August 19th, 2015

#4874: The third day, the middle of the week.

I absolutely detest getting up at 4 AM. It would be easier if my body would cooperate with me, though.

Last night I made the mistake of guzzling a half-liter of lemonade before bed, with the result that once I was in bed I found myself getting out of bed every fifteen minutes to take a leak, for the next hour or so. Argh. But I finally got to sleep, and slept pretty well.

I crabbed to myself during lunch that I want my body just to wake the fuck up and stop making me drag it all over the fucking place. I don't mind being groggy when I've just gotten up; I do mind being groggy when I've been up for six hours after getting at least six hours' sleep. There's no reason for it; when I'd get to work at Best Buy at 10 AM after getting up at 8:30, and only having gotten six hours of sleep, I DIDN'T HAVE A FUCKING PROBLEM STAYING AWAKE.

There is no reason for me to still be groggy six hours after getting up at 4 AM, particularly when I had good, restful sleep the night before.

It's infuriating.

* * *

On the glorious H-1B visa. This is what I like best:
Notice that H-1B workers are "highly skilled" when industry wants more of them, but those very same workers become low-skilled when determining what they have to be paid.

Also notice that if the H-1B program excluded aliens paid less than the actual prevailing wage, the quota would not come close to being reached.

For example, in Silicon Valley the prevailing wage for a programmer is $93,891. However, an employer can legally pay an H-1B worker $57,179. An employer can save $36,000 a year by going H-1B. It is no wonder that H-1B workers are concentrated in high-wage locations of the country.

When a pettifogger tells you that employers do not use H-1B for cheap labor because the visa cost is so great, compare those costs to the $20,000-plus a year the employer can save on wages.

Also, when an employer tells you that they had to hire H-1B workers because they could not find Americans, try looking up their labor condition applications and compare the wage they claim to be paying to the actual prevailing wage.

The key point is that Congress has affirmatively acted to ensure that employers can pay H-1B workers ridiculously low wages.
So it looks as if in the worst-case scenario an employer must pay about $4,500 in fees to obtain a H-1B visa for someone it wants to hire.

Compare that to saving $36,000 per year in salary. Salary alone; it's actually more, because there are a whole schmeer of employment taxes employers must pay which are never disclosed to the employee--by law they cannot be itemized on your paycheck, but it is money your employer pays to the feds on your behalf and it counts as part of your total compensation. If you're paying Habeeb Abanijenehbamnaenleadblabadad $57k a year, those hidden fees are lower than if you're paying John Smithterton that $93k.

Pay $5k to save $36k plus an unspecified amount of equivalent magnitude? Most businesses will jump at that equation faster than you can say "I got a five-figure bonus for controlling labor costs!" Especially if they have a lot of people who are currently earning $93k who could be replaced with foreigners eager to accept $57k for the same work.

* * *

Two days left until the weekend. I mean, the actual weekend, which is aligned with my weekend, which just sounds like crazy talk. I haven't had a job with a weekend-aligned weekend since 2001, for crying out loud!

...it won't last, and of course my "weekend" will shift into the middle of the week all too soon...but for the next couple of months, I have a regular job like everyone else! Woohoo!

I'm hoping that my start date aligned with the pay schedule such that I get a paycheck next Friday. We'll see, I guess. *sigh*

...I wonder what Labor Day is going to be like? They haven't told us what we're doing yet. I guess I'll find out soon enough, and to be honest I don't really care all that much. Either way--working or not--it's all good.