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Captain Jack Web Designer Position.
September 19, 2004 5:06 AM   Subscribe

What I am NOT looking for. The dot.com boom must be over, then.
posted by johnnydark (150 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Cool.
posted by mokey at 5:24 AM on September 19, 2004


WANTED: worker drones to make me money.
posted by Ptrin at 5:34 AM on September 19, 2004


what a great place to work!
posted by triv at 5:35 AM on September 19, 2004


So, you want a web-guru who abstains from using the web for any purpose other than what you endorse? Sounds lovely. Satisfying, too.
posted by Busithoth at 5:36 AM on September 19, 2004


Me thinks Captain Jack should walk the plank. Or at least get a good jolly rodgering.

What a shitty job:
While working at your computer, someone calls you on your cell phone... That interruption is violating my customer's reasonable expectation that you are working on their project without thought interruption.
posted by Meridian at 5:49 AM on September 19, 2004


I think somebody needs to tell Captain Jack that "Dilbert" is a satire, not an ideal.
posted by Zonker at 5:53 AM on September 19, 2004


Wow. Captain Jack made Talk Like a Pirate Day totally depressing.
posted by melissa may at 5:54 AM on September 19, 2004


And now I'm suddenly imagining an 84th commandment: You will not link Captain Jack's policies on blogs. Captain Jack must not be mocked!

And I hate badly spelled threats. Insult, meet injury.
posted by melissa may at 5:59 AM on September 19, 2004


without thought interruption.

Remember, your thoughts belong to the company.

The part about search engine optimization makes them sound like a pretty sleazy operation to start with.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:00 AM on September 19, 2004


Someone who is willing to try it Captain Jack's way first.

How is that? With Captain Jack's peg-leg stamping on my face? Ta, but I'll try it my way - that is, with my dignity.

Wow, this job actually makes me re-think all the crappy jobs I've ever worked - they were bad, but never this bad. Also, the way the author keeps referring to 'Captain Jack' in the third person, like Big Brother, is really, really creepy.
posted by axon at 6:04 AM on September 19, 2004


The whole "CaptainJack" website reeks of mediocrity. Their company policies tells me why.
posted by SpaceCadet at 6:06 AM on September 19, 2004


I would gladly work for Captain Jack!




For about four times the offered salary.
posted by frykitty at 6:06 AM on September 19, 2004


But on the other hand, at least Captain Jack will get you high tonight and take you to your special island.
posted by ChrisTN at 6:09 AM on September 19, 2004


My shirt smells like tobacco!
posted by zaelic at 6:16 AM on September 19, 2004


Also because this is a non smoking envirement, you can not have a smoke smell on your clothes.

Yeah, zaelic, that was the most bizarre part -- can't even have a "smoke smell" on you. And doncha just love the spelling of "envirement?" They should hire a copy editor, too.

Cap'n Jack: go f**k yourself.
posted by davidmsc at 6:20 AM on September 19, 2004


Captain Jack will forever be associated with the first time I heard the word 'masturbate' on the radio.
Why a web shop would want that association, is beyond me.
Also - Java skills for $35K?! They must mean java as in coffee (making).
posted by bashos_frog at 6:23 AM on September 19, 2004


I don’t see anything unreasonable about what this potential employer is asking of the respective potential employee. Could those who seem to be suggesting there are unreasonable factors identify them and reason as to why they are unreasonable?

Spacecadet: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc.
posted by ed\26h at 6:24 AM on September 19, 2004


The whole "CaptainJack" website reeks of mediocrity.

Man, you got that right.
posted by psmealey at 6:25 AM on September 19, 2004


So he wants a

1.multitalended programmer/designer (implicit AND in the skills requirements ?) that could run standalone a whole website

2. yet require him/her to fit in 8am-5pm schedule which is evidently done for coordination with other workers..god knows to coordinate what that can't be coordinated by email or webcam or ICQ (but icq is prohibited)

3.that must not absolutely dress with blue jeans as it means you're a dangerous hippie, as if anybody with a brain still cares how one is dressed in backoffice if he can do the job..while on frontend it still makes some sense to at least wear clean not overused clothes.

But let's skip the paternalistic attitudes and check THIS out:

6. After you leave employment here, a Captain Jack, Inc customer calls you up to do work for them. It makes no difference if the customer calls you or you call them. You can not do business with them without written approval from Captain Jack

In your dreams ! So I can't compete against Captain but he can fire me if he finds I've done (in his opinion) a poor job while others thinks I'm doing a good one.

On a tangent: notice how competition between workers is always encouraged, but workers in competition against business is discouraged..cause workers become businesses when they compete..and competition between business is unacceptable.
posted by elpapacito at 6:27 AM on September 19, 2004


Opps should have been on preview:
ed\26h : Could those who seem to be suggesting there are unreasonable factors identify them and reason as to why they are unreasonable?. Your turn to identify why they are reasonable.
posted by elpapacito at 6:29 AM on September 19, 2004


Ed:I don’t see anything unreasonable about what this potential employer is asking of the respective potential employee. Could those who seem to be suggesting there are unreasonable factors identify them and reason as to why they are unreasonable?

Well here's something: 35k is a pretty tight salary to be having even an occasionally "business professional" dresscode. Suits aren't cheap. Also, according to the policy, if your wife calls you up to ask you to grab a couple of groceries on the way home not only do you have to "log" the call, but it could get you fired.
posted by jaded at 6:32 AM on September 19, 2004


Davidmc: Is it your belief that this employer should not have the right to choose whether or not those they employer are non-smokers? If the addition of a smoker would be have a negative affect on the working environment (the spelling of which is quite irrelevant) why should this not be a factor which can be taken into consideration when choosing an employee? And why does utilizing this choice justify aiming abusive statements at the company?

