Pierce Manufacturing

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The red flags started on my first day: there was no PC for me to work at, and nobody knew when one would be available. Given this, I went house-hunting for a couple of hours, off the clock – only to hear (when I got back) that higher-ups were annoyed because I hadn't been there the whole time (I should have been doing nothing in an approved manner, I suppose).

Additional red flags, had I known enough to recognize them, included: adding developers to a team when a project was running behind, demanding more frequent progress reports and meetings when a project was running behind, moving the team around to different locations when a project was running behind, and a supervisor's consistent failure to facilitate communication between the software team and the older hands in the company whose business processes we needed to understand. (I did actually recognize this last problem, and went over the supervisor's head with an email – which did finally effect some change, but that's when things started really feeling off-kilter.)

There was never any respect for my attempts to find a better, less-distracting work environment by working from my rental house, on my own PC; management seemed to see this as somehow evading work rather than trying to do it better.

We finally ended up in a small, windowless room, without even any partitions between workstations, working weekends (we had been averaging 50-60 hours per week by that time, with overtime being paid at 150%). Each of us was taken aside one day and brought to a higher-higher-up's office (Dave someone... lots of Daves at that company...) for a few minutes of discussion, after which I was immediately let go and escorted out of the building. Fun times.

Due to all the overtime, I did quite well financially that year – but Pierce would have done much better to keep the development team on a 40-hour week and instead offer some basic services, like meal delivery and laundry, rather than paying through the nose to try and squeeze a few more cycles out (which generally doesn't work).

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