Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by Daniel 'Doc' Sewel » Tue, 16 Dec 1997 04:00:00



A friend of mine was just contacted by a headhunter with an offer to
contract at a Fortune 100 company.  It is for $75,000 a year, with full
bennies, to do Informix maintenance, but the company is moving to Oracle
(apparently Y2K related) in the very near future.  My friend is a PCWN,
C++ type, with some Informix.  He's making about $68,000 (hourly rate,
few bennies).  They are going to send him to Oracle programmer training
(lots of it).

The only thing he's worried about is the client's desire for an 18 month
commitment.  That's summer of '99.  He figures he'll be able to command
an outrageous fee once he's done there, but he's worried about what will
be happening in the world around summer of 1999.  He's also wondering if
he's better off sitting tight and waiting for more PCWN C++ stuff to pop
up (when the full extent of Y2K comes apparent in March or April 98), or
to go ahead and take the plunge and go for the Oracle.

He asked for six month salary reviews, instead of one year, and a 15
month commitment.  It looks like the six month reviews is no problem,
but the client will probably balk at the 15 month commitment and insist
on the 18 month commitment..  Any opinions?

Doc Sewell
The ZEALOT
(and friend of lucky slobs!)

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by docdw.. » Tue, 16 Dec 1997 04:00:00




Quote:>[snippage]
>The only thing he's worried about is the client's desire for an 18 month
>commitment.  That's summer of '99.  He figures he'll be able to command
>an outrageous fee once he's done there, but he's worried about what will
>be happening in the world around summer of 1999.  

Well, it is a certain thing that the Future is Uncertain... who knows?  I
would say the best thing to do is take the job; the training and the bump
in the paycheck both look good.  As for 'committment'... PFAH!  I am
certain that somewhere, buried in the bolierplate of his contracts, is a
clause which allows the company to back out of the deal with relative
ease; likewise he, too, should keep himself 'flexible'.

I have a very simplistic outlook on 'committment': unless I have a
contract (I know, I know, but it is a start) which states the equivalent
of 'Until such time as the party of the second part presents the party of
the first part with a notarized document bearing the words 'I QUIT' over
his signature then the party of the first part will continue to cut checks
to the party of the second part every two weeks for amounts no less
than... ' etc.  In short, committment works both ways, *past*
convenience... or at least this is the way I see it.

With that in mind, as I said, let him sign on board, get his raise, get
his training... and if things get to a certain point let him start wearing
a tinfoil-and-egg-salad hat to work and responding to every greetins with
an invocation of a little town in upstate New York.  They'll can him
faster than one can say pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicavolcanoconiosis (or
however one spells that) and he can go on his way.

(if he is a bit... timid and/or depending on the corporation he could get
himself canned for refusing to wear a necktie or for putting onthe
wrong-colored suit... tinfoil-and-egg-salad hats are optional)

DD

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by Eric Turne » Tue, 16 Dec 1997 04:00:00



> A friend of mine was just contacted by a headhunter with an offer to
> contract at a Fortune 100 company.  It is for $75,000 a year, with full
> bennies, to do Informix maintenance, but the company is moving to Oracle
> (apparently Y2K related) in the very near future.  My friend is a PCWN,
> C++ type, with some Informix.  He's making about $68,000 (hourly rate,
> few bennies).  They are going to send him to Oracle programmer training
> (lots of it).

> The only thing he's worried about is the client's desire for an 18 month
> commitment.  That's summer of '99.  He figures he'll be able to command
> an outrageous fee once he's done there, but he's worried about what will
> be happening in the world around summer of 1999.  He's also wondering if
> he's better off sitting tight and waiting for more PCWN C++ stuff to pop
> up (when the full extent of Y2K comes apparent in March or April 98), or
> to go ahead and take the plunge and go for the Oracle.

> He asked for six month salary reviews, instead of one year, and a 15
> month commitment.  It looks like the six month reviews is no problem,
> but the client will probably balk at the 15 month commitment and insist
> on the 18 month commitment..  Any opinions?

> Doc Sewell
> The ZEALOT
> (and friend of lucky slobs!)

Frankly, I think you geeks are in the drivers seat, not the other way
around.  I wouldn't accept an eigh* month gig if it's not what you're
comfortable with.  Tell them six months, see what they say.  If they
refuse to consider, look for something else.  They'll likely change
their minds when they are unsuccessful in recruiting for the long term.
I don't think 75K is competitive.  New budgets will be coming up in a
few weeks, maybe better to hold out until then.