Elpapacito: Argument from Ignorance
posted by ed\26h at 6:33 AM on September 19, 2004


ed/26h, it's not so much that the requirements by themselves are unreasonable, it's the sheer number of them that leaves one with the feeling that Captain Jack is a very rigid and dreary place to work. It may very well not be, but by being so over-the-top specific about do's, don'ts and even calling stuff out that should be in the employee manual and not in an online job description, they do themselves a disservice.
posted by psmealey at 6:35 AM on September 19, 2004


Well, ed\26h, he's offering really crap pay for highly skilled work. There are no benefits to balance it: no sick pay, no bereavement leave (damn, even the most hard-hearted employers provide some paid bereavement! You lose a spouse or a parent AND have to worry about taking unpaid leave?), no vacation the first year, with a measly one-week vacation after a year's service. Bad pay, I can almost understand in a small-town Midwestern market (but this is still criminally low, and remember, $35K is the maximum). But the one thing the company could do is balance that with decent quality-of-life beneftis. It just smacks of Scrooge. He doesn't even mention insurance, does he? I can only imagine the policy, if there is one.

On preview: what jaded said re: professional wardrobe. It's not cheap.

Finally -- want ads usually try to entice people. Captain Jack's too busy with the cat-'o-nine-tails to even attempt it. Feh.
posted by melissa may at 6:37 AM on September 19, 2004


It'll be interesting to see how quickly Captain Dick realises this is more of a job warning than a job ad and changes that page to something far more ambiguous and innocuous.

I'm sure there are a lot of small crappy agencies like this around, but their secret to getting employees has been to be less, err, honest.

ed\26h: For a Mcdonalds-level job, the working environment sounds pretty par for the course. For a skilled job for a graduate, with fair level of responsibility and (by the nature of the work) some autonomy, it's ridiculous.
posted by cell at 6:38 AM on September 19, 2004


Masters in Computer Science, Graphic Design, Journalism

Yeah, after attaining a Masters in CS I'd be so glad that I'd have the privilege of working a minimum 40 hour week, plus weekends, to produce web-sites for De-Moines Chiropractors on such a laughable pittance.

What is unreasonable? I think the mere fact that you can't even take a quick, five minute break to chat to your friends, surf the net or reply to an email. It breeds the kind of resentful, low-morale environment that results in the kind of work that... well, just check out their portfolio.

I weep for the poor souls who voluntarily subject themselves to this wage-slavery.
posted by axon at 6:42 AM on September 19, 2004


HR people have beaten marketing and PR people to the coveted position of most vile human beings in a workplace. Congrats.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:42 AM on September 19, 2004 [1 favorite]


OK thanks, but I think we may be arguing different points. Probably my fault for using the term “reasonable” when something that would describe what I mean a little more clearly is – what justifies the outrage that this offer being put forward has caused? For instance, if while walking home, someone offers to buy my iPod from me for £1, I don’t see why this would justify me becoming upset with this person or swearing at him when I am quite free to choose to politely refuse his offer and continue on my way.
posted by ed\26h at 6:43 AM on September 19, 2004


ed26h: Where do I use, if I did, argumentum ad ignorantiam ?
posted by elpapacito at 6:46 AM on September 19, 2004


Corrected link: Argumentum ad ignorantiam
posted by elpapacito at 6:49 AM on September 19, 2004


Elpapacito: I was thinking: Since I have not show these conditions to be reasonable, they are unreasonable. Do you think that's OK?

Seems a somewhat academic issue now though.
posted by ed\26h at 6:50 AM on September 19, 2004


OK, ed\26h, I'll bite. Let's say you were really strapped and hungry, and the guy offering you the pound knew it. He's perfectly within his rights to offer you the price he thinks you're desperate enough to take, but it's not exactly a nice thing to do, is it? It's hard to politely refuse such an offer when you're hungry.

We all know what the economy's like for this work, and the Midwest small-market economy is brutal even apart from that. Captain Jack knows he's in a buyer's market, and chooses to exploit people as a result. No one would take a job like this unless he or she had to. Axon's right to weep for folks in this position: this is rough stuff, and Captain Jack should be embarrassed (in the third person, if it makes him feel better) for himself.
posted by melissa may at 6:56 AM on September 19, 2004


I don’t see anything unreasonable about what this potential employer is asking of the respective potential employee. Could those who seem to be suggesting there are unreasonable factors identify them and reason as to why they are unreasonable?

Spacecadet: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc.


All this latin......I had to look up "post hoc ergo propter hoc".

The dreary style and content of the company policies just shouts, or rather droans out, mediocrity. It's not asking for enthusiasm or excellence, just adherence to rules. It makes the position sound like a factory job.
posted by SpaceCadet at 6:56 AM on September 19, 2004


ed26h: I don’t see why this would justify me becoming upset with this person or swearing at him when I am quite free to choose to politely refuse his offer and continue on my way.

You have the option of refusing the offer but only because you don't live in a market where your 6-month old, $200 (or whatever) I-pod is now worth $1 and some piece of work knows this and is willing to rip you off.

Similarly, judging by the way that jolly, old Captain Jack is phrasing his job description, it would not only seem that the Internet job market is so bad in Iowa that these are normal work practices for the area, but that Captain Jack actually thinks he's being quite liberal in his staff treatment.

After all, just because you can get away with forcing people to work like this doesn't mean you actually should do so, or that it is ethical (or good for business) to do so.
posted by axon at 6:58 AM on September 19, 2004


I sense someone is trying to draw this thread into a tragically needless argument about the free market.

There's nothing wrong with laughing at the guy with the 1-pound iPod offer. There is even less wrong with laughing at the guy who invites you into a miserable life of wage slavery he describes in the most hilariously iron-fisted terms.
posted by inksyndicate at 6:58 AM on September 19, 2004


what justifies the outrage that this offer being put forward has caused?

Perhaps not justifiable, but certainly understandable. The economy in the tech sector during the past four+ years has been such that a lot of MeFites have had to look for a job at least once during this time. Perhaps when someone sees an ad for a job that describes a job that they may have done in the past, but offering such little pay, and burdened with numerous restrictions, it can provoke something of a visceral response.
posted by psmealey at 6:59 AM on September 19, 2004


ed\26h: I think what gets people pissed off is the fact that there exist folks desperate enough to take this job. That, and the posting in public of these conditions, exerts downward pressure on all of us trying to make a living in the field.

