General Atomics Aeronautical Systems
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I have been working at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems full-time for more than 5 yearsPros
Great salary if you negotiate it coming in.
Amazing benefits - pension, health care, year end bonus, 9/80 work week, etc,,,
Mandatory overtime is rare
New buildings devoid of mold and mildew
Diversity - the engineering staff is multiethnic and there seems to be little or no discriminationCons
First off, there are none of the perks engineers from other industries might be used to - No free coffee, no free soda, no takeout if forced to pull long hours. Sometimes you're lucky if the AC works. I've heard three very different people refer to this as "the sweat shop" since they have cut the AC and lights before cutting power to the computers. Basically, the company behaves like a startup that is on the tail end of their venture capital money.
Minimal support from other departments. I get the sense IT, HR, and Payroll would rather not be bothered. If your only work computer breaks, you may have to wait for days until IT comes by to take a look. They're getting better about this, but at one time it was inexcusable. Some of the project managers are great. Some are Ivy league snobs who have no problem disrespecting their worker bees in front of customers, taking credit for their work, or throwing them under a bus.
Politics - bullies, slackers, and other rascals are given free rein which drags moral and productivity into the gutter. When you're getting rewarded the same as the guys who literally talk hockey for half the day, why bust your butt? You'll probably be put into a cubical so you have to listen to this all day long. At least one person every 20 feet must be half deaf because the place is NOISY! Management knows all about this, and seems to think it's cute since they're right in there gabbing with the chatty cathies. The company has a policy against earbuds and headphones, which people like me ignore for the sake of our sanity. Fortunately they turn a blind eye to that was well.
Mandatory overtime is downright punitive. I heard one guy complain he has to work from nine am on his birthday, which was on a Saturday. I've never done it, but heard this overtime is unpaid. I wonder if it is the company's way of encouraging people to quit since people on the affected projects are forced to come in even if they are caught up on their work.Advice to ManagementAdvice
Hire and promote workers and not schmoozers.