Just before giving up on corporate America for good, I was heavily recruited for the VP of marketing job at Atheros, a late-stage startup and early Wi-Fi innovator. I knew the technology was hot and was sure that the company would make it, so when I say I wanted that job, I’m not kidding.

After interviewing with the senior leadership team, the CEO, Craig Barratt (now a Google SVP), said I was their guy and he was going to “fast track” me through the process, get me set up with a couple of board directors – as is typically done with a key executive hire – and seal the deal.

So I met with the founder, the two top VCs backing the company, and everything seemed hunky dory. Except for one thing. I never heard from them again. Not a peep from the company or the executive recruiter who had aggressively courted me for this particular opportunity. Not even an email.

Of course I circled back to them but all I got was radio silence.

They soon hired someone else for the job, so either the CEO jumped the gun or one of the VCs nixed me. It happens. In any case, they should have been straightforward or at least followed up. Going dark like that, especially with a senior level candidate the company actively pursued, is pretty uncool. Come to think of it, it’s about as low class as you can get.

That sort of thing was rare back in the day but it’s happening more and more.

Fast-forward a dozen years or so to the present day. The CEO of a relatively small but fast growing software company contacted me out of the blue about a management consulting gig. We did a call, it seemed to go swimmingly, he asked for a proposal, I sent that along, and that was it. Zilch.

You know, I wouldn’t have cared if he emailed to say, “Hey dude, your hourly rate is astronomical, especially considering what an enormous jackass you are, so we’re going to pass.” I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but to me, that’s just business. That’s closure. At least then I can move on.

But no. Instead I got nada. Low class.

I’m currently searching for a publicist for my upcoming book. I haven’t made a choice yet, but when I do, you can bet that I’ll circle back to every single firm that took the time to chat. To me, that’s just good work ethic. It’s the right thing to do. It’s good karma. It’s served me well over the years. And it only takes a minute.

In this world, what goes around really does come around. Little things have a funny way of making a big difference. Have a little class and do the right thing. Believe me; it’s well worth it.

(Image credit MTV Jersey Shore)