were 4 other people. I was an EE, there were 3 Mechanical Engineering Technology guys from 1 school and an MET from some other school.  He walked us up and down the assembly line.  Let us sit in some cabins, gave us lunch and sent us home.  Not a single question asked.  Got an offer, but turned it down.



  • @Eternal Density said:

    What the truck?

    "The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes."



  • Quietust, thats pretty interesting.. the Signature guy. Is that some type of web bot or something. It always shows a 0 post count and the wierd thing is that if you try to reply to the Signature guy post, it takes you back to the forums page, not to a reply form.  Or are you simply embedding some html to mock up a post or something.

     



  • @pitchingchris said:

    Quietust, thats pretty interesting.. the Signature guy. Is that some type of web bot or something. It always shows a 0 post count and the wierd thing is that if you try to reply to the Signature guy post, it takes you back to the forums page, not to a reply form.  Or are you simply embedding some html to mock up a post or something.

     

    Wow. Did you get dropped on your head as a baby?



  • @pitchingchris said:

    Quietust, thats pretty interesting.. the Signature guy.

    Twas only 2 months ago when the fun started (including tag spam).



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Wow. Did you get dropped on your head as a baby?

     Just because some of us don't know everything you do, doesn't mean that we were dropped as a child. I just decide to dedicate my time to learning different things, doesn't make me better or worse. I'm a little behind the average web guru because I don't do much web programming or try to play with the advanced features of the forum. Whoop dee



  • @pitchingchris said:

    the advanced features of the forum

    More like exploits.



  • Hm... this seems to be interesting...

    This is not my sig.


  • @pitchingchris said:

     Just because some of us don't know everything you do
     

    Ok, so explain the complete lack of common sense you seem to have then.



  • @Quietust said:

    @Eternal Density said:
    What the truck?

    "The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes."
    Why do you think I used 'enormous amounts of material' as a tag?  (sadly I can't use the same tag twice, which make sense.  It's about the only feature of the tag system that works!)



  •  @Quietust said:

    "The Internet is not something that you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes."

    Like, say, a sewer?

     

    --  wasn't that joke made in The Daily Show already?



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Ok, so explain the complete lack of common sense you seem to have then.

    You're just a jerk. The reason I asked is because I didn't know, and wanted to learn. We all learn at different paces, and I'm not that up to date with web programming. I do know some basic html, but not much past that. My original post was a question, why did you have to throw intelligence insults for my attempt to find things out ?  So immature.



  •  @pitchingchris said:

    You're just a jerk.

    Tell me something I don't already know.

    @pitchingchris said:

    I'm not that up to date with web programming.

    That is fine, but being completely mystified at this in public when the entire process was in public in a thread not that long ago is a bit ridiculous. 

    No one is questioning your 'web programming' abilities. But to be shocked and mystified by this is kind of funny.



  •  

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @pitchingchris said:

    Quietust,
    thats pretty interesting.. the Signature guy. Is that some type of web
    bot or something. It always shows a 0 post count and the wierd thing is
    that if you try to reply to the Signature guy post, it takes you back
    to the forums page, not to a reply form.  Or are you simply embedding
    some html to mock up a post or something.

     

    Wow. Did you get dropped on your head as a baby?

     

     at
    the risk of getting totally flamed, chill the fuck out. 

    It was a fair
    question as there are potentially a few ways you could do this.  i'm
    guessing there are a bunch of ways to drop chunks of html into this
    crappy forum software, i think he just wanted to know which one.  He
    may not have been privy to a thread where it was previously discussed,
    not everyone reads all the threads.

    Feel free to call me a retard too but i didn't think it was that stupid a question. 

    let the flaming ensue 

     



  • @element[0] said:

    chill the fuck out.
     

    In order to 'chill the fuck out' I would have to be worked up. And I am far from it.

    @element[0] said:

    It was a fair
    question as there are potentially a few ways you could do this.

    Yes, but you have to be completely in the dark and living under a rock to not notice this until now.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Yes, but you have to be completely in the dark and living under a rock to not notice this until now.

    Combine my work and being married with 2 kids under 2 years old, I guess its the same as living under a rock.  I just don't have the time to dedicate to reading most threads. Common web tricks to you might not be so obvious to other people, I'm sorry I asked in the first place.



  • @pitchingchris said:

    I'm sorry I asked in the first place.
     

    Mission accomplished then. I guess.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @element[0] said:

    It was a fair
    question as there are potentially a few ways you could do this.

    Yes, but you have to be completely in the dark and living under a rock to not notice this until now.

     

    Shit you make me laugh sometimes dude, if by "completely in the dark and living under a rock" you mean not spending enough time on a programming forum to be intimateely familiar with th HTML exploits in a particular forum software package then you sure zinged that guy.  He was probably out doing something lame like having a family and a job and a non internet based social group, what a luser.



  • @element[0] said:

    if by "completely in the dark and living under a rock" you mean not spending enough time on a programming forum to be intimateely familiar with th HTML exploits in a particular forum software package
     

    Or I could have meant that he didn't notice that every single one of of quietust's posts contain this...



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Or I could have meant that he didn't notice that every single one of of quietust's posts contain this...
     

    i think he did notice, that's why he asked about it 



  • And we wonder why some people decline to post recently. I can take a reaming every now and then, but whats wrong with a question when I didn't know the answer. It was an opportunity to educate me, but MPS, you chose the path with way less class. Thats just your style though.



  • @pitchingchris said:

    Thats just your style though.
     

    Indeed it is. Suck it up and stop crying.



  •  @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @pitchingchris said:

    Thats just your style though.
     

    Indeed it is. Suck it up and stop crying.

    Bravo, imply the guy is being a pussy, classy comeback, very classy.

    you wouldn't want to admit that you may have been a little out of line, better call him a pussy instead.  Whatever helps you sleep at night.



  • @element[0] said:

    you wouldn't want to admit that you may have been a little out of line
     

    I am pretty sure I have admitted I was out of line several times. But I am not going to take it back. It was intended to be out of line after all.


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