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Slavery In The City: Death Of 21-Year-Old Intern Moritz Erhardt At Merrill Lynch


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Any programmer will have done his share of all nighters; when you are in the flow it is a good way to work, up to a point.

Actually the cult of regular long hours has been largely eradicated in programming/development because of the prevalence of "agile" working, a key concept of which is the idea of "sustainable pace".

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After one night of deprived sleep the quality of the work deteriorates rapidly. So what is the point?

I think the answer is similar to the reason the army do it. It breaks the man and they become compliant. And all corporations want compliant workers.

You dont get men to run at machine guns by giving them a good nights sleep and making sure they can think clearly.

I'm surprised that parents of babies are still employable

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so they work very long hours, and are allowed back to the dorm at night, to return before sleeping properly if at all.

Just missing the Guard Towers and Barbed wire.

As above, just WTF requires people to do these stupid hours? Many services provide 24 hour cover, but that doesnt call on the work force to actually work 24 hours.

because then you can employ one person instead of several and save money? Banks are not the only ones that do this sort of thing in my experience.

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I'm surprised that parents of babies are still employable

I basically can't remember about three years of my life. Me and my wife were pretty much zombies.

Bear in mind that you're not thinking too much at 3am when your baby is crying, just pacing up and down or changing a nappy. It's the mental exhaustion that gets you.

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Actually the cult of regular long hours has been largely eradicated in programming/development

Depends what you mean by sustainable? Over a month, a year, a career? What was the last big thing in programming? Facebook? Instagram, Strava? None developed by 9-5 clock watchers playing planning poker I'll wager even if they move to a 9-6 culture as they grow.

Edited by davidg
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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/slavery-in-the-city-death-of-21yearold-intern-moritz-erhardt-at-merrill-lynch-sparks-furore-over-long-hours-and-macho-culture-at-banks-8775917.html

I think we can all safely rest knowing that no bank will face any action over this.

Just what is it that they are doing that means they need to be awake and at work for all these hours?

[/quote

As we know Charles Darwin commented in some depth on this type of behaviour]

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because then you can employ one person instead of several and save money? Banks are not the only ones that do this sort of thing in my experience.

Quite so. It's pretty common in some law firms (and not just with interns). A friend of mine would regularly do 4am finishes - and she was well established, near partner status. And she was regarded as one of the less committed (hence not making partner after close on a decade there).

I did a 5am finish once because some manager absolutely had to have something done. Needless to say, he swanned off to leave us to it - and it turned out the client wasn't expecting the work that quickly either. My memory's hazy but I think the odd easter egg may have been left in that particular piece of work.

Edited by StainlessSteelCat
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Depends what you mean by sustainable? Over a month, a year, a career? What was the last big thing in programming? Facebook? Instagram, Strava? None developed by 9-5 clock watchers playing planning poker I'll wager even if they move to a 9-6 culture as they grow.

There might an initial rush by a handful of people in the early stages but you have to quickly transition to a 9-5 setup otherwise quality will take a dive and people other than the now rich founders wont want to work there. The piss poor quality of microsoft stuff in the 90's is a great example of what happens when you have a 14 hour day culture. These days even startups are much less likely to have this culture.

Also the high profile sites like facebook are not a "big thing" in programming - such high profile sites are only responsible for employing a tiny fraction of programmers.

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Are we sympathising with his loss or are we revelling in one less bankster?

Trouble is, for every one that keels over publicly another thousand ultracompetitive lunatics are attracted into finance who should really be doing almost anything other than managing people's life savings.

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Trouble is, for every one that keels over publicly another thousand ultracompetitive lunatics are attracted into finance who should really be doing almost anything other than managing people's life savings.

That would be fine if there was a market between big finance houses

But since they constitute a government backed cartel now, then they can ignore competence and go for psycho behaviour instead, the loss of competitiveness will be covered by a taxpayer cheque

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There might an initial rush by a handful of people in the early stages but you have to quickly transition to a 9-5 setup otherwise quality will take a dive and people other than the now rich founders wont want to work there. The piss poor quality of microsoft stuff in the 90's is a great example of what happens when you have a 14 hour day culture. These days even startups are much less likely to have this culture.

Also the high profile sites like facebook are not a "big thing" in programming - such high profile sites are only responsible for employing a tiny fraction of programmers.

+1

Maria Meyers is an exceptional case of someone who can work competently and stupidly hard and therefore climb to the top

However most technical talent isn't necessarily like this and tech firms realize this fact afaik, and they still require bums on seats

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and your point is?

That working obscenely hard is not the only way for a company department to achieve success in objective terms

(I basically agree with your points once the nuances are examined so I'm only arguing because :-))

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That working obscenely hard is not the only way for a company department to achieve success in objective terms

Well I think we all agree with that. However I was looking at start-ups that have changed the world, not sleepy company departments producing some new internal timekeeping system.

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Well I think we all agree with that. However I was looking at start-ups that have changed the world, not sleepy company departments producing some new internal timekeeping system.

And irrespective of that, investment banking does not fall under that definition

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Really, that's not what I was led to believe and it had never come out in the biographical accounts of Gates that I have seen, but please provide a reference to correct me, certainly the insights I've had into Microsoft culture (via various media and 3rd hand discussions) is not one of completely crazy hours, hard work yes, not this level of madness

Richard Branson and Margaret Thatcher got 3 hours sleep per night at their busiest, in Thatcher's case her husband would force her to finish off her meetings and get to bed at 4 or 5 in the morning.

Oh really? Who claimed that I wonder...

When I lived in London in the early 70s, my flatmate was Branson's company accountant. Don't remember him working mad hours, or reporting that anyone else did. Unless "networking by lunch" is counted as working - even then, it still doesn't compute.

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Oh really? Who claimed that I wonder...

When I lived in London in the early 70s, my flatmate was Branson's company accountant. Don't remember him working mad hours, or reporting that anyone else did. Unless "networking by lunch" is counted as working - even then, it still doesn't compute.

Interesting

Thanks

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Well I think we all agree with that. However I was looking at start-ups that have changed the world, not sleepy company departments producing some new internal timekeeping system.

I'll add my own personal experience of long hours cultures, from boring corporate IT departments

In those cases it is simply to cover up general incompetence, both operational and managerial, looks better to the management, easier to judge how many hours someone works than to be a competent manager and monitor performance properly

Of course in a start up environment, with major skin in the game thru valuable share options etc, then long hours must be an actual functioning necessity, not just a form of bullshtt, maybe easier to cope with too as more meaningful

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  • 433 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
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      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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