Monday, April 18, 2016

The pain of training your replacement

Two women in IT tell how they are losing their jobs to offshore contractors, and having to train their replacements...

At New York Life, IT employees are training overseas workers to do their jobs. It's a difficult task that takes an emotional toll, and there are odd rules and processes to follow.

The training starts with sessions over the Web with the offshore contractors. Eventually, the IT employees expect to train the contractors in-person.

One IT employee, who is training replacement contractors, said she has been told by management not to ask the contract workers any questions. Even simple queries, like, "Did you have a chance to read this document?" or, "Are you familiar with this technology?" to the contract workers, from India-based Tata Consultancy Services, are not allowed.

"We should have the understanding that [the offshore contractors] have all the skill sets," said this IT employee, whose name cannot be disclosed because of the risk to her job. Asking questions is "like insulting the process."

There's also a regular survey process that seems like a Catch 22 system. As the replacement training moves along, the IT workers have to rate the offshore contractors on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest. If the contractor receives the highest score, the thinking among the employees is it may accelerate their replacement. If the contractor gets a low score, the IT employee may be blamed for providing poor training, which may also accelerate job loss.

"The employees are playing this game, playing defense, trying to figure out what to do," she said.

The IT employees also must be pleasant on the calls with contractors, not just matter-of-fact, but pleasant. The process is anything but that. As this IT employee, a computer science graduate, grappled with the reality of it, she said, "I break down. It's so hurtful."

Meanwhile, the offshore contractor on the calls is beginning to use possessive pronouns, saying "our" or "my" to show he is taking ownership of her job. "It's bad for my heart when I hear that," she said.

There was a time when working in IT was a good job, she said. Back then, there was promise, and computer science was a worthwhile major.


"I've been telling high school students and college students that you should not major in computer science anymore," she said. IT work has "turned into a factory job."

Two female employees were interviewed at the company and both are training their replacements. The interviews were arranged by Sara Blackwell, a Florida attorney who is representing Disney IT workers who were also replaced by offshore workers.

What New York Life is doing is no different than...
Read More HERE

1 comment:

  1. This is not new. In the 90's I was a IT Project Manager. Upper management dictated that the makeup of how we hired the IT workers was going to change to keep labor cost down. My eight full time positions turned into 2 full time, one which was a H1B1, 4 part-time intern positions, and 4 contractor positions. The logic was a full time position would be getting annual raises and if they stayed with the company would eventually have a higher salary. A H1b1 employee could be kept at a low level as they were happy to be here. The 4 intern positions were actually 2 6-month positions for IT college students paying $10 per hour. The contractor positions would be at the low end of market cutting a contractor loose at the first sign of reduced workload or completion of a project.

    I had a bonus schedule that was based off of the profitability of my team. I went from a technical manager guiding the project making about $65k per year total compensation to a people manager having very little to do with hands on of an IT project getting a low six figure compensation. With less focused workers that had to be spun up on how to do the job every time there was a new project or when semesters changed it became a training and people management position.

    We were limited to only one H1B1 slot and if we could get more the company would have done it because that and the interns were the cheapest way to do the jobs. When everything fell apart with the Dot Com bust and the completion of the Y2K projects I changed my career to something more stable and used the skills I had been trained in the military as an electronic technician. In the early days of IT the education and salaries were comparable to those of an accountant. There was such a need Microsoft , Cisco, and others offered there costly, but intensive, training classes as a way to get more workers in IT without the college education. The last few years I was in IT the pay differences from a college grad and non-college grad doing the same job had disappeared. The college grad knew why it worked and the cert guy knew this is the way you do it.

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