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Law Firm Fighting For White Collar (IT) Overtime 573

Maximum Prophet writes "Programmers and System Administrators typically don't get overtime. A law firm based in Nevada is looking to stand up for white-collar workers around the country, trying to reverse decades-old (and incorrect) thinking about what it means to work in an office. 'Computer workers of various stripes, for example, have commonly not been paid for their extra hours ... But under California law, the exemption applies only for workers whose primary function involves "the exercise of discretion and independent judgment." In numerous lawsuits, Thierman and other plaintiffs' attorneys have alleged that legions of systems engineers, help desk staff, and customer service personnel do no such thing. Of programmers, Thierman says, "Yes, they get to pick whatever code they want to write, but they don't tell you what the program does ... All they do is implement someone else's desires.'"
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Law Firm Fighting For White Collar (IT) Overtime

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  • Total compensation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WPIDalamar ( 122110 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:30AM (#20742149) Homepage
    Overtime is one of those things both the company and the employee has to consider when taking a job and the salary is based around those terms.

    If companies suddenly had to start paying overtime, salaries would have to be adjusted.

    Personally, I'd prefer to stick with the deal I have.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:31AM (#20742169)
    Why shouldn't people get paid for the hours they work? I've never understood why IT workers just "have to work overtime" without compenstation, to me it's just stupid.
  • Never mind... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `reggoh.gip'> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:36AM (#20742239) Journal
    Never mind contracts. It's the law who's king.

    If the la says overtime must be paid, contracts who say otherwise are null and void.

    It's not for nothing that there are laws, because companies cannot be relied to do the right thing.

  • by AbbyNormal ( 216235 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:36AM (#20742241) Homepage
    for a few years, I think companies have made out like bandits. Companies have always towed the "your a professional" line when expecting overtime from employees. While that may be true, try telling that to your plumber or mechanic. I'm wondering what the impact on general salary would be if some sort of legislation was put into place.
  • by miskatonic alumnus ( 668722 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:37AM (#20742257)
    Yeah, man. The only people who deserve a pay increase are CEO's. God, everyone knows that.

    Really, do you mean to suggest that fewer domestic people entering the business will result in a different outcome (regarding the number of Indian programmers) than current employees getting overtime pay?
  • Be really good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:40AM (#20742287)
    I used to work in a company that used to put a lot of pressure on the programmers to work long hours. One old guy there came at 9am and left at 5pm every day, and refused to work any later. They didn't get rid of him because he was good and reliable. In retrospect I realise all of us ambitious youngsters were being taken for a ride and the old guy just wasn't having it.
  • by asills ( 230118 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:40AM (#20742301)
    Not all IT jobs require massive (or any) amounts of overtime. I may work the occasional 50 hour week because of deadline concerns, sure, but I'll never be a permanent 50+ hour employee.

    My dad worked in a union for 30 years (small steel finishing plant), topped out at about 50K per year. He had to work a lot for what he got paid (I worked there for a summer, sometimes it's real hard work, sometimes it's easy, but it's always long hours). I make twice as much as he did and I sit all day.

    I realize how good I have it.

    If you don't like your job, there really are plenty of jobs in IT that don't require overtime, just go find one. One place I worked at pretty much dictated 8:00-4:30 (or 8:30-5 but everyone did 8:00) every day and everyone leaves (medium insurance company IT dept). I didn't like getting there at 8am, but I sure did enjoy a 37.5 hour work week (after lunch).
  • by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:45AM (#20742371) Journal
    When I applied for my job as a systems tech, I was assured it would be an 8-5 job. Did you get it in writing? If not, you have little recourse. You have a couple of options, though. You can either quit, or you can demand more money at your next review.

    Why do you let your company abuse and exploit you and then do nothing but complain to the internet about it?
  • Well I do. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by samael ( 12612 ) * <> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:45AM (#20742375) Homepage
    I get overtime as a coder. And I have no compunction about saying "Sorry, I'm busy this weekend, I can't do any overtime." when asked (not that I turn it down all the time, but I like to have my time

    You crazy Americans with your 5 days holiday a year, 80 hour working weeks and complete lack of overtime.
  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:47AM (#20742411) Homepage Journal
    "Why shouldn't people get paid for the hours they work? I've never understood why IT workers just "have to work overtime" without compenstation, to me it's just stupid."

    Simple solution. Contracting. Since I changed, I never looked back. I will NEVER work for free. I will work as long as the job requires, I will bust my ass to get things working, but, I will not do it for free.

    It is a plain and simple thing that took ME awhile to realize.

    If salary were a two way street ("sure you can leave early this week, since all your work is done") it might be ok, but I find for today, especially in admin jobs, where you are on call and carry a pager (some people actually do this for free??)...salary is just a way to squeeze time away from you for free.

    They'd have to pay me a LOT of salary to go back to it.

    IMHO, in this day in age, there is no such thing anymore as job loyalty (from either party), nor job security. If that is the case, then the two main things that would draw a person to a direct, salaried job are gone. That being the case, you might as well contract. YOu can find long term contracts....possibly be a contract employee of a company which is kind of a hybrid thing (benefits, and hourly compensation), so it isn't always a hit and miss occupation. If you are really good at what you do, you can do the complete indie thing....make great bill rates, and enjoy more time off.

    Sure it takes a bit more paperwork, but, you can incorporate yourself, get tax breaks, write things off.....and you don't have to work for free any more.

  • by mujo ( 1083177 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:48AM (#20742421)
    the problem is not whether the law allows the bosses to pay or not pay for extra hours, its all about availability of workers willing to not demand for extra hours to be paid.

