> I'm completely broke due to poor financial decisions (that's a different story), so I can't afford a last minute plane ticket. It doesn't help that this is a small airport, so ticket prices are high. So basically I've been stuck at the airport for the past 3 days. Yesterday, my credit card started being declined, so I've had to eat scraps from other customers.
A mild troll, but SE still got trolled.
I guess I should clarify. Responses below are right, it's not hard to believe that there are people without savings, I've also been in that boat.
But this portion has nothing to do with the point of the post; given the outrageous nature of the post in the first place, this smells to me like a sob element to hook more people in.
Every part of the post is hyperbolic. "I blew every question and I could tell that they didn't like me personally." Really, every single one? Oh, and now they decide they don't like you even though you've gotten to the stage where they flew you across the country??
Laying everything on this thick just doesn't increase credibility for me. It makes me suspicious.
The thing was at that moment I just left shitty job, with 24h phone support for our systems switching with other person on weekly shifts, also I was quite under attack by one of better established guys. I had savings so no problem there. But still I had to find job in something like 3 months before going back to my town.
My self esteem was on the bottom. They got 4 people to question me and senior guy was math phd. After second question it went downhill. Logarithms were not my strong side and then SQL stuff that I was doing day in and out just 'PUFF' went away. (now I am senior, leading team of 5, delivering loads of value, but back then I would not believe I could do that)
I believe that environment and surroundings contribute a lot to what you thing about yourself. I picked wrong fight in wrong time. That guy probably also should work on his basics, or maybe it is just sob story.
I was in a similar situation, basically not recognizing the signs of burnout until layoff time, and it took me 4 months to be able to properly interview (fortunately, the economy was down so it also took 4 months to be able to schedule any proper interviews anyway).
Why is that surprising? E.g. Google flew me on my interview as a student kid with pretty much barely any screening (and yeah, as a student I also didn't have nearly enough money to buy a ticket home from Zurich airport on the spot at that time - with 150EUR of scholarship income, it's hard to have a few K EUR at hand on your credit card).
Skepticism is warranted here (it's entirely possible that the post is fake), but this isn't an impossible situation if I think of all the petty vindictive garbage humans I've met that led companies.
Counterpoint: if you've gone through enough hardship, your self-esteem can tank so much that you start thinking in black-and-white -- "I blew every single question" etc.
Every once in a while someone's gonna go through something really bad: "perfect storms of woe-is-me" do come by, and our selection bias of upvoting those specifically means that we're disproportionately more likely to see really horrifying stories.
Considering there are at least a million people in this situation any one of them could have accepted a remote interview.
I've had my credit card declined when I tried to buy gas 2 hours away, late at night, because they assumed it was fraud. For 2 years and change, paying a hospital bill every month, my debit card issuer would flag it as fraud every single time, I'd have to contact them and say it wasn't, then attempt to pay again. Every single time.
It's wholly plausible, even without the card balance being near or at the limit, that they are having their card declined.
It's quite realistic that they have no one they can call and ask to have money wired to them, to buy their ticket, etc.
It's quite realistic that they are sleep deprived if they've been in an airport for even a day with no means of leaving which can severely impact mood and mental status, add this with the defeat of not only not getting the job but having their return flight cancelled as well as possibly being unemployed with no savings at all, it can be incredibly easy to go full-Eeyore.
Ticket price out of a smaller airport likely means one or more connections, last minute flight also often means considerably pricier.
I had a company interview me last year 3 times via video for an entry level customer service type position including a half hour with one of the co-founders as the 2nd interview, he wanted me to talk to a different department about an even higher job so I did for the 3rd interview, he started the call "I'm not sure why we are talking, why did co-founder have us schedule a meeting" and after talking to me for 45 minutes "well I don't have any positions right now, I wish you the best of luck". This is 12 days from the first interview, for the position I applied to, so I pinged the co-founder stating 3rd person said he didn't know why he was talking to me as he didn't have any positions an was busy training his most recent hires, and mentioned it had been 12 days since the first person interviewed me and I'd not heard anything on that front and if he could update me since the interviewer never gave me their email address. Within a few minutes "Caught up with first person, they mentioned you're likely not a good fit for us on THATPOSITION side either. Definitely encourage you to keep honing your skills. Maybe find a relevant side project or a local company..." so I fully buy that a company would show that level of interest and then "sorry bout ya, by!"