ET

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by Lou » Wed, 17 Dec 1997 04:00:00


What is the nature of this alleged 'commitment' - legally speaking?  A
employment agreement/contract takes certain legal binding
clauses/conditions for it to mean anything at all - duration of the job as
per the agreement being one of those clauses/conditions; the other being
remuneration, etc..

In order for it (the agreement) too stick - legally speaking - in a court
of law, the employer must enumerate what the employee must do - in detail -
to hold up there end of any such agreement/deal - to perform.  

If the employer, for instance reneges on their part of the agreement - and
the employee does everything on their part of the agreement function
wise(as listed int he agreement) then the employee has a right to sue and
win for lost wages for the period of time lost.

More is required - and must be required by your friend but this is good for
starters.  A good lawyer will fill out the rest of the details.

So if this employer is not willing to provide all the details for a iron
clad agreement; your friend can take off anytime s/he wishes to do so.
Meaning they work 'for hire' and may terminate any unwritten
'understanding'/agreement as may the employer.  Both may terminate "at
will".

If no legally binding written agreement, **in fact, exists between your
friend and the prospective employer the relationship is "at will" and your
friend can take the job - take the training - and anything else they may
offer or provide - and take a new job with a better paying employer - "at
will".

From a business point of view, if an employer is asking a prospective
employee to take a future 'hit' financially then it makes sense that that
employer should be willing to pay a "premium" for the increased risk to the
prospective employee - in the form of written guarantees,.  

Some one has already pointed out that no particular 'premium' is being paid
for this increased risk.

Disclaimer:

The above is merely my personal opinion and should not be construed as
providing legal advice.  I am not a attorney and your friend should seek
one out for legal advice.

Regards, -= Lou Rizzuto =-




> > A friend of mine was just contacted by a headhunter with an offer to
> > contract at a Fortune 100 company.  It is for $75,000 a year, with full
> > bennies, to do Informix maintenance, but the company is moving to
Oracle

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by David K. Brya » Wed, 17 Dec 1997 04:00:00



Quote:>A friend of mine was just contacted by a headhunter with an offer to
>contract at a Fortune 100 company.  It is for $75,000 a year, with full
>bennies. My friend is a PCWN with some Informix.  
>He's making about $68,000.  They are going to send him to Oracle
>programmer training (lots of it).
>The only thing he's worried about is the client's desire for an 18 month
>commitment.
>He's wondering if he's better off sitting tight and waiting
>for more PCWN stuff, or to go ahead and take the plunge and go for
>the Oracle.

As much as I hate Ellison, go for the Oracle.  
What he'll be learning will have long legs.
 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by Daniel 'Doc' Sewel » Wed, 17 Dec 1997 04:00:00


The nature of the agreement is that if my friend bolts before the 18
months are up, he will have to pay back the pro-rated value of the
training.  If they spend $60,000 to train him, and he leaves at 1 year,
he has to pay back $20,000.  (That's how he explained it to me.)

The one thing I discussed with him is that there might be companies
willing to fork over that kind of bonus at the beginning of 1999.  He's
more concerned that if he says he's going to go 18 months, he's going to
do it, even if he gets offered $250,000.  He puts more value on his word
than money (though, obviously, he likes both).  He would only bolt in
the event of TEOTWAWKI.  He just doesn't want to sign up there and then
start seeing rates for PCWNs going to $100,000+.  He'd then end up with
a sunken forhead (from slapping himself there, going "DOH!")

This decision would have been a no-brainer for him about 1-2 years ago!
The timing is just all wrong now.  It's the summer of 1999 that looms
big, and even if the world isn't totally screwed up by then, will Oracle
be that valuable a thing to add to his resume, vis a vis the stuff he
already has (C++/Informix).

Doc Sewell
The ZEALOT


> What is the nature of this alleged 'commitment' - legally speaking?  A
> employment agreement/contract takes certain legal binding
> clauses/conditions for it to mean anything at all - duration of the job as
> per the agreement being one of those clauses/conditions; the other being
> remuneration, etc..

> In order for it (the agreement) too stick - legally speaking - in a court
> of law, the employer must enumerate what the employee must do - in detail -
> to hold up there end of any such agreement/deal - to perform.

> If the employer, for instance reneges on their part of the agreement - and
> the employee does everything on their part of the agreement function
> wise(as listed int he agreement) then the employee has a right to sue and
> win for lost wages for the period of time lost.

