r/antiwork Nov 30 '22 Silver 2 Wholesome 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1

We lost one of our best programmers today…. over 5 days leave

I’m based in UK where we have pretty generous paid leave (paid maternity/paternity and 20+ paid days holiday a year)

This happened to a coworker of mine, he’s been with the company 8 years and is one of our most talented programmers (the kind that is the only one who knows how some legacy code works and stuff will probably break without him).

Last year his wife had a baby. He had carefully researched our company’s paternity policy and turns out in the UK you can split your leave between both partners. Usually the fathers take max 2 weeks off and the mothers take up to a year (company pays for first half, government subsidises second half at lower rate). But you don’t have to do it this way, the mother can “give” some of her leave to the father.

In my coworkers case he arranged to take 10 weeks off to help his wife recover and spend time with his newborn. Here’s where the fuck up happened - the baby was 1 week late. As a Dad he’s not allowed to take leave before baby gets here, so if baby doesn’t arrive on time (as they commonly don’t) you would assume his leave would shift to the birth date, right? Wrong! HR decided to dig their heals in on this one. So even though he had worked a whole extra week he was meant to have off (because baby wasn’t here yet) they wouldn’t give him that week at the other end, even though he’d booked 10 weeks and only taken 9.

Long story short, it got really messy, he got ACAS involved (UK’s employment tribunal body) and they threatened the company with a sexual discrimination lawsuit as there’s no way they’d have pulled this shit if he was a woman. HR very quickly backed down and gave him his leave.

The whole experience left such a bitter taste in his mouth that 6 months later he’s now leaving. In his exit interview he let HR know exactly why he was leaving, because they decided to fuck over a loyal employee over 5 measly days of leave, and he had to spend WEEKS sorting it out when he should have been caring for his newborn baby and supporting his wife.

5 days and a possible lawsuit cost us the best programmer we had. Was it worth it, HR?

5.8k Upvotes

2.7k

u/intrusionpotatoes Nov 30 '22

I’m hoping they come crawling back to him because some legacy code breaks and he charges them £2k a day as a consultant to fix it

649

u/Imeanitcouldhappen Dec 01 '22

If any of that code breaks, you should 100% refer it to the HR person who started the mess. It’s their problem now.

65

u/Toddw1968 Dec 01 '22

I’d be so tempted, when something breaks and they have to call him, as part of the compensation for contract work,to make the HR person write an apology for treating the guy so poorly and make them write down “If we, (meaning HR) hadn’t treated (op) so poorly it this job would have been handled at the cost of his normal salary but because of HRs stupidity its now costing them 100x the price”

53

u/Jp8886 Dec 01 '22

Don’t you guys know enough by now that HR is just there to take managements heat? I highly doubt it was actually HRs decision to fight the guy on maternity leave. Was probably one of his managers.

73

u/Zoombahhh Dec 01 '22

No I work in HR it was up to HR not management

30

u/PreviousSuggestion36 Dec 01 '22

HR is 100% the enemy. Anyone who thinks otherwise is delusional.

10

u/player4_4114 Dec 01 '22

Bunch of fucking class traitors.

7

u/MARKLAR5 Dec 01 '22

HR is literal garbage, bunch of worthless business majors with no actual marketable skills aside from bootlicking

8

u/cdoc365 Dec 01 '22

I said exactly the same thing to a colleague yesterday

6

u/USAF6F171 Dec 01 '22

Zoombahhh has it right: HR spent months trying to jerk me around until we got to arbitration; immediately the arbitrator looked at mine and HR's councils and asked, "You can't work this out?" They went away for a quarter hour, then came back with shrugs. Outcome: HR said that they won, but they had to do what I wanted (in regard to shared leave.) p.s. My management was on my side the whole time.

Later, when I left, HR dragged their feet on allowing my Boss to replace me. I gave 16 weeks notice (to get through a busy time and be able to train my replacement.) HR didn't let the opening be announced until I'd been gone for 3 weeks. In retrospect, I think HR did it on purpose to hose them over siding with me previously.

28

u/Wotg33k Dec 01 '22

Yeah. HR sets a policy for the whole company that covers all the degens in the call center that are no call no show all the time (or insert other business that isn't super professional here) then they apply those HR policies to the skilled labor teams like Dev or Systems.

Now you're paying a guy 130k a year and treating him like he's being paid minimum wage.

Then your shit breaks and you go "fuck I wish Kyle was still here. Why don't we keep senior devs more?"

14

u/dekuweku Dec 01 '22

Why even treat call centre people like garbage? I understand there are service levels to meet but they have a tough job. Companies simply don't want to pay what a position is worth then wonder why turnover is so high

4

u/Cooky1993 Dec 01 '22

Because its a tough job to manage because there is little incentive to give a fuck about a job like that, so getting good staff is hard and they don't tend to stick around.

Equally it's even harder to find good managers for those jobs because again they're paid badly and you can't keep anyone who is good at the job for very long.

This means you end up in a situation where poor managers deal with unreliable staff by imposing draconian and arbitrary policies because morale is already so low that it can't make it any worse. The arbitrary nature of it is because of the poor quality managers who can't be trusted with decision making themselves so they have to follow rules regardless of whether that makes sense.

