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OT: memory to share available

by shmem (Chancellor)
on Jan 01, 2021 at 22:09 UTC ( #11126108=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

A few years after karlgoethebier it struck me. At age 59 $company laid me off. Good riddance.

After 8 years of not being seen really, being handed around, trying in vain to get a peer programmer at the site, mobbing, bossing, you name it, it is good to depart. There's crucial code I wrote (a pile of, er...) living there which drives part of the business, and there has been no chance for handover. Go figure.

I still feel responsible for all my perpetrations done, and they might come back to me for something something. Meanwhile I am enjoying the quietness of being unconcerned after having lived the quietness of disinterest paired with anxiety about when I will be fired.

Eat it, sucker! you didn't live up to the task, I'm telling myself. As did the TCO, having the psychological sensibility of a tank (not talking about technical skills, at all). Yeah, true, I says, but there's two sides. Flowers don't blossom in the dark, and hurling somebody down the cellar stairs shouting "why are you running?" isn't fair either.

Anyways, I might retire and try to implement perl in FORTH, or else. This is still humbly me at your service, at least at PerlMonks. I might have more time to read and post. The Great Constellation at the tip of Aquarius shows that "the times, they are a'changing".

For the "or else" part, feel free to contact me.

perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: OT: memory to share available
by Bod (Hermit) on Jan 01, 2021 at 23:03 UTC

    FWIW, I was surplus to the requirements of my employer over 10 years ago. I was running the IT system in a large primary school. I enjoyed the work, felt I was making a meaningful contribution to the future of young people and was bitterly hurt when I had to leave.

    Fast forward to now and I run a property company providing homes for young people starting out in life and for people needing great accommodation that isn't a faceless hotel when they are working away from home. Add to that the staff I provide jobs for and the contractors I provide work for. Sure, the pressures can be heavy and the decisions huge but I work when I choose, with who I choose and am content knowing I make a small difference in the world.

    Never have I had the level of satisfaction I do today whilst working in any job...and that only happened because my employer didn't need me anymore. It didn't seem it at the time but it was the push I needed.

      Thanks to you for showing yourself as an encouraging example. I'm still in the "bitterly hurt" phase, and trying to sort things out. "Ten Years After" things will be different. I'm for now waking up from the past dread, looking around and musing about where and how to set foot. This is gross. I mean, not just my firing. Last year changed our lives for years to come, and we've just seen a tip of it.

      To bring that thread a bit more on topic: the very guy who was delighted about me getting hired for perl expertise went Python and blamed me later for "perl arrogance". Er... what? In what terms is perl fit for arrogance? don't get it, yet. But then, I might be an arrogant bloke, and Perl only the vehicle for incrimination.

      perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
Re: OT: memory to share available
by afoken (Canon) on Jan 02, 2021 at 11:01 UTC

    After 8 years of not being seen really, being handed around, trying in vain to get a peer programmer at the site, mobbing, bossing, you name it, it is good to depart.

    ...

    ... the TCO, having the psychological sensibility of a tank (not talking about technical skills, at all).

    A few years ago, I was in a similar situation. Companies merged, people had to go, old boss was a retard, new boss was a smart asshole. He said that there were two ways I could leave. Either accept a "buy out" of my contract (i.e. stop working, get payed for the next three months, common practice in Germany) or any dirty legal trick he could think of, with no extra money.

    So, after a discussion with an expert from my trade union, I decided to accept the "offer" and quit. The next day, I made sure I had documened every loose end and copied all relevant data on my workstation to the servers, I wrote a good-bye mail, cleaned my desk, zeroed the disk of my workstation ("F*CK YOU!" written in 1011 zeros ...), stuffed all of my private equipment into my car and left.

    There's crucial code I wrote (a pile of, er...) living there which drives part of the business, and there has been no chance for handover. Go figure.

    I still feel responsible ...

    I felt the same, for a very long time before leaving. But the job and the working conditions became more and more unacceptable. I had stopped working even a second longer than required by my contract and lazily started searching for a new jobs almost two years before that "we'll get you out anyway". It was just the final straw.

