Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Reading and Thinking
I was just reading over at Wil Wheaton Dot Net that his new book will be in stores soon. I just recently read his first mini-book called Dancing Barefoot. I really enjoyed it and I expect Just a Geek to be as good or better.
Our lunchtime discussions lately have revolved around the concept of balancing our free time with our jobs. I personally value my free time very highly. Our whole lives should not be just about our jobs. The company we work for is pretty good about not over-working us too much, but they do expect more than 40 hours a week as the norm. One of the ideas that we have discussed during lunch has been doing four 10 hour days instead of five 8's. I really like this idea, you have more time in the office for those four days, but you get an extra whole day off.
Now let me say that there is no way this idea would ever be implemented at my office. Its so crazy no one would ever even think to bring it up as a real suggestion.
My company is very conservative when it comes to these kind of things. The concept of Tele-commuting has been brought up repeatably over the last few years and each time its totally shot down. We have VPN access and we have the ability to work from home but that is reserved for when you're sick, for when you have to work late or on the weekend. Oh well, its still fun to dream about these things.
Outsourcing...(Que ominous drum roll)
Another topic that comes up everyday is IT outsourcing. My company has embraced this idea completely. However, their current policy is that we are only doing it to grow our development group faster. Indeed we are still hiring locally as well.
Now, I can understand that outsourcing can make very good business sense these days. But, just because it is good for the company does not mean that it's the right thing to do. I don't think the company realizes how unsettled this whole process has made us. We are not afraid that our jobs are going to disappear suddenly, at least not yet, but being treated like a commodity that can be bid on tends to make one question your loyalty. Now I know a lot of people that will fire back with, but you are a commodity, to be traded and bid on like a box of nails or a roll of sheet steel. Bull-Shit! We are people that have an emotional investment in this company. If the company wants us to feel like we are a part of this family, then they need to show us the respect we deserve.
Instead of spending all this time getting a group of cheaper developers up and running, the company could have just hired a couple new local developers and kept the rest of us content.
Current Music: Jane's Addiction "Classic Girl"