    I mean if I start to insist on getting paid for every hour over 42h/week I work, my boss will fire me and replace me with someone that wont ask for overtime.
  • by cthulhuology ( 746986 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:49AM (#20742425) Homepage
    My best friend is a PACS admin for one of our county hospitals. As a county hospital employee he had to join the government union. Does he get overtime and flex time when he gets a pager call? You bet ya! Does he get paid "private sector" wages, yep (was a matter of having the job's classified as a higher grade). So I gues the solution to your problem might actually be a union.
  • frigging idiots (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Russ Nelson ( 33911 ) <> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:50AM (#20742455) Homepage
    An employer has a limited amount of money with which to compensate employees. The exact structure of counting the labor doesn't affect the pay in the long term. Long herre is about a year.
  • by bwalling ( 195998 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:52AM (#20742481) Homepage
    So, if the law changes, your employer will not pay you any more than they do now. You'll likely run the risk of earning less. When determining your hourly pay rate, your employer will factor in the total number of hours they desire you to work, including the on call time. So, your pay will be the same as it is now, provided you work a full week, including the late night calls. The weeks where you don't get the calls, you'll get paid less than you do now.

    Think I'm being cynical? Watch it happen. Best case is that your total pay remains the same. Management is there to make money, not to let some new law cause them to pay more to their employees.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:54AM (#20742509)
    If you read the article carefully, it actually states that:

    -The law says that people must be paid for overtime

    -The law says that people can sign a contract excempting them from being paid for overtime (implying, they would look at what the job demands from them as a whole, day and night, and measure the annual salary up against that). This however ONLY if they have jobs that require creative and original thought. You cannot by law sign up as a burger flipper for $20,000 per annum and be on standby days and nights with no overtime comp.

    - The law firm says that IT does not require creative and original thought, and hence IT people should not be given contracts (which they almost always are) that exclude overtime

    I mean, getting the argument through would be a radical shift in the salary structure of IT people - you would get paid by hour instead - but you might struggle to find people here to agree that IT support is as uncreative as burger flipping.
  • by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:59AM (#20742571)
    I have been following this for a bit. There has been overtime exceptions for decades for professionals like lawyers, doctors etc. One of the problems of the changing laws is they keep revising downwards what the definition of an IT "professional" is. I make $90k base pay, but the current definition of IT "professional" has overtime for IT workers thrown out if I recall correctly below $40k, or it may even be below $30k.

    As far as people who don't want government involvement - there are a host of laws limiting what we can do. The Taft-Hartley law allows the government to call off any strike. States are allowed to prevent certain agreements between workers and management (a "closed shop"). Overtime, at least below a certain salary level, is one of the things countering this. If you don't care about the ITAA etc. pushing the salary level for overtime down, down, down until it disappears, all that will exist are laws that give weight to the employer, and have the government take away your freedom in contract-making with the employer (Taft-Hartley, so-called right-to-work laws etc.) Even if you want to do away with all such laws, from our perspective it makes sense to keep these laws until the ones hurting us are done away with first, as in the meantime these just balance things on our side against the laws against us.

  • by techpawn ( 969834 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:01AM (#20742585) Journal
    ...In a given week I do 15 hours of REAL actual work...? Let's be honest with ourselves. We work overtime because a LOT of what we have to do must be done during non production hours. There are some days where we're in support mode and just read websites all day...
  • by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:01AM (#20742607)
    When the company hires you as salaried, that time you're 'giving' them is factored into the pay.

    Bullshit. Only one company I ever interviewed for told me up front that overtime was common. I didn't even bother to go back for a second interview. Most companies tell you 40 hrs, but then expect more, and more and more.

    If they had to pay hourly beyond it, you wouldn't get as much in the first place.

    What nonsense is this? They'd either hire someone else, or adjust to more realistic timelines. If the company is constantly giving you 60+ hours of work. I've been lucky to have all my employers pay me the rate I want and still not expect more than 40 hours.

    The company I work for thinks I put in a lot more overtime than I do because I'm so productive. I do put in -some-, but not nearly as much as they think. The deal works out great for both sides. If this law goes through, I'll get a huge paycut (or fired, and someone else hired) and no overtime as well. I'll just lose money no matter how it goes.

    That's your own fault; you're letting them think you're less productive than you really are. You need to fix that.

    That said, this would be a great idea if they also tarrified outsourced labor. If they don't, it will only drive companys more to China.
  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:03AM (#20742627) Homepage
    If companies suddenly had to start paying overtime, salaries would have to be adjusted.

    The ethical thing to do would be to adjust executive salaries down and let everyone else's stay the same. Not going to happen, but I hope everyone realizes that this is a result of institutionalized greed, not a case of not enough money going around.

    Go back to the 1950's and the difference between the CEO and the janitor's salary was a hell of a lot smaller.
  • Re:Be really good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by chdig ( 1050302 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:06AM (#20742671)
    I've always found this to be common -- older guys know they're in demand, and won't put up with being pushed more than they want to be.

    Then again, the kids actually want to work those extra hours a lot of the time. I wonder if many programmers aren't more proud of the crazy hours they worked/work at the beginning of their careers than sad that they worked overtime.

    As an older guy, I'm now fed up with overtime, but several years ago, those crazy nights programming were in part where I honed my skills, and why I now have the cred to demand my own hours -- and a decent wage.
  • by no_pets ( 881013 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:11AM (#20742739)
    Hopefully you have a fair/good deal with your employer regarding salary and working conditions. Perhaps your employer is not out to exploit you. That is great.

    The example that TFA mentions (non-IT example) is that of a store manager at Starbucks. That person has a salary and most would agree the position to be exempt. But, if that employee is spending a good chunk of time making lattes just like the baristas that do get overtime then the store manager should not be exempt as the position is basically a glorified barista.

    A real-world IT example of this (and I have seen it) is this: I do not know what you do but being in IT let's say you have a sweet deal going with no/minimal overtime and a fair salary and working hours. Then somebody quits or gets fired. Now you end up having to "temporarily" help cover for this employee until the position is filled. Perhaps the "other duties as assigned" portion of your job description is mentioned. You begin working overtime, etc. Someone in management/HR/Finance ends up deciding that the position does not need to be filled after all because things are getting done now anyway.
  • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:16AM (#20742789)
    Patriot act - unpatriotic
    Clear skies act - no controls on pollution
    No child left behind - everyone is left behind
    FairPay act - no more overtime pay

    Hmm. I would swear I can almost notice a pattern here!
  • by cavehobbit ( 652751 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:18AM (#20742831)
    No, you are not.