    Looing back, I should have cancelled my contract two years earlier. Yes, I felt a little bit guilty that my ex-colleges now had even more work to do, and it would be harder for them than for me (because I tend to automate boring tasks, they don't). On the other hand, they could have searched for a new job, too.

    After all, the evening that I left the building for the last time felt strangely good. It was a relief, I had sufficient money for the next months, and I would also get unemployment money - either now or after a penalty time for accepting the buy-out. The next day at the unemployment office, I could convince the agent that buy-out is usual for IT and engineering contracts, and so I got around the penalty and was sure to have enough money for at least a year.

    I got a new job way before I ran out of money. And yes, I had months of free time. You can't write job applications 40 hours a week. I had a good time cleaning up my basement, explored some areas of my home city that I did not know, enjoyed a few warm summer days, and did not worry about what problems would pop up at the old job. After all, it was no longer my problem. They fired me. It was their decision. They will have to live with the consequences.

    Alexander

    --
    Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)
      After all, it was no longer my problem. They fired me. It was their decision. They will have to live with the consequences.

      Yes, that's true. I offered them further supply of patches for critical fixes, e.g. a missing indirection in the structure of a binary blob I dissected in the database of some VPN product (the keys are arbitrary, I found out, can differ from installation to installation, and the actual key is in the structure below that and an index into another table which describes the property) - but they categorically rejected. Upon breakage, it will be hard for them to find out why. Hopefully they'll read this post.

      I can't help it. But after 8 years it takes some time to get this stuff out of my head and break the ties.
      "Get over it", I says to me, "other mothers also have nice daughters."

      There's another point they didn't think about: my informal position. Many colleagues held me as "the guru", the last resort type of guy for tough problems: "ask him, he should know." Not that I am a guru at all, or was the key figure at the shop, but in two earlier occasions I witnessed that firing one can lead to an avalanche of other valuable people quitting, which always was a brain drain hard to cope with, and in one occasion destroyed the company.

      I wish them well and hope for other changes in that shop, if any.

      perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
      So, after a discussion with an expert from my trade union, I decided to accept the "offer" and quit. The next day, I made sure I had documened every loose end and copied all relevant data on my workstation to the servers, I wrote a good-bye mail, cleaned my desk, zeroed the disk of my workstation ("F*CK YOU!" written in 1011 zeros ...), stuffed all of my private equipment into my car and left.

      I didn't bother the trade union. I'm not able to litigate; had I done so, I would have lost, not for the cause, but for some meaningless detail (which happened to me before). So I accepted the offer, which was indeed what you described. But I had no chance to document and copy over. Immediately after they had knowledge that I read their firing letter (I dialed them up to ask what this was all about), they closed down my account and my VPN access. So, they didn't even get the last pending commits.

      The youngsters will surely port all my perl stuff to or replace it with python. But they don't have time! They are churning out classes after classes elsefor, I know that. And that won't change in the near future. So, they might want to come to my toilet to drink water. I might be available, who knows.

      perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
        But I had no chance to document and copy over. Immediately after they had knowledge that I read their firing letter (I dialed them up to ask what this was all about), they closed down my account and my VPN access. So, they didn't even get the last pending commits.

        Hmmm, very unfriendly. I've seen such a quick response only once, when someone was copying tons of unrelated documents to his work laptop.

        The youngsters will surely port all my perl stuff to or replace it with python. But they don't have time! They are churning out classes after classes elsefor, I know that. And that won't change in the near future. So, they might want to come to my toilet to drink water. I might be available, who knows.

        Time to increase your consulting fees ;-)

        Alexander

        --
        Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)
Re: OT: memory to share available
by pritesh_ugrankar (Monk) on Jan 02, 2021 at 10:00 UTC

    Hi,

    It's their loss. The fact is the organizations around the world fail to understand that 3 guys with 10 years experience each cannot replace 1 guy with 30 years of experience. The math is right but the logic is screwed up.

