The Quest for "New Ideas" Wasn’t

I just got off a conference call with a company I have been working with.  It’s not a company I have blogged about before, or even mentioned to any of my friends/associates.  We were too early in discussions for me to talk about them.

Several interesting things happened on this call – first, I was offered a long-term contract (which is what I was looking for) – kinda.  The “kinda” part surprised me.

The kinda was based on me not being the author of this blog.

Wow.  I was “kinda shocked”.  And more than kinda interested in what was going on.

It turns out this private company is run by a devout Southern Baptist, and he didn’t like some of the posts I have made.

So much for this company bringing in someone who will help them think different.  They can’t think different as long as they aren’t thinking. 

In retrospect, I am glad I found this out now instead of a month from now.  If a company is making business decisions based on the religious beliefs of its management chain with no regard to how others who may or may not have different beliefs can help their business, then they are blinded by religion.  They are zealots.  At least they are fools.

In much the same manner that I skirt political commentary, I try to stay away from religious commentary.  Not saying I don’t touch on the subjects – I just don’t dwell on them.  This blog isn’t meant to be religious OR political.  Oh, believe me, I have strong opinions on both – and those that know me well have often discussed these issues in depth with me.  Often just shy of blows being exchanged! 🙂

The next interesting thing was the final part of the conversation when I was literally told that should I “choose to accept Jesus Christ into my Heart” then the contract was mine.

Regardless of my views on religion (which nobody can discern from reading this blog) that’s just a bizarre way to run a company.  I know – it’s his company, and he can run it as he pleases.  And that’s exactly what I told him as I bowed out of the opportunity.

I like people that have the kind of drive and emotion this guy has – but I want him to have it for his company, and his employees, and his customers.   He can certainly have it for his choice of “God of The Day”, but he also has to have it for his business.  And he didn’t.  And any enthusiasm I had about this opportunity dissolved as soon as I realized that this guy just didn’t have his head in the right game.

Whenever I think I have seen the craziest things in business, I find something new. A CEO proselytizing in a conference call with a potential partner is a new one to me!


  1. OK, so to bring some level of closure to this – the CEO just called me, and we chatted for about ten minutes.  He apologized, and admitted he was out of line.  He said, "I just have so much going on that sometimes I don’t think before I speak".  I can understand that – I’ve been there.

    He directly apologized for the religious affronts and offered me the contract (which I again declined).  He basically told me he was having the equivalent of a "bad hair day".  And I believe his apology was genuine, just as I believe he’ll make the same mistake again, on his next "bad hair day".

    I had planned on naming the company and the CEO here if I didn’t get a response from my email.  Turns out he hadn’t even read my email yet – he was just following the comments on this thread.

    So as far as I am concerned, my dealings with this company is finished, and I wish them the best.  They have a cool idea for a consumer product that I would like to see on the market.  But honestly, at this point, I would like to see someone else offer it.

    I was not under an NDA for this, and could freely share and embarrass this CEO, and his company.  I realize that.  He realizes that.  But the bigger man wins the smaller battles, and doesn’t try to monetize those important little victories.  So I think I am done with this issue now.


    Do I think he’s changed in any way?  No.

  2. Paul, I agree with you – but again I think the fact that I was only being considered as a third party contractor may play in here in a different way than even your tenant landlord deals.  I’m not sure.  Hopefully their aren;t any Lawyers reading my blog (just a Joke!), but if their are, I would appreciate their comments….


  3. I know that my property manager always told me to be EXTREMELY careful with rejecting new tenants for my rental properties, because MANY sue for discrimination (race and religion)! My rental properies were a privately owned thing! And the link I sent you stated that these laws DO apply to private companies. As for that lesson, maybe don’t bother .. you might as well debate a creationist .. complete waste of time, because they will not listen to you. They’re too convinced their particular brand of delusion has some truth to it and are too afraid to do any self-critical thinking. They’re lost and too far gone for help.

  4. Paul – not sure this applies to a privately owned company hiring a contractor – and he didn’t specifically deny me an opportunity.  Basically he made it one that I was no longer interested in.  But you make a good point – He should learn something from this.  I am crafting an email directly to him, and I’ll be interested in his reply, if any.

    I’m not litigious, so I’m not interested in going that direction.  I’m interested in doing honest work for honest companies that treat me as well as I treat them (or even better – as well as I treat their customers).

  5. He surely IS opening himself up to a devastating (for him) lawsuit: discrimination on religion (or lackthereof) IS illegal, even for private companies and business owners. It’s VERY simple to make him hire you now (just to teach him a lesson: you can resign the next day).

  6. Deannie – I don’t think it’s illegal.  It’s a private company.


  7. Update: The CTO just called me back directly.  I could tell he was
    extremely embarrassed.  But what’s done is done.  He knows that his CEO
    is over the line on this one, but he needs his job.

    MR. CEO, if you are reading this – you were wrong.  You shouldn’t
    hire me because I have the same religious beliefs you do.  You
    shouldn’t refuse to hire me if I don’t.  You should hire me (or anyone)
    based on what they have to offer YOU and your company, and most
    importantly your customers.

  8. And you didn’t even mention that this request is ummm, ILLEGAL. He can’t ask you what your affiliation is or press his upon you. WOW.