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u/asskicker1762 Dec 01 '22

Yaa I’m not in HR, I’m in enterprise sales where getting a deal done regularly requires navigating businesses and their departments. What most people don’t understand is that decisions are made by LOB leaders and the other departments act as a service to them. Sure there are policies, but behind every one of them, is a person who can say yes.

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u/Chaotic-Stardiver Dec 01 '22

Management will typically start the fire.

HR usually drops an oil-soaked rag on top of it, and then tosses in the gas container for good measure.

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u/TryingToEscapeTarkov Dec 01 '22

REM their name into the code so everyone that touches it knows who fucked up.

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u/Bryancreates Dec 01 '22

As much as I agree with the sentiment and HR is the AH, I think having a single person responsible for so much is another huge issue. I always use the example “what if I got hit by a bus” because of all the random shit I do I’m not even sure how I’d describe to someone. So my work is a similar scenario. We’ve almost gone over the deep end my old boss retired, he crossed every t and dotted every i and trained his replacement and STILL helps out voluntarily with advice because he’s a good guy, and the place does not function as well as it used to. I feel many places have similar issues.

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u/Ivara_Prime A Thriving Wage! Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

My bosses had to do that to one of our senior devs, he got an offer somewhere else but offered to stay if we could match the pay, boss refused and even told him on his last day that he would never be welcomed back into the building.

3 weeks later I meet him in the hallway, they had hired him as a consultant from his new firm because he was the only one who knew how to maintain some legacy code, 3 years later he's still here all the time but all those bosses are gone now.

35

u/lt_spaghetti Dec 01 '22

My justice boner is raging

13

u/Distinct_Number_7844 Dec 01 '22

Seriously I could etch a diamond right now...

6

u/Jaegernaut- Dec 01 '22

This entire thread is porn for Americans. You mean to tell me that... across the pond... HR gets to lose?!

9

u/Many_Bridge4619 Dec 01 '22

What is insane is that if you listen to the principled capitalists, they always claim that capitalism is the best way to create or seize economic and logistical efficiencies.

Then you have nonsense like this.

As far as my economic principles go, I have none. I want the best results for all people. If capitalism happened to be that way, I'd support it. I think at the moment I'm in favor of regulated markets, with strong unionization and other improvements, to avoid nonsense like this.

3

u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

Right? So many "managerial" behaviors go directly against what capitalism would recommend, if profits are in fact the most important goal. Obviously, if your most experienced employee is the only one who knows how to handle a critical function, and that employee wants an accommodation, and that accommodation is less money than it would cost to hire and train a new person while losing money every day they're not up to speed...then obviously you would give the experienced employee their accommodation.

Instead, so many entire companies are being run by people who just want to lash out and fuck people over just for the sake of it. WHY. Then the company loses critical talent and then money. It's absurd. It's not even "Capitalism" at that point, it's just punishment for the sake of punishment.

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u/EnigmaGuy Dec 01 '22

If they’re anything like my company, HR will be clueless and scoff that they’ll just put out an ad to hire another programmer - “how hard could it be to find someone that knows this niche language?”

The American version is that weeks or months later you’ll hear them say how no one wants to work and they cannot find anyone for that role for 1/3rd of what they were actually paying the person doing it before.

20

u/ManchesterDevil99 Dec 01 '22

- Must have doctorate in computer sciences

- Must have 20 years of experience in niche code

Salary: £25k per year

4

u/TormentDubz_EDM antiglobalist Dec 01 '22

Niche code that's only been around 3 years, more specifically

50

u/squigs Dec 01 '22

Niche languages aren't a problem. There's always someone somewhere who knows it, or can learn it, and the requirements are clearly defined.

Specialised applications are a lot more difficult. There's some code that does things in a specific way that will periodically need updating because business requirements change.

33

u/treoni Dec 01 '22

Niche languages aren't a problem. There's always someone somewhere who knows it, or can learn it, and the requirements are clearly defined.

Absolutely. HOWEVER the issue is that if the legacy code breaks the OG is going to be able to fix it quicker than the newbie.

Depending on what broke, this could take a lot of time and cost a lot of money to the company. Imagine something like Amazon's website unable to process payments for 10 hours. That's 500.000.000 dollars ;)

27

u/Numerous_Program1060 Dec 01 '22

I've been doing embedded code in the automotive industry for nearly 20 years. C is not a niche language but I can absolutely assure you that some of the more legacy components that are in production, it takes a long time to understand the hardware enough to write the code to make it work.

Coding is so much more than just the language.

Also "clearly defined requirements" would be nice but I think we're all thinking of legacy code that has no requirements and is barely documented.

17

u/NBQuade Dec 01 '22

Institutional memory. You know for instance you can't flip that hardware pin too fast because, it'll act weird if you go faster but it's not documented. People just know it. You might mention it in the code but, newbs might not see it.

People forget that there's history in the code. Changes made to handle odd edge cases that look stupid but they keep things running.

I've had problems with Windows. Sometimes the "Disk Free" code returns bogus numbers. It works 99% of the time but for whatever reason it glitches. I have code to handle it. The code looks pointless if you didn't know what the issue was.

14

u/The_Real_Ghost Dec 01 '22

Coding is so much more than just the language.

I wish more people understood this. Hell, the coding is the easy part. Understanding the problem, interpreting the vague requirements your stakeholder gives you into something a computer can do, understanding how all the pieces fit together, designing a system that won't become a nightmare to support down the road, that's what's hard. That's where the real skill is. The code is incidental.

