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Jeremy, I think you'll wan't this job (jeremyaboyd.micro.blog)
112 points by azhenley on July 11, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 95 comments

> "if you want to see the other applicants, you have to upgrade your account and pay $375/mo until you call them to cancel (I know, because I still pay $10/mo to keep my account on pause because I don’t feel like talking to people, and $10/mo is probably less expensive over 2 years than fighting with them to cancel my account is is worth, and they know it… fuckers)."

I hate sites that allow you to subscribe without talking to someone, but don't allow you to unsubscribe without picking up the phone. I'm surprised it's not downright illegal. I've found Privacy.com[1] is a good service for these kinds of subscriptions, because you can just cancel the card to avoid keep getting charged. Not sure if anyone has a better solution.

[1]: https://privacy.com/ (I am not associated with this site, just a user)

From privacy.com terms:

>You grant us and our subsidiaries, affiliates, and successors a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully-paid, transferable, and sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, prepare derivative works of, distribute, publicly perform, and publicly display your Content throughout the world in any media in order to provide and promote the Services. You retain all rights in your Content, subject to the rights you granted to us in these General Terms. You may modify or remove your Content via your Privacy Account or by terminating your Privacy Account, but your Content may persist in historical, archived or cached copies and versions thereof available on or through the Services.

Google the first bit of that sentence. It's likely just some generic ToS they used. But yeah, still not good.

That said, I'm a happy user of Privacy.com It's great.

So what? Privacy.com pretty much just provides proxy card numbers for online shopping. What content are you afraid of giving them a license to use?

It just amuses me that such extreme legal arse covering can not be avoided even when you are called privacy.com. But you're right, I can't think of any nefarious purpose to which the history of my consumption could be put...

The excerpt, applies to copyrighted content created by you and submitted to their platform. So the question is whether credit card transactions are creative works or facts.

If credit card transactions are a creative work then you are eligible for copyright protection and this part of the terms of use would apply. However, if credit card transactions are facts (in other words if it is a fact that $x was charged to this card on some date) then they are not eligible for copyright protection and this section of the terms would not apply.

There is no way to know whether credit card transactions are creative works or facts until someone tries to claim copyright over one in court, however, to my knowledge that has not happened yet.

New York Times makes you talk to an agent to cancel, and of course, when I want to cancel, I had to wait in a queue to get someone on either Chat or Phone. Completely absurd and unacceptable. And naturally, when I got through, their chat system hadn't even provide my account information to the agent.

I've felt inclined to resubscribe a couple times when hitting their paywall, but remembering their consumer-hostile cancellation process has stopped me. I don't mind paying for things, but you need to treat your customers right.

I am pretty sure I subscribed via paypal. I can just cancel on the paypal end.

I thought California passed a law requiring businesses to allow you cancel your subscription in the same method you signed up. Maybe I misunderstand the bill as written.


I think you're right, but from what I've seen this causes services to make a special cancellation process for CA residents while making everyone else still jump through hoops.

For example, there is no option to cancel a Wall Street Journal digital subscription on the web site, unless you change your billing address to one in California, and then a cancel option will appear.

So the WSJ has implemented an online cancel option, and then done extra work to make it available selectively depending on your address?

Somehow that doesn't really surprise me, but it does disgust me. And reminds me not to enter into any kind of customer relationship with them.

I made the mistake of subscribing to the NYT. After their cancellation process I've promised myself never to send them another dime in my lifetime. Meanwhile I've had stints of reading WashPo and the New Yorker and would happily resubscribe.

Someone needs to go tell classpass that they didn't do that for me. Fuck classpass.

Click on unsubscribe button.

You're not unsubscribed yet! Want to do a $15 dollar plan so you avoid a reactivation fee? ...no, hit button

You're almost unsubscribed! Can you tell us why? "Cuz I'm not using it, do it."

Now you're in a chat queue to talk to a chat representative before we let you go.

You're number 8 in line.


The "that includes a free gift or trial" modifier might be a critical limitation.

I'd use privacy.com in a heartbeat if their TOS didn't have an arbitration agreement -- but given that they want to link to my bank account, getting rid of legal accountability is unacceptable.

A lot of these types of services sound really good until you actually dig into what their terms are. I don't see why I should trust a business that doesn't trust me.

I set up a dedicated checking account for Privacy.com, and linked it via routing and account number. I transfer money to the account I approximately equal to what I use with their service.

This way, a store gets a one-use card I can easily pause/limit/close, and if privacy.com screw up they're limited in how much they can draw.

Keep in mind that "cancelling" by expiring your card isn't treated the same as an actual notice of cancellation.

Some companies will send you to collections and ding your credit score for "missed payments", whether it's due to a cancelled card or any other reason.

