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Do You Consider Your Social Life When You Choose A Career?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the all-work-and-no-play-makes-jack-a-dull-boy dept.

News 576

JordoCrouse writes "There has been an uproar in Salt Lake City, Utah over the comments of the new Iomega CEO, Bruce Albertson. Albertson attacked Utah's very annoying and confusing liquor laws as a reason why Utah has had a serious problem attracting engineers and other technology oriented folk, despite the low cost of living, high quality of firms, and access to excellent education. I didn't grow up here, but I went to college in Salt Lake City, so I was used to the various quirks of the local laws, but I am wondering: Do issues like liquor laws and social life really affect where engineers and programmers want to work? Does Mr. Albertson have a point, or was he just frustrated that he couldn't atract any good prospects?"

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Utah is not in America (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#401582)

There's more to it that the liquor laws. When my brother lived in UT and worked for Novell, he lived in a suburb full of child-bearing age couples with many children, but none of them played outside where they might meet a gentile.

If you order a Coke at a fast food joint, it's flat and nasty tasting, because it's the first one they've sold in a week.

And my bro said they had a lot of trouble hiring service people, because many people couldn't be polite on the phone. They caught an embezzelor, and found out that his boss knew about the crime, but didn't report it because the felon was his bishop!!

So there's more to it than the drinking laws.

A lot.

Re:Not just Salt Lake (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#401583)

K-Mart special sale laws?!?

Perhaps you meant Blue [] Laws [] .

Religion Down My Throat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#401584)

I interviewed for a position in salt lake city a little over a year ago and was asked which type of church I attended. The question wasn't even phrased whether or not if I was religious --- there was a presumption I was. What I do with my private life is my own business. Living in an area not respecting this privacy is not for me.

Re:Not just Salt Lake (1)

Suydam (881) | more than 13 years ago | (#401598)

There are offenders in any ultra-conservative area. Take the western side of Michigan. SUre, it's in the northern, supposedly more progressive half of the country, but there are still several smaller (but booming) towns with ridiculous liquor laws. Hudsonville comes to mind, and Zeeland might be the same way, but I'm not 100% sure.

Of course (5)

Suydam (881) | more than 13 years ago | (#401599)

Of course "social life" plays into everyone's decisions about career.

You do, however, have to take a broad definition of the term "social life". For a 22 year old programmer, social life = bars, nightclubs, etc....or it equals hiking, biking and camping availability. For a 35 year old single worker, it probably equals the same thing..but for a married, 35 year old father of two, "social life" is really churches, youth football leagues and PTO meetings.

Whoever you are though, quality of life (which, to a large part, is defined by extra-curricular social interactions) plays a large role in a career selection.

Re:Of course (2)

jd (1658) | more than 13 years ago | (#401613)

Agreed, to a large extent. The only quibble would be that the picture portrayed is a bit stereotypical.

(Yes, sure, stereotypes exist precicely because they're common, but common != universal.)

Like I said, though, that's more of a quibble than anything. If you're giving an example, it's going to be more understandable if you use stereotypes that people can follow, than really off-the-wall cases.

One of my first concerns (1)

McBeth (1724) | more than 13 years ago | (#401614)

Being a long time resident of Salt Lake City.... Yes the Liquor laws are absolutely bizarre. I do question his claim that there is a lack of engineers and technical people here though. Word Perfect, Novell, Evans & Sutherland were founded here, among many others. There are more game companies than you can stick a stick at (mostly owned by Microsoft now) The pay generally is lower here than in other cities, but at the same time, the cost of living is much lower. My wife having worked for IOMEGA as an enginneer, I can tell you it isn't a fun place to work. If he can't get engineers/CS guys that is his own bloody fault.

Now to answer the question ;-)
For me at least the social situation is very important for a job choice. By that I don't mean how many bars/prostitutes/whatever are within walking distance of my house. The social dynamic of your work is massively important. Some jobs I have had, I hung out with "the gang" after work doing fun stuff. Others I have hated every day of my stay there because of the people I had to work with, even if the work was interesting.

I am just stating the obvious, but hey, you asked the obvious. One thing Utah does need more of is non-Chilis/TGIFridays/Bennigans/Whatever restaurants. There are good restaurants here and there, and some of the best micro-breweries in the nation, but unfortunately, there still isn't anything great to write home about.

Not just Salt Lake (2)

Helmholtz (2715) | more than 13 years ago | (#401624)

So called "Blue Light" laws are scattered all over the place ... especially in the so called "Bible Belt", which is where I happen to live. I find them very annoying, but over time am convinced that they will slowly get replealed.

Just my 2c.

Wait just a cotton-pickin' minute... (2)

alumshubby (5517) | more than 13 years ago | (#401638)

"Does Mr. Albertson have a point, or was he just frustrated that he couldn't atract any good prospects?" Why the "or"? Who says they're mutually exclusive?

of course! (1)

Zen (8377) | more than 13 years ago | (#401643)

Social aspects definitely make a difference, but only in extreme cases. For example, Salt Lake City has a massive stigma associated with it. People think that the city is all Mormons who are not allowed to drink liquor or even any caffeinated substance, and they don't want to live there. Most people probably wouldn't want to go to Alaska either. Sure, it's supposed to be beautiful for those two months out of the year when it's summer, but it can get really cold at night for the other ten months. Other areas that are supposedly mostly 'hicks', have a similar stigma. Big cities such as Chicago or New York are bad for people who don't like the smell(pollution)/noise, etc.

I personally wouldn't dream of relocating to Utah (5)

MaggieL (10193) | more than 13 years ago | (#401646)

...but the liquor laws are only emblematic of a larger problem: my perception that the church/state lines are even blurrier there than elsewhere.

I'm certain that LDS folks would not approve of how I live my life, and I'm not confident of their ability to keep their noses out of it.

Re:Of course (2)

tgeller (10260) | more than 13 years ago | (#401647)

I agree, but would put it a different way: One considers overall *quality of life*, rather than just "social life", when considering a career.