    I'm sure you'll start something amazing. Well you never know, the same folks that let you go may hire you as a contractor. Or may be you'll get something better. Wish you a happy new year and all the very best for the first day of your new life.

    And yeah, screw the naysayers. :D

      And yeah, screw the naysayers. :D

      Uh, I gonna screw myself :P

      But yes, old farts are valuable. "COBOL? For that we have that fossil sitting over there."

      Thanks for your wishes, I'm eager to see what that "great reset" brings, and what I will be doing about ;)

      perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
Re: OT: memory to share available
by talexb (Canon) on Jan 02, 2021 at 18:29 UTC
      As did the TCO, having the psychological sensibility of a tank ..

    Ah. I can relate to this. After having two great reviews (and bonuses) a few years back, I hit a bad patch where my collapsing marriage was affecting my work output (shocker). My team lead (a good friend at the time) helped me through that, taking me out for supper and asking the all important "Are you OK?" question. So it came as a bit of a surprise (typical British upbringing making light of a difficult situation) when this big boss (not my team lead) told me in my annual review "You're not getting any bonus this year. How do you feel about that?"

    Gee, I don't know. Miffed? Disappointed? Aloof? Light as a feather? Perplexed?

    Don't worry .. no doubt you did your best, given the resources available to you. You may even be surprised that some of your work continues to be used by future, grateful developers. There's Perl work out there if you want it, I'm sure.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.

      Ah. I can relate to this.

      I can, too. To what you say. After being bogged down elsewhere and elsewith (not a story to tell here) I went into clinical custody somewhere and there incurred a difficult partnership, which facts I didn't deny applying or offering myself for the job at $company. "No problem, we have recurrent psychological review", yadda yadda, no such thing. As things turned the bad way in relationship, nobody looked, nobody cared (which I don't reproach) and, typical for someone affected by Toxoplasma gondii (which I also reported at hiring time), I was unable to raise hand and care for myself. So things went spiraling down, and there's really nobody to blame. Not the company, not me either. That's life.

      As Gert Postel said (famous impostor, being just a postman he managed to get employed as senior physician and head of department of a psychiatric clinic)

      As someone is, that way they act; and there's no freedom of will, that's all bullshit.

      So, it's time to get to the will forming powers of the manifest will, which is hard to impossible to change. This is not only true for myself, but (as stated above) for all of us in this changing times.

      Is it possible that I'm a conman, impostor, masquerader? Dunno. You judge.

      Another restart, hopefully.

      perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
Re: OT: memory to share available
by Leitz (Beadle) on Jan 02, 2021 at 19:05 UTC

    My first real firing caught me working hard trying to do everything since the senior people had already left. It took me two weeks to decompress enough to realize that the job was hurting me and my family. Once I worked through that, life got a lot better. I was still hurt and frustrated, but the change was good. I moved on.

    The second time, well, I didn't recover so well. Dream job, dream company. Someone had an agenda that I still don't understand, and a lot of my confidence left as I walked out the door for the last time. Years later and I still feel the pain.

    When life throws hard times at us, we're better off together than alone. Feel the grief. Eventually you'll feel the friendship. It can carry us through when we cannot stand on our own.

    Chronicler: The Domici War (domiciwar.net)

    General Ne'er-do-well (github.com/LeamHall)

Re: OT: memory to share available
by Discipulus (Abbot) on Jan 04, 2021 at 13:27 UTC
    Hello shmem

    I read the whole thread and is depressing. Damn bastards!

    I can understand (and with reserves) when comapnies are in trouble but I cannot accept an even small company with a sane businnes firing people if they are not guilty of severe problems.

    In IT this seems to me every year more frequent: fire "old" technicians to hire younger ones (tipically with worst contracts) or outsourcing wildly.

