"I think you are wasting our time"



  • After a longer break from professional lifeIrecently decided to go back, and applied for a programmer position at a small startup nearby.

    And, guess what, the answer was justwhat everybody dreams of. Quote:

    <font color="#0000ff" size="2" face="Verdana">From your CV you seem to be just the person we are looking for...</font>

     Now that's what I like to hear. They also sent a short list of additional questions - how much I know about a few other technologies (I'm all very well familiar with), whether I can also offer additional consultancy services in my area of specialization (of course) and then there was the question about money:

    <font color="#0000ff" size="2" face="Verdana">What would be your salary expectations?</font>

    Well, it would be a bit too early to answer this one - first I need to know a bit more about the position, the responsibilities, the work load, etc. Well, and that's what I wrote:

    would actually prefer to know a bit more about the work (and especially
    work load ;-) I can expect, and what responsibilities you have in mind
    for me. I can say that an interesting job in a good work environment is
    certainly more important to me than maximizing my income - but I
    wouldn't like to feel under-valued, either :-D Let's say that I expect
    a competitive salary with the usual fringe benefits (phone, car) - and
    we need to talk about the details later in person.

     Which I found to be rather reasonable. The mentioned fringe benefits (phone, car) are very, very common in this part of the world, and, well, "competetive salary" is of course one of these phrases that mean all and nothing.

    Imagine my surprise when I received their answer:

    <font color="#0000ff" size="2" face="Verdana">In regards to benefits such as car, phone etc... we are not open to discuss this before the start of our second physical year...</font>

    <font color="#0000ff" size="2" face="Verdana"></font>Well, OK, public transport is acually fine for me - especially since they are located nearby a metro station, but...

    <font color="#0000ff" size="2" face="Verdana">I do not believe we can make a competitive enough offer that would interest you. <o:p></o:p><font color="#000000"> <o:p></o:p></font>All the best,</font>

    Er, did I miss something? I didn't even talk about money so far. In fact, I (stupidly) even made it clear that I am willing to work for less if the work is interesting enough. What are they looking for? An idiot who is willing to work for next to nothing - well, then I already disqualified myself by showing off with my experience :-)

    In my experience, though, most experienced developers (web or otherwise)

    will have a good clue about how much they are worth (we get job offers

    from certain headhunters from time to time :-) and it will be relatively

    difficult to find somebody who is willing to work under value.

    OK, that was a bit fresh, but I had to get back into the game. I also suggested an "informal" meeting one of these days just to see if there is any way to see if there is any posibility to cooperate.

    The HR person who wrote back had a different opinion:

    <font color="#0000ff" size="2" face="Verdana"><font face="Times New Roman">I
    feel as though we would be wasting our time as I said before I do not
    believe that we can make you an offer which will swipe you of your feet
    .
    </font></font>

    Who said you need to 'swipe me off my feet'. A reasonable offer would alreadydo. But this person seems determined:

    <font color="#0000ff" size="2" face="Verdana"><font face="Times New Roman">Plus the work would be demanding and the load high. :)</font></font>

    So, OK. I got the message. No need to schedule an interview. If that is your approach to HR, I don't even want to know how you handle software development.

     



  • Could it be that you peppered all of your communications with emoticons?  Because if I saw that, there is no way in hell you'd stand a chance of getting hired by me.  Also, it seems the company was quite forward with their response: the work is demanding, the load high, they cannot offer a car or phone and they don't feel they could make a competitive offer.  Is this the first time you've been turned down for a job? 



  • This seems to be a standard tactic of companies these days, and is in opposition to all the job seeking advice of never discuss monetary concerns early on in the process. It can be a bit of a power struggle between you and HR but I have found that in general people who are willing to invest in you are also not concerned with using the salary card as an absolute culling tool. If you are as professional as what a job requires then you should know what sort of ball park figures are acceptable to both you and the company for a given position. Once you get over that you can see how good a fit you both are for the job. Its kind of like dating, would you consider a partner for a long term relationship if they only were interested in the size of your wallet?