    The law prevents certain employee's from willingly working uncompensated overtime.

    You can not agree to certain "services" being provided in exchange for employment. (think bill clinton, tip oneill, etc).

    Plus, the employer usually has the upper hand in any negotiation. Not always, but more than not. I have been in IT for a while. Unfortunately it is all I know that can earn me more than being a retail clerk will.

    Corporations will rape IT orkers for all they can until the law changes.

    If you think outsourceing to India is bad, so is never seeing your family.

    I am close to going to truck driving scholl. Those guys earn close to what I do per hour, and then get overtime on top. A union truck driver can earn 6 figures for over the road tractor trailer driving.

    How many IT folks can say that, outside of the hottest current tech?
  • by TheMeuge ( 645043 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:22AM (#20742887)

    Before the government started dictating terms of employment, working 12 hours per day, 6 days per week was the norm. Maybe you want to go back to that plan.

    For scientists and doctors that's the current reality... alongside with dropping salaries.

    The post-docs in my laboratory, make about $40'000 a year... after a PhD. A clerk in the subway booth makes $55'000 after 5 years with benefits that dwarf any academic institution... with a GED and a demeanor of a world-class asshole. When translated into per-hour payment, the booth clerk makes $27.5/hour, and the post-doc makes $13/hour.

    That's the kind of society we live in. Want more unions?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:34AM (#20743073)
    Sounds like the subway clerk has a good job at a good wage thanks to a union.

    It looks like your PhD lab rats are getting screwed... perhaps you need a union?

  • by asills ( 230118 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:45AM (#20743263)
    He retired 4 years ago, so no real inflation to take into account. When I was growing up (20 years ago) he made about 35K and my mom was a waitress.

    Now my wife doesn't have to work (she's free to do what makes her happy) if she doesn't want to and still I'm way better off than my parents were as children.

    Again, I realize how good I have it. I won't ever be a millionaire, but then again I wouldn't be one if I got 10 hours of overtime per week either.
  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:48AM (#20743315) Journal
    The position will never be filled if they have people to work it "as part of their normal duties" (i.e.: for free).

    It's time to look for another job. If he hasn't backed himself into a corner (massive mortgage, kids, and a non-working spouse), he can always quit and look for another job, or start his own doing consulting. If he can't or won't do either, I don't want to hear complaints.
  • by jstomel ( 985001 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @10:56AM (#20743463)
    It's not rocket science, it's law. Rocket science makes sense. I've read some contracts and unless you understand legalese you're doing good to understand maybe 30% of what you're committing to.
  • by DustyShadow ( 691635 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @11:00AM (#20743545) Homepage
    Companies have teams of lawyers writing their employment contracts. Did you have a lawyer read over your employment contract before you signed it? Very few people do.
  • by dwarfking ( 95773 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @11:06AM (#20743617) Homepage

    Something many of the folks don't like to admit on /. is that most of the executives at successful companies put in as many if not more hours than the average worker.

    In every successful company I have been employed, the executives almost always were the first ones in in the mornings and the last ones out. They regularly had weekend meetings and multi-day off site meetings, where yes they actually worked. I know because I'm in that tier now and attend these. Granted there is higher compensation at this level, but most of them worked their way to where they are today by being driven and putting in the extra time.

    Now before you go flaming me with anecdotes about how so many executives are clueless and got their positions by being family or friends, note that I am referring to what I consider successful companies. I have also seen companies that failed because of the true clueless executive who worked bankers hours and spent most time on the golf course. Those are not the ones I'm referring to.

    And interestingly enough, you have average workers that are also not as driven, who seem to regularly complain when others move up and they don't. The question you have to ask yourself is do you feel like working hard either independently or to lift the company as a whole, thus helping yourself, or do you just want a paycheck and nights and weekends free. You can have either, even in technology, but they require different sacrifices and lead to different lifestyles.

    If you are working for an organization that regularly expects you to work nights and weekends, look at what the executives are doing. Are they working long hours too? If so, your company may be at one of the various growth points companies hit that take major efforts to break through.

    Usually they aren't making quite enough money to afford hiring more staff, but they have the potential for more revenue that will then kick them into the next level where they can grow, but to get there they have to work current staff harder. Those layers vary, but I've seen they generally hit at the $100mm, $1b, $10b and $25b marks. Hopefully when they break the barrier and now get into a new growth spurt, there are new opportunities for the hard workers, higher salaries and potentially bonuses.

    However, if the execs aren't putting in heavy hours but expecting you too, then they may just be looking for a quick payout and are keeping labor costs down by not hiring additional staff. That is when you need to start looking.

    And I know some folks will say that even working hard, the executives may still be looking for a payout. If the company does breach one of the barrier's they are often a more appealing target for a buyout or merger, which could impact you. Keep in mind, however, very few driven executives actually retire after these events. They tend to go on to a new endeavor and when they realize they need help, they remember names of folks that were hard workers.

    Speaking very generally, these value barriers also coincide with the skillset of the executives. You have those great at creating ideas and founding companies, who are just horrible at running large businesses. You have those who are great with Wall Street and large organizations who can't start a business. Same as tech skill levels. So what often happens is the early visionaries or founders, if they are smart, relinquish control to others more qualified and then move on. And it is these folks that might call you to join their newest idea.

  • View From Canada (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bullfish ( 858648 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @11:24AM (#20743925)
    The notion down in the US seems to favour the company far more than the worker as opposed to where I am (Manitoba Canada). Here in Manitoba, the only exemptions to paying overtime involve management, which is specifically defined as having the power to hire and fire, control your own work and discipline others as well as control your own hours. For everyone else, including salaried employees, the exemption where you don't get paid occurs only if you make more than 2-1/2 times the industrial average in the jurisdiction.

    The introduction of these laws came after a worker successfully sued their employer over unpaid overtime and the terms under which she was hired. The terms being vague, essentially meant that because she was salaried, she could be compelled theoretically to work 24/7 with no compensation for the extra hours. The court found this unacceptable. Further review by the province found that the number of people in similar situations was huge and this was remedied this spring through legislation.

