Phil’s Failed TI Interview

Oooookay, so once upon a time I *REALLY* didn’t want to work at $MAJOR_LASER_CO anymore and was trying not to with a new gig. (SPOILER: I eventually escaped by going to Antarctica.) Toward this escape, I applied to work as a safety engineer at Texas Instruments in Santa Cruz, CA. This was exciting to me on the grounds of moving & working closer to my family again rather than commuting to Silicon Valley everyday.

But, like usual, it makes me upset to be late to meetings so I made plenty of leeway time driving there. Traffic was very kind that day, as you can never predict the Bay Area and especially Highway 17, so I got there WAY early. After sitting bored in the car for a while, I decided to take a lap of the facility. Please note, I was wearing a suit and carrying my clipboard/notebook with me. NOTE: a safety professional should never be without a way to take notes.

Three quarters of the way around the building I came upon employee patio where people were having smokes. Apparently, I hit just in time for a break and walked directly into the breakroom. I grabbed a Coke from the vending machine. A couple swigs later, I followed everyone in at the end of break time.

Again, I was wearing a suit and had a clipboard. *NO ONE* questioned me as I proceeded to walk through the fab. I really should have been forced to wear clean room garb. I shouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near the coating chambers. I got to ask some questions, checked neat things out, and went to the bathroom. I looked at my blackberry pager, as that was my watch at that point, realized the time and figured I should go to the lobby for my appointment. So, I checked the emergency evacuation map and found my way.

At the appointed interview time, I walked into the lobby to meet my host. I extended a hand to shake in greeting. He stared at my hand. Then at the lobby entry door. Then at the door I had come from leading to the offices & fab. Then at my hand again.

To his credit, he had the grace to conduct the interview. At the end he said, “I’d offer you a tour, but I think you’ve already had it.”

Me: I have some thoughts about your chemical handling, cleanrooms, and access control.
Him: I bet you do.

Readers, this may be a shock but I didn’t get that job. For the record, doing this to Lockheed was much worse.

…and then he went to Antarctica.