Do they really refer to themselves as "Googlers" and being "Googly"? How very Willy Wonka.
Thousands of Google employees across the globe marched out of their offices today upset that the advertising giant has paid millions of dollars in exit packages to male executives accused of sexual harassment. Google stayed silent on the reason for those departures, whose beneficiaries included the creator of the Android …
"Google is a cult and sacking a handful of carefully selected abusers won't fix that."
The words cult and culture are close in language and meaning. I've worked across a lot of different sectors and companies, and the main thing I've learned is that culture is deeply ingrained, easy to summarise, yet very difficult to define, measure or change. Any attempt by HR shitheads to implement a "culture change" programme are doomed before day 1.
To offer a specific example I work for a UK energy supply company. The organisation was privatised almost three decades ago. About half of the current employees weren't even born when the state owned (and bungled) the system, and the few remaining staff who were part of the state system are tiny in numbers and influence. Yet our culture remains that of the predecessor public sector organisations - we are hierarchical, slow, risk averse, bureaucratic, we don't innovate, we see change as a threat.
Google can change the window dressings, it will never change whatever internal culture it has.
Yet our culture remains that of the predecessor public sector organisations - we are hierarchical, slow, risk averse, bureaucratic, we don't innovate, we see change as a threat.
One AC to another, and quite apt considering the business - yes, I think I know the company you work for - I know a couple of people who worked there and what you say is basically what they described. They were glad to see the back of that place.
Definitely "Googly" - it's an internal term. If you're doing things right, it's called being "Googly". What right is, depends on the context - ethical stuff with a project, optimizing for particular use cases, etc.
It's - to our knowledge - typically used when things aren't 'right' - "that's not very Googly", "you're not being very Googly", etc.
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Reminds me of when I worked for ST and visited Grenoble where colleagues explained that they would be "striking" at lunchtime ... basically it meant going to the canteen for lunch then sitting on the lawn outside for 30 mins before going back to work. Seemed a little pointless to me so I just did the canteen bit and skipped the 30 mins "striking on the lawn"!
So you get harassed at work in a way that breaks one or more laws. Yet your employment contract says you have to take your complaint to internal arbitration, which is binding, can't be appealed and can't be taken outside to the legal authorities. What the hell kind of employer does that make Google? Which jurisdictions is that legal in? (note to self, never apply fora job in those jurisdictions!) and how the hell does an employment contract T&Cs trump the law?
I don't think any employment contract can remove your right to go to the police. I suspect what we are looking at is something potentially dodgy, but that the police or prosecutor would look at and declare there wasn't a case.
In this country, "compromise agreements" are a thing, even when someone has done stuff worth instant firing. HR is powerful everywhere.....
>You cannot contact to break the law.
Yes but I suspect that if you called 911 to report a cig lighter in the shape of breasts - they wouldn't send a SWAT unit. *
The point of the arbitration is to stop every HR issue turning into a civil court case and the original reason for forced arbitration was to stop the richer person automatically winning out of court. You accuse a VP of abuse, you go to court, they demand that you put up a $$$$$ bond to cover the VP's legal costs if you lose - you poor secretary drop the case.
(* Actually in Ca they might, unless you made it quite clear that it wasn't being used for tobacco)
Fun Fact: You're only bound to whatever idiot thing you sign in HR. I've scredded more things on my first day than I've signed.
A serious one by way of example is the "And the company owns all the IP you create while here, even your own brain fart code at 0300 in your boxers. Much of my toolkit is open source and I literally can't sign that because my signature literally legally doesn't supercede the GPL. <Shredder>
[Also, the code I write at 3am in my undies is mine, thanks, and probably nobody wants it anyway.]
Which jurisdictions is that legal in? (note to self, never apply fora job in those jurisdictions!) and how the hell does an employment contract T&Cs trump the law?
It rather depends on whether you want to be unemployed, and unemployable, or not.
Yes, I know you could sue the shirt off of their backs if they sack you or penalize you, but you probably haven't been long enough at the company to acquire any employment rights - feeble though they probably are - and if you lose then you'll be selling your house and your kids to pay the legal fees.
From the article: "male executives accused of sexual harassment."
Has anybody ELSE asked: How many of these 'accused male executives' were actually GUILTY of what they were accused of? (enough to fire them for it, at any rate)
The million dollar golden parachutes were probably CHEAPER than the potential legal costs involved, regardless of actual guilt, from ALL perspectives.
