Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I can't even *fail* correctly

As long as I am on the subject of my last job, here is another post I made to Slashdot, after someone said that if your job is *really* that bad, just go in and sit down and do nothing until they fire you:

Ummm... I thought of this too, so I looked up the document on our corporate website that detailed exactly what you could be fired for.

It turns out that at my company, coming in and sitting at your desk and not doing your job means you have implicitly quit, and they don't need to fire you... you quit honoring your contract with them when you decided not to do the work they assigned you.

Similarly for coming in late, leaving early, taking 4 hour lunch breaks... none of the 'passive' techniques are defined as a firable offense, they are defined as you announcing that you have quit.

I read that document about a hundred times, trying to see what I could do to get fired. It turns out there is *NOTHING* I could do to get fired that I couldn't also be arrested for.

When tech companies have a structure like this:


it should come as no surprise that you don't have any options... the 'management' and 'marketing' departments make sure that your job is impossible, and the 'legal' department makes sure that if you leave, you do it on their terms.

I'm not exagerrating there... they had all the bases covered. Think about what that means: the protections the unions fought for have been weaseled out of by the corporations. They just redefined the playing field such that any full-time employee is 'exempt' from things like getting paid for all of the time they work.

I finally had to quit, knowing that I had no recourse to unemployment, no health insurance, and no chance of getting another job. My work record was written by the same guy that was taking credit for my work. The market is so fucked that engineers with ten times my experience are getting paid half of what I was making.

I'm in such bad shape from stress-related health issues that I can barely get out of bed most days; I don't really have any hopes that the future will be better than this. I'm slowly cleaning up the messes in my life, so if I decide to check out I won't be dumping them on anyone else. I get about an hour each day when my medication makes me feel 'normal', and I usually spend that time wondering where exactly everything went wrong.