Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn
dachte

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Google, Anger, and Employment

A year or two ago, I was being courted by Google (which was particularly cool because it was initiated by them). Google's benefit programmes being closer to being like a university and their doing a fair amount of interesting research, I considered Google a good (and reasonably prestigious) place to work. At the time I really wanted to work in the British isles (meaning Google Ireland was where I told them I wanted to be), and so that became part of the discussion/interview series. I think I did pretty well on the technical interview - they didn't ask me anything, to my recollection, that I didn't either know or know where to look up, and they seemed enthused about that part (even though they kept dropping hints that they wanted me in California). Eventually they had some kind of a "describe your work personality" online test for me to fill out, and scheduled yet another phone interview with someone in Ireland (after enough phone interviews, one generally assumes that one is getting reasonably close to getting an offer), so I made room in my schedule, and when the time came, I sat there. Eventually, an hour and a half after the guy was supposed to call me, I started calling around, and didn't manage to get in touch with anyone who could put me in touch with him, and the next day I got two emails, one of which was a pretty rude "we're amused that you applied to work for us, but we think you're a bad fit for us. We might consider if you apply again later", the other being a more standard rejection. All of this was made more amusing because I never applied to work there to begin with - I was contacted by them. I suppose I've held a certain amount of bitterness and anger since then, especially given that I helped point them at at least a few other people they hired, one of them overseas. I can only guess that they really didn't like the "work personality" test results, and that Google Ireland has some incompetent jerks working in HR. It's difficult for me not to project that anger to a certain degree towards the whole company, as much as companies really can be personified that way.

I still wonder what my life would be like now if I had taken the unsolicited offer by Yahoo. Amusingly, I turned it down because I didn't want to live in California. I suppose having Microsoft looking to eat them would've been pretty bad - while Microsoft does and always did have a few interesting things going on inside the company and a few neat products (Microsoft QuickC and Macro Assembler were, IMO, fantastic products, and Microsoft Press used to make some of the best technical references I've seen), I don't think I'd ever feel comfortable working for them, and that'd probably mean quitting if Microsoft manages to eat them this time.

I hope CMU or UCSB actually ends up interviewing me for some of the positions I've applied for - I'll certainly be eating crow if I turned down this job and don't manage to get back into academia after all, even if the pay wasn't what I was looking for.

I imagine we all experience a bit of silliness/awkwardness/fumbles when it comes to jobhunting and finding a good match - it's probably a lot like dating, even moreso in that if one has a lot of experience getting things started, it's often because one isn't particularly good at keeping things going.

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