    But I have seen HR make hash of the current job market by only working to a specific check list and dropping any candidate that missed a single check. I especially loved getting a call from a recruiter a few weeks ago about a job that had been languishing un-filled for over 12 months because they couldn't get anyone with specific experience of a particular product. Aside from the fact that the product was one of many different ones available in the same field of work - so that anyone with comparable level of experience would have been able to pick it up in a manner of weeks, you should have been able to train a newbie from scratch in that time instead of having all your projects on hold.



  • In your response to them, you made it sound like you expected a high salary and lots of benefits and didn't want to have to work very hard (the "especially work load" bit in particular sounded very odd).  And obviously the smileys didn't help.  I think I might have had the same reaction.

    Most people I know use the same canned response when asked about salary expectations - "I'm expecting a competitive offer based on the market value for this work".  Optionally, if you're OK exchanging benefits for cold hard cash then just be up front about it: "I'm open to negotiation if you're offering other benefits".   If you want to volunteer more information than that, it's your prerogative, but if the employer doesn't agree with your viewpoint then they're more likely to turn you down than if you'd been tight-lipped from the beginning.

    It's not a negotiation if you can't walk away from the deal. 



  • PROTIP: Talking to a prospective employer is not like a txt message to a teenage friend.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Could it be that you peppered all of your communications with emoticons?  Because if I saw that, there is no way in hell you'd stand a chance of getting hired by me.(...)

    Ditto. Though I'm surprised they replied using emoticons too.



  • [quote user="Renan "C#" Sousa"]

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Could it be that you peppered all of your communications with emoticons?  Because if I saw that, there is no way in hell you'd stand a chance of getting hired by me.(...)

    Ditto. Though I'm surprised they replied using emoticons too.

    [/quote]

    I would've replied with emoticons, too, but only because I am a hate-filled man who loves mocking stupid people. 



  • Allow me to translate their response for you.

    "You are a moron.  You actually used emoticons while communicating about a professional position. You also imply that you don't like to work hard yet still expect a good salary as well as a car and a phone.  Please go away and don't waste our time any more."



  • The odd thing is...

    Using emoticons and informal writing to a prospective employer is NOT GOOD.

    But... once you work for a certain employer, I've encountered many, many colleagues who completely loose all etiquette, and start writing their life story in the subject field, start signing emails with their name - and only their name - although there is a signature policy for emails within the company which includes interesting information such as desk phone, fax number and even possibly mobile phone number, and start ranting in all-lowcaps, preferably with many spelling errors and comic sans typefacing.

    WTF is up with that?



  • @Da' Man said:

    Let's say that I expect a competitive salary with the usual fringe benefits (phone, car) - and we need to talk about the details later in person.

    Whoops! That right there was your mistake. The phrasing in that sentence makes it sound like you consider the "fringe benefits" dealbreakers. While I would probably ask if there are fringe benefits, the question would be more like "Are there any additional benefits?", and that would have a lot to do with what kind of job I'm being offered.

    In my previous job, the "fringe benefit" of having a company cellphone was actually feared, because it was usually attached to a contract where you agree to answer the damn thing 24/7, no matter what you're doing. And other jobs would give car or car+phone benefits to IT workers who would be sent to the zillion different buildings the organization had.



  •  @Da' Man said:

    would actually prefer to know a bit more about the work (and especially
    work load ;-) I can expect, and what responsibilities you have in mind
    for me. I can say that an interesting job in a good work environment is
    certainly more important to me than maximizing my income - but I
    wouldn't like to feel under-valued, either :-D Let's say that I expect
    a competitive salary with the usual fringe benefits (phone, car) - and
    we need to talk about the details later in person.

    Let me explain to you the problems with this paragraph:

    1. Your parenthesis are not matched correctly.  You never close this one: "the work (and ..."
    2. you wink about the work load when you should have stuck out your tungue ==>   :-P
    3. you smiled about being under-valued, when you should have frowned ==>   :-(

    Now, in all seriousness, this is the worst paragraph I've ever seen in my life.  You really were wasting their time.   But at least we can all agree that it's a great thing to post on TheDailyWTF!



  • Hi all,

    well, it all depends, of course. Clearly I would never use emoticons in a first letter (or email) of interest - but I would of course adapt to the style of writing they use when answering.

