Altering “The Contract”

My legal interests and my IT day job seldom overlap, but this post from The Daily WTF provides an example of insanity at the intersection of both.

At the end of the second interview they handed me a 14 page contract, a mere review copy of their standard Employee Agreement. The document mostly spelled out the various entertainment devices employees were not allowed to bring into the building, the number of minutes per lunch break, and the process of turning in notebooks at of the end of each day. This didn’t mean that I was hired; it was simply an opportunity to read through the contract in case I had any questions about it. In the meantime, once they were sure I was not a corporate spy, they might ask me back for a third interview.

Another week passed and I was back in their conference room, ready to discuss the Employee Agreement. The first question I had was about the workweek: the contract described a forty-hour week in one part, yet mentioned that employees would work six days a week, eight hours a day. Before I could finish the question, the VP suddenly froze and starred stunned by my copy of their Sacred Contract.

He saw my pencil marks on the page, where I underlined the two conflicting sections. He snatched the document out of my hand and glared at the pencil markings. He flipped from page and to page, and to his disgust he found MORE PENCIL MARKS! Not just in the margins, but on the words themselves! Pencil marks! There were ugly questions marks, lines, arrows, and circles around words; it was appalling to him! He looked up from the paper and gave me stare of utter sadness and betrayal.

“You … altered The Contract” he mumbled.

“No,” I corrected him, “I made a few notes on the review copy you gave me; you told me to review it, and so, these are my notes.”

“You altered … The Contract!,” he insisted.

Read the whole thing. It’s like Kafka goes on a job interview.

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