Tunnel Rat posted on August 1, 2008 16:29

I'm going to wrap up the SIAN thread soon (I have a year and half worth of material to draw from), but I wanted to shed some light on the odd world of the H-1B programmer. You know, CEWPs.

For the last year, I have been lurking on a forum for H-1Bs. As you will see from the posts that have I culled, this is a dark and nefarious world, full of scams and deceit.

First, the H-1B agencies trick the U.S. companies into believing that they have qualified developers to fill all the programming positions that supposedly cannot be filled by American developers.

Next, these agencies have to trick these foreign programmers into leaving their home country with promises of good jobs and great pay. Then the H-1B programmers try to get out of their contracts and commitments with the corrupt agencies by switching jobs. Finally, the agencies sue the poor programmers, who then in turn file complaints with the U.S. government.

While reading these posts that I have collected, note the lack of English skills. The bad grammar. The misspellings. All of it.

Now, normally a U.S. programmer needs a bachelor’s degree to get a good job in the I.T. field. In order to get that degree, the programmer would have to demonstrate a reasonable command of the English language. He/she would have to write papers, take English classes, and communicate verbally and in written form with instructors and peers.

And why do a lot of job descriptions for developers include the term "Must have good communication skills?" Perhaps being able to deal with complex technical issues requires a command of the English language above that of the average 6th-grader.

So how can these H-1Bs be considered qualified to replace a U.S. developer? If I started sending emails to my bosses and peers in an amateurish manner, I would eventually be dismissed as an ignoramus.

But most of all, after reading these posts, look at the sheer amount of fraud that involves these transactions. Is it really worth it?

Because it looks like the U.S. companies pay about $75/hour to these H-1B firms, which is about $10/hr below the going rate for a local staffing firm. The fact is that the local company who places a U.S. developer gets about a 30% cut, and the American programmer grosses about $50-$60/hr W-2. These rates have been flat or declining since the Y2K/dot-com days, when a programmer could expect to gross $75-$100/hr -- even after the agency got the cut.

So what do these H-1Bs make after their agency takes their cut (after all, the firms have to pay for visas, plane flights, lawsuits, and countersuits)?

 

$23 an hour.

 

That's right, Mr. IT Manager, you are saving about $10 an hour by going with the H-1B firm instead of a local recruiter. And in return, you get an illiterate indentured servent with horrible communication skills. And he probably can't code. But if he complains, he losses his visa and gets sent back to India to make $5/hr instead of $23/hr.

So you have him by the proverbial balls. You can't really do that to fiesty American developer, can you, Mr. IT Manager?

You deserve to have someone piss in your coffee, you schmuck.

Now, here are the posts (I've replaced the name of the H-1B agency in question, because they appear to enjoy legal action) :

 


HI M*** S***** (The great hr director of MeanFartin),
Don't make that you are a genuine person and your company is a decent company, I know very well about you and your company employees, like how they are suffering, after joining this company. You guys are suing all employees, whose are quit within 2 years contract. Why they are quiting, because you guys were treating like a slaves. I was a slave for MeanFartin for some time. Now, I am very happy after come out from this ugly company. All are trying to make money, but you guyz are like real BLOOD SUCKERS. My hourly rate was $75, but you have given $23. You and your colleagues are sucking your employees blood.
*I don't like to give harsh and bad words. but MeanFartin consultancies like poison ivy. No human being, no courtesy, no decency, no discipline.*

 

Hi
I am a new joinee in this company. This is my first time in USA too. From the day one, things are looking dirty and suspicious. First the HR girl takes away my I-94 card. I gave it to her but later my friends told me that I made a mistake because that makes me illegal in USA. I ask for my card back, but they are refusing saying that it belongs to the compnay. I am not sure if this is true.
Also, their office is actaully in a small town in New Jersey. When they hired me they told me they are based in New york. There are just 3-4 guys sitting there. I did not know it was such a small company.
They also lied to me about company strength. When they interviewed me they told me that they have 200+ employees. But the I-129 petition says they have only 17 employees.
I am already quite scared. I am running out of the money I brought from India. I have not been able to find any project for myself yet. These guys have not paid me a single dollar yet.
:confused::(:eek:

 

Hi Friends,
MeanFartin is sued me recently for " breach of contract ". Please let me know how to face this court case against MeanFartin, if anybody face these kind of experience with MeanFartin.


This is strange. Suman Gaur left this company long back.
Looks like Mona, Ravi etc are trying to rip you off by playing tricks on you. Whatever happens, don't pay them any money before you reach US. Also, try to get air ticket from these guys themselves.
These guys are not in the good books of US govt anyway. Coming to US on this company's visa will spoil your immigration record too. My advice, try to find some other company. This company is really nothing but a confidence trick operation. Last month, all their newly filed H1 visas were rejected by US govt.
---Quote (Originally by snappy)---
hi, i understand you are an employee of MeanFartin. I am one of those consultant whom they sponsored H1B last year and until now I am not in the US together with others whom havent not contacted by JM for sometime.
And then suddenly, we got a call/email from " SUMAN GAUR " she said she is Senior Manager, Global Services of Mean Fartin... we dont know how true her email is and how legitimate her message to us. She was saying that " she will be working with me/us on our "on-boarding" process to USA on an internal project or a client project based on my current skill-set.
She would like to speak with me regarding the regarding travel plans so that HR can go ahead make arrangements accordingly. She said that their intention is to bring you to USA as soon as possible and it can be as soon as
by end of this May.
any feedback guy, your advice and opinion are highly appreciated. We are not sure how true their intention is....