Here in the midwest if you get 3 interviews, one of which with the CEO that also tells you the starting salary, you've got the job not "yeah bye Felicia". I was in a funk for 3 days and I was comfortable in my bedroom, not stuck in a random airport.
No doubt. But then again I see no company name mentioned, or even hinting at it. Also:
> But this portion has nothing to do with the point of the post; given the outrageous nature of the post in the first place, this smells to me like a sob element to hook more people in.
Not so sure here. Not that I ever had to eat other people's leftovers, but assuming this story is true I could absolutely see that you want to release steam and just process what happened, maybe because you can't really believe it yourself yet.
It doesn't have to be an attack on a specific company; I think it's just posted for laughs: "Can you believe they're responding seriously to this?"
In my case it was the early days of a company, and I flew a potentially important applicant from Europe for an interview, paid for hotel, food etc. They performed terribly. When I sat down with them to figure out why, it quickly became apparent they had fundamentally misrepresented themselves. Partially through lies, even more through slippery worded deceit. They finally admitted to being basically a starting-out developer, skilled at attaching themselves to high-profile projects and claiming this work as their own.
I did talk to our lawyer about trying to recover the costs. They told me he wasn't worth the lawsuit.
It was a learning experience. I did things differently after that. In the same way one would change one's behaviour after being the victim of any con.
So I do wonder what the other side to this particular story is.
Was also wondering what is in it for the candidate -- if they know that they are going to flunk the on-site interview, do they just want a free vacation out of it?
I certainly changed the questions I asked. And it never happened again. But I also think wilful deceit isn't that common (massaging the truth is, but this was a different league to that). So who knows if my changes were effective, or if it just felt good doing something.
> if they know that they are going to flunk the on-site interview
I really don't think he did. I think he thought he could charm his way to the job.
Unless they are a national security risk of some kind (imagine, lol), there shouldn't ever be a reason to fly someone in and having them pay their own way back.
But there is a difference between a dud and a con man. There is a reason I only sought legal advice over one of them. In the end I did assume the risk and learn from it.
But if I had to pay out of pocket an additional payment at that point I would've refused. For that individual only.
Unless the whole thing is an outright lie. It's a brand new Stack Exchange user. There's absolutely no legitimacy to any of the story at this point. People do this sort of thing all the time on the internet, after all.
But assuming it isn't totally fabricated -- even if the guy was completely unprofessional, rude, and/or vulgar (lets say, he stormed out and told everyone to go F themselves), I still can't see it being acceptable for them to cancel his return flight home if they flew him out in the first place.
But I don't think we'll ever get the other side of the story in this case because I don't think we'll ever get confirmation that this is even real.
Though often times people make new accounts to post on law.SE and workplace.SE.
The only other side of the story that would be ok is literally “OP’s whole story is made up” and the interview never happened. If the candidate misrepresented him/herself then shame on candidate AND shame on company. Otherwise, shame on company.
Why? How? On what grounds?
My thoughts exactly. The person claims they've been stuck in the airport for 3 days and eating scraps? That seems awfully dramatic to me. Like someone looking for generous internet strangers to offer assistance via Venmo.
It's that OP is lying. I take BART in the SF bay area about twice a month, and have ran into the same scammer a few times. He claims he has to go see his kids, has $xx money for a southwest plane and needs $yy waving around something that says southwest on it.
The thing I find odd is the hanging about the airport bit--after allowing an hour or so denial/rage/bargaining I'd be finding my way to the Greyhound station.
