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BloodshedDude

Working conditions

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[bawling] me a river. 13 hours each day isn't bad. When these people work 16 hours each day (not including time to get up, get ready, eat, etc) then I will listen to the complaints, especially since they are getting paid more than I am to work fewer hours. Im not complaining or agreeing with what EA is doing BTW, just stating how I feel about the subject when I compare it to what my schedule has been in the past. I really don't care for companies who don't treat their employees well.

The only glaring problems I see are the lack of comp time and that some are supposedly being underpaid (according to the law). That doesn't mean there aren't more problems however.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Things are not as bad as they used to be. I think people in the industry are realising that the 'old ways' are counter-productive. It still happens, but for not as long or as intense.

Caitlin, yes, I've worked longer than 16 hours a day. I've done 18hrs/day 7 days a week for 3 weeks. I've also done 36 hour shifts. Also, the pay is not usually as good as most people believe, especially when you factor in the frequent redundancies an relocations.

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I can honestly say :- f* any company that expects more tha 8hours a day as a matter of course.

How can you have a family / g/b-friend / friends / life if you permanently have 2 hours free time a night and use your weekends to recover?

I personally am contracted 8h/day and happily put in 10h/day because I enjoy the work. I dont resent it cos it is my choice. There isnt pressure to work more, and the company gets the best out of all of us. However in the past I've worked for jokers who tried to squeeze every last drop - would take holiday out of our pay, would pay beneath minimum wage (in some cases - I was one of the lucky ones that got a pay-rise) and expect stupid working hours as a matter of course. I stayed with them for a long time for the 'experience' and with the promise of more being 'moved up'. I started working 9-9 and then when I got back my mind would be so active that I wouldnt be able to sleep, then I'd be up for another 9-9 the next day, completely frazzled and produce shit work the whole day and then just basically keep doing it over and over. I couldnt stop at any point because they would have words with you if you went home at say 6pm. It went on for nearly a year before I was so burnt out I could barely work. I hated the job, and I resented the hours I had to work. By now I was so regularly stressed (because I wasn't working at my best, and I knew it, and that would stress me out, and I'd have trouble sleeping/concentrating, and that would stress me out further repeat ad nauseum) that I had insomnia, would get stress pains, heart-palpatations - all-kinds.

The irony is that throughout this whole time, I probably only ever functioned at about 20% of what I'm capable of, simply because I was so worn-out all the time. By making us work for 30% longer than we should have been, they got -60% efficency out of us - since half our time was spent just undoing the crap we'd written the night before. Finally my work-output became so low that I got made redundant (they wouldn't dare fire us beacuse of the illegal working conditions they were operating in), and I nearly jumped for joy. I just wnet home and slept solidly for about a week.

What I learnt from this experience is that, if your company expect stupid hours from you, its usually because they simply haven't employed enough staff - its bad management and you should avoid them like the plague. You wont get 'work experience' - you'll barely learn because you're so exhaustedand get health problems and start to hate even looking at a computer anymore (I barely even went on the internet back then because I just wanted to be away from the damn things :) ). They'll give promises of you 'moving up' in rank, and getting more responsibility and this just being a 'phase' - look, they're already understaffing - where is this vacancy going to come from?

A good company is worth holding out for. and a good company is simply, a company who expect realistic hours (though of course there are times when deadlines loom that you will have to work more - but they wont need to ask you, because you'll be happy doing it for them), who allow holidays and who are prepared to advance and train you, and who will listen to your ideas (even if they dont necessarily use them) - thus build your confidence as a programmer.

If you find yourself in the first category of company, all I can say is: get the hell out. book some time off, get your CV out and get to interviews and get out of there.

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