Merci, pero nie, dziękuję

Headhunter plays hardball.

It’s the days of the dot-com boom, and pilot fish has gotten accustomed to receiving five or six calls a day from headhunters, and just as accustomed to responding, “Thank you very much, but no thank you.” And he keeps on saying it, even when the headhunters get creative, and more than a little desperate, offering things like tickets to baseball games and signing bonuses that will come out of their own commissions.

Desperate though they may be, most of the headhunters seem to realize that when even inducements like the use of a very expensive sports car can’t entice the techie on the line, it’s time to graciously thank him for his time and make yet another call.

One of these calls is progressing pretty much as all of them do. Fish asks what, where and how much, and interspersed with the answers is the comment that fish speaks excellent English. Fish finds that a bit odd, but he moves right along, concluding with a “no, thank you; the money you’re offering is considerably less than I currently make.”

And then things turn ugly.

Headhunter: If you know what’s good for you, you’ll take the position. We have friends in immigration who will see that you’re deported immediately.

Fish: You mean that I’ll be sent back to where I was born?

Headhunter: Yes.

Fish: Oh, God! They’re going to send me back to New Jersey!

Headhunter: Yes … uh, wait, what?

The headhunter apparently jumped to a wrong conclusion upon seeing fish’s name, which fish himself calls “a bit of a mutt,” with a French first name and a Slavic last name.

Fish is less polite than before when he informs the headhunter that he’s a second-generation American — and one who knows how to get in touch with his state’s attorney general.

And that’s the last he hears from that particular headhunter.

Sharky wants your true tales of IT life, be they from New Jersey or the old country. Send them to me at sharky@computerworld.com. You can also subscribe to the Daily Shark Newsletter and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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