Saturday, February 16, 2008

There's a lot that's good about my job. I work from home, my coworkers and manager are easy to get along with, and I get paid pretty well. Granted, there's no BJ Friday, but I'm still hopeful on that front.

There are two major flaws though. First, the product that I work on is excruciatingly boring. Does anyone here have an interest in business process management engine software? Me either. I can assure you that it's not as interesting as it sounds.

Second, it's just a matter of time before my job moves to India without me.

As it turns out, there are many millions of programmers in India, and I'd guess that about 99% of them can be hired for a small fraction of my salary. You don't need to be an efficiency Nazi to see the economic benefits of moving software jobs from San Francisco to India. So, if, hypothetically speaking, you worked for a company run by Germans, it's not difficult to imagine a scenario where management realizes das benefit of das cheap salaries.

This week a product team in our company, that was somewhat similar to my team, got axed. The expensive long-time engineers were laid off and their product was moved over to the development team in India.


Our manager was out of the office this week, so his manager called a meeting of our team to break the news to us about the layoffs, and to reassure us that our jobs were still safe blah blah blah. He's a good guy, but it's clearly his job to reassure us regardless of the big blinking billboard in the sky that says "YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED, LAZY AMERICAN CHUMPS"

Big Boss: Also, you guys should know that the laid-off engineers were given their bonuses and were given severance packages based on the length of time they had spent in the company.
Me: So, hypothetically speaking, say an engineer had been with the company 11 years, how many weeks of pay would he get were he laid off? Hypothetically.
Big Boss: That's a good question, and I'm not quite sure. I'll find out for you though.
Me: Nah, don't bother. I'm sure I'll find out soon enough.
Big Boss: I'm sure you will.

So, that's reassuring.


David said...

I look at images that have been scanned and enter that information into a database. I think I beat you on the "most boring job" category of the careers competition. I know India is lobbying the company I work for for my job. My boss has pretty much said it. The only thing that is holding it here, is the fact that they don't want to have the physical mail and the scanned mail on opposite sides of the world. But as soon as they figure that out, I'm history.

Will said...

Doesn't hurt to get a head start: and + I'd click your blog ads any day of the week.

Mike said...

David, ok, I'll agree that my job isn't the most boring, but the industry that I'm in is pretty dry. Just once I'd like to have a job that I could explain to my mother.

Will, thanks for the click offer. I can't imagine that putting ads on this blog would be worth the hassle. I'm not scrounging for pennies just yet.

yajeev said...

I've got your solution: I Am Prepared to Give Up at Any Time t-shirts at

I've already made like 10 bucks in one week from land of yajeev paraphernalia, er, memerabilia sales. Sure, they were purchases made by two college buddies and my brother, but pretty soon, I'll be ready to quit my day job.

Wait. I don't have a day job. Never mind.

tinyhands said...

Although I deny being gainfully employed (it clashes with my playboy bachelor persona) we have a large "outsource" contingent at my firm. Unfortunately, a bunch of weaselly consultants are here helping us figure out how to lay-off more IT people.

One of them was reading over my shoulder just now. How annoying! Dude, I'm trying to BLOG over here. Wanna back up off my shit?

Mike said...

Yajeev, that's a helpful suggestion. If I get to the point where my day job looks like it only has $10 left in it, I'll quit and do the cafepress thing instead. I long for the day.

Tiny, weaselly consultant! That's the kind of job I need! Thanks for the tip.

Avery Gray said...

Ouch! Well, let's hope that gigolo thing pays off, huh? In San Fransisco, I can imagine there's plenty of opportunity on that front. Good luck with that!

Oh, and I'd click your ads, too. I'm here everyday anyhow.