These attitudes are contagious, and I'd hate to see the US have the same kind of dreary, repressive, dilbertesque environment I am growing accustomed to seeing here in Japan.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:02 AM on September 19, 2004


I'm going to request a "free website analysis" of Metafilter.com, as advertised
on the home page, captainjack.com.

Because I really think Metafilter should have tried it "captain Jack's way" before choosing the blue
posted by inksyndicate at 7:04 AM on September 19, 2004


Melissa/Axon (and on preview, others):

If this an accurate summary of what you believe?

No one would take this job if they had a choice.
Therefore those who would take the job have no choice.
Therefore it’s exploitation.
Therefore to make such an offer is wrong.
posted by ed\26h at 7:04 AM on September 19, 2004


inksyndicate:

I sense someone is trying to draw this thread into a tragically needless argument about the free market.

I think you were probably referring to me; but this wasn’t my primary aim. Notwithstanding this though, what is it about an argument in favour of the free market that is “tragically needless”? And what does that term really mean?
posted by ed\26h at 7:07 AM on September 19, 2004


All the non-compete horseshit shows that this guy has no interest in a free market.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:11 AM on September 19, 2004


I sense someone is trying to draw this thread into a tragically needless argument about the free market.

I heed the wise words of inkysyndicate. Sorry, but there is logos and its neat syllogisms, and there is ethos and its messy sympathies, and the twain isn't going to meet here, I can just tell.

:walks away, whistling "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?"

posted by melissa may at 7:16 AM on September 19, 2004


Melissa: I’m afraid I have no idea what you mean. Was my syllogism an accurate summary of what you believe?
posted by ed\26h at 7:19 AM on September 19, 2004


I seriously doubt this guy gets any applicants that are anywhere close to his stated standards. He probably would not know the difference anyway - like those folks looking for 10 years of J2EE experience. But other people see outfits like his and assume that someone like me, with decent skills, should work for those prices.
To extend the iPod metaphor - it's like someone started selling cheap knockoff iPod clones for one pound each, and since nobody seems to see the difference, your genuine article is now worth the same amount.
posted by bashos_frog at 7:22 AM on September 19, 2004


My guess is that there aren't a hell of a lot of other opportunities in Arkeny, Iowa.

Although I do agree that Captain Jack seems to be one whiney biatch.

You'd be surprised at the dropoff in pay and benefits for web jobs outside major US urban areas like New York, Boston, Chicago, SF, etc.
posted by clevershark at 7:25 AM on September 19, 2004


Like the inksyndicate says, I don't really wanna get pulled into another pointless and boring free-market argument either - believe me, there are more than enough of those on the Internet. I'll just say that Captain Jack sounds like a particularly unpleasant employer and anyone who works for him gets my full sympathy - if you can, come to London. There are plenty of better paid jobs with far better work conditions. I'd certainly help you look while you are here.
posted by axon at 7:27 AM on September 19, 2004


Ed\26h, will you pull the damn rabbit out of the hat already?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:27 AM on September 19, 2004 [1 favorite]


Bashos:

To extend the iPod metaphor - it's like someone started selling cheap knockoff iPod clones for one pound each, and since nobody seems to see the difference, your genuine article is now worth the same amount.

OK, I understand, but if this was the case it would seem that there’s even less wrong with making such an offer since it represents the true value of the good. But what I was really assuming was that an offer had been made from way below what the device was truly worth; and consequentially asking what is wrong with making such an offer.

Armatidge: I’m a logician, not a magician.

Axon: I have no desire to have such an argument, just to know whether or not my syllogism was an accurate summary of your beliefs.
posted by ed\26h at 7:33 AM on September 19, 2004


ed26: I guess I understand what you wanted to say ...given that I haven't proven that a set of conditions are TRUE, therefore I (imply that) they must be FALSE ; by analogy, given that I haven't proven they're unreasonable, they must be reasonable.

But, TRUE/FALSE are(afaik) two mutually exclusive abstract concepts like ON/OFF... while "reasonable" appears to be another concept ..according to M-W to be reasonable means "to be in accordance with reason" and reason is " a statement offered in explanation or justification" or "a sufficient ground of explanation or of logical defense". Therefore, we could either first determine what is reasonable or what is (un) not-reasonable, but given that so far it seems we are in stall because of lack of definition
of one we both are in a stall.

On preview: seen you wrote more, will read later as I'm out of time.
posted by elpapacito at 7:38 AM on September 19, 2004


ed\26h: I have no desire to have such an argument

Ahem, funny way to show it by putting words in my mouth. And I think you mean to talk to Melissa - I never used the word 'syllogism' in my life... but I will from now on, as soon as I figure out what it means ;)

OK, I understand, but if this was the case it would seem that there’s even less wrong with making such an offer since it represents the true value of the good.

Yes, but, dude, we're talking about people here. Do you really think those people are so worthless they deserve to be treated with such little respect?
posted by axon at 7:43 AM on September 19, 2004


Do you really think those people are so worthless they deserve to be treated with such little respect?

I don't see that anyone is forced to apply for apply for the job.

It just seems that Captain Jack will end up having to coach a stable-full of kids right out of high-school and whose previous experience amounts to having put up static web pages for various school groups...
posted by clevershark at 7:48 AM on September 19, 2004


OK. I’m not sure it would be fair to say I’m putting words in your mouth (if you are referring to the syllogism) since I asked whether of not those were an accurate summary of your words (or beliefs). Incidentally, is it an accurate summary?
posted by ed\26h at 7:49 AM on September 19, 2004


clevershark: I don't see that anyone is forced to apply for apply for the job.

That's a "yes" then.
posted by axon at 7:53 AM on September 19, 2004


Programmers are expected to be at work 40 hours per week between the hours of 7am to 6 pm Monday through Friday.

Forgive me, Sir Jack, but I feel need to point out that 11 hours a day, 5 days a week is most definately not a 40 hour work-week.

So, those extra 15 hours a week when I have to be at work -- can I spend them instant messaging, or downloading MP3's, or just sitting in a corner in your office and repeating over and over again, "Your're a jagoff... You're a jagoff..." ?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:55 AM on September 19, 2004


pssst, axon:

Socrates is a man.
All men are mortal.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

Now you know what a syllogism is. Incidentally, this is the only one I've ever seen work, and I bet you could still find some dang philosopher to argue it.

