Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Thu 30th Aug, 2007

Not The Real Reply

Dear Jim, Thanks for your unsolicited commercial email regarding the opportunity to work at Microsoft, an email which would now cost you a hefty fine and possible jail term under the US CAN-SPAM act. I'm sorry to tell you that I cannot take up your 'generous' offer, as I am busy in my new role as a Patagonian Prune Fisherman. However, I would like to ask you to fill in this short survey I'm doing to see what kind of recruiter you are. Keep in mind while you fill this in that I may or may not be bothered to tell your supervisors about your lackadasical and slip-shod approach to recruitment. Still, we all like a laugh, eh?

  1. What is your current address, and do you like living there?
  2. What is your favourite colour?
  3. How would you solve the four-colour problem? Your solution must be better than the Haken and Appel proof.
  4. Do you do any research on people you're emailing about working for Microsoft? If so, what kind? Be specific.
  5. What is your dream job? (N.B. Incorrect answers will be penalised harshly.)
  6. You and a party of four people need to walk up a narrow path at night-time using only a single torch. You would take one minute to traverse the distance, your younger sister takes two minutes, your elder brother takes five minutes, and Bill Gates takes ten minutes. No more than two people can walk on the path at any one time and they need the torch to traverse it. What is the quickest time to get everyone to the other side, and how? [1]
  7. What's your current average and maximum words-per-minute speed typing on QWERTY, DVORAK, left-handed DVORAK and right-handed DVORAK keyboards?
  8. Is there anyone of your friends, co-workers, superiors or lackeys that you would consider recommending for the slave trade? If so, please give names and addresses and known locations where we can pick them up. We offer a reasonable bounty per head.
  9. What is your passport number, full name, date of birth and country most recently visited? Was it nice there?
  10. Please give me a copy of your most recent CV and current salary.
  11. What do you think you could contribute to the Open Source Initiative or Free Software Foundation? Please do not include inside information on Microsoft code and protocols - we prefer the challenge.
  12. How long have you worked at Microsoft? How long do you expect to work there?
Have fun,


[1]: For people who recognise this old chestnut, the answer is of course that Bill Gates calls up his private helicopter that takes you all to the other side in four minutes.

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