Steve Hutchison (foomf) wrote,
Steve Hutchison

First week...

I've got a short-term contract with Intel working at the group I was with most recently.
By short-term I mean six weeks, but it's both fun and rewarding since it's repairing and putting finishing touches on the project I was working on when my previous contract was abruptly terminated by bean-counter fiat.

I'm rather annoyed by that latter thing. I know there was as much of Intel's infamous parsimony involved in the decision as there was the "one year consecutive rule".

The one-year consecutive rule is that no "contingency" worker may remain at Intel ANYWHERE through ANY contractor or provider, for longer than a year. After a year there is a minimum six month 'cooling off' period before they're allowed to return to any other contingency positions.

Naturally there is nothing preventing Intel from hiring such a person full-time, except for their astonishing corporate blindness to the reality of staffing that says "If you want a job done you need to hire enough people to complete the work in the time required." There's a tendency at Intel to expect employees to destroy their lives and health by over-work; if you're NOT someone who has the ability to thrive with 60-hour work weeks, then Intel may WILL not want you for a salaried position.

This is, in some ways, a ploy to under-compensate their workers. After all, if you have to work 50 percent more then you are earning less. And Intel is a cheap, skinflint employer in some ways that simply don't make sense and are very surprising, and which go directly against the Intel Core Values which the company claims to be organized around.

And oddly, they claim (and I can back this up by my experience) that there is a not-insignificant benefit to working there, in terms of the challenge, technical edge, and impact that one's work can have. They're not kidding about that. I've worked on projects which were, subtly or not, world-changing in their scope, and felt that I was making a positive difference. That has not happened in other companies, simply because Intel tries always to follow through, where some other places don't, or won't, or the impact of the work is so very minor.

So, I've logged my first week by the calendar, first part-week by the timecard and halfway through the second. And I've really enjoyed the work, though I kind of miss being overloaded so much because I've got a tendency to need to switch after two hours.

And now it's time to go perform the ritual of pain and suffering that fends off death by inactivity. (Personal Trainer. Yay.)

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