Now, RUN!

:keeps whistling, the way she does when the subject of Iraq comes up at family reunions.
posted by melissa may at 7:58 AM on September 19, 2004


I'm curious where johnnydark found this page. I can't find the link to it on the site.

...pull the damn rabbit out of the hat already? Heh.
posted by jaronson at 7:58 AM on September 19, 2004


CD: If you read the next sentence or too you can see he's actually implying some sort of flexi-time (required to be there from 9-4, the rest is for you to decide). That caught me out at first too.

I can't be bothered to read it again, I may have the numbers wrong.
posted by cell at 7:59 AM on September 19, 2004


Civil: I think it possibly means that there are 40 working hours within those time-slots.
posted by ed\26h at 8:01 AM on September 19, 2004


On-post (doh):

What's a normal amount of paid vacation per year in the States? What's he's offering seems barbaric by European standards, but for all I know it might be close to normal there.
posted by cell at 8:02 AM on September 19, 2004


Melissa: There are an endless number of syllogisms which work perfectly. If you simply would prefer not to discuss this issue with me, that’s fine, you need merely to say so. There is no need to be rude.
posted by ed\26h at 8:07 AM on September 19, 2004


Similarly, judging by the way that jolly, old Captain Jack is phrasing his job description, it would not only seem that the Internet job market is so bad in Iowa that these are normal work practices for the area, but that Captain Jack actually thinks he's being quite liberal in his staff treatment.

I think the real problem is that this guy's having trouble finding clients, so he's set up a system where
  • He's the boss
  • You bring customers to him
  • You then continue working on their site as normal...
  • ...but now Cpt. Jack gets a cut
Wow! Great deal!

And if he gets a customer on his own? Well, you still do all the work, but you can't have them afterwords, and you can't compete with him, either. Absurd. None of it would hold up in court -- competition is the basis of our entire damned economy. If there were actual "trade secrets" that you were learning, it'd be one thing. But this does not inspire confidence:

(Under PROGRAMMING):
"We have an elite group of programmers on our staff. They are competent in many programming languages PHP, ASP, and SQL to name a few."
Are you fucking kidding me? PHP and ASP are scripting languages. Only very recently has compiling into executable format even been implemented in PHP.

"Look at me and my 37337 sK1llZ! I r0x0rz @ Java5cr1pt!"

(on preview): I think it possibly means that there are 40 working hours within those time-slots.

Except you have to be there between 9 and 4. Ok, that's 35 hours a week. So why 7am-6pm? If you work between 9 and 4, you only have an extra hour to tack on. That means, at the most, you work between 8-4 or 9-5 each day. See what I mean?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:09 AM on September 19, 2004


What's he's offering seems barbaric by European standards, but for all I know it might be close to normal there.

Exactly correct.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:10 AM on September 19, 2004


I've said it before and I'll say it again: General Strike! Get some workers' rights, my American friends.
posted by bonaldi at 8:13 AM on September 19, 2004


Melissa: Socrates is a man.
All men are mortal.
Therefore, Socrates is mortal.


Ta, Melissa :) That reminds me of a joke from a Radio 4 comedy set in Ancient Greece that goes something like this:

Greek A: The Gods are looking for Socrates, they want him for questioning.

Greek B: Why, what did he do?

Greek A: No, they want him for questioning.

No? Well, it seemed funny at the time.
posted by axon at 8:13 AM on September 19, 2004


Ed: enough. The Pedantic Olympics are already over for this year. I'll be rooting for you in 2006 though.

C_D: You are forgetting lunch. Surely you don't expect the Captain to subsidize your feeding times?

I think I'll work for Captain Jack's Christmas Tree Farm. I bet it is much more relaxing. Although I'm sure he prohibits smelling the sweet pine scent, unless you are on a break.

(Yes, it is the same Captain Jack. I guess web design gets a little slow around the holidays?)
posted by Ynoxas at 8:13 AM on September 19, 2004


What's a normal amount of paid vacation per year in the States?

Cell, it's pretty grim. Outside of academia, it's never been comparable to Europe (though most academics I know these days have to work during summer). No time off of any kind during the first year used to be rare, but now it's growing more common. But earning only one week off in your second year is the worst policy I've ever heard.

What gets me is NO paid leave and NO sick days and NO bereavement. That last one, particularly. So, your mom dies, you break a leg, you get the flu (pretty likely, that, since everyone's coming to work sick) and in addition to those indignities you get to miss making the rent. It's clear Captain Jack didn't attain his exalted rank by winning the Employee Morale Booster Award.

On preview: it's funny to me too, axon, but then, Socrates jokes always are.
posted by melissa may at 8:16 AM on September 19, 2004


Cap'n Jack is the same 'management' type that will come up with the press release announcing they are 'hacker-proof."

No clue, no understanding of team management, dynamics or that management philosophy has moved forward.

They exist and there is no island to ship them to. Bravo on the comment that Dilbert is a carton, not an ideal. LOL
posted by fluffycreature at 8:19 AM on September 19, 2004


CD: Still fairly hazy really. For something to be called "programming" I don't think it requires for the end result to be a compiled executable.

Ynoxas: As Bertrand Russell said, “a pedant is merely somebody who prefers his beliefs to be true”.
posted by ed\26h at 8:21 AM on September 19, 2004


C_D: You are forgetting lunch. Surely you don't expect the Captain to subsidize your feeding times?

Ah, you must not be from New England.

One of the things I found most jarring when moving to the Great Plains was the work ethic. It's not that people work harder here, necessarily, but that they work longer. In New York (and Boston) my standard work-week for every job I ever had was 9 to 5. Just like the friggin' song says.

Now I come out here, and it's 8 to 5! Crazy! So not only is there no paid lunch hour, but I have to come in early to boot!

And did anyone click on that javascript link I put in before? It's pretty funny.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2004


Whatever else may be said, we all seem to be in agreement that Captain Jack bites the big one.
posted by clevershark at 8:25 AM on September 19, 2004


Captain Jack Seafood Restaurant Communications.

