The first time my ass touched porcelain I was already a married man.
April 19, 2016 11:13 PM   Subscribe

 
Someone should come up with some sort of way for the employed to push back in a unified manner against the ever-more-absurd demands of business owners and management. Maybe they could unite to provide some sort of single combined voice for bargaining.

I propose that we call these unions of employees: Employee Groups
posted by DoctorFedora at 11:21 PM on April 19, 2016 [170 favorites]


This is a satire of Alex St. John's article “Game developers must avoid the ‘wage-slave’ attitude”, which all the worse for being sincere.
posted by Rangi at 11:25 PM on April 19, 2016 [58 favorites]


A little more background:

This is a parody of this piece. Which almost (almost!) beyond parody. See further jaw dropping wtfuckery in this pdf.

The biggest issue I have with this is why? Why should I work for some spyware developing dipshit for no equity? He talks of people "knowing their market value and perform exactly to it and no more", but if that's the reality of the market, tough. Pay the market price like a good libertarian.
posted by zabuni at 11:26 PM on April 19, 2016 [36 favorites]


Shamus Young, a blogger and indie game developer, has a thoughtful response:
Right now the supply of prospective game developers far exceeds the demand. That’s the real cause of this mess. If there was a labor shortage, companies would be working hard to retain the talent they have. But as it stands, for every thirty-something who gets disgusted and leaves the industry, there are a half dozen eager beavers, fresh out of Gamedev college with dreams of greatness and a crushing load of student loans they need to start paying off. Companies can just feed these kids into the meatgrinder forever. They will never run out.

Which is why we need to keep this conversation going. We need people to air this dirty laundry when they quit the industry. We need to know which studios and publishers are the worst offenders. Hopefully, this mess will warn off a few kids and they’ll look to other careers, or at least other employers.
posted by Rangi at 11:38 PM on April 19, 2016 [33 favorites]


This is a satire of Alex St. John's article “Game developers must avoid the ‘wage-slave’ attitude”, which all the worse for being sincere.

Holy crap. What a tremendous, oblivious pile of racid human garbage that guy is.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:42 PM on April 19, 2016 [41 favorites]


I just realised Friedman Bros is probably a thing that exists
and now I can't stop screaming.
posted by fullerine at 11:43 PM on April 19, 2016


The St. John article is satire. I mean, please.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:44 PM on April 19, 2016


The reason I love this article is that it's hilarious on a line-by-line level, even if you don't know the venal back-story.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:46 PM on April 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


I must admit I had to take several close looks at Alex St. John's PDF linked above when it popped up in my Twitter feed to determine if it was satire or not. But the rest of his site convinced me he was sincere. But I don't really want to link it, that's how bad it was.
posted by Harald74 at 11:46 PM on April 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


reminds me of a conversation I overheard some years ago in an elevator -- two guys from a small game developer talking about what it was like to work for Electronic Arts:

"Chained to their work stations and force-fed pizza."
"Yeah, they got that from Disney animation."
posted by philip-random at 12:02 AM on April 20, 2016 [9 favorites]


zabuni: See further jaw dropping wtfuckery in this pdf.

Fuck. Me.

Please, will somebody with a stronger constitution read to the end and reassure me that's a well-executed epic troll? I couldn't read past about slide 4 because a thick red mist grew in front of my eyes…
posted by Pinback at 12:04 AM on April 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


Coding is an art form, which is why you should join this development death cult that's making highly profitable products.
posted by thelonius at 12:21 AM on April 20, 2016 [15 favorites]


Sadly my suspicion is that though this asshole and his shitheap of a malware company might be slightly worse than average for games development, it's probably not by much.
posted by Artw at 12:23 AM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


“Balance” is their priority in life... they see their job as WORK that they need to do in order to pay their bills and pursue the interests that they are ACTUALLY passionate about
The nerve!
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:56 AM on April 20, 2016 [14 favorites]


Over the years I worked with accomplished workaholics from all 3 sorts of backgrounds: regular, Aspergers, and woman.

FTW
posted by chavenet at 1:18 AM on April 20, 2016 [22 favorites]


In the Alex St John article of which this is a parody, he says :

"Making games is not a job — it’s an art."

