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Apple employee spouse stages wacky weekend protest

post #1 of 122
Thread Starter 
An oversupply of overtime hours at Apple's campus literally drove one employee's spouse into a frenzy.

According to a Mercury News article published this morning, employees working at Apple Computer's campus in Cupertino this weekend received a fringe benefit they weren't expecting in the form of a spontaneous protest staged by an employee's spouse.

The husband of the unnamed employee, Michael Gough, reportedly dropped through the campus to demonstrate his frustration about the overtime hours he said his wife was required to work at Apple. "He drove a small car around Apple with a sign reading: 'KAPAO: Kids and Pets Against Overtime.'"

"I was driving around with two teenage boys and a dog,'' Gough said, "and we had a loudspeaker on the car and our basic message was, 'We are kids and pets against overtime, and we're here to shout out a message of solidarity to all of you hardworking people at Apple Computer who are working long hours on the weekend during the holiday season.'''

At one point, a security guard stopped Gough's car, but a small crowd of employees nearby were cheering him on.
post #2 of 122
never hang out with non-employees,...


p.s. don't let your gf get a work at apple if you aren't working there.. too tempting. if she likes geeks that is. *ahem*
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post #3 of 122
Gawd most people would kill for a little overtime getting close to the holiday's , if you do not like to work the take off and let someone that is willing to put in some time have your job. Simple
post #4 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Giaguara
never hang out with non-employees,...


p.s. don't let your gf get a work at apple if you aren't working there.. too tempting. if she likes geeks that is. *ahem*

Been touring Apple campus recently?
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post #5 of 122
i'm glad that they're busy, this close to MWSF
post #6 of 122
Hmm. Instead of protesting something dumb with your children and pets, why not do something fun with them?

I could picture it:

"Okay, kids! Let's get Fido and jump in the car!"

"Yay! Where we going? The park? The playground?"

"No, we're gonna patrol around Apple's campus begging for mommy to come home."

"Awww, dad! Again?"

"Shut up and get in the car, kid."
post #7 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by drsuse
i'm glad that they're busy, this close to MWSF

My thoughts exactly.8)

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post #8 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
Been touring Apple campus recently?

i haven't but my roomie went to cupertino for a week (and all i got was this lousy apple webobjects t shirt...) ..
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post #9 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Cisco_Kid
Gawd most people would kill for a little overtime getting close to the holiday's , if you do not like to work the take off and let someone that is willing to put in some time have your job. Simple

Ah if only it were so simple.

First of all, you presume that the person actually gets PAID for the overtime...and increasingly erroneous assumption. So, if don't get paid for it (like me) then the overtime is simply a free gift to your employer.

Second, quitting is certainly an option...but in the economy we've had over the past few years...there might a valid concern of not being able to find another job.

"Overtime exploitation" is an increasing problem in corporate America.
post #10 of 122
I'm not sure if that's more offensive to women--how dare they abandon a woman's place in the home?--or to men--how can a mere man cope with kids without mommy's help?

I say, divorce him, take the kids, and let him have the dog
post #11 of 122
I got the impression when I first heard about the story that it was a fairly humorous event, low-speed "chase" and everything. Gotta feel for the family, I'm sure while it was a funny stunt, that they're missing they're mom at dinner. \
post #12 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by nagromme
I'm not sure if that's more offensive to women--how dare they abandon a woman's place in the home?--or to men--how can a mere man cope with kids without mommy's help?

Or, perhaps he was inspired by the LiveJournal posting from the wife of an EA employee who was being worked to death.

If the family all want to see each other, that only seems healthy to me. And if the employee (male or female) burns out, everyone loses.
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post #13 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
"Overtime exploitation" is an increasing problem in corporate America.

There's been a lot of noise about the very same thing in games companies recently, specifically regarding EA. Someone's wife never got to see her husband, so she put up a blog... linky

I hope it isn't like this at Apple... that would really suck from a company that likes to purportedly 'Think Diffierent'.

Neil.
a.k.a. Arnel
post #14 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Ah if only it were so simple.

First of all, you presume that the person actually gets PAID for the overtime...and increasingly erroneous assumption. So, if don't get paid for it (like me) then the overtime is simply a free gift to your employer.

Second, quitting is certainly an option...but in the economy we've had over the past few years...there might a valid concern of not being able to find another job.

"Overtime exploitation" is an increasing problem in corporate America.

