>So here I am, back where I started with barely enough money to eat.
Come on, you're 37 years old Java professional from Sweden (which is not Nigeria or something). Even unemployed people there get more money which I used to make being programmer.
> When I informed my landlord that I wouldn't be able to stay as long as planned she kicked me out of the apartment
What, she kicked you even before your paid period? Obviously you're loosing your deposit but she is not supposed to kick you out.
This story made to sound dramatic, but in reality, I believe, he just wants unbabel's managers to follow contract rules.
Unbabel is wrong, but it's not a reason to say you're starving and it's their fault. You're a grown up man, be responsible for your life.
I've seen people be treated in a very coarse manner by their employers and this story does not read 'off the scale' in any way to me, it could very easily have happened as described. I've seen far worse than this.
Yes, the poster has a partial responsibility in how this all happened and turned out, I'm certainly not denying that. But as an employer, before asking someone to move halfway across Europe (which I would cover with a signing bonus) I'd be much more critical about fit before letting them commit to the move. Maybe a few weeks trial staying in a hotel before finalizing things.
Author calls his former job a mind-numbingly boring Java consulting gig.
Then calls his new job at Unbabel insane and abusive.
As the author does not explain how working for 30 days at Unbabel was abusive, this only reflects poorly on the author. He seems impossible to satisfy.
That code at start-ups is messy is the norm, not the exception. Highlighting this as: "a tangled mess of mindless duplication, half-implemented features and misleading comments" again reflect poorly only on the author. What did he expect as an experienced coder? Why air this "dirty" laundry? How do the people (your former and future colleagues) writing that code feel now?
Then continues to describe the horrible experience: "The team lead was the only one who knew anything about the system". Then seems surprised at that Friday afternoon meeting with the founders.
This may negatively influence hiring practices of YC companies. Want to avoid such culture fit disasters? Do no hire anyone over 30. Do not want fire and brimstone blog posts when you fire someone? Hire someone local or remotely outsource. Taking a chance on someone works both ways.
Yes, I imagine it sucks for the author and I wish such an experience on no one. But I also wouldn't want to be the startup to read this on the frontpage of HN, see yourself be misrepresented and having to consult with legal before you can even think of replying. A bad hire is unfortunate for the employee, but very expensive for the startup too: Too many of these and the company will go down. EU labour laws are far more protective of employees than US labour laws. If this was within the law, it may not have been too nice, but remember: This is (a) serious business.
There is probably a grain of truth in this story, and perhaps Unbabel made a poor business decision, but these stories can never be taken at face value, they are closer to hit pieces. Drama-bait.