The Amazing $110K 23-Year-Old

Years and years ago, I was asked to interview a kid. He was 23. I know he was 23 because he told me during our interview. I didn’t ask, as it is illegal but he let me know because it was a source of pride for him. Pride, however, did not transfer to his resume as it was an unprofessional mess that was rife with grammatical and formatting errors. He claimed he was a high end Citrix Administrator. If you don’t know what that is then that’s fine. You just need to know that it pays pretty well in our field and is usually in demand. Within the body of this resume, he has 9 positions listed on his resume. 2 of which are for the same exact company and the same exact times. This is direct from the resume:

(REDACTED) Citrix Administrator VPN administrator: June 2010 – March 2011 

Primary Escalation Point for all Citrix Issues
-Served under program manager for tracking of project
-Served as team lead for pre-migration testing of client environment prior to switching services
-Served as interim server engineering team connected to project
-Served as Registration Authority to issue SSL VPN certificates
-Level 2-3 VIP support lead for new product issues
-Conducted training sessions for different branches of client location worldwide as they migrated to new VPN system
-Contacted 3rd party vendors as needed.
-Served as team lead for both Business change management process and 3rd party change management as needed.
-Defined strategy for Migration
-Worked with Business Users to gather requirements
-Conducted User Training

(Redacted): Citrix Administrator VPN administrator Outlook Migration Lead: June 2010 – March 2011 

Primary Escalation Point for all Citrix Issues
-Assisted with Lotus Notes to Outlook migration
-Assisted as Knowledge basis for Outlook related Issues
-Enterprise Activation of all users with Blackberry Phones
-Traveled to New York and Philadelphia to help satellite offices with migration and Served as client first point of contact for migration procedures.
-Level 2-3 VIP support lead for new product issues
-Defined strategy for Migration
Contacted 3rd party vendors as needed
-Worked with Business Users to gather requirements
-Conducted User Training

As you can imagine, I wasn’t overly excited to meet this person face to face but I’m glad I did because it serves as a reminder of the pitfalls of youthful arrogance and recognizing one’s own incompetence.

On the day of the interview he wore a burgundy collared shirt and silver tie. The shirt was not buttoned at the top nor did he wear collar stays, thus making him look like he pulled his shirt from the racks of an imaginary store called Fashionable Clown. The knot windsor knot of his flashy tie acted like a beacon, drawing attention to the rest of the tie that wrapped around the candidates neck, visible due to his mid-flight collar. He wore too much cologne. If I had to guess it was Abercrombie and Fitch – Woods. Palpable would be the word I’d use to describe it and his odor lingered long after he would leave our conference room. On top of all of that pomp and circumstance was his over stylized hair, which was matted down with product for the ‘wet’ look that made him look like he was drowning in a sea of unemployment.

So we sat down to talk, like people do. I like to keep it a little loose and see where people have been and where they think they are going. I asked about his resume and these past jobs that he had. He explained to me that two of the positions were internships, which lasted  3 months each – yet he marked them as full time jobs. One of them was his own company where he fixed computers when he was in his teens.  I have no idea what the other shit is as I honestly stopped reading the resume after it stopped making sense. And now I am cursing our recruiter for throwing this on my desk and pushing me to “Just meet with the kid! See if he’s any good!” At the same time I’m cursing myself for being too busy and not investing enough time to look closer at this 150 lbs sack of air pollutions resume.

But we continued to talk and as I asked more questions, I found there was even less substance here than I had previously assumed.

I stopped him and took the interview in another direction. I wanted to give him an idea of where I started and what I was doing and how I got there. At the time, I was managing our internal help desk. I say that I am the primary point of contact with our customers when things go majorly wrong.

I ask him what he wants to do in 5 – 10 – 15 years. He tells me he wants to manage. He wants to manage infrastructure because managing a help desk is stupid. He thinks that it’s a terrible job. Dumb. Why would anyone do that.

Apparently he glazed over what I said I did for a profession. All I see before me is an insufferable asshole.

We go back to talking about his experience. Honestly, there isn’t much. As my blood pressure starts to raise, I notice another key error on his resume – he is missing the first parenthesis around the area code of his phone number.  Then I look again and see that on his last two positions he doesn’t list what firms he worked for – there is no notification as to whether these are contract or full time positions. The first positions bullet points are the exact same as the next positions bullet points – THE EXACT SAME THING – VERBATIM.

Citrix Specialist Windows Engineer August 2011 – Present
(REDACTED)

Primary Escalation Point for all Citrix Issues
– Performed new hire setups of hardware, software, telephony
– Installed, Configured, and Supporting market data vendor software
– Conducted Hardware/software Root Cause Analysis
– Communicated with vendors to escalate resolution for client software
– Ordered warranty parts for in warranty computer components
– Performed pricing analysis for non-warranty hardware
-Server Rack Install
-Server Operating System installs
-Data Cable Management
-VLAN port Management
-Conducted User Training

Citrix Specialist Windows Engineer April – July 2011
(REDACTED)

Primary Escalation Point for all Citrix Issues
– Performed new hire setups of hardware, software, telephony
– Installed, Configured, and Supporting market data vendor software
– Conducted Hardware/software Root Cause Analysis
– Communicated with vendors to escalate resolution for client software
– Ordered warranty parts for in warranty computer components
– Performed pricing analysis for non-warranty hardware
-Server Rack Install
-Server Operating System installs
-Data Cable Management
-VLAN port Management
-Conducted User Training

I push to conclude this shit show and I finally ask him what he is looking for in the way of salary. His answer?

$90 – $110K

So let me get this straight …

  • No certifications for Citrix, Microsoft, etc
  • No Masters Degree
  • No Bachelors Degree
  • 4 short term contract jobs
  • 2 internships
  • Can’t put on a tie correctly
  • Smells like a fucking college kid on a first date
  • Arrogant
  • Insulting

He’s doing good.

He asks me what the process is and I tell him that we are actively seeking candidates and that we will call him back when and if we are ready for next steps.

One day later this arrives in my inbox …

From: NAME REDACTED

Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2012 10:47 AM
To: NAME REDACTED
Subject: Re: In house interview at COMPANY REDACTED

Hey [Name Redacted],

I wanted to followup to see if we had come to a decision of when I would be starting.

Thanks,

NAME REDACTED

I guess when you shoot for the stars you’ll occasionally find a moment to put a few bullets in your foot. 

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