"A commitment to end pay and opportunity inequity"
As far as I can tell, Google only discriminates on pay according to how much work you do, and only discriminates on opportunity according to how able you are.
We'll know when Google starts discriminating in favour of people incapable of doing the job when Google starts going belly up.
"only discriminates on opportunity according to how able you are."
except for AFFIRMATIVE ACTION 'discrimination', such as what James Damore pointed out a year or so ago... (and was apparently FIRED for doing it)
Actually, rather than giving discriminating in favor of minority people who are less able, what Damore complained about is that there were efforts to find more minority people who were able.
And what he was fired for was reveling in the chaos he had caused.
The first demand should be that an external independent company come in and investigate each and every allegation and the findings published. Not individual cases but overall numbers.
I really don't understand why that isn't on the list. If you have a case then they need to be brought to justice. I can see they want to stop it going forward which is right but you can't ignore the past because then people get away with it sending out the wrong message.
Typically, the bar for being fired for sexual harassment is much lower than the bar for convicting somebody in a court of law. This is because courts err on the side of caution and avoid above all convicting innocent people, while companies would rather just get rid of the problem by firing the person without going through an extensive process of proving what exactly happened. And yeah, it might seem unfair, but companies are in the business of making money and not preserving a perfect balance of justice.
That is also why executives who are fired for harassment sometimes get a large amount on the way out. As they have not been proven guilty up to the levels required by courts, they might be tempted to sue for wrongful termination, requiring a proper court treatment which might give them their job back.
""Thank you for respecting my privacy,"
The irony of a Google employee saying this has blow my mind...
... or could it be that they are brainwashed with some Google-sanctioned definition of "privacy" upon signing the contract, hence they don't consider the recording of their making a public address a breach of privacy...
Sharing your amusement of a novelty lighter with only your male colleagues because women might be offended (being a sexist)
Sharing what you perceive as amusing with everybody and being accused of sexual harassment? (being a predator)
Unless accompanied with "do your tits flash when i poke your playground" and a quick pinch. I cant see how a novelty lighter can be construed as sexual harassment and feel it belittles the cases of true harassment where there is genuine harm.
I guess its a generational thing and the I'm offended snowflakes are at it again.
I's say that harassment (as distinct from, say, actual assault) is continuing to do something which offends someone after they've asked you to stop. Just flashing a lighter like that is juvenile, and the person's manager should probably have asked them to wise up & leave it at home. If a female staffer has complained, and they continue to display it, I'd certainly define that as harassment, although admittedly of a fairly low severity.
I guess the novelty lighter is somewhat similar to having a Playboy centerfold taped next to your desk. Technically, it's not hurting anybody, yet in many corporate culture it's obviously inappropriate, and you shouldn't even need somebody to explicitly complain about it to know that.
I guess the question is where is the line?
At what point does not offending people trump freedom of speech/expression? How do you measure subjective harm?
I find downvotes offensive and morally objectionable because those who use them are directly trying to oppose my freedom of speech and are oppressing my right to freedom of thought and expression. I have had many sleepless nights thinking about the downvotes I have accumulated on elReg by expressing my thoughts with little regard for others feelings. Can elReg please remove the downvote button for all of my posts (just mine, I still want to be able to downvote everyone else who I don't agree with as if I don't agree with them they must be wrong)
Whilst we are on the subject of novelty items and sexual harassment, can we get those straws with the end shaped like a cock (the ones girls think are hilarious on someones 21st / hen party / other event) banned as I feel I'm being sexually harassed when they are within 800 ft of me.
The way this is headed is to a future of everyone dressed in grey, having the same haircut, eating the same meals and generally adhering to the official definition of non-offensive behavior.
In the late '70s a department in the office I worked had a "prick of the week" award. The trophy was usually displayed on the recipent's desk for the week. Anybody could win the award regardless of gender and seniority.
The trophy was cylindrical and stood vertically. Could we have an award like that today?
I read a very interesting opinion piece, some years back, about the British Empire. Central idea, the British took their culture and their mindset with them, and they created an empire of military might that spanned the globe, but it had ideas at its heart that would destroy it. Ideas like freedom of speech and freedom of association, freedom of thought. It held democratic government and separation of the powers and habius corpus to be higher ideas, and those ideas found a ready host in the people of India and Africa and other British colonies. The very concepts that would destroy it, were central to its existence in the first place.