In 1990, I spoke before the Cincinnati City Council about some gay-related issue: Business effects of quality of life were at the crux of my statement. I was then graduating from college, and trying to decide where I wanted to live. I loved Cincinnati for many reasons, but also learned to distrust the local law enforcement. (The long-time and still-current sheriff once allowed the male rapist of a lesbian to go free because, he said, "it was for her own good".)

We can trace Silicon Valley's boom to many factors, but the influence of the socially liberal San Francisco must be considered high among them. Not that a socially liberal society will always encourage business growth: But in a business that relies on the work of artists (such as software development), it's essential. --Tom Geller

Re:Of course (1)

Brian See (11276) | more than 13 years ago | (#401651)

but for a married, 35 year old father of two, "social life" is really churches, youth football leagues and PTO meetings.

Ok, how many other /. readers skimming this message thought he was referring to the United States Patent and Trademark Office [] when he mentioned "PTO meetings"?

Of *course* I consider social life. (1)

Ptolemarch (11506) | more than 13 years ago | (#401652)

There are rougly three aspects to my life:

  • Work
  • Play
  • Family (except that I'm not married and have no children, and "girlfriend" might be somewhere between "Play" and "Family".

So, is one-third of this triad going to come into play when I decide where I want to live? Of course!

But, see, the thing is that liquor laws aren't all that crippling (execept that they frequently include arbitrary limits on when can buy it, and since I stay up late and get up late, my day tends to be shifted, so this is a problem). What irritates me is the attitude that the State ought to protect me from myself. (And, without confusing the issue, that attitude is why it is very unlikely I'll ever move to Utah generally, and Salt Lake City specifically.)

well .. HELL YEA (1)

Brigadier (12956) | more than 13 years ago | (#401654)

I know what you may be thinking I'm young I dont have a family that's way off in the future and I am a career driven person. I'm 25 y/o and thus far I have worked in two career. Computers Help Desk/Graphic Design and Architecture (what I actually went to school for) Help desk was fun as I went home at 4:30 or whatever hours I chose we coudl play games while we worked and you never had to take it home ... however, it was very limiting and as a general you only last two years before becoming bitter. In my current profession I am in charge of deadlines .. which is much more fun and makes me feel valuable but it also means more than a 40hr work week. This isn't fun when you have a budding family and you are determined to balance both. I think moreoften than none family wins one week work wins another week. Your happiness is very important I think and unles syou are one of those ppl who write articles on famous resorts chances are you will have to do something to invest in your self.

Re:Drugs aid software development. (1)

Aggrazel (13616) | more than 13 years ago | (#401656)

This explains a lot, for sure.

Yes, it matters... (2)

SoftwareJanitor (15983) | more than 13 years ago | (#401663)

I wouldn't consider moving to Utah because of the ridiculous blue laws there. Things are bad enough where I live now (midwest), and aren't much better where I am going (central Texas), but they are better than Utah. I personally think that every state should have liquor laws like Nevada... Open 24x7. I also think the drinking age should be lowered to 18.

Of course the stupid politicians, old people and worried mothers of the world will never let that happen...

I can help here (3)

Shoeboy (16224) | more than 13 years ago | (#401671)

While I don't have a career (I was fired for sexual harassment 6 months ago and haven't bothered to find another job) and I don't have much of a life, I did spend 18 years in Utah.

I would never go back.

It's not the restrictive liquor laws that are the problem. Hell, if it hadn't been for easy access to liquor I wouldn't have sent the email that got me fired.

The problem is the environment. Utah is ugly as sin. The predominant form of vegitation in the great basin is sagebrush. There are also tall grasses that are green for 2 weeks in the spring and brown the rest of the year. It's ugly.

It's also cold. Bitter cold. The best part is that the Salt Lake valley get's temperature inversions in the winter. This traps a pocket of extremely cold air in the valley. It's actually warmer at the ski resorts then down in the valley. This static cold air quickly turns brown from pollution and the snow gets a dirty crust. It's not pleasant.

In the summer it's worse. The brine shrimp in the Great Salt Lake breed quickly and then die. Then they rot. A breeze will waft this pleasant aroma across the entire valley. I can't describe how bad it smells. If that's not enough, in North Salt Lake, there are sulphur springs. The surrounding area always smells like a fart.

That's why people don't like living in Utah. If you look at popular high tech areas like the Bay Area or the Puget Sound area, they're great places to live. Utah is the armpit of the world.


No social life.. (2)

verbatim (18390) | more than 13 years ago | (#401672)

I don't have a social life :. it does not affect my career decisions. Bah. Thats nonsense. Not having a social life _can_ affect my decisions because I seem to prefer an environment where fridays are not launch-pads to weekend parties. I also prefer to work and not chatter about lifes little problems. But hey... thats me. Whatever floats your boat.

a=b;a^2=ab;a^2-b^2=ab-b^2;(a-b)(a+b)=b(a-b);a+b=b; 2b=b;2=1

way of life (1)

sporkboy (22212) | more than 13 years ago | (#401682)

It was definitely a consideration when I was looking for my last job. I kept having interviews in these office parks in the middle of woods/swamp/whatever with nothing inside walking distance. I'm a city person, and I don't tend to drive, so a place like that had no chance of hiring me, no matter what they offered. My jobs have always been in the city, and near neighborhoods where there are things to do. Maybe that will change when I get older, or the market gets worse.

Confusing? Um... (1)

Utoxin (26011) | more than 13 years ago | (#401688)

Maybe it's just because I /don't/ have a social life, but I've never found the laws here in Utah that confusing. But then, I've never had the slightest desire to get drunk either. The idea of drinking until I lose control of my motor functions, and then waking up in the morning feeling awful fails to entice me.

My social life consists of hanging out online and playing lasertag once a week at the local arena. And that's all I need. Why should I need to drink to have a social life? *shrug* Oh well, I guess it's one of those mystries that I just don't understand.
Matthew Walker
My DNA is Y2K compliant

Re:Anti-Smoking Laws... (1)

Smallest (26153) | more than 13 years ago | (#401692)

because: it's wrong for you to force me to breathe smoke.

come on over to my place sometime. i like to burn plastic and old tires. you can have a fucking ham sandwich out by the fire pits.

get over yourself.