I can see this in two ways, neither of which make such site look good:

1: One should be able to block their charges without cancelling a card - by what logic should they be able to take your money without permission? (This is not entirely a rhetorical question - can't you dispute credit card charges?)

2: A subscription is a sort of contract, so even if you block payments, they could claim you owe them anyway. But if it's a contract, why does one party have all the power in deciding how it may be cancelled? And what prevents them from making you jump through even more hoops, till cancelling is literally impossible?

> I'm surprised it's not downright illegal

It actually is illegal in some states (or is it Europe? Whatever). Email/chat count as valid "unsubscribe online" solutions.

It's illegal here in Canada under CASL (Canada Anti-Spam Legislation). They have to provide an "unsubscribe" link right in every one of the emails they send you.


I think they're referring to actually cancelling the service, rather than unsubscribing.

In these cases, I've had good luck just emailing them with a clear notice that I'm cancelling my account (and telling them I think it's rude not to support cancelling via the same media used to sign up). I'm not going to go through your manipulative user-retention flow.

I also recommend privacy.com. The cards act as pre-paid cards, so I have seen some instances where a site did not take them. But probably 98% the service has worked beautifully.

It's a neat idea, but if you sign up for a service and just cancel the card rather than canceling under the terms of the contract, can't the company still legally attempt to collect on the payment if they want to?

I suppose most 10-20/month fees wouldn't bother to collect, but they might pester you a bit with automated emails.

Yes, you could still be pursued legally.

I've used Privacy for a while absolutely everywhere and never run into a problem getting the card accepted. Who doesn't take them?

I've had them kicked back on both Steam and Origin

You dont 'avoid getting charged'. The service provider provides you a service, charges you a fee for it, and you refuse to pay.

I have a conspiracy theory that a lot of these comically low offers are completely fake to push down average compensation for roles.

No one is obviously taking these jobs and many of them seem to be fairly non-sensical in their description and requirements. But these salary asks get calculated into averages when Dice/Zip Recruiter/Whoever put together their recommended compensation suggestions.

They get tons of desperate devs. Lots of people fresh off boot-camps, or fresh college grads with no experience. Then they hit them with low-ball offers, and work them for a year or two - until the devs learn their worth, and switch jobs for triple salary.

And the cycle starts over.

Yeah, it's pretty much this, except also with a sort of class element to it. A lot of people from poorer backgrounds flat out don't know their worth, or how much money they should be making according to market rates. They're so used to friends and family having low earning jobs that they think that's the baseline, even in fields where you can earn three/four times that by shopping around, negotiating and knowing who to work for.

It's also probably why many immigrants work for low wages; because they're too used to the amount of money they would have made in their home country to realise that even double/triple that may be significantly less than market rate in their new location.

This. When you come from a poor background, your parents and friends are like "I have no idea how much these jobs pay", your colleagues are like "we are forbidden to talk to each other about our salaries", and your potential employers are like "no I won't tell you how much we offer, you tell me your expectations first". And if you ask for a fraction of what anyone else with the same qualifications would ask for, they just smile and give it to you, keeping you in the dark.

I spent my first few years working for peanuts. The wake-up moment came when I decided to quit, because I believed I was too incompetent for my job (I had a heavy case of impostor syndrome back then), and my boss misunderstood my words, and instead doubled my salary. Then I started to suspect that if there was already enough space to double my salary, perhaps there is more. Turned out that yes, there was a lot of space to grow. Soon I was making about 10 times my original salary... in a different company.

(Today you could probably find that information online; if not precisely, then at least within an order of magnitude. But this happened decades ago.)

I just think there are a lot of people out there who have no idea how much money we make for a typical job, and therefore don't know what's reasonable. They may have worked hourly jobs in the past and have calibrated their hourly rates to those going rates rather than doing any kind of market research. $20/hr would be pretty good for a journeyman carpenter in some areas I've lived.

I've seen this happen in real life. When I had just graduated, a friend of mine got an interview at a company and gave them my name as well. They offered me 120k and him 45k. We were both new grads from the same program, and he had more work experience than I did. But he was employed, making 40k/yr.

So I took the job, he didn't. Years later he got me ANOTHER interview at his company, they offered me 60k, knowing I was literally making twice that. It was really clear that they wanted to make me an offer that I wouldn't take.

I sometimes cook up a few conspiracy theories myself, but this one never occurred to me.

Kudos. That's a good one.

I had a common acquaintance many years back of someone with, let's call them "questionable" morals, who aggregated postings like this and contracted with dozens, farming them out to offshore developers who'd thought they hit the jackpot. From what I know, the guy made a killing. Not something to celebrate, but perhaps tangentially related to why these kinds of job offerings still see daylight.

This seems to be more common than people would believe. I had a colleague many years ago, who managed his remote offshore contractors from his workplace office, while spending his free time finding more work for them.

There's always money to be made from market inefficiencies.

