I got an e-mail today:
Good afternoon, I wanted to touch base with you about an opportunity in ____, CA. I thought you might be a nice fit for the role. Let me know if you or someone you know might be interested.
Position Summary: _____ Site Architect
_____ is looking for an exceptional and highly motivated infrastructure architect with a strong track record of designing and developing multi-tiered web applications that are high quality, scalable, and reliable. We prefer generalists who have driven feature development at every layer of the stack.
I actually applied for a job there twice: once in 2003 just before I joined Plaxo, and once in 2006, just before I joined Tagged. Both times I was desperate for a job, both times I applied for positions beneath my qualifications, both times I was rejected in an unprofessional manner, both times represented watershed moments in _____’s future direction.
I should mention that _____ is no company to laugh at: in 2003, it was one of the hottest companies on the internet. Even in 2006, it was still many times larger than Tagged. How about now?
No, I don’t think I’ll apply for this job.
An IM conversation
Me: Haha. I got an e-mail from _____ for a job offer
Me: I need to respond to that, “What? So you can reject me a third time?”
A—: we hired a guy from _____.
A—: not much left there
Me: Yeah, you probably hired the guy whose leaving opened the req for this headhunter
When I left Plaxo, someone gave me a great piece of advice: I should learn not to be so headstrong and honest because the Valley is a small place and my options could be closed off by the people I offend.
I didn’t follow it.
It’s very true advice. The Valley is a very small place where the deck is stacked against engineers. Entrepreneurs, board members, venture capitalists, executives, lawyers, and others have institutional knowledge to manipulate the fresh batch of graduates matriculating every year.
I’m sure my headstrong honesty has hurt me a lot.
But then again, I seem to be doing okay—I make far more than I spend and the founder of _____ happens to be a good friend of mine. Nobody here questions my integrity or my empathy. You can always make more money, but you can never really get back yourself if that’s what you gave getting there.
And if the Valley being a very small place means I know _____ is a dead end position, well that’s just a small bit of quid pro quo for all the times this place has screwed me.