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The Great AW Working Hours Debate of 2018

Sculpin

"Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week"
#1
You don't hang on to talent in the private sector by being a raging dick.
Exactly why my company is having massive amounts of attrition. Raging boners abound, from young engineers to the VP/executive level! Every week or two I lose another friend at the corporation due to attrition. Now we're losing all the good talent, and products and projects are floundering. Having executives lying through their teeth and screwing the company, and egomaniac line managers that deliberately and consistently sabotage company operations and projects for their own empire building, what can you expect?

I'm actually very glad to have been in this environment, as I've learned exactly how not to be. It's helped a lot in my own management experiences. Patience is certainly the greatest virtue.

I have also had friends who worked for Bezos, and they were happy to punch their ticked at Amazon and get out of there.
Do you think Amazon is bad? Lots of engineers have left my company for Amazon. They say it's heaven by comparison. Better culture AND better compensation? Really great deal.
 
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NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
#2
Exactly why my company is having massive amounts of attrition. Raging boners abound, from young engineers to the VP/executive level! Every week or two I lose another friend at the corporation due to attrition. Now we're losing all the good talent, and products and projects are floundering. Having executives lying through their teeth and screwing the company, and egomaniac line managers that deliberately and consistently sabotage company operations and projects for their own empire building, what can you expect?

I'm actually very glad to have been in this environment, as I've learned exactly how not to be. It's helped a lot in my own management experiences. Patience is certainly the greatest virtue.



Do you think Amazon is bad? Lots of engineers have left my company for Amazon. They say it's heaven by comparison. Better culture AND better compensation? Really great deal.
Off-hand I know people that work or have worked in sales, HR, recruiting, fulfillment and product for Amazon and they all say the same thing, if you want to succeed at Amazon you need to be young and no family, because they will work you to death. They churn through people like no tomorrow, that is why they have to pay so well, otherwise it would be hard to get anyone there, and even then they leave. I get contacted by their recruiters at least once a month trying to get me to apply I say nope. If I was unemployed would I go there you bet, to get money in my account and pay the mortgage.

I work with a woman whose husband is an engineer there, and he does like it, they are happy, but they immigrated to this country for that job so I am guessing they feel lucky for the opportunity.
 

xj220

Will fly for food.
pilot
Contributor
#3
I used to date someone who worked at Amazon for recruiting (and is no longer there) and all these stories corroborate with what I've heard.
 

Sculpin

"Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week"
#4
if you want to succeed at Amazon you need to be young and no family, because they will work you to death. They churn through people like no tomorrow
I'm well acquainted with how they do things, especially with regards to engineers. They do really like their scheduled purges, too. My company isn't much different in terms of the long hours and frowning upon families. For about half of my time at my company, I was working 70-80+ hour weeks. The reward for good work is ironically more work, especially with people leaving coupled with consistent hiring freezes in US offices. Funny you mention being young with no family, considering this sweatshop was the reason why I'm not married, with work going fully stupid at a point where I was picking out an engagement ring. It is insanity, but not an uncommon occurrence. And if you're young and no family and in a group where everyone is not young and with families, prepare for marital discrimination. Oh, and doubly screw you if you are doing any work outside of work, especially if it's military which lots of techies view very negatively. The working conditions will obviously vary group to group, but the one consistent thing in my experience has been getting more work for doing good work.

I work with a woman whose husband is an engineer there, and he does like it, they are happy, but they immigrated to this country for that job so I am guessing they feel lucky for the opportunity.
People on work visas aren't exactly in a position to complain. Can't tell you how many people on work visas are sweating bullets anytime layoffs are coming around or they're worried about renewing their visas. Even helped a few people from getting screwed over and deported.
 
