Was I Wrong?



  • I went on a job interview. It was excessively cold out, but public transportation was running more closely to schedule than usual, so I got there a bit early. I waited around until the scehduled time, went to the front desk and called upstairs. No answer. For 20 minutes. Finally, the guard locates someone who agrees to let me come up. I'm escorted to a conference room, where I sit, alone, for 30 minutes more.

    Annoyed, I go searching for anyone from the team I'm supposed to meet only to find a sea of empty cubicles. There is no secretary, and the person who escorted me upstairs is nowhere to be found. I give up and leave.

    I call the agent and let him know of my feelings on a whole team blowing me off. It seems they finally showed up about an hour after the appointed time and noticed that I wasn't there waiting for them.

    Don't get me wrong, everyone gets delayed once in a while, but 5 people at once? Without calling to let someone know that maybe they should reschedule?

    I told the agent I didn't want to work for any team that would blow off folks like that. He was appologetic, but clearly irked.

    Was I wrong?



  • No.



    You waited 50 minutes. In which you where not called or let know what what going on.

    Of course the agent was irked, he didn't get payed a fee for 'finding' you.



    Back when I was recruited for a job interview one of the agents actually picked me up at home and dropped me of at the interview location, and picked me up after that. Now THAT'S service. (I didn't have a car at that time)



  • @snoofle said:

    I told the agent I didn't want to work for any team that would blow off folks like that. He was apologetic, but clearly irked.

    Was I wrong?

    Without knowing anything else: yes, that sounds like a first sign of WTFfiness, company to be avoided. If they don't take interviews (or you) seriously, then what do they? On the other hand, maybe if you'd been very excited about the possibility of working there you might have waited a bit longer?

    As far as the agent, well, of course he's irked. No commision for him, plus, you're not infinitely flexible, so.



  •  You waited about 35 minutes longer than I would have.  a half hour alone in a conference room? geez... except I probably would have raided the fridge before I left, if there was one.



  • @CaptainCaveman said:

    raided the fridge

    No fridge, but there were coffee and candy vending machines - priced about  $0.50 higher than the same stuff on the street.

     



  • @snoofle said:

    @CaptainCaveman said:
    raided the fridge
    No fridge, but there were coffee and candy vending machines - priced about  $0.50 higher than the same stuff on the street.

    BYE I'm outahere.



  • @snoofle said:

    It was excessively cold out

     

    If I recall correctly, you're in NJ. 

    It was -13 F this morning where I live in North Western NJ this morning.

     BTW- You were totally in the right.



  • @frits said:

    It was -13 F this morning where I live in North Western NJ

    This was in Jersey City (across from lower Manhattan), it was about 5F when I got there, and based on the throngs of people swarming out of the PATH (train) station, everyone else managed to get to work just fine.



  •  Five minutes for a TA, ten for an associate professor, fifteen for a full professor.  I don't know what the figures are for a department chairman or a dean, or exactly how the traditional ranks translate to the corporate world, but at fifty minutes these people must have a very high opinion of their importance.



  • These are the same people who would probably use the same poor logic on deadlines: You are waiting for someone else (maybe even outside of the company) to deliver something that is critical to your completion of the project, and when that slips, you are the sole person responsible for it, and are reprimanded.

    Yep, you're not in the wrong. Although one thing I'd do is, after 15 minutes, call the agent asking if they had the right time or even location for the interview. I'd find it unbelievable that 5 people would independently be late for a scheduled interview, and would start to double-guess my own appointment book.



  • @RHuckster said:

     Although one thing I'd do is...

    I was definitely in the right place at the right time (I was on their schedule at the guard's desk) so they were expecting me.

    They blamed it on the weather, but there was no precipitation; it was just cold.

    BTW: this place has a reputation for being very slothy (it's one of the places that went belly up to start the recession and then got bought out), but the cancer that was the consumed organization seems to have taken root and infected the purchasing company.

    I was leery going in, but now I'm thinking I dodged a bullet.