 

Hi All,
I guess this blog is gonna save my life. I just got my H1B petition approved through Mean Fartin. Now how do I back off ? I think i'm wasting whole year by filing with JM. But its better to have a peaseful life in India instead of struggling with JM. Please advice.
Ashish.


Hi guys,

I had a very bad experience in dealing with this company recently. About a year ago I was looking for some project in NJ/NY area, and this company found my resume on the Internet. Their recruiter contacted me and took my social security number, saying that it was needed for the purpose of submitting the resume. Being quite naive back then, I gave away my SSN in good faith to this company.

The project never came through. That was not a problem because I soon found another project in another company and forgot all about this Mean Fartin. However, when my current project got over and I started looking for new project, I came across a nasty surprise.

Apparently, this company Mean Fartin was misusing my SSN for the purpose of fraudulently applying to different projects behind my back! I am a peoplesoft developer, and whenever this company would come across some job opening in peoplesoft they would apply using my name and SSN without bothering to inform me. The trick is that through this tactic they will prevent me from getting the same job. (The clients summarily rejects resumes which have been doubly submitted). So they would increase the chances of getting the projects to their preferred candidate. Also, by flooding the job market with such fraudulent resumes they would give the impression that they have a large pool of consultants available, which of course is not true at all. It is a typical back of alley desi money making scam.

I am still suffering from the effects of making the mistake of giving them my social security number. I still haven't found job in any of the large financial firms in NJ/NY area. I am just hoping that these b*****ds have not sold my SSN on the Internet. Then I would really be in soup because my credit history can be ruined in such a case.

How low can people get? What would their children do with such a ill gotten wealth of their parents? I am really not a vindictive or hard-hearted person, but in the case of the recruiter of this company, I really wish his children pay for his deeds in the future. After all my kids have suffered because of them.

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tunnel rat posted on July 30, 2008 16:36

Two weeks into my new gig at the Sweatshop In A Nightclub (SIAN), I started to have physical problems.

First, a tingling in my fingers, followed by a numbness in my wrists. Shoulder pain. A stiff neck.

At first, I chalked it up to the long hours. The project I was working was an under-bid, under-planned set of enhancements for a big client, SIAN’s bread and butter. The client was a big computer company – let’s call them Pewlett Hackard.

And, as I was soon to find out, this was how all the projects at SIAN worked. I would spend 10-12 hours a day working on a web page, and an account executive (either Baby Huey or Ms. Account Executive Whore ) would stomp into our three-man office and throw a stack of printed screen shots on a desk. The pages were covered with red marks.

“PH wants these change made ASAP!!!”

So I or one of the other two developers would take a few of the pages and start hacking the changes in. I worked with two other guys – Cowboy and a total nerd that I shall alias at a later date. The nerd was such a piece of work that I am at a total loss for an appropriate nickname.

I mean, how do you come up with a moniker for a guy that can only be described as a “forty-something tech school grad with coke-bottle glasses who goes on vacations with his mother and drives a 15 year old import that he thinks is a bitchin’ ride and plays guitar in his Catholic church and has probably never been laid and used to work in the defense industry for, like, twenty years, and is a big hot head, and thinks Amiga was the greatest fuckin’ system ever made – and had been working at this place for seven years, and is the only one that understands the PDF generation code that he hacked together for THE BIG CLIENT, so NO ONE CAN FIRE HIM, and wears jeans and plaid shirts tucked in and the belt is pulled all the way up to his solar plexus, and thinks PHP is the ONLY language worth programming in, and the all this .NET shit is crap, and he’ll be dammed if is going to deal with shit like version control…”

You get my point.

As for Cowboy – you know what I mean. A hacker. Rockstar programmer who knows all. There is one in every shop, if not a shop full of them.

The kind of programmer that names all primary keys “id.” So when you are trying to figure out his in-line SQL, none of it makes a bit of sense because it all look like “Select a.id, b.id from tblShit a, tblCrap b Where a.id=b.id.”

Fucker.

Bastard did not even have the fucking courtesy to spell his variables properly. “Customer” would become the “Cutsomor” property. The “Assigned” field would be either the “Assding” or “Assnigd” parameter.

Whatever, baby. “’CAUSE I’M A COWBOY!”

Assnigd?

I was asking (aksing?) him about some of his code once, and it was full of these charming examples of illiteracy.

“Oh, just so you know,” he said, “when I’m in the zone and really coding, my spelling gets kinda bad. Just so you know.”

Thanks for the heads-up, butt-wipe.