Why is that questionable morals? The company got their work done. The offshore developer got more money than they would have otherwise. Basically the guy found an inefficiency in the system (companies not believing that the offshore developers themselves were capable of doing the work).

I think the immoral part was that he would do the interview and get the job, and then hire someone else to actually do the work, which he submitted under his own name.

He wasn't honest with the companies that the work product was not his.

>He wasn't honest with the companies that the work product was not his.

When dealing with companies, so many of them strongly specialize in methods of dishonestly that aren't quite illegal and in using information differences to their advantage, purposefully choosing to avoid any chance of disclosure. To that extent, I have a hard time as seeing the morals as questionable and instead seeing it as someone beating companies at their own game, assuming he never directly lied that it was his own work. Companies almost never tell you what they view the real value of your work to be, which is also hiding a form of information that the other party would have found relevant in negotiation the trade of money for work.

lol how about with the offshore devs that rightfully should've gotten the entire fee for the work? why is it always that the company is the loser and not the labor that's being arbitraged against

Presumably the offshore developers could have applied to these jobs, but the company's own blindness / rigidity prevent them from hiring that person.

Or the company had contracts that stipulated that work be done within the United States (or whatever locality it was). In that case, assuming the company had the applicant sign something certifying that the applicant was local to their country, OP's friend was committing fraud.

Depends on if the contract allows it or not. Companies sometimes prohibit this due to non-disclosure agreements or security concerns.

Because if they wanted offshore developers that they never met to do the work, they would have paid offshore developers that they never met to do the work. They wouldn't have spent their own time and money seeking out job candidates and interviewing them and attempting to vet them so they could pick the best candidate to do the job. Has nothing to do with whether or not anyone is capable of doing the work.

I can see how someone who was doing this might excuse it to themselves as simply exploiting a perceived inefficiency in the system, but nobody other than the person actually doing it would buy that excuse. Even the phrase itself (I was just taking advantage of an inefficiency in the system!) is tainted by associations with white collar crime. That's a phrase that makes people sound like they think they've done something wrong and are trying to spin it, even when they've done nothing wrong.

I would never do such a thing (my morals, ethics, and personality) but I am always amazed that it works. If they are able to keep the employer/clients happy, then good for them!

My name is Jeremy and I thought someone hacked either HN or my computer to change the title of this to match the viewer's name.

It's like the time my friend Tyler discovered that when you do 'shutdown -h now', if your username is Tyler, it says, "Hello Mr. Tyler, going down.....?"

I hadn't heard of this! Not a wind up:


Although it seems that this no longer works on most modern Linuxes - not since the shutdown command was taken over by systemd. Another thing to curse it for.

"OMG! Now Aerosmith sang a song about the incident! What is going on?"

I changed my title to simply "employee" on Linkedin and get waaay less cold calls/emails. Putting anything IT related seems to be carte blanche for recruiters to send you anything they have. CTO for Microsoft? Are you interested in this $5/hr. 3 month contract? Obnoxious

I deleted my LinkedIn profile a few years back and haven't looked back. It's cathartic. I honestly don't see the reason to have it unless you're actively looking for a new role. Speaking of obnoxious - they don't let you hide your profile either, you have to completely delete it.

> Speaking of obnoxious - they don't let you hide your profile either, you have to completely delete it

Of course not, because then the people who pay them money would get fewer results in their searches! And they don't care if you delete it because they keep all the data anyway.

One of the reasons I don't believe there's a real developer shortage is that so much of the job market is joke postings.

I agree. It’s just a way to get more H1B devs and pressure them with deportation to get good workers. The dev/ engineer shortage is total nonsense.

In some countries you have to show that you've attempted to hire locally before importing labour from abroad. I almost wonder if that's what's going on in some of these cases.

Yeah. If there is one thing I've observed over the years is that systems usually function as the design goal intended. So if you think the system is broken because the behavior is odd then there is a high chance you just misunderstood the design goal.

AFAIK You have to advertise the position with the prevailing wage for the region and the position. And you have to keep a copy of every resume received for legal reasons.

Quite possibly? As part of PERM I've had to advertise in a local newspaper for a minimum amount of time, and be ready justify rejecting each applicant. You can imagine how many applicants there were though...

It clearly says founder/CEO in my profile and I still get these type of emails all the time. On the hiring side I see the other side of the problem though. Basically nobody has managed to adequately match supply and demand in the labor market. Huge opportunity, someone should go solve it

To be fair, founder/CEO means pretty much nothing on its own. Anyone can start a company for a few hundred bucks, put up a website, and call themselves a founder/CEO. You'd have to make the effort to actually look at what a person founded, and that's a level of effort that recruiter spam is never going to reach.

Yeah, the problem is you have folks neck-deep in MLM scam companies calling themselves CEOs and founders on LinkedIn.