As someone else pointed out:

"I just looked up WildTangent, and their business model appears to involve repackaging third-party shovelware into an ad-subsidized crapware client that they most likely pay an install bounty on to stick on cheap PCs."

Way to do art there Alex.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:33 AM on April 20, 2016 [24 favorites]


I’ve hired thousands of men and 10 women over the years ...

This guy has an enviable gift for throw-away lines.
posted by Chitownfats at 2:45 AM on April 20, 2016 [46 favorites]


From the pdf :

"Be on the look out for the holy-grail… the undiscovered Asperger's engineer. (usually found
on open source forums)
• They have no social skills
• They generally marry the first girl they date
• Can’t make eye contact
• Resume and educational background is a mess… because they have no social skills
• They work like machines, don’t engage in politics, don’t develop attitudes and never change jobs
"

Holy shit!
posted by SageLeVoid at 3:35 AM on April 20, 2016 [14 favorites]


Is Poe's Law supposed to be about sincere things that sound satirical, or satire that sounds sincere?

I CAN'T TELL ANYMORE
posted by divabat at 3:46 AM on April 20, 2016 [10 favorites]


Makes me want to work there just so I can fuck with this guy. Shouldn't be too hard to get past the interview; I'll just stare into space a lot and mumble.

Oh, did I forget to put on my resume that I like setting fire to things on occasion? My bad.
posted by fungible at 4:55 AM on April 20, 2016 [11 favorites]


the pdf is full of a lot of standard employee management tactics...
posted by ennui.bz at 5:04 AM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Unless all the developers have an equal stake in the company--will get the same rewards--don't throw around the word "entrepreneurial." You can't simultaneously expect folks to work for you (as opposed to equal stakeholders) and have them treat your company as a labor of love.
posted by MrGuilt at 5:35 AM on April 20, 2016 [11 favorites]


Right now the supply of prospective game developers far exceeds the demand.

You would think so, but try actually hiring someone who can pass a programming competency test who still wants to work in the industry and doesn't have an ego too large to fit into the building.
posted by Foosnark at 5:42 AM on April 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


Alex St. John's article is going to get used in a lawsuit against him for his hiring practices,I just know it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:09 AM on April 20, 2016 [11 favorites]


[note to self: do a Bing on that]

OMG, I know nothing of this industry, but that right there just makes me laugh.
posted by xingcat at 6:26 AM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


Alex St. John's article is going to get used in a lawsuit against him for his hiring practices,I just know it.

From your mouth to God's ears.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:30 AM on April 20, 2016 [18 favorites]


"Prospective game developers" covers a lot of ground. There are a lot of people who are eyeing the casual/mobile game industry right now as Game Development Powerball and looking to jump in without a ton of qualifications. And why not? You can create something extremely simplistic, something repetitive but addictive, or simply file the serial numbers off of someone else's game and rerelease it with some gameplay tweaks and whammo! Suddenly you're a millionaire and they're making a feature film of your creation. You don't need to be an established studio to tap into the zeitgeist just right and hit it big.

"Powerball" because, well, look at the glut of titles on the iOS and Android stores. It's really easy to aim for $20 million and make $20 instead.
posted by delfin at 6:36 AM on April 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


" You can create something extremely simplistic, something repetitive but addictive, or simply file the serial numbers off of someone else's game and rerelease it with some gameplay tweaks"

You've just described King Digital Entertainment PLC and a lot of other mobile game developers who just tart up old gaming concepts from the 70s and 80s, add pay-to-win and pimp them out to casual gamers who've never heard of the originals.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 6:44 AM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]




That PDF link from Alex St John is a fucking disgrace. It's sociopath hiring tactics 101.
posted by Faintdreams at 7:15 AM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm kind of blown-away that "Aspergers" is now ... some kind of hiring metric?

"Yeah we're going with Candidate #4. He's +6 on the Aspergers scale. Never makes eye-contact and he wears diapers to avoid bathroom breaks. Can code like a mf too. Great pick."
posted by Tyrant King Porn Dragon at 7:16 AM on April 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


This guy's lack of education, which he displays proudly, seems like part of the problem to me. Sure, a lot of bosses seem to think they have a right to their employees' souls like this. But he seems to have no perspective, either for his perceptions or his arguments. A couple of years of college, some reading outside his field, I don't know, something, might help him come off a bit less clueless.