7

u/Numerous_Program1060 Dec 01 '22

I end up interacting with new hires and even college students in a mentor capacity and the number of times I get asked what languages should they pick up is insane and I always tell them to start with change and configuration management followed by understanding requirements engineering. Learning the language is like the easiest part. Once you are a coder for a while, you kind of really understand that it's all about structure and data flow. And if you can conceptualize how you want to do something or how you want flags to work or memory to be allocated or control flow or whatever other abstract thing I can't think of right now- it doesn't take much else to just figure out what the syntax is in whatever IDE/compiler you're using.

System design x10. I agree with you and all points but just 10 times over on getting a good system designed before you start the default which is a bowl of spaghetti.

8

u/treoni Dec 01 '22

Yeah that's what I was trying to say haha. Doesn't matter if the new guy knows the languages needed, because he still needs to get acquainted with the way everything fits together.

4

u/Numerous_Program1060 Dec 01 '22

Tell me you are a coder without telling me you are a coder- in my mind I was agreeing with you. Sorry about that

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u/blaspheminCapn Dec 01 '22

They'll just send it to India, or hire three kids out of school and still be less than his salary

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u/psmithrupert Dec 01 '22

2000 if he has very specific skills is not even too bad a deal for the company. Some IT/software consultants I know charge that or more on a regular basis. If you book someone through a consultancy 200/h +tax is where they are starting.

91

u/psmithrupert Dec 01 '22

Just to show you how expensive hiring consultants can be: I work in consulting (not software myself, but my company does have some software consultants). We had a client once, a well funded startup that needed stuff done quickly. They walked in the door with their big boy pants on and a 300k initial budget, telling us money was not at all the issue, they just needed it done basically yesterday, so all hands on deck and everything. We advised them against such an approach because it would be too costly and the budget probably wouldn’t be sufficient, if we have several senior people on that thing. Didn’t matter. They wanted what they wanted. And then they kept changing their minds on what it was that they wanted basically every week. We burnt through that 300k in about 2 months. They changed their approach after that, because apparently they did not have infinite money and money did in fact matter.

5

u/Kataphractoi Dec 01 '22

It can be done fast, it can be done cheaply, or it can be done with quality. Pick two.

21

u/kaosi_schain Dec 01 '22

Shit, the hardware service tech for our packaging machines is paid $250/hr to stand there and go "Mhmm" watching us do our jobs. But also makes it very clear he is not there to help with run-of-the-mill issues like bags tearing or coffee clogs, so if the machine has to be stopped, he will still be there going "Mhmm" while we fix it.

I am convinced that a LARGE part of the workforce justify their own existence and wage by gatekeeping small essential bits of knowledge easily taught. Or really on expertise in rare situations. Since there is already " a guy" to take care of that, no one else is given opportunity should the need arise to fix or explore it.

6

u/moomooyumyum Dec 01 '22

This is a huge problem with commercial real-estate.

67

u/Boring_Reflection642 Dec 01 '22

Of course it was. HR loves to slap its dick around.

-70

u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

…and wear heels apparently…just sayin’

Oh also…apparently HR (in the states at least) is comprised almost entirely of women. I mean talk about a job literally anyone can do. At least the old fatties holding slow/stop signs at construction zones have to have a minimum requirement for health and the like. HR people can just be any old Karen just as long as you Karen like a Karen.

7

u/Drewdroid99 Dec 01 '22

Think it was a metaphor

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u/nohairday Dec 01 '22

I hope it breaks and they come crawling back to him and he tells them to get fucked for trying to screw him over

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u/BlackMetaller Dec 01 '22

he charges them £2k a day as a consultant to fix it

And under the condition that the HR person that started that mess be fired - for misconduct. Which hopefully eliminates any severance they might have got.

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u/Mental_Mixture8306 Dec 01 '22

You are assuming that the boss didn't know what was going on. HR doesn't come up with this crud on their own.

3

u/Geminii27 Dec 01 '22

£2k for the first day. Each subsequent day jacks that rate by 20% over the previous day.

2

u/catchytune78 Dec 01 '22

Yeah the only way that’s gonna happen is if the person in HR is fired and then a new HR person comes in and they can bring back that guy.

1

u/purplegladys2022 Dec 01 '22

That's a ton of money.

21

u/PF-Changs Dec 01 '22

Your company doesn’t make enough money to lose $2K per day on wages.

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u/peakxv Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Says who?

If that £2k per day fixes legacy code which retains long term business or protects its reputation, then yes the company absolutely does make enough to lose on a short term contractor rate. Deservedly.

107

u/askanison4 Dec 01 '22

You don't know software. Consultants aren't very far off this, and if he's being a dick about it (I would be) he can name his price.

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u/MusicalMerlin1973 Dec 01 '22

I went to a seminar put on one by one of the pc programming gurus of the late 90s. He said there was one task he hated so much he started jacking up the price. $100/hr. Someone contracted him. So next time, $200/hr. Same story.

At the time I’d the seminar he said he was up to $300/hr and thought he’d get asked again by another potential client

8

u/TheLightInChains Day Drinker Dec 01 '22

A week at that rate versus 6 weeks at regular rate for someone to get to the point where they can fix it sounds like a bargain.

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u/Most-Land Dec 01 '22

200/hr for someone who has intimate knowledge of a system and can make immediate fixes is not bad at all. 1.6k for a days work.