    I find it interesting that in the US, there is not even a legal requirement to pay vacation for full time workers. I find it more interesting that many individuals in these replies seem to support the work until you drop mentality. I also find it interesting that apparently down in the US, your employer can walk up to a desk clerk and force them to pee in a bottle for them. Talk about intrusive. Weird, people don't seem to care about that, but are wound up over google taking picures of people in the street who no one will ever likely recognize or know.

    I would think there should be some fairness in how companies treat workers.
  • by mollog ( 841386 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @11:25AM (#20743935)
    No, this will force IT management to be more efficient. Human resources are the most precious of resources. For too long, IT management has resorted to forcing workers to work longer to compensate for poor IT decisions. I'm reminded of why the Egyptians didn't use the steam engine when they invented it; slave labor was cheaper and more adaptable.

    This sort of technique get used in agribusiness; a choice between investing in better productivity tools vs. hiring migrant farm workers. I recently was in Kauai where the Kauai coffee plantation invested in productivity methods to compensate for the rising cost of labor. Only when it's more painful not to adapt will IT management adapt.
  • Re:Well I do. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by caluml ( 551744 ) <> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @11:46AM (#20744245) Homepage
    Well, if it's a choice between 1st place, and killing yourselves to achieve it, or 4th place (UK), and having a fairly good amount of holidays (27 days here, excluding public holidays), I know which one I prefer. It gives me a chance to travel around, and see the world too.
  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @11:52AM (#20744319) Journal
    Or perhaps public employees + unions + (elected mayors and Congress and presidents as bosses) are an unholy triumvirate of sloth.

    The elected officials know (or believe, anyway) they will lose more union votes harassing their millions of government employees than they would ever gain standing up to them (not true, Reagan did quite well, but there you go.)

    So government employee unions get a rate of success that private sector unions cannot and never will.

    There is nothing good about this situation. It's not even something to be proud of. Woo hoo, our jobs cannot be lost to other countries. No pressure whatsoever to reign it in.

    It's no wonder nobody likes unions anymore -- except people in those very unions.
  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .dlrowcidamon.> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @12:03PM (#20744513) Homepage
    Something many of the folks don't like to admit on /. is that most of the executives at successful companies put in as many if not more hours than the average worker.

    But I didn't imply otherwise. My point isn't that executives don't deserve to be well-compensated, or that they don't put in the hours their subordinates do, but rather that the level of compensation has reached ridiculous levels.

    How much should the CEO of a Fortune 500 company make? It's a difficult job. Not everyone can do it.

    I think a fair salary for the CEO of a successful corporation should be several million. Let's be nice and generous, and say $10 million a year, with incentive bonuses. I think that adequately compensates someone who's working 80 hours a week.

    But $20 million a year? $30 million a year? Do you really think anyone is worth that? Especially in companies who refuse to pay overtime, or fire people to reduce payroll?

    This incredible disparity in salaries is new, a result of spineless directors and grasping executives. It's not necessary; the jobs are hard but not impossible, and for every CEO who makes $30 million a year, I guarantee you there are plenty of equally qualified people who would be content with a third of that.
  • by GreatBunzinni ( 642500 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @12:23PM (#20744789)

    See, what this is ultimately is, is fear mongering. There's not a spit of difference between guys selling the Union or the guys selling USA PATRIOT ACT. Both depend on this idea that we are completely powerless, so we need to get some goons to protect us, and furthermore, we should just give these jerks, in the form of dues or taxes, protection money. You know what a union is? It's a steward who just got a nice deck for his house, a president's kid's baseball team that got new uniforms, and any manner of theft.

    You speak on and on about fear mongering but all you do not give a single rational argument against unions. All you do is try to associate a simple, healthy, life improving initiative that aims to protect worker's rights with evil, oppressive initiatives like the US's patriot act. If that wasn't enough to satisfy your trolling needs, you go on associating unions with organized crime and corruption.

    The thing is, whenever a group of people join themselves to fight for their rights, their lives improve and society improves. History is packed with landmark victories accomplished by people associating themselves and fighting for their rights. You absolutely cannot state that a bunch of IT workers organizing themselves to fight to get their a fair pay earned by their honest work is some sort of evil, oppressive, criminal, abusive act.

    You may have been brainwashed against the evils of communism and you may have lost the ability to understand the concept of worker's rights but that doesn't mean that it is wrong or evil.

    The simple matter of the truth is, unions don't work. Unions don't work because, every time you give them what they claim to get, they either drive the parent company bankrupt, like GM and a cast of thousands, or the work goes overseas. The promise is a lie, and all a union really does is just place a tax based on a fear.

    Oh I see. That must be why there is absolutely no european company. They simply cannot survive under that harsh climate. Damn those european unions, with their minimum wage, their 35 hour work weeks, their paid overtime, their 30 day paid vacations, their Christmas bonus and paid leaves, their national health services and their unemployment benefits. They simply destroyed their lives and reverted back to the stoneage! No small company can possibly survive that, let alone a multinational. Poor bastards.

    Really, all of these "workers" advocates are just in the business of helping themselves. A bunch of crooks, trying to frighten people into giving them money for promises that they can't keep, and have no intention of keeping. It's just like the "people's lawyer", the guy that sues some company for a billion dollars - he gets millions, while his plaintiffs get coupons. Workers rights is a slogan for an industry based on extortion, and fear.

    Yes, you seem to be the smart one here. You completely avoid all unions or worker's association and nonetheless you still got that 35 hour work week and paid overtime. Oh you don't have that? Tough. Keep on bitching about how unions are evil, then.

  • by optimus2861 ( 760680 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @12:29PM (#20744895)

    And in the meantime hospitals who depend on our product lose support, my company goes under, and my fellow workers lose their jobs, and hospitals lose their ability to read studies since many of them no longer have film printers on site.

    I'm going to say this as bluntly as I can: That is not your problem. That is for the management of your company to deal with. If they are putting all of this pressure on you when it's, as you say, way beyond the call of your duty, then your company is not managing their responsibilities properly, are flirting with disaster, and may go under anyway. Don't work yourself into an early grave for their sake.

