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Google X Worked An Older Employee Until He Was Hospitalized, Then Laid Him Off ( 283

Julie188 writes: When Google shows up to buy your startup and trade out your relatively worthless startup stock for Google stock, and offers you a high paying job, too, it seems like a dream come true. But for a group of ex-military guys at a startup called Titan Aerospace, it was more like a nightmare, according to a detailed article from Business Insider. After Google buys their company, it shuts it down, gets them to move across the country to California and then sets them up working long hours outdoors in 100-degree heat. One older guy, in his mid-50s, was even hospitalized, and when he returned to work, he was essentially pushed out. Some people claimed it was bias against older workers and veterans.
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Google X Worked An Older Employee Until He Was Hospitalized, Then Laid Him Off

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2017 @09:31PM (#54168137)
    We're self-insured, and they didn't want to pay the hospital bills.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You are spending most of waking life in an environment where the people are willing to throw each other to the wolves. Get the hell out. If you hate all your workmates then what are you doing there? If you only minorly dislike them then imagine they get cancer and die leaving their families bereft. Just think of the extra risk of someone "going postal". You will find that, just in the likely reduced healthcare costs through reduction in stress (not to mention insurance) it's probably worth your while t

  • surprising? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    As a company whose sole business model is based on privacy-invading advertising tracking analyticsm you'd think they'd be an employer that has any sort of morals and ethics?

  • by BeemanIT ( 4023223 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @09:57PM (#54168225)
    After reading the article and also listening to some of Eli the computer guy Youtube videos, I feel that I am slowly seeing the beginnings of a Google death. Eli pointed out that if you look at the numbers for Youtube's business performance, technically they are in the red and loosing money. If you look at many of Google's other projects, they try stuff then turn around and keep scrapping it after a while, like a kid bored with their toy. Lastly, google may have a bunch of geniuses but they've been really lacking with the business mind. For example, people use youtube to make money as a business, however if something happens to your channel you have to jump through hoops to get it fixed.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Many of Google's geniuses have left to work on their startups, and poached other intelligent coworkers to join them.

      Google isn't the hot job anymore. The smart ones go to the new "it" company like SpaceX, or they do their own thing.

    • by Luthair ( 847766 )

      They have serious issues with follow through, the last successful product was probably Chromecast which while popular hasn't lit the world on fire (anecdotally it behaves worse for me today than when it was first released). The last really big success was Android nearly 9-years ago.

      • by cheesybagel ( 670288 ) on Tuesday April 04, 2017 @12:33AM (#54168685)

        Android was acquired.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        Chromecast is a stupid product though.

        why it's stupid? it could just as have Android TV which would be a much more logical product for google to push. it could have all the chromecast features and more.

        the hw is capable enough, so there wouldn't be added costs to the BOM either - also it would make it more useful by itself.

        I got a local cable(well, fiber really) provided android settop box and it does everything the chromecast does( I can stream to it with multiple protocols, from phone or whatever) and it

    • You will go far in life listening to business advice from a former third rate call center employee.

    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      After reading the article and also listening to some of Eli the computer guy Youtube videos, I feel that I am slowly seeing the beginnings of a Google death.

      Google bought the backend automation created by Twitter to power their cloud computing service. I think that says it all.

    • Is making money loose a bad thing?
      Or maybe you meant 'losing'?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 03, 2017 @09:59PM (#54168233)

    Back in 2009 when everything was hitting the fan I was working for a very well-known mixed-signal semiconductor company. I was on a team of 5 engineers doing the analog front end (this was a wireless transceiver) our of a total team of about 75 including digital and software. Money was running out and the site director intimated that our design center would get shut down if we didn't deliver. Well, I worked 29 straight days, on average 12 hours a day (and some days more than that). We all did. Anyway, we got the chip out the door on a thursday and no one came in until monday. And then I got laid off (along with 10 percent of the company). I was so mad I could just spit, and everyone on my team (people I thought were my friends) all avoided me and looked away as I was escorted from the building after giving my heart and soul to get this part out the door. I guess they didn't want to catch whatever got me laid off.

    I was offered a quite generous "salary continuation" offer where if I agreed not to sue or whatever, they would pay my salary for up to three months while I looked for another job. (looking for work when you are unemployed is just slightly harder than looking for work when you have AIDS).

    Anyway, I'm pretty good at what I do and interview well, so I got another job in no time, although I negotiated a couple of months delay before I started so I could milk my salary continuation for a while.

    I still don't know why I was laid off, as I was easily in the top 25% of the company as far as performance reviews goes, and a couple of dead weight guys on the digital side stayed. Who knows?

    I didn't get hospitalized from overwork but I most certainly got sick and burned out. I started crying for no reason all the time the first couple of weeks after the layoff and was generally a mess. I stayed with my girlfriend (we were long distance, now married in the same place, yay!) and kind of dried out. But what an awful experience.

    • You didn't play golf or belong to the same 'Country Club' as the boss.

      Simple really.
      It is not you but who you know that keeps you in a job these days.
      I'm glad that I called it a day last October. Now I do the odd one or two days of work a week.
      My BP has gone down so much that I'm off the meds.

  • by crgrace ( 220738 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @10:09PM (#54168273)

    So this guy collapsed from working in the heat in the California Central Valley. In February.

    Was he inside the cab of a truck with the heat on too high? It's lucky to get into the mid-50s in the Central Valley in the winter.

