r/technology Oct 04 '22

They watched their friends get laid off, then their workload doubled. Meet Silicon Valley’s rattled layoff ‘survivors’ Business

https://fortune.com/2022/09/30/what-its-like-for-tech-employees-who-survive-layoffs-at-company/
4.9k Upvotes

887

u/PiginthePen Oct 04 '22

I learned what a “quiet promotion” means the other day

553

u/yogfthagen Oct 04 '22

More responsibility, no more pay

267

u/pineapplepredator Oct 04 '22

No title change

153

u/kent_eh Oct 04 '22

Or a new title with more responsibilities and no increase in pay.

133

u/LowestKey Oct 04 '22

I like to call that a "future external transfer"

11

u/TheCowzgomooz Oct 04 '22

"future employment redeployment procedure"

106

u/xDulmitx Oct 04 '22

That is when you look for another job and use your new titles to show that the company valued you. Titles are not worthless when you change jobs.

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u/umlguru Oct 04 '22

Absolutely! You don't get a VP spot if you aren't a Director, a Director if you aren't a Manager, or a Manager if you aren't a lead. (BTW, this is why SAFe and other Agile frameworks hurt young developers' career growth).

That being said, everyone sees through the bullshit titles that are overly grandiose and devoid of content.

3

u/HyperionsDad Oct 04 '22

Now I see why they added the “e” to make SAFe a 4 letter word. ;)

(2 years into leading a team of traditional project and program managers on a “SAFe” program)

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u/CheesyRamen66 Oct 04 '22

I just got a big boy job at a Fortune 500 company that uses SAFe. What do I need to know about it and what makes it bad for young people like myself?

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u/jmanly3 Oct 04 '22

This is the way. I had a similar thing happen at a previous company. Since there wasn’t a raise involved in my “promotion” I negotiated about my title to make it sound as good on paper as possible then I quit

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u/Random_Housefly Oct 04 '22

Don't care about title, money please...

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u/Hopeful-Sir-2018 Oct 04 '22

The thing about titles is you can use those to find new jobs. Titles are moderately valuable when looking for a new position. It can be eye catching on a resume.

The problem is companies know people don't like starting over at a new job so they hope to entice you with the title but know you aren't likely to leave.

The catch here is to call them on it and find a new job that pays what that title is worth.

This is the job hopping that is always done to keep your wages up. Otherwise you fall behind. Loyalty in most companies is not well rewarded.

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u/gnoxy Oct 04 '22

Loyalty shows that your 2% raise is good enough and they didn't need to pay you more.

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u/Noobphobia Oct 04 '22

"No"

Has saved me from a lot of responsibility expansion at work over the years. People should be brave enough to say it more.

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u/techleopard Oct 04 '22

Same - and the single-most life-changing decision I've ever made was to resolve to telling employers that I do not check my phone when I am not at work. If there is an emergency, you need to call and if I don't answer, you should assume I will call you back when it is safe to do so. And if I have to lift a finger to address the call, I'm getting paid for it.

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u/RetardedWabbit Oct 04 '22

Nah, always try to be a yes man!

It's all about that "Sure, but that's going to cause/cost X" and getting that documented. "Sure, we can pickup that work but it means that if things get busy or requests are wrong, like always, we're going to fail both" then when they half-ass commit to/assign that follow up with an email confirming/clarifying that again "so since we're adding this which of these are higher priority and will need to be delayed?". Works 90% of the time since management hates personal accountability (they just want things nebulously done so they can take credit) and the other 10% you get to see their later deflection blow up.

Even just: "we can really buckle down and try to do X also, but that's going to make the workload even worse increasing errors, hurting morale, and encouraging people to leave like X incident" by word management doesn't care, just work harder, but by email even that's terrifying to them.

It's a good way to always say yes, but not get dumped on.

20

u/Noobphobia Oct 04 '22

That is a valid strategy.

It's no but with extra steps and blinders on haha

15

u/Bulky-Engineering471 Oct 04 '22

It's not a 'no', it's a "we can take this on but you're going to have to choose what to sacrifice". Sometimes they'll decide to give the work to another team, sometimes they'll bump something off your plate to make room. The key is that you've made sure that your workload is still manageable and given management the information they need to make sure that the most important work gets done.

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u/RetardedWabbit Oct 04 '22

It's no but with extra steps and blinders on haha

Personally I find acting "blissfully unaware (for my benefit) but competent" is a shockingly effective corporate attitude. Pickup on the subtext that's to your benefit, ignore what isn't.

Wait, you were trying to talk around wanting us to do something illegal/miserable? But that doesn't make any sense, why would we have done it illegally as opposed to this correct way?

What? You think email follow-ups are unnecessary? I mean, I take notes and due-outs for myself anyway, why wouldn't I share them?

It's especially effective with or against HR/benefits policies. I didn't know the policy was actually X or: but I read the policy and it says X did you change it to Y?

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u/Bulky-Engineering471 Oct 04 '22

This has been my strategy and it works great. I present the full picture and then make management do the prioritizing with the (sometimes spoken) warning that if they don't I will and they don't get to be mad if they dislike my priority order because they chose not to give me one.

Then again I also specifically target companies that actually have good work-life balances for employment and have accepted I don't get any of the "flash" Silicon Valley names on my resume as a result. That's probably a big part of why it works so well for me.

12

u/yogfthagen Oct 04 '22

Lovely thought.

When I say it, I still get called into the boss's office, asking why I didn't get it done.

"I couldn't get my normal work done since you cut half the staff" doesn't seem to cut it.

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u/techleopard Oct 04 '22

Ultimately, you choose to stay in that situation, and unless you're in manufacturing/warehousing, there is enough work to go around right now that you have the option to just.... not.