    And - heck, it was a web developer position -  the same as I would expect a craftsman to use some terms of the trade in his application, I don't think it is wrong to use emoticons in an application to such a position.

    Well, maybe somebody in this company didn't see it this way - so obviously this is not the right place for me.

    The same some time ago: the company actually demanded a hand written letter of interest - for a web developer position. I actually called there to ask if there wasn't a mistake. They confirmed that this is the procedure - and I didn't bother about them any longer. Not my place.

    Of course, the same as I try to read whether or not a company is suitable for me from little hints like these, the companies might do the same. They might sort me out because I used emoticons. That's fair enough. But then it would be more honest (and in fact much wiser, too), to say that they decided for another candidate, or  that upon much consideration.. blabla.. you know the phrases.

    But saying "we can't afford you" - even before we talked about money. Not good.

     Ah, and the fringe benefits are really very, very common. This is Belgium, a high tax country, and a company car is in for everybody on a level higher than, say, cleaning lady or so... Of course, that has some effect on the traffic jam situation, but that's another story :-)



  • @Da' Man said:

    And - heck, it was a web developer position -  the same as I would expect a craftsman to use some terms of the trade in his application, I don't think it is wrong to use emoticons in an application to such a position.
    Unless you're counting your MySpace page as Web Developer experience, there is no use of emoticons in your "trade".



  • @Da' Man said:

    Clearly I would never use emoticons in a first letter (or email) of interest - but I would of course adapt to the style of writing they use when answering.
     

    There is no job correspondence at all where this would be acceptable.

    @Da' Man said:

    it was a web developer position

    Which you are clearly not qualified for.

    @Da' Man said:

    a hand written letter of interest - for a web developer position. I actually called there to ask if there wasn't a mistake. They confirmed that this is the procedure - and I didn't bother about them any longer. Not my place.

    Clearly. You cannot even answer an email with any kind of professionalism.

    @Da' Man said:

    They might sort me out because I used emoticons. That's fair enough.

    And completely obvious. I have never heard of another human being stupid enough to use emoticons in job correspondence. Seriously, how can you think this is acceptable?

    @Da' Man said:

    But saying "we can't afford you" - even before we talked about money.

    You did talk about money. As many people have pointed out so far, you gave clear impressions of what you expect, and what could be expected from you.  And you came off sounding like a stuck up little brat too.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @Da' Man said:
    it was a web developer position
    Which you are clearly not qualified for.

    Cool. Count 15 years of professional web developing experience (yes, I
    do mean since 1993!) vs. an emoticon in an email. I have a different
    oppinion about who made a mistake here.

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    And you came off sounding like a stuck up little brat too.

    Tsts.. you better don't write this in an application letter either :-)



  • @Da' Man said:

    <FONT face=Verdana color=#0000ff size=2>In regards to benefits such as car, phone etc... we are not open to discuss this before the start of our second physical year</FONT>

    I'd be leery of working for anybody who's never seen the phrase "fiscal year" written down.



  • @Da' Man said:

    I have a different
    oppinion about who made a mistake here.
     

    And everyone here is telling you that you are wrong, and stupid for it.



  • @Da' Man said:

    Count 15 years of professional web developing experience (yes, I
    do mean since 1993!)...

    "Professional web development" in 1993 would be creating a link.  I think this testifies to your level of experience. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    "Professional web development" in 1993 would be creating a link.  I think this testifies to your level of experience.

    So so.. I'm curious to hear what you know about web development in 1993.



  • @Da' Man said:

     Ah, and the fringe benefits are really very, very common. This is Belgium, a high tax country, and a company car is in for everybody on a level higher than, say, cleaning lady or so... Of course, that has some effect on the traffic jam situation, but that's another story :-)

     

    Ok, emoticons aside..  

    Are you serious? a Car for a web developer? 

    I'm thinking that Belgium, (I assume you are on a city) has very good public transportation, gas prices are probably very high (as in most of the world) and parking spaces are most likely scarce. 

    Don't see how can this be normal.  

    Please, allow me to doubt this car thing for a position like a web developer. My uneducated guess would be that unless you are doing some real hot shot position, I would think that they would give you parking space for your bycicle, or maybe some metro tickets. If you behave good, they might even let you park your scooter in the parking lot. 

