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

Mapp / Ops

Mapp Ops

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
    • 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

    Snapchat Eng

    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
    • Microsoft calvino1
      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
    • Apple / Design

      Apple Design

      Biology does not study personality traits.

      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

      Google Eng

      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 8, 2017 7
    • VRenetic / Product

      VRenetic Product

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

      New Mktg

      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 weds
      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
    • @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 9, 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

      Intuit Design

      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


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