Contrary to what many may think, forty hours (or thirty-five if you live in France) is the minimum a person should work. All the successful people I know work quite a bit more.

Like we used to say when I was in the Marines: "day long stay long," if there's still work that needs to be done, you stay until it's finished. Of course there is a bit of a difference in the work ethic of most "civilians" compared to those in the military. I know because I have to put up with it everyday.
post #15 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by schmidm77
Contrary to what many may think, forty hours (or thirty-five if you live in France) is the minimum a person should work. All the successful people I know work quite a bit more.

Like we used to say when I was in the Marines: "day long stay long," if there's still work that needs to be done, you stay until it's finished. Of course there is a bit of a difference in the work ethic of most "civilians" compared to those in the military. I know because I have to put up with it everyday.

Wow, employers would like that attitude. As the business improves and they get more work, they could hold off employing anyone new and get you to work a bit extra, until you were close to dropping dead (well, hopefully they'd stop there, after all they'd be getting an _excellent_ deal with you and would want to keep that one going!)

40 hours 'minimum'? hehe

When I apply for jobs I find out what's expected of me, what the pay is, what the benefits are. Expected of me may be hours, overtime, working at multiple locations... if the pay and benefits are worth it for me to give them what they expect then things are good for both of us.

If I promise the world just to get in the door, and in the tight market they take advantage of me... well that's why laws were made to protect the employee (though whether they _work_ is another thing).

I agree work hard, and overtime occasionally. If it's expected ALL the time then the company is badly managed - or it should be reflected in pay and benefits.
post #16 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by GregAlexander
Wow, employers would like that attitude. As the business improves and they get more work, they could hold off employing anyone new and get you to work a bit extra, until you were close to dropping dead (well, hopefully they'd stop there, after all they'd be getting an _excellent_ deal with you and would want to keep that one going!)

40 hours 'minimum'? hehe

When I apply for jobs I find out what's expected of me, what the pay is, what the benefits are. Expected of me may be hours, overtime, working at multiple locations... if the pay and benefits are worth it for me to give them what they expect then things are good for both of us.

If I promise the world just to get in the door, and in the tight market they take advantage of me... well that's why laws were made to protect the employee (though whether they _work_ is another thing).

I agree work hard, and overtime occasionally. If it's expected ALL the time then the company is badly managed - or it should be reflected in pay and benefits.

Well of course, and that is why you negotiate a salary.

But if you accept the job and the pay/benefits that come with it, then you should do whatever work the employer expects for that job. Companies don't exist to provide jobs, they exist to make money; that's a fact of life. I haven't seen too many "salary" jobs where you could expect to only work forty hours every week.
post #17 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Giaguara
i haven't but my roomie went to cupertino for a week (and all i got was this lousy apple webobjects t shirt...) ..

Ask for one of these next time:

http://www.dougintosh.com/novelties/mug_white/

Still my favorite Apple visit souvenir.
post #18 of 122
Nah, Tuttle .. that's retro. And it's enough difficult already to find a non-branded mug in this house.

Better not let Susann (one of the roomies) not see this thread, or she might get some ideas.
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post #19 of 122
Humor aside, overtime is fine if what you make is worth it, and sometimes they DO pay you enough for that.

But that's often not the case. MANY companies exploit people lower down, working them harder than their pay should indicate, while higher-ups make an insane amount of money--often for little more than taking credit for what the underpaid workers are actually doing. And "so just quit" doesn't always work. Finding a new job in the Bush economy isn't a sure bet, and selling your house and uprooting your family--and THEIR jobs/schools--is no laughing matter either. Employers know that.

I'm not saying Apple is guilty of the above or not, I have no idea--I hope not! But I think many if not most companies are, and I don't think it's good for productivity or profits in the end--not to mention mental health and human happiness. I don't think it's good for society.

All part of a SEVERE overhaul of management practices (like rewarding image over genuine competence) that our society needs. Not for the sake of the workers OR the corporations, but for everyone's sake.
post #20 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by schmidm77
Contrary to what many may think, forty hours (or thirty-five if you live in France) is the minimum a person should work. All the successful people I know work quite a bit more.

Like we used to say when I was in the Marines: "day long stay long," if there's still work that needs to be done, you stay until it's finished. Of course there is a bit of a difference in the work ethic of most "civilians" compared to those in the military. I know because I have to put up with it everyday.