  • Not sure about this, but were did the cubicles look used? (e.g. papers, photographs, etc.) or was it completely empty. It could have very well been a "Virtual Office" and the company was actually run elsewhere (like out of some guy's house). And his development team was just arriving there to meet you, which would explain why there was nobody there. I've run into that situation with clients before, they're the ones you ask to prepay for the work you perform.



  • @snoofle said:

    Was I wrong?
     

    I would say you made the right decision.  I find it hard to believe that nobody was able to get a message to you to say they are running late.  They just didn't care.

    If the boot was on the other foot you can be sure they would take a dim view of you strolling in an hour late with no notification.




  • @svm_invictvs said:

    Not sure about this, but were did the cubicles look used?
    Very much so - huge company, over 1000 people at this one location. It was just a group of folks that usually come in at 9:30 that couldn't be bothered to show up for my 8:30 appointment. I guess everyone figured someone else would come in early. They were wrong.



  • @snoofle said:

    It was just a group of folks that usually come in at 9:30

    OK, that very much sounds like my kind of job right there ^_^



  •  I usually come in at a random time between 9 and 9:30, but:

    a) I leave somewhere round 18
    b) I damn well show up if there's a special appointment at 8:30.



  • @dhromed said:

     I usually come in at a random time between 9 and 9:30, but:

    a) I leave somewhere round 18

    I now remember working in Holland, spending well over an hour in traffic, then leaving the office late and spending close to 2 more hours in traffic. That SuXXoRed.



  •  45 minutes by bus.

    Now 20¢ cheaper due to le chipcard.



  • First - You were absolutely not in the wrong.

    Now, my real question, which I realise is completely off-topic:
    @snoofle said:

    I was leery going in, but now I'm thinking I dodged a bullet.


    Being "leery" is something I've noticed people saying a lot lately. Now to me, that sounds like someone saying they're being a dirty old man. It's always used in a context where I would use "wary" - ie, cautious or suspicious. Is it just the similarity in sound that makes people get it 'wrong', or is "leery" actually 'right'? Even if only in some dialects.

    Having said that, I always enjoy your stories and they're always well-written, which is why this caught my attention so much.



  • @Mel said:

    First - You were absolutely not in the wrong.

    Now, my real question, which I realise is completely off-topic:
    @snoofle said:

    I was leery going in, but now I'm thinking I dodged a bullet.


    Being "leery" is something I've noticed people saying a lot lately. Now to me, that sounds like someone saying they're being a dirty old man. It's always used in a context where I would use "wary" - ie, cautious or suspicious. Is it just the similarity in sound that makes people get it 'wrong', or is "leery" actually 'right'? Even if only in some dialects.

    Having said that, I always enjoy your stories and they're always well-written, which is why this caught my attention so much.

    "Leery" is a perfectly valid word, and yeah, it means about the same as "wary."  It just doesn't get used all that often.



  • @dhromed said:

    Now 20¢ cheaper due to le chipcard.

    Le vrai WTF. Can some Dutchie who has followed this puddle of fail maybe write up a an entry on this esteemed forum? Because I'm pretty sure the rest of the world is going to be ROTFL.



  • Yeah you did it right. Next step is to send them a bill for your time. You were sitting around, at their request, when you could have been doing productive things. They owe you.



  •  5 Minutes for a Bachelor's, 10 for a Master's, 15 for a Doctorate is how we use to do it.



  • @Mel said:

    First - You were absolutely not in the wrong.

    Now, my real question, which I realise is completely off-topic:
    @snoofle said:

    I was leery going in, but now I'm thinking I dodged a bullet.


    Being "leery" is something I've noticed people saying a lot lately. Now to me, that sounds like someone saying they're being a dirty old man. It's always used in a context where I would use "wary" - ie, cautious or suspicious. Is it just the similarity in sound that makes people get it 'wrong', or is "leery" actually 'right'? Even if only in some dialects.

    Having said that, I always enjoy your stories and they're always well-written, which is why this caught my attention so much.

     

     

    Maybe he'd dropped some acid before the interview and meant he was "Leary".



