a little too much honesty (was: perhaps)

Mister E Mister.Ed at AgoraCart.com
Sat Sep 9 21:36:32 MDT 2006

Stuart Jansen wrote:
> On Sat, 2006-09-09 at 17:55 -0600, Mister E wrote:
>>>Frankly, insinuating that they only reason anyone would leave is that
>>>they were "asked to" is more rude in my opinion. A simple "their
>>>interests and our needs didn't intersect well" would have been better.
>>>I'm pretty sure at least one "chose to leave" rather than being "asked
>>>to leave".
>>I'm curious to your personal interest in trying to apply PC cloaking to 
>>such a statement?  Your statement made it sound like they left because 
>>the company was crap, but his response gave a more balanced view on it. 
> All evidence to the contrary, I try not to be long-winded. In this case,
> however, it is obvious that in my too long post I used too few words. I
> did not mean to imply that BDS is a lousy place to work. Rather, I
> wanted to address the fact that there's no point recommending someone if
> they're not going to stick. It wastes Josh's time and it's too
> disruptive to the person recommended.

Had I left the conversation at the point you had made your reply (and 
also been newer to the list), I'd had thought you had implied that BDS 
was a lousy place to work and made the assumption that josh was a 
difficult boss-type.  That is all I was really trying to say.  I've met 
josh and talked business with him.  He's one of the few fellers around 
here that actually extended any welcome to me without me making the 
first move to be known by the locals (but he was "new blood" too). 
However, I agree that I would not want to refer friends to a place that 
would not be a great match either ... my friends would shoot me or never 
take any advice from me again.  I know BDS is not a bad company, in fact 
I'd work there myself had I any skills they needed.  I can also say the 
same for the place you work.

>>  And I htink he needed to clear it up. I don't know these folks that 
>>left, nor do I want to know who they were, but all those parties 
>>involved know what happened and being a third party to the situation, I 
>>don't think it's your place to tarnish the company nor slant any of us 
>>to your view in a public forum without atleast letting him reply. Some 
>>may not have seen it this way, but I thought your statements were not 
>>needed as initial evidence of your view point and sent ya skating out on 
>>thin ice.
> Giving Josh a chance to reply was exactly what I was doing. I'm not
> going to recommend friends then encourage them to interview and accept
> the position just because I get $4k. (I doubt I'm the only Linux user
> that finds money to only be a minor motivator. Once I'm comfortable, I'm
> more interested in the quality of the result.)
> There were any number of possible replies. For example: "You're right
> Stuart, many Linux people prefer to avoid Windows but at BDS market
> realities mean we need people who are willing to be more pragmatic. In
> addition, BDS is a high energy environment. We want dedicated employees
> that are willing to go the extra mile to meet deadlines when necessary.
> We know that we ask a lot of our employees, but strive to more than
> compensate them for such. Some people discover that they are more
> comfortable in a less competitive market. Finally, as a young company,
> we have made several important technology decisions and some people have
> decided they are not interested in using those technologies. Any one of
> these reasons could be the source of your concern."
> (Disclaimer: I don't know if any of the above is true of BDS. I just
> know Josh and it seems reasonable.)
> Of course, composing a quick reply like that is perhaps a bit much.
> Which is why I instead chose to offer the shorter "their interests and
> our needs didn't intersect well".

Well I understand that words on paper only convey about 20% of meaning, 
that's why I'm probably one of the most "forgiving" that folks will meet 
  concerning the written word. I try to figure out what they might mean 
rather than using just my own frame of reference.

> I can see why Josh was offended by my choice of words and I regret that
> they could be interpreted that way. My pride, however, requires me to
> point out that Josh was guilty of something similar. He immediately
> assumed that I was referring to people that had been "asked to leave".