    The phenomenon is very different and has different human consequences in distinct parts of the world: here in Eataly (yes Eataly!) is very different between northern and southern regions too. Many coworkers (tech people mostly, someone very good ones) from Milan quit en masse after the Spaghetti Company Merge. I'm near to 50, I'm not a guru at all, I'm not even super specialized in shining new technologies, I have a partime contract... in my sweet Roma I have few or no possibility to get another job for the same money. Or a job at all.

    Trade unions? Here they are at least incompetent and prone to the Owner Will.

    The moneycentric approach of most companies trascended the industrial idea of a (saner) capitalism. They loose in quality and they dont even know. Managers suppose their clouds and graphics about workflow are the world but infact they not even represent the real world. Here all tech and business idioms are in English: managers speaks 1/3 of their words in English even during common sentences and they dont know the Bus Factor. Shame!

    Where is gone the responsability of the Company toward their workers? It is possible for a society to spit out from the work world techincians with decades of experience? They have to load even more the (where it exists) non-work money assistence paid by everyone? Are we living in a technologic era or what? When someone of your experience is fired, in a sane society, I would expect a call from Tech Ministry proposing a new position for the next Monday. SciFi.

    Feeling bad for coworkers left in the shit? Well.. human empathy is a good thing, but wait you caused nothing of this! Dont fall in (auto)commiseration with no reason to be: you are the same of yesterday and you have done the same harm of yestaerday, ie: probably none.

    So, as you were used at work to send binary messages with your hands, if you see your boss tell him printf '%010b',132 from my part!

    My best wishes for a productive and wealthy future.

    L*

    There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
    Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.

      Hello Discipulus,

      thank you for your (in part ;-) uplifting words. Another fun fact: after being fired (yes, that's true, even when at last we quit the contract in mutual agreement) I was sent a christmas parcel from the company, bakery within, and a greeting card, reading:

      No matter whether you have been with us for years or just a short time, you are part of the $company family.
      And a family sticks together, even in turbulent times like these!

      Fuck yeah, family. Meaningless blabber, internal marketing speech.

      What you say about the moneycentric approach is so true, more so if a small company is stuck like a tick to the automotive or communications industry or both, where their income ist just a negligible record in all the money moved by those molochs, but their services crucial to functioning; and my income in turn also was a negligible part of the overall money that small company is moving. They are able to spit out experienced people because of the success of those people; computing is commodity, as are programs. We automate ourselves out of existence, in a way. After all, things like npm are so easy, right?

      Today, people rather stich together FOSS to keep their technical debt small (which is good), but they aren't aware that they buy that with increasing external dependencies and are implementing a brittle fabric of disparate components which gets bigger, unflexible and more difficult to oversee, manage and adapt, without expertise and capacity to look under the hood of the components.

      Outsourcing key components of the business never is a good idea, they must stay in own hands, be simplified as much as possible, flexible and robust. I've seen things going wrong for a long time now, spoke up and wasn't heard, and my following silence was held as consent, which ain't.

      And no, I'm not guilty of anything. Well, unproductiveness may be. But why so? My programs run, they produce revenue, but $company decided that the rent from them is all theirs, not mine anymore, at all.

      So, again, good riddance.

      I might be doing computing stuff in the future, but only in educative, curative, palliative and subversive ways.

      perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
      Trade unions? Here they are at least incompetent and prone to the Owner Will.

      My oppinion about trade unions wasn't that good, either. Their most visible result were strikes of grunt workers and a lot of bullshit heared in TV interviews. My first job in a management consulting company didn't improve that picture. After all, I've spend a lot of time to learn my job, I'm everything but a grunt worker. I can talk eye-to-eye with my employer.

      That slowly changed during the merger mentioned in Re: OT: memory to share available. The Betriebsrat (works council) worked closely together with the trade union (in that case, ver.di) to inform all employees about the merger and its consequences. Yes, the people from the trade union recommended joining the union. And apart from strike money, they had two very good arguments: free legal advice on labor law, and a legal expenses insurance for labor law included in the membership fee. ver.di and the other trade unions still emit with an SNR close to zero, and I don't agree with everything. But the legal advice service is great.

      Alexander

      --
      Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)
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