Fearing the Geeks
I have performed a little experiment over the
past two years, and the results are quite chilling. Unless I have mis-read the data,
the results prove that not just the general public is still scared silly of geeks,
but even the computer industry is.
I performed this little experiment by looking for a job. Here's my background: BSEE
from Clemson University, MSEE from Caltech, 6 years at NASA, 6 years running my
own PC company, and then the last two years looking for work.
Every time I faxed or e-mailed my resume to the employers, it was rejected. I had
to walk-in to a place to get a job, and only then by pretending to be more or less
"regular" instead of a well-trained geek. So I decided two weeks ago that
this time would be different: I would water down my accomplishments and try to disguise
my qualifications to look more like a "regular guy." I did this by removing
the three things I hypothesized were the most fearful for managers: my Caltech M.S.,
my years at NASA, and my years of self-employment.
So far, my hypothesis has been correct. After going for only a half-dozen interviews
in 2 years, I suddenly have 4 interviews in less than 10 days. WOW!! Apparently
there is something out there among the hiring managers, some kind of fear of smart
people. If you look "too smart," you can't get in the door. This year
Dell rejected me, despite hiring some 800 people or more; but that was the "real"
full-spectrum resume I sent them.
Remember, people, this is supposed to be the "high-tech" industry -- this
is supposed to be about BRAINS, about deep knowledge and intellect. If in *THIS*
industry the managers are afraid of us smart people, what does that say about the
rest of society? There apparently are a lot of people out there, even in the so-called
technology fields, who are afraid to hire smart people. What a shameful situation
-- even a crime.
Most recent revision: September 5, 1999
Copyright © 1999, Tom Nadeau
All Rights Reserved.