> More is required - and must be required by your friend but this is good for
> starters.  A good lawyer will fill out the rest of the details.

> So if this employer is not willing to provide all the details for a iron
> clad agreement; your friend can take off anytime s/he wishes to do so.
> Meaning they work 'for hire' and may terminate any unwritten
> 'understanding'/agreement as may the employer.  Both may terminate "at
> will".

> If no legally binding written agreement, **in fact, exists between your
> friend and the prospective employer the relationship is "at will" and your
> friend can take the job - take the training - and anything else they may
> offer or provide - and take a new job with a better paying employer - "at
> will".

> From a business point of view, if an employer is asking a prospective
> employee to take a future 'hit' financially then it makes sense that that
> employer should be willing to pay a "premium" for the increased risk to the
> prospective employee - in the form of written guarantees,.

> Some one has already pointed out that no particular 'premium' is being paid
> for this increased risk.

> Disclaimer:

> The above is merely my personal opinion and should not be construed as
> providing legal advice.  I am not a attorney and your friend should seek
> one out for legal advice.

> Regards, -= Lou Rizzuto =-




> > > A friend of mine was just contacted by a headhunter with an offer to
> > > contract at a Fortune 100 company.  It is for $75,000 a year, with full
> > > bennies, to do Informix maintenance, but the company is moving to
> Oracle

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by docdw.. » Wed, 17 Dec 1997 04:00:00




Quote:>The nature of the agreement is that if my friend bolts before the 18
>months are up, he will have to pay back the pro-rated value of the
>training.  If they spend $60,000 to train him, and he leaves at 1 year,
>he has to pay back $20,000.  (That's how he explained it to me.)

And what happens if he stops bathing for a while, goes to work in a
tinfoil-and-egg-salad hat and responds to each question with an invoking
of a small town in upstate New York?  I cannot believe that the contract
would state he is laible for payback were *they* to terminate *him*

Quote:

>The one thing I discussed with him is that there might be companies
>willing to fork over that kind of bonus at the beginning of 1999.  He's
>more concerned that if he says he's going to go 18 months, he's going to
>do it, even if he gets offered $250,000.  He puts more value on his word
>than money (though, obviously, he likes both).  He would only bolt in
>the event of TEOTWAWKI.  He just doesn't want to sign up there and then
>start seeing rates for PCWNs going to $100,000+.  He'd then end up with
>a sunken forhead (from slapping himself there, going "DOH!")

Well, nobody can do a thing about limitations he places upon himself,
obviously... me, personally, I am a firm believer in equivalence of
responsibility.  I am more than willing to be held accountable for a
prorated portion of what the company is willing to put into me *if and
only if* the company is willing to be responsible for a prorated portion
of what I am willing to put into it... if I quit them before the
agreed-upon time, I pay them, if they 'quit' me in a likewise manner
*they* pay *me*.

... but the only folks I know of who get such 'play or pay' contracts are
folks like actors and sports-players... me?  I do 'real work' so I guess
it doesn't apply.

DD

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by Dave Eastabroo » Wed, 17 Dec 1997 04:00:00



wrote

Quote:

>The one thing I discussed with him is that there might be companies
>willing to fork over that kind of bonus at the beginning of 1999.  He's
>more concerned that if he says he's going to go 18 months, he's going to
>do it, even if he gets offered $250,000.  He puts more value on his word
>than money (though, obviously, he likes both).

And there's the rub.  A committment is a committment, ethics are ethics,
and my word is my bond.  We can all joke about being able to blackmail
companies, but it doesn't really work that way for most of us.  My take
on this is that I want to be able to sleep of nights.

Your friend needs to decide just how much Oracle is worth to him.  Is it
still going to be a skill in well-paid demand - or go the way of other
fashionable but seasonal skills.  No more than a five-year wonder.

But he can tie it down a bit more.  The company has said it will give
him reviews every 6 months, and he should tie down increases to a "fair
market rate increase", at least verbally.  Then, if the company tries to
cheat him, he has *NO* obligation to the company.  Ethics are two-way.

I'd say he should discuss all this openly and frankly with the company -
including his worries about being left behind in the rate wars.  If the
company is legitimate, they will understand and sympathise with this,
and should be prepared to accomodate him.  Integrity is it's own reward.
But sometimes it needs a gentle nudge.