Social Life is Very Important (1)

Quack1701 (26159) | more than 13 years ago | (#401694)

Let me preface this by saying I'm an engineer in the oil busines.

It is a fact that I have turned down several very high paying engineering jobs that would have had me working in the middle of nowwhere. Not because there is no beer, but because there was an appereance that working in such a place would not allow me to socailize with people my age with my interest. I enjoy sports, skating, beer, nature trails, girls, computers, etc... A job that is 3 hours from civilization, requardless of the money or the abundance of beer is not going to hack it for me.

Why is there any question? (1)

GlobalEcho (26240) | more than 13 years ago | (#401695)

Is anybody seriously arguing that these types of questions don't affect people's decisions? What are they smoking in Utah?

As a non-drinker, No, but otherwise, Yes. (4)

scotpurl (28825) | more than 13 years ago | (#401700)

I'm a non-drinker (never even been drunk), and the drinking laws would have nothing to do with me not seeking work in Utah. The overall backward, exclusionary, racist, and conservative attitudes that prevail there, and in southern Idaho, make it impossible for me to consider work there.

An example: my wife (who's not white) and I are travelling through the area (on honeymoon, actually). At restaurants, she's stared at, and there's lots of behind-the-back gossip. When we stayed at a business-class hotel, the hotel came around at 7am, knocking on all the doors, to wake us for service. The front desk folks were positively horrified that we were checking out when we should have been at service (with lots of whispering and finger pointing by the other staff). When I went to fill the tank on our car, the P.A. system at the gas station was playing loud, bad, religious music.

The whole message was, "You're not us, so go away." I'm wondering now how Utah is going to deal with the Olympics when they realize that many of the competitors are [gasp] foreigners and [gasp] not white.

Re:Goodbye Mr. Albertson (1)

ctp (29513) | more than 13 years ago | (#401703)

No joke!!

Vegas was built and financed by Mormons...pick up some history about it's fascinating.

missing the point (1)

ctp (29513) | more than 13 years ago | (#401704)

What Mr Albertson is saying is that Iomega drives its employees to drink, and that can be problematic in SLC. That's all.

All I have to say is (1)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 13 years ago | (#401709)

No beer and no tv make homer go crazy!!!

Re:Wait just a cotton-pickin' minute... (1)

VP (32928) | more than 13 years ago | (#401712)

Why the "or"? Who says they're mutually exclusive?

he said "or", not "xor"

Not just liquor laws (5)

coyote-san (38515) | more than 13 years ago | (#401726)

It's not just the liquor laws that keep a lot of people far away from Utah. It's the mindset of a state that is appointed a 40-year-old virgin as porn queen. And they think WE don't have a social life!

A virgin Mormon porn czar?? [Are they kidding?!]

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- Utah's new porn czar is an acknowledged virgin who rarely watches R-rated movies and has prosecuted a scant five pornography cases in her 15-year legal career. But Paula Houston asserts she knows smut when she sees it.

Utah - a state that regularly appoints teetotallers to its alcohol-regulatory board - is the nation's pioneer in creating an "obscenity and pornography complaints ombudsman."

Besides her experience as a city prosecutor, Houston, 40, unabashedly brings the values of her Mormon faith to an assignment that will include viewing XXX-rated movies, pornographic Internet sites and sexually explicit magazines. Houston's lack of personal sexual experience disqualifies her in the minds of some from passing judgment on just what constitutes pornography. Others say moral judgments are best made by those who are above reproach. For Houston, such arguments are entirely beside the point.

"My personal life is irrelevant," says Houston. [What personal life?]

From an article by Kevin Cantera & Michael Vigh, Salt Lake Tribune, 2/11/01

P.S., the "lameness filter" is a piece of crap! Just because Netscape inserts leading whitespace in copied material is no reason to reject comments!

Metrowerks (1)

DzugZug (52149) | more than 13 years ago | (#401748)

Metrowerks moved from Toronto to Austin, TX because the nicer weather and lack of state income tax made it a more appealing location for potential hires.

Social Life... (2)

levik (52444) | more than 13 years ago | (#401749)

Is pretty important to my work selection. I live in NY, and though i wish to stay to work there and geography is of little concern, I try to find a job that interferes as little as possible with my schedule.

I'm 2 years of college, and working 60 hour weeks is something that I don't yet think I need to do, especially since I don't have a family to support and expenses to cover. And really it is possible to find a good full time job that will be a 9 - 5 or 9 - 6 gig without sacriicing too much pay.

I can totally see the point of view of people who don't want to take a job that would require them to move to a socially conservative area, regardless of the living costs.

If you consider the average age of the people in the industry, it's a surprize to me that there are as many people employed in he field outside of large metropolitan areas as there are.

Re:Anti-Smoking Laws... (1)

The Salamander (56587) | more than 13 years ago | (#401759)

> Well, if for no other reason, I would consider moving to California because of the anti-smoking laws.

No kidding! Here in Austin, its only in restaurants, but its very nice. I was stunned
when I was in another city and the hostess asked me my smoking preference.

Dumb UT Liquor Laws (1)

Velox_SwiftFox (57902) | more than 13 years ago | (#401761)

Face it, Utah Liquor laws are stupid. Forget the restrictions, the loopholes are destructive or just silly.

Supposedly Utah has no bars, just private clubs. But these "private clubs" are ridiculously loose. Walk into one, you are asked if you have a membership. Nope? Okay, the waitress calls out "will anyone sponsor this person/these people?" Half a dozen patrons you never met before raise their hands, you're in. And can bring your kids in! Sheesh. Talk about a lack of state responsibility towards the children involved.

I remember visiting the Olive Garden in downtown Salt Lake City. No mention of wine available on their menu. I said something like "Too bad about that" and was informed that they actually have a full bar buty are forbidden to tell you about it unless you ask first.