Now consider Google....
As I said in the James Damore thread last year, once Google upper management decided to introduce SJW politics into the company a few years ago this was the inevitable result. A completely clusterf*ck. The sooner Pichai is dumped the better. This crap did not happen in the old days.
The reality remains the same. At least in California if any actual assault was committed there are very strong legal protections for the employees assaulted. Or anyone who has strong first hand evidence of such an assault. If no formal complaint made to law enforcement then its pretty much a given that no actual assault, in any legal sense, was committed. Usually a situation of bad judgement or post event regrets. Harassment and bullying in the workplace is less clear cut but again, at least in California, there are some strictly enforced laws (when complaint is actually made). And their are plenty of ambulance chasing law firms who will gladly take on these cases.
The other fact that has not changed is that around 50% of formal claims for sexual assault or harassment made have no actual merit. Either untrue, or out right malicious fabrications. There is this thing call due process, innocent until proven guilty, and prove beyond all reasonable doubt. You know, the rule of law. But the SJW think their victim ideology negates the rule of law.
And of course the real irony is that this charade, the Google "demos", does less that zero for the vast majority of sexual assault and rape victims. In fact it makes it far far worse. Because the dirty little secret of this whole SJW political theater of #metoo and such like is that the vast majority of rapes and assaults are unreported because they happen in the context of domestic violence. This actually very nasty reality destroys their carefully nurtured narrative of "oppression" and "victimhood" because of "rape culture". A narrative created so that a very cosseted affluent and insulated group of middle class women can get their little frisson of I-am-a-victim-too self-righteousness. Or as a facile excuse for their own bad judgement or out-right stupidity.
Those of you out there who have had the harrowing experience of having to hear actual real rape victims describe their nightmare will know what I am talking about. Having had it happen several times over the decades I have nothing but contempt for all those silly women with their stupid signs and their pathetic pathetic little demos. Little more than adolescent narcissism.
None of the protestors or commentators as far as I know have any inside knowledge so all we know is that some men have allegedly been accused of sexual harassment and thse same men have left with reasonably generous exit packages.
We don't know if they actaully did sexually harass anyone and we don't know how strong the evidence was. In this situation the company has to make some decisions based on what information it has. If there is strong evedence making it clear what happened that is easy but if the evidence is weak and contested what do you do? If you sack the accused employee then you will probably be taken to court by the employee and lose being forced to pay compensation, if you ignore the unproved complaint you may well be subject to a lot of negative publicity and possibly staff unrset. What you do is negotiate an exit deal and confidentiality agreement. You do this whether you believe the accused is innocent or guilty of what he is accused of. It does not mean the accused was actually guilty of sexual harassment nor does it mean that the company is soft on sexual harassment just that in the real world we often have to deal with situations that are very unclear and there is no perfect solution.
The protestors are just being naive and childish.
> The protestors are just being naive and childish.
Your judgement seems to be based on your own ideas about what the protestors were protesting about rather than what the protestors themselves were saying. Maybe try reading a bit before you form an opinion and tell the world about it?
For example, this article with the title "We’re the Organizers of the Google Walkout. Here Are Our Demands" doesn't even mention Rubin: https://www.thecut.com/2018/11/google-walkout-organizers-explain-demands.html
> None of the protestors or commentators as far as I know have any inside knowledge
Well, the protestors were insiders in the sense that they work for Google. Is it perhaps possible that they know a bit more than you?
It's a "Culture" elsewhere too.
YEARS ago, I went for a job at Hewlett Packard in Northern New Jersey. Essentially, I would have been beta testing software before its introduction to the consumer market. During the interview, the woman questioning me wanted to hire me but told me that I would be required to provide the engineers with "whatever they want and frankly, you would need to dress a bit more provocatively as the women dress to the nines around here". I asked her why I needed to "dress to the nines" if I were to be locked in a room by myself all day long testing software. She replied that I would be required to go out on dates with the engineers if they wanted to date me. I simply stared at the woman, picked up all my paperwork, including my application, and without saying another word, walked out.
While admitting that this may have indeed happened, you _will_ excuse me for having basically zero faith that it actually did simply because Someone On The Internet - anonymously of all things - claimed that it did.
Read Twitter and a few comment sections across various websites (YouTube is a good place to start) and you'll quickly understand why she chose to remain anonymous.
