Thursday, May 3, 2012

On Being Authentic, Spearmint Rhinos, and Brogrammer Culture

Here are some interesting discussion topics that I didn't feel like writing a full blog entry about:

Keeping up the facade:  According to some new research from the University of Houston and the University of Greenwich in London, being yourself has virtually no value in the workplace. In fact, vocalizing what you're thinking or feeling and not trying to impress people, but rather acting openly and honestly, is basically irrelevant to how your job goes. As one researcher noted, "it's not a problem to be authentic or inauthentic at work… it just didn't matter."
Well, I was happy to read this. I can now divert my efforts at authenticity to more productive channels, like sucking up to authority figures.

To serve mankind:   In what will likely be a loveless pursuit, United States Tennis Association umpires working the US Open filed a class-action alleging that the USTA misclassifies the tennis judges as independent contractors, rather than employees. As it is in virtually all of these cases, the crux of the case is entitlement to overtime. The umps believe they are entitled to overtime as employees; the USTA maintains that as independent contractors, they are not. My money is with the USTA-the umpires work for three weeks of the year, hardly the kind of long-term association one would expect from an employee.
Of more interest is the settlement entered into by Spearmint Rhino, which is apparently the name of a group of adult nightclubs around the country. At various Rhino joints, the entertainment allegedly was not being paid the minimum wage as a result of employee misclassification and a class action of 11,000 exotic dancers (that's a lot of, well, a lot) commenced. $10 million later, everyone was happier, mintier, and horn--, uh, no.

Finally, one of the corporate departments that employment defense lawyers assume will not generate a lot of employee misconduct claims is the IT department.  The stereotypical IT person is generally mild-mannered, nerdy, and more interested in fixing viruses than going viral.
Count on Silicon Valley to shatter our inaccurate perceptions--welcome to the world of the "Brogrammer".  That's right, recruiters in the high-tech capital of the universe are luring talent with slideshows containing bikini-clad women, events with raucous drinking, and other frat boy inducements.  It's gotten bad enough that a number of programmers complained about some of the more lurid entreaties from recruiters.  All I can say is that this is the type of trend that keeps me fully employed, so party on, brogeeks, and crush that code, along with company behavior guidelines.

No comments:

Post a Comment