Appearance, not substance to the morality in Utah.

Hell Yes... (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 13 years ago | (#401768)

It's not so much location for me as it is the hours...

I'm pushing 40, I've got a wife and kids. I've probably shot several interviews by asking if the employees are allowed to have a life.

I don't mind working the occasional 50/60 hour week. Everyone understands crunch time. But if it's a way of life, then there's something seriously wrong with the company.

SLC Punk? (1)

nlabadie (64769) | more than 13 years ago | (#401772)

Has anyone seen SLC Punk [] ? It basically sums up this entire state. There's nothing like religious opression to keep the engineers away ;).

Wait just a darn minute! (2)

brogdon (65526) | more than 13 years ago | (#401774)

We're allowed to have social lives? Awright, I'm trying that....


Not just Liquor... (1)

LordOmar (68037) | more than 13 years ago | (#401785)

A couple years ago I was offered a job in Salt Lake, it took me about 5 minutes to decide with a resounding "NO". The liquor laws of Salt Lake City are reflective of the dominant moral culture of the area. I think it's more that culture as a whole that harms Salt Lake when trying to draw prospective recruits.

I live in a fairly liberal community, and that my color this opinion a bit (it's always bad to make generalizations), but techies on broad scope tend toward liberal viewpoints. Living in a conservitive community isn't appealing (it never is to have to hide ones beliefs in order to avoid ridicule). Also the view of Salt Lake (held by many outside the community) is one of almost Mormonistic Nepitism. We hear horror stories of people being passed up for promotions and raises while their mormon co workers climb the ladder with ease. I am sure that stories like this have an effect on migration (despite wether or not they are true).

What is the big deal? (1)

ichthus (72442) | more than 13 years ago | (#401788)

Utah bars can and do serve anything that a California bar serves. You can't buy liquor (outside of 3.2 beer) in a grocery store -- you have to go to a liquor store. BIG DEAL. You can buy liquor at any restaraunt that has a liquor license. Bottom line is, it's just as easy to get drunk here in Utah as it is anywhere else.

Also, the tech front is looking pretty good here. Intel is building a seven bldg. campus here, with one bldg. already operational. Novel has always been here. Enterasys Networks' main engineering facility is here, ... etc, etc.

Park City (1)

bendawg (72695) | more than 13 years ago | (#401790)

I went to Park City a few weeks ago, and the night life there was pretty nice. Unfortunately it is about an hour outside of Salt Lake. I'd love to move to Park City just because of the slopes.

Re:What a silly question ! (1)

snic (75548) | more than 13 years ago | (#401792)

Having moved from New Zealand to work in Silicon Valley for the last 10 months I have to agree. Drinking laws in the US are ridiculous and the police presence is rather overwhelming (I live in San Jose). Seems hard to find anywhere around here that's open after 1am on the weekend. US life in general seems rather uptight and unfriendly. Quite frankly I'll be happy to leave this place and head back to the much more relaxed antipodean shores of NZ with a few US$ in my pocket.

s/social/drinking (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 13 years ago | (#401810)

There's a lot more to social life than consuming alcohol, you know.

Heck yes I consider my social life. It's part of the whole "quality of life" package. I just wish it weren't so blamed hard to find a tech job in smaller communities, because I hate city life. I'm leaving Des Moines for Rochester, MN.

In smaller towns, the "rat race" (and traffic) doesn't stink so bad.

In smaller towns, there seems to be more emphasis on building relationships within the community. Social life is more easily found outside the bars.

In smaller towns, it's easier to get out into the "Big Blue Room" and go fishing, biking, whatever.

Smaller towns are generally safer places to raise a family.

These are things I value. So darned right I consider social life when looking at my career. Yeah, you take a hit in the pay, assuming you can find a job to begin with, but it's worth it.

Or... (1)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 13 years ago | (#401825)

... maybe he's just frustrated that he can't get bombed on a saturday night.

Re:Why is there any question? (1)

Darksun (97127) | more than 13 years ago | (#401826)

heh, they're not smoking anything cuz smoking is illegal everywhere...

Work To Live (1)

GreekGeek (107994) | more than 13 years ago | (#401840)

Let's make one thing clear when it comes to jobs. We have a job so that we can pay for things to live and maybe enough to actually enhanced our lives. I would never choose a job that did not fit that purpose.

Location, NOT career (1)

michellem (110855) | more than 13 years ago | (#401846)

The issue here is not what people do, but where they do it. Utah is not the only place to work as a geek, thankfully, for if it were, youbetcha I'd be looking for another line of work. To some extent, whether or not one can have a balanced personal life comes into a lot of people's considerations of career. But I don't care how much I wanted to work at Iomega, and how much they'd be willing to pay me, I'd never in a million years work in Utah.

Hmmm... (1)

Raymond Luxury Yacht (112037) | more than 13 years ago | (#401848)

"# ps ax | grep social_life
12579 pts/0 S 0:00 grep social_life

Nothin... let's see...

"# man social_life No manual entry for social_life"


Obviously not... (1)

NOT-2-QUICK (114909) | more than 13 years ago | (#401862)

Had I considered my social life when selecting my career, I would not have chosen to be a computer geek who works 60+ hours a week for a nominal salary in the cave that I have for an office...

If my social life was my primary concern then I obviously would have chosen a much more lucrative position such as male stripper or some other profession that catered more to a better social existance and a lot more SEX!!!

Then again, I don't know if the rush of getting naked in front of beautiful women could ever compare with the amazing feeling of completing awesome code or firing up the latest and greatest hardware for the first time...I guess I was just destined to be a geek!!! :-)

- not-2-quick

Not just liquor laws (1)

ebh (116526) | more than 13 years ago | (#401867)

When I considered relocating to SLC, the weird liquor laws didn't bother me, but what put me off for good was when a local warned me that my kid would, sooner or later, come home saying, "So-and-so's parents won't let me play with him any more because we're not Mormons. Daddy, what's a Mormon?"

