PayPerPost Abuses Declining Job Candidate

Controversial startup PayPerPost makes another misstep this weekend – they became verbally abusive with an employee candidate who turned them down.

A couple of weeks ago we wrote about how CEO Ted Murphy took all employees on an all-expenses-paid offside to Club Med, where they got drunk, inexplicably dressed up as Native Americans (complete with red face paint) and then posted video of the whole racially offensive episode on the web.

Now this: Today we were sent an ongoing email string between PayPerPost and an engineer, Lawrence Salberg, who was steered towards the company by a headhunter. After an underwhelming interview the candidate did some research and wrote back to the headhunter that he was not interested in the job, and in fact that he was so upset that he wasted his time that he didn’t want to hear about any of the headhunter’s other opportunities, either. “Remove me from your candidacy system immediately,” Salberg said in a long email outlining the reasons he would not work at the company.

That should have been the end of it. But the headhunter forwarded Salberg’s email to PayPerPost VP Software Development Peter Wright (Update: See here), who went on the attack. “I’m shocked at some of the statements in your email to Lori” Wright said in an unsolicited email to Salberg. Other gems aimed at the job candidate:

  • As for this company having no future, have you done ANY research at all?
  • First you say that the only people that would work at such a company are those with no brains, no self confidence, etc etc. I take offense at that.
  • The thing that amuses me most about your post though is how easily you are swayed by loud noises.
  • I wish you the very best of luck in your search for a “career.”
  • I know there are lots of safe little environments out there with well structured corporate ladders that you can happily spend your days climbing and climbing until eventually you retire.

Wright also spends time boasting about his own accomplishments, saying:

I’m a best selling author. I wrote the world’s best selling VIsual Basic book (and 13 others) and had a very happy career as a consultant specializing in Microsoft technologies that took me all over the world.

And so on (the entire string is available here as a pdf – it includes a number of attacks on TechCrunch as well). Wright defends the abilities of his team and technical management, which have previously been criticized as lax and unprofessional.

It’s never professional to go on the attack when someone declines your job offer. With a company as controversial as PayPerPost, there’s also a good chance the embarrassment will be forwarded to the press. The lesson here – be very careful before you take a job at this company, and if you decline, don’t even think about giving your honest opinion. And if you’re a startup looking for a smart engineer, Lawrence Salberg is still on the market.