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  #1  
Old 11-12-2004, 10:00 AM
Jason Dunn
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Default You Think Your Job Has Long Hours? Read This

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.livejournal.com/users/ea_spouse/274.html?thread=10514#t10514' target='_blank'>http://www.livejournal.com/users/ea...ad=10514#t10514</a><br /><br /></div><i>"EA's bright and shiny new corporate trademark is "Challenge Everything." Where this applies is not exactly clear. Churning out one licensed football game after another doesn't sound like challenging much of anything to me; it sounds like a money farm. To any EA executive that happens to read this, I have a good challenge for you: how about safe and sane labor practices for the people on whose backs you walk for your millions? I am retaining some anonymity here because I have no illusions about what the consequences would be for my family if I was explicit. However, I also feel no impetus to shy away from sharing our story, because I know that it is too common to stick out among those of the thousands of engineers, artists, and designers that EA employs."</i><br /><br />This is completely off-topic, but I read it and felt it should be passed along, if only to open the eyes of some people (I know mine were) and to put some heat on EA to treat their people with some dignity. Give it a read.
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2004, 10:32 AM
WolfUK
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What a depressing story. I've been reading about the closure of many small development houses over the last year or so with growing dismay, if only because the trend in games these days seems to be to milk a title dry with multiple updated versions or to simply cash in on movie tie-ins. As someone who grew up in the 1980s, the era of Spectrums and Commodore 64s, I fondly remember stories of bedroom coders and their innovative games but, as was inevitable I suppose, the games indutry has grown up and titles such as Halo 2 generate more revenue on their first day of release than many movies do.

I hope that the family in the main story manage to break away from EA and if I can offer any hope at all it is that I am a software developer myself and I am now working for the most fantastic company whose main goal seems to be to have happy employees rather than worrying about pushing everyone to generate the maximum amount of profits. It is only a small company which may be the reason for the difference but there are good employers out there and taking the risk to find one is well worth it in the end.
 
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2004, 11:36 AM
Reza
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Default Re: You Think Your Job Has Long Hours? Read This

It is really amazing how naÔve people can beÖ

Let me give you another view of the same story: I have been working in the videogame industry for over ten years and have been an EA employee since 2002. Here is a reality check: in the videogame industry, long hours come with the job. Itís a highly competitive market, so if you canít take it, stop pissing about and move on.

I actually consider EA to be one of the best companies to work for. They treat their people better than most game publishers, offer great benefits and a high-quality working environment.
 
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  #4  
Old 11-12-2004, 12:05 PM
Phoenix
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Default Re: You Think Your Job Has Long Hours? Read This

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reza
It is really amazing how naÔve people can beÖ

Let me give you another view of the same story: I have been working in the videogame industry for over ten years and have been an EA employee since 2002. Here is a reality check: in the videogame industry, long hours come with the job. Itís a highly competitive market, so if you canít take it, stop pissing about and move on.

I actually consider EA to be one of the best companies to work for. They treat their people better than most game publishers, offer great benefits and a high-quality working environment.
Your perspective is 180 degrees different from the one who wrote that commentary, which is perplexing to me.

If what she wrote is honestly true, then it's reasons like this that just add to why I never want to work for anyone else ever again. But trust me, I have enough of my own.

I have no compassion, patience, or respect for companies that treat their employees like crap. Why would I?

But why try to reason with such a company? They don't listen or care, so trying to reason with them is like throwing pearls to the pigs. Any wisdom directed their way would be wasted.

Every industry in the world is competitive and even aggressive to whatever extent, but since when is this justification for taking a dump on the heads of your employees? Long hours can be common, but six or seven twelve hour days? Oh yeah, no problem. I guess none of it will matter when your dead, right? Gimme a break.

I know there are exceptions, but it seems there is a growing trend in corporate life in regard to employees: use 'em and abuse 'em and work 'em to the bone. Then when they're burned out and have little more to give, show no gratitude or throw them out like garbage. Which unfortunately, is the reality for many. It's as though these companies are in a contest with each other to see who can squeeze the most blood out of a stone.

These things happen everyday. And people wonder why so many become disillusioned with it all.

Is that naive?
 
