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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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  •  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 ]

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