    I might be wrong, but still, I will maintain scepticism on this car thing until proven wrong. 



  •  I'd be very surprised if a free car and a free phone are considered "standard" benefits in any part of the world, for anything but management positions.

     And in '93, I'd imagine that "web development" consisted of making some basic table and bullet-point layouts, perhaps with a little bit of Perl behind it.



  • @fatdog said:

    I'm thinking that Belgium, (I assume you are on a city) has very good public transportation, gas prices are probably very high (as in most of the world) and parking spaces are most likely scarce. 

    Don't see how can this be normal.  

    Please, allow me to doubt this car thing for a position like a web developer. My uneducated guess would be that unless you are doing some real hot shot position, I would think that they would give you parking space for your bycicle, or maybe some metro tickets. If you behave good, they might even let you park your scooter in the parking lot. 

    I might be wrong, but still, I will maintain scepticism on this car thing until proven wrong. 

     

    Well, to be honest, I found that strange, too. Especially since the public transport situation over here really is quite OK. But so far, every position I even looked at included a company car. They actually really throw them at you.

    I learned that paying for a company car (including petrol!) actually comes the company much cheaper than paying me that much more per month so I can pay for the car myself. Again, this has something to do with the high taxes on income, and really very good deduction options for companies - and then there are some big leasing companies which offer "all inclusive" contracts (i.e. car + maintenance + gasoline) for a fixed sum.

    In one case, the money set aside for the car leasing was actually even enough to choose a Jaguar. No kidding. Well, the Big Boss(TM) probably wouldn't have liked it if I parked a Jag next to his BMW, but money-wise... :-)

    In another place, even the Hotline guys had their own cars. Plus company mobile phones (all payed for) and Laptops. Of course, that also had the side-effect that they could be easily contacted after hours. And then there were lunch cupons and if necessary even the Internet at home was payed for...

    All of that just to keep the actual sum transferred as wage at the end of the month as small as possible (and thus the tax load low).



  •  @seamustheseagull said:

     And in '93, I'd imagine that "web development" consisted of making some basic table and bullet-point layouts, perhaps with a little bit of Perl behind it.

    Not even tables - they only came much later (with Netscape 1.1, if I'm not mistaken!)



  • @Da' Man said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    "Professional web development" in 1993 would be creating a link.  I think this testifies to your level of experience.

    So so.. I'm curious to hear what you know about web development in 1993.

    Well, this question wasn't directed at me, but I know that web development in 1993 is covered in about the first two paragraphs of a crappy Teach Yourself Web Development In Two Hours book. Come on, man. Were you designing brain-dead early HTML web pages for those hundreds of people using the recently-released NCSA Mosaic? Maybe you were working hard in the challenging world of gopher?

    Unless you're Rob McCool or Tim Berners-Lee, I'm really not impressed. Seriously, this is like bragging that you've had experience in mathematics back in 5000 BC. So what? I learned all that by first grade.



  • @seamustheseagull said:

     I'd be very surprised if a free car and a free phone are considered "standard" benefits in any part of the world

    A phone is likely to be a benefit for anyone who is going to be on call when not at the office. Of course as others have said, that makes it not much of a benefit. I could see a web developer being in this kind of a situation.



  • Well, indeed the question wasn't directed to you, but to that other
    Troll, but it seems his mother sent him to bed. So never mind.

    @bstorer said:

    Maybe you were working hard in the challenging world of gopher?
     

    The question is not how complicated it was to make web pages on HTML version 1. The issue is that I started back then, and had many years to develop.

    It is also there to say that if I already had customers who were willing to pay me for web pages back then, one can imagine that I did some stuff before.

    But - to get back to the OP: In my eyes the real WTF is not even that a company is looking for a developer willing to pay under value, but actually openly admits so.

    Well, if nobody sees this, can't change it. I found it quite a WTF.



