But we need you now



  • I interviewed for and was offered this job modernizing a bunch of very old Java systems (v1.0 forward). I informed the agent before, and the hiring manager during the interview that I was contractually obligated to give 3 weeks notice (presumably they wanted this so I would have time to train a replacement).

    The job offer comes: Can you start next Monday? No, as I told you earlier, I am obligated for 3 weeks. But we need you now! If I started right this second, though I know the language, I do not know your internal systems, and there will be a ramp-up period; what is the emergency? Well, we promised senior management that this effort would only take about 3 months, and we've since realized that it's going to take more than a year. My violating an obligation is not going to change that in any significant way. And so the conversation went.

    Now don't get me wrong, leaving my current position would be a blessing, but I honor my obligations. Besides, what sort of fire-pit of WTFery would I be jumping into if this is their way of planning?

    And neither the headhunter nor hiring manager could understand why I declined the position!

     



  • @snoofle said:

    And neither the headhunter nor hiring manager could understand why I declined the position!

    I guess they were hoping for a good batch of fresh WTFs. Is either of them called something like Papadopoulos?



  • @snoofle said:

    Well, we promised senior management that this effort would only take about 3 months, and we've since realized that it's going to take more than a year.

    Right there would be the red flag telling me not to take the position.  Right away you know you're in for a lot of high-pressure, late hours, "we needed it last month" arguments, and if they were that grossly incapable of scheduling this project, wait until you see the next one.  And the next one.



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    @snoofle said:

    Now don't get me wrong, leaving my current position would be a blessing, but I honor my obligations. Besides, what sort of fire-pit of WTFery would I be jumping into if this is their way of planning?

     

     

    Glad to hear you managed to avoid that cluster-f%ck. I'm also heartened to read your intent to honor your obligations. Too often I've seen consultants (FYI: sometime I play that role myself) bolt for greener pastures at the slightest provocation and without any meaningful notice.

    Don't get me wrong. I'm not against entertaining new opportunities when already engaged in a project, but one should always try to make right with the client to which one is already contracted to provide services. The good news is that in the relatively small market in which I work the people who leave their clients holding the bag get a bad reputation pretty quickly. On a couple of occations I've had the pleasure of being able to put the kibosh on the hiring of a consultant because I knew they could not be counted on.





  • @snoofle said:

    I was contractually obligated to give 3 weeks notice (presumably they wanted this so I would have time to train a replacement)


    I had a 4-week period to train my replacement. I like to believe I did a fairly good job: legible code, documentation, small prioritized to-do list.

    Even walked him through everything and asked if he had any questions ('t was a small project, I put it together in less than a month)

    Turns out my training him would've probably required way more than that... He had no clue about the programming languages we used (ASP.Net and Flex, among others)

    ... nor programming.



    He was fired 3 months later.



    Oh well...



  •  Also, if you hire someone who's willing to screw over their current employer for your benefit, what do you think is going to happen when they decide they don't want to work for you anymore?


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