The army of contractor-linguists who power Google Assistant say they had their wages stolen

Originally published at:


A timely reminder that anything not in the contract can’t be relied on.

As a team-lead, unpaid and unrecorded overtime was not helpful. If all my team are working over 100% and one gets sick, where on earth am I supposed to get my spare capacity from? And if I go to senior management asking for more staff, they say I don’t need any because everything is getting done and there’s no evidence of overtime being required.


Seems a good time to remind everyone that Google’s original Mission Statement was
“Don’t Be Evil.”


That was always just a catchphrase.


Meanwhile, the fox has launched investigations into the eggs missing from the hen house. /s


They’ve shortened it, tightened it up, modernized it:


Im going to play devil’s advocate for one moment:

“When I was hired, I was very explicitly told that there is no ladder,” a current contract worker said. “‘This is not a temp-to-hire position. There is no moving up’ … But the reality on the team is very much one where there is clearly a ladder. A certain percentage of the associate linguists will get project manager. A certain percentage of project managers get converted to full time. We watch it happen, and they dangle that carrot.”

So, they’re dangling a carrot-- and sometimes you get the carrot. It’s not like they’re dangling the carrot and no one ever gets the carrot. In fact, according to this guy, they’re explicitly telling people “Hey, there :clap: is :clap: no :clap: carrot :clap:”-- and sometimes you get the carrot.

“It’s super effective!”

Reminds me of many of my previous contracts. And the one I am in now.

1 Like

Yeah, but apparently there is a federal law against unpaid overtime. Maybe the carrot dangle doesn’t constitute a promise, but the thing they got them to do with the carrot dangle was illegal.


As we’ve mentioned before in these forums, they’ve since shortened it from “be evil”.

Their secret MS may be “Don’t Be Caught Being Evil.”

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.