  • @Da' Man said:

    The question is not how complicated it was to make web pages on HTML version 1. The issue is that I started back then, and had many years to develop.
    No, the issue is that all that experience is at least 50% worthless now. I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you managed to gain knowledge in dealing with clients, etc. But everything technical you knew from that time period has been completely supplanted by newer information. This is like trying to claim you're an experienced electrical linesman just because you used to be the guy to light the gaslights on the streets of your town.



  • @Da' Man said:

    In my eyes the real WTF is not even that a company is looking for a developer willing to pay under value, but actually openly admits so.
     

    Good luck getting a job when everyone here has told you why you didn't get the job and you are still arguing.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    Good luck getting a job when everyone here has told you why you didn't get the job and you are still arguing.
     

    Luckily, The TDWF-Forum is not my only scope of reference for these things :-)



  • @Da' Man said:

    Luckily, The TDWF-Forum is not my only scope of reference for these things :-)

    I'm not sure AOL chatrooms are a better reference, but good luck.  #:-8



  • Maybe I have an overactive imagination, but I have a vision of a bubble-era computer nerd fresh out of high school after reading all the newspaper articles about 17-year-olds getting 6 figures and a BMW, who hit his head on the way to an interview in 1999, spent the last 9 years in a coma, and still doesn't realize that the bubble is over.

    Newsflash: Companies aren't desperate for web developers anymore.  Senior engineers and architects, yes, but those people are expected to be able to communicate with some level of professionalism.



  • @Aaron said:

    Maybe I have an overactive imagination, but I have a vision of a bubble-era computer nerd fresh out of high school after reading all the newspaper articles about 17-year-olds getting 6 figures and a BMW, who hit his head on the way to an interview in 1999, spent the last 9 years in a coma, and still doesn't realize that the bubble is over.
     

    I agree with your vision 100%. I had the same one.



  • @Da' Man said:

    But - to get back to the OP: In my eyes the real WTF is not even that a company is looking for a developer willing to pay under value, but actually openly admits so.
     

    The way that reads to me from their message, is they 1) think you value yourself too highly 2) have no interest in debating your value with you 3) decided it was easier to just say "we want to underpay" so you go away.
    They weren't "admitting to their desire to under pay" - they used it as a ploy to get you to stop trying.

    Also, if they were the first ones to use emoticons in communicating with you, then I can sort of understand why you would back but still consider it a Very Bad Idea. Its not a Good Idea to be that informal, and even if the first person who wrote you used them, you have no idea who that person will forward your messages to who also evaluate them.

    Also, the comments you chose to make while employing emoticons implied a sense of "flippancy" and that you really weren't that serious.  If you aren't communicating any sense of taking the job seriously during the process of getting the job (when many people ham it up till you're sick) why would they expect you to take the job seriously after you worked there?


    Honestly, you can feel they messed up and not you, due to your experience, but it looks like you were screened out for social skill reasons, which is entirely valid and even if it turned out you are correct in asserting you'd be a great asset to them - you can't fault them for not taking the chance once red flags have gone up.

    Maybe its very different here than in Belgium, but I think you are missing just how many red flags your own messages would raise with any of us in any of our hirings.  If I thought I should make a BS excuse to cut off contact easily, I'd probably take the same route they did.



  • Ah, finally a sensible comment here. I was ready to move the bookmark to this forum to the "troll's realm" category...

    @BeenThere said:

    they 1) think you value yourself too highly 2) have no interest in
    debating your value with you 3) decided it was easier to just say "we
    want to underpay" so you go away. They weren't "admitting to their desire to under pay" - they used it as a ploy to get you to stop trying.

    Well, and that is just what I believe is a major WTF. How about saying: "We think you over-value yourself, and don't feel like discussing it with you"? Just for the sake of being honest

    Or if they want to be polite, then how about a way that would still keep the door open, in case I'd soon work at some potential customer?

    @BeenThere said:

    Also, if they were the first ones to use emoticons in communicating with you, then I can sort of understand why you would back but still consider it a Very Bad Idea.

    Well, I don't know about the other side of the Atlantic ocean - but over here, emoticons have already crept in to the strangest places. I have even seen them on printed letters. Well, of course not in industries like banking or so, but in the Internet business - no problem.

