RE: Like long hours?

Subject: RE: Like long hours?
From: Marguerite Krupp <mkrupp -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2002 13:29:24 -0400


Even though _Soul of a New Machine_ won a Pulitzer, you should take its
contents with a grain of salt.

I was there.

DG was not unionized.

Hourly people did get paid an overtime premium, and although there was a
fair bit of competition among the groups, engineers and technicians worked
side by side. It was like a mission or a crusade... a lot of fun, if you're
self-driven like that. Lots of adrenaline pumping. Tons of pride. Lots of
both hugely egotistical and hugely selfless behavior.A real sense of being
"cowboys," and a lot of cameraderie. Not to mention a lot of frustration,
frayed tempers, acting out. In other words, typical (!) startup behavior. We
did what we had to do, in part because nobody told us we couldn't or
shouldn't.

Was it exploitation? Maybe, but it was generally with consenting adults.

It fell apart later. Burnout rates were high. But don't discount the pride
factor. It was enormous! We bought into those expectations. And I'm still in
contact with a fair number of those folks from DG days.

Would I do it again? Well, the landscape has changed, and so have I. I don't
mind pushing through crunch times, but I doubt I'd do the same number now
that we did over 20 years ago. You do what you have to do, still, but more
companies (and more employees) now recognize that prolonged overtime leads
to eventual disaster.

And, frankly, I found the book boring. I kept waiting for something really
interesting to happen, and it didn't. But then, I do have a rather jaded
view it.

Marguerite



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