Now, for those assholes out there who want to pull the “YOU’RE A HYPOCRITE” card and point out my grammatical faux-pas --- fuck you. I am writing a blog. Not code.

Anyway, some of the changes were cosmetic. Others were wholesale redesigns of pages, menus, functionality. Whatever.

This would go on until about six at night, when most of the company would go home, except for the developers and the account managers. Someone would order in food, and we would take a break around the bar, eat, and drink a few beers. Then it was back to work, usually until around nine, when we would do a build and the account executives would screenshot the whole site and get their red Sharpies out. They would then present the site to the client in the morning, and the whole cycle would start again.

At first, it was kind of cool. Exciting. Wow, I thought, this is like working at a dot-com. And I could drink at work!

But it got old quickly.

The most dangerous thing in my business, other than a fellow programmer walking in with a machete or an AK, is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It can end your career. So you have to be careful.

So, after a couple of weeks, I took a tape measure to my desk.

Holy shit, it was 38 inches high! And the cheap, trendy, IKEA chair they had me in had NO HIGHT ADJUSTMENT.

“Dude,” I asked Cowboy -- who was in the same kind of chair, and would code with his keyboard in his lap and his feet propped up on his desk, “what is with these desks? They are so fuckin’ high.”

“Yeah, when they turned this stage into offices, they paid some Mexican to come in and do the construction. He ran an electrical conduit across the room about waist-high, so they wanted him to build the desks above that so that it would look, like, smooth and shit. So we got high desks. Don’ bother me, I kinda dig it.”

He went back to his coding.

Man, I thought, I gotta take this up with the boss man. ASAP.


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Tunnel Rat posted on July 20, 2008 16:34

I once worked at a place that was a converted nightclub.

Green concrete floors. Disco ball. Speakers hanging from the rafters. A bar that served as a break room and kitchen, even stocked with booze.

A stage that had been turned into two large offices with four workstations in each one. The sys admin worked in a DJ booth upstairs, and it overlooked the cubicles that had been built on what used to be the dance floor. He kept a few tropical fish tanks in his office. I called him Fishboy.

Very hip. Trendy. Dot-com chic. Young staff. Casual attire – t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops. A half-mile walk to the beach.

Wow, how cool, you might be thinking.

Yeah, cool -- if you like working without specs, version control, a stable network, a QA environment, and some of the other luxuries found in a decent IT shop.

When I first started, I shared an office with two other developers. It took me a few hours to realize that I couldn’t run a local web server, because I didn’t have local admin rights to my own workstation.

“Uh-uh, the network guy (Fishboy) doesn’t allow it,” one of the other guys said. “Said people will load stuff on their system and shit, so he just locks them down.

“Did you guys tell him that you need to run local web site to properly develop in .NET?” I asked.

They shrugged. “Uh, we’ve been asking for a long time. But he’s the owner’s brother. Enough said.”

Nice. The owner’s brother ran the network, and didn’t care what the developers wanted. I’d have to try to persuade him.

“And what’s the deal with SourceSafe? You guys don’t use version control?” I asked.

“We used to code everything in PHP. You don’t need version control with that. I just made copies of my source files.”

Huh?

“But since you’re doing everything in .NET, you can use SourceSafe, right?”

“Yeah. But Fishboy won’t let us set up the archives database on the network. Says it would take up too much disk space,” one of the guys told me.

Man, this was going to be weird….


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Tunnel Rat posted on July 17, 2008 16:39

"...We only said goodby with words..."

Actually, I just wrapped up a gig working off-site for a flaky outfit that has left me with plenty of blog fodder.

One minute I was bouncing emails and IMs with the bimbo that was my, uh, how should I say it...my project manager ("possibly alchoholic over emotional dipshit unstable bimbo without a clue" would be a more a more appropriate title), and the next minute my recruiter calls and tells me my contract is terminated immediately.

"Doesn't surprise me," I told him. "My boss was getting pretty irrational lately. Personal issues I think."

"Yeah," he said, "she does seem like an emotional person."

So just like that, I was back on the street, facing the prospect of going back to the chain gang.

It was a nice a run, lasting over a year, and I never spent one minute on site. Never even met the boss/bimbo or anybody on the team. All virtual.

Ah, but the stories that I've got, geeze...

Nothing like working with a middle-aged, pig-headed, non-educated chain smoking housewife trying to run an IT department out of her house to make things interesting.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.

I just hated the bitch.

Uneducated, non-technical, paranoid, delusional bimbos just should not be in the business of managing complex web applications. Dealing with them tends to kill my buzz.

More on her and my year working in my flip-flips and shorts later...


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tunnel rat posted on November 20, 2007 19:28

This will be one of many posts to come about my experiences at SINC (Sweatshop-In-a-Night-Club). It actually was a nightclub that had been converted into an “Interactive Media” company. The disco-ball was still hanging from the ceiling, and the old bar served as the break room – and when I started, it was always stocked.

I took the full time job at SINC because the money was good, they were desperate for someone with .NET experience, and I needed out of Session 9 (the one-year job I had working at the Behavior Health division of a major HMO).

