I had a weird experience in my current jobsearch.
I went on an interview. The office was filled with mostly empty cubicles. I mentioned it to the interviewer, another programmer, and he said "Yeah, they just fired a whole bunch of people."
Taking advantage of a deteriorating job market, the owner decided to fire everyone and replace them with cheaper labor.
I passed/aced the technical interview, and got to speak with the owner. He bragged "People in this job market are totally desperate! I have people with 10 years of experience begging for an unpaid internship, just so they can get back in the workforce." He said that he wasn't going to hire anyone directly, but require them to work a 1 month unpaid internship first.
A month later, he got back to me to interview me for a 2nd interview. He said "This job is unpaid. If I like your work, I'll hire you as a full-time employee." (presumably at a pittance salary) Nothing better to do, I agreed to the interview.
The next day, I thought about it some more, and realized "I'm a professional. I'm not working for a month for free. He's probably just using me for free labor. After a month, instead of hiring me, he could just find someone else to exploit. Besides, he's never going to pay me anything more than a pittance, even if I do get converted to an employee. I'm better off working on my blog instead. In his mind, I'll always be a pathetic loser who agreed to work for free. If he was serious, he would have offered me a decent rate, even for an introductory trial period."
I E-Mailed him and canceled the interview. Why I told my mother, her reaction was "OMFG!! Why did you do that? You were rude to him!!" My mother reacted as if I had punched a policeman. What is he going to do? Call other people and tell them not to hire me?
That indicated an aspect of pro-State brainwashing I hadn't noticed before. An employer is presumed to have the same level of authority as a State enforcer. His authority must be legitimate, because otherwise he wouldn't be in a position of power!
That specific job was in the financial industry. Even if I could write better software than his, I'd be wasting my time starting my own business, because I don't have contacts willing to purchase it.
My mother and the ***hole employer had the attitude that I should be grateful for the opportunity to suck his ****. I'm a professional, and should act like one.
In another interview story, I'm continuing my policy of refusing to take a technical test, if the headhunter/HR demands one. A programming test might be appropriate for an entry-level job, but I have 10+ years of experience! If you aren't going to spend the time interviewing me, then you're not serious about hiring someone good. Most of those technical tests have flaws anyway.
After several years taking every stupid technical test, I've concluded that technical tests are anti-correlated with good employers. Someone competent should spend a few minutes talking with you. A good programmer should be able to tell after a few minutes of conversation.
I had another weird interview experience. The interviewer scheduled a 1pm phone interview. At 1:05pm, he hadn't called yet, and I sent him a reminder E-Mail. He then called at 1:10pm. He said "I see you sent me an E-Mail." I said "You were late for the call. I thought you forgot and sent you a reminder." He retorted "How dare you accuse me of being late or forgetting! I'm terminating this interview!"
My reaction was "Fine, ***hole!", although I didn't say that. My mother asked "Why was your phone interview over so quickly?" I pointed out that the interviewer was a jerk and related the above story. My mother *SIDED WITH THE INTERVIEWER*. She automatically assumed I had done something wrong.
Before I'd attained enlightenment, I would have added this to my list of stupid human relation tricks. "Never point out to an authority figure that he is late!" However, the real problem is that the interviewer was a jerk. If it wasn't that, he would have found some other pretext to disqualify me, and I would have assumed I messed up some other human interaction subtlety.
My mother was trying to get me to question my own judgement. Instead of believing "The interviewer was a jerk!" (the truth), I would have believed "This is another human relation trick to memorize!"
I noticed that this is a common complaint for people with "high functioning autism" or "Asperger's syndrome". They say "Human interaction rules are so complicated! There's an infinite list of things I must do, and I can never learn all of them!" The problem is that the "high functioning autism" person sees the parasites in charge, and assumes they're the natural human leaders. The parasites make up pretexts for their actions, and the intelligent person is trying to see a pattern, when the real pattern is "This guy is a jerk!" The productive class assumes that the authority of the parasites is legitimate. Behavior by people such as my mother led me to believe that the authority of the parasites is legitimate.
It seems like there's an infinite list of "human realation tricks" because the parasites behave randomly. This makes sure that intelligent people are always on edge and easily manipulated. The parasite leads the productive worker into believing that they did something wrong, rather than identifying the parasite as a jerk. When two sane people interact, you don't have to always be worried "I'll say the wrong thing and offend someone and then they won't want to see me anymore!"
For this reason, I don't worry that my regular readers will get offended if I say something wrong. If you want to never be offended, watch the Propaganda Channel (CNN). You should evaluate all my ideas independently. You shouldn't say "**** you, FSK, I'm leaving!" if I do something you don't like.