Monday, April 03, 2006

I'll do it, but I don't have to like it

I understand that in IT, sometimes it’s necessary to pull a few extra hours in order to get your systems running by deadline.

I understand that pulling those extra hours means sleep deprivation, junk-food overindulgence, separation from loved ones and sense-of-humour failure.

Just because I understand those things doesn’t mean I have to like them.

The way I have been treated by this company in the last week feels like abuse. It feels like I have been forced, against my will, to work ridiculous hours. (I have worked 21 of the last 24 hours).

And before you say "Yes, but it's your decision."... that's obvious, but it's not as simple as that. When you work for a living, you do exactly that: you work so that you can live. If you don't work, you can't live, because you don't have food.

So when your boss says "Please do this" what he's really saying is "If you don't do this, you will starve to death." He may as well be holding a gun to your head.

Yes, I know, I'm oversimplifying. There are laws in place to prevent exploitation of workers and so forth. But all those do is change the gun your boss is holding from an AK47 assault rifle to a mushroom-pellet gun: if you fire it enough times in the right spot, it'll eventually do the trick. It'll just take a lot longer and be a lot more painful.

I need to get out of this company.