Take this job and SUCK it...

Rohit Khare (khare@pest.w3.org)
Mon, 24 Jun 96 14:06:23 -0400

One of the best in a long while....

24 June 1996
Dining with Cannibals

"Soylent Green is people!"
- Charlton Heston,
Soylent Green

The computer industry eats
people, consumes them whole, and
spits out bleached-white bones.
While corpulent, sickly-white
pre-public CEOs masturbate over
their vested stock, their
lackeys, their
minions, push and push and push
the people who do the actual
work until stomachs writhe in
acid and sleep disappears and
skin goes bad and teeth ache.
The people who do the actual
work rarely push back. Instead
they snap. They freak out and
they crumble like a freeway in
an earthquake.

If only they could manage to
crush those who are just along
for the ride.

This industry is sick, sick to
the core. Apps, games, the Web,
all of it. People who work eight
hours a day then go home to
families and lives are derided
as not being "team players."
People who throw themselves into
criminally unreasonable
lumbermill schedules (part
buzz-saw, part log jam are
rewarded with more work. People
who point all this out are
threatened with the loss of
their jobs and labeled attitude

If you think the blatant greed
and stupidity that Wall Street
has demonstrated where tech
stocks are concerned is
disgusting, try sneaking into
the boardroom or CEO's office of
a company that's about to go
public. From the cubes in
Development, you can hear oily
hands being rubbed together and
fat, dripping tongues smacking
wet lips, just waiting for the
cash to rain out of the sky.
Human costs aren't considered,
families don't exist, there is
no Outside (only, perhaps,
Outside. "Tell them they have
to work weekends," the boss says
to his winged monkey. "Tell them
that they're not working hard

And the winged monkey, just to
show you what a wonderful guy he
is, offers to buy you a burrito
and a Coke because you're
missing dinner at home. Gosh,
Brad, thanks.

The days when it was worth it are
over. There used to be a time,
long ago, when killing yourself
for the company was worth it. I
believe that. I read Hackers and
Show-stopper! and fell for it,
fell for it hard. I believed
that you could eat shit and say
it was porridge for a few years
and come out of it with a huge
number of neurons fried, but
with enough lucre in the bank
that you could spend the rest of
your life working it out in a
hillside bunker (or, better yet,
a yurt filled with high-tech

But that doesn't happen any more.
Kill yourself now and the only
thing you are is dead, and all
you'll get is a gold-plated
coffin. For the people who can
make it through the entire
vesting period, the shares
almost never add up to anything
significant: Yes, yours for just
the cost of four years of your
life - friends, sex,
contentment, peace, and an
apartment free of that sickly smell
it gets when you haven't been there
in a long time - a new car!

Whoop-de-fuckin'-do. The
equivalent of, what? A ten
percent raise? At the cost of a
stomach lining? A decent night's
sleep? A full head of hair? A

Never before in history have
nerds, as a class, become
economically viable. It was
never worthwhile to exploit
astronomers. But computer
programmers can actually
make something people want,
something people will pay for.
And they over-focus anyway!
Convince them that The Product
is somehow important to their
lives, more important thantheir
lives, and hang a turd from a
stick and call it a carrot. And
bang! Coding machines!
"Machines" being the operative

It's sick and it's immoral. A
friend of mine was beeped to
work - they made him carry a
beeper - on a weekend, on his
wife's birthday, and he didn't
return home until 2 A.M. The video
game he was working on had a
bug. The video game. The manager
who called him in probably got a

Something is desperately wrong,
wrong and evil. Butchers and
bakers and candlestick makers
don't have to put up with this
kind of shit, so why should we? Why
is it expected? Demanded? Why is
it given? Why is an eight-hour
day a "good start"? When did the
job become the end instead of
the means?

Why should I make that evil
bastard in the corner office
rich? Why should he get a
million dollars for the product
I architected? For my product?
The product he's too stupid to

Because that's the way it is.

Fine. At least I don't have to

I quit.

courtesy of POP

Rohit Khare -- 617/253-5884
Technical Staff, World Wide Web Consortium
NE43-354, MIT LCS, 545 Tech Square, Cambridge, MA 02139