Here's the cowboy contractor edition...
Does the employer negotiate a request for an increase in pay by not paying at all?
Are you interviewing 1099 programmers because you think 10-12 bucks an hour with no benefits/tax contributions/incentives is a reasonable and good strategy to save money on the bottom line?
Does your boss still use AOL as a web browser?
Is the project manager currently reading self-help books because this is the first 'real' project he's managed?
Has the project manager stonewalled with the other (and more senior) developer and attempted hostile negotiation the week of CDR (Critical Design Review) because he thinks it's a good tactic to 'up his cut?'
Note: By stonewalled I mean, convinced the other developer to not commit his work to the repository during the month leading up to CDR.
Does the contracted (and highly paid) integration specialist spend the full week of integration writing his portion of software from scratch and leave without any testing?
Are there features being added into the spec (preventing it from being frozen) as concessions because the project manager (who had to be dumped from the team) created an initial schedule that was impossible to meet?
Do the Customer's employees expect periodic out-of-state on-site support to teach them how to code in a new language and how to run a windows based system (that any teenager could handle) even though the the customer explicitly opted out of the on-site training portion of the package?
Does project tracking consist of a many concurrent/conflicting versions of a word document containing a table of problems with the project (not just bugs)?
Does the customer techs need numbered step-by-step procedures for every conceivable task that could be done on said system because the windows control panel is 'advanced stuff?'
Does the customer developer's decades of extensive experience with SCM (Software Configuration Management) consist of copying a new source file and incrementing the numbered suffix in the filename?
Is the computer you're attempting to interface with using a custom proprietary variant of Unix and still running the version written in the mid 80s?
Are the computers you're interfacing with taller than you and have 1000th the processing power of the cell phone in your pocket?
Or my personal favorite...
Does the customer default to reject 'good' advice on the grounds that they prefer to save a nickel by spending a million?
And... people think that working from an air-conditioned cubicle with sub-par-quality coffee is bad... Try to be the guy who's pulling his hair out trying to convince everybody else on the project that adopting version control is a good idea because none of them have even heard of it. Or being a junior developer with no guidance and little experience making critical make-or-break decisions about the project because no one else has a clue.
I feel like I've earned a pair of spurs that would complement a nice pair of shiny rattlesnake-skin boots.