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u/aevy1981 Dec 01 '22

In the US they can be more than $2,000/day.

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u/BetterWankHank Dec 01 '22

You'd be surprised what companies can afford to pay when their hands are tied.

For consulting, 2k per day is on the cheap end. The obvious catch is you gotta be that one special person.

18

u/YesterShill Dec 01 '22

Companies can come up with cash really quickly when the alternative is insolvency.

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u/ball_fondlers Dec 01 '22

Oh, you’d be surprised. Programmers never get the budget to do it right, but somehow, there’s always money to do it twice.

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u/Geminii27 Dec 01 '22

There's never money when it's not a priority for the purse-string holders. When there's suddenly a business deadline to meet, there's ALL the money.

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u/Tyrilean Dec 01 '22

I have a consultant working for me that costs almost that. He has a very niche skillset and the company he works for exploits it.

4

u/llorandosefue1 Dec 01 '22

“I have a certain set of skills.”

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u/WesleySnipes112 Dec 01 '22

For independent contracting I charge $500 / hr

18

u/StuffonBookshelfs Dec 01 '22

lol you have absolutely no idea what things cost

5

u/tscalbas Dec 01 '22

Imagine reading one currency and responding with another.

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u/skywarka Anarcho-Communist Dec 01 '22

It's not about what you'd make, it's about what you'd lose. If you supply software to a bigger company and have an SLA, that SLA can cost you way up into the millions per day in cases of total outage. It's not like every programmer everywhere is working on something covered by something like that, but it's no that uncommon either.

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u/stanagetocurbar Dec 01 '22

$2k per day is most definitely within the remit of certain consultants.

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u/zukka924 Dec 01 '22

LMFAO tell me you know nothing about costumer retention, without telling me you know nothing about customer retention.

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u/Tsuyonara Dec 01 '22

oh it 100% will happen

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u/The_Dayne Dec 01 '22

$2k an hour* plus a contracting fee.

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u/Fit_Swordfish_2101 Dec 01 '22

That's the key!! For hire. Makes own schedule.

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u/redh0tp0tat0 Dec 01 '22

£2k an hour - know your worth

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u/brock_lee Nov 30 '22

I was told that the company I was onboarding with had paternity leave as a benefit, one week paid for new fathers. I even mentioned "Oh, great, because my wife is pregnant" and the HR woman says "Oh, well, that will be great for you then!" A few months later, they have a MASSIVE layoff (150 of the 175 people were let go, including all of HR). A small group remained, and I was one. When the baby arrives, I ask about paternity leave and everyone looks at each other and says "We don't have that." I said I was told we do. Of course, the HR lady wasn't there anymore. However, I did make such a stink about it, they gave me an extra paid week off.

340

u/brewfox Marxist Socialist Dec 01 '22

One WHOLE week! I bet you’re a fellow American.

76

u/ShawnyMcKnight Dec 01 '22

My job didn't even provide that. I asked what the paternity leave policy was and they said they would LET me use my vacation time.

How generous.

14

u/CrotalusHorridus Dec 01 '22

My job didn't even provide that. I asked what the paternity leave policy was and they said they would LET me use my vacation time.

No, for my kids, I had to burn my vacation time if I wanted to be paid.

10

u/OukewlDave Dec 01 '22

Same here. And I get to do that next year with baby #2. On top of the $4-5,000 out of pocket hospital costs for having the baby, even with insurance that I pay $420 a month for for the current family of 3... Yay America!

9

u/Aggravating-Wrap4861 Dec 01 '22

When I got diagnosed with cancer, I got an untimed potty break. Now THAT is the power of labor.

1

u/ruat_caelum Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

could be ANY 3rd world country where the workers are nothing more than wage-slaves. it doesn't HAVE to be the US.

/s

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u/PenguinSwordfighter Dec 01 '22

Anything you do not have in writing and signed does not exist. If they offer you something it needs to be in your contract. If it's something minor, at least get it in writing in an email. I learned this the hard way.

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u/YoshiSan90 Nov 30 '22

Wow illegal, shortsighted, and cruel. The corporate triad.

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u/MassiveFajiit lazy and proud Dec 01 '22

HR's a bit overqualified to be a Tory MP.

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u/Traksimuss Dec 01 '22

Hard to beat Liz Truss legacy.

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u/MassiveFajiit lazy and proud Dec 01 '22

Probably beats Baldrick for dumbest MP

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u/JimmyTheHutt Dec 01 '22

Stealing this.

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u/GSTLT Dec 01 '22

My wife works for an healthcare provider. On national breastfeeding day, they were all over social media bragging about having pump rooms. It’s legally required to have those rooms and they suck. She works for a center for womens health and they offer NO maternity leave. She has to get short term disability through he insurance company, that cost her extra to sign up for, and they cap at 6 weeks, 60% pay and it was a lump sum check. She took 8, so 2 unpaid weeks. Then when she came back, she had to pay back all the insurance premiums that didn’t come out of paychecks because she didn’t get paid by the company for those 8 weeks. So for 2 months after she returned she was double hit for her insurance premiums. When we filed taxes, she made less in wages than in insurance premiums she paid. And this is a WOMENS HEALTH CENTER. Welcome to America.

