2756: Qualifications

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'So how DID you go from working at the employment records office to becoming president of MIT and CEO of IBM?' 'I guess I just have an eye for opportunities.'
Title text: 'So how DID you go from working at the employment records office to becoming president of MIT and CEO of IBM?' 'I guess I just have an eye for opportunities.'


Black Hat is being interviewed for some unidentified position. From the conversation, it seems clear that he has used some prior access to the employment records at the employment record office he worked at to fraudulently manufacture a history of having worked there for 600 years. There are some institutions that are extant today with over 600 years of history, but, with the exception of some arms of the Catholic Church, none of their individual offices or departments have existed for that long; also, human lifespans rarely exceed 100 years, never mind 600.[citation needed] He also claims an additional pair of prestigious jobs in the title text, but it is unclear whether these 'facts' were entirely due to false records or, knowing Black Hat's other interviews, briefly true but only as a result of false representation/underhanded actions.

His interviewers, Cueball and Hairbun, are not entirely unaware of the implausibility, but Hairbun, at least, seems content to have just verified the validity of the claim. The 'validation' arises from the clearly tainted information source, given the whole chain of supporting evidence that may have been falsified. This is essentially a more elaborate version of Black Hat's ploy in another interview 17 years prior.

Employers often encounter résumés that have implausibly padded experience claims. Most applicants try not to be this implausible, and few employers are so credulous as to take self-supporting lies at face value.


[Black Hat sits in an office chair. Cueball, facing him, sits on another office chair at his desk and Hairbun stands behind him. Cueball is holding documents in his hands.]
Cueball: Impressive résumé.
Cueball: It says that you have over six hundred years of experience at the employment records office? That can't be right.
Hairbun: I thought so too, but it checks out.

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This reminds me of Ken Thompson's Turing Award lecture, https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rdriley/487/papers/Thompson_1984_ReflectionsonTrustingTrust.pdf Barmar (talk) 21:23, 29 March 2023 (UTC)

if you’re playing with your llama and build a time machine, make sure to rescue not only randall but everyone else too ! (edit: llama is a powerful language model presently popular, originally shared to non-researchers on 4chan. the joke relates to consumer and general AI being on a huge up-curve without mention in the comic.) 23:34, 29 March 2023 (UTC)

over 600 ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) -- 00:11, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

Featured on r/overemployed 16:14, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

The first sentence of the second paragraph should be reworded. Hairbun seems to be content to have verified the claim but the reader doesn't know if Cueball is as credulous as Hairbun. Inquirer (talk) 04:07, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

"This is essentially a more elaborate version of Black Hat's ploy in another interview 17 years prior." that sentence has made feel older than any of Randall's "feel old yet?" comics, yeez! 15:49, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

So, Cueball and Hairbun are registered voters in NYʻs 3rd Congressional district? With hugs to Randall, the best line in comics remains Walt Kellyʻs: "We have met the enemy and he is us." 16:20, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

Apparently, George Santos has been BlackHat all this time. These Are Not The Comments You Are Looking For (talk) 00:29, 3 April 2023 (UTC)
I think Black Hat was ousted recently, wasn't he kicked out of Congress? Psychoticpotato (talk) 13:14, 6 May 2024 (UTC)

17 years! Thanks for making me feel very old Boatster (talk) 22:56, 30 March 2023 (UTC)

17 years! Geez, I thought he'd been at it for maybe 12 years (I remember seeing my first XKCD posted in a cubicle in like 2012 or 2011), but damn, even THAT is a long time ago! Time flies! NiceGuy1 (talk) 05:19, 1 April 2023 (UTC)

This comic reminded me of a (Portuguese) song "Stories (An orchestrated campaign)" that includes the lyrics (translated): "Look at his criminal record certificate, issued by him without anyone's help. Flawless! Great! It says: his only crime was to falsify his criminal record." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GO2_skp5Pk Lyrics (in Portuguese) https://fora-de-cena.blogs.sapo.pt/140888.html Rps (talk) 14:35, 3 April 2023 (UTC)

This comic is possibly related to this joke: A lawyer passed away and arrived at the Pearly Gates for judgment. The lawyer said to St. Peter, “There must be some mistake! I’m only 50 years old, that’s far too young to die.” St. Peter frowned and consulted his book. “That’s funny, when we add up your billing records, you should be at least 600 years old by now!”

This reminds me of an insane story about executive at the University of Utah. Fox 13 news (one of the local stations) did an expose about an executive at the university named Christopher Massimine. He had an impossible number of qualifications on his resume that no reasonable person would believe. It took Fox 13 News about 5 minutes to find out that just a few of his qualifications were absolute BS. He claimed to have been an important figure in the movie, TV, music, advertising, theater, and video game industries. Among other things, he claimed to have worked on Resident Evil, Final Fantasy, and The Legend of Zelda. Those are from 3 different Japanese video game studios. He was 35, and the school found him after an 18 month search. You'd think they would be able to find someone better after 18 months. Although if they could survive 18 months without that position filled, maybe it wasn't a necessary position in the first place. Here's the article for anyone interested. https://www.fox13now.com/news/fox-13-investigates/fox-13-investigates-high-paid-university-of-utah-executive-lied-on-resume-published-fake-articles mushubeardieMushubeardie (talk) 21:58, 16 April 2023 (UTC)