Since we're on the subject of Google...

Mapp / Ops
KFRT73

Mapp Ops

PRE
Google
KFRT73more
Aug 8, 2017 175 Comments

Let me start by saying I in NO way want to or intend to discuss the manifesto fiasco.

But what I do find strange about the whole thing is how Google jumped to be a knight in shining armor to the sensitivity and well being of employees when, in my first hand experience, they have some of the most sub-human contracting practices of any company I have ever worked or worked with.

Google hires hundreds of intelligent and capable workers and throws them in the meat grinder at it's Datacenters. They use these contracted workers to bolster their minority and female diversity quotas rather than hire these people outright for their skills to begin with.

You're expected to work your long hours to perfection while you watch full timers bullshit and play around, but if you do it, please see the door on your way out.

You're not allowed in any way shape or form to express yourself in a way that doesn't line up exactly with what Google considers normal, or you'll be fired. Basically, the advice I received from a Googler was "Never openly talk about religion, politics, or social issues (unless Google openly supports it) if you do you'll get fired".

Want to have an intelligent conversation on the lack of explanation from the origin of species on the origin of life, and why they aren't related topics? That guy was fired the next day.

I saw a guy fired hours after someone asked him what a Mason was and why he was one. Fantastic work performance, people liked him, etc. Fired a few hours later after that Googler disappeared to a 1:1 with her manager.

One of my favorite parts was "Don't be competitive, it will get you fired" but, here's this neat little app we made that lets everyone see how they are doing compared to everyone else and ranks them, oh and low performers are fired fast.

Ever heard of right to work? Google loves that law.

I've seen them string people along for years and never hire them even though they were fantastic workers who consistently outperformed full timers and we're at great fit socially and culturally.

Meanwhile all you college fresh software engineers are making 150k+ in Mountain View while these guys were making 13 dollars an hour doing 12 hour days in 96 degree server rooms keeping search, borg, and youtube up.

Full timers would go on all the company outings during the work day while the contractors would stay at work, then the Googlers would come back laughing and joking and take the rest of the day off to dick around. Yet that 1000 server backlog isn't going to fix itself, chop chop meat, would hate for you to not be able to pay your bills.

Your managers would rarely talk to you and if they didn't like you give you shit assignments, which we're almost always a death trap. If you weren't on good projects or assignments you weren't likely going to be there much longer.

Don't get me wrong, I really loved my time and experience there, but the more mature and seasoned I became as an engineer and professional, the more screwed up it seemed looking back. What was really amazing were the Googlers I worked with who generally seemed to have a disdain for the whole process and we're generally great people.

I think people need to know that contractors are second class citizens at Google and used purely for the work full timers don't want to do. A lot of people full timing at the data center were rest and vesters while these people on near minimum wage were desperate for a more than a one week opportunity. (yes of the hundred or so I was hired with, some 50 were gone the first week). It reminded me of the beach scene in Saving Private Ryan but with hopes and dreams instead of lives.

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TOP 175 Comments
  • Amazon / Eng beerland
    You must think the worst in humanity. That is a toxic sentiment that will stain your soul. Have you sought to understand the world outlook and acculturation of the foe you harbor? You might see your own vitriol in them staring back at you.
    Aug 8, 2017 18
    • Red Pill VR agent007
      ups...it's seems to me that we have some Google full-time employees here being offended. it just validstes what you expressed.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Pacific Park pparkG
      +1 yo agent double ohhseven.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Fitbit dillpkkl
      googlers getting pissy more than validates this as truth. BTW. I was there. I've seen it. Just snot nosed trolls get ego-hurt when they realize they have earned their keep as much as if they were trust fund babies.

      10 years. Their lives will flip. The rest of us that have worked, grown and broadened our shoulders, we'll be able to adapt. They'll be left watching.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Facebook trikr622
      This absolutely relates to my experience as a TVC. Most the FTEs on my team took full advantage of the contractors and rarely did any meaningful work. Whereas I had my heart and soul dedicated to projects and was very successful. When I went up for conversion, all of the sudden there was "no more headcount". I'm much better off now than I ever would've been there but i still have a bitter taste in my mouth from that place.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Facebook huMbI64
      Don't listen to morons like beerland, OP
      Aug 9, 2017
  • Snapchat / Eng
    mee

    Snapchat Eng

    PRE
    Google
    meemore
    We once had a project be cancelled at Google, and while HR spent a whole morning on a Q&A session with the full timers on the team, they somehow forgot to even inform the contractors in the team of the cancellation. You know, the only people in the whole situation who actually had reason to fear for their job.