I spent almost two years at SINC – a pretty long stint for a guy like me. I worked like a galley slave, and had to fight a daily battle with narcissistic, egotistical “creative” types, and incompetent, lazy, sloppy “techy” types whose idea of Object Oriented Programming was Clipboard Inheritance (copy code to the clipboard, past it one or more times as needed in other classes, and repeat).

SINC had a bunch of dot-com characters straight out of central casting:

  • Ms. Account Executive Whore

  • SAASH (South-African-American Sexual Harasser)

  • Fishboy

  • Cowboy With Tourette's

  • La Terminatrix

  • Baby Hughey

The place was a seething cesspool of outrageous drama, with people sleeping with each other, former employees stealing clients, staff getting fired on the spot, employees quitting in a huff and walking out, Friday-afternoon booze-filled poker games in conference rooms, constant gossip, outrageous deadlines, posturing, posing, fly-by-night coding, lies, dead rats, compulsive tossing of rubber objects, potlucks and catered lunches, too much work, not enough work, and above all, wanton overindulgence.

You get the picture. Maybe.

My nemesis at this place was Ms. Account Executive Whore. She was a self-important, insecure, highly unstable primadonna who ran around the place with a phone headpiece on, constantly talking, sometimes to two or three people at a time. Bitterly divorced with a young son that she was training to be a vegan, she was the epitome of an environmentally-sensitive, Republican-hating, finger-waging, progressive prig bitch.

If you didn’t put a soda can in the recycle-bin, she gave you the stink-eye, if not a lecture. Plus, she constantly changed her mind and lied about deliverables and deadlines, so it was impossible to figure out what the hell was going on with her projects.

And as I would find out later, she used to have sex with the SAASH, her boss, when they would go on business trips. Thus her moniker.

One day I got this insant message from scatterbrained Ms. Account Executive Whore:

Ms. Account Executive Whore: I can't enter vagina

WTF?

Everybody at SINC made heavy use of Instant Messaging. They used, actually abused, it for everything. Specs, bug tracking, QA, code -- everything was sent via IM. If you didn't respond to your IM, the sender would be at your desk ASAP. Most people carried on 3 or 4 IM chats at a time. Sometimes people would lose track of whom they were chatting with.

Of course, I passed a screenshot of this message around to the whole department, including the SAASH, with the subject line "Odd message from [Ms. Account Executive Whore]." Pretty soon the whole place was howling.

A minute later, Ms. Account Executive Whore came running into my cube.

"YOU ASSHOLE! Didn't you know [Cowboy With Tourette's] and I were testing the dirty world filter on that website?"

I flashed her a perma-smile, put my headphones on, and went back to work.


Posted in:   Tags:
tunnel rat posted on October 28, 2007 19:17

I headed south Monday morning, back to The Box. This would be the first day that Dogboy was gone. It could finally start making some changes.

But when I got to the medical claims clearinghouse, I saw him and his dog Blake still occupying the office that I thought would be mine as of Friday.

I hadn’t even logged in when The Captain called me into his office, and shut the door.

“We’re going to have to let you go,” he said.

“Excuse me?”

“You haven’t been working eight hours a day. This is a small company, and everybody is expected to do their share.”

“Not enough hours?” I asked. “What do you mean, not enough hours?”

Boss Godfrey
“Cathy has been watching you.” Cathy was the office manager that had a line-of-sight to my desk. Her office was next to The Captain’s. She was his Boss Godfrey, the road boss who kept an eye on the chain gang.

“Watching? Really.”

He leaned back in his Aeron chair, the only one in the building. Everyone else had crappy armless chairs, or even folding ones. I had brought my own task chair in on the first day. I was used to dealing with the Cheap I.T. Bastard, and dragged my own gear from shop to shop; chairs, keyboards, LCDs, whatever, except for computers. That the bastards would have to pay for, and if it was a low-budget white box with not enough RAM, I bitched until they got me a real PC.

He went on. “We can’t pay for you to take long lunches and sit outside and read the sports pages.”

Sports pages? It is the Wall Street fuckin’ Journal, you nasally-voiced collector of skinny boy toys, I wanted to say. “It’s been one week,” I countered. “Are you sure about this?”

“Yes. We had a situation like this before, and we tried to work with the guy. After 2 months we had to fire him, and he claimed unemployment. And I had to pay it. The EEOD said that we should have let him go after 30 days.”

As you should of, asshole. Too fuckin’ bad. What the fuck does that have to do with me?

And I didn’t see a damn time clock in the place.

For those that are reading this and thinking, yes, you are supposed to be at your desk at the prescribed hours dictated by the company policy…and entitled to no less and no more than two fifteen minutes breaks…and a lunch break not to exceed 60 minute….

Shut the fuck up, Shit-For-Brains.

I was hired as an exempt employee. Exempt guys in I.T. get some latitude. As long as we are in around during business hours, the employers get to bend us over fairly frequently. That means that when the server crashes on Sunday afternoon and the whole site is dead in the water and the company is losing money every minute it is down, I am the bitch that gets to stay until midnight and figure out that someone like Ringbrow checked in the wrong fuckin’ code, and now all the redirects are broken, and I have to unfuck it.