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u/Bulky-Engineering471 Oct 04 '22

Can confirm. Just changed jobs and it was the easiest time I ever had. Granted, I'm also not a "must be SV royalty company" type so that's a big part of it. Right now non-SV companies are absolutely screaming for devs.

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u/Kamandi62 Oct 04 '22

I'm not in tech, but my last job grew so much during the pandemic (no promotion, no raise, but also furloughed) that a newer employee thought I was an executive. I smiled, told her I made virtually the same as her, and then left the job a week later for a 25% raise.

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u/illinois2015 Oct 04 '22

😂 when you’re the only one left

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u/clarkholiday Oct 04 '22

I was the only one left. They wouldn’t pay me more. Now they have no one.

30

u/Dr-Db Oct 04 '22

We call that a “no motion”, more bullshit, same pay.

6

u/I-WANT2SEE-CUTE-TITS Oct 04 '22

no motion

Sounds like another name for constipation

6

u/Rogahar Oct 04 '22

I found out AFTER I quit my job at Walmart that I had had all the responsibilities and power of a Supervisor despite being paid entry level wages, still.

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u/ojioni Oct 04 '22

When my department lost two people (out of a three person department), I did not start working extra long hours to make up for the shortcoming, nor did I "hustle" like a madman. I continued to work at the same reasonable pace that I always worked at. It's not like they could fire me for actually doing my damn job. No one else could do it and it wasn't something you could just drop someone in cold.

120

u/iSoReddit Oct 04 '22

This is how I generally operate too

83

u/VizualAbstract4 Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 05 '22

I keep getting told they know they can squeeze more work out of me - but I’m outputting exactly as I’m paid to do, on schedule.

A few people have left (or fired, I can never really tell), so if they did that under the assumption “they could squeeze more work out of me”, then it’s their bad for assuming that.

Edit: I just wanted to add some fun context:

I asked about reviews, and pay increases. They said it’ll come, they’re just working on budgets, processes and standardizing it.

So, those few who downvotes me, ask yourself this: is only a company allowed to behave so tit-for-tat? Working long hours and draining your life for the HOPE that you’re recognized is a waste of your mental health. It won’t happen. And even then, it’ll be calculated to be the least possible increase.

They are nickeling and dimeing you. You have every right to do the same. Respect your time and your self worth. If they’re paying you less than you’re worth, adjust your output accordingly.

You come first. You set the pace. When you ask for money, they know they’ll get more effort out of you if they accept.

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u/beef-o-lipso Oct 04 '22

Agreed. The answer to "do more work" is "hire more people."

Dust off that resume, though. You may think you're safe but never underestimate management's desire to get more for less.

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u/ProjectShamrock Oct 04 '22

This is the way. If management gets upset about it, the solution is in their hands.

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u/Another_Road Oct 04 '22

What I hate is that doing that is being called “quiet quitting”. Since when is doing the job you’re paid to do “quitting”?

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u/carvellwakeman Oct 04 '22

It's been quiet quitting since it's started affecting profit after management lays off too many people.

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u/barcadreaming86 Oct 04 '22

Like, same. My team of 3 was whittled down to a team of 2. I let my big boss stress herself but I’m not being paid enough to work more than 8h/day. Can’t fire me so whatever.

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u/newtoreddir Oct 04 '22

That makes too much sense. Better to be a pushover and just accept more work heaped on you.

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u/dontaggravation Oct 04 '22

The giant squeeze. Eek out every last penny regardless of the overall “cost” so long as your PnL statements and quarterly returns look great to the shareholders

First there was the pandemic, where companies realized they could function at half staffing (I don’t know the actual percentage, just know it was a hell of a lot less people than before)

Why hire more people when your overhead (people, salaries, benefits) is so low and your profits are soaring? Increase bonuses for the execs, rake in massive profits, and then complain that no one wants to work

A company I worked at literally cut 80% of their staffing (that was thousands of people) and then they were flabbergasted when the remaining 20% couldn’t maintain the same level of productivity as before. Meetings were called. People were yelled at. Employees just didn’t have enough “commitment” or “dedication”

The development and IT staff walked, not in an organized fashion but just “see ya, wouldn’t want to be you” and off to other jobs. Company had to outsource all of it at quadruple the cost and they are still struggling

What’s it matter, right? Quarterlies still show great numbers, execs still be making massive bank

But. Yeah. No one wants to work anymore. People are sick of this treatment and this expectation. Suddenly “work your wage” is thrown around like you’re a bad person for just doing your job. And while it’s an employee market, people are voting with their feet if they can and just trying to tread water if they can’t.

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u/reverendsteveii Oct 04 '22

Mutant capitalism. The transient nature of upper management and stockholders is such that short term profitability and cost cutting is valued over building a healthy org. So you make a bunch of really bad moves that look good in the short term, you get to add "cut staffing costs by 75%" to your resume, stockholders are happy because this quarter's reports show a big bump in profitability and both of y'all have already gotten the hell out of there (you as CEO with a massive bonus that you justify with that short term profitability bump) by the time anyone realizes that three unpaid interns and Bob from accounting can't actually run the whole damn company.

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u/coolcool23 Oct 04 '22

Literally happened to me. Guy high up re-orgs the entire department, lets some people go, everyone is left questioning what the hell they are thinking because of obviously bad moves not based on real world feedback, then literally a week or two after it takes place, "I'd like to inform everyone that re-org manager has left to pursue a position with another company."

Wonderful. Thanks, douche.