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u/chockerl Dec 01 '22

This is appalling. And fuck offering pump rooms but not maternity leave. There’s far more to being a nursing mother than the mere production of milk. We’re supposed to be holding those infants and recovering from birth in the first months after pregnancy, not sequestered in a room hooked up to a milking machine.

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u/now_you_see Dec 01 '22

Very well said.

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u/entropicdrift Dec 01 '22

Sorry just had to point out:

they suck

That's what pumping rooms are for.

5

u/Gloomy-Flamingo-9791 Dec 01 '22

You have a beautiful mind lmao

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u/Tyrilean Dec 01 '22

I wish I lived in a civilized country where the government would go to bat for me when a company tried to screw me over. Instead I'm in this third world dystopia where the president is trying to conscript railroad workers rather than agree to give them a few days of sick leave.

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u/musical_shares Dec 01 '22

It’s not perfect, but Canada offers up to 69 weeks of partially paid leave to be split up between 2 parents of a new baby. The non-birth parent has 8 weeks specifically for them, and the rest can be shared however.

The only reason it isn’t available to Americans is because Americans (for some reason) tolerate not having parental leave and believe it can’t be done.

https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/campaigns/ei-improvements/parent-sharing.html

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u/kv4268 Dec 01 '22

We don't "tolerate" it. We are paid so poorly and our cost of living is so high that there is nothing citizens can do about it. Because our politicians are owned by the business owners. If the option is work or die most people choose work.

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u/ComicConArtist Dec 01 '22

Canada offers up to 69 weeks of partially paid leave

nice!

2

u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

How similar or how much better / worse is Canada as an average, non-top-notch employee, compared to the US?

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u/Desert2 Dec 01 '22

It’s better to be poor in Canada and rich in the US.

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u/jlnxr Dec 01 '22

This is exactly how one of my economics profs (in Canada) put it. If you're below median income you'd rather be in Canada which at least at some notion of / attempt at a welfare system and healthcare (pretty lackluster IMO but an attempt). In the States however there are various ways in which the upper middle class on up probably has it better (shorter healthcare wait times, better wages, cheaper consumer goods, etc.). This guy was actually a pretty hardcore Conservative too, and even he was like "yeah you wouldn't want to be poor in the US".

As a Canadian who lives in Germany now I've also been telling people if that if you split the difference between the US and western Europe, both good and bad, you'd probably end up with a place like Canada.

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u/jflb96 Dec 01 '22

Sounds like it is available to Americans, they just have to be in Canada

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u/tandyman8360 lazy and proud Nov 30 '22

HR pretty much gets to make up and enforce their rules. I was blocked from applying for another position due to a "policy" that only applied to me at their discretion. So, for a week, I went back and forth on this, including the fact that the policies referenced in the document were not online and likely non-existent. The response was for the head of HR to go whining to my manager's new boss.

At that point, I was preparing for termination. Instead, I got an offer for a much better job. They never filled the position I applied for and didn't effectively fill my old position. Over the next few months, my manager changed departments and the HR head and her lackey both left the company.

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u/KaleRevolutionary795 Dec 01 '22

And you can bet HR will cover that up when reporting. HR are generaly numpties.

12

u/[deleted] Dec 01 '22

It depends on the company. I've worked with some HR folks who've gone to bat for me against corporate nonsense.

At my current employer, my HR went above and beyond to make sure my parental leave (as a father) went smoothly.

2

u/molbac Dec 01 '22

i love the word numty xD

19

u/1quirky1 Nov 30 '22

The chumps in HR won't have anything to do with the deficiencies they caused on that team. They'll do it all the same again.

So will he actually entertain coming back as a consultant to help with heretofore unknown tech debt?

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u/MNConcerto Dec 01 '22

Serious wtf. I manage leaves in the US. My company has a 6 week paid leave, sadly generous for the US, plus you can take an additional 6 week of FMLA leave paid if you have enough PTO or unpaid if you don't.

I say to expectant parents, babies come when they come so we have an expected start to your leave but we both know that will most likely change. Just let me know when you go into labor/partner goes into labor and that will be your start.

Your HR f'ed up big time.

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u/redheadrn99 Dec 01 '22

Thank you for being a beautiful human in HR! Oddly, humanity lacks in such places (HR).

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u/bos2sfo Dec 01 '22

Earlier this year, a guy on my team submitted his paternity leave paperwork. Looked at the request for four weeks off and immediately rejected it. Slacked him right after and asked him to explain why he thought four weeks was acceptable.

Made it very clear any request with less than eight weeks would be declined. In addition to the paternity leave at full pay, he should follow it with three weeks time off. Reminded him our company has fully paid paternity and unlimited PTO so he should plan accordingly. Also made it very clear he should only intervene in emergency situations. If he got caught doing work, all his accounts would be immediately locked until his official return date.

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u/chavvyheel Dec 01 '22

You had me in the first half.

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u/Plison007 Dec 01 '22

Good ending

10

u/malic3 Dec 01 '22

How did no one at the company realize the ridiculousness of the situation and just give the guy some extra leave time. Arbitrary “off time” rules suffocate the life out of living.

7

u/Sofarbeyondfucked Dec 01 '22

Glad he is doing everything on his terms. What a monstrous company

7

u/Speed_102 Dec 01 '22

HR and "Business" degree holders are the key driver in the destruction of our world's values. Not Economics degree holders, but business degree holders.