And when, for instance, when some dweeb, who is kinda in charge of the servers, the clown who doesn’t know his IIS from his LDAP, decides not to open up the SSL port, and goes home at five to get in his eight hours of Warcraft...when the site is supposed to go live at midnight...and suddenly people can't log in over HTTPS... guess who gets the call?

Me, Mr./Ms. Devil’s Advocate. So as long as I am around between 9 AM and 5-ish, most places understand this. And this whole “you’re not working eight hours a day” was a bunch of drivel. A con.

Man, the F-Bomb is flying fast and furious in the post. It’s starting to sound like a rant, which is so out of character from my usual balanced writings that analyze both sides of the situation and attempt to be as introspective as possible. Yeah, right. But I digress.

“I’ll pay you for the week.” He stood up. “Here’s your check.” The meeting was over.

I went pack to my desk and packed my stuff. Everybody gave me a Dead Man Walking look.

On the way home, I called the wifey.

“Guess what? I got fired.”

“No fuckin’ way! I told you not to take that job.”

That much is true, but besides the point. The Captain had given me an offer that was 20k more than TCTSRN had thrown at me. Yes, after weeks of interviews and counters, I had two offers on the table, and took the money.

I sped up PCH, cell phone in my ear and my chair and cardboard box of stuff in the backseat. “I can always call TCTSRN again, its only been a week.”

“Are you sure you’re cut out for this full time employee stuff? Babe, I mean, that was one week. There had to be something else going on.”

“Yeah, I think so. I think that cocksucker hired me to put some pressure on Dogboy, keep him around. Make him feel not-so un-expendable.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right – he just used you to keep that guy around. What a prick,” she said. “Oh, can you pick up the dry-cleaning?”

“No prob.”

So now it made sense. The Captain had hired me to light a fire under Dogboy, and made up a bullshit story to get rid of me after one week. Because I never really was able to get anything done in that time. The first two days was spent setting up my PC. Then I got some half-assed specs about some nebulous change to the HIPAA extract, with no timeline, and no direction.

It was all a stunt to keep his primadona programmer from bailing and talking the whole nasty pile of code dead in the water. And I was just his pawn. What a douche bag.

I still had the number for H.R. lady from TCTSRN on my cell phone. Passing by Crystal Cove, I dialed it, hoping that the offer was still on the table. One thing I needed now was another job. The market was soft, no doubt due the flood of CEWPs talking all the good contracting gigs.

The TCTSRN H.R. lady picked up right away. We chatted.

“Yes, the job was still open,” she said. “I understand, these things happen. Can you come in for another interview tomorrow? Uh. Let me check the schedule -- how’s two sound?”

“Sure.”

“Great, see you then.”

So, there I was, no worse for the wear. I knew I was a lock for the TCTSRN job, because they had found no takers after I turned them down a week ago. It was a lot less money, but I figured that it would be a nice stable place to park my ass for awhile and get some supervisory experience under my belt and on my resume.

But of course, I didn’t know about Charlie. Or Burning Man. They hadn’t been in any of my interviews…Mr. Whiteboard has kept them locked up in the basement, and instead had some of the more impressive folks talk to me. It was all more smoke and mirrors.


Posted in:   Tags:
Tunnel Rat posted on October 23, 2007 16:06

We resume our regularly scheduled programming to bring you the rest of “The One Week Job”…

Two or three times a week, The Captain would order in or make lunch for the staff. One day it was pizza, another day he would send someone to Costco to bring back burgers and hotdogs that he would grill out on the deck of the medical claims clearinghouse.

It was his way of keeping everybody working, instead of slipping out for a leisurely lunch at 1000 Steps Beach, which was around the corner.

You see, he could spring for a lunch that averaged $5 a person, and they would be back at their desk in 20 minutes, meaning he netted an extra 40 minutes of time that would have been spent by an employee doing whatever they wanted to do.

The Captain was a sly little bitch.

I knew it after my first interview with him, when he said his plan was to sell the business. He was in it for the money. Ramp up a bunch of crap code, sign up a bunch of clueless doctors, play fast and loose with their claims, and then dump the whole operation on WebMB, Molina, UnitedHealth, or some other clusterfuck of a medical company that was making a killing on the sad state of healthcare.

So there I was, day three in The Box, eating a Costco burger and watching a 40’ Bayliner make it’s way to Newport. The rest of the staff was on the deck that lined the building with their paper plates and drinks, huddled in groups of two or three. The Captain pulled up a bar stool and sat next to me.

“Well, the moment has come, I told you it was going to happen.”

“Uh?”

“Our guy gave notice today,” he said. He was talking about Taylor. Dogboy.

“Oh, yeah…When is his last day?”

“Friday.”

“Two days?”

“Yeah.” He took a bite of his hotdog and gazed at Catalina. “What do you think, does all this stuff make sense, now that you’ve had some time to look at it?”

Not really. In fact, none of it makes sense, Captain. It is one nasty rat’s nest of shit you got here, sweetie.

