Having now cancelled my Times subscription, as the cumulative result of many failings on their part, I turned today to the Telegraph, where I found this tale of confected woe.
The story is of Olivia Booth’s social media recounting of an horriffic experience she claims to have had during an interview.
Olivia Booth, 22, hit out at the CEO of a tech company in Manchester after he allegedy criticised her Spotify account and tore apart her personality. She was baffled to be offered a job after the experience, and turned it down.
She said she was subjected to a “brutal” two-hour interview with the company chief executive, which she said “felt like being sat in a room with my abusive ex”.
Miss Booth shared her email to the company after the interview on Twitter, writing: “There is something very off to me about a man who tries his best to intimidate and assert power over a young woman and who continues to push even when he can see that he’s making somebody uncomfortable to the point of tears.”
The only problem is that I’m not sure everyone would read the story as intended by the journalist (or Ms Booth) rather than, say, reading between the lines.
The offending interviewer was Craig Dean who is, per LinkedIn, the “Chief Executive of Web Applications Group of Companies”. His companies have been going since 2000. I pulled the last accounts from the particular company that is mentioned in the article – one of four in the group, apparently – and it’s a relatively small outfit, with 5 directors, but it’s been going a long time, apparently with some success.
He seems like a successful and busy guy in his mid-40s. His photo is a bit more ‘Danny Dyer’ than ‘Daniel Craig’, I’ll grant you, but Danny Dyer doesn’t have a Masters in CompSci from Cambridge or a basket of successful enterprises.
She claimed in her Tumblresque screed on Twitter that Dean was hypercritical, and gave ‘a “brutal” two-hour interview’ during which he ‘tore apart her personality’. So brutal and tortuous was the interview, and so verily did he tear her a new one that, in the end, he was so utterly unimpressed with her (!) that he offered her the job.
Her response was to send an email back complaining about how she was treated in the interview… which she then plastered all over social media, naming the company and the interviewer.
Quickly followed by doing the rounds of morning interviews for national BBC radio news…
… and the publshing of her CV on Twitter:
So. I have questions.
- Why would a busy and successful man spend 2 precious hours supposedly tormenting and insulting someone in an interview room, when he could doubtless find better ways to spend his time?
- If he’s behaved as described, surely he wouldn’t have been quietly in business for 19 years, 10+ of those in the age of social media? Unhappy employees do not make for profitable times in small businesses. Failure to attract and recruit the best talent doesn’t help, either. Nor do PR shitstorms like this one.
- If he has behaved as described, presumably this isn’t the first time – or has he had one of those personality changes caused by severe head trauma? Because his fellow directors would absolutely have decided he’s not best placed to be doing the interviewing if he had such a track record.
See, I think there’s a more plausible explanation, where Dean has a cheeky northern sense of humour, but takes his business very seriously. In a small business, for it to be successful, there is no room for slackers or chancers – every effort made by every employee, every day, counts towards the success or faillure of the enterprise. Perhaps he’s made poor recruitment choices in his past when he was a little less wise, and therefore, his interview technique these days is rigorous and robust – after all, he needs to see that faces as well as skills will fit.
One of his recommendations on LinkedIn, from a female employee, says “Craig challenges and inspires his staff to achieve their maximum potential. He does so with determination tempered with humour, and engenders loyalty in those he works with.”
And in the red corner, here we have a 22-year old who is a fledgling self-publicist and the epitome of Generation Snowflake. She got a worthless degree from a 3rd rate former polytechnic (where she was probably infected by the mardy social justice/feminist disease) and thinks she’s the bee’s knees. She has about 8 minutes of experience in the real world, much of it as an unpaid intern.
Everyone in her life so far has told her what a wonderful, fabulous, talented person she is, but she is a delicate, hypersensitive flower with low self-esteem, who is traumatised by any challenge to her egocentric world view, and she lashes out, vituperatively, vindictively and short-sightledly.
After all.. an email expressing your strident opinion of a prospective employer’s interview technique is one thing – and if it’s constructive, I can admire the balls of it – but to also post the email publicly – names, companies and all – on social media, garner loads of attention, go on 3 different BBC radio stations, and then post up your comically threadbare CV on Twitter? Really?
So I have one more question: After publicly slaying a prospective employer on social and mainstream media like that, who in their right mind would be dumb enough to hire this otherwise unremarkable woman to scrub floors, let alone to be a key person in their business?
Finally, I have 3 criticisms of Craig Dean. None of which relates to his interview technique:
- I’m seriously concerned that his judgement of character allowed him to offer her the job.
- He made the classic mistake of prostrating himself before the social media altar and apologising.
- He made both of these mistakes because he clearly hasn’t read “SJWs always lie” or “SJWs always double down” by Vox Day, or even surveyed the freely available SJW Attack Survival Guide.
He seems like a bright guy though.. once bitten and all that.
I should make a note to follow up on where Ms Booth ends up working, and see how things are going there in a couple of months time.
PS Sorry, I do have one more thing.. you know if Toyah Wilcox and Mrs Merton had a lovechild? Yeah..
PPS Yeah, one more thing… if you were to look at the list of company officers for “Web Applications UK” (Company number 04070605) you may be as tickled as I am by the details of their former Business Development Director.