In one TGIF in Kirkland, an employee informed Eric Schmidt that
Microsoft’s benefits package was richer. He announced himself
genuinely surprised, which genuinely surprised me. Schmidt, in the
presence of witnesses, promised to bring the benefits to a par. He
consulted HR, and HR informed him that it’d cost Google 22 million a
year to do that. So he abandoned the promise and fell back on his
tired, familiar standby (”People don’t work at Google for the money.
They work at Google because they want to change the world!”). A
statement that always seemed to me a little Louis XIV coming from a
Google’s net income for 2006, when I left, was 3 billion. 22 million a
year? Less than 1% of their *profit*.
It'd be really nice if people wouldn't put up with 60-80 hour work weeks. In many fields, you pretty much have to do it, because it's the standard and everyone you're competing with does it. So I can understand why people do it now... but it should never have been allowed to get to that point.
I never understood why all of the recruiters were contractors, given that Google showed no signs of slowing down its hiring. All this meant was that a lot of the recruiters had to spend a lot of time training new recruiters, since they were replaced so frequently.
I was never asked to work more than 40 hours a week while being a software engineer there. Nevertheless, I wound up working greater than 80 hours a week, easily. This is largely due to the pace and goals I set for myself. Others felt like this as well. Perhaps this feeling varied to the opportunities available to each person? (Obvious downside: the lack of attention paid to my personal life became intensely damaging.)
I don't think 80-100 hour work weeks are "unethical" in the first place. Nobody is forcing them to work that hard.
So I set out to find work that I enjoyed, and jobs that would allow me to spend significant amounts of my time at the workplace doing things I wanted to do, or things that if I had to do them I could derive satisfaction from them, or at very least to do them in places I wanted to be. And as short a 'work week' as possible.
In fairness, Microsoft owns their own hospital. Not a clinic. A hospital.
Mitrovarr, of course, is just aesthetically offended by work weeks longer than 40 hours, and nothing but a ban would satisfy him. This doesn't strike me as a good use of lawmaking powers, though.
The computer employee exemption does not include employees engaged in the manufacture or repair of computer hardware and related equipment. Employees whose work is highly dependent upon, or facilitated by, the use of computers and computer software programs (e.g., engineers, drafters and others skilled in computer-aided design software), but who are not primarily engaged in computer systems analysis and programming or other similarly skilled computer-related occupations identified in the primary duties test described above, are also not exempt under the computer employee exemption.
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