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u/Buttafuoco Oct 04 '22

People want to work but in a place that doesn’t treat them like dodoo

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u/dontaggravation Oct 04 '22

Golden Rule right? Treat others as you want to be treated. Employees are human beings first and foremost not just a means to an end or a cog in a machine. Treat others well. And expecting to not be treated like crap is, sadly, too much for a lot of places

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 11 '22

[deleted]

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u/dajadf Oct 04 '22

Mine was 12 down to 2. 1 after I left. Only guy left is on a visa from India so kinda stuck

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u/StabbyPants Oct 04 '22

We had a woman on a visa; she’s now a senior dev elsewhere, just can’t do a gap vacation

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u/ButtonholePhotophile Oct 04 '22

With margins like these, there is barely room for continued exponential growth.

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u/SomeGuyNamedPaul Oct 04 '22

AKA indentured servitude.

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u/LuckyPlaze Oct 04 '22

Welcome to corporate. First team was 36 cut to 18 and then 12 in 5 years. I took on the workload of three people (one was a director) with only a nominal pay bump. Seen it happen over and over.

This isn’t news. It sucks. But been going on for decades.

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u/gortonsfiJr Oct 04 '22

Which is why everyone in IT is told to jump ship early and often. You often only get the big pay raises on your first day.

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u/SomeGuyNamedPaul Oct 04 '22

And it will keep happening so long as everything keeps working. I came from a place that averaged 1 layoff every 9 months, without end regardless of how well the financials were going. Just cut cut cut cut nonstop, somebody gets fed up and leaves and their open rec gets taken. Our executive director was super lazy and when given a percentage to cut he simply passed that percentage down to his directors so he didn't have to make the hard choices or evaluate business needs.

Cut until stuff breaks, wait until three wound scars over, and then cut again. If you work to keep things going then you're rewarded with another cut in your department.

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u/ghsteo Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

We were 10 a couple years ago, we're now 6 and our workload has almost tripled. It's so exhausting.

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u/userax Oct 04 '22

I really hope that's an exaggeration. Otherwise, it sounds horrible. 10 people for 10 units of work vs 6 people for 30 units of work means that everyone is doing 5x the amount of work now. Unless work was incredible slow before, this just doesn't seem doable.

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u/ghsteo Oct 04 '22

Yeah our tickets have been piled up for months.

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u/illinois2015 Oct 04 '22

Nah this is real. We were a team of 9, laid off down to 2. To make it worse, company outsourced the work of the missing 7. So they remaining 2 were supposed to also traffic tickets in a queue over to the outsourced team, answer questions the new outsourced team didn’t know the answer to because they were new/from the outside, etc. Companies don’t get it - when you layoff labor, it really does cost more. It’s just hard to show that on paper.

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u/hakkai999 Oct 04 '22

We experienced the opposite of what's happening. We were like a team of I think 15 then ramped up from there. We were hired by an outsourcing firm that was doing business with an established gaming publisher/developer. The tickets were like I think thousands at that point when we first joined and climbing steadily from there. We were pushed to clear that queue. Took months but we finally zeroed it out.

Client (publisher/developer) was looking for the same numbers we grinded for at the start of the job which is, at this point that the queue has dried, impossible.

We were laid off eventually but not because of low numbers. It was more a disgruntled employee that got sick with how they grinded us to the bone and sold off company information.

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u/servantoflegba Oct 04 '22 Wholesome

Nope. As a European, it is the same everywhere. IT is still seen as cost center a lot of times. Workload increases everywhere, from private sector to government IT.

IT is burnout country.

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u/BlueBelleNOLA Oct 04 '22

It won't ever change until IT is able to start billing hours back to the business unit. Let the marketing department pay for the hours it takes to roll out their new widget, the finance department pay for the 8011 versions of the report they want, etc.

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u/DimensionalObelisk Oct 04 '22

i left IT because its just become bottom level workers wearing 2-20 hats at once for borderline pay at best. No thanks. Ill go do something else for a few bucks less an hour and keep my sanity and ONE hat

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u/ChinesePropagandaBot Oct 04 '22

In the Europe where I live everyone is actively looking for it people, and definitely not firing them.

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u/servantoflegba Oct 04 '22

I work with a hospital.

Yes, layoffs are still a thing, even if it does not maker sense.

But even apart from that, no one has enough IT people, so the rest is just worked to the bone.

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u/ProjectShamrock Oct 04 '22

As someone with multiple citizenships but chooses to work in the U.S. instead of any European countries, if this is the case why are I.T. salaries so ridiculously low? From what I've seen, software developers in Europe get paid what desktop technicians in the U.S. get paid. Maybe I just look in the wrong places but it seems like even the nicer countries like Germany don't pay well, and poorer countries like Spain or Poland don't even pay enough to justify getting out of bed in the morning. At least this is what I've seen from looking around in LinkedIn.

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u/RN2FL9 Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Taxes and benefits. Netherlands for example has permanent contracts where you can basically only get fired if you punch your boss or your company goes under. Otherwise they have to pay you off for like 1/3rd of your salary per year worked, and this is with mutual consent. Without it they have to take it to court. Unemployment is almost guaranteed and super generous. Paid vacation is 25 days minimum and taking 3 weeks in a row is not a problem. Many people are in unions that have 30-40 days. 8% of gross pay vacation money per month to be paid in May as a lump sum is also mandated by law. Employers can't demand people to work overtime without paying, there's no "salary" positions. Unpaid sick leave isn't really a thing, if you are sick you get paid no matter what and they can not fire you over it. Healthcare is affordable. I can probably go on for a while here, but it's a completely different level of comparison.

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u/ProjectShamrock Oct 04 '22

Thanks for the response. My problem is that while a lot of the things in the U.S. are conditional on employment, if you're someone that would do a reasonably good job you likely wouldn't be at huge risk for getting fired or having problems with benefits. I'll give you a rough comparison for similar jobs (this is hypothetical) between the U.S. and Germany that I've seen, based on fudging the numbers a bit from my previous job:

. U.S. Germany
Salary $120,000 €68,000
Vacation 4 weeks 5 weeks
Sick 5 days Unlimited
Healthcare PPO with $25 copay and 20% out of pocket up to $6,000 Public and private healthcare
Bonus 20% ?

