The Job Application Anecdote

I am the master of cringe-filled anecdotes. There’s the snus in the arse, for example. Or the one where I set fire to a newspaper while trying to impress a cute waitress at a café. But this one, my friends. This one is solid nuclear gold.

So I was applying for a new job. I got talking to some very nice people at company X, who wanted me to send in a work sample. That meant a simple game made in Unity, a nifty game motor. On this they would judge my game-making ability, and also me.

I had a game already half done, which I’d made to teach myself Unity. It was a novelty game in which you had to find swear words in a grid. I had an algorithm for combining swear words to make new swear words (arsenibbler, cumgurgler, fuckwaggler, and so on) to get points. The longer the swearword, the better. An odd idea, perhaps, but it amused me at the time, and nobody was ever supposed to see it.


But the game I had to make for the new job had nothing to do with swear words, obviously. So I cleared out the files in my game, saved the code that was useful, and built my new game. Which I liked, and a few days of work later, I sent it in.

All was well. For four hours. Until I got a short mail, written in a shaky and hesitant hand. Basically, it said:

“Um … that ideas file. Um. What the hell?”

I swallowed. I went pale. And I checked. Ah. I hadn’t cleaned out all the files from my filthy words game. I’d left one – just the one – which was a list of filthy words and game modes I’d thought to use. Pussygrabber. Cockgobbler. Fuckwangler. Turdlicker. The filthiest words I could think of. They were all there, in a neat long list.

When you send a list of extremely filthy words to the female recruiters judging you for a new job, you know it’s not going to end well. With all credit to them, they did their very best to handle the situation, and after a discussion, they believed me that it was a dumb accident. But let’s be honest – there’s no coming back from that. None. So the next morning, I withdrew my application for company X. Because even if I got the job, I’d always be THAT GUY. Pussygrabber Paddy, in the flesh.

In the end, it turned out to not matter, as I failed the coding part of the test. God never opens a window without slamming a trapdoor on your knuckles. Or something.

So hopefully I’ll never make an anecdote any better than that one. But, you know, given my track record, I kind of doubt it.

(All respect again to the recruiters, who did a great job in dealing with that dumpster fire of a situation. And if they want to make it into an anecdote of their own, they have my blessing.)

/ paddy

A Pad In The Hand

I got a free iPad from work a few months ago. I took it home, thinking I’d sell it on eBay. Because why on earth would I need one of those things? I have enough distractions as it is.

I opened it. Just to check. I turned it on. Just to see. I pressed a few things. They boinged. And then I fell in love with it in the space of two minutes.

The iPad is a strange creature. It does nothing brilliantly, but it does so much well enough that it’s become indispensable. I can check the internet, read books, watch videos, listen to music, take photos, play games, follow recipes, all on the same gadget. And the App Store. Oh baby, the bloody App Store…

Lately I’ve started buying games and apps without thinking about it. When they cost a dollar or two, who really cares? Just press that little button. I now have a dozen apps that I’ve never even used at all. But I’m still happy I bought them. It’s nice to see the little icons, all plump with possibility.

It’s odd how my consumer patterns have changed just because a device has made it so pleasant to consume. Or, actually, it’s not strange at all. It’s the whole point. Apple are extracting my money, but they are doing it in such a terribly nice and enjoyable way that all I can do it bend over and keep on smiling. And that’s the genius of the whole thing.

So app me baby. App me hard.

/ paddy