Doing the math

Pilot fish is interviewing for an IT job when he learns that many of the company's top technical staffers are actually consultants.

"These were primary technical staff, the subject matter experts," says fish. "Most companies prefer to staff those types of positions with permanent employees due to their importance to the organization with the knowledge they have, so I asked about that.

"I was told that those consultants had been employees there at one time, and chose to switch over to hourly employees.

"This seemed strange to me, being fairly early in my career and not having a deep breadth of knowledge of how organizations work. They seemed to have decent benefits -- why would anyone want to give them up?

"After the interview I asked around until I found some folks who had deep knowledge of that company. Turns out the company was a sweatshop -- lots of unpaid overtime. So these employees converted to hourly, because simple math told them they could make much more by working on an hourly basis.

"I didn't follow through on that job. I had a life to balance with work."

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