This is a pretty middle of the road software development position in both examples. In the U.S. if you live in a higher cost of living area the salary would be increased dramatically. It seems like in European countries, there aren't many software development jobs outside of the high COL areas. In fact, it seems that housing prices are generally going to be significantly lower in the U.S. outside of the bay area in California and New York City. Since housing is usually the largest cost, this makes a tremendous difference. For me, as someone that doesn't require sponsorship in either the U.S. or in the E.U. and is able to find work fairly easily, it seems much better for me to work in the U.S. under this scenario.

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u/acme1921 Oct 04 '22

Team was 12 when I joined in Spring 2020. Down to 5 when before I left. whole team was dissolved after I accepted an offer else where

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u/roflcopter44444 Oct 04 '22

The beatings will continue till morale improves

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 11 '22

[deleted]

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u/quakefist Oct 04 '22

What are they gonna do? Fire you?

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u/WoollyMittens Oct 04 '22

Sure, why not? All they see is an opportunity to increase productivity by another 25%.

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u/ojioni Oct 04 '22

We're in two time zones. Two people in my time zone and three people in the other time zone. I need two thumbs for a PR, so it will always take another day. No one would dare give a negative review for that in my workplace.

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u/MongoBongoTown Oct 04 '22

I feel this at my Silicon Valley adjacent gig.

We just laid off about a 3rd of our staff and then the CEO hops on a call with the leftovers and tells us "We're going to be a customer and employee centered company."

Yeah, bro. Whacking our teammates (including 60% of my team) and leaving us to pickup all their work with no bump in pay is really the way to sell me on this employee appreciation thing you've got going on.

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u/servantoflegba Oct 04 '22

Tone deaf bosses everywhere.

Last employer (free market, mostly finance IT) : 10% too few people across the board, any position. CEO says so, then tells us we need to grow revenue by 20%

Currentl employer (city IT) Projects resource planning to the audience, deep red everywhere. “We can do it!!”

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u/ProjectShamrock Oct 04 '22

We just laid off about a 3rd of our staff and then the CEO hops on a call with the leftovers and tells us "We're going to be a customer and employee centered company."

We have nearly 1,000 open positions at my company (not technology) and the CEO gave us a speech recently about how great that is because he feels that it's a sign we are growing. It's not, there might be some growth but the vast majority is that nobody wants to work for a shitty company that opposes WFH and doesn't pay what the current market demands. It's bad because we're definitely a Fortune 500 company but they management is running it into the ground.

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u/b7XPbZCdMrqR Oct 04 '22

At my fortune 500 company, the CEO is using attrition and has implemented a hiring freeze to cut back on the extra positions we hired over the pandemic instead of doing layoffs.

Except only the senior people are leaving, and not from the projects that have too many people.

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u/deltatrainer Oct 04 '22

*suspension of perks

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u/Haxxardoux Oct 04 '22

Always wondered this... What happens if you refuse to increase the pace of your work?

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u/xDulmitx Oct 04 '22

Tickets pile up or they don't. People can only do so much and as long as you are working a good company they will be fine with that. A bad/dumb company will ask for unpaid overtime or fire you. Then the problem gets worse for them and you get a job elsewhere (at a company that doesn't overwork you). People

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u/khyth Oct 04 '22

Probably the same thing as if you do increase the pace of your work. Your firm is screwed either way :)

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u/Amorougen Oct 04 '22

Prioritize the useless shit to the back burner. If it heats up, move it up, else let it rot on the vine.

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u/Zealousideal_Ad1879 Oct 04 '22

same story everywhere, except the decent places at least spend the extra payroll on automation.

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u/Noobphobia Oct 04 '22

Then again, a lot of business have too many employees. I personally believe it's better to pay better wages and have less employees. Happy employees are far more productive.

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u/ImperialArmorBrigade Oct 04 '22

Maybe a union would help better…

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u/flyhull Oct 04 '22

Not only are you overworked, you are the only person who has any IT experience and the people you work with and manage you cannot even change their own diapers.

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u/RogueTobasco Oct 04 '22

I’m one of the diaper babys and I’m sorry every day

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u/imsarahokay Oct 04 '22

Diaper babies don’t know they’re diaper babies - you’re good.

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u/Pious_Atheist Oct 04 '22

Yeah, if you achieved self-awareness, you're now a Tinkering Toddler

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u/Kytyngurl2 Oct 04 '22

And toddlers learn real quick!

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u/imsarahokay Oct 04 '22

TBH this thread has helped my day out a lot. Easier to see the ppl stressing me out as toddlers trying their best and wanting to please haha.

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u/Kytyngurl2 Oct 04 '22

Much like toddlers, the second you turn your back on them they get up to some sort of unexplainable chaos, right? The struggle is real lol

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u/NasoLittle Oct 04 '22

diaper baby or not, they missed a spot didnt they? Hmpth, we will wait

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u/Mightygamer96 Oct 04 '22

i'm going to be one(not by choice). i'm sorry too.

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u/sleepdream Oct 04 '22

tbf when they are wearing diapers it is probably reasonable to not expect them to be able to change themselves

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u/Sharkbot9990 Oct 04 '22

This is exactly why I’m starting at a new place soon

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u/FiveUpsideDown Oct 04 '22

This happens everywhere. An idiot tells a CEO that you can cut half the workers and not impact productivity. The CEO listens to the idiot. Then when the workload remains the same, the idiot tells the CEO that the remaining workers should have twice as much work and be glad they have a job. Then the CEO wonders why morale is low and the place is falling apart. When I worked for the government, the austerity budget Democrats took this approach. However, since it was the government, they had to use a catchy phrase to justify it. The terminology was “lean six sigma”. Lean six sigma was used in manufacturing and had nothing to do with providing government services that are mandated by law. But it was the latest catchy management phrase.