Even legit tiny companies often have founders using the CEO title, it's not just a problem created by MLMs and scams. The CEO (or really any CXX) title is really only meaningful with other stats like how long the company has been alive, number of employees, monthly revenue, etc.

Is the matching algorithm the problem, or is it just that most companies don't want to pay people what they're worth?

People are worth what most companies are willing to pay them.

That doesn’t follow.

Like this blog post points out, there’s a ton of postings out there with these absurdly low pay expectations. And yet, companies can, and do, struggle to fill $120,000 a year jobs.

It can simultaneously be the case that the majority of the market is willing to pay peanuts AND the average developer routinely signs for far, far more than that.

The majority of the market simply never finds any takers whatsoever for their “genius social media idea I own it you have to sign an NDA for, you do all the work, $15/hr”.

Yes I don't disagree with that. I must correct myself, for my wording wasn't precise. People are worth what most employees' employers are willing to pay.

>People are worth what most employees' employers are willing to pay.

Companies must transact for labour at a rate that transfers wealth to them. On average, employees must be able generate more value to a firm than their wages, otherwise employing people would be a net negative to a firm.

You say transfer like it's coming from the employee. Adam Smith would say the wealth is being created by the resources that the company brings along with the labor that the employee brings.

>You say transfer like it's coming from the employee.

That's not what I said at all. The first sentence is a constraint on firm survival, not a statement about where wealth is derived.

No, people are worth whatever is the most any company is willing to pay them.

Almost - it's that, or the value they can create on their own, whichever is greater, as valued by that person.

Recruiters just parrot words they hear without knowing what they mean and always have.

I don't think that is true. I've spoken with some very helpful and knowledgeable recruiters. You can't expect them to be engineers.

3/4 years clearly means "3 or 4 years" and not three-quarters of a year. MS Word probably autocorrected 3/4 to ¾.

But who writes "3 or 4" as 3/4?

I have done that before.

Never followed by a '+' though.

So "3/4+" would mean what exactly? 3+ or 4+ years? 3 years or 4+ years? 3+ years?

I would interpret that as "three or four, or more", as in, they wouldn't penalize additional years of experience.

If they are going to pay for 1/10 a developer, is anything stopping you from picking up 10 of these orgs as employers at the same time and delivering 1/10 of your effort to each?

I think andrew_19’s comment about the guy who subcontracted the jobs out to people where 1/10 salary is thought to be hitting the jackpot is probably the better way to go here if you’re even seriously considering the job in the first place. The main problem there is making sure your contract explicitly allows or at least doesn’t prohibit you from farming the work out.

The switching costs alone would eat half your day, and of course they're hoping to get much more than 1/10th of a developer despite only paying for 1/10th of one.

So if you're a 10X developer, and switching jobs will eat up half your time... you could take 5 jobs and provide 1 developer's worth of skill to each, right?

Until Fred Brooks shows up and slaps you.

Brooks slapped everyone decades ago and it's still ringing in all of ours' ears.

No, because these people are expecting full time work for 1/10 pay.

But if you get paid that 1/10 10 times in one month then fired, who cares, you already made out with 10 checks.

Not sure if serious, but probably the contract you'd sign (at least in Germany there's usually a non-compete in there somewhere).

Also it feels like this would be a lot more effort than just working one well-paying job. Imagine all the context switching...

Non competes only matter if they're competing. At the price they are offering I'd spend about 1/2 an hour trolling stack overflow for random bits of code, push whatever I find whether it is relevant or not and call it a day. This kind of blind abuse is literally to encourage H1B abuse. They are just going to use this to claim they couldn't find a local resource and export the job. It's illegal and should be cracked down on harder than a fleck of marijuana in Texas. It's apparently a felony to have weed in Texas, why is it not a felony to commit employment fraud/H1b fraud? You're destroying lives other than your own in one case and just enjoying yourself in another.

I thought everyone had agreed that non-competes weren't enforceable (because they're basically a restriction on trade, and that's illegal)?

Are they still a thing?

Non-competes are legal and enforceable in many states in the US.

good to know, thanks.

It's super annoying that this person is pushing for the elimination of including the currency in the job posting. There are more than one country which use "dollars" or the $ symbol you know.

It reminds me of "Falsehoods programmers believe about names" https://www.kalzumeus.com/2010/06/17/falsehoods-programmers-...

BUT in the United States, where these jobs are being advertised and employing the works, there is only 1 currency.

I wouldn't expect to get paid in Argentine Pesos in NYC... would you expect to get paid in Rubles in Sydney Australia?

It depends on if it's remote work. Not everyone who works at a company in a given country needs to physically be at that location or paid in the local (to the business) currency.

The job posts he quoted were all New York. I don't think he is suggesting to eliminate the currency, but rather to eliminate dev salaries that are lower than the poverty line.

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