    I came through a hell-on-earth experience earlier this year where I was working 12-hour day shifts and then being on call for night shifts. In one span, 6 nights out of 7 I got late-night wakeup calls that I had to deal with - on two of those nights I got called in twice. I only barely got through it with my sanity intact, came about this " " close to quitting outright, and made everyone above me know that if it ever happened again, I would get the hell out and let someone else deal with that kind of crap.

    That kind of workload just isn't worth it. It wrecks your social life, wrecks your mental health, physically exhausts you (I was a zombie for three days after that experience, only able to function on a very basic level; I'd never felt that kind of exhaustion before) and for what? A few extra bucks? Screw that! I've made some changes in my life since then to find a better balance between work and play, and I feel like I'm making some real progress, enough so that I found myself saying just today to a colleague that I don't want to take a possible 3-week work trip to Australia this fall because I don't want to kick my social life back down to zero again, not after losing most of the spring to work commitments.

    I'm telling you: tell your bosses your situation, make it very clear how much work you're doing and that you can't, and won't, continue doing this much longer without help. Your company has to perform better, and you deserve better.

  • by csoto ( 220540 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @12:33PM (#20744963)
    So, you want to be subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (rather than "exempt")? Then be prepared to be at your desk for an actual 8 hours (minus two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch break). Be prepared to punch in and account for every minute of your time. Be prepared to be a glorified custodial worker...

    Don't bitch about what you've got, until you realize what you COULD have.
  • Re:Be really good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @12:37PM (#20745009)

    I used to work in a company that used to put a lot of pressure on the programmers to work long hours. One old guy there came at 9am and left at 5pm every day, and refused to work any later. They didn't get rid of him because he was good and reliable. In retrospect I realise all of us ambitious youngsters were being taken for a ride and the old guy just wasn't having it.

    I'm usually that "old guy".

    Funny part is, i ain't that old - i'm in my early thirties.

    Even funnier than that, the reason i get away with it is because by working a reasonable amount of ours, my productivity is actually higher than that of those that regularly work long hours - you see, i make a lot less stupid mistakes due to being tired, so i'm a lot less likelly to waste time tracking down and fixing those stupid mistakes. Not only that, but my software is a lot more stable (again, fewer stupid mistakes) and gets delivered on time.

    The funniest thing is that, whenever i leave a company, they're always sad to see me leave, and I've often been offered positions of higher responsability as an incentive to stay. Even beter, this even happened after i started working as a freelancer.

    It's a shame that so many managers out there are so inept that they confuse extra hours with extra results and that so many of my colleagues are such suckers that they're willing to sacrifice themselfs to preserve the bonuses of said inept managers.
  • by CorporalKlinger ( 871715 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @12:39PM (#20745055)
    Doctors complaining about how little they make as residents are whiny little babies that I want to backhand. First, all the poor little doctors say that they didn't enter the field to make money--then immediately start complaining about how little money they make. Then they complain about how they make only $55,000 a year right out of medical school and how that's nothing compared to the 80 hour work-weeks they have to maintain. But they ignore the fact that after they complete their residencies, they're basically guaranteed over $200,000 for the rest of their lives.

    Not true at all, my friend. Malpractice insurance runs into the tens of thousands of dollars annually, even for physicians with clean records. The average family practice doc earns $150,000 - median salary amongst all ages of physicians - according to the Department of Labor. The average pediatrician (median salary) earns $135,000 a year. Let's look at the late night phone calls - continued working of 60 to 70 hours per week to maintain that salary, constant fighting with insurance companies to even take home the money to which they're entitled... and we see why this is a problem. It is the rare exception that earns over $200,000 a year in medicine, except in specific specialties such as neurosurgery and cardiothoracic surgery. Most physicians do not go into such specialties, though. Approximately half of all doctors pursue primary care instead - fewer and fewer each year - specifically because of the threat of low wages.

    Unlike law or banking, doctors have job security and high-paying jobs.

    Right... little Billy comes to see you for a cough. You treat the cough but miss the hangnail on his toe. His drug-addicted mom doesn't take him back to the doc until the toe is infected and gangrenous. Billy has to have his toe amputated. You get sued out of business by said drug addict mom. That's job security alright!

    Furthermore, the government pays the hospitals hundreds of thousands of dollars for each resident they take to offset training costs. That's right, we pay for their education.

    You do? Then why is my current financial situation such that I have more than $200,000 in debt, earning close to $1000 monthly in interest right now? You think the GOVERNMENT is making it easy for me to be a doctor? HAH! You should try it, my friend - just look at the average tuition for a medical school student. If you think we're getting a free lunch, you're quite mistaken. It is expected that it will take me more than 15 years after residency to pay back my student loans from medicine (making me well over 40 by the time I'm financially "sound"). And immediately after residency, I'll be lucky to make a six-figure salary after insurance and hospital fees. So yeah, take your ignorance and shove it. You clearly haven't done your homework on the reality of becoming a physician.

    And assuming that they're all intelligent people, they signed up for this knowing what was going to happen. The question is why they did it anyway if things were so dire. The answer is that things are not so dire, medicine is a very lucrative field for all involved, and that whiners like this really should shut up and go away without comparing themselves to IT folks who will make $60,000 for the rest of their lives with NO job security and crazy long hours.

    If you ask the average medical student today - and trust me, we've all been asked during our admissions interviews - why we chose the field we're in, it is because we like to help people; not because we enjoy the lifestyle. In fact, continuing polls by the AMA and ACP list as the top reasons physicians enjoy and stay in medicine as the ability to help others and the possibility to make a difference in the lives of others. My previous degree is in engineering, and I have worked in information technology myself before attending medical school. I have three family members still involved in Information Technology. I can say from personal experienc
  • by beheaderaswp ( 549877 ) * on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @12:55PM (#20745307)
    I agree with the original poster. Completely.

    If you want to see the IT profession go down the crapper, just start handing out overtime.... and start a union.

