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View Diary: Democratic Senator To MORE IT Workers: No More Pay For Your Overtime Work (262 comments)

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  •  Race to the Bottom goes on overdrive (again). (38+ / 0-)

    These assholes have nothing better to do than making life worse for more and more people.  


    This is all about redistribution of the wealth: upward to corporations that are already turning in record profits.  

    Socialism for the bigs, the rest of us face the market?

    Hell no.   Unionize IT!

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:05:55 PM PST

    •  IT had a chance and rejected unions (15+ / 0-)

      go to the major tech forums, it was shat on and spat on.  They looked at teachers and police unions and threw up collectively and didn't want to be "a bunch of crooks".  Let alone the auto industry.

      It workers are pretty conservative on most matters when you break them down, not to mention a shit ton of them work for defense firms or banks.

      For the most part, IT workers are pretty Paul inspired Randians.

      Plus the pain of long hours and doofy schedules has become a matter of pride.  We are better than the liberal arts fuckers who get desk jockey jobs, make more than them, clobber them in income, and don't bolt out of work at 5pm to go happy hour it up.

      Plus most of us know that the importance of our job boils down to who many desk jockey's we can make useless through technology.

      Now call center people, they have another view.  But the sysadmin syseng crowd, hard core Randians.

      "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

      by overclocking on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 08:28:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Think it really depends... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, sb, boadicea, bobtmn, tle

        Wouldn't be surprised if it varied a lot by field, and by company/location.  Of those I work with (I'm a software developer), we do have a a fair number of libertarians...  But there are more liberals.  Most probably not as far left as I am, but if you get them talking about health care reform, or legalizing gay marriage, I think you'd end up with a pretty liberal consensus.

        •  yeah but ask them about their contract rates (16+ / 0-)

          I charge 300 bucks an hour for private work.  And I'm overbooked.  Plus a ton of IT people go into business for themselves.

          So while you will get a ton of support for socially liberal items among them, and even some social safety net items, it's still a "I work and win on my own" style of field full of highly competent people.  And they kinda like it that way.

          I identify as a social/civil libertarian economic liberal.

          My prior boss who was a syseng was a hardcore republican.... that supported gay marriage, abortion, and even healthcare reform.  He just fucking hated unions and taxes.  He also made 200k (not that high for the DC area) in base salary yet crushed that in consulting and the money he raked in on rent out in Columbia Maryland.

          He'd be a Democrat but "fucking unions and fucking taxes, I should make what I keep I do all the work, and assholes mooch off me" is VERY common in IT.  Because in a sense where we work, we do do most of the work that really counts, and get fuck all credit for it.

          Being in a similar (I don't make as much) situation, I do often wonder if I should try my hand and just quit my work and expand my consulting, which while it doesn't equal my work pay, still pulls down a nice 50k a year.

          I get where they are coming from about unions and all that, I do.  At the same time a pension would be nice and I don't need the extra cash I "might" get by going Galt.  I know this sounds crazy but I look at how I live, what I eat, where I hang out and I think "you know what, life is fucking good, everybody should live like this" and I'm not rich.  My old boss, ehhh he threw a fit when his 7 series BMW blew out and he got a 5 series for a rental, some people, just need to learn to live their life.

          Greed is the problem, and a ton of people in IT are in it to get rich fucking fast.  Me, I'm just happy working for an NGO in Global Health and having my toys, arcade machines in my apartment (electric bill fucks me on this), a quality seafood dinner once a week, great steak dinner once a month, and nice bike rides on the Potomac.  I can't ask for more than that.

          "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

          by overclocking on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 09:16:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  $300 an hour? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I never got even half that! Here in Europe, rates are lower, apparently.

            Worse, companies would rather pay millions for new software that requires major changes in operations (i.e., users have to learn a whole new way of working). I lost my last contract as a freelancer 8 months ago under these circumstances. The new software has cause major problems for the company, but they don't want to lose face by admitting that they screwed up. The custom-made software I wrote that was supposed to be replaced is still running, strangely enough.

            FOSI: Full Of Shit Information - Both my sister and I are trivia freaks...

            by Spoc42 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:31:46 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  security security security (0+ / 0-)

              that's where the money is, we make a ton more than anybody else in the IT industry.  Granted it's the hardest thing to break into, and the most expensive cert wise, but it's where the money is.  And since nobody invests in properly paying someone to do it on their own (too expensive to hire someone full time) when the shit hits the fan they all come screaming for help now that all their data is compromised and someone has their customers information.  

              you can pretty much name your price.

              "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

              by overclocking on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 07:24:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  While I hate to generalize... (26+ / 0-)

          ... overclocking is pretty much right.

