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The case of Google and the Disappearing Employee
First the blog - now the employee.
Chndru




msg:772281
 4:52 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

continued from: [webmasterworld.com...]

He's fired. :(

[blog.outer-court.com...]

 

amznVibe




msg:772282
 5:02 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh geez. That really sucks. Hope he recovers quickly and gets a better offer.

BigDave




msg:772283
 6:19 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Doesn't surprise me. He was there for a week and he was already a PR headache, #*$!ing about the conditions and the financial arrangements that he knowing accepted a short time before.

It is one thing to be a pain in the butt when you have already shown your positive value to a company, it is another thing completely when you start things off that way.

Why is he now quiet? suspect that it was part of a deal so that he could get at least some sort of severence package, since going to Google caused him to go broke according to his blog.

I would also hope that someone has pointed out to him that publically bitching about your previous employer will make you a hot potato in the job market.

Yeah, it sucks for him. But he is the one that chose to publish things like that about his new employer.

WebFusion




msg:772284
 7:54 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh geez. That really sucks. Hope he recovers quickly and gets a better offer.

Yeah...that's definietly someone I'd trust to have on my staff....every piece of dirty laundry in jeopardy.

His best bet is to find some obscure company that (hopefully) hasn't gotten wind of his big mouth. Other than that....I hear a career in fast food can be very rewarding.

bcolflesh




msg:772285
 8:00 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

It goes without saying that this thread would already be 20 pages long if his employer was MS - welcome to the post-IPO world folks.

walkman




msg:772286
 8:03 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't hire him. Sounds like he thought he'd get rich at G, but he missed the boat when his stock options were at $188. Yet, he knew the deal and accepted it. Do the job or leave and get another one. Stop #*$!ing.

AndyA




msg:772287
 8:08 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I feel sorry for the guy, I hate it when anyone loses a job, but if he was smart enough to get hired at Google, he should have been smart enough to know the rules, and not publicly belittle his employer.

As others have said, he knew what the deal was when he took it, and if it wasn't acceptable, he should have kept looking.

I'm afraid he might have a difficult time locating another job, but you never know. People have done some pretty bad things in public before, and come out smelling like a rose, so he might find something even better.

BigDave




msg:772288
 8:11 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually, his employer *was* MS . . . before he worked for Google.

When he was blogging at MS, he was doing it as an established employee. He was only at Google for about 1 1/2 weeks.

The tech industry is full of people that #*$! and moan publically about things their company does, but most of the ones that get away with it have demonstrated significant value to the company already. How valuable can you become in 10 days?

I'm no fan of Microsoft, but I would not be at all surprised if they reacted the same way.

pmkpmk




msg:772289
 8:29 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm afraid he might have a difficult time locating another job

After two weeks at Google, and with the trainings he described in the beginning, he has already quite some inside knowledge others might want to tap into.

[conspiracy theory]
Wouldn't surprise me if he's back in Redmond again, but working for a different department right now. Maybe it was planned all the way, and that blog-disclosure was the cover story to pull him out quickly again.
[/conspiracy theory]

amznVibe




msg:772290
 8:35 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does anyone commenting really understand what it's like to work for a company that large (and powerful)? He could get hired elsewhere, he just will be under a huge NDA that doesn't let him blog, etc. He also has no access to stock until he is out from initial hiring probation, at least 30 days, probably longer.

I faced a similar situation when I tried to publish an internal newsletter a long time ago at a large fortune 500 company. Locally my cow-orkers (pun) loved it and so did management. But the corporate bigwigs said "no way" (meaning none of this helping others stuff outside the box) and I was stopped in my tracks (not fired at least but never did advance very far after that).

AlexK




msg:772291
 8:37 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some extracts from his blog [99zeros.blogspot.com]:
which leads me to one of google's most valuable competitive advantages: the ability to get features out the door extremely quickly.
...including employees, of course.

contrast that to google, ... there's no remorse about throwing away dead code
..or employees.

i think part of the beauty of the blogging movement is that for the first time, people worldwide are empowered to voice their opinion.

i goofed and put some stuff up on my blog that's not supposed to be there. nothing serious ... google was pretty cool about all this.

What is very clear is that Mark Jen believed Google's hype - he really did think that he was working for a `new' company. Sadly, he has now discovered that, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, Google is just part of the same old stuff. It's a damn shame.

WebFusion




msg:772292
 9:16 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does anyone commenting really understand what it's like to work for a company that large (and powerful)?

I certainly do. I've seen all aspects of both a job in the "real" world (i.e. hard worl/low pay) and the world of executive/corporate perks. I was lucky enough to have had to work my way up in the corporate world, so I never got "comfortable" spending money like it was water like my fellow executives 9many of which went bankrupt after being "downsized". Alot of people who work at companies like that start taking a hell of a lot for granted, especially when it comes to perks.

BigDave




msg:772293
 10:03 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does anyone commenting really understand what it's like to work for a company that large (and powerful)?

Intel, NCR/AT&T, NEC and DG would be the large ones. And I also spent a lot of time with IBM, HP and DEC, though not in their employ.

But "size doesn't matter" in this case. Hell, it doesn't matter that it is a business.

If you come into my house as a new aquantance, and I tell you something in confidence, which you then post to some public forum, along with badmouthing me, you will no longer be my friend, nor will you ever come into my house again.

Google is, and always has been a secretive company, as are most tech companies. They are often open secrets, but still "secret" none the less. Post them openly on a blog and they are no longer secret.

Hell, if you look at most employment contracts you aren't allowed to talk to anyone other than HR about your compensation, though they know you will. You simply can't let some new guy get away with posting it to a public forum.

plumsauce




msg:772294
 12:03 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)


I would characterise his observations as an honest inner dialogue with himself which he happened to share. Nothing was that negative. For example, just saying that the commute was long is an observation. He noted it as a factor in his day. He did not say that it was anyone's fault or that it should be otherwise. Most of what I read was in this vein.