Although I guess you might argue that a fancy degree would mostly just give him the polish that would enable him to hide how big a jerk he is.
posted by BibiRose at 7:18 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


The sad part here is that Alex St. John just said openly what a lot of people don't say out loud. There really is a rather pervasive attitude among business owners that their employees are parasites who sit around sucking up the company's money when the company is doing them a FAVOR by employing them.

And if you look at Alex St John's attitude towards developers, over and over again he emphasizes that employees are being done a favor by being hired at a game company. And yet owners of game companies aren't regarded as people who should be thankful to have a business and people willing to work for them. The lack of concern about money and the focus on passion only seems to operate in one direction.
posted by deanc at 7:19 AM on April 20, 2016 [17 favorites]


Alex St. John (Galt) sounds like the libertarianist libertarian who ever libertarianed. His entire article could have been edited down to "I got mine; fuck you."
posted by JohnFromGR at 7:46 AM on April 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


For everybody who couldn't make it to the end of the pdf, the final employee category is "The NOT male engineers."

Yes, in those words.
posted by ostro at 7:52 AM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


WildTangent under Alex St. John was a malware shop. They then pivoted, like many start-ups, to be a Zynga, but ended up as an also-ran.

Yeah, it's funny how the products St. John wanted his employees to be so passionate about making that they'd have nothing else in their lives were garbage-tier shovelware shit that makes the world worse by existing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:57 AM on April 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


For everybody who couldn't make it to the end of the pdf, the final employee category is "The NOT male engineers."

He theorizes that managers should be female (they have good communication skills!) and coders should be males who are never promoted (they do not). Yet somehow, I'm not seeing this pop up in MRA threads...
posted by maryr at 8:01 AM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


From St. John's article:
"I’m talking about kids who made some of the worst games you can imagine and got rich accidentally, working in their parent’s basement in the Florida Everglades."

Do houses in a wetlands typically have basements? Is that a good idea? Maybe the kids were motivated to get themselves and their electronics somewhere dry?

From the pdf:

-- "You don’t recruit and retain male engineers you recruit and retain Wives and Girlfriends"

What?

-- "The paycheck goes to HER"

What the fuck?

-- "There may actually be more female engineers but nobody can identify them..."

Oh for fuck's sake stop talking.
posted by bibliowench at 8:04 AM on April 20, 2016 [29 favorites]


I'm prepared to make a pretty confident guess as to which group St. John himself falls into...
posted by Naberius at 8:11 AM on April 20, 2016


I had hope-sumed that PDF deck, when I saw it the other day, was made as a joke. But not like funny ha-ha, like these things are absolutely what CEOs of tech companies say to each other and upper management, lets put it all in one set of slides funny.

It's absolutely assumed as a given that the best practice is to hire the youngest mostly male preferably unmarried techs you can and keep beer in the fridge by the foosball table because it makes them think they've Made It, and you can get ten years out of them if they don't figure out how to have a life until their early 30s.

For middle management - the ones who do the same work but also have a few supervisory responsibilities, you hire wash-outs: the ones who've been doing the work for years but displayed no ambition for (or social skills required for) senior management. They're grown up enough to get the basics taken care of, but they "aren't loyal to the company" (have families and boundaries, and if they respond to abuse tactics for a while they will eventually wise up) so expect them to churn or replace them when they get too whiny or think they should get raises just for being there doing work.

I don't work in game dev, just regular business systems IT. This is all considered completely normal management philosophy. "The company holiday party is really for the wives," is a thing I've heard said out loud at more than one company. "He's our best developer, but they marry young," is another thing I've heard, where the "they" in this case was Mormon, but there's plenty of other theys out there. It's also considered normal management behavior to periodically make it seem like the company is struggling through a tough patch so people will work longer hours or help out for free on stuff they wouldn't normally.

