How to raise, then dash, a friend's hopes

I’m a software developer at Autodesk. I’ve worked on Inventor since around 2003 (give or take a year).

One decent way to judge a company is to look at how likely its employees are to refer friends and family. Me? I’ve referred three people over the past few years. One person didn’t have the right skill set for the open position, another had to take another job because of time constraints (the company gave him an absurdly short amount of time to accept their offer and he didn’t have enough time to shop around), and the third … ah, the third.

The third is a good friend of mine. (Wait, that’s not quite right. He stood in our wedding. He’s godfather to one of our daughters, for cryin’ out loud. That’s beyond “good friend”.) And I thought he would be abso-friggin’-lutely perfect for a position Autodesk has just created.

Well, to make a long story short, his current employer told him no. Why should that matter, you ask? Apparently his employer has some sort of secret agreement with Autodesk where Autodesk won’t hire their employees. Unless they give permission, that is.

So he asked for permission.

They denied it.

But that’s not all! They also said that because they now knew about his desire to work at Autodesk, if he quit, they’d contact Autodesk and make sure he wouldn’t get hired there for a year.


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