  • @b-redeker said:

    Le vrai WTF. Can some Dutchie who has followed this puddle of fail maybe write up a an entry on this esteemed forum? Because I'm pretty sure the rest of the world is going to be ROTFL.
     

    ?

    GB, Germany and, I believe, France, have already implemented public transport chipcard systems for quite some time. What we have here has some WTF aspects, but the general idea (card, check-in, check-out) is sound. I can make a list of what's fail about the situation, but what good would that do?



  • @dhromed said:

    can make a list of what's fail about the situation, but what good would that do?

    What good? Remind me again on which site I am?

    Yes, the chipcard. I used it to travel from the train station to the office a while by bus. Never did it charge me the same amount twice in a row... How's that not a WTF.

    Plus, word has spread here that the card has been completely comprimised. I have yet to find a news source that will tell me what exactly is compromised about it, but by the sound of the discussions I gathered that, using a card reader/writer, you can alter your own balance on the card. i.e. free travel!



  • @steenbergh said:

    Never did it charge me the same amount twice in a row... How's that not a WTF.
     

    Technically, it should round up to the next stop. If it doesn't, you could check out as quickly as oppotunity allows, and ride at a hefty discounts.:). That would be fucked.

    I've only been using it for a few days, so I still need to check out the exact price per rit. Veolia's cardreaders are fucked, and the status report on the site updates at strange times, so I'm giving it some time before I check the numbers.

    So, ok, the suck as I see it:

    1. the downpayment. €4 every time I check in, and the travel price is deducted from that when I check out. I get the remainder back. For trains, it's a whopping €20. It needs to die.
    2. The readers that Veolia uses take a full second to notice I'm holding a card against it, and when it finally does beep, the under-powered and cold LCD display takes another second to nearly display the cards status in half-lit pixel letters. By that time I'm already gone. Every other PT company seems to use more powerful, faster machines with simpler, readable calculator-style displays.
    3. Poor arrangements for those who sometimes forget to check out. Goodbye money!
    4. I guess that's it. There's the occasional idiot who can't grasp the concept of holding the card still against the scanner, or is unable to distinguish between the OK and ERROR beeps, but that's not really the system's fault. I never had any problems so far.
    I'm in favour of the whole thing, really. It just takes some getting used to, and goddamn Veolia shouldn't have taken readers from the lowest fucking bidder. They even look shoddy: cheap plastic that resembles IT design of the 80s.



  • @steenbergh said:

    Yes, the chipcard. I used it to travel from the train station to the office a while by bus. Never did it charge me the same amount twice in a row... How's that not a WTF.

    The idea in itself is imminently logical and even doable. The old "strippenkaart" was perfect for the users (they can travel anywhere in the Netherlands with one type of card) but a nightmare for the transport companies who had too little data to do their business. The new system tells them exactly how people travel, and whether they (the transporters) get too much or too little for their efforts. The implementation of this idea has been a total mess though, it seems.

    @steenbergh said:

    Plus, word has spread here that the card has been completely comprimised. I have yet to find a news source that will tell me what exactly is compromised about it, but by the sound of the discussions I gathered that, using a card reader/writer, you can alter your own balance on the card. i.e. free travel!

    This is my main point. Not only is it compromised, this is hardly a surprise to anyone who has followed this project even a little bit. The security has been cracked for ages and the attacks have been well published. For years. And yet, they have continued and continued the project, maybe hoping the attacks would go away if they would ignore them. They had many opportunities to turn and try for something better, yet they didn't; and now there is even a simple windows program that allows you to edit the card to your liking (I'm pretty sure you would need a cardreader though, which is not widely available).

    In the meantime this total mess has cost hundreds of millions (original estimate 250 M euro, overruns at least 100 M); and the company running the card (owned by 5 public transport companies) so far has only lost more money (understandably). I guess they're now stuck with the Mifare card; they'll have to use a different card for the disposables, which will make the whole system more expensive again. The bill of course eventually will be footed by the traveller.