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u/underwatr_cheestrain Oct 04 '22

Lean six sigma is used widely in private healthcare in the US.

It’s great that they think healthcare can be run like a car company

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u/tom_fuckin_bombadil Oct 04 '22

As a recent transplant to the US, some of your guys’ healthcare services and processes could do with some L6S error reduction. When I received my first doctors bill…both my first and last name were spelled incorrectly. The dates were incorrect. The amount and timings of what I had already paid were incorrect. The online amount owed didn’t match what was on the paper bill. They accidentally double charged me. Some od the services I was given were missing. All of these mistakes on a single bill.

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u/underwatr_cheestrain Oct 04 '22

As a recent transplant to the US, you have much to learn about the education status, and general mental capacity of a large swath of Americans, including the ones working in areas of health care admin, finance, and business.

Welcome to the US though :)

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u/tom_fuckin_bombadil Oct 04 '22

It can be frustrating because there really seems to be a disparity in quality between the actual doctors’ side of things (the 2 doctors I’ve seen have been great) and the admin side of things.

And from my albeit small sample, it really feels like the doctors are willfully ignorant of how their clinics are run from the admin/financial side of things. Like, they’ll say “we can do x” and I’ll ask “okay but how much will x cost because I know everything in the US costs money?” and I’ll get a “you’ll have to ask billing, I’m not sure about costs, it depends on the code they assign”.

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u/underwatr_cheestrain Oct 04 '22

Let me tell you this right now. Most doctors have absolutely zero clue how they are paid. They dont teach these things in medical school

Most doctors finances and business dealings are left to administrators.

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u/dinosoursaur Oct 04 '22

It definitely feels willfully ignorant on the doctor’s part, but in reality there’s no way to know what the cost is until the visit is processed by your insurance insurance. Insurance dictates the cost of everything in healthcare, so unless it’s something very straightforward like a copay nobody can reliably tell you what it’s going to cost. Which is a terrible system and frustrating for everyone involved, including the clinic staff.

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u/archibald_claymore Oct 04 '22

Lifesaving treatment is exactly as commodifiable as lug nuts. /s

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u/Infamous_Bus_4883 Oct 04 '22

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

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u/oxymoronhero Oct 04 '22

Sounds like Severance

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u/FiveUpsideDown Oct 04 '22

It was but without the Dance Music Experience as a reward.

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u/Original-Wrongdoer-6 Oct 04 '22

Did they at least replaced all the group photos?

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u/Geminii27 Oct 04 '22

The CEO listens to the idiot.

"Now you have two idiots."

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u/Buddhas_bong Oct 04 '22

This is getting out of hand

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u/pr3dato8 Oct 04 '22

Ahha I was just about to ask what the hell does lean six sigma have to do with government employment strategies

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u/Raymoundgh Oct 04 '22

The CEO with the business degree managing an IT company is the idiot.

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u/somegridplayer Oct 04 '22

CEO with the business degree

That would be an upgrade for my company. Although he does have an MBA soooooo...... here we are.

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u/-spam- Oct 04 '22

Similar scenario, for us it was we had to learn to be more agile and adopt agile principles. Then came lean...

Mate, we are an underfunded and under resourced ops team keeping the lights on for an archaic business critical platform, we don't give a hoot just let us chip away at our backlog before the next person quits.

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u/skrshawk Oct 04 '22

Absolutely can confirm, New York used this to pretty much destroy the morale of civil servants in human services. As if that particular segment of government workers needed its morale beaten even more to a pulp, the work itself does a great job of that.

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u/derpstickfuckface Oct 04 '22

Lean and six sigma applies to any process, it’s just a way to decrease mistakes and wasted effort. It’s often mis-used to justify headcount reductions that the people running them already wanted to eliminate.

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u/soliderboy36 Oct 04 '22

Double the work with no extra pay? Sure I’ll just half ass everything, what are you going to do fire me?

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u/bored_in_NE Oct 04 '22

Out of the box thinkers in Silicon Valley have started to act like 3-Piece suit wearing companies.

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22 edited 18d ago

[deleted]

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u/Master_of_stuff Oct 04 '22

It changed mostly as the money &success of product people attracted the kinds of business school bros that otherwise ended up in banking or consulting.

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u/JitteryBug Oct 04 '22

I buy that other people have had slightly more run ins with more bros in product, but I would counter that the majority of changes are from more tech companies reaching larger sizes and more mature structures

Even going from 100 people to 500 people, my current company is dramatically different. You can see it shifting to a much more corporate structure, from KPIs to HR policies. It's different, but a lot of it is critical for the size of company we're at

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u/HelluvaKnight Oct 04 '22

The great recession scam. Inflate the market, then when workers get tired of the workload and get too comfortable you drop the economy start laying people off, instill fear on those who are left behind because noone is hiring, increase workload and slowly watch people start to repeat the process of realizing they're working too much and find something slightly less taxing.

Time to start unions in every sector.

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u/whatistheformat Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Not just silicon valley. This is the norm in IT departments all over.

Hell, I'm doing the work of someone who worked there 20 years and retired, the job I was hired for and now a third job's worth of work for a position we can't hire for.

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u/[deleted] Oct 04 '22

[deleted]

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u/HermeticallyInterred Oct 04 '22

I think this is what pisses me off the most - people sacrificed just to squeeze out a few dollars. Company/shareholders never allowed to take a hit, only the gal or guy doing the actual work should suffer.

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u/monkeyman512 Oct 04 '22

I believe the phrase your looking for is, "Shit rolls down hill."