We can only work on pulling the beam out of our own eye. Pointing out an 
other's faults does no good.... just seems to result in someone wanting 
to poke yer eye out at the next PLUG meeting ;-P

> So it's okay to say that someone was fired, but it's not okay to say
> that someone decided they weren't happy with the company? If he can be
> offended by something I didn't say but accidentally implied, I can be
> offended by something he did say but didn't need to. (I'd love to claim
> that I'm purely motivated by the feeling that "company's shouldn't be
> the only ones that deserve discretion", but that wouldn't be true.)
> (Reviewing what I've just written, I suspect the statement most likely
> to be misinterpreted is "Some people discover that they are more
> comfortable in a less competitive market." Before anyone decides that
> I'm making a value judgment here, I'm not. For many people, their job is
> an extension of their self. Some love to work in hard charging
> environments. Maybe it's the money. Maybe it's because they like to feel
> like a critical part of the team. Others prefer a job that ends at 5pm.
> I've been on both sides. I used to enjoy "putting out fires" at 3am, now
> I'm glad I don't have to anymore. Does that make me lazy? No. It's an
> observation without an assigned value statement.)

it's all good.... let's just ride the wave of good times for as long as 
the current cycle lasts.

>>>Because you have tried to make yourself part of the community instead of
>>>being another nameless, faceless employer. Again, if you don't want to
>>>discuss it, don't bring it up. Instead of taking offense, you could have
>>>taken it as a sign of respect that I was willing to be honest and open.
>>>I appreciate what you've tried to do for the Utah tech community. I want
>>>BDS/Mozy to succeed. However, if you want to feel like you're being
>>>pushed out of the community, be my guest.
>>okay, I now have a question... I recently moved back to the area; is 
>>this forum "by invite only" or if we try to become part of the community 
>>is it then a dirty deed because we might also offer employment?
> What, you managed to get past the door without an invitation? That
> shouldn't have happened, we'll have to look into that.

wrah wroh!

> You will notice that I replied not to the job post but to Josh's
> statement "we've had a surpringly low turnout of resumes for these
> positions." which was part of a different thread. Besides being a forum
> to avoid the discussion of anything Linux related, Plug is also
> occasionally used as a place to seek advice.
> Josh has made it more than clear that he neither sought nor appreciated
> my advice. I do not think, however, that it is fair to interpret
> anything I've said as an attempt to make Josh feel unwelcome.

I think it's just a clash of two personalities that are at times 
similar: outspoken and not mincing words.  I know of maybe 5 to 6 such 
folks on this list; and at any one time, any of one of "us" would 
perhaps be in the hot seat for a reply to a controversial thread.  The 
two of you are probably the more outspoken of the bunch and so naturally 
there's going to be some fallout when you guys even look in each other's 
direction (my observation and never ever includes me).

>>PS - Stuart... I've sat across from you at a few PLUG meetings and 
>>watched you carefully. As a result, I repect you and can tell what type 
>>of feller you really are (decent and upstanding), so I don't have even 
>>one negative motive to condemn your statements, but these statements 
>>make me think that newer folks such as myself are now not welcome for 
>>one reason or another, especially if we offer employment opportunities.
> If you decide to be a part of Plug, at some point you will be offended.
> Occasionally it will be intentional, most often it will be accidental.
> We could all walk around on eggshells, but that sounds neither
> productive nor enjoyable. We should all try to be careful about what we
> say, but as we've just seen some of us aren't very good at predicting
> how something will be interpreted.
> Over the years, I've seen many people say "I'm leaving because I've been
> offended." ... Today, my attitude is
> closer to "Okay, don't let the door hit you on the way out." Someone
> determined to take offense and leave will eventually do so no matter
> what and the longer they stay the more we'll have to suffer their
> bruised ego. All I can do is be honest, respectful, willing to admit my
> mistakes and willing to continue the conversation as long as I think
> it'll lead somewhere productive.

personally, I'm not offended. Life is too short to allow others to 
induce such silliness. I was at some point back when I first joined up. 
I had made the mistake of posting a job; but being new I did not do it 
in the norm fashion for the group and got roasted from the flames.  But 
I am all growed up now. I had thought about leaving back then, but I 
then thought that a bunch of tech pansies needed a guy like me around 
... just kidding ;-)  Seriously though, I simply thought I should stick 
around and contribute when I could. (Even after a couple fellers moved 
to the other side of the room at a PLUG meeting, on different occasions, 
after finding out my name.)  I tend to have more experience in web 
servers, business/sales/marketing, law enforcement, and believe it or 
not, high stress conflict resolution.  In the end I am hoping I am able 
to add some value in whatever way I can. Y'all have some great knowledge 
of Linux. And it's great to hear the knowledge that is being shared on 
that topic (we can all sing a happy campfire song now while joyfully 
swaying back and forth ... want a s'more?)

Mister Ed

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