Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Get back in your box

Today on Slashdot there was a post by a fellow that organized a group walkout at his workplace because circumstances got, in his opinion, untenable.

You suddenly find yourself working 50-60 hour weeks, put on call with no compensation, given unreasonable amounts of work and generally treated like dirt.

Given my experience at my last job, which I am *still* feeling the repercussions of 8 months after I quit, I felt like a little perspective was needed, even if it was just my skewed perspective. So I replied:

Man, at my last job we *dreamed* about getting "50-60 hour weeks, put on call with no compensation, given unreasonable amounts of work and generally treated like dirt". After the first round of layoffs, my job sounded like what you describe...

...but there were 4 more rounds of layoffs after that, and each time someone in my group got axed, I got their workload added onto mine.

Try 80-90 hour weeks, 7 months without a Saturday or Sunday off so I could finish a project that my boss took credit for, denied a promotion because the reports of that same boss showed I wasn't really putting in an effort, and constant Warnings Of Doom from everyone about how if I quit I'd never be able to find another job.

My health got shot to hell, my attitude got shot to hell, my *life* got shot to hell... one day a co-worker asked my boss if he was worried I'd quit, given the ludicrous conditions, and my boss replied "he'll never quit... I *own* him".

I put in my notice the next day.

Months later, I'm still in bad health, attitude hasn't really improved, and I have made the decision to let my college degree gather dust rather than go through that again. I'm looking at going into manual labor, if my health improves enough to allow it, and taking a handful of sleeping pills, if it doesn't.

So what was your problem again? To me, it sounds like you live in fucking SUGAR COATED *FAIRY*LAND*, cavorting with the fucking ELVES and UNICORNS and TELETUBBIES, and you're complaining that you don't like the flavor of fucking MARMALADE they put on your fucking TOAST.

I think that the corporate world has become such a dehumanizing place that the circumstances described by the original poster are the norm... I don't know what it is that he wanted or expected. We go to college and work our asses off to get a degree, so we are qualified to be treated like an animal in the workplace. Hoo-fucking-ray.

I'll never go back. I am a damned good engineer, but I'm not willing to take the amount of bullshit they are shelling out. I miss the payckeck, but not enough to ever do it again. I don't know what my future holds, or even if I have a future... but there are some trade-offs I will not make. They can't take my soul.