Re:Well... (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 13 years ago | (#401873)

I never looked at any of the specifics, but the overall "look and feel" of /utah/slc/ has turned me off from pursuing career options there, in spite of the lower cost of living &c.

Yes I did. (1)

linderdm (127168) | more than 13 years ago | (#401879)

I got three offers for a tech job out of college. One was in Detroit, MI, another in Boston, MA, and a third in Newark, DE. Now in considering which job to take, I factored in three things: the job duties, the pay, and the location. All three were important, because I value my happiness as my number one priority. Job duties helped me figure out if I would like doing the work, and a combination of pay and location told me 1) if I could afford to live where the job was, 2) if I would have enough money to spend for "entertainment" and 3) if my out of work life would fulfill my number one priority. I turned down the job in Detroit because the pay wasn't good enough, AND I coudn't see having that much fun in the Detroit area (I went to U of M in Ann Arbor). I turned down the Boston job because the pay wouldn't sustain an enjoyable life up there (barely would have been able to afford to live there, much less have fun there) even though Boston is a great city. The DE job was a good combination of the three, so here I am. Work is not my life, so where I live, and how my job contributes to living the lifestyle I choose to, is very important to me.

Let me put somthing clear: (1)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 13 years ago | (#401880)

getting loaded and having a social life does not mean the same thing.

yes. (2)

Bad_CRC (137146) | more than 13 years ago | (#401892)

I got an interesting offer from Nihlistic to come work on Vampire:Masquerade a few years ago. But as much as I love games, I can't imagine being a dev, working 20+ hours a day 7 days a week, and not even being sure your game won't just lose money.

Making games would be cool, but a schedule like that would kill most people.

IMHO I think too many people forget that the reason you work is so you can enjoy your time off, and if your time off is destroyed by your job, you should re-evaluate your career.


Anti-Smoking Laws... (1)

BMazurek (137285) | more than 13 years ago | (#401894)

Well, if for no other reason, I would consider moving to California because of the anti-smoking laws.

Any time I've been there, I was always really pleased to go into a restaurant and not be bothered by second-hand smoke.

And, YES, this does significantly impact my social life...

There is no problem! (1)

bluesangria (140909) | more than 13 years ago | (#401897)

This is exactly how state laws are supposed to work. If you don't like the laws of a particular state, MOVE!

Also, in a capitalist society (or mostly capitalist), businesses are supposed to be able to stand on their own merits, not whine about how government leaders have not cow-towed to them.

Is drinking part of a social life? (3) (142825) | more than 13 years ago | (#401901)

Is Albertson trying to imply that drinking is a requirement of a social life? Or that people who drink are more creative?

WordPerfect was in Utah for a long time. What about Novell?? Caldera???

Yes, social life matters (1)

bob_jenkins (144606) | more than 13 years ago | (#401902)

When I came out of college I had two offers: Oracle and Lawrence Livermore National Labs. Oracle had volleyball and a party at someone's house after the interview. LLNL didn't. I joined Oracle.

What a silly question ! (2)

f5426 (144654) | more than 13 years ago | (#401905)

> Do issues like [...] social life really affect where engineers and programmers want to work?

Of course. For instance US life seems so brainfucked from this side of the atlantic that I refused to move over several time.



yes (1)

tektsu (151613) | more than 13 years ago | (#401914)

of course

Re:Not just Salt Lake (5)

Nidhogg (161640) | more than 13 years ago | (#401926)

My friend I think you place too much faith in our local legislature.

Indiana has had a law (ever since I can remember) that no alcohol of any sort will be sold from a store on Sunday.

BUT (and this is the part that kills me) a few years they modified that law to where you could go to a restaurant and buy it to drink while you're sitting there.

So in effect you can't buy it, take it home and drink safely. No no. If you want to drink on Sunday you have to go OUT and do it then drive home.

Way to support those drunk driving laws guys. Thanks buckets.

To stay on topic though.. I think it has a mild effect but not to the point this guy says. If the job has sufficient compensations (in your opinion) then these annoyances can be overcome.

Re:I can help here (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#401933)

True true...

I don't drink (3)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 13 years ago | (#401935)

and I'm a fairly active Mormon (in that I go to church, mostly because my wife thinks it is a good idea) I should fit right in in Utah but right now I'm very involved in trying to move to the Portland Oregon area (btw if you need a good Unix/GNU/Linux systems guy and are in that area send me a mail) Why? Becuase Utah has many problems above and beyond drinking laws. First I have no idea where this myth that Utah has a low cost of living came from but it is not true. Also taxes tend to be very high and wages much lower than other spots that have the same cost of living. And then there are the Mormons. In other places in the country that I have lived I have really liked many of my fellow Mormons and in fact enjoyed going to chruch. Here in Utah most of them tend to be aholes. In short people not coming to Utah has nothing to do with liquor laws but more to do with the fact that on many other levels it sucks.

Re:Worst title ever (2)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 13 years ago | (#401941)

"Do You Consider Your Social Life When You Choose A Location?"

This, in a perfect world, would be an irrelevant question for many people in a high-tech company. The Iomega should have been able to hire the very best and brightest programmers if they fully supported telecommuting. I'd happily work a schedule anywhere in the country (or world) if the company flew me in for regualarly scheduled meetings (maybe a couple days a month for F2F with the managers and the other programmers) and I was able to work the rest of the time from home.

The problem is bigger than geeks... (1)

jmoloug1 (178962) | more than 13 years ago | (#401953)

The real problem isn't limited to just geeks. Nobody wants to live there. I think it is highly correlated with the puritanical religious society in Utah. Geeks won't relocate there for many of the same reasons as other people. The quality and quantity of social and cultural experiences can be very limited in SLC. This is tough for anyone who wants to raise a family. Educated people want access to good schools, good hospitals, high culture, and other pursuits. Take Boulder, Colorado as an example. The average adult in Boulder has a Master's Degree!

I think Utah won't attract a critical mass of tech (or other professional) people until its social norms are modified. I, for one, would love to live in the desert instead of the Northeast, but won't move to SLC because of the very conservative social atmosphere. It's certainly not the climate that keeps people away. SLC (and greater Utah) is not a choice as long as other alternatives exist such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, etc.