Let's see here...I sign on for some fixed pay rate...and the employer can just demand whatever of me (including as many hours as they need/wish)?

Seems a tad twisted (and wrong) to me. As you state in another post...companies don't exist to make jobs...but money...well this is true...but so long as they wish to make money, they'll need to employ people. If they stop employing people they also won't make any money (think about this before you reject it).

Furthermore...I exist to live...have a family...have an enjoyable life...not simply to be used by someone else...for their own wealth creation goals...and then disposed of.

Oh, and one more thing, everyone that continues to work regular and extensive overtime is not only lowering their OWN standard of living...but also (essentially) stealing jobs from other able-bodied workers.

You see, the more people that are gainfully employed in a society, the more prosperous that society will be (as a whole).
post #21 of 122
I don't mean to flame, but seriously, people wonder why so many jobs are going overseas.

This crap doesn't happen in India.

(And, just so you know I am not flame bating...I am a American living in San Francisco.)

But the point still holds. Companies have a lot more choice nowadays about where to hire people.
post #22 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by BWhaler
I don't mean to flame, but seriously, people wonder why so many jobs are going overseas.

This crap doesn't happen in India.

I don't wonder at all. And what crap are you speaking of? Surely you are not saying that someone desiring a balanced life that includes family, pleasure AND work (not JUST work) is "crap"? IF this is what you think, then I have two questions for you:

1. What is the purpose of our lives?

2. What is the purpose of money?
post #23 of 122
I suffered a major burnout a couple years ago, so I really feel for the Apple and EA employee. The long hours, flawed systems, office bueracacy, politics, personal pager all took its toll. I saw the meltdown coming and I quit. It was a big shock to the coworkers. They never expected it from me. Actually I was casualty number 4. I was a very loyal employee.

Your health is nothing to be trifled with. My personality changed before my very eyes. I was easily irritalbe, raging temper, anxiety attacks, gaging reflex, dark circles around my eyes and massively depressed. You don't want to go there.

The average worker is underpaid, overworked, and underappreciated. Technology was supposed to make life easier, not harder. If you live in north america, you work more and have fewer holidays. Europeans work less and have more holidays. And they eat better, live longer than the average american. Joe america probably smokes, eats poorly, and exercise little if any.

There is a price to be payed to be the most successful capitalist country in the world. Your well being.
post #24 of 122
I'm just grateful I've even got a job that pays me to begin with in this economy. "PAID" overtime is a definite plus. With so many people in this country out of a job and unable to support their families- people like this could use a little focus.
post #25 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Oh, and one more thing, everyone that continues to work regular and extensive overtime is not only lowering their OWN standard of living...but also (essentially) stealing jobs from other able-bodied workers.

Well, I see that the Communists have come out to play.

I can't speak for you, but I know that I was hired to preform a specific task, not just occupy one of my generous employer's desks for a span of time each day and perhaps get some work done in the process. So, if it takes me thirty-five hours to complete that task then I'm a happy guy, but if it takes my sixty, well then that is how long it takes me to get the job I was hired to do completed. I would say that I average fifty-five to sixty hours a week (yes, I am well paid for it too).

So using me as an example. Are you saying that instead of me working sixty hours to compete my task, that my company should just hire two people so that they can work thirty hours apiece to do the same thing? This would be more costly for my employer and would demand less productivity over your precious forty hours from the two employees (I guess they can just sit around and chat about the weather those last ten hours). But it would serve your purpose of artificially lowering the unemployment rate (which is exactly why France instituted their short work week requirement).

See, I don't look at it as "overtime;" I look at is the time required for me to perform the task I agreed to do when I was hired. Like I said before, different work ethic I guess.
post #26 of 122
If there's one thing I've learned about corporate beauacracy, it's that you can learn a lot from watching professional [American] football. That's right: clock management.

There will be times where you need to stay late just so that you can do your job when the time comes. Often, there is a fair amount of idle time interspered in the day, while you're waiting for your team to catch up. So that's why I anticipate a day, a week, even a month down the road in my dead time. In the end, I rarely work more than 55 hours a week in an industry that averages more than 70.

If I wanted to keep this techie, I could say that I keep a big cache full of work so that I never have to wait for memory.
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post #27 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by schmidm77
Well, I see that the Communists have come out to play.

How trite. How simplistic. How wrong.

Quote:
I can't speak for you, but I know that I was hired to preform a specific task, not just occupy one of my generous employer's desks for a span of time each day and perhaps get some work done in the process.