    I had to get up and go talk to them myself. I wasn't even managing anyone. So fucked up.

    I completely agree with the 2nd class citizen sentiment.
    Aug 8, 2017 15
    • Google whipple
      Microsoft treated temps poorly before that lawsuit
      Aug 9, 2017
    • SAP / Eng ppKE00
      My experience is that it does not have to be that way. At SAP, we have lots of long term and short term contractors too but they are pretty much treated like FTEs except for compensation (obviously). They can enjoy all the perks of free food, gyms and other on-campus benefits. Culture wise they are part of our teams and we also throw parties for them when they have to go. Still, we hire them when things get hectic and they usually work longer hours for that time, but we as full timers do that too when things get dirty
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Microsoft MicroEngr
      SAP getting sued by contractors in 3..2..1..
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Microsoft calvino1
      〕一.
      Aug 10, 2017
    • Microsoft J0lyr0ger
      Cant treat temps as fte's because IRS will charge the company as if they were fte, this is what happened to Microsoft.
      Aug 10, 2017
  • Google xcyP66
    "They use these contracted workers to bolster their minority and female diversity quotas rather than hire these people out right for their skills to begin with."

    Sorry but this is categorically false. Google does not and has never included TVCs in their internally and externally shared Diversity data. So to throw that claim out so nonchalantly is both irresponsible and inaccurate.

    Secondly, Google does not and has not ever had "Diversity quotas". While they have pushed for an increase in diverse hires to better align their workforce representation with that of the broader market supply (which is a very slow burn process due to the archaic educational system that won't seem to evolve in America's K-12 school systems), they have never set quotas.

    Setting an OKR to improve an area of development for the company, which will better the organization and its employees, is not the same as a quota which implies a mandate, which implies a whole bevy of other issues.

    I'm not saying Google (or any other Silicon Valley company trying to address this topic) is perfect in their approach. And I'm not saying that your life as a TVC isn't without its own unique struggles. But please know your facts before you further ignite the torch that is currently aimed at Google with regard to Diversity initiatives despite them being one of the topics greatest champions
    Aug 9, 2017 19
    • The concept of a soft quota/requirement is also a fairly clear. Just like how some people keep a black friend around to think "well I have a black so I'm not racist" or "we need an Mexican girl here so we don't look racist in the marketing material".

      Honestly the worst when see this right in your face while they lack amazing self awareness on how we might feel about it.
      Aug 10, 2017
    • Ridecell CrocDundee
      it doesn't run afoul, it's simple statistics and biology. men in general are better at systems because they have testosterone, which directly influences being more interested in systems and how they work(and therefore better at jobs related to that). the rare cases of women with the disorder of high production of testosterone also show this same interest in systems. these are facts not opinions. I love the idea of more women in engineering roles, men are typically much less social and hard to deal with in a lot of ways, but I don't think it's fair at all to purposefully hire women over men in this sense. bow you can tell us there aren't quotas and they hire ppl who are qualified only( then why would they need outreach programs?) but the end results show that can't be true. the gap is small because google Doesn't want to be sued, because they need to prove they are diverse etc etc even though biology proves men would be disproportionately more interested ( and therefore better) at system/engineering type roles
      Aug 10, 2017
    • New / Ops
      EQBp33

      New Ops

      PRE
      Yahoo, Cisco
      BIO
      Sysop and Sysadmin with Product Mgmt background
      EQBp33more
      I'm sorry but you are either business naive or clueless. Having direct experience in these at Cisco , yes diversity quotas are real for any modest size company and up. They are unable to even get certain government business without it. You can use all the buzzwords you want to say it but they need to reach percentages for the company which is handed down through director level to hiring managers. its a simple fact (in America).
      Aug 10, 2017
    • Apple / Design
      aplanonymo

      Apple Design

      PRE
      Google
      aplanonymomore
      Biology does not study personality traits.