          I'm in IT, and you'd get laughed at if you proposed a union among most of my peers. Because we're educated white-collar workers, see? Not like those blue-collar schlubs who need someone looking out for them.

          We're just so fucking smart in IT, that some of us carry pagers tied to servers, and when the servers go down, we're expected to be in the office within an hour, no matter what time of day it is, and work until the problem is fixed, without receiving any extra pay!

          I mean, that's fucking BRILLIANT, being subservient to a machine, innit?

          Corporate Dog

          We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

          by Corporate Dog on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 02:48:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, that's their funeral I guess (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sorry for the rest of you guys that are getting dragged down by their sorry-ass Randian idiocy, but if they insist upon it even as they're getting screwed, what can you do?

            Being ignored is the difference between being a one percenter and an American.--sweeper

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 12:44:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  yeah I know this one well (PBX eng. here) (16+ / 0-)

        I ran into plenty of Randians and similar instances of people with their heads planted firmly between their butt cheeks.  Also the whole Drexler nanotech immortality thing, which IMHO is a half-asssed religion that forgot to deal with ethics.    

        But interestingly, it changed during the dotcom crash.  "Social darwinists became darwinized socialists."  They all ran around meeping & moaning about using their startup shares for wallpaper and so on.  

        So I'd say there's a chance for another go at this.

        And yes we still laugh at the cubicle dwellers for whom "work" is clock-driven rather than event-driven, and everything stops at 5PM.  

        OTOH, methinks there's a bit of sour grapes there: wouldn't we prefer to not be on call 24/7, not have our lives dictated by anxious office managers' panic attacks, and not have to console ourselves with sarcastic jokes about "work weekends" and all that crap.  

        Meanwhile, here it's 9:00PM on a Sunday night, and I have a design & implementation task on my hands, followed by a bunch of admin catchup.  

        BTW, I was never a Randian.  More of a socialist actually.  Including long before the dot com crash.

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 09:02:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't mind "work weekends" (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, sb, boadicea, Sychotic1

          Though I'm senior in IT.  Most weekdays I remote people show up at about 10 and leave about 4.  So I have no right to gripe.  But my work is about 60% or so event driven.  I have the luxury of working 15 mins by subway from K /I street in DC.  So I just go the fuck home if it's slow, and show the fuck up if something kicks the bucket.

          I can't imagine driving to work from an hour, I wouldn't have that freedom... on the other hand, I do pay a tad under 2 grand a month for a studio once my rent raise kicks in!

          "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

          by overclocking on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 09:23:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  i noticed a change in the industry, when... (10+ / 0-)

            .... it went from everyone being an independent consultant or member of a small tech firm with a number of clients on contract, to when geeks started going to work for e.g. banks, insurance companies, and so on.  

            When everyone was an indie and small tech firms were the norm, there was a much more autonomous workplace culture about it.  (I stuck with that model; still doing it; and easier to do it on the telephony side than on the network side.  Also my client list is consistent with my principles, which counts for something.)

            But when people started going to work for banks & insurance companies & so on, I could see the attitude change start to creep in.  Gradually the principles compromised for the pragmatism, and then came the excuses, e.g. "I'm not the evil guy who writes the fraudulent mortgages," and "I'm not the evil guy who cuts off peoples' health care when they get their diagnosis," and so on.  

            No, they're not the evil guys and gals who do those things, but they're supporting 'em with their labor.  The bright side of which is, they are in positions to have major impact "comes the revolution."  Merely walking away and spilling beans would be significant.

            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 09:49:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah for me (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              boadicea, Creosote

              I've always agreed with the basic IT code of conduct "I do not care what the fuck you do or look at your data I am here to make it work".  While this does enable evil, it also prevents us from getting involved and picking pet causes in a company.  You HAVE to do that.

              I'm former Navy and a DOD contractor, and while I won't get into it, a lot of my friends went to work in NYC for the banks, and they do have serious moral reservations about somethings.  But part of the job is you have to sign on to shut your yap.  And that's a good thing, one rogue IT guy can leak everybodies personal information.  The down side is nobody talks about shit.  Other than nightly drunk on the printer (where you wear a paper hat sit on the printer and mock the people outside of IT) night.

              "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

              by overclocking on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 09:59:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  the difference on the telco side is... (6+ / 0-)

                .... we can't look at content in any meaningful way without making a deliberate effort, such as monitoring a live circuit or logging audio, things that are only done as last-resort troubleshooting measures.  I've done logging maybe twice in nearly 30 years, the one that comes to mind was a case where someone's voice mimicked a touchtone digit and caused voicemail to malfunction: recording the audio was the key to solving that one.  