    @BeenThere said:

    Honestly, you can feel they messed up and not you, due to your experience, but it looks like you were screened out for social skill reasons, which is entirely valid and even if it turned out you are correct in asserting you'd be a great asset to them - you can't fault them for not taking the chance once red flags have gone up.

    I agree -and in fact after their second reply, on my side the red flag went up. I've seen too many badly managed businesses and certainly wouldn't like to work for one of these. The only reason I answered at all was to find out if there was just an incompetent secretary answering or if that was how the company is set up. Sadly, it seems that this is the company.

    BTW: Simply not answering might seem impolite at first, but it's still better than giving the impression of beeing to cheap to pay for skilled labor. And filtering some otherwise very suitable person out because you don't like the emoticonshe used inan email is... well... just plain stupid.

    On the other hand - I admit that there is a point with the wage. The post was for a "Web Developer", and they probably meant somebody who can do a bit of PHP. My profile would rather fit for a Senior Developer, and even unsaid it's clear that I wouldn't work for the same money as a junior (most of whom - over here - seem to have no training other than a one-week introduction to PHP... sadly)

    So maybe I'm stretching the "WTF" a bit. But first saying: "Just what we are looking for", and then "but that's gonna cost too much" makes me wonder where I landed.

    PS: Just to annoy some people, here a collection of my favourite emoticons: &:-o  o:-) :^P :-]==> and |-oZzz



  • @Da' Man said:

    BTW: Simply not answering might seem impolite at first, but it's still better than giving the impression of beeing to cheap to pay for skilled labor.

     

    This is all I had to hear.  Stay far away from management, because do not have the first clue how to communicate and deal with people.



  •  @Da' Man said:

    And filtering some otherwise very suitable person out because you don't
    like the emoticonshe used inan email is... well... just plain stupid.

    My current boss made a very good point to me one day: he considers that during an interview, the potential employee is at their very best and that after that, it's all downhill. This can easily be extended to all pre-hiring correspondence. 

    You don't consider the emoticons and informal writing style a big deal, and this is percisely the problem. They are looking at it like you are being at the top of your professional game. Consider their point of view: If you ever have to have any communications with a client (or prospective client) then this is the best it will be. Coupled with the fact that you're obviously older (15+ years of pro experience means you're at least 30-40 years old) and most likely unable/unwilling to change your ways if asked, and it's quite obvious you're a no-go. 

    Just guessing here, but they probably tried to dis-interest you with the salary part, as opposed to outright saying "you used emoticons in professional correspondence. WTF!?",  because they realize that you may get a job with another company who is a client/vendor/partner, and there is no point in making things nasty. You took it the wrong way and posted it here, so obviously that didn't totally work, but hey.. they tried.

     



  • @bstorer said:

    @Da' Man said:
    The question is not how complicated it was to make web pages on HTML version 1. The issue is that I started back then, and had many years to develop.
    No, the issue is that all that experience is at least 50% worthless now.

    15 year-old knowledge is 50% worthless in most fields, but it's still good to have experience. Would you tell a mechanic with 15 years of experience that it was worthless because your car's a 2005 model?



  • @Cap'n Steve said:

    @bstorer said:
    @Da' Man said:
    The question is not how complicated it was to make web pages on HTML version 1. The issue is that I started back then, and had many years to develop.
    No, the issue is that all that experience is at least 50% worthless now.

    15 year-old knowledge is 50% worthless in most fields, but it's still good to have experience. Would you tell a mechanic with 15 years of experience that it was worthless because your car's a 2005 model?

     

    Not to mention, a lot of what you pick up over the years is pretty much timeless, how to organize, how to spot the red flags of feature-bloat, how to plan a project.  We have much better tools now - but most of them are here to aid in dealing with problems that have been coming up from the very beginning.



  • @Da' Man said:

    I was ready to move the bookmark to this forum to the "troll's realm" category...

    There were no troll answers in this thread. Everybody gave you good advice IMHO.

    In a job interview, 1) do not talk about money before they introduced the subject and 2) never use smileys. Failing to do so is very unprofessional.

    In our company, we have had a possible candidate who said to the HR: "How much are you going to pay me? Because if it's too low, I'm not even going to come for the interview...."  



