Saturday, February 19, 2005

Qu'est-il arrivé a la semaine de 40H ?

Transmis par un de nos lecteurs assidus.
Merci a tous de vos contributions et commentaires.

Concernant l'article, on s'y croirait...

Developer Pipeline Newsletter Editor's Note: What Happened To The 40-Hour Week?

This week, editor Richard Hoffman took a well deserved break. However, one of the readers of this newsletter sent him an interesting reply to the Editor's Note of last week's newsletter. Looks like Richard's topic certainly hit a hot button! Here now are the thoughts of John B. from Chicago, a 20-year veteran in the world of information technology and a mainframe developer.

It's shocking to some, but I just don't want to be that "in touch."

Perhaps I'm a bit of a whiner with a bad work ethic, or perhaps I'm just a slacker ahead of my time. But being 46 years old and a mainframe "developer," I remember when we had time to ourselves, time to think, listen to music, and most importantly, be with our families.

I was fired from a prominent company because I couldn't and wouldn't work 15 hours a day, all the time, and be at the beck and call of my manager 24/7.
Why did he need me to be there for him? Because he made ill-conceived promises to users.

Now, I used to be a workaholic, back when it mattered, back when they kept you after a merger if you were a valued employee, or you advanced if you showed above-par effort. But now, threats invade the workplace:
"Productivity must increase, or else India will get all our business!"
"You can't compete with a global workforce if you don't squeeze more throughput out!"
When I heard those statements, I redoubled my efforts, but it came to the point that I became insignificant in the lives of my two daughters. So, I made a choice 17 months ago. I'm now unemployed -- and enjoying every minute of it.

I got to see my eldest daughter's softball season. I've finally got time to write a thriller novel based on IT. My blood pressure has decreased. Now, I know I'm lucky; I have the luxury of being unemployed even after the severance ran out. Many others, lacking the savings we had, don't. Their lives are, to me, less meaningful because of being shackled to work.

I fear we've entered a new age of Robber Barons, and in a hundred years of labor law, we've only changed the color of the collar and learned NOTHING.

I don't believe for a minute that other countries' citizens are more productive, more intelligent, or more innovative then those in the USA. We've allowed greed to take hold. Corporations ought to stop looking at employees as expenses and instead find ways to sell more
widgets and to dream up new, different widgets to maximize potential earnings. When we look inward to cut costs, we exchange the long-term view for an acceptance that we have done all we can to sell all we could.

We have no eye on the prize anymore.

So we enslave ourselves with gadgets to stay in touch with the "action," forever paranoid that if we blink, the other guy will get the advantage. We don't know, or can't remember, what it was like before CNN played disasters on TV as they happened. We all are familiar with the 24-hour news cycle, but are we willing to accept a 24-hour labor cycle? If my boss can find me, s/he can interrupt me, but shouldn't that person have to compensate me for that privilege?

What ever happened to the eight-hour day? Why is the 40-hour week considered a luxury? Overtime is fine in certain cases, but must it become a daily requirement?

Send your comments on this topic to: Richard Hoffman, Editor,
Developer Pipeline, at, and he'll reply to you upon
his return next week.
Keep Getting This Newsletter

Don't let future editions of Developer Pipeline Newsletter go missing.
Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam

No comments: