Really Smart People You Would Never Want To Hire

So, a bunch of smart people in Silicon Valley need some roommates. So, they posted this absurd advertisement looking for new roommates. Now, I know nothing about laws regarding roommates in California, but I do know I be very hesitant to hire anyone who lives in that house-especially in a management position. If they currently worked for me, I’d be having a long talk about diversity. Not skin color-I’m sure they are all on board with that-but with thought and personality.

Here are their requirements:

  • Have a top-class degree or job with a strong math/science requirement
  • Exercise at least 15 hours in a normal week
  • Commute by car less than 20% of the time (Bicycle commuter!)
  • Prefer organized systems and common rules
  • Like petting dogs

Okay, let’s leave aside the fact that I don’t know a soul who exercises 15 hours a week, but I’ll consider that there are such people who hold jobs and manage to do more than two hours of exercise a day. If they do commute via bike, then that undoubtedly counts towards the two hours. The dog thing makes sense if there are dogs already living there-you don’t want someone who doesn’t like dogs moving in.

To keep reading, click here: Really Smart People You Would Never Want To Hire

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23 thoughts on “Really Smart People You Would Never Want To Hire

  1. Not that I can add much other than my shock and awe, however I did look at the property on Google Maps and saw a blue dot when I hover Street Maps person over the satellite image of the property. Releasing the mouse on the blue dot brings up a single 360 degree image of the property showing that the driveway is cracked pretty severely, about 35 window panes are broken/missing, and the general state of the property is not what I would expect for this neighborhood.

    There’s more to this story than meets the eye.

    1. I should also add that the same photo shows several bikes on the front veranda so maybe it’s not a joke…

  2. I hope this is a joke – even if it’s a bad one. How is having more than one tattoo (I have 8) and wearing makeup more than 2 times/a week (wear it pretty much every day) make me a bad person!? And apparently heaven forbid I end up having any health issues, like cancer or something cause then I’d really be a horrible person – I couldn’t exercise more than 15hrs/week and I’d need space in the fridge for my special diet, plus all the meds I’d need

    “Hi, you just got cancer, you must be a horrible person,you have to move out now, you can’t live here anymore”.

    I wouldn’t want to live with them nor work with them.

    1. If they are real, then I would want nothing to do with them. But I think it’s a joke.

    2. Suzanne this is one of the rare times I disagree with you.

      When I read the actual ad, and not just the media coverage of the ad, it’s clear that what they did was look back at roommates they had had in the past, looked for common characteristics in the roommates who had fitted well into the household, and common characteristics in the roommates who had not worked well for what seems to be a fairly communal living environment (an IT silicone valley version of a commune).

      The list isn’t of things that make someone a bad person or not. It’s things that predict fit. They don’t prohibit people with three tattoos from applying either.

      I have 2 housemates: I’ve been house sharing for several years. If I look back on the people who have made great flatmates and not-so-great then I’d see common characteristics.

      That seems to be what they’ve done here, and it would also narrow down the applicant pool to a manageable level

      1. But the common characteristics pretty much eliminate almost everyone. For instance, the wears make up more than twice a week–most women wear makeup and women who wear makeup generally wear it to work every day. So, (and I say this as a non-makeup wearer) you’re saying 83 percent of the female population would be a bad fit?

        What they’ve done is neither logical nor rational. They had a bad experience with Jane and Jane wore makeup so, therefore, no more people with makeup!

        As I pointed out, my bad roommates brushed their teeth regularly. So, we eliminate all teeth brushers! Of course not. That’s as dumb as eliminating everyone who wears makeup.

        I’d be very hesitant to hire someone whose logical reasoning skills were so weak.

      2. I looked at the ad as well. And if these things were all, as they put it “exclusive to disappointing housemates”, then they are the ones having problems.

        True, some I could see. And some, I could MAYBE see. But others? The only way they make any sense is if you get into other people’s space and are extremely judgy. And that’s the real problem here, for any smart employer.

  3. If it’s not a joke, they’re just total jerks, in which case they are doing prospective roommates a huge favor by disclosing their jerkiness up front. Why even bother posting an ad that will have zero takers? You’re right; it’s got to be a hoax.

  4. Seriously? $1750 and you have to pay extra to park a car? In an area where you need a car… no, sorry, you’re supposed to be riding your bike to Stanford/the train station.

    And in a house that big, they have to worry about fridge space? Or maybe they just dislike when people have “complex” diets? I know a lot of people who eat “normally” but because they like to cook, they need a lot of fridge and cupboard space for, y’know, ingredients.

    I also can’t help but notice that 4 of the 7 of them are currently affiliated with Stanford, and I’ll bet they all went to school there. And Woodside. Yeah, that’s a pretty rarified atmosphere. It feels pretty snarky to say this, but I prefer the real world that I live in, elsewhere in the Bay Area. (Meow, I know, but I had a frustrating morning. Thank you, Suzanne.)