Take it from a wash-out. There's not a lot of kids coming into one niche of my industry at this point, so at 44 I can probably hope to keep doing this for another 10 years maybe, but almost anywhere I go I will be considered too "aspergers" for management, and they will start in with the gaslighting immediately to control me, because middle-aged women are too "set in their ways" (have boundaries) to be really good employees.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:21 AM on April 20, 2016 [24 favorites]


Three Panel Soul covers it succinctly.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:25 AM on April 20, 2016 [18 favorites]


"[editor’s note: priests get paid money and are subject to labor laws]"
posted by murphy slaw at 8:25 AM on April 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


If, like me, you absolutely love all of Alex St John's quaint ideas, and can't get enough of them, he wrote a response on his terrible blog two days ago to the renewed interest in that PDF slide deck some people were talking about above. It's mostly limp sarcasm. Note that he manages to condescend to "millennials" in the first paragraph, warning that the piece contains lots of ideas that they probably "haven't been exposed to" before, and promising some "handy glossary conversions in parenthesis (sic)" to help them understand. Most of these seem to be witty gibes about how "lazy" millennials are.

Imagine my delight when I discovered via tags that he has a whole slew of pieces on his blog about "Managing Millenials' (sic)"! Oh, but it's not all negative – here's "Things To Love About Millennials"! The first one is: "Easy To Remove." (The trick to that is to give them responsibilities. They will immediately leave, because they hate responsibilities.)

This Alex St John person is human garbage.
posted by koeselitz at 8:33 AM on April 20, 2016 [13 favorites]


Alex St. John is the co-creator of the DirectX family of API’s at Microsoft and founder of WildTangent Inc.

So he's basically the vascular growth factor secreted by the tumour pressing on the game industry's windpipe.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 8:54 AM on April 20, 2016 [15 favorites]


A couple of years of college, some reading outside his field, I don't know, something, might help him come off a bit less clueless.

Although I guess you might argue that a fancy degree would mostly just give him the polish that would enable him to hide how big a jerk he is.


Eh, Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed and never shut up about the importance of liberal arts educations. And yet Job's reputation is not just a jerk, but a slave driver whose middle management handed out hoodies to staff extolling how great it was to be an Apple employee. As far as I can tell, society distinguishes between the two from their results: Apple is successful, so Jobs gets a pass on employee treatment.
posted by pwnguin at 9:06 AM on April 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Gurth Snisley" is so absolutely perfect that I'm practically weeping in gratitude.
posted by holborne at 9:29 AM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


I had hope-sumed

For the record, I just googled hope-sumed (and hopesumed), wondering if it was suddenly a "thing". But no, this seems to be a genuine first-occurrence ... which I suspect I will now run with.

hope-sumed (soon to be hopesumed) -- where one deliberately infers the most hopeful iterpretation from ambiguous data; similar to pronoia.
posted by philip-random at 9:46 AM on April 20, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'd prefer if "hopesumer" described some kind of deluded retail demographic
posted by thelonius at 10:00 AM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


I saw this, unsourced on Twitter, so I'm hoping it's true:
"Worth remembering: the NASA engineers that put people in space work 9 to 5."
posted by Monochrome at 10:03 AM on April 20, 2016 [18 favorites]


"You don’t recruit and retain male engineers you recruit and retain Wives and Girlfriends"

I think today is the day I pass this along to all the lesbian game devs I know and ask if their wives and girlfriends have been recruited for the glorious cause.
posted by sobell at 10:04 AM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


Probably ask the gay male game devs about it, too. I'm surprised at how many of them apparently have wives and girlfriends hidden away somewhere. I never knew.
posted by koeselitz at 10:29 AM on April 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


This guy's lack of education, which he displays proudly, seems like part of the problem to me. Sure, a lot of bosses seem to think they have a right to their employees' souls like this.

I (a senior software engineer) have the same lack of education, and display it proudly, but I think of other humans as actual people.
posted by reventlov at 11:01 AM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


           zabuni: See further jaw dropping wtfuckery in this pdf.

Pinback: Fuck. Me.