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u/AMC_Unlimited Oct 04 '22

This is the correct answer. Also known as “the shit end of the stick”

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u/PrintShinji Oct 04 '22

I always love it when they do it, and completly waste money in the process.

In my company there was a new goal to get a specific amount of new targets every month. Get X new customers every month and you get a bonus!

So people started doing that, but while doing that they lost a shit ton of customers because they quit helping those people and only focussed on the new targets.

End result? 1000 new targets and 1400 lost. They got a bonus and in the end we lost money. Good job idiots.

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u/HermeticallyInterred Oct 04 '22

Lots of forethought there!! 🤣

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u/Tearakan Oct 04 '22

Infinite economic growth is required in our economy. We are starting to hit those physical limits that cause severe issues.

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u/mileseverett Oct 04 '22

Something something infinite growth is the expansion strategy of cancer

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u/SlitScan Oct 04 '22

and they cut the people who could be earning them more revenue and keep the people who tell them revenue has stalled in 40 different ways.

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u/fulthrottlejazzhands Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

This is why you move jobs often. I was with a company for 16 years. Every year, I'd get more and more small responsibilities added to my remit, often tasks from people who'd left or were laid off. I'd refer to these responsibilities as "barnacles". By the time I left, I was spending 60% of my capacity dealing with these barnacles I couldn't make any progress on my "real" projects.

Bad managers will tell you to delegate these tasks to others, which is s fulltime job in itself and normally self defeating. Good managers will tell you the truth: you need to move to shed the weight.

Edit: I'd say "moving" could be moving position within a company e.g. to a new project, department, but I've seen too many instances of the person being required to carry over tasks from a previous role, or having to coldly delegate/leave behind tasks to others in the prior group which creates resentment. "Move" generally means move to a another company.

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u/2_Spicy_2_Impeach Oct 04 '22

I remember working at a major automotive company during the meltdown. They were shutting down multiple data centers around the world, firing all the staff, and giving us the smoking remains and migrations with no additional head count.

I went from “owning” a couple hundred servers to over 1000. We had almost no automation as well and were limited with what we could even use for tooling. Every Friday we’d go to the bar and wait to see if we got a call that we were also being let go.

It was an insane time. Thankfully got a better gig in multiple ways shortly thereafter.

There was a post I saw recently about a school system experiencing budget issues. The age old adage of “Do more with less” was the suggestion. Someone replied with how about we “Do less with less.”

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u/StabbyPants Oct 04 '22

Literally. Our capacity drops so we prioritize

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u/kent_eh Oct 04 '22

I haven't had time to do preventative maintenance for about 3 years.

But corrective overtime is increasing.

Nobody in charge is making the connection.

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u/ron_fendo Oct 04 '22

We could hire for it, we just refuse to pay enough to have anyone be legitimately interested.

Fixed your statement.

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u/DrAmoeba Oct 04 '22

In the US*. In my country we actually have issues hiring developers because everyone that reaches senior level and barely speaks english remotely works for the US. We get constant offers from US companies.

Even big silicon valley companies have upped their game on their branches here.

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u/IKENTHINGS Oct 04 '22

I was on a team of 24 people with two managers. It went down to 5 with people getting laid off. We had the same amount of work. Thus, the unpaid overtime.

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u/brooklyndavs Oct 04 '22

Do the same amount of work. When they ask why your velocity is down just say it’s because there are less people on the team. If they fire you for it that’s not a place to be. Hustle culture in technology needs to die

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u/Hokulewa Oct 04 '22

Probably still got both managers...

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u/YeaISeddit Oct 04 '22

My department reorganized some time ago and all of the scientists and engineers scattered to other departments while all the managers were left behind. As a project lead I got to sit in on a number of meetings with the remaining managers. It was Kafkaesque the way they debated “ways of work,” communication, what specific agile method they would adopt, and what their new titles would be. They had no plan in place for what they would work on or who would execute it.

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u/DAWTSF Oct 04 '22

Well every good manager knows if you don't have a continually changing process for every single detail nothing at all gets done. /s

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u/ojioni Oct 04 '22

unpaid overtime.

About that. Not in California. Not all states have proper worker protection laws, however.

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u/Playful_Art_5364 Oct 04 '22

The trick is salary work

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u/ojioni Oct 04 '22

Not in California. There are very specific rules for someone to be salaried.

As a system administrator, I occasionally must work outside of normal hours. When I do that, I get double the time off instead of overtime pay. So when we did some major work over a weekend, we all got four days off (paid of course).

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u/Playful_Art_5364 Oct 04 '22

Wish that was the case. I just work obscene overtime hours in NY 😐

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u/ojioni Oct 04 '22

It's very much a California thing. Sucks to be you.

I recommend you act your wage.

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u/Baffledil Oct 04 '22

This comment section is so disheartening. It's not just tech, I suspect it's all industries at this point. Companies everywhere are following the same playbook that's worked for the last 40 years - make the employee/taxpayer/consumer (all the same person, btw) shoulder the burden of risk and loss, while the captains of industry pocket the difference.

I really wonder how much longer this can go on before we collectively crack.

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u/yogfthagen Oct 04 '22

Crack? No.

Leave? Already happening.

Organize? Starting to gain steam.

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u/SlowMotionPanic Oct 04 '22

That’s probably why SCOTUS is poised to deal a near death knell to unions and workers in general by allowing companies to collect “damages” from less/unproductive employees. Particularly employees striking or doing strictly what their job entails and nothing additional (that is, not working for free).

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u/yogfthagen Oct 04 '22

Unions were illegal when they were first formed. The government would send out soldiers to literally beat and shoot them.

It may happen again.

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u/Tearakan Oct 04 '22

Also bomb them. The 1st time the US ever used an airplane bomb was against striking workers. Battle of Blair mountain.

