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Comparing Technical Staff to Monkeys and Treating Them as Such

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 9:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

My wife Rianne never appreciated these insulting analogies (calling NOC staff “monkeys” and treating them accordingly)

5 Little Monkeys Swinging In The Tree + More! | Little Baby Boogie
5 Little Monkeys Swinging In The Tree

Summary: As per Rianne’s departure message about Sirius ‘Open Source’ (tuxmachines.org post), the abuse endured since 2019 did a lot of damage and false accusations were the last straw; the role was created by people who called folks who would occupy it “monkeys”; that’s how some would view the staff

THE staff will always remember what happened. The staff does not forget bullying. Witch-hunts are also impossible to forget. While Rianne strongly suspects that Matthew Garrett ‘doxxed’ her to her employer as part of his efforts to silence me, the more plausible explanation is that Sirius management was looking for excuses to quell technical dissent and moral defense. I’ve been arguing against many of the company’s decisions for a long time (internally).

“Adding insult to injury, in Rianne’s case her love of animals and regular donations to animal charities were sort of weaponised…”I wasn’t alone though; other staff also felt unhappy and some found the courage to speak about it, not just to peers but also to management. We’ve already shown a bunch letters after videos on grievances and there might be a letter-ripping video after explaining and showing the chain of events.

Adding insult to injury, in Rianne’s case her love of animals and regular donations to animal charities were sort of weaponised, hence the image below:

SiriUS no more

The company relied on truly ‘flimsy’ ‘evidence’. The management said, without any evidence, that I had uttered something “defamatory”; it took two weeks to actually show something and what they then showed was some side IRC channel (that nobody reads) stating perfectly factual information about my experiences, without naming people or the company. It was a chat between just two people and didn’t reveal anybody’s identity. It was factual and necessary; it was moral to object to bad ideas. Blind obedience and unquestionable docility should not be seen as a merit.

“It was factual and necessary; it was moral to object to bad ideas.”Based on a two-person chat, however, the company started breaching protocols and making up processes, as we shall show at a later date. The procedures set forth were disregarded and extreme measures taken for no good reason, so we resigned. It was done with immediate effect, as per the law; and “you are unlikely, in most circumstances, to need to continue the process,” say the rules. So we’re free to speak about what happened. We shall soon talk about labour union aspects as well. It’s something I’ve spoken about with friends for almost 4 years already.

In a company where some technical workers are compared to “monkeys” and there are about as many “managers” as non-managers, something has truly gone wrong. We had a moral duty or felt an urgent need to explain what had gone wrong. We now have a wiki that maintains several sections, including: memes, videos, report, key facts in a nutshell…

“As we’ve said before, the company stands no chance of surviving.”We’ve published about 45 videos with good titles (explaining in short the issues at hand), cases of clients (without naming them), openwashing, clown-washing etc.

As a reminder, we talk about a company that despite opposition from its own technical staff basically outsourced almost everything (Sirius also used to host for clients, on its very own premises). It used to self-host even the VoIP and file storage, but now, with no actual office, Sirius is just some account in another company’s server.

“Then, in Freenode, there was already an outlet for staff to discuss issues.”As we’ve said before, the company stands no chance of surviving. It’s deep in debt and it doesn’t know what it’s doing. Even its own clients began accusing it of “incompetence” (direct quote). When I joined the company in 2011 the staff had extensive media contacts in the wiki (for outreach, promotion, advocacy). It deteriorated over time as management was dismissing people without informing staff what actually happened (not safe to rely on hearsay and misinformation). Then, in Freenode, there was already an outlet for staff to discuss issues. Tackling a tradition of secrecy (dishonest management, but not quiet management), the IRC channel about the company insisted that “management wasn’t always right”, hence the need for a space in which bosses could be scrutinised. Now we do this in Techrights. The “monkeys” speak out.

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