No engineer at HP ever dated anyone
If they invited you back to their place to look at their calculators you were in for a big surprise - a night spent looking at a collection of calculators.
If an HP engineer was planning sex it would involve 9 months of meetings to clarify the model numbers for all the options.
Even if you have your flashing titty lighter, keep it in your pants, and show it to no one. If you happen to leave it on your desk, and some one walks by and sees it, without you even knowing, and without them saying anything to you, it is still considered harassment. It is not a requirement that they say anything to you, and it is not required for you to be aware of any harassment to be called to the carpet at HR. In fact, you could probably be called to HR for simply stating your views on sexual harassment if someone found it offensive. that is the PC culture that has been forced down our throats. And even though they say it works for both genders it is extremely slanted toward women as victims. Just go ahead and report that your female boss dresses too provocatively and see how far you get with HR.
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In America you have the protected right to carry automatic rifles and guns, but take a novelty lighter to work and everyone gets upset.
I'm not quite sure that Americans are able to differentiate between the things that can hurt them and the things that can't. And the disease seems to be spreading ...
While I was there, someone posted a video about a female engineer being talked down to aggressively. She claimed that every female engineer at Google experienced this. When challenged, she then claimed that every female engineer at Google experienced it every day.
I called ******** on the first claim, let alone the second. I've not been at that many companies, (AMD, IBM, and Google being the ones you will know) but everywhere that I've gone, there has been a strong culture of zero tolerance for harassment. (This includes the overnight retirement of a director at IBM.)
We live & die by our code, and harassed individuals don't produce their best code.
Of course, people who are scared to talk to each other, or to joke around also don't produce their best code. So we carry on. I've seen a guy do a long-form virtual seppuku during standup. I"ve had a manager discuss defenstration. (The day after I was reported for ceremonially banging my head on a wall.) We are also sensitive to stepping over the line. On multiple occasions, I've seen people check themselves. I've been asked a few times if I was bothered.
We're all human. We all have our strengths, weaknesses, and foibles. Respect means backing off when requested. It means watching out for the possibility that you might have touched something unintentionally. It also very much means assuming that there was no ill intent until proven otherwise.
So I am in possession of proof that at least some of the women at Google are making ludicrous claims of harassment. As another mentioned, this makes things worse, potentially much more so, for those who actually are suffering from it.
I've been inside just as many companies as you, although mostly when they were smaller, and I have to agree that in 35 years in the business I have never run any of this sort of harassment. Quite the opposite. I have run into spectacularly incompetent management which had tragic results (suicides) but this is a long way from the sort of abuse and harassment these people claim is happening. Dot coms are another matter. But as they are little more than scams they really dont count.
I have run into quite a few back stabbing bastards of both sexes but when it comes to dev teams nothing destroys a team faster than the even the hint of any sort of abusive behavior. I have run into a number of very unstable individuals who if given half a chance cause no end of trouble. And for women of that type claims of this sort of abuse are a godsend.
Thinking back, the first time I had to be guarded in my behavior with dev team members who were women was in the late 90's. When women started getting hired for dev teams because they had comp sci degrees rather than because they had shown any real tech ability ( a problem with the men as well). My natural tendency is to chat with everybody on my team and other teams and often grab a coffee if the opportunity arose. But with the women it became my default to be friendly and professional and keep the conversation purely to work, nothing more. And to never grab a coffee the same way you would with a guy but only as part of a group. I remember one young woman at the time being a bit confused and slightly resentful about me keeping my distance (and several since) but the simple fact was that the very easy going days of 10 or 15 years previous were gone for good. No way was I going to leave myself open to the slightest possibility of any kind of misunderstanding. Not going to put my career on the line for that. And thats the way it remains to this day. Only more so.
So when I work with younger male engineers I will talk and socialize with them and will enjoy passing on war stories from the trenches and mentoring them if need be. Making new friends along the way. With the female engineers it must always be kept on a very formal footing with zero other interaction, beyond the polite perfunctionary. Thats is the real world that the SJW propaganda has created. And the biggest losers are the young women in the work place who would like a career in dev. Because the reality is now the forces that pushes them into management will be overwhelming. Because they will have no real future in dev. Because you cannot build a strong cohesive dev team once tensions like this introduced by external players.
Yeup, real life is a bitch. Full of unintended consequences. In fact its almost all unintended consequences.