    I don't even live in the Netherlands right now but this utter mess makes me angry. I seriously cannot understand how a project that is so large, so expensive and so public can be run so incredibly badly.



  • @b-redeker said:

    The security has been cracked for ages and the attacks have been well published.

    I don't think it's such a huge problem, currently. We should worry when telephone Turks start offering this "service".

    @b-redeker said:

    I'm pretty sure you would need a cardreader though, which is not widely available

    That's the crux of the matter.The software is a click away, but you can't torrent a cardwriter. I agree that once you have access to one, it's painfully easy to get all guns + 999 ammo.

    @b-redeker said:

    I seriously cannot understand how a project that is so large, so expensive and so public can be run so incredibly badly.

    Is this your first visit to TDWTF? :)

     

    As I said, I don't have any problems so far. Do you have any more, besides the security?

     



  • If they earn more money than before, it's a "success" nevertheless. Ignoring a few "elite" fare dodgers is probably cheaper than fixing the system.



  • @b-redeker said:

    (I'm pretty sure you would need a cardreader though, which is not widely available).
    You mean one of these? It's really not hard to buy them - any shop that sells smart card readers will have the contactless readers as well.



  • Dhromed forgot to mention one gem: When transferring from a train to another means of transport (usually bus or trams) you have to check out at the pole of the train company, walk a foot and check back in with the bus/tram company. Isn't that brilliant?

    When the chip wasn't fully supported yet (way back when, I believe it was in 2008) I once checked in on a tram station directly adjacent to a major railway station (connecting platforms in fact: Checking out, step, check back in) and when I got to my final destination I couldn't check out because there weren't any poles yet...



  • @dhromed said:

    @b-redeker said:

    I'm pretty sure you would need a cardreader though, which is not widely available

    That's the crux of the matter.The software is a click away, but you can't torrent a cardwriter. I agree that once you have access to one, it's painfully easy to get all guns + 999 ammo.

    @ender said:

    You mean one of these? It's really not hard to buy them - any shop that sells smart card readers will have the contactless readers as well.

    So a Mifare card writer (slightly more expensive than the readers) can be got for under $200. This is business to all the people who already offer pirated [everything]. A couple weeks and you'll be flooded with them. How is this not a problem?

    Again, they should have known as early as 2008 that the system was crap; they chose to ignore it and soon it will be your problem (because again, ultimately, YOU pay for it, not them). 



  • @b-redeker said:

    So a Mifare card writer (slightly more expensive than the readers) can be got for under $200. This is business to all the people who already offer pirated [everything]. A couple weeks and you'll be flooded with them. How is this not a problem?
     

    Well, that, then, yes.



  • @steenbergh said:

    Dhromed forgot to mention one gem: <check in check out WTF> 

    Yes, but that at least sounds like somethiong that can be fixed. You'd hope that there'd be contactless readers in the bus/metro/tram doors, etc.

    I think the choice of technology is much worse, because they'll HAVE to replace it whole at some point, and that can only be done at enormous costs. The story of the crypto1 encryption is so pathetic that I seriously doubt that NXP can come up with a proper architecture that is intrinsically safe. And they'll need it, because now every hacker is on their tail, and again, it's business now.



  • This whole discussion is making the Orca card system we have here in the Seattle area look genius by comparison.

    @b-redeker said:

    Yes, but that at least sounds like somethiong that can be fixed. You'd hope that there'd be contactless readers in the bus/metro/tram doors, etc.

    With Orca, the train scanners are right outside the doors. (In theory; Everett Station has some poorly-placed ones.) The buses have scanners inside. You have to tap in/out of trains and light rail on the post outside the door, but buses you use the reader inside the bus. Transfers happen automatically, although I don't really use them so I haven't verified they work.

    @b-redeker said:

    I think the choice of technology is much worse, because they'll HAVE to replace it whole at some point, and that can only be done at enormous costs. The story of the crypto1 encryption is so pathetic that I seriously doubt that NXP can come up with a proper architecture that is intrinsically safe. And they'll need it, because now every hacker is on their tail, and again, it's business now.