Re:Why is there any question? (1)

Scer675 (179652) | more than 13 years ago | (#401955)

Obviously nothing. If they were the liquor laws would seem less important wouldn't they?


Re:Not just Salt Lake (2)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 13 years ago | (#401965)

Connecticut has the exact same thing. Stupid blue laws.

Re:Is drinking part of a social life? (2)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#401977)

Yes it is! For many people, anyway. I don't consider myself a heavy drinker, but I do enjoy a good Martini or Guinness every once in a while, and there is no fucking way I'd move to a dry county or a city like Salt Lake where the morality police are out in force.

I personally am not a likely candidate for Iomega, but I bet there are a lot of other people out there like me. So the guy is absolutely correct, in my view.

I take offense at all this (1)

ellingtp (198719) | more than 13 years ago | (#401981)

Think for a moment slashdotters. Calling Alchohol Restrictions "rediculous" is obviously a matter of opinion. One of the great parts of our government is that local states/counties/cities are left alone to decide some matters for themselves. The local people take a vote and if the majority of the people wanted to outlaw owning a cat then the city could legally pass such an ordinance and owning a cat would be illegal....stupid? well i think so but if the majority doesnt then its not stupid. The same goes for alcohol, it has been proven over and over again that alcohol realted car accidents, public intoxication, personal injury etc, cases are lower in areas that have laws against selling of alcohol. These counties are safer to live in. That is a fact backed up by numbers. So in answer to the posters question, does this effect where you live? yes it does. You need to find an area with a majority of the people that agree with you on matters of this importance. I live in KY one of the greatest alcohol producing states in the nation, and some 85 percent of its counties are "dry". Yes its the Bible Belt, but that just means that people believe a certain thing and express it with their votes.

Re:Is drinking part of a social life? (4)

moze14 (199802) | more than 13 years ago | (#401983)

I think that the point of the article is that the drinking laws are a highly visible component of life in Utah to outsiders (of which I am one). The point is that even if drinking is not a requirement of a social life, outsiders have to wonder what other ways the Mormons will stifle personal freedom for non-believers.

Geeks have fun too (1)

traused (200984) | more than 13 years ago | (#401985)

I would not move to Utah, largly becuase of the social life.
I am a programer, I spend a lot of time on the computer, BUT that does not mean I don't like to have fun.
I enjoy going out to a club, or bar and having a few drinks. I enjoy having a beer at a restraunt. I would not take a job someplace where the laws try to govern what I do in my spare time.

Huh (2)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#401991)

I'm sorry, did he just mention 'geek' and 'social life' in the same sentence?

Re:Anti-Smoking Laws... (3)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#401993)

I take offense to your post.

As a long-time smoker, I can honestly say that there is nothing that bothers me more than having some right-wing tree hugger complain about my "second-hand smoke".

Every restaurant I have ever entered in the past 10 years (with the exception of a few smaller bars) has established both a smoking section and a non-smoking section. Maybe I should explain the concept of these sections to you, since you obviously have some problems understanding. Smoking section=People who smoke. Non-Smoking Section=People who don't like smoke.

What exactly is the problem here?

As a smoker, I make a conscious effort to keep my smoke away from those who choose not to smoke. This means that when I am in the presence of a non-smoker I will excuse myself and go outside to smoke. I also try to stay away from busy doorways and entrances when smoking outside to allow passerbys to have the benefit of clean air. By banning ALL smoking in restaurants, California has benefited non-smokers, but is causing great inconvenience and discrimination against smokers.

So, while YOU, personally, might not like smoke, there are others of us who CHOOSE to smoke and you should have the courtesy to respect their needs as well.

Re:Not just Salt Lake (2)

jjsjeff (210138) | more than 13 years ago | (#401994)

At least you don't have to live in Kansas so you can be the buttend of every evolution joke. But hey we have liquor! :) -Jeff

Cachet of Colorado... (1)

excesspwr (218183) | more than 13 years ago | (#402002)

Why doesn't Utah have the cachet of Colorado, he wonders. Part of the answer, Albertson believes, are the restrictions placed by lawmakers on alcohol consumption.

He does make a good point, however, you can work around certain things to fit your lifestyle.

I live and work in Colorado Springs and they have a law where you can not purchase alcohol from liquor stores on Sunday ("dry" city on sunday). So I work around it. I purchase everything I need on Saturday. If I'm not to drunk to remember. It is annoying though when I forget and if it ever becomes that big of a hassle I would consider moving and finding another job.

Whatever (5)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 13 years ago | (#402006)

In other news, the CEO of Iomega, the company that makes those unreliable drives that are warrentied till "the end of their life", bitched today that he could not get drunk while bribing senators to save his companies ass.

He mostly whines about politicians (1)

John Harrison (223649) | more than 13 years ago | (#402007)

In the article the Iomega guy spends most of his time whining that Utah politicians don't seek him out for advice enough. Most of the article has nothing to do with the lifestyle in Utah.

The local liquor laws are silly, but mostly just take some getting used to. It isn't as if Utah is a 'dry' state. I think that those who aren't members of the LDS church would worry more about simply being surrounded by Moromons than about the liquor laws in particular.

Utah has a lot to offer to offset all the strangeness if you are into skiing, hiking, mountain biking, or rock climbing. However if you like big cities, or can't stand the lack of diversity, then Utah isn't for you.

Hey Bruce -- ever go outside? And, native talent.. (3)

namespan (225296) | more than 13 years ago | (#402013)

First off, Bruce: do you ever go outside? Have you not, perhaps, noticed, that Utah really is first rate for outdoor recreation activities? If you're into clubbing, no, this is not the place to come, but there are other sorts of recreation. And some of it here in Utah is first rate. Zion's nat'l park. Arches. Uintah national forest. To say nothing of skiing and snowboarding.

Second: have you ever tried to get alcohol in Utah? Getting into one of the "private clubs for members" where drinks are served is pretty easy. Grabbing a six pack is even easier.

