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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007, 18:09 GMT
Outsourcing views: Mike Brooks
Mike Brooks
Name: Mike Brooks
Age: 59
Lives: Eugene, US
Works: Software/Hardware Engineer

I am 59 years old and I live in a small town outside Eugene.

I am both a software and a hardware engineer.

I have had my job outsourced three times. Each time it was to a young 'guest worker' from India or China and each time it was without warning.

The second time, at Tektronix, it was the day following my receipt of the company engineer of the year award and being named a "Tek Fellow"!

In each case, I was expected to train my replacement, and in each case, they were a lot less qualified than me.

I still get very angry when I think about this. In all my jobs, I was pretty much forced to work obscene hours, completing some new invention that the company was going to make millions of dollars from.

After completing the invention and testing, my job would be outsourced. I have never received one dime of compensation for the inventions. They are the property of the company I worked for.

I am completely opposed to outsourcing as it is done today. Right now, the guest workers, or workers at offshore facilities, are essentially slaves or indentured servants.

We are shipping off the crown jewels of our technology

The company pays them a salary and works them 60 to 80 hours a week. They receive no overtime and no additional compensation.

These people are made to compete against American and European workers for their jobs.

The result is wrecked families, older workers being literally worked into an early grave, and a whole host of social ills.

From the corporate viewpoint, these workers represent cheap talent. From the standpoint of countries, inviting guest workers, this is a slow-motion form of suicide.

We are shipping off the crown jewels of our technology and we are discouraging our own citizens from going into engineering and science.

Now I have to do two jobs in order to support myself. I work as a data base administrator for an audit firm. This job pays about 25% of what I was able to make only two years ago and I have to supplement my income by building old-fashioned bamboo fly rods.

I am actually very good at it and, assuming someone filthy rich doesn't come along to outsource that too, I hope to continue making an honest living doing it.

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