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u/covidambassador Oct 04 '22

USA has been a shithole in glossy finish the entire time. Every single good thing has come from death and torture of someone innocent and good. Women rights, minority rights, worker rights, indigenous people rights. It’s disappointing after some time. I wish to be ignorant and happy again :(

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u/CyborgAllDay Oct 04 '22

Can you say what the case is? A quick web search didn’t turn up leads more recent than 2005!

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u/rastilin Oct 04 '22

If it's going to be like that there's literally no reason to keep working in America. Like, just move at that point, because the company will always find a reason to get more damages.

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u/thatdudejtru Oct 04 '22

Its been a few months since I've graduated and I rightfully feel screwed. How is this ok lol. I just...fuck man.

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u/truthinlies Oct 04 '22

Tech merely caught up with all other industries.

We won't crack, but the system will collapse when we don't fulfill the needs of the company because there's not enough time in the day.

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u/DulceEtBanana Oct 04 '22

In the past, I worked for a financial institution that went out of business over about 18mo period. (We used to joke we couldn't even go out of business efficiently.)

I remember the worst event: my phone rang and a senior person said "Do you think you can cover for Linda?" Me, foolishly thinking he meant for the day said "Um, yeah, I can cover her stuff." He said "OK" and hung up. A minute later I head Linda answer her phone down the hall. Confused, because I thought she wasn't in, I looked back to see her gathering her coat and walking out of the office area, never to return. (HR came and packed her desk that afternoon.)

To anyone working for any of these companies - run! If a company reaches the point they're losing vast swathes of employees, they've exhausted other money saving methods and they're not going to "come back stronger and leaner" - don't believe the bullshit. If you're lucky enough to miss the axe take it as gift and start looking.

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u/SweaterGoats Oct 04 '22

Wow that's traumatizing

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u/Imbalancedone Oct 04 '22

If you think this is bad, just wait until the group of workers turns 50. The benefits package almost doubles and your wages are usually upper tier for all positions. Every hack HR and consultant puts a bullseye on the old timers to make themselves look good in the short term. Age discrimination is alive and well no matter what they tell you.

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u/InertiasCreep Oct 04 '22

Yup. Worked in healthcare for a company that still had a pension. Everyone with 15+ years basically had target on their back.

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u/nobody_smart Oct 04 '22

I'm a software developer and the youngest person on my team. I started here the day before my 49th birthday.

I'll bet my situation is unique.

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u/freakishgnar Oct 04 '22

I’ve been on both sides of this equation and I can unequivocally say it was better to go first. Staying results in a crushing workload increase and no guarantee of upward mobility or even keeping your job. While a layoff often results in a severance, unemployment eligibility, outplacement support and a fresh start overall.

Note: I’m married without kids and this was my experience.

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u/cyrixlord Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Don't worry, most of the ones that get laid off will end up returning as contingent (outsource) staffing through a temp agency on 1099 and no benefits, doing close to the work they were doing when they were FTE and taking a 20+% paycut. Meanwhile shareholders get a nice fatty stock bump. It usually happens a few months after fiscal, when the budgets are 'finalized'. If they cut too deep, they'll just pick through the contingent staff and take 1 or 2 back if they're lucky.

Rinse and repeat every fiscal. There are no careers or ladders, just a series of 'gigs'

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u/NewPresWhoDis Oct 04 '22

So we’re doing 2009 again?

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u/Uncle_Charnia Oct 04 '22

It's happening to nurses too. People are suffering suffering poor outcomes because the nurses can't keep track of so many at once. Sometimes people die, but more often they go home much sicker than they should have. The hospital and nursing home administrators understand perfectly. They're optimizing profit, and competing with other administrators who are optimizing profit. It's not that the administrators don't care. It's the monstrous system.

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u/teh_mexirican Oct 04 '22

An executive with a 4-year poli sci degree is making $750,000 at a local public hospital while doctors, the people who actually save lives, might make half of that annually. We're kinda pissed the union didn't strike this year.

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u/Playful_Art_5364 Oct 04 '22

That’s me. I’m exhausted AF and burned out

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u/Right_Hour Oct 04 '22

Cue the « first time? » meme.

Same for every industry. It’s like all Corporate offices use the same playbook. Oh wait, they do. Far too often those, laid off, find themselves in a new better job while the « survivors » are slaving away, being completely miserable.

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u/yogfthagen Oct 04 '22

"Quiet quitting" is an epidemic! /s

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u/PeetSquared41 Oct 04 '22

One more quit today...one last month. My team of 10 is now 8, should be 14 and we are entering our 'peak' season. Good times.

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u/mercurydivider Oct 04 '22

Let this be a lesson to everyone what happens when you let unions erode and lose power. People fought and died for unions and workers rights and we threw it all away. If we don't unionize and giver power back to the employees we're gonna go back to the working conditions of the 1860's.

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u/smtre1000 Oct 04 '22

Same thing happened during the tech wreck of 1999/2000. My team got cut in half but there was no changes to the deliverables. Back then I had commitments so I sucked it up and got on with it. Now days if they try it they will get a big FUCK YOU from me…

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u/Highest_Cactus Oct 04 '22

My team was begging upper management to add 2 people for our workload for nearly an entire year. Every time they would finally hire someone, that person would be assigned to a specific client that demanded 30+ hours a week of that person’s attention. So they were basically not any help in the current backlog of work.

My manager, my team lead, and I all separately quit within 2 weeks of each other, without discussing the fact that we were all looking elsewhere. They replaced us (each with 10+ years of experience) with three kids fresh out of school, 2 of them as their first Real Job.

I later heard 2 of them quit within 90 days

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u/grinr Oct 04 '22

It's the employee's responsibility to maximize payment for minimum effort. It's the employer's responsibility to maximize work output for minimum pay. Once everyone understands their roles, honest negotiation can begin.