      James,
      There are no stats to support your ideology. You lied about your education, you lied about your grades and you lied about your phd. You lied to have that job. You feel insecure and incompetent so you lie. You lie about stats because you feel too weak to study. You are a weak male. you fear for your job because the competition is growing little man. More and more grade A women get their CS degree with honors, and you chose to NOT finish your phd?? If you had that “male thrive”, you would have finished your education right?. James never gets the shit done, he can’t keep a job.
      Aug 10, 2017
    • Google / Eng
      vharma

      Google Eng

      PRE
      startups
      vharmamore
      But Baron-Cohen’s study had major problems. It was an “outlier” study. No one else has replicated these findings, including Baron-Cohen himself. It is so flawed as to be almost meaningless. Why?

      The experiment lacked crucial controls against experimenter bias and was badly designed. Female and male infants were propped up in a parent’s lap and shown, side by side, an active person or an inanimate object. Since newborns can’t hold their heads up independently, their visual preferences could well have been determined by the way their parents held them.

      Media stories continue to promote the idea of very different brains on little evidence.
      Aug 15, 2017
  • Google joey6782
    I agree completely. I work 15+ hour days and get paid for 8. Taking a lunch is frowned upon as are vacations and time off. I got bitched at for calling in sick so I started showing up even when I was sick. So did the others on our team. We've gone through name calling, racist comments, and such disrespect. People tell me, why don't you quit? Why don't you go to HR? Easy to say when you have food on the table while I struggle to pay off my masters degree. And go to HR so they can show me the door? Not so simple. I put in 4 years at this company waiting to convert. I've thought about quitting and then I think about all the time I've invested to be a waste. And every morning I wake up thinking "One more day. One more day."
    Aug 9, 2017 7
    • Facebook akeieiri
      You should leave and find an opportunity elsewhere. With Google on your resume, it should be easy.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Amazon dhGeUro48
      Come to Amazon, Joey
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Facebook / Other nvm
      sunk cost, one more day until you wake up retired still a contractor. heard horrible stories about Google from coworkers that were contractors, dragged along, managers making empty promises. now Google lost a ton of good people to fb they're trying to lure them back with fte offers, but no one that I know boomeranged back. left a bad taste being strung along like that.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • VRenetic / Product
      hamming

      VRenetic Product

      BIO
      Working...even now
      hammingmore
      Sometimes letting go of those sentiments can really change your prospects
      Aug 10, 2017
    • New / Mktg
      Dr.SEOhNo

      New Mktg

      PRE
      hearst
      Dr.SEOhNomore
      Forget the time invested. They don't care.
      Aug 15, 2017
  • ROCK VIPER ahbA28
    sounds like you need a union
    Aug 9, 2017 4
    • Google n000gler
      They fired some guy for that.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • ROCK VIPER ahbA28
      if that's really true that breaks federal law.

      institutions look big and powerful until you realize they're not
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Google weds
      wisdom
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Ridecell CrocDundee
      it's federally illegal to retaliate at all for any type of unionizing behavior
      Aug 9, 2017
  • Microsoft satyan14
    Fuck you.. blind is quick discussion. you are writing whole white paper...
    Aug 9, 2017 3
    • Some people like using Blind this way. As a petty "fuck you" here's the Gettysburg address.

      Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

      Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

      But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • @satyan14 maybe work on your reading comprehension skills and general English before you make such a bold statement.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Ridecell CrocDundee
      lol, this long response made me laugh heartily
      Aug 10, 2017
  • New / Eng Elementary
    Contractors rights is an issue that occasionally comes up... But basically, you tend to have none.

    I almost destroyed a company once for offending me that way (it was a smaller one - easier to maneuver management into a dangerous misstep)

    As for Google being moral. Few companies are coherently so.

    And the dude was fired for PR reasons.
    Aug 8, 2017 0
  • Zendesk C3p00
    I don't think you understand what a company is and what "work" means. This isn't college.
    Aug 9, 2017 2
    • New / Eng Elementary
      We all also shape the world around us. It's not good to choose to be sheep... Although the dude took an extreme risk going against the company line and got spanked hard.

      Although it's because it's not just the company. Google is a very PC place. It takes almost no stances that aren't stereotypically liberal.