    • Yeah, even SoCal in the Winter doesn't get much above 80'F, and when/if it does - only briefly (for an hour or two) ~2pm.
  • by twmcneil ( 942300 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @10:09PM (#54168275)
    Film at Eleven
  • Fake News (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zitsky ( 303560 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @10:12PM (#54168291) Homepage

    Obviously Google would never do something like this /sarcasm

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @10:43PM (#54168401)
    engineers. Nobody wants to bother with older IT guys. Their experience doesn't matter that much because you just don't need that many experienced techs to watch over the young guys and they can't work 60+ hour work weeks and be productive. Human beings just don't work that way.

    What does irritate me though is seeing them spouting anti-Union / laissez faire clap-trap right up until they're personally discriminated against. Then they want the government to step in an regulate. But the young guys wanting to unionize or (God forbid) have a living minimum wage? Let 'em just work harder. Good for goose, good for gander. Or how about we protect _all_ workers?
    • These middle class republican beat the republican drum until they are personally inconvenienced. After that... democrat, broke republican on socialis^Wmedicare, or dead.
    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      the problems is career management.

      you see, they think that they can get more bang for the buck from overworking the workers - even creative types, while they really don't get that.

      they just can't understand it because they don't understand what they are managing anyways - which leaves them with just ONE tool to "manage better": overwork the workers.

      that's really all there is to it, happens in most places now where you have existing workers developing something and doing a generally good job already and then

    • Human indeed does not work that ways. See the difference in *productivity* between a software developer in Europe and one in one in the US, when you look at the quality of code developed, is almost nil over a week. That is, because in my experience, overworked 60+ hours youth/old/whomever has as much productivity when only worked 40h weeks on end. I'll compare that to bulb wattage. You can have a 40 watt lamp and leave it on for hours or have a 60 watt one and leave it on for 40.

      And don't get me started
      • You can have a 40 watt lamp and leave it on for hours or have a 60 watt one and leave it on for 40.

        Except dimming an incandescent doesn't extend its lifespan, like pulsing LEDs does. In fact, if you pulse LEDs, you will get more photons out of them over their lifetime, but if you dim an incandescent, you get less. (The lifespan stays about the same, but you produce less light at lower voltage...) Lamp metaphors are old, time to move up to LEDs.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I think the majority of people can't do more than about 25-30 really good hours of work a week. The rest can be padded with meetings, coffee breaks, Slashdot etc. There will be a few people who can do more on a regular basis, but for the most part it just destroys your health and has a very poor ROI for the company.

        Another way to look at it is that any company which needs to get 40+ hours out of its staff is failing. It can't afford to hire enough good people to get the work done so is cracking the whip ins

    • They COULD work 60-hour weeks and live off Mountain Dew and sleep under their desks like good little drone employees and accept low salaries in lieu of how it looks on a resume, but the older, experienced workers know that lifestyle is bullshit and won't do it.

      So the companies don't want them.

      I'm an older tech worker trying to find a job, and even when I bury my experience and try for entry level stuff, they imply they pretty much want people who will marry the job, eat, sleep, and live for work, and not as

  • Guess we've seen that it was nothing but horseshit and they're yet another evil empire.
  • Try mid 60's like me. I've been offered indefinite contract jobs, but full time employment? I'm not working for less than people that know less than me. A security 'forensic specialist' that didn't have a clue as to what email headers were? REALLY?

  • Health insurance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @11:25PM (#54168531)
    Health insurance is much, much more expensive for older people than for younger. Companies have a tremendous economic incentive to discriminate against older workers. Health care needs to be single payer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DigiShaman ( 671371 )

      I cracks me up EVERY FUCKING TIME, that those that advocate for more government are CLUELESS that government is responsible for the very problems they create in the first place!

      "Today I got raped by my master. I need to suck his cock so that he will rape me less"

      Ever think that enabling and empowering the very people you entrust that fucked you over the first time somehow will yield a different result?? Naawwww, couldn't be that.

    • Shouldn't it be pretty evenly distributed, given that you buy insurance your whole life, but chances of big health costs are much lower at an early age. So you're banking for later years. By the time you really need hospital visits, you may already have spend 6 figures on insurance without ever asking.
  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Monday April 03, 2017 @11:54PM (#54168625)

    Sorry but I have little sympathy for people that wont stand up to their employer even when obviously being taken advantage of or even abused.

  • I think it is well established by that there is a deeply ingrained bias against older employees, but I wonder why? I think in some cultures, older people are seen as much more valuable than is common in the West, as a source of experience and insight, and this was once the case in our culture as well. Now a days you're simply expected to bugger off and stop being a nuisance; something that came natural back when people would be old and worn out at around 50, but today many continue in good health well into

  • So what are google supposed to do? They bought it from these guys but those same people decided to go into the UAV business. Its their choice to continue working for google.

    I am over 50 myself. I suppose most /. members are these days.

    • Speaking as someone who has actually managed and run and done field tests in a UAV project, outside (before they were fashionable), let me just say:

      So what are google supposed to do?

      Oh I don't know? How about not being cunts for a start.

      but those same people decided to go into the UAV business

      You can't spell "UAV" without "worker abuse". Oh wait, you can.

      Its their choice to continue working for google.

      Right, just because 99.995% of humans are able to be manipulated, it's their fault for being so. If they ma

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