Thanks, y'all. I think it bothers me on two levels. On one level it's the personal inconvenience and stress -- no one likes being lied to, jerked around and stood up. On another level it really upsets me that we as human beings allow this level of corruption and dishonesty to FLOURISH in the business world. I mean, if I screw up my credit rating as an individual, my bad behavior will follow me around for years if not decades. That's how businesses protect themselves from ME. However, businesses that are corrupt, dishonest and filled to the rafters with liars are REWARDED in the marketplace for their bad behavior.
Where is the equivalent of a credit report for businesses who (for example) promise new-hires a bonus will be part of their salary and then manage to (year after year) never quite make enough to actually pay a bonus. (That is: LIE to every new-hire in order to get them to accept a lower salary.)
Or promise an employee that they can "bank" their vacation days over a period of years and save up for a six-week trip to Europe to study abroad (this happened to me) but then, three weeks before the long-scheduled, long-planned vacation, lay off the employee and refuse to pay them a dime for their six weeks worth of unused vacation days.
Or for companies whose recruiters LIE to every technologist they contact, pretending that their company has been retained by a hiring company to pre-screen potential employees, when in fact they have NO business relationship with the hiring company and are just harassing the hiring company's HR staff with unsolicited resumes in the hopes that one of them will stick?
Or for companies who will hire contractors telling them (this also happened to me) that the job is a 12-month contract as a programmer using the latest-greatest, in-demand programming language, when in fact, the hiring manager NEVER intended it to be anything other than a 2-month analyst job -- that the contractor will never even touch the new/cool/in-demand technology they were told they'd be using all day (never had enough user licenses to even install it on my work laptop), thereby creating a huge hole in the contractor's resume which will be very hard to explain to future hiring managers. Why would they do this? Because they understood that NO SERIOUS PROGRAMMER would want the real job, so they LIE to get you on-board hoping that once they have you on-staff you'll resign yourself to sticking it out (knowing full well that if you quit, you won't be eligible for unemployment insurance again and you'll have something even messier on your resume to explain to future hiring managers.)
I could go on, but the lies, lies, lies cover every aspect of work: how much they can afford to pay you, whether or not you can expect a bonus, what is actually covered in their "benefits" package, what your working environment will be like, how long your contract is really for, what kind of work you'll actually be doing, the customary hours, what kind of technology you'll actually be using on the job, etc.
These companies will just lie, lie, lie and there are no repercussions. In fact, it's worse than that: they are REWARDED for lying -- higher profits, more competitive edge compared to the honest businesses, etc. It's nauseating to me that people all around me are choosing to LIVE A LIE rather than live a life of integrity. It's soul-crushing to never be able to trust anyone I work with or interact with for business. Even worse are the sociopaths who will laugh and say, "Hey, it's just business." as if being a bald-faced, unscrupulous liar is somehow admirable and to be expected as normal. Not to me. To me, it's completely, unforgivably, hideously ugly.