But I refrained.

“Sure, to an extent, but we really need to get all this hard-coded stuff cleaned up,” I told him.

“Huh?”

“Yeah, there’s a lot of cleaning up to do…”

He stood up, grabbing his plate. “Well, you do what you gotta do. You got him ‘till Friday.” He winked.

What the fuck are you winking at, I wanted to ask. And what the hell was I supposed to do in two days, form a mild-meld with Dogboy? Suck all the hacks that he had been throwing together for years out of his feeble little brain? Beg him not to leave?

I went back to my desk and thumbed through the HIPAA spec the Captain had dumped on me:

The map definition allows users to translate a file from the UB92 Version 5.0 format to the HIPAA 837 Institutional format, while also validating the input for completeness, as well as syntax and code validation. Additional effort has been made to provide a 1:1 mapping ratio of the UB92 fields to HIPAA 837 elements.

Jeez, what a fuckin’ nightmare. I check the code to see if they were using XML or something to map the fields, BizTalk, MapForce, something.

Nothing, nada. It was all hard-coded bullshit:

If MAP=’ HIPAA_A1_837P_to_RMAP_2_A1_837P’ Then
GOTO Update_Map837
Else
GOTO Update_Map837P
End If

My neck started throbbing. The damn phones were ringing off the hook.

GOTO?

Jesus Fuckin’ Christ…

Who the hell writes GOTOs? I thought that they had been banned in 1995 or something. I checked the comments…ah, Dogboy had laid claim to this crap.

And here was Trevor, the high school kid, in this mosh pit of code, adding his pearls of logic:

IIF(RMAP_2_A1_837P = ‘23384’, IIF(RMAP_3_1_837C=’433A’,
True, False), False)


Thanks for the nested Immediate Ifs, asshole.

It was all pungent, rotting spaghetti code, hacks upon hacks.

Ringboy walked by me and nodded, on his way outside for a smoke. God, I wanted a cigarette. But I had quit years ago, replacing the habit with a daily Macanudo.



Two days later I was still clawing my way through the code. It was Friday afternoon, and I was beat.

The Captain was walking around handing out Coronas to some of the staff. Hey, I thought, maybe he wasn’t such a slimy bitch after all, letting the crew drink a few cold ones on a hot summer afternoon.

But shit, he sure was taking his time passing those beers around. He started with Ringbrow, leaning over his cube and setting the bottle on his desk and having a few words.

And then he moved on to some guy that sat in a cube between Ringbrow and me. Anthoneeee. Total flamer. There were a few on the staff – The Captain sorta collected them. Early-twenties, very fem. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Yeah, yeah, I know you guys are waiting to flame me....

But The Captain did have a lot of guys that looked like
Agador Spartacus working there.

So, I can't really agree with the homophobic charge, but I do have an issue with all those gays in the fashion industry getting to pick the models -- WTF! Who ever said a skinny ass bitch that looks like she just got out of Auschwitz is hot? Jeez -- those models look like 12-year boys! Its freakin' sick. Come on gay guys, get some models with tits and asses. We straight guys are sick of looking at what you think is hot.

So, anyway, I waited, acting like I was working, watching the Captain make small talk with Anthoneeee.

Geez, will you get on with it, asshole? I am so ready for a fuckin’ beer. All week long, with HIPAA, GOTOs, IIFs – come on already. It’s beer-thirty, bitch.

It was like a ceremony, The Captain making the rounds, letting the staff play kiss-ass (and kiss whatever else, I assumed). Screw it, I thought. I caught a glimpse of some folks slipping into the break room. I headed that way.

Ringbrow was there, cracking open his second Corona, along with a few other data-diddlers. “Hey, wassup, guys,” I said, opening the fridge.

“Not much, dude,” one of them said.

“Got an opener?” I asked.

“Na, sorry.” They walked out.

I started pilfering the drawers, looking for an opener, hoping the Captain wouldn’t come back for another round of his ass-kissing bait.

Man, this place was creepy…

Finally, I found an opener hanging off the side of the fridge, and I headed back to my desk. People were still working, sipping beers but still taking calls or diddling data.

Man, it’s five already. What is up with this place? Fuckin’ sweatshop…
The Captain strolled by, beer in hand. He paused at my desk.

“Uh, I see that you, uh, helped yourself.”

“Yeah, thanks,” I said, smiling.

He stood there, nodding. For like, thirty fucking seconds. No small talk, just awkward nodding. Bobblehead. I started nodding, and biting my lip.

Damn, this was weird…

Finally, he moved on, handing the beer to the another boy toy, a skinny guy with a streak of blond that was dyed down the middle of his scalp. “Here you go, Chaaaad, it looks like you could you use a cold one…”

I slammed my beer and logged off.

To be continued…


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tunnel rat posted on October 20, 2007 18:48
Judging by the comments left on this blog, some of my readers seem to take issue with my repeated references to my time in the Marine Corps. Fair enough. But it’s not like I am going to back in the closet, acting like my stint in the grunts wasn’t the defining period of my life. I am what I am.