Again, a very thin skinned management.

From the link posted in an earlier message:

Whatever happened, it's a sad day when you can't speak openly about both the good and bad at your chosen place of work without getting silenced.

BigDave




msg:772295
 12:58 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

But it was not an "inner dialog" it was published.

You can sit around the grill in your backyard and complain to your friends, and you can be fairly safe in the process.

If you do it at a local bar, you are probably still safe, but it is still a risk that someone overhear and dislike what you say about their company.

*Publish* complaints about how google conducts their financial business when you have only worked there a few days? Something you agreed not to disclose?

Have you ever noticed that in virtually any company they have what they call a probationary period where they can get rid of you just because "it didn't work out"?

Well, it apparently became clear to them that it was not going to work out.

And I suspect that it had very little to do with complaints about his commute, though that did seem to add to his appearance of being a complainer. It was almost certainly his discussing the financial arrangements of his employ.

minnapple




msg:772296
 1:12 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Playing with loaded guns is dangerous.
He lost his job because of it.
As an employer I wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole no matter how talented he is.

metagod




msg:772297
 5:22 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

that's because you couldn't afford him minnapple... :P

I agree though, he broke a contract... learnt his lesson, but sometimes when you learn your lesson it's too late.

Maybe he could move to some remote bush area of the amazon and maybe they would give him a job?

plumsauce




msg:772298
 5:44 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

i said
which he happened to share
where did i say that he never published it?

i read the remnants of the blogs in bits and pieces left around immediately after the initial report here a few weeks ago.

the specific goal was to see what the brouhaha was all about. i was reading to judge for myself and not for entertainment. my conclusion was and is, no harm, no foul.

just *extremely* thin skinned corporate types at work needing to justify their salaries. do i dispise HR types? nah!

HughMungus




msg:772299
 6:55 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sadly, he has now discovered that, when it comes down to the nitty gritty, Google is just part of the same old stuff.

Yep. God I hate hypocrisy.

HughMungus




msg:772300
 6:56 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you come into my house as a new aquantance, and I tell you something in confidence, which you then post to some public forum, along with badmouthing me, you will no longer be my friend, nor will you ever come into my house again.

What did he say that was told to him in confidence?

nzmatt




msg:772301
 6:57 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yep. God I hate hypocrisy.

LOVE IT!

nzmatt




msg:772302
 6:58 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

The quote that is...

amznVibe




msg:772303
 7:15 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well I still feel badly for him.

Nothing he posted was so dramatic or damaging and he definitely did not post internal technical secrets, he was just commenting on the experience of becoming and being a Google employee. If anything it could have gotten more people interested. It just made Google seem more "human".

We also don't know if he was fired specifically for the blog. If he was, then Google is just trying to keep the bad parts hidden and being employed more "mystical". That's silly and emotionally-disconnected.

Getting hired is such a long stressful process (doesn't Google give you like a dozen interviews? - even worse). So he had alot invested. I wonder if it was just one person deciding he had to go and forced HR to make it happen.

If this was a lesson for him to learn, it sure will be an expensive one emotionally and career-wise as it is now well documented. I still think he would be a good employee elsewhere since he already proved he can pass the Google "entry requirements" which are far from trivial.

ogletree




msg:772304
 7:58 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

That would get you fired just about anywhere.

amznVibe




msg:772305
 3:19 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

This story has now made cnet [news.com.com] and the front page of slashdot [slashdot.org].

There is now some additional information here [jeremy.zawodny.com].

[edited by: amznVibe at 3:54 pm (utc) on Feb. 9, 2005]

walkman




msg:772306
 3:40 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

let's not kid ourselves. I give G flak for when they screw up (when I think they do anyway), but in this case they did the right thing. Whoever doesn't think so, should hire this Mark Jen. He was good enough for Google, I don't see how he isn't good enough for you.

You can't have employees talk and mention what happens in meetings and parties, period. They're way too big ($$ wise) to risk that, and then there's the issue of being comfortable working with someone when what you say might end up online during the lunch break. What if they plan a secret program or strategy and some idiot feels the need to mouth-off online?

can I have my site restored to its prev. ranking now? ;)

amznVibe




msg:772307
 3:52 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think I figured out exactly why he got fired.
He was crazy enough to run an adwords campaign for his own blog about Google?

Apparently there was an adwords campaign pointing to 99zeros, that used the word GOOGLE in the title
- which is not only not allowed by Google, they physically block you from doing it in the entry form upon submit.

Since he worked in the adsense divison, it is possible he overrode the block.

WebmasterWorld rules prevent me from posting the exact text of the ad,
if he did actually place it, I don't know what he was thinking!

(This ad ran on the 28th. Apparently he did not even finish that day.)

[edited by: amznVibe at 4:05 pm (utc) on Feb. 9, 2005]

john316




msg:772308
 4:05 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Since he worked in the adsense divison, it is possible he overrode the block.

You are coming very close to slander. I seriously doubt if any new hire has the crunch to override anything.

Sounds like a GDL engineered post.

amznVibe




msg:772309
 4:08 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wasn't trying to slander him and I specifically used the word "possible".
He was an associate product manager - you don't think manager level has access like that on their second week?
I had a full internal account at another company by my second week. (what does GDL mean?)

john316




msg:772310
 4:20 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wasn't trying to slander him and I specifically used the word "possible".
He was an associate product manager - you don't think manager level has access like that on their second week?
I had a full internal account at another company by my second week. (what does GDL mean?)

No, you only "possibly" slandered him, planted a seed that he was evil.

Thats how the GDL (google defense league) works.

This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48 ( [1] 2 > >
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