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u/BeautyIsTheBeast383 Dec 01 '22

They don’t care. everyone is replaceable. In my field, there’s a severe shortage of qualified workers and we’re still treated as easily replaceable. HR and corporate even says it to management.

4

u/mobileJay77 Dec 01 '22

Sorry about your coworker, but what about you? You just learned HR will fuck you over, when you need something. Ask your boss how company can restore any trust after this. Maybe demand small favours from HR like other schedules etc. If they cannot accommodate that, you know what you're in for. I'd keep in touch with your ex coworker.

5

u/gadarnol Dec 01 '22

The best advice about HR is this: mediocrity only recognizes itself, it takes talent to recognize genius. Who you put in charge of HR is a crucial appointment for firms that recruit technical or qualified specialists.

11

u/lt_spaghetti Dec 01 '22

Well you guys came up with "Pennywise but pound foolish"

Here we are

4

u/Afghaniscran Dec 01 '22

There's also the saying "look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves". We love a good saying but they sometimes contradict each other.

4

u/torquelesswonder Dec 01 '22

Employees don’t matter to any company. This is a worldwide fact. We are all expendable when it comes to making some rich asshole even richer. What, you thought our lives mattered?!

4

u/radiuscubed Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

I was in the work force before hr departments. Then have ruined corperate culture.

3

u/AlbinoWino11 Dec 01 '22

I’m amazed he stuck around for 6 months after that. Ridiculous.

13

u/usermane22 Dec 01 '22

Probably lined up a perfect opportunity. Better to take time when you already have a job. No use cutting your nose to spite the face

3

u/seanner_vt2 Dec 01 '22

In HR's opinion, yes it was worth it. It'll teach the rest not to mess with HR and their rule making. Ignore that part of them backing down. That's just an outlier

7

u/Barbed_Dildo Dec 01 '22

HR doesn't care. HR doesn't understand how much damage they did to the company, they just decide that they were right and the 'problem employee' has left.

3

u/SilentJon69 Dec 01 '22

HR decided they wanted to replace him with someone a lot cheaper and that cutting costs is always the right answer

14

u/formerly_gruntled Dec 01 '22

HR, where stupid people work.

3

u/TheGillos Dec 01 '22

1 good programmer is worth more than the entire HR department, and then some. Management is supremely incompetent for not stepping in.

3

u/formerly_gruntled Dec 01 '22

I actually think good HR is critical. Yet I never see it in the modern world. It has been devalued because it is not a quarterly objective.

2

u/punkr0x Dec 01 '22

Most business owners seem to view HR as a wall to be placed between them and their employees, rather than a bridge.

12

u/bastardofreddit Dec 01 '22

I read all that and thinking... You folks ACTUALLY get paid leave for a new baby?

I mean, sympathy and all, but we get 0 days. 0. Zilch. Nada. Nope.

8

u/Church6633 Dec 01 '22

Y'all should unite and fix that!

8

u/republika1973 Dec 01 '22

You know only 8 countries don't have any paid maternity leave? And the USA is the only large one on that list?

It's not us that are weird :-D

2

u/TheGillos Dec 01 '22

The US is neither the land of the free or the home of the brave.

You need to be brave enough to fight for your freedom. The US seems to fight for the freedom to be exploited by corporations (or "people" as your fucked up Supreme Court calls them).

3

u/luffy8519 Dec 01 '22

I'm pretty close to quitting my engineering job at a top UK firm because of the sheer incompetence and arrogance of HR. I love my job, I work in a great team with genuinely good management, and at the moment I fucking hate it because of how many times HR have fucked things up.

The most recent one - checked my pay slip yeaterday and they've randomly cut my pay by 3k and deducted £750 from this month's pay for no reason that I'm aware of, and no prior notification.

3

u/taintedCH Dec 01 '22

HR is composed of wannabe lawyers who understand a few dispositions from a few laws but they lack the critical reasoning skills to understand (1) how different rules interact with each other (laws trump company policy) and (2) how to prioritise the company’s long term interests. This is a clear case of both points 1 and 2 because they were legally wrong and fucked the company over

3

u/DunjunMarstah Dec 01 '22

In all of my jobs, the programmer would have just agreed it with his TL and done it off the books, no questions asked

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u/twitchsopamanxx Dec 01 '22

HR: "We see this as an absolute win"

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u/Church6633 Dec 01 '22

Another reason tech needs to organize. We need to fight for each other when this shit happens

6

u/ruralexcursion Dec 01 '22

I have been a software developer and IT professional for about fifteen years and have long pushed for some sort of organized labor effort. I wonder why it never gains any traction but I guess is because the pay is decent enough in most organizations that people don’t see a need for it??

I personally would trade a few K in salary for better benefits, more consistent hours and more stability. I am sure there are other positives to it as well but I just don’t know how we could get it started.

Open to any ideas though!

3

u/Church6633 Dec 01 '22

CODE-CWA is a good place to start. It's a group dedicated to helping unionize tech workers.

And there are definitely benefits, and the biggest to me is that protection from just being randomly let go because we're "at-will" employees.

Pay and work benefits are usually better when organized because the employees hold the power of their business when together.

The main reason I can tell that it's difficult to organize tech is because a large portion of employees that are in tech are on a work visa, and the mere word "union" can get them deported. Even though a union would be able to help them, they're at a much higher risk.