  • @groogs said:

    Just guessing here, but they probably tried to dis-interest you with the salary part, as opposed to outright saying "you used emoticons in professional correspondence. WTF!?",  because they realize that you may get a job with another company who is a client/vendor/partner, and there is no point in making things nasty. You took it the wrong way and posted it here, so obviously that didn't totally work, but hey.. they tried.
     

    I think you have a point here. Maybe I jumped to much at the "competitive salary" thing. Still, this kind of communication makes me raise a red flag: that is probably not a company I would like to work for..

    Oh, and I do use informal writing in communication with clients. And I get very good feedback from the clients for it.A lot of people (over here at least) are actually sick and tired of this over-formulized "business talk", they want to have the feeling there is a real person on the other end, and they actually smile when they see a smilie at the end :-)

    But of course, it means reading the signs to estimate what level of colloquialism is appropriate. Getting a mail with a smilie in it is relatively good sign that it's appropriate to use some emoticons as well. But your opinions may differ.

    But coming back to the job: It may also be a problem of definition of the job description: For me, a "Web Developer" is somebody who is proficient in a number of programming language like Java, Ruby, PHP, Perl, etc. and is able to use them to build complex web applications. Whereas a "Web Designer" is one who can do the visual concept, and implement it using HTML, CSS and possibly some (usually simple) PHP scripting.

    So it might be that they were actually looking for a "Web Designer" but decided to write "Web Developer, well, at least because it sounds much cooler (nobody here is a native English speaker, mind you). On my application they thought: "cool", but after a bit of consideration they realised that this is going to come at a price...

    Well, in the end it's all a story of failed communication. One way or another.



  • @Da' Man said:

    I was ready to move the bookmark to this forum to the "troll's realm" category...
    I am sorry mate, but it's you who's the troll here.

    It is not like you acted like you shared a funny story about a stupid mistake you made, spiced with some self-irony. That would have been alright, since everybody makes mistakes, sometimes even stupid ones like that. But instead of that, you bashed the HR person, who actually did the Right Thing To Do™ and rejected you in a very polite way, without hurting your feelings, since probably he or she realised that you're the type of person who cannot take constructive criticism, and rightly so, as we can all see here.

    None the less, let me give you an advice: In the future, if a potential employer asks you about the moneyz, give them a specific number. That's not the time for bullshitting and clichés. They want to know if you fit their budget, and they want to know how much do you think you worth. And, of course, do not use emoticons when dealing with a potentional employer, clients, etc; it is really unprofessional. Man, that supposed to be common sense...



  • @D0R said:

    In our company, we have had a possible candidate who said to the HR: "How much are you going to pay me? Because if it's too low, I'm not even going to come for the interview...."  

    Exactly that's the point. What they said is: "How much are you gonna cost us? Oh, 'competetive'!?! Sorry mate, we're not gonna pay 'competetive'. Stop wasting our time."



  • @Da' Man said:


    And - heck, it was a web developer position - the same as I would expect a craftsman to use some terms of the trade in his application, I don't think it is wrong to use emoticons in an application to such a position.

    Others have said it, don't ever use emoticons in professional correspondence.

    Asking for a car and a phone sealed the deal for you. No way does a web developer get a car and a phone. 

     



  • @D0R said:

    In a job interview, 1) do not talk about money before they introduced the subject

    But they did introduce the subject of money first. They asked him about his salary expectations. He actually tried to put the question off for later by asking for more information about the job. You could say that it didn't come off the way he intended, but he wasn't the one to bring it up.



  • Am I the only one that knows how much I want to make and would actually give them a number.  I'm not saying I'de give them the minimum amount I would take the job for, but I would give them a number that would make me happy and which I think would be an acceptable deal for them.



  • @tster said:

    Am I the only one that knows how much I want to make and would actually give them a number.  I'm not saying I'de give them the minimum amount I would take the job for, but I would give them a number that would make me happy and which I think would be an acceptable deal for them.

     

    I agree. But I would also put (Negotiable) after it.



  •  Da'Man,

     You're making the mistake of asking an North-American focused board an opinion about European job seeking ethics.

    Yes, it is a bad idea to use smileys in professional communication to a prospective employer, but also yes, I have seen some people enjoy the leisurely chatting style in professional email correspondence - I do not.

