Take Your Proprietary File Format And Shove It!

Fake News written by James Baughn on Sunday, August 26, 2001

from the word-makes-you-look-absurd dept.

TRENTON, NEW JERSEY -- Last year, the Pointy Haired Bosses at Real-Time Tangents, Inc. decreed that all job applications and resumes must be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word 2000 format.

Bad move. Ethan Fornwalt, a Linux zealot, has filed a lawsuit alleging that the company engages in discrimination by requiring prospective employees to own Microsoft Office.

"This is an outrage," Fornwalt said in an interview. "I'm not going to buy some crappy software for several hundred dollars just to submit a resume. Besides, to run Office I have to either get a Mac (ugh) or get a PC running Windows (double ugh). This is definitely a form of discrimination against my choice of computing orientation. It's a violation of Federal law... at least, I hope it is."

Ethan Fornwalt was originally unaware of the anti-Linux policy. "The RealTimeTangentsInc.com website contains so many Flash applets, proprietary plug-ins, and non-standard JavaScript and VBScipt kludges that it only works with IE 5.5 on Windows," he explained. "So I wasn't able to access the 'Job Openings' page which contains the instructions for sending a resume as a Word attachment."

The President of Vice for Real-Time Tangents defends his company's Microsoft-only policy. "We simply don't have the resources to train our staff to open documents in other formats," he argued.

When we asked why the company couldn't just accept plain ASCII text files and open them in Notepad, the veep looked at us blankly and asked, "What's that?"

Even if Fornwalt wins his lawsuit, it wouldn't necessarily be a victory for the Linux community. One Linux company requires that all job applicants send their resumes as a webpage in XHTML 1.0 format -- and it must pass through a validator without any errors or warnings.

Said one legal observer, "Some clueless luser who only uses Microsoft Frontpage might consider that a form of discrimination. Of course, why would a Windows weenie want a job with a Linux company? But on the other hand, why would a Linux zealot really want a job with a company that requires Word documents? Shouldn't that send up a red flag?"

Mr. Fornwalt told us, strictly off the record, "Oh, I don't want to work for Real-Time Tangents, Inc. I just want to make an example of them. And if I pick up some cash in a large settlement, well... why not?"

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