$90,000 and counting



  • I have frequently mocked our users for flatly refusing to plan anything out, provide requirements as to data content or format until or after release time, and in general being utterly irresponsible so as to ignore virtually all of our requests/demands for more information as to just what it is they need.

    As such, we simply keep doing the same work over and over with a lot of back sliding, and ever-so-slight forward progress. They even throw money at us to hire more developers to expedite things; developers we don't actually need and didn't ask for, because shortage of manpower is not the problem.

    For the past several months, my boss has had me doing an impromptu improvement on our code to streamline what we calculate and how we save it in order to slow the rate of exlosive growth in our database. Of course, it is proceding like this:

    • Boss: change x
    • Me: Ok, I changed x, but now the output data is different in an unexpected way
    • Boss: oh right, unchange x and change x'
    • <repeat the above 3 more levels, then move on to the next unforseen item>

    Each cycle of build, launch, debug, and walking the code trying to figure out what's not working and why takes several hours, and they don't like me to launch it and leave it running when I go home (so I get in 2 runs/day) because it sucks up system resources from other developers.

    So far, I've billed in excess of $90,000.00 for this little improvement alone, with no end in sight, and no target deliverable because it's an unprioritized-yet-important background task that's not on any schedule.

    Like most folks, if I have a long compile/launch cycle, I use the time to do something else. However, I've been instructed to put in 2 hours on each of 7 projects each day. The fact that there's a lot of sitting around waiting time lets me get it all done in about 6 hours, but I've been instructed to bill for 14 hours because it's policy. Erm, but that's overbilling! It's company policy; do it like that! My boss knows that I go home after 8 hours and that I'm getting the work done, so he doesn't care. I got that one in writing, and have been billing 14 hours for an 8 hour day for quite a while now.

    How do these people get to own big companies and make money?

    And you folks wonder why I stay at this place...



  • @snoofle said:

    I've been instructed to put in 2 hours on each of 7 projects each day. The fact that there's a lot of sitting around waiting time lets me get it all done in about 6 hours, but I've been instructed to bill for 14 hours because it's policy. Erm, but that's overbilling! It's company policy; do it like that!

    Quiet! This is how Tom Cruise almost got killed when he was working for The Firm. Don't blow the whistle, just stash some of the money in the Caimans in case you need to run away from the feds. I can put you in touch with a guy down there if you want.



  • Be careful with that. If the company ever gets in trouble with the law, "lying to a federal agent" is the catch-all felony that they use for anyone
    they want to be a "white-collar criminal" and they can concoct it out of things like those records with distressing ease, doubly so when they want
    to strongarm you into testifying about something.



  • @fennec said:

    Be careful with that. If the company ever gets in trouble with the law, "lying to a federal agent" is the catch-all felony that they use for anyone
    they want to be a "white-collar criminal" and they can concoct it out of things like those records with distressing ease, doubly so when they want
    to strongarm you into testifying about something.

    Snoofle is a smart guy. He'll be holding on to that e-mail, I expect.



  • @toon holding onto that email

    Archived on three separate systems, plus printed copies in multiple secure vaults.

    Some things go in the keep-this-forever pile.



  • You are not the first to be in that situation, and certaintly not the last.  I have come close to being in those situations, but my managers have resolved it in a far more ethical way, which was don't charge idle time to a program if you are working on another program during that idle time.  Obviously this does not work in your [snoofle's] case.  Just for clarity sake... Are you getting paid for the extra 6 hours of over time each day?



  • @Anketam said:

    Are you getting paid for the extra 6 hours of over time each day?
    Yes - 14 hours of pay; 6 at time and a half; for 8 hours of work. For 4 months and counting.



  • @snoofle said:

    @Anketam said:
    Are you getting paid for the extra 6 hours of over time each day?
    Yes - 14 hours of pay; 6 at time and a half; for 8 hours of work. For 4 months and counting.
    A little piece of my brain just BSOD.


  • Fake News

    God damn, what a gig.



  •  It's an immortal being that just keeps dropping gold whenever your hit it!