Please, will somebody with a stronger constitution read to the end and reassure me that's a well-executed epic troll? I couldn't read past about slide 4 because a thick red mist grew in front of my eyes…


I was able to read through to the end because it describes word for word, point for point, arrogance for arrogance, the management "philosophy" of the project I'm currently on (and very much want out of, hi, I'm the woman they take for a goddamned fucking fool who'll do everything she's told and not complain because apparently I have teh magick female social skillz except when I open my mouth to talk about things I'm an expert on, all of a sudden it's BURN THE WITCH).
posted by fraula at 11:35 AM on April 20, 2016 [14 favorites]


This got its own post but I think it makes good sense in this thread: First, as you are a woman, stop crying.
posted by phearlez at 11:38 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Imagine my delight when I discovered via tags that he has a whole slew of pieces on his blog about "Managing Millenials' (sic)"! Oh, but it's not all negative – here's "Things To Love About Millennials"! The first one is: "Easy To Remove." (The trick to that is to give them responsibilities. They will immediately leave, because they hate responsibilities.)

He's accidentally caught on to something without realizing it though, which is that kids these days in this industry boom understand that they don't have to keep working for his shitty company.
posted by atoxyl at 11:59 AM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


"Worth remembering: the NASA engineers that put people in space work 9 to 5."

NASA software development has been famous for painstaking, non-cowboy processes leading to superbly reliable software. Looking that up, I ran across this elegy and elution (pdf) of what that superb team could pass on now that they're precariously funded and kind of mismanaged. (Space programs should not be run on Congressional-electioneering funding cycles.)
posted by clew at 12:21 PM on April 20, 2016 [18 favorites]


A lot of tech business models seem to boil down to frat bro masculinity figuring out how to monetize the parasitic exploitation of asperger/geek masculinity. The women with their "magical social skills" are ground up in the system too as a buffer to keep the tech bros from being accountable for their exploitative behavior.
posted by jonp72 at 12:32 PM on April 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


I don't even think there's anything wrong with working 80 hours a week on a project that really is your shared passion - though you can't keep doing that forever or always. But the thing is, Alex - I keep fantasizing that I am telling him this to his face right before I quit with no notice during crunch time - making shitty malware games isn't my passion it's my fucking job. It's your passion, by which I mean your passion for money.
posted by atoxyl at 12:44 PM on April 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


John Carmack making DOOM is passion for video games - yeah he's sleeping at his desk because it's his damn company and his damn game.
posted by atoxyl at 12:50 PM on April 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


And yes, people like Alex St. John love use that image to sucker young or naive people into slaving away at projects that aren't theirs in any meaningful sense because they think that slaving away is what you're supposed to do.
posted by atoxyl at 12:52 PM on April 20, 2016


I mean, the thing that's wrong with working 80 hour weeks is that it enables management to come at the workers who don't and say "well, xyz is working 80 hours this week, what makes you so special that you work the normal 9-5". Even if whatever is your passion, as a basic principle of solidarity you should probably consider sticking to regular hours. Then again, if programmers as a rule had any sense of solidarity whatsoever, unions wouldn't be as unheard of in tech as they currently are.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:54 PM on April 20, 2016 [20 favorites]


There's something slightly off-putting about people getting all het up about "slaving away at a desk for 80 hours a week sucks you shouldn't have to" while blithely ignoring most forms of manual labour, my industry included.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:57 PM on April 20, 2016


The other thing that is wrong with it is that you die of exhaustion a la Oregon Trail.
posted by maryr at 12:58 PM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Like, I am pretty sure that a lot of the same people saying "don't work until 8pm on a project that isn't your shared passion" think nothing of going to a restaurant where the people in the back are paid bullshit money for fuckoff hours.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:01 PM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


There's something slightly off-putting about people getting all het up about "slaving away at a desk for 80 hours a week sucks you shouldn't have to" while blithely ignoring most forms of manual labour, my industry included.

I mean that's one of the things he said - that people who work 80 hours a week at a desk are lucky that they don't work 80 hours a week in a mine. Which is true! But you shouldn't be compelled 80 hours a week at any job so...?
posted by atoxyl at 1:05 PM on April 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


I don't think that you're making his argument - that it's okay for him to exploit his employees to the extent possible because other people are exploited in much worse ways - but I'm not sure what argument you are making. That software workers who get upset about this should also care about working conditions in other industries? Yup, they absolutely should!
posted by atoxyl at 1:08 PM on April 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


And do you know what I say to them? “You’re a whiner! Go and get a job making bank software if you want to wife it up like some normie.”