  5. I went to Junior High/ High School in Palo Alto. Never went back after I left for college. Just not my cup of tea.

  6. Sounds like these guys just really miss their old fraternity home and all the structure that provides. Unfortunately, it’s time to grow up and live in the real world.

    1. Admit: skimmed article, not implying there was an actual frat, it just seems like that’s the kind of environment they are seeking to recreate.

      Also, bunk beds being listed as a perk for achieving your goals and dreams as an adult person? Um, ok…. some people have goals and dreams that include significant others sleeping over once in a while!

  7. I’m going to assume this is a joke, but as some one who continues to take a drug prescribed by my awesome psychiatrist, it’s painfully offense. I worked incredibly hard to pull myself out of a major postpartum depressive episode so I could be a good mother to my son. This joke just makes it that bit harder for someone to speak out when they need help.

    1. As I said, they have no idea how many people take such medications. I figure it’s like glasses for the brain! If you need it, take it. If you don’t, don’t. But it’s not indicative of moral character!

      1. They also say hasn’t taken any drug at all more than twice or something like that. That eliminates any condition you might have. Can you really fill a house with nerds and not one of them has an asthma inhaler?

  8. “I do know I be very hesitant to hire anyone who lives in that house-especially in a management position”

    And i’d be hesitant to hire any HR lady from Inc. magazine — which has consistently excluded minorities from their editorial and managerial staff, and where senior executives are almost exclusively alike.

    1. Really? Do you know people who were excluded based on their race? I certainly have no power over hiring at Inc. I’ve never met anyone that I work with. I couldn’t tell you the race of just about any of the permanent staff. The writers have their pictures up on the website, but the editors don’t. I literally have no idea.

  9. I disagree with you on this one, Evil, and I’m going to play devil’s advocate here.

    I think they have tailored an ad that speaks directly to the type of roommate that will be successful in that role as they envision it (more on that later). For example, replace the word “roommate” with “accountant”. Would you criticize a job ad for an accountant that says ‘be a certified CPA, be available to work overtime at least 15 hours a week, prefer all accounts be in order and in legal compliance, not be allergic to or afraid of our office dogs and, since we are an eco-friendly company, bike to work”? Sure, maybe (probably) an accountant that does not bike to work is a great accountant but would not be a great fit in that culture.

    And what if that same ad says “This might not be the right place for you if you refuse to participate in spontaneous pillow fights at work or if you insist on wearing a suit and tie all the time.” Would you also criticize that and say the hiring managers who wrote it “honestly believe that any difference makes someone a bad person” or that they are “people who are so openly harsh with their opinions about “different” people?”

    So what is this role that they envision? What is their goal here? Ultimately they want a set of roommates who do things as a group like fitness challenges, group dinners, bike rides, challenge outings, hosting events, and working on building things together. If I can’t ride a bike, don’t do anything more strenuous than watch TV or play video games, and hate social events, this will not be a great fit – for me or them. What is so wrong about trying to get a great fit? You and AAM and many commenters on both sites beg ad/job descriptions be a specific as possible in order to get a great fit and it looks like these people have made an effort to do just that.

    Now let’s focus on just one of your comments. “If you can’t handle a roommate who wears makeup, are you going to think less of a colleague who does?” Okay, so how could wearing or not wearing makeup matter in this situation? Well, in the first place I don’t think they are talking about freaking out if they see a roommate wearing makeup. I think they are talking about time, as in, for example, exercising 15 hours a week. I know a woman who does this, easy. She does not wear makeup and she says this definitely helps. She says she can get up and get out of the house in a half hour or less. When she exercises, a quick shower and she is ready to go. I, on the other hand, am a makeup junkie and the 20 minutes I spend on it each day is my idea of fun, but it ain’t gonna get me out the door fast. So “not wearing makeup” as a time saver could be seen as a contributing factor to the success of the lifestyle they are trying to create.

    This is just one example but I could make the same case with others. And I also have to admit that this now has me curious as to whether there is any correlation between taking certain meds and excercising/not exercising; sounds like in their experience perhaps there is. Which again would come down to being not a great fit for this role.

    As for “carrying this over to the workplace”, well, maybe they will get to be hiring managers who can write the type of job ads that some of us dream of.

    1. I agree with you on the job description, but can you imagine one that focused on the what you can’t be instead of what you can?

      If they had written more about who they are (we don’t believe in psychiatric care!) then maybe I’d give them a pass. But, they show a tremendous lack of logical reasoning skills.

      Exercising 15 hours a week or more will not make you immune from disease, mental or physical. It’s a bunch of claptrap to think it would. Yes, you lower your risk of many diseases by being physically fit, but you don’t eliminate them.

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