Though, I've had times in my life where I have had to take a chance on job interviews that I didn't have the money to get to. I drove to Vancouver from Calgary with $20 in my pocket, borrowed $50 for a rail pass and crashed on someone's couch on the promise of an interview that wasn't even a guarantee of a job because I was so broke. I got the job and it was water under the bridge, but if I hadn't got the job, I'd have been screwed.
Nah, I'd do it like this "Since you've cancelled my return flight, and I have no means, I'll be contacting local press and seeing if they have any interest in my story. My second round of calls will be to local law firms to see if they have any interest in becoming part of case law in exchange for some pro bono work since you've left me no way to get home after my interview with me".
Trollers just like to troll.
Scammers just throw stuff out there and see if anyone bites. Asking “but why would he tweet it, why would he post to Reddit, why would he email me? Etc” all come down to: because it works.
Its very likely that some one did not do due diligence and ended up with a wrong candidate and wanted to cover their budgeting ass.
I'd take it as a lesson learned to shore up screening before flying anyone in.
Yep. Whoever made the decision to fly them out in the first place is now going to live with that on their track record, and rightfully be questioned whenever they want to spend money on a candidate: "Remember the $xxxx we wasted on that other candidate? What did you do differently this time to be sure we don't repeat that situation?"
Assuming this is a company of any size, the fact it was an actual tangible expense (and not just employee time) will probably make this scrutiny come from more and/or higher places in the management chain, because now more departments are involved.
1 - The hiring manager had to put in a lot of effort budget-wise to make the flying in happen and when he found out it was more of a complete failure than a rubber stamp, he had to save face.
2 - The candidate dramatically misrepresented themselves and lied to get in the door. Especially in the case of a cash limited start up, that could hurt - even more so if the story about high air fares due to location is true.
Either way, I think it's a lie, or at minimum the candidate isn't being entirely up front.
I have my doubts about the veracity of the story, but if it is true then that company needs to be shamed.
Better would be to use the legal system to recoup your costs. This way you don't accidentally recoup your costs from an innocent individual with zero oversight.
Or strand someone that fibbed about their experience, that then writes a suicide note (after throwing screenshots of the emails and cancellation up on their social media) claiming you stranding them in a city far from home with no money and no way home was the last straw and then commits suicide in front of your building
Or someone that comes back and sets the building on fire "with nothing left to lose".
Or waits for the person that interviewed them to walk out of the building and assaults them. Or follows them down the sidewalk and shoves them in front of a bus/trolley/train.
There's a bazillion reasons why this was a horrible idea for the company to do, if it is a true story.
"Why are you asking me about X? I don't know anything about it"
"You sure seemed to understand it on the phone screen"
"Phone screen? What phone screen? My recruiter gave me this plane ticket and told me to come interview on-site"
Unfortunately, in my experience (IANAL), small claims courts only have the power to enforce ruling via liens or other local means. Which means that if you bring suit in your local small claims court, the only way to collect is if the company in question has real estate or other holdings in your local area. Alternatively you could bring a suit in the company's home district, but that means you actually have to show up in court there. Which means travel expenses. Usually it isn't worth it.
I've also found that smaller companies tend to be really bad about this stuff (not universally!). Big companies are almost always very fair and honorable about treating interviewees well.
The only justification I can think of for this is if the company felt they were defrauded.
Like if the guy had a great resume with years of experience in all the skills they want and he passed the phone screen with flying colors and then when brought on-site he couldn't answer a single question, maybe the company thought that he had someone else do the phone screen.
I get that you're angry... but this is vindictive beyond words.
Sue the guy on small claims court, blacklist him, shame him publicly. But cancel his plane ticket so he's stranded and broke on an airport? How inhuman has to be a person to do that? Over a single dumb interview?
Agreed. The cynical lawyer in me believes that people who don't name and shame in these situations aren't telling the whole truth. If they named & shamed and the story wasn't true it's defamation.