[Baypiggies] Chompapps Etc

Jaime Bott jaime at chompapps.com
Mon Nov 2 01:03:49 CET 2009

Thanks for the feedback on the posting. I was not thinking about the "young"
portion of the statement when I said the company was looking for similar.
Age doesn't matter.

On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 9:53 PM, Roderick Llewellyn <
roderick at sanfransystems.com> wrote:

> When I posted my innocent seeming question:
> In your job posting, I see the following phrase:
>  We are engineers, young, smart & aggressive
> Is this intended as a statement of the desired type of employee candidate?
> I was (hoping, wondering if? ) they would fall for it and actually say that
> they planned to discriminate on the basis of age, a protected class (at
> least some of the time as pointed out by Jeremy Fishman, thank you very
> much). I knew perfectly well that asking such a question would doom any
> chance I had of being employed there, but hell, I had zero chance anyway. I
> suppose the smart thing to do is to apply, and when I get rejected, get one
> of you young "rockstars" out there to apply, and then sue their butts. That
> might be my best strategy for making money now in the computer industry! I
> am considering asking my attorney about this posting.... legally, is an
> admission of intent to discriminate actionable, even before any actual
> discrimination has occurred? (my guess is no lol).. and of course the
> company will disassociate itself from Mr. Bott's statement you can bet.
> Tomorrow morning Chompapps will be calling THEIR attorney for sure!
> I kept my "innocent question" short also because I didn't want to harp on
> an issue I had brought up before.
> Now to do some harping:
> As far as Alex's post is concerned, my understanding is that when forming
> any kind of business or partnership (let alone personal or religious bonds)
> you are unconstrained by law. You can also discriminate in contracting as
> that is B2B and is unregulated. I believe the only regulated relationships
> are what is considered "employment". I also suspect that if every "employee"
> had to be a "partner" and this was used as a method of discriminating
> against a protected class, a jury would see right through it.
> We all know that these startup technology companies routinely DO
> discriminate on the basis of age and possibly along other axes as well. The
> problem is establishing proof in court. Most discrimination cases of any
> type are won only by showing statistically that, let's say, a much smaller
> percentage of women are hired for a given job class than would be expected.
> This means that only large employers (such as McDonald's), for which such
> statistics can be gathered, are likely to suffer any liability. For a small
> startup, hiring a few people here and there, they can always defend
> themselves by pointing to the individual differences between candidates
> other than the protected class difference (e.g., "we don't mind hiring older
> people, or women, or blacks, we just haven't seen any good ones").
> As far as "rockstars" are concerned, I might make the following
> associations with them:
> 1. They use drugs extensively.
> 2. They have enormous egos, and think they know how to run the entire
> planet because they play guitar.
> 3. They drive cars way too fast, they're "aggressive"
> 4. They die young.
> 5. They have sex with anything that moves, and then move on.
> 6. They may make beautiful music, but totally lack any people skills... and
> they may even be proud of that.
> Sound familiar? Is this a desireable employee profile?
> More seriously, I think sometimes this connects to the above conversation
> about discrimination. Often companies know not to do what Mr. Bott did and
> directly state that they intend to discriminate. Instead they have more
> subtle messages, such as the following things I've seen in employment
> postings:
> 1. You must have a fast trigger finger in Half-Life.
> 2. We play loud alternative rock music all the time.
> 3. We really like snowboarding and encourage everybody to join in.
> 4. We are "rockstars"... (and unless we're talking Mick Jagger, they're all
> under 30 right?)
> 5. We are "young at heart" (remember that one from a month or so ago)
> These messages are designed to tell people over 40 or so that they are not
> wanted. Remember we're talking software companies here, not snowboard
> makers, who might more reasonably want only snowboarding enthusiasts. The
> messages here have nothing to do with snowboarding, guitar playing, or even
> Half-Life playing (unless it's a games company)... they have everything to
> do with age.
> I've seen other cases. Once many years ago I interviewed (with a
> headhunter) for a company that made software for police and fire
> departments. The recruiter carefully informed me that the actual cops with
> whom I would work were the ones who were pulled off the street because they
> were too violent, and were thus sentenced to desk jobs. And that these were
> the ones who hated homosexuals the most. He never told me not to apply if I
> were gay (it happens that I am)... he was telling me a little story about
> the customers. But the message was loud and clear.
> Anyway, enough ranting for now, sorry for the long post.... Anyone got a
> Python job out there for people who are not necessarily young and aggressive
> (but who are smart)?
> Thanks all of you,
> Rod Llewellyn
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Jaime Bott
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