This is amazing.
posted by theorique at 1:21 PM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is too much like my first employer in the gaming industry, and I fit the profile of the supposedly "Asperger's engineer" in many ways and, well, goddamn it. He wasn't quite as obnoxious as Alex St. John, but he was known for bragging about how the business model was based partially on unpaid volunteer labor.

To this day, whenever I see one of the kinds of cars that guy drove, I have the impulse to ram it or set it on fire.
posted by Foosnark at 1:32 PM on April 20, 2016 [10 favorites]


Another great guest column at Giant Bomb: Defending Crunch Isn't Leadership
posted by kmz at 1:36 PM on April 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


This whole thing is triggering my PTSD from working at a mobile game developer. The kind of stuff St. John talks about doesn't just happen at AAA level, it happens all the way down to the smallest dev houses. They hire people who want to work in games, chew them up with massive overtime working on asinine products, and then shit them out without a second thought. It's horrifying.
posted by tomorrowromance at 1:46 PM on April 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


Like, I am pretty sure that a lot of the same people saying "don't work until 8pm on a project that isn't your shared passion" think nothing of going to a restaurant where the people in the back are paid bullshit money for fuckoff hours.

Or that they were posting #developerlivesmatter tweets in response to SAG-ACTRA threatening to strike over the insanely punitive contract the games industry wanted to push on voice actors.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:26 PM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jim Sterling does a nice overview of where this discussion has come from. (NSFW for audio cursing, and general Jim Sterlingness).
posted by lumpenprole at 2:44 PM on April 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


“When I’m in season, I don’t see my friends or family. The weekends I spend recovering. I think it has contributed to me not being able to meet people because I’m not out there in the world mingling. I dated someone in the military and he was in shock that we were working all of these hours and he was out there saving lives and he’d be home by 4 p.m.: He was in Afghanistan and his hours were better than mine. You feel trapped with the hours, because you know that if you don’t do them, someone else will. And another thing, you’re given a ten-hour turnaround, which is just enough time to drive home, sleep seven hours like a normal human being, and go back to work. ”

the film industry
posted by philip-random at 3:25 PM on April 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


I hope those of you outraged about this are similarly outraged about other areas of labour that get dismissed when they ask for fair wages because "omg you should just do it for the PASSION": artists, journalists, sex workers (sometimes), activists, anyone trying to break into media & entertainment, writers, menial labour...
posted by divabat at 7:56 PM on April 20, 2016 [11 favorites]


Absolutely.
posted by Artw at 8:18 PM on April 20, 2016


Yeah, no question. Outraged whenever anyone is asked to pay bills with passion or worse, exposure.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:27 PM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


omg you should just do it for the PASSION": artists, journalists, sex workers (sometimes), activists, anyone trying to break into media & entertainment, writers, menial labour...

when the complaint is directed against somebody who is making money off the work who isn't the person doing the work? of course

when the complaint is directed against hobbyists or distribution models where pretty much nobody makes money that's... more complicated to me, and this definitely applies to software developers (which I am if that wasn't obvious). maybe I didn't need to point that out but just because of the examples chosen
posted by atoxyl at 11:14 PM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah. As I said in a prior thread, "X is a calling" is pretty much code for "I'm going to shame you into accepting less pay for doing X."
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:14 PM on April 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


when the complaint is directed against somebody who is making money off the work who isn't the person doing the work? of course

100% true.

It's sort of like when a loved one dies. If someone sanctimoniously pronounces: "everything happens for a reason", it grates because it feels like they are dismissing your pain and grieving with a generic bromide. If you think the same thing yourself and it is comforting, then it's OK.

If a person with a financial stake in me being underpaid and working 80 hour weeks claims that I need to have "more passion", I'm going to be cynical. If I work on a project (paid or not) and can't resist working late nights on it because I'm having so much fun, then it's a different matter.