As for the military card, I play it to add texture to my writing. It's not like I live my day-to-day life with a high-and-tight and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor tattoos that I shove in people’s faces, acting like some deranged jarhead. I save that for the blog.
Code Pink calls Marines assasins
I found out years ago that web developers for the most part "loathe the military" (to steal a line from Clinton), and I don't even put my service on my resume.

Since none of my coworkers know about it, they say all sorts of demeaning garbage about "stupid soldiers", "cannon fodder", "idiots who couldn't get a job", "baby killers", “assassins”, "predators", etc. and I just listen silently. And I find that anti-military venom "kind of irritating."


So to keep my job and not make any waves, I shut up and blog, sprinkling my rants with jarhead lingo -- because this is about life in the trenches, not Google. This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around. This is life during wartime.

Not only the Iraq war, but a war to save the American programmer. And to make my case, I use several tactics:


  1. Demonstrating the incompetence of the typical American I.T. manager.

  2. Exposing the myth that there is a shortage of American programmers.

  3. Mocking the low-paid, unskilled, illiterate folks who come here under false pretenses to fill the mythical programmer shortage.

  4. And, while I’m at, sharing what I think are shocking anecdotes about the appalling cast of characters in this business in a tone that is controversial, inflammatory, and definitely not politically correct -- but hopefully not boring. You can go to Slashdot.com for boring techie talk that doesn’t violate any speech codes.

I'm going to leave it to the Programmers Guild to make the case against H-1Bs through political means. I, on the other hand, am fighting an insurgency against an occupying force -- low wage indentured servants brought here under false pretenses to I.T. keep wages low.

That said, I have to stay focused…stand by for the conclusion of One Week Job.


Posted in:   Tags: ,
tunnel rat posted on October 19, 2007 18:37

This almost made me want to cry...


Do your part -- save the American programmer. If he's anything like me, he has four mortages and a timeshare in Cabo to pay for.




Posted in:   Tags:
tunnel rat posted on October 18, 2007 18:42
Some of you may have been following the exchange between me and some scumbag from another blog. To recap, this dweeb decided to slander me and then post my name and an address on that blog. His post was a hit job of salacious lies and privacy violations. The moderator quickly censored my personal info, but left the post up, which was ok with me because I got to rebut it. I'm all for free speech. But for the brief time my info was online, Google cached the page, and lo and behold, that vile bullshit was showing up in search results.

With an address. But not my address.

And boy, was that posted shit vile. In short, this fuckwad called me a college dropout who got kicked out the Marine Corps, and an addict, unable to hold a job.

Well, technically, I did drop out of junior college – to go kill communists. And technically, I do switch jobs a lot – because I am an I.T. consultant. And I did get a bachelor's degree, even if it took 13 years. At least it was from a college most people have heard of, unlike BhavNagar University or something like that. And regardless of how much ho-banging and boozing I did in the Marines, I still got an Honorable-Fuckin’-Discharge after six years. So dissin’ a jarhead and making him out to be phony is major shit, in my book.

It has been said about Marines that there is No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.

FYI, I like the new USMC commercial:



Now, back to my nemisis, the shit eating H-1B troll. After my personal info was deleted, I let it go with a stern warning to the guys that run that other fine blog, WTF. And it is a good blog -- solid I.T. info and some hard core techies shooting the shit, especially from the guy that runs it, Alex P. No one there digs flamewars and personal attacks. And unless you consent, no one gets to post your personal data online. It will get sites shut down in a heartbeat.

But, after I set the little libelous shitwad straight and exposed him for the lying turd that he was, he resurfaced. And he had this whiny mea culpa [my feedback in red]:




This an appeal against TunnelRat. An earlier motion to this was first censored and then deleted by the moderator.

The motion was quickly censored because it revealed the real name of TunnelRat. The censoring is acceptable though short sighted - the censored part was simply the Whois information from TunnelRat's blog site.

[And then some more data, like my birthdate, fuckwad]

The reason to expose him was this statement.

TunnelRat: In my book, any, and I mean any, Cheap I.T. Bastard that hires H1-Bs should be publicly shamed, their pictures and work addresses posted on the web like child molesters.

This was not an off-topic, thoughtless quick remark, but the major argument in an original post, repeated many times ver. He even devotes a web site exclusively to this issue.

For TunnelRat's information, you can't hire an H1-B - that's a visa program, not a person. Instead, you hire foreigners, and H1-B happens to be the only legal way to do that in the IT industry (barring L1-A and L1-B, alternatives that are only applicable to multinational intra-compny transfers). So you are actually saying this.

Any Cheap I.T. Bastard that hires foreigners should be publicly shamed.

[No, that is what you are saying, fuckwad]

It's sad that some members of this forum find this funny and truthful. The irony is that TunnelRat himself hires foreigners in an immoral and illegal way. Illegal, because he avoids social security and insurance payments and employer and import taxes. Immoral, because he charges $4000 while paying only $2500 to the foreigner for doing his work. TunnelRat's employer would have been better off paying $2500 directly to a law-abiding worker, be it a citizen or a foreigner.