    IT is one of the only fields left where a person can advance based on how good they are. This whole "overtime for the junior SE who can't tie their shoelaces" is just crap. A junior engineer is just that, junior, and those extra hours struggling with DNS topology are simply the internship for a future.

    Attempts to turn a professional skill into a commodity, eventually result in unionization, and we become like the US manufacturing sector.

    Give me my professional latitude- or nothing at all.
  • Re:Be really good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by asdfghjklqwertyuiop ( 649296 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:08PM (#20745539)

    In other words, in my opinion they are not paying me for hours, they are paying me for work.

    How would that work out for you if you decided to start coming in at noon every day and leave at 4?

  • by Sandbags ( 964742 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:25PM (#20745769) Journal
    I am a senior engineer for my company, I travel frequently to meet with resellers and customers. I work partly from home, sometimes in the office, and a lot of time in the field. As a salaried consultant, I put between 45 and 55 hours per week "on the clock" not including my lunch and other personal breaks. If you factor in time I spend in hotels, at dinner with customers or resellers, and other time I spend "tinkering," I'm averaging about 60 hours per week. Some weeks I work closer to 30 real labor hours and do a lot of tinkering, reading up on new stuff, or sitting in a plane or airport for the rest, other weeks I'm nose to the grindstone for the whole 60 hours. Sometimes I get calls at 3 or 4AM and have to wake myself up and handle an isse.

    I not only make a fair salary, but I have averaged over 10% annual raises to that salary based on experience and seniority. This is a LOT faster than I'd probably get as an hourly employee. We're a small company (fewer than 100 employees) and to staff enough people, at reasonable rates, to avoid massive overtime pay would add 3-5 people to my team. With overtime in the picture, they'd prefer to call on others to do extended labor when I'm close to 40 hours. I'd also have to deal with explaining WHY I'm in overtime if I did. Most importantly, it's simpler for me to simply get a salary at a point that "expects" a limited amount of overtime, and a predictable weekly paycheck. It's also easier for the finace guy since he doesn't have to worry about overtime when planning the budget month by month and quarter by quarter.

    Big sales mean big commissions for some associates, but more money in means there's more in the budget. Us support consultants don't necessarily generate the same return as a lot of our labor is customer and reseller satisfaction or hardware support, and makes no revenue. If we had a bad month, how would finance predict that?

    Besides, if they convert me to hourly wage, they'd just take my current salray, divide it by 50 hours, and give me that rate. Then they'd start using metrics to control my overtime use as some employees would likely abuse it to get more money. In the end, I've been down the road before, both overtime and salary. I FAR prefer salary. It's less hassle, more predictable, and I'm still paid fair wage for my time either way. Sure, one or two weeks a year I might put in 70+ hours. There are other weeks they simply overlook my PTO and I only work 30 hours. If I find myself working too much overtime, or they abuse my salary position, I push back and get a raise, more time off, or other compensations.

    Salary makes it easy to keep company budgets in line, makes my life easier (on many levels) and I'm paid well either way. If I wasn't paid well, there and 5000 companies I could apply to (and many of my clients have already made me offers that I've politely turned down) that would take my experience at the same or higher pay rate and my company would no longer have me on staff, then I'd probably end up consulting back to them at twice my current pay rate until they hired someone to replace me and spent 6 months training him, as I've already seen happen. In fact, the company knows well that my highly trained position is hard to fill, expensive to train, and giving me a 10-15% raise annually costs less than replacing me. They abuse me, and I just up the ante...
  • by gabrieltss ( 64078 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:51PM (#20746153)
    Seriously though, you point out that 'in this day and age' there is no loyalty on either side. I'd say that's partially a reflection of the unwillingness of workers to ask for (demand?) what they're worth. Labor is a business transaction, you shouldn't hate your business partners or let them treat you 'unfairly'. Get a good idea if what you should be paid, ask for it, and leave if you don't get it.

    You know where workers are getting it from? They just look at the executives of the companies and see them getting paid BIG bucks - way more than they probably should. And see them stealing peoples money (Enron, Worldcom etc...) and bascially getting away with it. How many executives are doing it and NOT getting caught? Probably A lot more than you think! So if the executives are doing it why shouldn't the employees - think about it. You have the RIAA/MPAA stealing from "artists" and US the people who actually buy their crap!

    Think about it we have a double standard. The big rich executives get paid WAY too much steal from others and it's ok. But it's not ok for use to get paid well for our hard work and it's not ok for us to steal from them. Companies would rather outsource to some other country whos workers are willing to work for dimes on the dollar than to pay people decently. To me let those FUCKING companies move their business overseas, take the jobs with them and then let the rest of the U.S. QUIT using their products and services. Some other company will just come up and take their place. Maybe learning from the previous companies mistakes.

    If the cost of living in the U.S. wasn't so high I bet people wouldn't need such higher salaries. What is the cost of living in India? A LOT lower than it is here, hence they can get away with needing less pay. Corporations don't get this AT ALL. If they would help bring the cost of living DOWN in the U.S. I would bet people would be willing to work for less. how can we compete in a "GLobal Economy" if everywhere companies are sending jobs has far lower costs of living than we do.

    But I think corporate EXECUTIVES need to get a pay cut! NO! they would rather "lay off" hundreds or thousands of employees just so they can keep their cushy job, getting paid millions of dollars and getting millions of dollars in stock options. That's utter CRAP! They say "oh we need to pay them well to keep them." BULLSHIT! If you get rid of one executive there is ALWAYS another wiating in line for his job! MBA's are a DIME A FUCKING DOZEN! Engineers are NOT! If anything Engineers and scientist should be making more than MBA exeuctives!

