Nice idea, but.

Companies that send out advice abut work life balance are engaging in an ass-covering exercise at the same time they put us into therapy and mental institutions.

If a Microsoft developer puts in two 40 hour weeks in three months his team gets an email that he has “chosen to pursue opportunities outside Microsoft,” which is happy talk for he’s been terminated.

When I was working on Vista we routinely had meetings at 2AM, we were indescribably exhausted, strangers to our families. I had at least one nervous breakdown and before I quit I was deteriorating rapidly, making ever stupider mistakes and starting to hear voices I imagined were others’ thoughts. Afterward I slept for two weeks, almost around the clock. And came out of it unable to recapture how I’d been feeling working myself to death to ship a product that nobody liked.

We were at our desks almost until sunup, entire hallways were resigning, and we hated the product.

Yet we routinely got corporate happy horseshit about work-life balance. It was a lie. It always is.

Written by

American Software Developer living in Vietnam. Classical musician (guitar, woodwinds), weightlifter, multilingual, misanthrope • XY

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