    If their system is anything like ours (Seattle area), the fares are less than 5% of the operating cost. It's small beans compared to, say, what they pay each year getting jacked on overtime by crazy union rules. They might simply not care.

    (The Sounder train hasn't bothered to check fares in months, and last time they did the guy confused my Dell gift card for the Orca card and didn't bother to wand it. Which means, without wanding the card, you don't need to tap it you just need to OWN one. Oh wait, you don't even need to own one I guess, you just need a card roughly the same shade of blue. Of course I still pay because I'm a fucking boy scout sucker.)



  • I've missed calling a candidate for a phone screen once before, just because I forgot, and was pretty embarrassed. (We rescheduled after the fact; he wasn't actually a good candidate so it wasn't a terrible loss anyway, fortunately.) But the interview someone who shows up in person? That's something.



  • @steenbergh said:

    Dhromed forgot to mention one gem: When transferring from a train to another means of transport (usually bus or trams) you have to check out at the pole of the train company, walk a foot and check back in with the bus/tram company. Isn't that brilliant?
     

    What's wrong with this?



  • @blakeyrat said:

    They might simply not care.

    You definitely have a point there. The situation is a bit different in the Netherlands, with fares covering about 1/3 of the actual costs, but still.

    <mope>It's still sloppy.</mope>



  • The "Go Card" system in Brisbane is reasonably good after a few reliability issues in the early days.  The biggest WTF about it is the way that it's too dumb to upgrade you to a return or daily type ticket based on the journeys you make. 

    E.g. if I travel from home to the office (zone 2 to zone 2), the office to the the city (zone 2 to zone 1) and then the city to home (zone 1 to zone 2) it should be smart enough at the end of the third journey to know that my travel is covered by a "two zone daily" ticket.  Instead I get charged for three singles.  I'm sure the one in London would not charge you more than the cost of the appropriate daily ticket.




  • @steenbergh said:

    Never did it charge me the same amount twice in a row... How's that not a WTF
     

    I've been doing some numbers of the past five days, and it's building up to be a bit messy:

    •  the reporting system lags behind by a full day. So, all money displays are wrong, even on the card readers themselves. I'd almost understand if the active system was separate from the user website (for speed purposes?), and a nightly job or summat would sync the two, but if the readers themselves are wrong, that's pretty wtf.
    • A reader appears to be charging based on the nearest stop at the moment of checkout. I see that I've checked out a stop where I most certainly only drive by, and the result is an extra 5¢. :( I may blame the road construction work which adds a snakelike twist to the bus's final approach.
    • Going to work seems cheaper than coming from work. Not enough data points to be sure yet though.
    Interestingly, I do get consistent charges, unlike you.

     



  • For once, I feel like Boston's public transit system is the simpler alternative.

    You only tap your card when you get on a bus or streetcar, or enter a subway station. You don't have to do anything when you leave. The fare is the same no matter how far you go, so the money is deducted from the card at entry. You can get a lower "transfer" fare if the machine determines that you've used your card on another nearby bus/train recently enough.



  • @Someone You Know said:

    You only tap your card when you get on a bus or streetcar, or enter a subway station.
    It's similar in Ljubljana - tap the card when you get on bus, and 0.80€ is automatically deducted from the card's balance. If you then use the card again up to 90 minutes after the last deduction, the ride is free.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    The "Go Card" system in Brisbane is reasonably good after a few reliability issues in the early days.  The biggest WTF about it is the way that it's too dumb to upgrade you to a return or daily type ticket based on the journeys you make. 

    E.g. if I travel from home to the office (zone 2 to zone 2), the office to the the city (zone 2 to zone 1) and then the city to home (zone 1 to zone 2) it should be smart enough at the end of the third journey to know that my travel is covered by a "two zone daily" ticket.  Instead I get charged for three singles.  I'm sure the one in London would not charge you more than the cost of the appropriate daily ticket.


