Re: Lying applicants

Subject: Re: Lying applicants
From: "Michele Cottingham (BCS)" <cottingh -at- GROUCHO -dot- BSN -dot- USF -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 09:22:23 -0400


I believe that liars should bear the consequences of their actions. How
can put your trust in a person's word if you know them to lie to you,
blatantly in your face? I do agree that firing that young woman was best
for you and your company.

I know that sometimes my honesty of my skills or lack of skills have kept
me from attaining certain jobs even though I had the majority of skills
that the employer needed. However, because of one certain task that had to
be done with a certain software, I am not eligible to obtain the position.
I would rather be upfront with the person and let them know so there are
no suprises on either side. I can lie and say I have the skills, even get
away with it by fussing around. Someday, it will come back to bite me and
I look foolish as a professional writer in this field.

I am caught in a situatin of lack of employment or training.

I tell them that I am a quick study since I do have the basics as well as
expertise of the others, but they don't want to train me for that certain
task. I guess they are willing to sift through all the others who say yes,
but really lack the skills or those who are genuine but require more

Aspiring writer


Michele Cottingham
Technical Writer/Graphic Artist
email:cottingh -at- groucho -dot- bsn -dot- usf -dot- edu

Follow the Golden Rule
Treat each other's email as you would like yours to be treated.

On Mon, 21 Sep 1998, Andrew Plato wrote:

> What the hell is wrong with technical writers these days? I want to share
> this little story with you because it is driving me nuts.
> In the past three months I have had five applicants lie through their teeth
> to me about their skills. They sat there in my office and blatant lied to
> me about their skills. For example, I hired a person (not from this list)
> who claimed extensive knowledge of Windows NT and relational databases. At
> my company, a tech writer with good SQL skills is like a hunk of gold. My
> clients are so desperate for writers with database experience that
> naturally, when anyone comes in the door with claims such knowledge, I am
> inclined to overlook some deficiencies to get them on site right away.
> Nevertheless, when this person got on-site, she quickly demonstrated her
> incompetence with Windows and databases. She could not handle basic stuff
> like using a web browser, unzipping archive files, and changing network
> settings. She did not know what "relational integrity" or a "primary key"
> was. Worse yet, she spent most of her first few days chatting with a fellow
> consultant about absolutely nothing. At one point I came on site and found
> her babbling away irritating another consultant. I asked her to return to
> her desk and that she needed to get up to speed on the application we were
> documenting. A hour later, she still had not run through the installation
> and was back chatting and gossiping.
> The client pulled me aside at the end of the week and said they had serious
> concerns about this writer. That was it for me. When the client says they
> are worried, it's serious. So I yanked her off the job immediately .
> Thankfully, this person elected to subcontract so I was able to term her
> contract.
> Naturally, this person was angry with me. I told her that the client saw
> her incompetence and became very, very worried (which they did). At the
> rates I charge the client was not willing to pay for an incompetent writer.
> They had already cycled through six worthless writers before we showed up.
> In fact, they hired us because we have a reputation for fast, solid
> documentation work.
> This person was adamant that she had all these "extensive" skills. Yet, in
> a week on site she managed to A) do nothing B) demonstrate her complete lack
> of knowledge of Windows, SQL, databases, etc. C) embarrass other
> consultants with her unprofessional gossiping and chatter.
> All this lead me to an interesting discovery. People believe their lies.
> This person I hired honestly believed she was a Windows NT and SQL expert.
> She was just appalled that people could not see that. How do your respond
> to that?
> "Well, not only are you incompetent, but you have an extremely overinflated
> opinion of yourself."
> Sheesh, our own damn President thinks it is okay to lie.
> Well, I don't want to get into the current political scandals, but I am
> bothered about this. I am seeing more and more writers who are just
> blatantly lying to me about their skills. I remember I asked a long time
> ago what others here did when they had a non-technical tech writer. Well,
> now I have a new question. What do you do with liars?
> So, I am curious to hear your thoughts. Liars and cheats? How do we ferret
> them out? And when you do catch them, what do you do with them? Fire 'em,
> whack them with a 2x4, let the ice weasels nibble their eyeballs out?
> Respond off list. I'll post a blatantly one-sided summary in a few years.
> :-)
> ------------------------------------------------
> Andrew Plato
> President / Principal Liar
> Anitian Consulting, Inc.
> From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000==

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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