Well, that's great for you. But most employers don't actually specify a task for their employees. It is quite vague and open-ended. This leaves plenty of room to define what the "job" really is. And herein lies the problem. When the definition of the job continually expands...ad infinitum...the company is basically using you to avoid hiring more people to do the work that is required to make the product/service they desire to make. They "stone soup" you into 60-70 hours on a regular basis. Or what about this...what about companies who, through their management and behavior, make it difficult or impossible for you to get your work done in 40 hours...thus essentially forcing you into the 60-70 treadmill?

Things are not quite as simple as you make them out. I used to think as you do...but some years have change my views a bit.

Also, your use of the word "generous" makes me wonder if you really know the definition of the word, or are unaware that you are likely mis-applying it to any employer. No employer that I have ever encountered could be defined by this word. I don't mean that as an attack, only a statement of fact. Employers aren't being "generous" with you...they are conducting business...they are buying (salary) what you are selling (labor)...and as long as you are useful, they'll continue. They aren't doing this out of the kindness of their hearts.

Furthermore, I think it rather notable that over the years, companies have ceased referring to its people as "personnel" (a term that had the graceful and tactful distinction of having the word "person" at its root) and now refer to us as "human resources"...that's right..."resources"...a commodity to be obtained at the lowest price possible, consumed and discarded when no longer useful.


Quote:
So, if it takes me thirty-five hours to complete that task then I'm a happy guy, but if it takes my sixty, well then that is how long it takes me to get the job I was hired to do completed. I would say that I average fifty-five to sixty hours a week (yes, I am well paid for it too).

Will your employer let you go early if you have figured out how to do your job in 35...or 30...or 20 hours per week? If so, then great...if not...then it sounds as if they harbor a double-standard...you work as long as it takes to get the job done (no extra pay)...but if you are able to make yourself more efficient and get the job done more quickly...well you're still on the hook for (at least) a normal work week.

The problem with your thinking is with the vague and open-ended nature of "job descriptions"...which give an incredible amount of latitude about what "getting the job done" means. I'm all for working hard and getting the job done...and even working late to do so when (occasionally) necessary. However...if I find myself doing this on a regular basis there is one of two problems:

1. I am ineffective in my job.

2. My employer is continuing to pile work on without regard to a reasonable work/completion rate.

(well, I suppose a 3rd)

3. 1 + 2


Quote:
So using me as an example. Are you saying that instead of me working sixty hours to compete my task, that my company should just hire two people so that they can work thirty hours apiece to do the same thing? This would be more costly for my employer and would demand less productivity over your precious forty hours from the two employees (I guess they can just sit around and chat about the weather those last ten hours). But it would serve your purpose of artificially lowering the unemployment rate (which is exactly why France instituted their short work week requirement).

Well, my point was about continued and persistent overtime work. If a company is continually asking its people to work 60-70 hour weeks, then it (to me) is clearly understaffed. The occasional long week is understandable and reasonable. But when I have a family, who desires more of me than a check mailed home ever other week, then consistent 60-70 hour work weeks is unnacceptable. My work is NOT my life. I enjoy it. I am quite good at it. I also work hard at it. But it is not my only purpose for existing.

Quote:
Like I said before, different work ethic I guess.

Doubtful...please don't try to take a self-righteous position of "hard worker" versus "lazy slacker." It's trite (and untrue).

P.S. Something just occurred to me as I looked back at your first post. I never asked what your definition of a "successful person" was. That might help us both understand one another better.

I'd also be curious to hear your answers to "What the purpose of life is?" and "What the purpose of money is?" and also "What the purpose of work is?". These are useful questions to ask and answer in this context.
post #28 of 122
This might also be a topic to take up in AO. Would definitely fit in better there, now that it's gone astray from odd-little-Apple-story.
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post #29 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Kickaha
This might also be a topic to take up in AO. Would definitely fit in better there, now that it's gone astray from odd-little-Apple-story.

Can we move it?
post #30 of 122
The forum mod can.

Oh Bodhi...
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post #31 of 122
Actually wouldn't the person working 60 hours for no extra money be the Communist?
post #32 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by foshizzle
Actually wouldn't the person working 60 hours for no extra money be the Communist?

No, just the company's buttmonkey ruining it for the rest of us.
post #33 of 122
Chris is right.

If the company's staff regularly work extended hours with no compensation, then the company is understaffed.

If the company cannot rectify the situation by spreading out a task to other employees, then they should pay compensation. If you are the employee who's working 60 hours a week, and you're not asking for support or for compensation, and you're not being paid an accordingly high salary, then you are contributing to unemployment of all those additional staff that could be hired, and you're forcing your colleagues to work long hours as well, or face criticism for not being as "hard working" (read "weak and submissive") as you are..
post #34 of 122
It is definitely worker exploitation and this is exactly why many forward thinking European countries have laws limiting working hours for all staff. Considering studies which have proved that efficiency goes down dramatically for overworked staff, I'd say this is an even more important issue than minimum wage, because the actual effect of such legislation would significantly reduce unemployment.
post #35 of 122
Blah, what's the thing with mixing politics with everything..?

Quote:
Originally posted by BWhaler
I don't mean to flame, but seriously, people wonder why so many jobs are going overseas.

This crap doesn't happen in India.

(And, just so you know I am not flame bating...I am a American living in San Francisco.)

But the point still holds. Companies have a lot more choice nowadays about where to hire people.

Well, this crap DOES happen in India /overseas too. Since Apple [something of it] is in Bangalore [and a lot of other locations outside US], and in some other parts of Asia too ... you think overtime or "overtime" doesn't happen, or the spouses / partners complaining doesn't happen in the other locations..? Yea rrrrright. The "overtime" happens PARTICULARLY overseas, when you happen to fall for an Apple employee who is overseas .. or if you are overseas or whatever. And there are too many people staying at work till midnight, so I wasn't the only one with the time zone problem.
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post #36 of 122
my last job in canada was terrible about "expecting" (nudge, nudge) 60 hour weeks out of its salaried employees, not because "the work had to get done", though. it did need to get done, but the work was so poorly managed throughout the day, it was impossible to actually get everything that was expected of you done in a standard day. executives who demanded final say on projects would take 3-hour lunches on deadline days, only to come back at 4:40 p.m., not like 70% of what someone had done, supply a couple hours of revisions, some vague statements like "not exciting enough" and then leave for the day... with a press run scheduled that night for 11 p.m.

there were days i thought my stomach was going to get a true ulcer from the stress and lack of sleep.

but i agree... this sounded like something that was supposed to be "tongue in cheek," but with a hint of truth behind it.

edit: to be a bit more fair, i recently visited my old job, and they are great people... who just suffered from bad management for a while. and they DID double the staff after i left in our studio. the crazy "poop rolls downhill" structure of work still exists, but at least there are now more people there to catch it.
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post #37 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by rok
my last job in canada was terrible about "expecting" (nudge, nudge) 60 hour weeks out of its salaried employees, not because "the work had to get done", though. it did need to get done, but the work was so poorly managed throughout the day, it was impossible to actually get everything that was expected of you done in a standard day. executives who demanded final say on projects would take 3-hour lunches on deadline days, only to come back at 4:40 p.m., not like 70% of what someone had done, supply a couple hours of revisions, some vague statements like "not exciting enough" and then leave for the day... with a press run scheduled that night for 11 p.m.

Ha ha.

This is how you live as an analyst, etc, in an investment banking firm. I have enough friends doing it that I can attest.

Oh, how "The 6 year plan" so oft become the 2 year plan.
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post #38 of 122
Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
How trite. How simplistic. How wrong.

And as ridiculous as your claim that my working more than forty hours a week is stealing a job from somebody else.

Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Also, your use of the word "generous" makes me wonder if you really know the definition of the word, or are unaware that you are likely mis-applying it to any employer. No employer that I have ever encountered could be defined by this word. I don't mean that as an attack, only a statement of fact. Employers aren't being "generous" with you...they are conducting business...they are buying (salary) what you are selling (labor)...and as long as you are useful, they'll continue. They aren't doing this out of the kindness of their hearts.

No, I intentionally misused the word "generous" precisely because an employer is not going to be so generous as to just give a job to somebody so that he can sit at a desk for eight hours a day and collect a pay check. It's called context.

Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
Furthermore, I think it rather notable that over the years, companies have ceased referring to its people as "personnel" (a term that had the graceful and tactful distinction of having the word "person" at its root) and now refer to us as "human resources"...that's right..."resources"...a commodity to be obtained at the lowest price possible, consumed and discarded when no longer useful.

