| ||Ask HN: How have you dealt with corruption?|
91 points by puppetaccount on Oct 30, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 69 comments |
|A technical person at a potential large government customer of ours invited me to discuss our technology with him outside the office. This could be a red flag in itself but we had met twice before and I had learned that he graduated from the same school as I and around the same time I did and we knew some people in common. Additionally, he had given me a paper of his to read which was pretty decent and said he would like feedback. In general, he seemed like an enlightened techie who was enthusiastic about our technology and technology in general. There seemed to be no red flags.|
The first time I met him, we discussed his paper and our project in general and he was generally encouraging, saying his organization could be very bureaucratic but he really believed what we were doing was the future and he would pull for us. He also indicated he was stifled in his job and would be interested in working for us in the future. This was a bit of a red flag but considering our connections outside of this project, it seemed like it could be an innocent thing. I told him that if he decided to leave his employer he should let me know and that we were at least a few months away from thinking seriously about hiring someone with his skills.
When I met him the second time, he out and out suggested that we pay him to push our project through and, when I told him his employer would most likely find that objectionable, he suggested various ways of hiding it. I was too shocked to say anything, afraid he would sabotage us if I said no to his face and insulted him and the only thing I could say to him was that my cofounder is very by the book and I really have to run it past him and that he should double check to find if it is actually allowed.
I have no intention of paying him or dealing with him again, but I feel dirty for not telling him off on his face. I am just posting this here to vent and see if anyone else has faced similar issues. How did you deal with them? Any advice for me?
How could I have handled this better? I am asking this seriously. Although I did not do anything wrong (or so my partner tells me), I feel that not doing anything more assertive than what I did was wrong. :(
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