  • by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @01:58PM (#20746245)
    No, the free market pretty much always exists. If it's not legal it's called the black market or bribery or government corruption or organized crime.
  • by The One and Only ( 691315 ) * <[ten.hclewlihp] [ta] [lihp]> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:21PM (#20747253) Homepage
    You know what fair pay is for an executive? $10 million in stock. Match that share-for-share--if the stock doubles in value, they get $20 million. If the stock tanks, they might only get $5 million. Pay dividends and the incentive bonuses take care of themselves. If you don't have a personal stake in the company, they shouldn't be making the calls.
  • by dfint ( 907009 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:24PM (#20747295)
    Why must I suffer as an IT professional because your lack of management forethought. If we are a 24x7x365 company, act like one. Spread the work to multiple shifts. I volunteered to work a night/later shift. I was denied because we are an 8 to 5 company. Well then why am I putting in 8 hours during the day just so I can schedule my real work for a 3am maintenance window that night, and then they would really like you to be back to work at 8am. Companies don't change unless it's painful for them not to change, or the government tells them to. Your forgetting that we are the little guy and the company is the big guy we have no power. my 2 cents
  • by E++99 ( 880734 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:48PM (#20747595) Homepage
    $10 million is okay, but $20 million is not? Based on what? The idea that there are "plenty of equally qualified people who would be content with a third of that" misses the point of a job with that level of responsibility. They people they are trying to attract are people for whom there IS no substitute. It's like professional athletes. If you lose your superstar ballplayer, there's not necessarily a replacement available in the workforce.
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @04:26PM (#20748111)
    ...and fortunately I just turned 40, so I can actually half-sort-of claim to be old, too.

    I took a job at a small business consultancy and found myself IMMEDIATELY pressured to work for free after hours (returning emails, looking over proposals, as well as some miscellaneous work that had to be done after hours like reboots). Most of the pressure of course came from the principals, who have the most to gain from "extra" work.

    I pushed back immediately, not answering phone calls or email after 5, when asked when I would look at something not related to on-site client work, I'd schedule time during the day to do it vs. doing it at home after hours.

    Strangely enough, the only place where one of the principals complained was about daycare pickups when my wife was out of town! He actually had the gall to ask me what I would do if a client site was down or having problems and I had to pickup my kid -- I told him "Easy question -- I don't even have to think about it. My son comes first, every time." He kept it up, suggesting I should have a "backup" plan with friends or neighbors in case I had to work, and I just told him to "Put any further suggestions about my child's welfare in writing along with any repercussions should I fail to follow them."

    I'm not sure such a written letter would have done much for me, but I can only imagine how it might have gone over should a situation have ever reached court or had I filed for unemployment claiming I had been terminated without cause.

    But since then, nothings happened and both principals have been pretty conscientious about work/life balance. In fact in my last performance review, I made the point explicitly that the job lacked the compensation or advancement to merit becoming a 60 hour a week job and they pretty much agreed with me.

    I just think it pays to work hard during the day and then ignore them after hours.

  • by RembrandtX ( 240864 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @04:27PM (#20748133) Homepage Journal
    Sounds like heaven compared to sitting down at my desk at 7:00 am. Then working until noon, taking 5 mins to get my lunch from the refrigerator and heating it up, then eating it at my desk. Followed by working straight through until 6:00 PM or so. Only to be on call if anything 'comes up' that evening.

    $70,000 a year is based on a 40 hour work week. If your working 60 hour weeks or more, you are probably worse off THAN a custodial worker. With more stress, and less family face time.

    Do not try to make us think 'exempt' is better until you have not seen your kid for three days due to 'crunch' time.
  • by columbus ( 444812 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @04:51PM (#20748475)
    I'd like to emphasize a point suggested by the parent: "the employer usually has the upper hand in any negotiation"

    The subject of unpaid overtime / legal protection / unions has come up many times on slashdot. The most frequent responses I read to this subject are along the lines of "it's your responsibility to look out for yourself. Negotiate a fair wage and fair conditions for yourself at the time of hiring. If your employer screws you, quit and find a new job." I think that the people who post those responses are hardworking, ethical, probably libertarian, believe in the free market economy. I have a lot of respect for them.

    However, I think there is a flaw in this thinking. Within this paradigm, the only time that the employee has the capability to affect their working conditions is at the bargaining table at the time of hiring. But the power relationship between the 2 parties at the bargaining table is not equal. It hurts the potential employee more to walk out than it hurts the employer to look for a replacement. The same relationship applies if conditions become abusive during employment. It hurts the employee more to be out of a job than it hurts the employer to be temporarily short-staffed. As long as the balance of power is heavily in favor of the employer, they are in a position to make excessive demands.

    I don't think you can rely on market forces to fix this problem when there is such an imbalance of power between the employer & the employee.
  • by torkus ( 1133985 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @05:22PM (#20748841)
    Give it a few more years and robots and computers will do the entire job of a business.

    There will be the CEO, his robots and racks of computer of equipment...and a bank vault to keep his goldz safe from the starving unemployed mobs. Oh, and maybe a few menial jobs so he can get those tax breaks.
  • Re:I disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LunaticTippy ( 872397 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @05:28PM (#20748915)
    This is a recipe for disaster unless something is done about executive turnover.

    What's to stop someone from coming in, slashing headcount to pump up the stock price, collecting their booty and then off to fuck the next company?

    I've seen way too many short-term executives come in and ruin things, make obscene profits, then high-tail it leaving a smoldering wreck of a company. All the good people are gone, morale is in the toilet, customers are leaving in droves, and it'll take years of brutal effort to salvage things. All to make one person rich.
  • by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @06:04PM (#20749333) Homepage Journal

    He is working two jobs.

    That can't be right. I've worked two jobs, and the distinguishing characteristic was that I got two paychecks.

    I think that the accepted description is "getting shafted", or some less abstract description of the same act.

  • by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @06:49PM (#20749813) Homepage Journal

    I'd like to add an item to your otherwise fine list:

    • Learn and be very proficient in one (or more) esoteric skill(s), even if the demand for it is very low.

    Having such an esoteric skill can mean making even more money because people having such a skill are very difficult to find, and can improve your overall retention as you can be difficult to replace (so long as an organization needs that skill, so don't get pigeonholed by it). Being irreplaceable gives you some advantage in dictating your work-life balance with your employer.


  • by tjstork ( 137384 ) <todd,bandrowsky&gmail,com> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @08:30PM (#20750625) Homepage Journal
    Much like Microsoft, it isn't so much that one particular set of alternate vendors from a particular nation are better but that ALL OF THEM ARE.

