In our 21st take at Client Horror Stories, we have Ben Nuttall, Software Engineer at BBC News Labs, with a story that, from the very beginning, has us wondering what’s with people’s common sense: showing up for an interview all dressed up, only to have the interviewer receive you in shorts and flip flops, and announcing that the person who called you in was no longer working there.
Ben’s tale takes us back to 2011, when the apps market was flourishing, and everyone trusted them to get them instant success. So much that a properties company figured it was a great idea to have a small team developing quick and easy apps to make some extra money. But you see the problem with having an absolutely unrelated industry’s company dive in the app development business is that they actually believe two people and one designer can develop 2 apps everyday, and believe pushing employees to the edge is the right way to accomplish it.
Today’s narrative brings us a bunch of different horror moments, such as bosses that take you to their offices to yell at you until you quit, so they don’t have to fire you, and other bosses that hire someone’s son to be your boss, even though they have 19 years old and zero experience. Along with a wide variety of absolutely bizarre and unbelievable moments, the older and more experienced version of Ben can’t believe he actually went through.
However, as every good story does, Ben’s one leaves us with some very valuable tips and lessons: First of all, if something smells weird, don’t hesitate to ask someone you know and trust in your industry what they think about it. Secondly, find people to learn from, and make sure you have at least some of them in your workplace. And finally, even bad experiences can be worth living, even if it’s just for the hope of it all.
Ben is a software engineer building prototypes for BBC News, and previously spent 6 years at the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Ben likes Python, Linux and all things open source.