BJFH Writes A Letter

The Bastard Jobseeker From Hell has been at it again. Pursued relentlessly online by outraged former employers and suffering anonymously emailed death-threats from insulted recruiters, he continues on his path to put third-rate recruiters and junior IT managers in their place: An apologetic one.

Frequently, so-called “employment business” workers, or recruitment agents as they like to call themselves, will invent fake job ads solely to attempt to social engineer their way into potential hiring managers’ in-boxes and voice-mail. They will often lie that they need “two references” from you before they can submit your candidacy.

This is nonsense. The only people who need to review references are HR, and they do not need them unless an interview is being arranged, or preferably a job-offer is under preparation. Giving out the names and contact details of one’s former employers is a breach of their privacy and, no matter how much one loathes them, their rights should be respected and their contact details withheld, at the very least, until an interview has been arranged.

Even then one must seek their permission first. Any request for references prior to this is spurious and should either be ignored or treated with contempt. Our man always opts for the latter. Especially when the so-called ‘job’ under discussion is nothing more than a mere three-month fixed-term contract.

These agents will not call them up to ask about you. They will add them to their contacts list and then cold-call them constantly to ask, “have you got any jobs going?”. This week, BJFH decided to turn that back on one of these cowboys by giving the mobile telephone number of a fake former employer, a certain Mr Khan, CEO of tech start-up Ceti Alpha V Ltd.

The phone number went to one of BJFH’s secondary lines which he uses for trolling insufferable agents that would have the temerity to try to cheat him.

The call never came. As suspected. Deducing the reason for this, Mr Hell responds by email and subjects the recruiter to one of his legendary bollockings. Enjoy.

Master James,

I gather you failed to keep the appointment with my referee that you demanded as a condition of your announcing my candidacy to your client and that neither he nor I have received any kind of explanation let alone apology from you.

This is rather unprofessional of you isn't it young man?

That said, I am fully cognizant that failing to keep appointments and leaving people waiting without informing them is common practice in the tawdry world of IT recruitment that you have chosen as a career and which he and I recognize as an obstacle to the smooth running of commerce. 

In order that you better gauge my experience in these matters let me inform you now that I will have no interest in your reply in which you are already planning to attempt to further deceive me by claiming you had unspecified personal issues, because I've heard it all before. Such attempts to play upon our emotions are not going to make us feel sorry for you, as we neither need to know nor have any interest in your personal life.

This kind of lame excuse might work on the cheaper lower-skilled emotionally-unstable and presumably impoverished alternative candidates that you find before abandoning your early prospects, who you have some time prior to 10AM UK time last Friday decided to submit to your client instead. Fobbing them off with the equally deceptive and transparently untrue claim that you couldn't find anybody better.

Mr Khan took time out from his holiday to wait for your call. Do you not understand how rude of you it was to fail to make it? He is a company director who hires contractors and although I cannot speak for him I am reasonably certain that he will never be considering hiring anybody from your company subsequent to your rude behavior.

Speaking for myself, I always get extended on my contracts and thus this is two opportunities you have wasted simply by being too lazy to make a cancellation call, bamboozled as you were by the prospect of increasing your margin by submitting a sub-standard candidate whom you will offer a sub-standard rate, pocketing the difference, and laughing all the way to the nearest pub.

The technical political-economic term for what you are exploiting is "moral hazard", or to put it into employment business vernacular, "cheating". Fortunately the UK, or what's left of it, will soon be out of Europe and we will no longer have to endure the barrow-boy manners and wild-west approach of UK domiciled recruiters.

You are to remove Mr Khan's and my details from your systems with immediate effect as you are required to do under the Data Protection Act, and you must write back to me and confirm you have done so promptly and in a business-like manner.

Before you do this I strongly urge you to reconsider your unprofessional actions, and give Mr Khan a courtesy call and personally apologize to him for your grossly unprofessional behavior and your wasting of his valuable time. As a job-seeker I neither expect nor require your apology and I would wince at its insincerity should I be exposed to it, but if you wish to remain in business you should demonstrate a more positive attitude towards your prospective future clients than the disdain you show to candidates.

Is this in anyway unclear to you?

Mr Khan is not some low-level IT manager winging-it through a dead-end career as a small cog in a very large corporate wheel as most of your clients are. He is a serious businessman and entrepreneur and thanks to your deceit I have had to waste his free time.

I suggest that in future you treat him and his peers, who are far more advanced in their careers than you are, with a little bit more professional courtesy and respect.

Do you think we do not know who your clients are? At my advanced stage I regularly dine with the boss', boss', boss of the entry-level managers and supervisors that you are permitted to contact and I have no compunction against sharing with them the names of unprofessional and unscrupulous time wasters. Although she lives in upstate New York, I know Brigit well and she regularly visits the corporate facilities in Switzerland to meet with the regional heads who report to her.

If you fail to confirm that our personal details have been removed from your systems within 24 hours I shall be sending a copy of this email and a formal written demand to your Chairman's office and home addresses by registered post.

Do you understand now what you have done?

Who’s Sorry Now – He Is

He responded and called to apologize. Here’s the transcript (for those who can’t guess what’s coming). The Bastard, posing as his non-existant referee Khan, takes the call:

Khan: This is Ceti Alpha Five
Recruiter: Is that Mr Kahn?

Khan: Who thou art thee?
Recruiter: Jim …

Khan: Ah, James, my old friend, do you know the Swiss proverb that tells us tardiness is a sin and apology for it is a dish that is best served cold?
Recruiter: I would like to apologize for not calling you last Friday, but I had personal issues.

Khan:I know why you are here. Do what you have to do then leave.
Recruiter: What do you mean?

Khan:Apologize to me.
Recruiter: I’m sorry.

Khan:For what are you sorry?
Recuiter: For not calling you but,

Khan:No buts. Apologize to me properly and try to put some sincerity into your voice or do I have to chase you ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares Maelstrom and ’round perdition’s flames?
Recuiter: I’m sorry for not calling you

Khan:Full impulse power!
Recuiter: I don’t know what more to say.

Recuiter: I’m very sorry I didn’t call and wasted your time.

Khan:For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee!
*hangs up

The banner picture is (c) Universal Studios. It is a freely-distributed publicity shot for the episode of Columbo titled ‘A Matter of Honour‘. It is of course of the much-loved and talented actor Ricardo Montalban in the surprising role of a Mexican bull-fighting murderer. And we bet you didn’t know that. If you did, you have our compliments, as do the makers of the superb Columbo series.

The video is from The Firm who apparantly wrote the song – allegedly stole it claimed rival band Norwich-based Fireball XL5 – while in prison in the UK in the 1980s, presumably for crimes related to generalised hooliganism, and was put on YouTube by somebody else so go ask them about licensing.