:Dave
--
"They can take our 029's, they can take our 2314's, but they can never take...
OUR GEEKDOM!!!!!" Ron Kenyon quotes Braveheart Eastabrook. That'll do for me.
Dave Eastabrook.  Elmbronze Ltd.  Y2K Consultant.  24+ years IBM Mainframes.
http://www.elmbronze.demon.co.uk/year2000/    also /IBM/ or /telework/

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by Graham Pove » Thu, 18 Dec 1997 04:00:00


[snip]

Quote:> But he can tie it down a bit more.  The company has said it will give
> him reviews every 6 months, and he should tie down increases to a "fair
> market rate increase", at least verbally.

                                  ^^^^^^^^
A friend of mine (Clerk to the court) has a habit of saying "A verbal
agreement is worth exactly the value of the paper it's written on."
After a recent dispute with a builder, I have to second this.

Always get an agreement in writing, in the contract.
--
Graham Povey
http://www.veryComputer.com/

Remove spam-knobbler. from address to reply

Reality is whatever refuses to go away when I stop believing in it.
        - Philip K*
--

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by The Goober » Thu, 18 Dec 1997 04:00:00




> [snip]
> > But he can tie it down a bit more.  The company has said it will give
> > him reviews every 6 months, and he should tie down increases to a "fair
> > market rate increase", at least verbally.
>                                   ^^^^^^^^
> A friend of mine (Clerk to the court) has a habit of saying "A verbal
> agreement is worth exactly the value of the paper it's written on."

Your friend is, I believe, quoting Samuel F. Goldwyn.

DD

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by N.R.H. Bla » Fri, 19 Dec 1997 04:00:00


I am not an attorney but. . .
In my unqualified opinion only certain types of contract need to be
in writing to be enforceable.  Real estate interests and goods over
five hundred dollars are common examples. Contracts for services
(not goods) don't have to be in writing.  Making an audio tape,
(or better yet a video tape) with the agreement of both parties is
an excellent way to document the intentions of the parties to
be contractually bound.  Be sure to record something that makes it
obvious that both parties are aware the recording is being made
(so as to ensure your evidence of contract is admissible in every
jusidiction in case it should ever come to a dispute).
In my experience it is particularly important for small businesses
that can't afford legal departments to video tape meetings with
large businesses that can.

Henry

: A friend of mine (Clerk to the court) has a habit of saying "A verbal
: agreement is worth exactly the value of the paper it's written on."
: After a recent dispute with a builder, I have to second this.
: Always get an agreement in writing, in the contract.

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by JoAnne Schmi » Wed, 31 Dec 1997 04:00:00


On Tue, 16 Dec 1997 09:19:27 -0600, Daniel 'Doc' Sewell


>The nature of the agreement is that if my friend bolts before the 18
>months are up, he will have to pay back the pro-rated value of the
>training.  If they spend $60,000 to train him, and he leaves at 1 year,
>he has to pay back $20,000.  (That's how he explained it to me.)

>The one thing I discussed with him is that there might be companies
>willing to fork over that kind of bonus at the beginning of 1999.  He's
>more concerned that if he says he's going to go 18 months, he's going to
>do it, even if he gets offered $250,000.  He puts more value on his word
>than money (though, obviously, he likes both).

He agrees that he will either fulfill the 18 months or fork over the money
in prorated fashion.  What's so hard about that?  Leaving early is not
cheating the company, it's taking an option to leave that he has every day.

He should be able to leave with a good conscience.  If they had to lay him
off and had to pay a penalty because of it, they wouldn't feel guilty at
all and your friend should realize it's just a business deal, not a
divorce.

JoAnne PCWN+ Schmitz
-------------
Please note that my return address has been changed to thwart spammers.
Remove the capital letter middle initial.

 
 
 

Take an Oracle job with 18 month commitment?

Post by Charla J. Willia » Thu, 01 Jan 1998 04:00:00


: On Tue, 16 Dec 1997 09:19:27 -0600, Daniel 'Doc' Sewell

: >The nature of the agreement is that if my friend bolts before the 18
: >months are up, he will have to pay back the pro-rated value of the
: >training.  If they spend $60,000 to train him, and he leaves at 1 year,
: >he has to pay back $20,000.  (That's how he explained it to me.)

Last I heard (a year ago) Oracle proper was hiring people with
mainframe experience to work on conversions on installs of their
software.  For training on Oracle, working for Oracle proper ought
to give one the inside scoop.

Regards, Charla