[I payed a total of $500, fuckwad.]

Therefore, on his own request, the censored post publicly shamed him. That post has since been deleted, even though TunnelRat himself responded and verified that it was essentially correct.
- He dropped out of college
- Was disciplined for bad conduct in the military (though not discharged)
- Has a history of substance abuse
- Worked himself out of that successfully
- Does not hold on to jobs for long

The censored post did overstate this somewhat, for which I apologize.

[Otherstate? You lied your ass off, just like you did on that visa application, fuckwad]

On the other hand, TunnelRat suggests that I am a body pierced Che Guevara fanboy communist hating the military. Talk about slander. In fact, I respect the US military and the heroes who died to liberate my country. I am tax-paying worker on an H1-B visa with all the duties but none of the rights of an American citizen, paying for his dad's Medicaid bills, his daughter's tuition fees and his buddy's tour in Iraq.

The double irony is that TunnelRat is a foreigner himself: a Hungarian refugee from communist tyranny. So TunnelRat can't really mean what he says. Anybody who's followed his discourse can infer what he's really saying.

Any Cheap I.T. Bastard that hires Asians should be publicly shamed.

[No, that is what you are saying, fuckwad]

That sounds very much like

Any fair-skinned, blue-eyed German that hires Jews should be public shamed.

[Again, that is what you are saying, fuckwad]

We all know why such nonsense must be refuted by all possible means.

Suprise, suprise, surpise, he's an H-1B. And RatPoison’s lack of logical skills are clearly evident in his slide down to the Nazi card. And I love the rationalization of his slander – “TunnelRat kinda dropped out of college, TunnelRat kinda got in trouble in the military, yada, yada, fuckin’ yada” – so TunnelRat gets to have his personal data posted on the internet.

No, shit-for-brains, not even close. Let's get something straight, you H-1B Wage Pirate -- I don’t agree with reeducation camps, the Cultural Revolution, reprogramming, or any of the other concepts you are importing into this free country. We can say whatever the hell we want here, even if it pisses you off.

Now, like I said before, Mr. H-1B fuckwad, you are my bitch. No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.

Unlike the shithole country you came from, we have something called the 1st Amendment here. Not that you would know anything about the Bill Of Rights, you freakin’ shower shoe-wearing bozo.

Even I don’t post the real names of the people I have thrown down with. Charlie, Ringbrow, etc. – all aliases. The names have been changed to protect the guilty. Now you, RatPoison, on the other hand, have committed crimes.

And you don’t get to mine the Internet and post what you think is my name and address.

Because it’s not, dipshit. And if some unhinged lefty/H-1B fanboy/deranged lunatic/CodePink scum/MoveOn.org cretin commits some act of violence on an innocent family because he/she thought that was TunnelRat’s place, you and your phony H-1B-visa-carrying-ass are out of here.

But just in case, RatPoison, I have to take preemptive action. Like they taught me in the Corps, the best defense is a good offense. So, shitbird, I went on a little search and destroy mission.

You see, I’ve got some ex-military buddies in the ISP business, and they are really good at mining I.P. traffic logs. They have a few things in common:

  • They work for the big telecom outfits.
  • They hate the fact that their sys-admin drinking buddies are getting shitcanned left and right and getting replaced with surly illiterate CEWPs.
So they hooked me up. Plus, I also have bros in the Eastern Block who are real good at hacking websites, especially forums with weak security.

So, that said, tracking down who the fuck you are was pretty easy. We got your account from that other blog (you really should get a stronger password). And then my Hungarian buddies – God, they hate H-1Bs, because they are getting all the visas, even though the Europeans are far better programmers – tracked down your IP. Judging by your email traffic and the small amount of hits on my blog, we had all we need to pin your H-1B ass down and unleash a serious air and ground assault on your ability to stay in this country and deny another American a job in the I.T. field while you violate our piracy laws and expose people to identity theft. Fucker.

Like I said –

No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.

Finally, I suggest that all you 18-25 year old Comp Sci majors reading this get the hell out of that reeducation camp (college) that is turning you into sissyfied, politically correct pansies and drop out now. Get out while you still have some gonads, or get in ROTC (unless you go to one of this PC shitholes that banned ROTC).

Join the Corps, and spend a few years fighting Islamofascists and getting laid in exotic places. Then you can come back to finish school and kick ass in the I.T. world. We need some more smart hardchargers to take on the likes of RatPoison and his H-1B ilk, with their slanderous attacks and invasions of privacy.

Not to mention their bad breath and stinky lunches.

Sempre Fi....


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The thoughts expressed on this blog may or may not be the author's own and are protected by the 1st Amendment. Any attempt to reveal his identity by contacting a slumdog hack at Google, or a corrupt Desi sys-admin at his ISP will be dealt with promptly and severely. Civil and criminal penalties may apply if one is found to have used private information in an attempt to get the author fired at the Hindu-only I.T. ghetto he currently works at. In addition, any Desi who attempts to burn the author's house down because they are enraged over his writing will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This isn't India.

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