Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Not hiring jerks

The Human Capital EdgeThere's another good thread on JOS regarding the importance of not hiring jerks. Sure, technical talent is key. Ability to prioritize. Quick ramp-up times. But the ability to -- well -- just get along with people is critical to efficient teamwork. Deep into the thread, a good post by "Boofus" highlights some examples. As a long-time consultant-type, I thought I'd add what I would say in those same situations...

Co-worker: "What do you think of ....?"


Non-Jerk: "I really don't think that's a good idea because ..."

Doug: I wonder whether the plughometer would interfere with the system because of ... ?


Co-worker: "Can you tell me what the function ... does?"

Jerk: "Go look it up, you shitwit."

Non-jerk: "I'm not sure I can describe all the nuances, and I'm pretty busy. Why don't you check the documentation and come back if you have questions."

Doug: (flipping to VSS) Hold on and I'll check... Note: you may internally sigh and not want to do this... and be quite busy... but few situations are really so dire that you can't spend 45 seconds to help someone out. Yes, yes, I understand that you might have to unwind your current "state" (e.g., creating or reading an algorithm) but it's oftentimes worth it. You're supposed to be a mentor. You're supposed to be a leader. Act like it.


Co-worker: "Good morning"

Jerk: "I hate you with the heat of a thousand burning suns."

Non-jerk: "Good morning."

Doug: What's happening, youngster?

Not hiring jerks

The Hot Zone meets The Da Vinci Code

Year ZeroJust posted this Amazon Book review of Jeff Long's excellent Year Zero. Five stars.

Sowing seeds cultivated from Stephen King's _The Stand_ -- as well as _The Da Vinci Code_ and _The Hot Zone_ -- Jeff Long has written a complex, compelling, and stunningly unique thriller.

Nathan Lee Swift is an archaeologist cum museum-sanctioned grave-robber who takes advantage of a monstrous Middle East earthquake by stealing ancient Christian bones and artifacts from Golgotha. This theft from Jesus' crucifixion site will have calamitous results for all of humanity. For an unwitting antiquities dealer inadvertently releases a 2000 year old plague that literally wipes the world clean of humanity.

Racing before the tidal wave of epidemic, Nathan Lee makes his way to Los Alamos -- the last bastion of humanity. There, scientists have resorted to using the "Year Zero" bones in bizarre cloning experiments... all to determine whether the ancients had an immunity to the plague. But somehow the clones have more in store for humanity than a possible cure. Many have their original memories intact. And one has made the claim that he is the Messiach: Jesus Christ.

Outstanding novel - I had some rough nights sleeping while ripping through this. And that's about the highest accolade I can give a book.

Year Zero

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