    I wouldn't be so quick to say that. Linux is not better than Windows, it simply is an ok, and incomplete, alternative that is attractive because of its price and its ideology appeals to those with a leftist bent. But, from a technology perspective, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 remain on par with Linux for web development, lead, if you have Monad, even for scripting, exceeds it significantly for gaming (not from OpenGL versus DX, but for sound, joystick, etc). Linux has a better networking stack than Windows does..but I believe Vista fixed that, although some reports suggest that they broke sound to do it. Linux, gasp, has no native file sharing and network printing protocol .. having to ape Netbios... I still wonder why Novell won't bundle Netware with Linux and open source it.

    Visual Studio, when working in C#, remains the premier development environment on any platform. Office is better than OpenOffice... Access remains the best desktop database, and SQL Server is really only answered by Oracle, which is, incidentally, another American company.

    Screw the Japanese, XBOX360 is better than PS3 and iPod is better than walkman. I'm with Bill Gates and Microsoft and Steve Jobs and Apple over Sony ALL THE WAY. You see, I used to work for RCA, and Sony kicked our Ass, and I gleefully hope for Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to plant the red white and blue back into consumer electronics.

    Now, that's not to say that the USA is automatically the best in IT. It's not. Europeans are damned good programmers... I used to play French games on my Atari 800, and I still remember when I first played Beast on the Amiga, with its obviously intimate knowledge of hardware, thinking, oh christ, the Germans are coming. And so they have came. They are very good, and I would more worry about the Europeans blowing us away in the low level O/S type of stuff, than I would about Indians filling out forms.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @09:49PM (#20751147)
    honestly if i was to get a new job.. Fedex or UPS.. .. the UPS guy that pick up our stuff gets paid on average 1.6 times what i make a year.. because he gets paid over time.. and to be honest.. he works less than i do..

    Have you asked him how he likes the job? Everyone I know who works for UPS hates it. They all say the company treats you like shit. Nasty-ass little supervisors who give you conflicting instructions, then write you up for the part you couldn't fulfill. e.g. the trailers have to be backed up in a line in a certain way. There must be a second guy to guide you into the correct position. But no second guy is made available. Would you prefer to be written up for unsafe practice (no safety guy) or for failing to complete the assignment (positioning the trailers)?

    Another cute trick they claim happens all the time -- cheap-ass shippers ask you to "help them out a little" by moving a couple of trailers around their lot, kinda like a switch engine in a railroad yard. That throws off your subsequent delivery schedule. And you're liable for any damage that happens to their equipment while working off the books. ("I didn't know he was going to bump another tractor while doing me a little favor.") Meanwhile, if you refuse to do the unauthorized moving, the prick calls your supervisor and has you written up for "an uncooperative attitude." Your supervisor will take the shipper's part, because otherwise the shipper can fuck him over by pulling business and blaming the supervisor's attitude. The shit continues up the management chain.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @11:49PM (#20751861)
    look at the executives of the companies and see them getting paid BIG bucks - way more than they probably should.

    Who's to say?

    And see them stealing peoples money (Enron, Worldcom etc...) and bascially getting away with it.

    Actually, they went to jail.

    How many executives are doing it and NOT getting caught? Probably A lot more than you think!

    Actually, probably not. They're rich, why risk it?

    You have the RIAA/MPAA stealing from "artists" and US the people who actually buy their crap!

    I don't believe offering contracts to 'nobody' artists who think they have a shot at making a name for themselves is 'stealing'. Both sides weigh their options. Most of the legendary bands started out not owning their own songs--they had to give them to the record companies in exchange for their investment.

    The big rich executives get paid WAY too much steal from others and it's ok.

    Oh so now 'a lot' has turned into basically 'all'... now 'they steal'. Alright then.

    Again, who's to say they get paid too much? Executives have to have connections and friends in high places. Stockholders can't just 'buy' that unless it comes in the form of a person. They pay the CEO figure head to keep their company politically and socially connected, which is probably worth more than what they're paid.

    Companies would rather outsource to some other country whos workers are willing to work for dimes on the dollar than to pay people decently.

    Define 'decent' wages in the global sense. If you're not an idiot, you'll say "impossible"

    To me let those ******* companies move their business overseas, take the jobs with them and then let the rest of the U.S. QUIT using their products and services.

    You boycott every product with a foreign manufacturer. Try it.

    If the cost of living in the U.S. wasn't so high I bet people wouldn't need such higher salaries. What is the cost of living in India? A LOT lower than it is here, hence they can get away with needing less pay.

    Yeah, higher standard of living = higher cost of living. They also have maybe a tenth the per capita government we do and no labor laws and NO FREAKIN LAWYERS like in the TFA.

    It sucks to live in India. That's why it costs nothing.

    Corporations don't get this AT ALL. If they would help bring the cost of living DOWN in the U.S.

    Ever heard of Wal*Mart?

    how can we compete in a "GLobal Economy" if everywhere companies are sending jobs has far lower costs of living than we do.

    By owning and managing the companies that do those jobs. Oh, and by inventing the products they're peddling/building.

    But I think corporate EXECUTIVES need to get a pay cut! NO! they would rather "lay off" hundreds or thousands of employees just so they can keep their cushy job, getting paid millions of dollars and getting millions of dollars in stock options.

    What percentage of a company's money actually goes to executives? Do you even know?

    Companies with corrupt executives usually go down, or the stockholders boot them out. It's actually a hell of a lot more democratic than our government is.

    If anything Engineers and scientist should be making more than MBA exeuctives!

    Most engineers are a dime a dozen too... In India.

    If you don't like it, get an MBA yourself. What's keeping you?
  • by Slashdot Parent ( 995749 ) on Wednesday September 26, 2007 @11:02AM (#20755509)

    The problem with that sort of independence is the same as trying to be your own lawyer, civil engineer and dentist, all at once.
    If you do business that way, then you are doing something wrong.

    Whatever your core competency is (what yer sellin'), do that. Everything else, you outsource.

    I am not a lawyer. I am not an accountant. When I need one, however, I call one.

Loose bits sink chips.