I really don't waste the time required to dwell on trivial things like titles or names. So of course, I don't have a problem with calling a stewardess a stewardess or a steward a steward either.

Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Cuilla
P.S. Something just occurred to me as I looked back at your first post. I never asked what your definition of a "successful person" was. That might help us both understand one another better.

I am asserting in general terms that the level of success, in business, that a person will attain in life is directly related to that person's willingness to work beyond some arbitrary maximum of time (i.e. a forty hour work week). I have never met a small business owner who worked only forty hours a week, nor do the senior managers/executives who I am acquainted with. Although I do not know any personally, I wonder how many successful lawyers punch the clock at forty hours?

Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
If the company cannot rectify the situation by spreading out a task to other employees, then they should pay compensation. If you are the employee who's working 60 hours a week, and you're not asking for support or for compensation, and you're not being paid an accordingly high salary, then you are contributing to unemployment of all those additional staff that could be hired, and you're forcing your colleagues to work long hours as well, or face criticism for not being as "hard working" (read "weak and submissive") as you are.

Well, you should understand the responsibilities of the job before you accept it shouldn't you? Salary negotiation is a part of the hiring process.

Here we go again with this nonsense that somehow it is my fault that somebody else doesn't have a job because I work more than forty hours.

I worked an hourly retail job several years ago in college. There were plenty of times when I would have liked to work more than forty (or whatever it was) but I couldn't because it cost too much for the company to pay overtime. So, thanks to overtime laws, people who couldn't make it with just the forty hours (luckily not me at the time) were stuck getting another job to make the difference. Tell me how that doesn't hurt the unemployment rate? I know if I needed the money and didn't have any higher skills, I would rather work sixty hours at one job with no overtime, than to try juggling the schedules of two jobs because neither of them will let me more work more than thirty-five or forty.

Quote:
Originally posted by tonton
It is definitely worker exploitation and this is exactly why many forward thinking European countries have laws limiting working hours for all staff. Considering studies which have proved that efficiency goes down dramatically for overworked staff, I'd say this is an even more important issue than minimum wage, because the actual effect of such legislation would significantly reduce unemployment.

Yes, because minimum wage and overtime laws actually reduce unemployment.

Those "forward thinking" European countries you are so enamored with are also massive welfare states where your personal property and wealth only mean anything so long as they aren't required by politicians to help fund their next big social program.

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There is such a thing as a labor market. Employers who do not compete for skilled labor will at some point find themselves out of business; they cannot really afford to just treat their workers like floor-mats. And as they say, it truly is better for the business to have happy, productive workers. Of course, employers don't have to do much competing if, as I've read in a couple of posts here, employees are too timid to move on when the conditions of employment change in an unsatisfactory way. I've quit a job before, and yes it sucked, but I am better off for it now.

As an aside: I too wanted to work in the software development field a long time ago. But I realized then that the nature of the job and deadlines were never going to be reliable enough for me to plan the life I wanted around.

Here's an honest question I have wondered about: are temp-hire coders, when a deadline is looming, as effective as the permanent employees who have been working with the code-base for a long time? So is it really prudent, when considering the quality of the product, for a software company to take on a lot of new workers, who aren't normally needed, to meet a deadline just to release them afterwards?

Well, this thread has become pretty crazy; but I suppose the topic lends itself to this type of discussion.
post #39 of 122
Quote:
Here's an honest question I have wondered about: are temp-hire coders, when a deadline is looming, as effective as the permanent employees who have been working with the code-base for a long time? So is it really prudent, when considering the quality of the product, for a software company to take on a lot of new workers, who aren't normally needed, to meet a deadline just to release them afterwards?

They are absolutely not effective. In our business, it can take a new developer months to get up to speed learning the technology and code base and be productive. No way you could temp that sort of thing out. One thing that has worked well in the past though was hiring (yes paying) co-op students as part of engineering school work terms to do smaller 3-4 month projects. They bring a great energy and new perspective on projects that are well contained.
post #40 of 122
100% agreed, Gmac.

Read Fred Brooks' "The Mythical Man-Month" for the classic treatise on this. He wrote it in the 60s when management was likely to treat programming as 'manufacturing', assuming that throwing another shift or a few more workers onto a task would make it go faster - it usually makes it take longer, due to communication issues and the learning curve.

Unfortunately, management seems slow to learn.
My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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My brain is hung like a HORSE!
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