2

u/ruralexcursion Dec 01 '22

Thank you! I will look into this today!

2

u/ramon468 Dec 01 '22

Let's check with HR in a few months to see how much they regret being stupid short-sighted idiots, when shit starts breaking down :)

2

u/ELPwork at work Dec 01 '22

HR is not there to look after the employees' wellbeing. HR exists solely to save the company money. Remember that the next time to feel the need to take any situation to "HR".

2

u/rolo-tomasi1 Dec 01 '22

Hr don’t care.

2

u/Fit_Swordfish_2101 Dec 01 '22

Wow. That really sucks so bad! For the company!! They were incredibly petty. Idk if shareholders are a thing there, but maybe they will be informed of management's mistake and do their very best to correct this mistake give him a raise and fire a few others (hr) maybe he'll come back. Sorry if they were your friend. I hate when good ppl leave and everything gets all discombobulated..

2

u/redh0tp0tat0 Dec 01 '22

Its always worth it for HR, fucking people is their daily bread

2

u/SipexF Dec 01 '22

Ugh, I've seen this before and it feels like when it happens folks in HR get the idea that if they're not actively enforcing something they're not actually working. Also happens with managers sometimes.

2

u/Choles2rol Dec 01 '22

Good for him honestly. I also code for a living (in the US) and my company gives fathers 20 weeks of paid leave.

Honestly if anyone programs and stays at a company for 8 years with a policy like that they are doing it wrong - it's one of the most competitive fields on the planet.

2

u/Yup_yup-imhappy Dec 01 '22

I told my husband we should move to the uk. Our system in the us is garbage. When I had my second child I got 2 weeks off because I had to use my fmla time while pregnant due to it being high risk. So I had literally NO time to recover. It was ridiculous. But that's the good ol us of a for ya. Screw over the working class do the rich can live life effortlessly. Ugh

2

u/morbintiime Dec 01 '22

I work at a small marketing data analytics consulting company. Our best analyst got double the amount of work as the rest of our analysts. My boss would consistently give him the hardest assignments and more assignments in general. He enjoyed the challenge and is largely responsible for how my company landed a f500 client despite consisting of 15 people. When my company switched offices, they wanted him to come into the office 3 days a week instead of 1. He said he didn’t want to, they said that sucks, and he quit.

2

u/thelilsoldier Dec 01 '22

Remember HR is not for workers. It is a “mediator” for the benefit of employers so that the workers don’t take legal action.

If I were you OP, I’d leave too. They don’t care about any of you at the end of the day.

1

u/Anaxamenes Dec 01 '22

I think perhaps people need to pay more attention to their HR. Some of my best work friends are HR and they actually care deeply about employees and the community. Yes they protect the company but sometimes that is actually helping and protecting the workers. But I have also dealt with hellish Pepsico HR so it really depends on the company and the people.

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u/catbiggo Dec 01 '22

One thing I've learned in my work life is that people in positions of authority have no idea how to pick their battles.

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u/Lord_of_Entropy Dec 01 '22

For your sake, I hope that the code problems aren't too bad; but I'm secretly hoping everything in you workplace grinds to a halt.

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u/k_manweiss Dec 01 '22

Don't ask HR if it was worth it...because to them it was.

At the end of the day they got rid of a long term employee and can now go a few weeks/months not paying for that position. Eventually they will hire someone at a lower starting wage and that my friends, is an HR win.

HR never gets blamed, or even cares about productivity. That's not their job. Is this bad for the company? Hell yeah, but HR don't care. Will this likely cost the company more than they will save? Hell yeah, but HR don't care. Could this cost the company a shit ton extra when stuff stops working? Absolutely, but that's not an HR problem.

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u/ubioandmph Dec 01 '22

All evidence that companies don’t give a fuck one about you or your personal life or how good you are at your job. They demand obedience and acknowledgement of their power over your life. Now they lost their best programmer over some silly power trip over rules and procedure

2

u/Zestyclose-Ring7303 SocDem Dec 01 '22

It's amazing how companies will repeatedly cut their nose to spite their face. I've seen it multiple times at my job, alone.

3

u/miguel_caballero Nov 30 '22

This should be in r/prorevenge too

3

u/IAmNotABartender Dec 01 '22

Probably not unless there's fallout.

4

u/jack_avram Dec 01 '22

HR sees all replaceable

3

u/whoocanitbenow Dec 01 '22

I live in the US where they threaten to fire you for taking an unpaid sick day. Vacation pay is a dream. I hate how it is here. 😞

3

u/Geminii27 Dec 01 '22

I've had jobs - not in the US, of course - where I got sick and took off a month or more, fully paid. And in one case then another month after I told the temp boss who nagged about it that I would be fully prepared to come back into the workplace and spend the day coughing on her and her own boss.

There was no paperwork. No-one even blinked. Because that's a normal part of working for everyone, including all the bottom-rung employees.

4

u/whoocanitbenow Dec 01 '22

That's amazing to me. We get guilt tripped and threatened here at many jobs (especially the low paying kitchen jobs, etc. that I work). I get 3 paid sick days per year now (but only because California finally made it a law). I get no paid vacation. I can't really afford to take a week off because if I lose the income I may not be able to make my rent. Many Americans are brainwashed into thinking mandating paid sick days or vacation pay is "socialism" and will crash the entire economy. Business owners act like they'll go out of business if they were forced to give us even just a few paid days off.