    The "SmartRider" system in Perth seems to get things just about right. We have a similar zoned system. Transfer rates are applied automatically; I live in zone 3, transfer in zone 2 and work in zone 1. So at the transfer point I get charged a two-zone fare, then at the end of the journey I get charged the increment between a two-zone and three-zone fare. I believe it will apply daily rates if you're eligible for them and they work out cheaper, but I haven't had a chance to test that any time in the last year or so (our daily rates are pretty high, so you have to do quite a bit of travelling to qualify, and the morning peak hour is excluded), so I can't say for sure.

    If you don't "tag off" at the end of your trip, you get charged a "default fare" which is the fare for however far that service goes - not so bad if you miss tagging off your bus (though you don't get the 15-25% discount you get from using the card properly), but it is a pain if you miss tagging off from the train; you can transfer between trains without having to tag off and on, so unless you tag off train fares are charged for the maximum possible 9-zone journey. You do have a 10-minute grace period at train stations so if you tag on and then find your train has been delayed or whatever, you can tag off and go look for a bus or taxi instead without being charged.

    Balances are displayed at tag on and tag off; you can't tag on unless you have enough money to cover the lowest possible fare. There's one beep with a green light for a normal tag on or off, a lower-pitched beep with an amber light and a warning message for a "low value" tag on when your account balance is under $5 or $10 or some such, and a fast sequence of beeps with a red light and an error message when the card didn't scan correctly or there is some other problem (such as trying to tag off when you didn't tag on in the first place). I haven't heard of any cracks, but the balance information also appears to be stored centrally (you can view your activity and balance on their website; from what I can tell, data is stored in the readers and transmitted at least nightly to the central server), so they'd be able to disable your card if the balance reported suddenly increased without an add-value transaction.

    It knows not to charge me for travel within the CBD free transit zone, which is good because I use that regularly for going to lunch. All in all I've found it to be pretty reliable and efficient, bar the odd bus scanner being down (which is generally handled by the drivers either by getting us to use their scanner/ticket dispenser in a special mode, or by simply giving us free travel). The main thing I don't like is that the only way to get the 25% discount (which under the previous system you received if you bought a 40-ticket card) is to set your account to direct debit whenever it gets below a certain fixed value. I don't do that because (a) I hate direct debit and refuse to set it up unless it is absolutely necessary, and (b) direct debits are only done overnight (and may take up to 48 hours, it says); I could run out of money on the card that way. But I have coworkers who use the direct debit option and are happy with it, though they may live closer to the city than I do and thus have a cheaper journey.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    The "Go Card" system in Brisbane is reasonably good after a few reliability issues in the early days.  The biggest WTF about it is the way that it's too dumb to upgrade you to a return or daily type ticket based on the journeys you make. 
     

    Apparently it can do that, but only for pensioners and concession card holders. As of this week the only paper tickets are one-way (no longer providing daily or weekly tickets), and everyone else has to use the go-card. One WTF is that if you don't touch on or touch off it will cost you $5, but now my one-way fare is $5.29. (They were going to up the prices the previous week but the floods prompted them to give a week of free travel instead)



  • @SQLDave said:

    Maybe he'd dropped some acid before the interview and meant he was "Leary".
    or Larry.  



  •  @belgariontheking said:

    @SQLDave said:

    Maybe he'd dropped some acid before the interview and meant he was "Leary".
    or Larry.  

     

    I don't get it. Timothy Larry?



  • @SQLDave said:

     @belgariontheking said:

    @SQLDave said:

    Maybe he'd dropped some acid before the interview and meant he was "Leary".
    or Larry.  

     

    I don't get it. Timothy Larry?



  • @Zemm said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    The "Go Card" system in Brisbane is reasonably good after a few reliability issues in the early days.  The biggest WTF about it is the way that it's too dumb to upgrade you to a return or daily type ticket based on the journeys you make. 
     

    Apparently it can do that, but only for pensioners and concession card holders.

     

    So it's not dumb, it's a con.  Which is a shame because I like just about everything else about the Go card.



  • @SQLDave said:

    I don't get it. Timothy Larry?
    I was just extending the mistype.

    That apparently his mouth did.


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