An Unintentional Confession


Vikram Bath

Vikram Bath is the pseudonym of a former business school professor living in the United States with his wife, daughter, and dog. (Dog pictured.) His current interests include amateur philosophy of science, business, and economics. Tweet at him at @vikrambath1.

Related Post Roulette

39 Responses

  1. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    Ouch, this was the most oblique put-down of Vox I’ve ever seen. Bravo.Report

  2. Avatar zic says:


    Dude’s a comedian. Did you ever consider the notion that this might simply be performance art?

    (Not very good performance I’d, I’ll grant, but ‘good’ is in the eye of the beholder.)Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    There should be OSHA regulations prohibiting the practice with an elite fast-response mitigation team.

    There should be a Geneva Convention held where world leaders can get together to discuss what can be done to stem the crisis.

    There should be a UN-headed aid group that delivers help to the victims.

    There should be a political party that uses this issue as a litmus test.

    Social justice warriors should drop whatever they are working on and tweet about this.

    There should be a toll-free number you can call and be rewarded for reporting suspects after which they should have to wear body cameras.

    Tyler Cowen should update his theory about the Great Stagnation to blame it entirely on bad managers.

    538 should write an article with infographics about how destructive bad management like this is.

    Vox should reblog those infographics.

    Slate should write about how bad management is actually good.

    This may be the greatest thing ever written on this site.

    Rathbone’s story reminds me of Casey Serin’s.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Kolohe says:

      I’m with Kolohe, this post was good, but this list is art.Report

    • Avatar Will H. in reply to Kolohe says:

      I liked this part too.

      I was just about to mobilize against bad management, but then I took a sip of cold coffee . . .
      I’m dialing the 800 number now. Later, I’ll start a petition site, to make sure the United Nations is going to do something about this.Report

      • Avatar krogerfoot in reply to Will H. says:

        Will H.:
        I liked this part too.

        I was just about to mobilize against bad management, but then I took a sip of cold coffee . . .
        I’m dialing the 800 number now.Later, I’ll start a petition site, to make sure the United Nations is going to do something about this.

        The hell with that—I’m calling the cops.

        What a great post.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kolohe says:

      About the only candidate that I can think of to compete is this.Report

  4. I pour through [employee name’s] uploaded code

    Was he supposed to be writing a filter?Report

  5. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    +1! I totally agree with everything you just wrote.

    (and then I forget all about it and go back to whatever I was doing before.)Report

  6. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I’ll also add in that, from my own experience developing software, and from what I am learning in my Software Project Management classes, the brothers have no clue what they are doing.Report

  7. Avatar Kazzy says:

    [slow clap]

    This works on SO many levels!Report

  8. Avatar Chris says:

    I’m so confused.

    It doesn’t help that I stopped reading the linked cached post when I got to this:


    The purpose of this preface is to explain why this post has been censored in parts.

    I can’t read posts that are commented like code.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Chris says:

      Yes, this cached version is different than what I originally read. It seems they’ve edited it. The bit that Zic mentioned about him being a comedian is new. I’m also noticing that the site itself is back up with multiple changes. I’m leaving the link to the cached version since I’d rather not give the site itself additional exposure.

      Scanning through it, there are several other significant content differences from the original beyond just censoring. It looks like they are making ongoing updates.

      Additionally, it’s not like the censoring itself does any good when you can just look at the domain name.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        Like I said, @vikram-bath I think this a piece of performance art; wether it’s a work in production or the actual performance, I don’t know.Report

        • Avatar Kolohe in reply to zic says:

          I dunno, linking to real people with real linkedin accounts (and real reputations) seems to be a bit too far for a prank. I mean, I could see trying to go punk’d on that one Google guy who’s now a self-styled tech guru (I’m imagining the character Jeff Goldblum currently plays in TV commercials), but the other guy they hired before the main guy of the story seems to be just an average European tech schmo. And the one brother has a decent enough reputation as a professional rugby player (decent defined as a ten year old wikipedia entry edited several times a year by different people).Report

        • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to zic says:

          It wouldn’t be the first time a joke went over my head. This time, I know at least that if it is a joke no one else seems to have gotten it either. If it’s a joke, they are the only ones in on it.Report

  9. Avatar Kazzy says:

    How do we get this post to show up on the first page of search results for these clowns?Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Kazzy says:

      link to it from other sites.Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Kazzy says:

      That wasn’t my goal. Otherwise, I’d have included their names in the title or blurb. My perception is that Ken White is the only guy who can get away with that kind of thing. Here, I only used their names when it was necessary to specify who I was talking about.Report

      • FYI, I Googled their names again, and this post doesn’t show up in the first page of results for either one. I’m happy that is so. I don’t have anything against them personally, and unlike them, I don’t feel the need to use the Internet to hurt people.Report

  10. Avatar Patrick says:

    The Internet is merciless, and it never forgets.

    But it might not remember what you want it to when you do something like this.

    This might be the most hoistey petardy event in the history of petards and hoisting.Report

  11. Avatar Damon says:

    How old were these idiots?Report

    • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Damon says:

      Clyde Rathbone is 33 per Wikipedia. Not able to easily determine the other’s age.Report

      • Avatar Damon in reply to Vikram Bath says:

        Jeebus. 33 and he’s got zero clue. I’m so glad I’m not recruiting.Report

        • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Damon says:

          Well, he’s a professional rugby player nicknamed Rattlebones. I don’t know if that should be considered a mitigating factor since it seems he hasn’t had the opportunity to work in a normal business. His brother, meanwhile, is a comedian, which might be even more removed from normal.

          I could imagine people with those sorts of backgrounds thinking management is supposed to be just telling someone to do something, waiting, and then having it be done sometime later. That’s what happens on TV, right?Report

          • Avatar Damon in reply to Vikram Bath says:

            And these guys think they are qualified to start up a tech business?

            SHOCKING on the results they got.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Damon says:

              Everyone wants the money hats.

              *shrug*. I once interviewed for a job — really wanted it, would have been a big step up the ladder, among other things.

              I interviewed, and it went really well. REALLY well. Like “they told me way more about the job than they normally do”. I realized they’d practically made the decision, and based on what had recently been revealed — upped my minimum salary by another 15%. (Which they couldn’t afford).

              It was a CF in the making. Absolutely critical software — downtime was lost money, written in an obscure older language (one not even ON their requirements list, and one I didn’t know. I had no doubt I could pick it up fast enough — it wasn’t weird, just not terribly popular anymore). No in-house expertise with the software or the language. Non-existent technical documents.

              Written in-house a decade+ prior, then the whole staff laid off and maintenance out-sourced to contractors. Bringing it back in-house for updating, while still running — and in-house handling upkeep and maintaince. No overlap between hiring on staff to deal with it (which I was interviewing to manage) and the consultants leaving. No transfer of institutional knowledge.

              Basically “Here’s your team. None of you know the software, the domain it operates in, or even the language. If it’s down, we lose money. You’re in charge of keeping it running, updating it, changing it for our new design goals….and we have NO legacy documentation. Also, we’re just gonna fire you all when it’s done”. (Which, I found out, is exactly what happened. It went down a LOT for the first six months, and once the team got it running and updated they were…all laid off for contractors).Report

              • Avatar Vikram Bath in reply to Morat20 says:

                For something like that, I wonder why they wouldn’t just hire contractors to begin with.

                I know Saul hates it, but everyone I know who is a contractor actually feels pretty good about it. They work for who they want to work for and when they don’t want to anymore, they just leave. They don’t get benefits, but they more than factor that into their bill rates. The company doesn’t have to worry about on-boarding and orientations. They don’t have to make their own employees suspicious about their status. And they don’t have to pay out unemployment when it’s over.Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Damon says:

              Yeah, do they think it’s 1998? (They would have been above average. Honestly.)Report