That storefront bespeaks a different corporate history than the one described. Sit on that job and rotate.

"Arr, 'tis not a man, 'tis a web page machine"
posted by poorhaus at 8:30 AM on September 19, 2004


Oh lord, and then there's this:

If you leave before your anniversary date, no vacation time will be paid. All vacations must be taken each year by your anniversary date.

Which means, no accumulative leave. You can't save days from one year to the next for some big vacation you'll undoubtedly need after a stint with the Captain.

Which also means, if you leave (or the Captain makes you walk the plank) before you have a chance to take your days, you don't get any compensation for your time off -- it's just gone. I didn't even know that was legal. And what a great incentive for a plank-walking, if he can get you out before you take the days he owes you.

And ed, honestly, I'm sorry if I seemed rude. I just felt a bit hounded, you know? And for many Americans, this is a sore subject, as you might imagine.
posted by melissa may at 8:30 AM on September 19, 2004


Whatever else may be said, we all seem to be in agreement that Captain Jack bites the big one.

Agreed, I'd rather work for Captain Hook.
posted by axon at 8:31 AM on September 19, 2004


Melissa, sorry to be pedantic, but λογος and εθος don't mean what you seem to think they mean. Λογος is not synonymous with logic and, anyway, "logic" is not the same thing as "categorical logic".

Oh, hell, it's not very nice of me to pick on you about this. But I have to deal frequently with the Christians' appropriation of λογος, so I'm touchy about it.

I definitely don't want to argue about such a touchy issue as the market for tech jobs. I will say, however, that aside from the fact that this employer is obviously a real fucking prick, to some degree I sympathize with ed's implicit point of view. Specifically, I was there back in 1999 when the shoe was on the other foot. In fact, I was paid obscene amounts of money, given obscene benefits at my job (employer provided concierge service, anyone?), and was pursued daily and frantically by scores of obsequious recruiters and potential employers. What I heard back then from (many) other tech workers was that every tech worker deserved that pay and treatment. Yeah, right. Tell that to, say, a physicist or a teacher.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:33 AM on September 19, 2004


Appreciate the responses, it seems you lot are pretty screwed.

(In the UK we tend to get 4-5 weeks a year, plus national holidays, and even when I was doing that I felt like I was living to work rather than the other way around.)
posted by cell at 8:34 AM on September 19, 2004


BTW, at $35k a year, it works out to about 17.70 dollars an hour considering a standard work week/year of 1976 hours (while working 38 hours a week.)

Anyone needs to considering moving to a different market if this is a fair salary and you fit the requirements posted for this job.

Cap'n Jacks Web Prison is not worth this pay.
posted by fluffycreature at 8:36 AM on September 19, 2004


Not it affects this issue at all, but for what it’s worth, I would gladly accept Mr. Jack’s conditions to earn $35,000 a year; double my current salary.
posted by ed\26h at 8:44 AM on September 19, 2004


Check out the Captain's building. If the terms of employment sound like those of shitty retail job, it might well be because the building looks like it's a converted Boston Market in a strip mall.
posted by crank at 8:45 AM on September 19, 2004


If you look at the portfolio, all the buildings seem to look like that. check out the ford dealership. Is it something to do with the area? Does anyone come from round there?
posted by axon at 8:55 AM on September 19, 2004


Damn, I'm late but can I pile on to crappy ol' Captain Jack too?

I bet he isn't even a real Captain either! And I bet he's got bad body odor and a receding hairline.

Yeah, the ad sucks and reflects a shitty workplace with an overbearing idiot for a boss who pinches pennies and exploits his workers.

Be glad you don't live in Iowa and need a job. But then, I heard McNastie's is hiring and you could make almost as much there as for this jackhole.
posted by fenriq at 8:58 AM on September 19, 2004


well, for such an elite group of programmers, why the hell do they make such liberal use of the damned font tag?

it's deprecated, you fools! gah!

every time i see a design firm, i look at their own site design, not their clients. their sucks. it's crappy and obviously built using different tools for different sections (FPP is some old mac version of pagemill, home page is clearly dreamweaver, etc.) which means they can't even be internally consistent on their own website. which means, of course, that nobody cares aside from captain jack - and i bet he never looks at the source code himself.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:07 AM on September 19, 2004


I can't believe no one has talked about Captain Jack's sexual harassment policy.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT
Sexual harassment won't be tolerated in the workplace. If a problem develops, you must put all of the information down in writing and present it to Captain Jack for action. If Captain Jack is the problem, you must present it to your supervisor.


Above: I didn't mean to start a fight, I'm just saying I think the issue is whether Captain Jack's ad is funny or not.
posted by inksyndicate at 9:14 AM on September 19, 2004


Not it affects this issue at all, but for what it’s worth, I would gladly accept Mr. Jack’s conditions to earn $35,000 a year; double my current salary.

Your current salary includes cradle-to-grave health care (even if you get laid off). Do you get vacation time? Any chance of being paid if you're sick?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:18 AM on September 19, 2004


More on Captain Jack here. What a rascal. (This jibes with his bio at CaptainJack.com)


posted by inksyndicate at 9:19 AM on September 19, 2004


Check out the Captain's building.

Nice open office layout too; good sight lines for you to fire your newly acquired assault rifle at ol' Captain Jack when you finally snap from working for him.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 9:19 AM on September 19, 2004


Mhhhhh ..disclaimer, I'm not an expert in search engine tricking, but if you follow this plain easy google query for captain jack it will turn out two interesting results:

That Captain Jack is a da black Pimp and all his broads are friggin hot ! (NSFW&CaptainWorks)

The the other Captain Jack official site ranks only 5th in that query : massive skill haxor deluxe ..yeah.
posted by elpapacito at 9:21 AM on September 19, 2004


the other Captain Jack official site ranks only 5th in that query

He's got some l337 SEO skilz :-)
posted by clevershark at 9:28 AM on September 19, 2004


EB, sweets, a good ethical rule of thumb is: if you hate yourself for it, don't do it.

