Time to find a new job
Nov 17th, 2017 by Ken Hagler

My contract with Integrity Digital Solutions ended today. It was originally a six month contract, although it ended up running for just short of a year.

Not a good start
Oct 3rd, 2017 by Ken Hagler

I watched the first three episodes of Star Trek: Discovery. I had been skeptical after seeing the advertisements for it, as it appeared to be Star Trek in name only, with no thought to continuity. On the other hand, it had Michelle Yeoh as the captain, and she’s certainly a better choice than the last two.

After watching it, my impression that it only gives lip service to being Star Trek was correct (it’s more like the awful recent movies), and Michelle Yeoh’s character was killed off at the end of the second episode. I am not impressed.

Quote of the Day
Aug 22nd, 2017 by Ken Hagler

You know you’re living some semblance of a free life when you have to stop and look up the spelling of “committee.”

Joel Simon

Quote of the Day
Sep 4th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

An election is the act of choosing a new paint job for the tank which is plowing through your house and crushing your children.

Kent McManigal

Quote of the Day
Aug 17th, 2016 by Ken Hagler

…Any adult human — and most children past a certain degree of maturity — ought to carry a knife. Otherwise you’re just a chimp with a haircut.

Roberta X

Keeping Austin Weird
Aug 14th, 2015 by Ken Hagler

I just saw a car go by with the Texas license plate “CAR2D2.” It had an R2 domed head stuck on top, and the words “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for” painted on the back.

The Austin job market is very impressive
Jul 21st, 2015 by Ken Hagler

It’s pretty well known that Austin is a very good place to find work in the software industry. That was a major part of the reason I moved here when I got out of California–Symantec being what they are, I wanted to be able to easily find another job if I got arbitrarily laid off during a reargue.

It turns out that the job market here is actually even better than I’d heard. After a month during which I considered hiring a receptionist to deal with all the recruiters, I accepted an offer from Apple.

Symantec’s absurd severance agreement
Jun 23rd, 2015 by Ken Hagler

I was laid off from Symantec as of last Friday. That in itself doesn’t bother me, as I’ve been planning for just such an event for many years. Aside from considerable savings and a low cost of living, I even picked Austin as a destination on escaping California in large part because of the ease of finding a new job here.

What does bother me is the severance agreement Symantec wanted me to sign, which contains the following clause:

9. Non disparagement. You agree that you will not, whether orally or in writing, make any disparaging statements or comments, either as fact or as opinion, about Symantec or its products and services, business, technologies, market position, agents, representatives, directors, officers, shareholders, attorneys, employees, vendors, affiliates, successors or assigns, or any person acting by, through, under or in concert with any of them.

This absurd and insulting clause is made even worse by this additional clause:

C. Non-Disclosure. You agree to keep the contents, terms and conditions of this Agreement confidential; provided, however that you may disclose this Agreement with your spouse, attorneys, and accountants, or pursuant to subpoena or court order. Any breach of this non-disclosure paragraph is a material breach of this Agreement.

If you don’t sign the agreement with this clause, you don’t get severance pay. If you do sign it, not only are you not allowed to make any disparaging statements (even factual ones) about a group so broad that it’s basically impossible to ever know if someone is in it (shareholders being the most glaring example), you can’t even talk about what you can’t talk about. Now, I have no problem refusing to sign something so deeply offensive and giving up my severance pay. In my case it’s (after tax) enough to live on for a year, which while not totally insignificant is still a fairly small fraction of my savings.

However, I’m well aware that I’m highly unusual when it comes to financial responsibility. The average American seeing this agreement will have no savings, a mountain of debt, lives in a house that he couldn’t afford, and drives a car he couldn’t afford. Such a person could be effectively extorted into signing just to survive while looking for a new job.

I did write to the HR department objecting to clause 9, and saying that I would be willing to sign the agreement only if it were removed, but they never bothered to reply.

Ironically, I wouldn’t have actually had anything particularly bad to say about Symantec even if I were so inclined if they’d left that clause out of their severance agreement. Even if I had wanted to, there would have been nothing I could say that would make Symantec look any worse than things they announced publicly themselves.

Quote of the Day
Oct 23rd, 2014 by Ken Hagler

Could you not just let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something? It really happens so rarely.

The Doctor

Quote of the Day
Oct 21st, 2014 by Ken Hagler

I kept Austin weird
Now I’m on probation

Sign on the corner of Congress and Riverside in Austin

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