      The kid went up against the cultural narrative, and the mindless mob responded.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Zendesk C3p00
      If you walk in the street with a sign that says "black people are taller on average and should use different restrooms" you're gonna get smacked.
      Aug 9, 2017
  • Google / Eng G00gl3
    TVC life is tough
    Aug 8, 2017 0
  • Google / Eng googler4
    I get what you're saying, totally, and I don't think it's fair either.

    to play devil's advocate, though, the job market is the job market. if you don't like it, go get a better job. the tvcs we have are often far better off than at most other comparable roles/companies (find me a large corporation that provides its personal trainers and custodial staff with three meals a day)
    Aug 9, 2017 2
    • New / Eng Elementary
      On the other side, if we'd taken that route, there may not be many women in the job market.

      The original issue was that women should be treated fairly.

      And in general, everyone should be treated fairly... So push back against existing systems that are evolving past the point of sanity is worth doing.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Intuit / Design
      holiday

      Intuit Design

      PRE
      Facebook
      holidaymore
      you over estimate the value of junky mass produced food. Custodial staff at almost any other company would earn health care outside of Google/FB. A school Janitor is union for christ's sake.
      Aug 10, 2017
  • FastSpring / Eng
    RickS_C137

    FastSpring Eng

    PRE
    Amazon, Motorola
    BIO
    Full stack of despair
    RickS_C137more
    This is what Amazon does in their warehouses too - I guess the boss folk must be eating the same food.
    You will read even more bleak stories here from first hand accounts from Amazonians :https://sites.google.com/site/thefaceofamazon/ I personally know 5-6 of these posters
    Aug 9, 2017 2
    • Google / Other bIRV00
      Wow. Good for you guys. Why not simply unionize? There's no shortage of reasons. I realize this will jack up Amazon prime price but people are the ones who make prime work in the first place.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • FastSpring / Eng
      RickS_C137

      FastSpring Eng

      PRE
      Amazon, Motorola
      BIO
      Full stack of despair
      RickS_C137more
      Unionizing will lead to more contractors like the OP stated. In theory companies like Amazon retail can be pretty much by contractors. I think there is no way a union could balance the needs of the variety of jobs that Amazon has. It would need 6-7 unions based on class of work - blue / white / grey/ whatever collar .
      Aug 9, 2017
  • Facebook akeieiri
    I don't think it's right to treat contractors poorly. I think the best strategy for one is to get good experience and go full-time if not at Google, elsewhere. It's a trade off between enjoying the perks at Google that contractors can access vs. going full-time at another mature company which may not have perks.
    Aug 9, 2017 1
    • Facebook akeieiri
      Use the company like they use you - get experience and get out. Know when to leave - be able to identify when the value exchange is not even. I read on this thread about contractors having same title as FTE and scope of work (SWE, SRE) - if I saw that, I would lose my mind, be so angry and get out. My interpretation is that if a contractor isn't leaving, they are building their resume or work experience.
      Aug 9, 2017
  • Microsoft MicroEngr
    I kinda find this whole post pointless. There are plenty of tech jobs and you aren't a slave. Leave a situation if you don't like it. Otherwise it's like standing in a fire and complaining that it burns you.
    Aug 9, 2017 0
  • Microsoft / Ops UsLE08
    Ah, the life of the contractor. still a thing at MSFT too. entire sections of their company are ran by outside vendors with only a couple managers and a handful of service engineers that managed to turn blue
    Aug 9, 2017 8
    • Microsoft EcJn71
      Also note the term "good" plenty of contractor bodies just occupying space
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Google / Eng ungoogley
      Please stop perpetuating the myth that contractors make more than FTEs. Average range for Dev TVC = 85-150k total comp, average salary for FTE counterpart = 135-155 base, 15-25% bonus, 75-125k vesting.

      I and many others have been unable to even get a raise, let alone a pay boost despite being majority code contributors, and defacto owners of projects/products.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Microsoft EcJn71
      Whatever helps you sleep at night...
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Google / Eng ungoogley
      Please post specific examples and figures to help support your point.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Microsoft EcJn71
      Note the term "good" and also note "Microsoft"
      Aug 9, 2017
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • New / Mgmt
      tldrOK

      New Mgmt

      PRE
      Microsoft
      tldrOKmore
      wow. Rather work with him than with you.
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Amazon el-barto
      Why is that?
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Didn't realize people could be that thick.