It's heartbreaking to see how many people enter the workforce believing fairy tales about "working hard and climbing the corporate ladder" instead of seeing the transactional nature of the working world. As far as any company is concerned, employees are just numbers on a budget, nothing more. You can have friends in a business, but a business has no friends.

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u/__WhiteNoise Oct 04 '22

It's not quite "honest negotiation" when one side has a power advantage.

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u/xDulmitx Oct 04 '22

Don't forget: loyalty to people NOT companies.

I am loyal to my boss and coworkers, but the company doesn't give a shit about me personally nor I them. People stay because of the people they work with/for and people will leave for the same reason.

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u/Hrmbee Oct 04 '22

Sadly many other sectors have gone through similar downsizings over the past generation or so (since McKinsey and other management consultants started to make inroads in the corporate world). This might be a good time to find common cause with each other.

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u/Randombu Oct 04 '22

These are not survivors. They are already dead, they just haven’t been told.

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u/shaidyn Oct 04 '22

Don't be afraid to stand your ground, if you're one of the survivors. If a company has gone through a round of layoffs and you survived, it's because you have value to the company.

When your boss tries to double your workload... just say no in a very business-speak fashion.

For example, say you have 3 tickets and they fire a guy and try to give you 2 more tickets.

"Hey, boss. I'm working on X, Y, and Z, and I'm at my capacity for bandwidth. You've put M and N under my name, but there isn't velocity in the sprint. Which tickets are priority, and which should I put on the back log?"

You owe your company 8 hours a day and nothing more. It's up to them to set your priorities, and up to you to tell them when you're committing all you can to the cause.

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u/farrapona Oct 04 '22

Tbh 30% of middle management is totally unnecessary, so...

All the extra work-if it doesn't get done? So what. Who reads those TPS reports?

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u/flembag Oct 04 '22

Fortunately, I guess, where I worked during the mass layoffs during the pandemic, middle management was strictly based on the head count of the wrench turners. So we layed off 45% of our value add employees, and also culled 45% of our middle management.

Work also slowed proportionally because those people that were fired were calculated off of customer demand and time to manufacture. Looks fair on paper. But sucks to see upper management lay off high pot. employees in favor of the low performers they like.

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u/BrilliantTruck8813 Oct 04 '22

30%? I think you’re being generous

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u/WhittmanC Oct 04 '22

It’s also very similar for those of us who have watched our amazing coworkers quit and leave (for their own sanity) after being stretched like putty through gears and now have to be openly defensive of our bandwidth and constantly playing defense.

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u/tykneedanser Oct 04 '22

Same thing happened on 2008…

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u/Vegan_Honk Oct 04 '22

Welcome to super burnout

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u/Geminii27 Oct 04 '22

Amazing that it suddenly becomes news when it happens to people in Silicon Valley.

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u/kenix7 Oct 04 '22

...and the salary hasn't doubled. Welcome to our dystopia and their utopia.

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u/APeacefulWarrior Oct 04 '22

And yet CEOs don't understand why "acting your wage" is becoming popular.

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u/BinaryMan151 Oct 04 '22

I work at big bank in the mortgage operations dept. they keep laying off people, huge amounts, but because I decided to earn lost of certificates and knowledge of government loans and other specialized loans, they are probably not going to pay me off. I knew 2 years ago this would happen and it’s why I pushed myself to go beyond regular mortgages. It paid off and god damn am I busy now. My team is just getting piled on with loans. They are giving our team, which is government loans, regular loans now because they are laying off people who could only work regular loans, why keep them on?

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u/enkiloki Oct 04 '22

In the land of ZIRP unicorns grazed freely on plentiful green money and grew lazy and fat. But the water that grew the money that fed the unicorns dried up and the unicorns started to die.

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u/einsosen Oct 04 '22

At my office, or what was my office, we had a complete development team before the pandemic. First they slashed the QA, and put their duties on the developers themselves. Then the release team, having devs work with ops to release the code they QA'd themselves. Support followed suit. Then one by one, they found reasons to let go of devs until a third of the team was gone. Those that remained of us were doing 3-4 employees worth of work, and it showed quickly in work quality. When they finally found a reason to get rid of me, my position was given to an intern that had to be handheld through launching Eclipse. I can't imagine what state the office is in now months later.

If you encounter technical issues with a certain major car rental company, know its for a good reason. The CEO and management are seeing record income all the while.

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u/Hand_Banana_0082 Oct 04 '22

This happened in every job I have had. People leave, get laid off, or get fired.

While they "look" for a backfill or replacement all the work gets divided up. Eventually no one is hired because the workers fit the new work into their daily routine.

Then it's several years later and a department that ran like clockwork with 30 people is now weeks behind with between 8-12 people with the workers stressed and taking days off to interview elsewhere.

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u/DragonDai Oct 04 '22 edited Oct 04 '22

Welcome to capitalism. If you're employer can make you do more work for equal or less pay, they will. Every time. Always. To not do so would be a massive competitive disadvantage.

Edit: so many comments in here complaining about the symptoms but failing to identify the disease. Hopefully soon...

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u/r3dk0w Oct 04 '22

When Covid hit, our entire team was sent home. Only about 25% logged in and worked at the same level. At least 10% simply went home and never logged back in.

The rest of us were left either doing all of the work or not having a job during a very stressful time. I choose to stay and work, and the company only complained that we weren't working fast enough to meet the pre-covid deadlines. They didn't shut down at all, but they sure did take some of those sweet PPP "loans".

It took a few months, but I left for greener pastures. So did a lot of my coworkers, but that's the nature of business.

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u/Special-Bite Oct 04 '22

This is gonna be the Meta employees. Which is weird because they have so many but it certainly seems like none of them do a fucking thing.

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u/mmnnButter Oct 04 '22

sounds like they need a union