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NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
#5
I'm well acquainted with how they do things, especially with regards to engineers. They do really like their scheduled purges, too. My company isn't much different in terms of the long hours and frowning upon families. For about half of my time at my company, I was working 70-80+ hour weeks. The reward for good work is ironically more work, especially with people leaving coupled with consistent hiring freezes in US offices. Funny you mention being young with no family, considering this sweatshop was the reason why I'm not married, with work going fully stupid at a point where I was picking out an engagement ring. It is insanity, but not an uncommon occurrence. And if you're young and no family and in a group where everyone is not young and with families, prepare for marital discrimination. Oh, and doubly screw you if you are doing any work outside of work, especially if it's military which lots of techies view very negatively. The working conditions will obviously vary group to group, but the one consistent thing in my experience has been getting more work for doing good work.



People on work visas aren't exactly in a position to complain. Can't tell you how many people on work visas are sweating bullets anytime layoffs are coming around or they're worried about renewing their visas. Even helped a few people from getting screwed over and deported.
I know quite a few people that work in other larger high profile companies, there is of course concern for restructuring and layoffs, and the other typical big company things, but none work nearly the hours that the guys do at Amazon, many work less hours than I do and are paid much more! Many of those guys have worked at Amazon and will often refer to the article that talked about the working conditions and say the article was spot on.
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
Contributor
#6
What's ironic is that "churn and burn" is really not a good idea in tech. There's a concept in the industry known as "technical debt." Basically, every time you have to hack together a "good enough" solution right now, instead of properly coding something that will function at scale, it's like borrowing money from the bank. You have to pay the bank back eventually, with interest. And you have to fix the dodgy hack you wrote eventually, because crap doesn't scale. But the more other junk you've bolted onto it in the interim, the more painful it is to fix your initial hack. You pay interest on technical debt in terms of coding time spent un-dorking what you did initially.
Sounds like the Navy's approach to building the MH-60S.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#7
Off-hand I know people that work or have worked in sales, HR, recruiting, fulfillment and product for Amazon and they all say the same thing, if you want to succeed at Amazon you need to be young and no family, because they will work you to death. They churn through people like no tomorrow....
I used to date someone who worked at Amazon for recruiting (and is no longer there) and all these stories corroborate with what I've heard.
My brother works for Amazon doing money stuff and he works almost every Saturday and quite a few Sundays too (weekends aren't 'full' days) for a total of 70-90 hours a week on average, but he has always been a bit like that in his professional career and his wife seems fine with it. He has lasted an unusually long time for Amazon but is in a highly specialized field so it there aren't usually the plethora of alternatives there is for the regular tech, management or logistics folks.

I guess the plus side is he now has a shitload of money with the stock options he has gotten from Amazon as part of his compensation on top of the profit he made from selling his house for double what he originally paid for it. I've always thought the DC housing market was a bit pricey but Seattle and Vancouver, BC have gone batshit crazy the last few years.
 

Sculpin

"Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week"
#9
I know quite a few people that work in other larger high profile companies, there is of course concern for restructuring and layoffs, and the other typical big company things, but none work nearly the hours that the guys do at Amazon, many work less hours than I do and are paid much more! Many of those guys have worked at Amazon and will often refer to the article that talked about the working conditions and say the article was spot on.
Yes of course, I couldn't agree more with you. It's a damned sweatshop, no doubt about that. Their fancy offices and mega-greenhouse don't change that fact. But I'd just like to reiterate people have left my rather troubled company and found Amazon to be reasonably better, to give some idea that it can get even worse. Regardless, I'm very glad you are intimately familiar with and have worked in the tech industry. It's an esoteric society of madness and absurdity few people on the outside really understand.
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
#12
Not a good sign for where you are working. That is like hearing sailors say 5x10's is nice and then you find out before they were on 6x6, and then you feel sad for them.
I interviewed at Amazon when I left active duty. The shop I was being recruited for worked essentially 24hr/day between Thanksgiving and Xmas and during the interview they said 10hr/day was the average the rest of the year. Coming off of "unusually arduous sea duty" I didn't much care for that proposition. In the end I wasn't offered the position but it saved me the trouble of having to make the decision myself.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#15
The shop I was being recruited for worked essentially 24hr/day between Thanksgiving and Xmas
Is this intentional somehow? It seems like a horrible way to do business. I know zero about how Amazon is structured, but there has to be a better way to accommodate for the surge periods around the holidays.
 
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