    Yes, a car, laptop and cellphone are quite common in Belgium to be given out as extra advantages which are not as highly taxed as your income tax.  But for a web designer do not make the mistake to assume they come in automatically.  I've been through a few jobs, and unless you're in some sort of consulting job visiting clients, getting a car is a long stretch for most companies.

    What I find odd is that, if you are looking for a web design job, why are you not properly communicating?  Web Design is all about communication, and as such you should be very good at that.  If you're not good at communicating, what good are you in communicating the client's message?

    I feel with my clients that they do like the informal approach over the phone and in meetings, but I feel it shows confidence if written communication is correct and to the point.



  • @wooter said:

    You're making the mistake of asking an North-American focused board an opinion about European job seeking ethics.

    Yes, I noticed :-)

    Well, I thought there are a few Europeans round here (at least there must be some Polish people - mostly from Krakow, if I remember right ;-)

    @wooter said:

    Yes, it is a bad idea to use smileys in professional communication to a prospective employer, but also yes, I have seen some people enjoy the leisurely chatting style in professional email correspondence - I do not..

    Agreed. And for that reason the first letter (or rather email) of interest of course has to be as formal as an email could ever be.

    However, communication always involves a constant re-negotioation of codes - and when the other side changes the code set, it would be odd not to go with it (unless you want to tell them: I'm not communicating on your level - which would definitely be much worse than a casual emoticon too much).

    @wooter said:

    Yes, a car, laptop and cellphone are quite common in Belgium

    Pssst! Don't tell them! Do you really want to have a mass immigration of American IT-guys to Belgium? Poles are still welcome, though :-)

    @wooter said:

    But for a web designer do not make the mistake to assume they come in automatically.

    Not necessarily for a web designer, no. But for somebody who actually does have to go and see clients all the time...And don't forget, in the end a car comes cheaper to the company than paying a higher salary so I can buy one myself :-) And remember: the job title said "Web Developer" - but then again, there are probably as many different definitions of what a 'Web Developer' does as there are web developers.

    Well, as I said, 'car' is negotiable. Maybe they jumped on it. Fine. But in the way they wrote back they made it appear as if they jumped on the word "competetive", and even if it is so, that surely isn't the impression that you want to make - as a company.

    As you said, it's probably the wrong forum.



  • @Da' Man said:

    However, communication always involves a constant re-negotioation of codes - and when the other side changes the code set, it would be odd not to go with it (unless you want to tell them: I'm not communicating on your level - which would definitely be much worse than a casual emoticon too much).

    I disagree with this; someone can be oblivious to faults in their own style but that does not imply they do not notice it in the communication of others. Just retain your professionalism, I don't see how you could go wrong with that.

    BTW I'm dutch, and I don't see why a company should provide you with a car unless you have to drive across the country to different clients.



  •  The thing is: you need to sell yourself to get that interview, just like you need to sell yourself to get that job.  Yes, you can try to gain an interview and it's job on pricing, but that won't bode well when you start mentioning cars, cellphones and laptops, before you got an explanation what the job is about.

    So in that sense, the suggestion of wanting a "competitive salary package" is a very good idea.  Use that, and keep your price and preference to yourself until you've learned more about the prospective employer.  First, win that interview, and then, in that interview, you can sell yourself and maybe even win the job, although you're not the cheapest applying.

    You could adapt to someone elses faults in communication, but don't forget: you're there to sell yourself, not to be a nice guy and to level yourself with your prospective employer.  He is namely just a client, such as many others.  So when you show you're better than others, why would they choose for someone who is asking the same, and has shown in no real regard to be excelling at interpersonal communications?

    I'm a freelance IT consultant and run an automotive installer business on the side.  My clients email and phone me with "hey wooter how's it going?", and during phone calls I might adapt, but on mail my response always go by the lines of "Dear Mr x,  As mentioned in our brief telephone conversation, the LaserGuard 2002 will be able to solve your documentational needs.  Please find enclosed our quote, valid until July, 27.".

    A funny guy that is professional in his work is much more trusted than a funny guy that is funny with his work.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.