The problem is when the culture and business practices lie and pretend that people are doing the latter when really they are doing the former. It all depends on who's doing the calling, and who's getting called.
posted by theorique at 2:21 AM on April 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


Office Perks Are Dumb
The benefits that matter most aren't foosball tables. People want health insurance, paid vacation, and sick days, the potential for performance bonuses, and a company-matched 401(k) plan, a 2015 survey by Glassdoor found. "What you don't see among this list are some of the more sensational benefits," said Dobroski.
Deep down, people just want to get paid.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:06 AM on April 21, 2016 [5 favorites]




Wow.
posted by Artw at 8:24 AM on April 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


As his toxic waste trash fire not only is associated with my last name but also my face, I felt compelled to respond to my father’s sexist, ableist, and racist rants.

Jesus. I mean, she's not wrong, but damn.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:26 AM on April 21, 2016 [10 favorites]


You know what? Kids these days are alright.
posted by Artw at 8:30 AM on April 21, 2016 [9 favorites]


While it lacks the oh snap quality of a daughter savagely and deservedly roasting her own father, I think it's worth mentioning that MeFi's Own Emily Short also posted this response to the Alex St. John piece in which she takes a thoughtful and interesting look at the difference between working 80+ hour weeks because you want to and working them because someone is making you.
posted by valrus at 8:57 AM on April 21, 2016 [8 favorites]


I would just love to be the fly on the wall at the St John family Thanksgiving dinner 2016.
posted by theorique at 11:57 AM on April 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


If you have time for Thanksgiving dinner with family you clearly don't care about your work.
posted by phearlez at 12:46 PM on April 21, 2016 [10 favorites]


from Amelia St John's piece: “As his toxic waste trash fire not only is associated with my last name but also my face, I felt compelled to respond to my father’s sexist, ableist, and racist rants.”

Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: “Jesus. I mean, she's not wrong, but damn.”

Indeed. For those keeping score at home, the awkward picture inserted on page 13 of that infamous recruiting PDF just after "There may actually be more female engineers but nobody can identify them…" turns out to be of Alex St John's own daughter. I guess he thought that would be a nice little in-joke to put in a really weird, awkward picture of her there? That he was flattering her by calling her a "female engineer"? Who the hell knows. It seems fair enough for her to enjoin him to "stop being an obnoxious lunatic," though.
posted by koeselitz at 12:57 PM on April 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


I now wonder who the second picture is.
posted by maryr at 11:31 AM on April 22, 2016


Humor isn't really part of his skillset, is it? I suspect putting in more hours isn't going to change that.
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on April 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


The man is aggressively stupid.
posted by Monochrome at 1:38 PM on April 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


He needs a copy editor (on a blog? ha!), or an improvement in his grammar and spelling.

In the interest of recruiting more diverse workforce’s

Should not be a possessive.

Also it’s amazing how much TP the lactose intolerant consume, stock more.

That comma needs to be a semicolon.

I just can't take seriously a person who writes this poorly. /grammarnazi
posted by theorique at 1:48 PM on April 22, 2016


Also it’s amazing how much TP the lactose intolerant consume, stock more.

Is this a swipe (ha) at women?

Our HR manager pointed out that we were hiring more QA people and it would be difficult for everyone else who had to work with them who wasn’t a gothic vampire to have to shift their schedules to accommodate the goths.

...or you could hire the new QA people to come in in the afternoon so they could work with the engineers by day and the goths by night and then you've solved your communication problem just fine, you short-sighted asshole. That maybe you should have included some diversity in your fictional QA department, then you wouldn't have this problem in the first place? That maybe only hiring friends of your current fictional employees is a bad practice that led to undue stress? on your fictional HR manager?

Does he realize that he is more accommodating to fictional vampires than he appears to be to actual young people?

Jesus, he's even in the dark in his fictions.
posted by maryr at 2:54 PM on April 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


I do not know the first thing about the game industry, but "I then thought some more and realized I was right" is the ne plus ultra of pighead satire.

Although "There are people who, through a combination of hard work and chance, become fabulously wealthy. Then there are other people who, through a combination of hard work and chance, only succeed in having a long career in games" is as good a thesis as anything I've read.
posted by psoas at 2:20 PM on April 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


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