Third: I do consider my social life when I apply for a job. Mostly, though, I look for flexibility in terms of schedule and vacation and weekly hours no greater than 40. That's what social life means to me: I get time off. My job is NOT my life. Are you doing that? Try offering a month of vacation to your engineers and tell them they only occasionally will have to work overtime. You'll probably get a decent response.

Fourth: Are you aware that there's a fairly large talent pool endemic to Utah? There's 3 universities here with student bases of over 20,000 and more than decent engineering schools. Some of these people want to leave (me), but I'd expect that many of them wouldn't mind staying.

Gripe, gripe, gripe. Engineering is a high-demand profession at the moment. Attracting good talent is hard. Find the strengths of the place you're located at, make your corp a happy place to work for, and get over it. Hell, serve drinks at work, if it's that important to you.


Re:What a silly question ! (1)

SVDave (231875) | more than 13 years ago | (#402023)

...(I live in San Jose). Seems hard to find anywhere around here that's open after 1am on the weekend.
That's not an American problem, that's a San Jose problem. If you want nightlife, go to San Francisco.

No. (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#402024)

No. A career to me is just a way to make money. I'm a professional programmer, but the only reason I do it is because it pays well. I generally don't like other programmers, because most are about as interesting as a wet sock. My career is not my life.

No way, Utah (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#402025)

I personally, would never work/live in Utah for precisely this reason. But of course, I would'nt work in any other highly religious area. I don't care how good the job is. If I can't go out after work or on the weekend with my honey to grab a few drinks, then it's not worth living there.

Welcome to Alaska (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 13 years ago | (#402026)

From what I understand, Alaska has virtually unenforced marijuana laws. That's a large reason why I'm moving there.

Saudi Arabia (1)

Bug2000 (235500) | more than 13 years ago | (#402028)

I think I would not hesitate if the interest of the project is good. However, you think that Utah is restrictive ? Look at what happens in Saudi Arabia for all these Microsoft employees [] ! Do you think Linux would be flexible enough to handle these requirements ?

*I* am (2)

OlympicSponsor (236309) | more than 13 years ago | (#402029)

I never go out drinking so liquor laws don't really affect me. But let's take something I do like: books. I don't scope out the library at my new location, I just move. If the nearest library is no good, check the next nearest--or a used bookstore, or whatever. School no good? Get on the school board and fix it. No good clubs? Grow up and stop wasting your time.

What's the saying? "An unreasonable man changes the environment to suit HIM." I'm unreasonable.
Non-meta-modded "Overrated" mods are killing Slashdot

Worst title ever (3)

OlympicSponsor (236309) | more than 13 years ago | (#402030)

"Do You Consider Your Social Life When You Choose A Career?"

I thought this was going to be a question about " marketers get the babes" vs "bankers have more meaningful relationships".

Turns out you REALLY mean to write "Do You Consider Your Social Life When You Choose A Location?" Which, of course, is totally unrelated to computers, technology or anything resembling "News for Nerds".
Non-meta-modded "Overrated" mods are killing Slashdot

Get with it Utah... (1)

necrognome (236545) | more than 13 years ago | (#402031)


YES! (2)

rppp01 (236599) | more than 13 years ago | (#402036)

Oh man, I lived in SLC, and I will never go back. The mountains and the snow (snowboarding) were never enough to keep me from running out of there as quickly as I did (I woke up one morning, sick of the place, packed up and was gone in 2 weeks, with myself, my wife and 3 kids).

Absolutely. Why would I want to live in a community where the society frowns on anything not like them, or worse, a society that legislates that frowning.

SLC was terrible from the religious bias, and the social dysfunction. I have lived all over the US, and it was one of the worst places I have ever been for discrimination on account of religion, or anything not 'them' (read: mormon)

Your state will remain back-ass-words until the religous ropes that throttle it are lossened.

Re:What a silly question ! (1)

RembrandtX (240864) | more than 13 years ago | (#402040)

heh ...
I spent almost 2 years across the pond , and I moved back *chuckle*
but you have a good point .. (cultural standings aside) people go where they are comfortable, and where they feel they will understand the way things work.
'You should also NEVER mix up the words Knackered, and Knickers .. especially if the girl your talking to can move faster than you, and is freakishly strong.'

liqour laws a BIG DEAL (1)

gbd (242931) | more than 13 years ago | (#402043)

hi all (george here)

i think if i were to move to a new city for a new job i would HAVE to look at liqour laws. i mean as an employer you don't want drunks as employees, i mean you don't get much done at meetings if everybody is PLASTERED!! but still reasonable drinking is definitely a requirement and i would never EVER EVER take a job where i had to live in a place like FUNDY VILLE where alcohol was banned and you could be put in jail for discussing the theorys of stephen hawking.

this is one of the things that companys NEED to consider when they decide where to locate themselves. you will NOT attract people if you are in an area where there is no entertainment or high toxicity in the water. so do not put your company in the middle of montana or anywhere even near new jersey!! put it in a place where REAL people want to work and live, where REAL people will be happy to move to!! avoid places with crappy shitty weather and ridiculous laws that curb drinking potential. AVOID all places that restrict basic human rights and FREEDOM in this way. remember that if you are looking for high tech workers many of them will REQUIRE freedom and the american way and so they will shy away from the shackles of religious or environmental or corporate censorship. my wife wanted to move us to tulsa and i was like "NO WAY" we are not moving to tulsa.

your bud

Re:liquor laws suck in Utah (2)

gbd (242931) | more than 13 years ago | (#402044)

hi coward (george here)

I also live and work in Utah, and the regulations are enough to drive anyone who wants an occasional drink insane.

are you saying that the liqour laws are so bad they drove you to drink!! hehehehehe!!

your bud

A True Story (5)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#402045)

My wife used to work at a Walmart here in the Texas panhandle. For several months, she did the overnight shift.

