102 Ιανουαρίου 4, 2005Posted by Lida in Greek IT.
Yesterday I finally got fired, after 3 years of working my ass off. It is the second time this happens. The first time was during the collapse of Altec in 2001 (I was working in the newly founded A.C.N.). 200 people in total lost their jobs in a period of 3-4 months then, only Neftemporiki reported it, nobody else said a thing.Sometimes I wonder what would had happened if something like that occurred in the shipyard zone of Perama. This time the excuse is the “bad communication with my coworkers”. I’m not the easiest person to work with, I admit that much. But I have been like this the last 3 years; I’ve been like this all of my life to be honest. I haven’t changed really, I’m afraid it is the company I worked for that has changed. It became from a rather pleasant place to work in with reasonable employers, to a sweatshop, which crushes people until they can’t take it any more.
It seems that this is the fate of most software companies in Greece, they probably start with good intentions and feel good mentality and end up like Dante’s Inferno. The scenario is all too common and it looks like this. Employers gradually become greedier and close as many deals as they can regardless of how many they can actually handle, regardless of the size and complexity of the project, sometimes even regardless of whether it is actually profitable! Because they want as many projects as possible done as cheaply and as soon as possible they end up with 5-6 projects with each one of them requiring normally at least one year to complete (off course all of them are running simultaneously). Work hours gradually increase, until it is considered normal to work on weekends and on holidays and without overtime pay. In my case the point that broke me was an email requesting us to be present at the company premises at May 1st. Because of the need for more projects (because the existing one are so badly organized they don’t make enough money), developers and other technical people (those who do the actual work) are gradually replaced by sales persons until it is almost one sales person for every developer which in turn increases the workload on the remaining developers. All fresh ideas, which are the ones that actually make money, are replaced by a chase of every crappy state fund program that is out there. Off course the fact that every fucking software company in Greece is doing the exact thing is no deterrent. These projects have complex requirements and need lots of paper work which means more sales and presales people to deal with them and do the paperwork. Technical people start to leave gradually unable to handle the unbearable conditions any more. The process continues until the ratio of sales persons against technical stuff is 3/1 with the remaining developers being the ones that where to mediocre to look for a job some place else.
What is really beyond me is why does it have to almost always be this way. If they can’t relate to their employees can’t they at least see that all this is against their interests? Don’t they understand that overexploiting people to the point of exhaustion is actually loosing them money? That by changing their “priorities” every five minutes to whatever is considered “hot” in the market they are unable to crate a solid base of knowledge and expertise that is essential to the well being of the company? That by carefully organizing their priorities and doing good market studies, analyzing the project requirements and setting well thought out time frames with the help of the developers they would actually increase their profits 10 fold without coming close to sending people to the hospital? That if they had chosen to give people good working conditions, good salaries, real bonuses, respect and recognition they would have created a loyal workforce eager to do there best instead of the bitter and exhausted employees they have now? That by been greedy and irresponsible they damage themselves and everything else around them?
I don’t know what to think any more, I’m really disappointed. I don’t give a fuck about those assholes; they can drop dead for all I care. What bothers me most is that I will really miss working with the people there, especially my manager. I owe a lot to that guy; I bet that there can’t be more than 5-10 like him in this country. He is one of the best developers I’ve ever known and a wonderful person. For a long time now he was the only real reason I kept working in that shithole. The memory of him and 3-4 other people I met there will be all that I choose to keep from these 3 years. The rest can go to hell.