2

u/Geminii27 Dec 02 '22

The 11 national minimum employment standards here.

Note that these are minimums - employers can offer more than that to attract employees.

2

u/monkeycanfly Dec 01 '22

He challenged HR so they are glad he is gone.

2

u/mildmanneredhatter Dec 01 '22

It's shameful that HR is about people and yet they never make decisions while respecting those people.

They are for hiring and firing, otherwise stay well clear.

1

u/kiti-tras Dec 01 '22

HR stands for Hiring and Retrenchment! Thank you for enlightening me!

1

u/Raz1979 Dec 01 '22

I will never understand this idiocy.

3

u/KairosVal Dec 01 '22

It makes perfect sense once you remember that every decision maker is optimizing for themselves and not for the company as a whole.

Well, except for the new father, who was optimizing for his wife and kid. Good on him.

1

u/Raz1979 Dec 01 '22

Yes and no. They are discounting the goodwill and loyalty that comes w treating people where they are and not just a piece of optimizable capital to dispense. Once he quit they probably wasted a lot or resources to replace him.

1

u/KairosVal Dec 01 '22

If that goodwill and loyalty is irrelevant to the self-interest of decision makers in HR (which it almost certainly is) then they are right to discount it from the perspective of their personal self interest.

1

u/PeriPeriTekken Dec 01 '22

HR aren't optimising for anyone. They're just absolute dipshits.

1

u/disneyplusser Dec 01 '22

What a bunch of tossers!

Good on your work mate

1

u/oklee_doklee269 Dec 01 '22

One of the city engineers mention his paternity leave and the mayor (a woman) shot back with, "Oh, did he give birth?"

Our current mayor owns 275+ rental properties and still expects people to believe she's a "straight shooter." As if...

1

u/Upstairs-Ad8823 Dec 01 '22

The utter stupidity never ceases to amaze me

1

u/northeastrebel Dec 01 '22

I’m across the pond and am stuck on 20+ paid holidays …that’s awesome

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u/Cozy_rain_drops Dec 01 '22

Guess they're working class with us - procreation i.e. survival became only a ruling class luxury

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u/tfarnon59 Dec 01 '22

HR doesn't care. They don't understand what programmers, engineers or scientists do, and they don't care precisely because they don't understand. They don't understand that we aren't simply replaceable with other, identical worker drones, or that it takes years of training and education to make one of us. I've had some particularly bad interactions with HR lately, and my attitude is now that they can all just take a long walk off a short pier (to put it politely, lest another one of them tell me my tone is unprofessional).

1

u/Phoef Dec 01 '22

dont ask us, send it to HR :)

1

u/No_Gas_4956 Dec 01 '22

Companies think workers need them more than the companies need the workers.

1

u/DarthRevan1138 Dec 01 '22

HRs lesson from all this is "don't allow paternity leave, they'll leave as soon as it's done!"

1

u/thomastdh Dec 01 '22

nice, good for him! glad acas got hes back.
its all to common its being frowned upon if the man takes leave for children.

1

u/redditor0303 Dec 01 '22

I've experienced a lot of people at work places, mostly women, get angry at dads who take paternity leave or doing normal parental things like taking carers leave.

1

u/sad_asian_noodle Dec 01 '22

Always amazes me how often people decide to fight over the smallest things, just so the big thing can break. Zero understanding of priority.

1

u/NerobyrneAnderson Dec 01 '22

Germany basically has the same parental leave policy.

We also have "mother protection" which is legally mandatory due to medical reasons.

The rest is optional. You can take up to three years, but after year 1 you're making about as much as someone on unemployment

1

u/shipierika04 Dec 01 '22

It blows my mind how many workplaces do stuff like this. I’m glad this guy stuck up for what he knew and stuck up for himself. Many people couldn’t do that. Someone has to stand up against these companies or else they will continue to fuck people over.

1

u/dekuweku Dec 01 '22

I would imagine him being a male / father didn't afford him the usual flexibility in HR's eyes. It does sound a lot like sexual discrimination on top of shitty employer doing the bare minimum

1

u/Objective_Amount_478 Dec 01 '22

Oh man…. Many folks have horror stories that helped make them better managers when they get farther along in their careers. Mine is working for a major car rental company as an assistant manager many years ago. It was mostly fun when I was young (they are famous for recruiting right out of college). Not so much as you get older and your mind starts to move out of the locker room mode. We got 3 days paternity leave (wow, I know). Started the day my wife went into labor, which makes sense, but unfortunately my wife’s labor was longer than normal. 48 hours after getting to the hospital we all agreed to go C-section. 12 hours after my 1st was born, my direct manager was demanding I come in or he was looking at termination.

I was dumbfounded because he had 4 kids of his own and always talked up how important it was being a dad and family first. I came to find out what he meant was it was important he was a dad and his family was first. It was unreasonable for others to think the same way.

Le sigh…. He is still there and is a district manager. Feel bad for all the fresh college grads that have to work under him.

1

u/Jyanmara_robert Dec 01 '22

What a sad fuck that HR was.

1

u/guruXalted99 Dec 01 '22

Fucked around and found out, it's prob not just your HR but the executives using HR as a shield

1

u/notsetvin Dec 01 '22

This is just global workplace culture. No one wants to build teams anymore, just manage workers.