Speaking as someone who has done it, being an engineer for any of the not-so-Big Three is something of a soul-crushing endeavor. Deadlines are always too aggressive, budgets are always too small, management never grasps the true complexities of a system, and you inevitably have to deal with totally incompetent suppliers who over promise and under perform. It's a delightful job. That kind of experience makes the open letter from a Honda employee that arrived at the offices of BoingBoing seem like working there is some kind of magical fantasy-land of happy rainbows and pony rides.Be sure to head over and give it a read, but the email describes a place where the sun rises and sets on curiosity and innovation, where you're more or less free to do as you want and where everyone is treated with respect even in the face of conflict. Sounds like a total fallacy to us. Maybe even Honda propaganda. Take the opening paragraph for instance:
Honda is a freak, by American and even Japanese standards. There is an absolutely astounding amount of room here for anyone to work once they get in. The view is Global and the focus is Local. No one has ever told me what to do. One Rule - Dream. We find our way on an individual level, as reason, interest and inclination dictate, and this is an ultimate form of unequaled personal power to affect the future. In Honda, our own best interests are at the forefront of every day life at work and home. In engineering, there are no lines of demarcation segregating futurists from the present applications of science. There is nothing so esoteric that doesn't deserve a close inspection, and there is a common belief here in doing things the Hard Way. Even so, the core philosophy of the company could best be described as the pursuit of Joys.
It's practically impossible to believe such a place actually exists. If it did you'd have the happiest, most productive, best engineers in the world turning out superior products and doing it while leading the way in innovation. Oh, wait a minute. [BoingBoing]