      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Ridecell CrocDundee
      you're allowed to be a free individual in your workplace, and if you actually knew what you were talking about you would have known damore didn't receive any heat whatsoever till the memo got leaked
      Aug 10, 2017
  • I used to be a "fixed-term" employee at google. The really don't care and ostracize their TVCs. There's not full time future since they're already stigmatized by hiring managers.

    Culture varied by office. My friend came out as trans, their coworkers aggressively rejected their wishes, and managers refused to step in and HR said nothing was in writing. Midwest office in the shadow of the ivory tower.

    Book scanning TVCs had to sign a waiver because it was gaurenteed they'd get carpal tunnel and they couldn't work more than 2 years to curb permanent wrist damage. Their shop was cutthroat and let go lowest performers, constantly pushing the bar upward. Historic documents destroyed in the process was considered a loss to keep things running fast.

    Larry, Sergey, and Sundar never see it though so it's ok.
    Aug 9, 2017 0
  • Google weds
    are you kidding???? two hiring managers told me this year they had to hire someone of a certain gender to balance out the team to 50:50. they then told me they kept this in mind whole searching for a candidate.
    Aug 9, 2017 5
    • Google / Other
      💁🏼‍♂️lol

      Google Other

      BIO
      Not an HR Person
      💁🏼‍♂️lolmore
      No one forced them to balance a team. Probably not a bad idea though
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Google weds
      they would get a lower rating and have their people manager skills questioned
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Ridecell CrocDundee
      they did, as the group think told them too
      Aug 10, 2017
    • Google / Eng
      vharma

      Google Eng

      PRE
      startups
      vharmamore
      I have never heard of anything like that.
      Aug 15, 2017
    • Ridecell CrocDundee
      pressure to discriminate because nature evolved us a certain way. human beings are sure retarded
      Aug 15, 2017
  • Google joey6782
    Treating people as a 2nd class citizen isn't something to get sued over? One guy was told to work like a [Insert Race Here] because they don't need to take lunches.
    Aug 9, 2017 13
    • Google / Eng ungoogley
      wishful thinking croc. also, it's likely ill-advised to sue your 'employer'.
      Aug 10, 2017
    • Google thatsgoogl
      The racist comments were verbal. So there isn't much proof there. This type of stuff needs to be documented I believe.
      Aug 10, 2017
    • Ridecell CrocDundee
      it would be ex in this case, and no it's not wishful thinking. it's that you need the guts and strength to fight. racist jeers are totally illegal
      Aug 10, 2017
    • PayPal workerB
      Contract workers cannot go to the HR of the company where they work. You have to complain to your employer of record. I would guess that they wouldn't want to rock the boat with their client for fear of losing the contract.
      Aug 10, 2017
    • Google thatsgoogl
      That's exactly what they're doing. I feel like my agency isn't even doing anything to protect me. So technically, we have no HR.
      Aug 10, 2017
  • Reddit YoyW47
    To all you contractors out there, who don't wanna be at a company where the full timers...all up in the videos, all on the records, dancin'...then come to Reddit.
    Aug 9, 2017 3
    • What is reddit looking for? Would love to work there.

      It got moved to an actual building and isn't remote anymore right?
      Aug 9, 2017
    • WRKSHP / Eng 999
      I'm interested! I've passed by the office before
      Aug 10, 2017
    • Apple / Design
      aplanonymo

      Apple Design

      PRE
      Google
      aplanonymomore
      Good!
      Aug 10, 2017
  • Uber / Eng
    uberus

    Uber Eng

    PRE
    Box, Google, Microsoft
    uberusmore
    oooh google bashing! when i interviewed at google, recruiter asked me during onsite if i had family/kids. Later when I worked there a white eng manager told me it should be easier for me to work with him than the previous manager who was indian because "our cultures were closer@
    Aug 9, 2017 3
    • Isn't asking about family/kids illegal?
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Uber / Eng
      uberus

      Uber Eng

      PRE
      Box, Google, Microsoft
      uberusmore
      it is :)
      Aug 9, 2017
    • Ridecell CrocDundee
      it's not illegal to ask about family kids, and it could have just been small talk. it is however illegal to base any kind of hiring decision based on that. which leads to the tricky question of how to politely refuse to answer
      Aug 9, 2017