Monday, April 24, 2006

Our group at work is trying to hire a new employee. We all work from home, but the new company policy is that employees should report to the corporate office. Although my coworkers and I have gotten grandfathered into being able to continue working from home, our new employee will be required to sit quietly at his corporate desk. He'll sit there, mostly alone, while almost everyone he works with sits at home in their Snoopy jammies.

A few of us traveled down to our Silicon Valley office last week to take the potential new-hire out to lunch. Let's call him Larkin. We're still wooing Larkin, so we thought it would be best to show up in person, wearing our big boy clothes. We also wanted to deemphasize the we-work-at-home angle, so we played up our occasional visits to the office.

"Oh yeah, we come down here pretty often."
"Yup, we'd be here whenever you'd need us."
"Let me take you around and show you the office, the good ol' office."

This was a disastrous approach. First, our boss, Al, who also works from home, kept getting lost during the tour. Granted, the building is laid our poorly, but when you're trying to convince an interviewee that you love going to the office, it's counter productive to ask where the bathroom is.

Then, during our tour, Al made the mistake of saying hi to someone he had only previously dealt with via email and phone. The other employee stared blankly at Al, having no idea who he was. Larkin watched as Al vainly tried to prove that he wasn't some hobo off the Silicon Valley streets.

Also, everyone else that we ran into greeted us like they hadn't seen us in 100 years.

"MIKE! Jeez, what brings YOU here?"
"Look! THREE of you guys are here!! Are you quitting?"
"Oh. My. God. The apocalypse."

I'd be surprised if Larkin accepts our offer.


tinyhands said...

It's fun lying to the new guy. Did any of you use your real names?

Mike said...

I wish we had been lying to a new guy. For now we have to settle for lying to the interviewee.

I was going to use a fake name, but I actually wore my ID badge that day, to try and look more official. It's a stretch for me.

The Tart said...

For shame.
; (

The Tart

Mike said...

I've been reprimanded! By The Tart, no less! Fear not, Tart, things are not as bleak for the potential new-hire as they may seem

The Tart said...

Yup, have a wet noodle out ready to provide many whippings to U bad bad west coast boyzzzzz!

Poor poor Larkin!

The Tart
; )

zelda1 said...

It's like taking your children to a friend's house that you don't see often and having your child say, "I'm hungry." And you saying, "No, you're not hungry, you just ate." And having the child saying "No, we didn't just eat." Well, maybe it's not like that, but sorta.

Mike said...

Jocelyn, this west coast boy will have to pass on your particular form of wet noodle-based justice.

Zelda1, I'll go with "sorta".

The Tart said...

So Mike, what's in this 4 Larkin? Big bucks, health insurance, whole office to himself or what?

This is so interesting to me. Why can't he be told none of U work there?

Dazed & confused smooch,
The Tart

BTW, food poisoning has curtailed athletics for a bit. Will get back to U on that. Just say NO to shrimp in cold cream sauce. ; (

Mike said...

Jocelyn, he was definitely told that none of us work in the office. What we did is slightly exaggerate how often we DO come into the office. For example, I told him that I come down whenever I'm needed. As it turns out, that's only once or twice a month, but we didn't get into specifics.

We've quizzed this guy about his social network and life outside of the office, so we're comfortable that he won't rely upon us for his social life. He'll be ok, Jocelyn. Really!