I was using the terms broadly and I think they work for my purpose. Don't go pre-medieval on my ass, I beg of you. You know how you want to cite something right now that will show I'm mistaken on this fairly minor point while everyone else looks on in dread? Resist, resist! I've contributed enough to thread drift as it is.

And holy god, inksyndicate, I totally missed the harrassment bit! Combined with the picture, that's the capper. The issue is resolved: Captain Jack's ad is not funny, it is not sad, it is tragicomic. Or dramedy, whichever you prefer.
posted by melissa may at 9:31 AM on September 19, 2004


Ed, if you posess the skills and experience that Cap'n Jack requires then it should be relatively easy for you to attain a salary that equals or exceeds £20K (i.e. $35K) in almost any city in the UK. In London one can get up to £35K for that.
posted by cell at 9:31 AM on September 19, 2004


Also someone who sees Flash as wrong "99.9% of the time" wouldn't have put that completely pointless Flash piece on the front page of his site.

Does he offer VRML services too, while we're at it?
posted by clevershark at 9:31 AM on September 19, 2004


Ah... I see, he's more Love Boat captain than sea-scurvy captain which makes him slightly more lovable... slightly.

Why does these people insist on putting every single boring detail of their lives on the Internet? Do they really think people will be interested in the life and times of a middle American "veteran" (yeah, like it sounds you were in a war or something) traffic reporter turned christmas tree entrepreneur and web-placeholder merchant ... ahem... I mean, any people apart from us interested.
posted by axon at 9:34 AM on September 19, 2004


I bet a local Iowa newspaper columnist could use this thread as grist for a column about what happens when those crazy internet folks come across area man's job ad.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:38 AM on September 19, 2004


Melissa, sorry, I did mention I'm on drugs this weekend, right? Strong narcotics. Really.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:45 AM on September 19, 2004


He's got some l337 SEO skilz :-)

You're damn right he does: "Ninety percent of our clients are ranked in the top 30 or higher in one or more search engines."
posted by punishinglemur at 10:45 AM on September 19, 2004


Without getting into too many rules of what is or is not appropriate, my expectation is that almost never would it be appropriate to wear blue jeans, T-shirts or shorts in a general office setting unless perhaps the agenda for the day is to clean-out/reorganize file cabinets, paint the walls or similar tasks.

Paint the walls???


I'd love to hear from anyone who works for this asshole. Any Cap'n Jack slaves out there willing to spill the beans on what a happy ship he's running?

posted by essexjan at 11:21 AM on September 19, 2004


A cursory Google search provides a number of email addresses of Captain Jack personnel. I'm tempted to write members of the satff, alerting them to this thread.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:32 AM on September 19, 2004


Guys, you're all giving Captain Jack a bad rap. Did any of you make it down to the 'Benefits' part of the page? I thought not. If you had, you would have noticed:

You will work with the most experienced staff in Iowa.

You can't buy experience like that.
posted by kfury at 12:26 PM on September 19, 2004


inksyndicate -- request the free analysis and post it here!

P.S. that sexual harassment policy is priceless. it singlehandedly advances the women's rights movement ten years.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:46 PM on September 19, 2004


For instance, if while walking home, someone offers to buy my iPod from me for £1, I don’t see why this would justify me becoming upset with this person or swearing at him when I am quite free to choose to politely refuse his offer and continue on my way.

Theoretically speaking, if someone offered me 1 pound for my ipod I would punch them in the nose as they obviously think I am either:

a) insane

b) dumb enough to take advantage of.

This ad provokes the same reaction. Even most jobs-from-hell at least pretend at the beginning that they're not so bad. I am forced to conclude either Captain Jack suffers from either a misguided sense of honesty, or got really, really screwed during the dot com years.
posted by concreteforest at 1:41 PM on September 19, 2004


Captain Jack is jacked...
posted by wfrgms at 1:53 PM on September 19, 2004


Concrete:

While I acknowledge this is an aside, it found it alarming enough to address. There are other explanations as to their behavior. To give two examples:

a) the person making the offer is insane.
b) the person making the offer is dumb enough to think it is reasonable.

I advise that the next time you feel like physically assaulting someone you think it through a little more thoroughly. I can only hope you weren’t serious.
posted by ed\26h at 2:00 PM on September 19, 2004



I'm going to request a "free website analysis" of Metafilter.com


don't laugh - maybe cap'n jack can fix the JRun shit.
posted by quonsar at 2:29 PM on September 19, 2004


Did someone say Jack?
posted by ZachsMind at 2:30 PM on September 19, 2004


ed\26h: I hope concreteforest isn't serious too, but I think we're both wrong. I mean, concreteforest threatened physical violence in a hypothetical situation in an Internet discussion. It doesn't get much more serious than that.

I'm trying to find where concreteforest is located so I can alert the authorities that they have a violent psychopath on the loose. If you find them first, please call for the children.
posted by revgeorge at 2:34 PM on September 19, 2004


I just want to know what this thing is supposed to be, because it looks like a diseased liver or a horseshoe crab, neither of which say to me "website visibility."


posted by contessa at 2:47 PM on September 19, 2004


haha, I was once employed as the 'webmaster' for a local DnD minatures upstart -- the guy would call me at 9:00 in the morning (I go to bed at 4-5am) and say "hey chris, the emails not working, we are losing customers, i need you to fix it"

"ok, lemme see what i can do..."

"nevermind it works now" click.
posted by Satapher at 2:50 PM on September 19, 2004


I think that's the northwestern coast of Africa.
posted by jjg at 2:53 PM on September 19, 2004


revgeorge: You've used the term "serious" in two different senses while implying that they have been used in the same sense.
posted by ed\26h at 3:34 PM on September 19, 2004


Employers like this are part of the reason so many young people leave Iowa the first chance they get.

(And axon: Yes, that particular style of architecture - or non-style, rather - infests the suburbs like you wouldn't believe.)
posted by MrBadExample at 4:06 PM on September 19, 2004


from MrBadExample's link: This gives the state the second-highest rate of so-called outmigration.