  • @snoofle said:

    @Anketam said:

    Are you getting paid for the extra 6 hours of over time each day?
    Yes - 14 hours of pay; 6 at time and a half; for 8 hours of work. For 4 months and counting.

    So are you guys hiring?



  • @db2 said:

    So are you guys hiring?

    Look people, I know that the money looks enticing but remember that this is snoofle's type of job aka as snap and snipe your coworkers from a elevated position kind of work, so unless you are suicidal or impervious to homicidal rage (IT support?) then this job is not for you



  • @dhromed said:

    It's an immortal being that just keeps dropping gold whenever your hit it!

    Nah not immortal, if you keep attacking them they drop blue and gold items too when they die. The catch is, they run pretty fast and if you're not quick enough they teleport away before you can do enough damage.

    Wait, we were talking about Diablo III right?



  • He did say that they had been told to increase developer headcount, even though it wasn't desired and wouldn't help.

    To where do I fax my resume?

     



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @dhromed said:
    It's an immortal being that just keeps dropping gold whenever your hit it!

    Nah not immortal, if you keep attacking them they drop blue and gold items too when they die. The catch is, they run pretty fast and if you're not quick enough they teleport away before you can do enough damage.

    Wait, we were talking about Diablo III right?



    Frost Ray + Numb to the rescue. They barely get off-screen before I nab 'em.

    I need some better loot, though. I'm currently sporting a 14+ wand and I'm starting to not do enough damage to really trample my enemies.

    And what the hell am I supposed to do with these low-number junk drops I pick up? I can't salvage em. Can't even sell 'em because resale value is practically nothing!

    Wasn't there a page on battle.net where you could show off your char?

     



  • @dhromed said:

    I need some better loot, though. I'm currently sporting a 14+ wand and I'm starting to not do enough damage to really trample my enemies.

    And what the hell am I supposed to do with these low-number junk drops I pick up? I can't salvage em. Can't even sell 'em because resale value is practically nothing!

    They rigged the game so you have to use the auction house to get decent equipment. Even your blacksmith is useless, even if you manage to get enough drops to level him up. The cynical would say this was to encourage use of the real-money auction house, for which Blizzard charges a 30% commission.

    @dhromed said:

    Wasn't there a page on battle.net where you could show off your char?

    There is for WOW.



  • @snoofle said:

    I've been instructed to put in 2 hours on each of 7 projects each day. The fact that there's a lot of sitting around waiting time lets me get it all done in about 6 hours, but I've been instructed to bill for 14 hours because it's policy.

    You should take a bathroom break during those hours. That would give you bragging rights that "your shit has been billed on 7 projects at the same time".



  • Dropping names because I don't really care.

    I was a helpdesk monkey contracted (Kelly Services) to IBM Global Services providing support for Circuit City corporate and Panasonic Corporate. Gotta love that 3 levels of outsourcing. Anyway, my phone queue was both CCity and Pany, so I got calls for both in an 8 hour shift. IBM GS charged both companies 8 hours for my time. I of course didn't see squat.



  • @snoofle said:

    My boss knows that I go home after 8 hours and that I'm getting the work done, so he doesn't care. I got that one in writing, and have been billing 14 hours for an 8 hour day for quite a while now.
    Finally, we find out why you haven't quit. Good reason.



  • @Nexzus said:

    Dropping names because I don't really care.

    I was a helpdesk monkey contracted (Kelly Services) to IBM Global Services providing support for Circuit City corporate and Panasonic Corporate. Gotta love that 3 levels of outsourcing. Anyway, my phone queue was both CCity and Pany, so I got calls for both in an 8 hour shift. IBM GS charged both companies 8 hours for my time. I of course didn't see squat.

    This is called leveraged support resources and that is completely different than double billing because both clients are aware that the service desk is shared. They pay an hourly rate that is associated with a specific service level (% of availability, response time, etc.) and based on various other performance indicators (first call resolution, frequency of escalation, call duration, etc.). The business model itself is to share resources (i.e.: you) otherwise the cost is too high for the value provided (no offense intended).

    The value provided by IBM in this situation is not merely to offer your time, but rather to find you, train you, and provide you with the infrastructure needed to support incoming calls and so forth.


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