Friday, April 18, 2008

Only 40 hours? Yeah, right

I've been talking to potential employers. I'm looking for a bicycle advocacy gig, but I'm keeping my options open - looking at customer support engineer roles, too.

Talked to a couple of companies in the past couple of days on the engineer front. I'll spare you the details, but they both expect copious amounts of overtime. They actually act shocked when I ask them what the hours are like.

"Don't you know? This is modern-day America, son - there will always be people looking for work - looking to take your job. You want to ask me that question again, now?"


That's the sentiment.

I told the first crew to go stuff it, but I'm holding onto the second set as a backup. Felt kinda bad about the first one because the guy was real nice, the company is here in Austin, and the work seemed like it could be very interesting - but I knew that once I started working there - with full time+ hours, I wouldn't have the time or energy to do anything that was actually useful to society, so I had to bag it. My last company was very good - get your work done, and be out if you like. Or, if you wanted to be a superstar and spend your life shuffling papers at the office - you could do it. It was totally up to me. I chose to do the best I could in 40 hours a week, and I think it worked out very well for everyone.

In this day and age, companies expect someone to work more than 40 hours a week. I don't know what kind of crack you have to be smoking to ask me to do something like that. Don't these fools know I'm trying to do no more than 30 hours a week of industrial work?

I may get desperate enough to take a job and then have to quit it. We all need to eat. This 40+ hour work week stuff has to stop. People need to have time to do useful things like take care of their kids and plant some food at the local community garden and volunteer and create music and art. That stuff can't happen if we're all stuck on freeways and behind computer screens - killing what's left of the planet's ecosystem.

1 comment:

Zakkaliciousness said...

That's just mad... don't people have families? 37 hours a week, max, here in Denmark. 6 weeks of annual holiday. Paternity leave. Oh, and we're hiring... :-) unemployment is at an all-time low so there is a great demand for labour.