Something was wrong with "emigration"?
posted by kenko at 4:21 PM on September 19, 2004


The man has reindeer! Those poor, poor animals...
posted by shoepal at 4:29 PM on September 19, 2004


I advise that the next time you feel like physically assaulting someone you think it through a little more thoroughly. I can only hope you weren't serious.

I apologize for causing you such concern, ed\26h. I can only hope my obviously out of control universal anger doesn't keep you up too late tonight. Don't worry though, I pledge the next time that I pose a hypothetical response to your hypothetical question about a third rate web design firm in Iowa on an internet message board I will try to reduce my obvious sarcasm to the point where it does not alarm you. When I haven't eaten a least 2 babies and pushed a sweet old lady into the street by noon I get grumpy.

Anyway - I would think that the Captain reaps what he sows, considering that even if you had been out of work for a while, you'd have to be pretty naive to take the Captain's offer. The quality of the possible employees that come in from this ad will be pretty low.
posted by concreteforest at 4:35 PM on September 19, 2004


contessa: jjg is right. coincidentally, go to the bottom of this page and click the « Older link. previous thread is horn of africa; that's what the photo is showing.

i do agree that it's not very intuitive though.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:06 PM on September 19, 2004


ed\26h - The reason that this isn't making strictly logical sense is because it's an emotional issue. It would be nice if everything could be reduced to a few logical statements, but you've got to factor in human empathy here. Many of us have worked in jobs run by a tin pot dictator like this before, and it makes us angry whenever we see evidence of a similar situation. You ask "what justifies the outrage that this offer being put forward has caused?" and offer the ipod analogy, which I think is flawed. In my opinion a better analogy would be if you were walking down the street with a kitten in your arms, and someone came up to you and offered to flay it alive, pluck out its eyeballs, and defecate on its still writhing corpse. Most reasonable people would fine offense in the request I would think.
posted by TungstenChef at 6:08 PM on September 19, 2004


C_D: As all good New Yorkers know, 10 to 6 is the only slightly civilized schedule.

And I would like to take this late moment to agree that Captain Jack is a dick. Why, ed? Well because the notion that you own your employees' time and lives is fucked. If you do your job competently, then it ought to be nobody's business what else is going on. If I can get all my work done in ten minutes and spend the rest of the day playing Snood, and talking to my mother, then good for me.

Also, did anyone notice it's a hundred bucks toward "independent insurance"? That is, he doesn't even let you band together to get the group rate. Methinks Cap'n Jack is not expecting to be in business long.
posted by dame at 6:33 PM on September 19, 2004


the one thing i noticed ... if they're in a tight job market, why is he looking for people to work for him?

i work at a factory for $26,000 a year and get better benefits than what he's offering
posted by pyramid termite at 6:50 PM on September 19, 2004


I might be wrong about this, but $35,000 isn't that bad in Iowa. Sure, web designers in the midwest don't make as much as other places, but it also doesn't cost that much to live here, and all the web designers I know remained employed throughout the internet bust.

Granted, I'd only work for Cap'n Jack if he declared Martian Law.
posted by drezdn at 7:08 PM on September 19, 2004


Could this this artist be a CJ employee, or the pirate himself? The artist is also the technical contact of record for captainjack.com. Any chance of this being a hoax?
posted by cruelfate at 7:39 PM on September 19, 2004


drezdn - There is a difference, but it's not all that great. Assuming that Iowa is similar to Minnesota (and it is), there was a study 2 or 3 years ago that showed the cost of living in Minneapolis is only 17% greater than living in rural Minnesota. That would make this salary equivalent to about $41k in the "big city," not awful, but not really in line with the experience requirements. The major cost difference is in housing, but remember that any national product you buy will be just as expensive, if not more so in a rural area. Having worked in mall stores, I can tell you that many national chains have tiered pricing, and the highest tier is reserved for small markets where there's no competition.
posted by TungstenChef at 7:46 PM on September 19, 2004


ed\26h: No, I'm not. I don't know concreteforest's gender so I'm using the gender neutral term it. Also, I'd like to thank Harry sometime for making this post on your blog, giving you the ammunition you need to respond to people's form instead of their content.
posted by revgeorge at 7:51 PM on September 19, 2004


Cap'n Jack's list of do's and dont's reminds me of some of my more teminally single friends, who complain about not being able to find the right person, but who have a list of requirements that even rich nobility with their own private islands wouldn't be able to meet.

I personally hope that Cap'n Jack finds his business die alone and terminally unsatisfied.

For those of you out there who are web designers, maybe you should consider courting the business of fine Iowan businesses, like Des Moines Orthopedic Surgeons, or Midstates Ford.

Cap'n Jack be a ripe target for plunderin', says I!
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:02 PM on September 19, 2004


BUTTONZ!!!
posted by Satapher at 8:19 PM on September 19, 2004


Employers like this are part of the reason so many young people leave Iowa the first chance they get.
"There is sort of an expectation that you go to college specifically so you can escape to a place with mountains or a very large city," said Tanner Beck, a 23-year-old University of Iowa computer science student from Ames.
"

Holy shit, I know that guy. Hehl
posted by delmoi at 11:33 PM on September 19, 2004


Assuming that Iowa is similar to Minnesota (and it is), there was a study 2 or 3 years ago that showed the cost of living in Minneapolis is only 17% greater than living in rural Minnesota.

I wouldn't really call Ankeny "rural".
posted by delmoi at 11:37 PM on September 19, 2004


Geez. I just ran the Mid-States Ford front page through BBEdit's code validator, and yeah... not so good.
posted by litlnemo at 11:39 PM on September 19, 2004


Revgeorge: I didn’t assert that you did switch between meanings of any gender specific word, just the term “serious”.

Harry’s post has links to two sites. I’m not sure which one you’re referring to.
posted by ed\26h at 12:15 AM on September 20, 2004


TungstenChef: Well the idea that people are reacting emotionally and not rationally is basically what I was hinting at; so yes, I probably agree. Although I think your revised analogy is actually much, much worse than the original.
posted by ed\26h at 12:24 AM on September 20, 2004


It's the ed show!
posted by kamikazegopher at 12:30 AM on September 20, 2004


Well the idea that people are reacting emotionally and not rationally is basically what I was hinting at...