Now, the way Texas's blue laws work, you cannot buy alcohol period after 2 A.M. After 12 A.M. you can only buy from a bar, and after 9 P.M. you cannot buy from liquor stores. This means no hard alcohol for mixers after 9 and 24 stores like Walmart and Albertsons have to refuse alcohol purchases after midnight and until noon on Sundays. This *really* makes sense in a state where the biggest pastime is sitting around the tube watching football all day sunday with a beer in one hand and the remote in the other.

As you can imagine, the Mrs. got some very angry customers who couldn't buy alcohol when they wanted to.

One day, a former Texas Representitive walked into the store at 4 A.M. Sunday morning. He picked up several bottles of wine, and a couple nice cases of beer. He was getting ready for an all day family get together, see?

So when my wife told him that no, he could *not* buy the booze, he slapped himself on the forehead and said, "I just had to sign on that renewal bill, didn't I?"

Most legislation is passed by people who aren't even paying attention to what they're doing.

Well... (1)

RareHeintz (244414) | more than 13 years ago | (#402047)

I don't know about liquor laws specifically, but I've heard that nightlife in general is pretty dead in SLC, and that has kept me from pursuing software development gigs there.

Of course, that's just what I've heard, I don't claim personal experience. YMMV.

- B

i have yet to meet a tech.. (1)

dghxc fhgxd (248363) | more than 13 years ago | (#402056)

i have yet to meet a CS, EET or any sort of Tech person who doesnt LOVE to get drunk.... HI FRANTZEN!!!!!!!!!

Drugs aid software development. (1)

Urban Existentialist (307726) | more than 13 years ago | (#402102)

The most creative of peoples always desire mind altering drugs - this is writ through history. From the High Temples of ancient Egypt, where the priests imbibed on hallucinogens, to 19th century Paris, where the most artistic and creative generation of the millenium imbibed on absinthe and booxe to the point of degeneration, creativity and drugs (here I am including alchohol as a drug) have went hand in hand.

I personally spent the majority of my university years whilst studying continental philosophy under the influence of LSD.

Question is, we know that drugs and the artistic professions go hand in hand - what about drugs and the rational, engineering professions like Software Engineering?

I would argue that they do, but only in moderation. Drugs can be considered a break from the rational world for the mathematical software developer, and when he returns from his blissful trip he is all the more ennabled to take on the rational world, and emulate it.

Through escaping it occassionally, he can better understand it.

Drugs and software development are a natural match, so much so that I am suspicious of those who do not take drugs. Are they really creative or bold enough? No, they are cowards, afraid of the unknown and unwilling to expirement.

I would never employ a drug free software developer. Such a person is just a drudge. Only the bold, the Human Becomings rather than the Human Beings, are for me.

You know exactly what to do-
Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

Re:What a silly question ! (1)

symplegades (310676) | more than 13 years ago | (#402112)

For instance US life seems so brainfucked from this side of the atlantic that I refused to move over several time.

Would you care to elaborate on this? Specifically, how does US life seem brainfucked and what do you find superior about life in your country?

with apologies for the offtopic post,


Re:Salt Lake (1)

JofCoRe (315438) | more than 13 years ago | (#402121)

Hehe.. sounds like a place I would not live. I despise the government's so called "quality of life" laws. They suck. It's just the government trying to nose into people's private lives. Just from the statement made above ("random drug tests, 3 percent alcohol, membership req'd for clubs that server alcohol"). That would definately affect my desire to move to that city. I may not drink too much, and when I do, it's not in a bar usually, but I disagree with those fascist beliefs, and would not subject myself to them. So, yea, it would definately affect my choosing of a job...

of course (1)

PicassoJones (315767) | more than 13 years ago | (#402122)

Of course you have to consider a social life when choosing your carreer. After all, a job is only something that helps support a social life.

As to "confusing liquor laws," I doubt that's the main problem. I am unfamiliar with the laws in question, but I'm sure it's not impossible to get a drink.

Salt Lake City just has a reputation of being nothing but Mormon. I know I wouldn't want to live there.

My apologies to any Mormons or people from Salt Lake City.

Re:Obligatory Editorial Reminder (1)

thefallingsickness (317917) | more than 13 years ago | (#402133)

Actually, I would say that it matters. Some of us nerds actually choose to go out and be social sometimes, instead of just reading slashdot. Slashdot is as much as forum for discussion (among nerds) as it is a place for news. The quote in the slashdot logo is not by any means dogma. Take off every SIG...err...ZIG.

Tech jobs and social life (1)

SumDeusExMachina (318037) | more than 13 years ago | (#402134)

What I want to know is this: why would someone going into a tech job even consider what kind of social life that they would lead? I mean, I know that this would matter to most people, but tech people are a special case.

For example, how many programmers do you know that actually get out much? I bet RMS doesn't do much outside of GNU, just look at his website.

Although I must concede that the stricter alcohol laws in Utah might have an adverse affect, seeing as many jobs such as tech support are depressing and stressful enough to cause drinking and other drug problems.

Of course! (1)

Frogisis (318039) | more than 13 years ago | (#402135)

I think the answer's pretty obvious...Not all programers/tech people are unloved geeks, and when they stop working they don't just want to go home and go to sleep...Most people don't get a lot of recreation from their jobs, and if recreation is what they're looking for, they're going to try to find the easiest place to get it.

--Later, friends--

We are human, if programmers (1)

qpt (319020) | more than 13 years ago | (#402142)

Of course programmers and engineers desire a social life. While this fact is obvious, it has been overlooked repeatedly by the open source development community. In fact, it is accurate to say that open source requires that a programmer give up his social life.

Programmers are human. They need to eat, and they need shelter. These things are not free. Thus, to pay for them, programmers must work. Unfortunately, the only way to make money programming is to work for a closed source company.

When is the work supposed to be accomplished on the open source projects, then? The assumption is that the programmers will spend their free time hunched in front of a computer, coding away at something for the 'community'.

This is cruel. People need fresh air, and time with their friends. They need time to unwind and relax. Programmers are no code machines; they are people. Too often this gets lost, though, by proponents of open source methodology.

- qpt
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