Monday, May 5, 2014

The Sleeper

Italy 2005, Translated from Italian:
Do You Believe In Computer
I was once in a job that had grown too stressful, it was The Suck. Calls at all hours of the night when something blew up at a customer site and front line support could not solve it. This was a period in our product where it was being pushed beyond design and we were running into deadlocks that were freezing the application.

It took us what felt like forever to solve the problem but in the meantime, I was the man on call and boy did I get calls. Some nights I would go home at 2 am after working from 10am-2am and then get called again at 3am. These same people knew I was in the office an hour ago but felt it was important I come and look at another problem.

Seriously people? How is a sleep deprived person, after who knows how many weeks of this, going to solve this problem if you call him now? And expect him in by 10am to give it the good old heave-ho to put this bug to rest?

Ok, so that is just setting the stage for The Sleeper. He comes in later.

A friend had left The Suck that was my life and told me they were looking for devs at his company. I said sure I would check it out.

They did a screening call, it went ok.

I got the call in for an interview. Sweet, let's try this.

Now, first, some leadup to this interview. Friends, if you are reading this and fucking hate your current gig, then get out but if you have been hating that shit for so long you don't know what day it is or the last time you showered, then expect the first 1-3 interviews to suck ass.

You see I had so much pent up anger with The Suck job that I blew 2 interviews before this interview. I found it hard to say anything positive in the interview. I needed detox just to be able to walk in and talk to another human being.

I started detox by saying fuck it. I stopped caring at The Suck and started to exercise, I started to eat better, and I got some goddamn sleep. I felt it best to try to get my life in order before trying another down in flames interview due to my negativity.

Ok, so back to The Sleeper.

I was ready for this interview. It was going to be 2 hours. I have a rule (don't know where I learned it but it goes like this). For every hour of presentation or interview, prepare 10 hours. Nuts I know but I try to do my homework.

Who is this company? What are their products? How do my skills match up? How would I fit the role they are trying to fill? Can I bring ideas to the interview that I can turn into questions to probe what they are building? How is the team? What is their process like?

I was ready. I got in and talked to HR for about 30 minutes. Then I was escorted to another meeting room to talk to the hiring manager, director, and HR.

We started talking. I got the vague feeling they were not very technical. Nothing was too hard. For a senior dev it was rinky dink. Differences between Java and C++. What is OO? That type of stuff.

Then the questions about projects I worked on. What I did. Explain this problem or that problem.

Around this time The Sleeper appeared. The hiring manager, sitting to the side and a little behind the other two at the oval table, nodded off.

It was weird. The Sleeper just fell asleep and dosed through most of the interview.

I was like; don't they see this? Who is this guy? The other two look interested. Am I really that boring (probably)?

Towards the end, The Sleeper came awake, cued to some change in topic which meant we were coming to any more questions period and the end.

The Director then turned to the Manager for the first time in the meeting and said, "Sleeper, you have any other questions?"

His reply, "Nope, that was great."

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