                And yes I also avoid getting entangled in office politics with any of my clients.  Though at times I've been the convenient person who's willing to listen when someone just needs to get stuff off their chest, and I treat that as "psychological counseling" which is also confidential & nonjudgemental.  


                The difference between military and corporate, is the difference between life & death on one hand, and making more or less money on the other.  


                A rogue IT guy can leak everyone's personal information, but a principled IT guy can turn over evidence of crimes such as conspiracy to defraud homeowners or investors.  And we all know the ways to do it anonymously & untraceably, so it's not as if it automatically puts someone's job at risk.  

                Seems to me that civic ethics take precedence over NDAs: if you see evidence of a serious crime, you are ethically bound to report it to the authorities.  By which I don't mean if you find a bag of pot tucked under someone's monitor, but rather, big things such as fraud and worse.  IMHO there is exactly no excuse for turning a blind eye when there are innocent victims at the other end: that's complicity in the crime.  Think of where we would be today if e.g. BofA's and Goldman's IT people decided that enough was enough.    

                On the telephony side, it's a federal offense to divulge anything we hear while monitoring circuits, and I take that to mean, not only people who work for the regulated telcos, but also people in "interconnect" who work on PBXs and so on.  But I long ago decided that if I ever ran across evidence of a serious crime, I'd turn it over, and in the unlikely event I was charged for divulging, I'd plead competing harms.  Fortunately I've never had to put that to the test (though I've helped catch a few baddies outside of my work).  


                The "nobody talks about shit" factor may also be a bit of "geek syndrome culture," which overlaps with mild Asperger's Syndrome: awkwardness about "social stuff."   Seems to me the plutocracy benefits when people don't communicate with each other about what's important and why.  


                "Nightly drunk on the printer"....?!  What, it's OK in some workplaces to be drunk on the job?  IMHO that's crazy; liability issues abound, it's like taking a romp through a minefield.  

                "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Sun Dec 11, 2011 at 10:29:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know guys in Wall Street IT (0+ / 0-)

                  and they, like me, and like you, are also bound by laws on disclosing or even viewing some information.  You can have access to a system and legally not be allowed to look into it.  Like an HR system.  

                  Drunk on the printer is an inside joke.  The IT room is always a locked vault with biometric security in and out of.  We used to have an internal happy hour in ours every Thursday where someone would get on the printer with a paper pirates hat and read off the stupidest, most assholish, or just plain god awful trouble tickets off the week.  This was when everybody else was out of the office and we were waiting on tape backups to be picked up and taken off to the remote vault that only 3 people knew the location of.  We'd head out after for beers.

                  We did bust people for some shit, I'd scan the network and nailed someone for kiddy porn, but we don't tap into files that are confidential for people outside of our department, that's a legal nightmare.  In one place I did work for that got nailed for fraud and was unable to compete for US government contracts for a year IT was specifically banned from snooping financial data.  We didn't have a need to know.  But we did xcopy the entire mess over once the investigation started.

                  "Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools."

                  by overclocking on Tue Dec 13, 2011 at 07:38:04 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  We are all boiling frogs (5+ / 0-)

        To the extent the sock-and-birkenstock crowd (or is it khakis and belt holsters?) can come to understand this they're going to be better off. No one gives a fuck about a degree, and it's not going to save you when they fully commoditize the admin and systems engineering fields (perhaps a way off, right?). Whoever doesn't understand this will stay in the pot. Those that don't will move on and adapt, but this superiority bullshit is a self fulfilling prophecy of doom. It's like this article I saw regarding some "tech wiccans" in the bay who have delusions that they're effect on the world is much more significant than it is. Stay in your bubble (pot) and you're hosed. This isn't about a superior understanding. It's about your transformation into and ever more replaceable cog that represents a unit of profit on revenue.

        I'm in software, but it doesn't matter. I am not eligible from what I understand. I work soul crushing hours, weekends, and valuable moments of my life are stolen from me by corporations that own the politicians who are writing this legislation. It's a sad state of affairs when you've deluded yourself into a false sense of superiority that will ultimately be your undoing.

        Soon, it will be game over.

        Slap happy is a platform.

        by averageyoungman on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:51:26 AM PST

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      •  I can't really figure out why anyone's reccing you (0+ / 0-)

        You sound like a bitter idiot who hates his co-workers.  Which is pretty funny, since all IT is funded by company overhead paid for by those "worthless desk jockeys." Seriously dude, save the silly little Napolean complex for the on-line gamer forums.

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 10:00:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Go to Slashdot and Ars and reddit. (0+ / 0-)

        Now, they're singing a different tune.

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