Then why didn't you just come right out and say that?
posted by sciurus at 3:26 AM on September 20, 2004


Yes, this is horrible, this ed show.
posted by chrid at 3:28 AM on September 20, 2004


Sciurus: I don't think I knew my arguments were doing that until I read TungstenChef's post.
posted by ed\26h at 3:59 AM on September 20, 2004


Chrid: Did that mean – “I don’t like Ed’s posts”?
posted by ed\26h at 4:00 AM on September 20, 2004


If Chrid is speaking for all of us, then yes. UYOFB
posted by bonaldi at 6:32 AM on September 20, 2004


jesus christ, guys. you know, maybe its just me, but with all the reactionary, bile spewing trolls on MeFi (not accusing you lovely people, but they are here), I happen to enjoy someoen like ed remaining logical all the time. There are times it is useful to have someone rational around here to bounce ideas off of, ya know. Relax, guys. You could learn a thing or two from Mr. Ed.


You know, if Bush knew what a syllogism was....

[ducks]
posted by lazaruslong at 7:48 AM on September 20, 2004


I happen to enjoy someoen like ed remaining logical all the time.

Uh huh. Sorry, I smell troll, not logic. And if ed thinks Cap'n Jack is such a great guy, let him go take the job.
posted by languagehat at 8:17 AM on September 20, 2004


Melissa, sorry to be pedantic, but ????? and e??? don't mean what you seem to think they mean. ????? is not synonymous with logic and, anyway, "logic" is not the same thing as "categorical logic".

worst comment ever!
posted by norm at 9:28 AM on September 20, 2004


Job description is now offline.
Huh - go figure.
posted by fluffycreature at 9:38 AM on September 20, 2004


Ed remaining logical is fine, but if he could answer multiple people in one comment - instead of replying to each individual person with a new comment one after the other, then I might be more inclined to listen. Actions, not words, people.
posted by hugsnkisses at 9:40 AM on September 20, 2004


worst comment ever!

Why?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:42 AM on September 21, 2004


I wonder if his employees are required to say "Aye aye, Captain!" every time he gives them an order. If not, I suggest they start.
posted by moonbiter at 10:09 AM on September 21, 2004


anyone know if this has been archived anywhere? It sounds hysterical.
posted by GeekAnimator at 11:24 AM on September 21, 2004


View an example of custom Javascript to get an idea or [sic] some of the capabilities of our programmers

While it sounds like a rotten work environment to work in, if anything the workers are being overpaid. (View source and look for the functions check_quan_b, check_quan_c, and check_quan_d. This is the sole code example in their portfolio, remember.)
posted by ook at 11:38 AM on September 21, 2004


...that's as opposed to a play environment for the workers to work in, I guess...
posted by ook at 11:42 AM on September 21, 2004


Melissa, sorry to be pedantic, but ????? and e??? don't mean what you seem to think they mean. ????? is not synonymous with logic and, anyway, "logic" is not the same thing as "categorical logic".

VIZZINI: He didn't fall? Inconceivable!!

INIGO: (whirling on Vizzini) You keep using that word -- I do not think it means what you think it means.
posted by papercake at 11:59 AM on September 21, 2004


Job description is now offline.

Must've filled all the vacancies.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:05 PM on September 21, 2004


It is okay, EB. You were nice to apologize. Especially since later I realized what I really meant was not ethos but pathos. Just yet more proof that you start with the meta-rhetoric quasi-Socratic hoo-ha in a room full of happy jokes, you get a face full of pie. And deservedly so!

(But axon's joke really made it all worthwhile for me.)
posted by melissa may at 12:47 PM on September 21, 2004


On a side note... in many states, a company is not required to reimburse a departing employee for unused vacation time. I know this is specifically true for Virginia, where the worker does not have to give two weeks notice, and the company doesn't have to pay the two weeks notice if they usher said departing employee to the door.

From my purely anecdotal knowledge, this seems to be a common state of affairs in right-to-work states, of which Iowa is one. This is a very nice state of affairs for the company that suffers cash-flow problems.

Generally, if a company has offices in multiple states, you will be reimbursed for unusued vacation and the two weeks because they have to treat all employees equally, and California, New York, Illinois, Delaware, and Massachusetts (common sites of regional or additional offices) have more worker-friendly laws.
posted by julen at 1:09 PM on September 21, 2004


It is okay, EB. You were nice to apologize. Especially since later I realized what I really meant was not ethos but pathos. Just yet more proof that you start with the meta-rhetoric quasi-Socratic hoo-ha in a room full of happy jokes, you get a face full of pie. And deservedly so!—melissa may
Pathos? Are you sure you didn't mean bathhouse? 'Cause when I'm quasi-Socratic hoo-ha'ing near lucious Agathon, that's all I seem to be able to think about. And pie. Mmm, pie.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:51 PM on September 21, 2004


Must've filled all the vacancies.

I think ed\26h took the job.
posted by moonbiter at 5:23 AM on September 22, 2004


Also, I'd like to thank Harry sometime for making this post on your blog, giving you the ammunition you need to respond to people's form instead of their content.

It’s quite ironic that you accuse me of responding to form as opposed to content – considering earlier I was attempting to reduce arguments to their skeletal forms; a way of removing all form and leaving only content.

If Chrid is speaking for all of us, then yes.

Well, no. Whether or not Chrid is speaking for “all of us” (whoever that may be), just for himself or for any other combination of persons does not change whether he meant “I don’t like Ed’s posts” or not.

Uh huh. Sorry, I smell troll, not logic. And if ed thinks Cap'n Jack is such a great guy, let him go take the job.

The post you give as evidence of me being a “troll” was a Tony Wilson quote on the subject of jazz – as Pretty Generic seemed to understand. Even if I were a “troll” that would not affect the truth value of my arguments – aside from the fact that being logical and being inflammatory are not mutually exclusive states. My asking for the justifications for abusing this Jack does not mean I think he is a “great guy” or any other type of guy for that matter. What I think of him is irrelevant.
posted by ed\26h at 4:43 AM on October 7, 2004


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