Job Hunt Part 1

2 Nov

So this is a job description I received from a recruiter this morning:

This job description has been sent by the same company via 3 different recruiters.

The first recruiter I spoke to told me the company name and let me research them on my own.

The second recruiter wouldn’t name names but told me they were looking to pay $40,000 per year for the right candidate.

The third recruiter told me that $80K to $100K was not out of the question but would not name names, however he did confirm the name when I told him I’d heard about this position before.

The company offering this position is absolutely terrible and has a piss poor reputation here in Ottawa, however they keep trying to find developers that are going to risk their own reputation and their livelihood working for a company that is essentially a sweatshop for coders who know a little bit about writing wordpress themes / plugins.

The salary variance is what really messes me up. So either I settle for $40K and hopefully work my way up to $80K OR I start at $80K and am very unlikely to see any increase from there for a while.

Definitely not somewhere I want to work. Especially when I read about people not getting paid on time and being overworked.

Sorry to all the recruiters out there, but I can generate that kind of cash on my own without going downtown to an office every morning and fighting traffic the whole way.

Industry Standard: The Advanced HVAC Story

19 Sep

So for those of you that have visited us over the last couple of weeks or so, you would have noticed that our kitchen is torn apart and is in the process of being renovated.

During this renovation a breaker was tripped and as a result, our outdoor AC unit would not power on. Knowing that I know absolutely nothing about electricity, I started to google around for a reputable HVAC company that could come and have a look at what had happened and get it resolved.

Advanced HVAC had a paid google ad that allowed you to text them straight from the ad, so that’s what I did.

As you can see, the gentleman on the other side of this conversation mentions their hourly rate is $95/hour. So in my head I said “Ok it’s probably going to be under an hour, so $95 + Tax is likely what it’s going to cost me.” To me that sounded fair.

So they schedule a “call out” for me for between 1:00PM and 5:00PM.

About an hour after the initial call, they called again to ask if they could come closer to noon as they were finished up early. I told them it wasn’t an issue if they wanted to show up earlier and so they confirmed they would be at my house closer to noon.

The technician didn’t arrive until 1:45PM (Closer to 2PM for those who know how to tell time). He wen down, flipped a breaker, went out to his vehicle, wrote a work order, and demanded I pay them over the phone before he left my house.

I called and spoke with someone at their offce to arrage for payment. When I mentioned the invoice seemed higher than it should be, he told be it was “industry standard” to charge a “call-out” fee. This is a fee to simply send a truck to your house. Then on top of that, if you want the guy to come in your house and do something, well that’s $95 per hour. But if they just come by, $95. I thought that was a load of shit, so I called a couple other HVAC companies. Lo and behold, this is not an industry standard. It’s some made up charge to charge me 4 times the cost of flipping a switch.

The labour portion of the invoice was $35!!!! Be careful of companies like this who are not up front about their pricing.

Thanks Advanced HVAC! I will most certainly not be calling you guys again!

Dear Recruiters

6 Sep

My name is Andrew Goldenberg, and I am an experienced backend developer from Ottawa, Ontario Canada.

You seem to pay a lot of attention to the buzz words on my LinkedIn profile and not very much else, so let me answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Do you know Java?

No I do not.

Can you add Java to your resume?

No I will not.

Even if it means being considered for position x?

No. I do not wish to be considered by your client as a candidate based on false pretenses. Do you think we like to look like complete idiots on the first day at a new workplace?

I understand that a large portion of people lie on their resumes and that it gets them through the door but it’s a revolving door that will soon put them out on their ass.

What languages can you write in / function in?

I’m sure if you read my profile you’d already know the answer to this.

Do you have any experience with WordPress?

Nope… sorry… What’s wordpress?

Honestly guys. If you’re going to even try to waste my time without even glancing at my profile for the information you seek, then don’t bother me with your “FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITIES with MASSIVE GROWTH POTENTIAL”.

Now let’s talk more about the fantastic opportunities you want to tell me about! if you can’t tell me the following about the job, please don’t call / text / email / smoke signal me.

  • Who is it working for?
  • What is their culture like?
  • What is the pay / benefits?
  • What technology stack  do they work on?
  • Where’s the office?

If you can’t answer those for me, then why am I going to spend my time on a potential dead end? If you’re not OK with disclosing that information, then I’m not OK spending my time with you so that you can sell me to a company that I don’t even want to be at. I don’t do arranged marriages.

Sorry, not sorry.

Andrew Goldenberg

How to Get LTE on the Blackberry Keyone on Freedom Mobile

8 Aug

Last week I went back to the Blackberry Keyone as my daily driver only to notice that for some odd reason, I could not get it to connect to LTE. I live in Ottawa so Freedom Mobile’s LTE network uses band 4 (1700/2100) for LTE which means this phone should work just fine. “No sweat!” I thought as I quickly dialed 611 from my device. I’ll just ask tech support…. maybe it’s just a provisioning issue..

When I spoke to Freedom Mobile’s ‘technical’ support team (and I use that term loosely.) the lady on the other end of the phone told me that in no way shape or form is a Blackberry going to work on their LTE network, I stopped her and told her she had to be mistaken. I live in Ottawa and Ottawa uses band 4 for LTE which this device has. Why would it not work? “Blackberry will only work on our 3G network.” I was told.

I did some googling and soon learned that the Blackberry Keyone needed a very minor change to get it working on LTE. Here is that change:

    1. Open your dialer (The phone app)
    2. Press the following: *#*#46368676#*#*
    3. You will be presented with the menu in the first screen shot.
    4. Tap Phone Information.
    5. You will be presented with the menu in the second screen shot.
    6. Under “Set Preferred Network Type” select either LTE/WCDMA or LTE/WCDMA Auto (If the option is there.)
    7. Hit the home button and you’re all set.
    8. Your phone may drop your connection temporarily as it tries to connect to LTE.

Screenshots

Please note: This will only work if you’re in one of the areas that Freedom Mobile uses band 4 (1700/2100) for their LTE. The Blackberry Keyone does not have a band 66 antenna, so it still won’t work.

Fuck Off Rogers

11 Jun

Another anti-competitive and anti-consumer move is approved by our useless telecom regulator.

Rogers was given approval to purchase AWS-1 spectrum from Videotron the other day and this should have never been allowed to happen.

Rogers is already insanely spetrum heavy and is nowhere near reaching their network capacity.

Shit like this makes my blood boil. This spectrum should have to be surrendered by Videotron and put back up for auction for the smaller carriers. This bull shit with big companies getting bigger while the little guys get screwed every which way by the big 3 douchebags is enfuriating!

The CRTC needs to get off its ass and keep working towards fixing this broken system! I’m so tired of seeing anit-competitive behaviors like this from companies that keep claiming they have enough competition here in Canada.

Rogers, Bell and Telus own every other small brand in Canada aside from regional carriers like Sasktel and Freedom Mobile.

So fuck off Rogers! You lie through your teeth!