How to not treat a programmer, part one of way too many

Far too early in my programming career I discovered that tech companies and recruiters saw fit to treat me poorly. I finally tired of silently accepting my fate. Here is the inaugural story (I think, I may have complained before) in a series. And yes, I know about rule #9 - in fact, I am counting on that rule to improve things.

Background: Microsoft agrees to buy aQuantive for $6 billion, Seattle PI for 2007-05-18.

During a recent job search I spoke with Jeanine Wallner, a recruiter for Atlas Solutions, aQuantive's sister company. She impressed me with tales of their programming teams and style, and scheduled a phone screen with Cory Sandahl, the development manager for Atlas' publishing group.

Cory Sandahl did not call me at the scheduled time. He left a voice mail the following day, apologized for the scheduling and claimed that it was Outlook technology problems. He said in the voice mail that he would call the next morning.

Guess what? No call from him the following morning.

We finally arranged a time for him to call me several days later, and he called me 20 minutes early - while I am in my car, driving my family home. Mr. Sandahl was very impatient, because he had double-booked a meeting. I was very firm - I do not do interviews on the phone while driving my car.

After I returned home we did the actual phone screen, the one that should have taken place almost a week ago. He explained Atlas' interview process: this informational phone screen, then if warranted a tech phone screen and in-person interview. At the call's conclusion he said he would setup a technical phone screen with one of his colleagues.

The next day Jeanine Wallner emailed me the following:


Thank for taking the time to speak with Cory in regards to our software engineer role. I appreciate your time and energy. Unfortunately, we have decided not to move forward in the interview process with you. Best of luck in your job search.


Jeanine Wallner Recruiter

No reason given, not in this email, nor in response to my request for enlightenment. I replied, asking what happened in less than 24 hours that made them stop the interview process cold.

No reply.

After all the time spent scheduling, rescheduling, making sure I was available for phone calls that never came, following up with a software company that cannot seem to handle basic tasks like email and scheduling, Ms. Jeanine Wallner and Mr. Cory Sandahl decided to just blow me off.

May this tale serve as a warning to others who deal with them.

Written by Andrew Ittner in misc on Sun 20 May 2007. Tags: employment