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  #5  
Old 11-12-2004, 12:14 PM
bothari
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Default Re: You Think Your Job Has Long Hours? Read This

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reza
in the videogame industry, long hours come with the job. Itís a highly competitive market, so if you canít take it, stop pissing about and move on.

I actually consider EA to be one of the best companies to work for.
Yes, I'm sure the videogame industry is highly competitive, but so are most other software development industries. 12 hours/day 7 days/week for months is way over the top, apart from plain *bad* project management.

Speaking as a both a software developer and as a project manager, the kind of timings she speaks about reveals quite a bit about the project manager's incompetence or simple inexperience (probably the later). Driving your team that hard for such a long time will usually actually *delay* your project, not meet targets.

Besides which, ask yourself *why* would someone want to "take it"?
Can't be the kudos since working for someone as big as EA, you'll be seen as just a cog in the machine.
Can't be for the money, because EA doesn't pay that well.
Can't be for the fun, because if that's your idea of a *fun* project I'd say you need to have a look around the market. Things are bad but not *that* bad.

Work to live, not live to work...
 
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2004, 12:19 PM
Jude
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I can't really sympathize with this story. I know lots of people who work much harder jobs for much longer hours for much less pay.

I agree with Reza, if you can't take it, move on. There are sure to be lots of jobhunters gunning for your position. Some may be willing to do it for a smaller salary and longer hours even, just so they can put a stint in EA on their resume.

I worked in the computer game industry for a year as a writer designer. My hours were reasonable and the pay was decent (but peanuts compared to what EA employees get), but there was no job security, and the job itself was definitely not as exciting as most gamers might imagine. I wasn't happy with it, so I left when my contract ended.

I was also a medical intern in a public hospital, where you have to stay up for 48 hours straight, most of that time on your feet, surrounded by human pain and suffering, making do with insufficient supplies and equipment, continuosly wracking your brain for diagnoses and treatments, and dealing with grumpy, hostile, and even downright cruel residents and consultants. Then after a 12 hour rest period, with occasional interruptions, repeat the above. And you get paid a grand total of $0.00.
 
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  #7  
Old 11-12-2004, 12:32 PM
Phoenix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jude
I can't really sympathize with this story. I know lots of people who work much harder jobs for much longer hours for much less pay.

I agree with Reza, if you can't take it, move on. There are sure to be lots of jobhunters gunning for your position. Some may be willing to do it for a smaller salary and longer hours even, just so they can put a stint in EA on their resume.

I was also a medical intern in a public hospital, where you have to stay up for 48 hours straight, most of that time on your feet, surrounded by human pain and suffering, making do with insufficient supplies and equipment, continuosly wracking your brain for diagnoses and treatments, and dealing with grumpy, hostile, and even downright cruel residents and consultants. Then after a 12 hour rest period, with occasional interruptions, repeat the above. And you get paid a grand total of $0.00.
It's this perspective that worries me. People so often go through so much of this kind of crap that employers dish out, that their perspectives on what is healthy or acceptable become skewed.
 
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  #8  
Old 11-12-2004, 12:35 PM
Phoenix
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Default Re: You Think Your Job Has Long Hours? Read This

Quote:
Originally Posted by bothari
...the kind of timings she speaks about reveals quite a bit about the project manager's incompetence or simple inexperience (probably the later).
Aren't those one in the same?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bothari
Work to live, not live to work...
Amen. There's more to life.
 
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  #9  
Old 11-12-2004, 12:49 PM
UtK
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Don't you have a law regulating working time, overtime payment, off days in the United States? 8O "Work or leave" - what an idiotism!

I'm shocked. Why not to sue the company for law violation, health damage, and so on?
 
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2004, 01:14 PM
rpommier
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I'm in a profession where long hours are the norm also, IT in the Military. What makes all the difference is attitude and camraderie. That's the problem I have with a lot of public companies, some of those in managerial positions have no business trying to manage human-beings.

If you're going to work people like that you best have them molded into some sort of team to support one another, and have your tail in the fray with them. Have a couple of nights in there where they can just blow off steam and not work at such a blistering pace. And the ultimate carrot a couple of nights off! It's amazing the payoffs you get from treating people like -well- people.

If that is true EA is clueless and it's only a matter of time before this practice bites the whole industry in the arse.
 
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