Mixed Emotions…

I have mixed emotions today, so I’ll start with the good stuff…

A friend showed me his web-enabled phone last night. He even surfed a few websites. I asked him if I could see this site, and he obliged.

I wish I had a screenshot of it to show you; it was beautiful: a text-only rendition of this very page, clear as a bell. If you have to Google the site on your phone, you may not get the original blog page; if so, scroll down and click on the link.

You can read me on your web-enabled cell phone. Hot Damn! I’m doing the “Happy Dance!”

Insert tagline: “Ooooh nooooo! That’s the Forbidden Dance!”

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The other thing I’m on about this morning is that I ran into an old friend last night. Actually, she came into the store. I met this gal while working for the company she worked for about 10 years ago, and she is just about the best friend I have ever made in corporate America; she even came to my wedding.

She worked for that company for almost 29 years.

On Monday, they let her go.

On Tuesday, they canned her entire department and outsourced all of the work to another company (my friend got a job offer from this other company within hours of her initial job loss, only at about half her previous wage — she took it, obviously). Everyone in her old department had over 20 years with the company, as well.

All this because they couldn’t find a CFO that they liked.

You read that right.

All of those people gone — “vaninshed,” as the warden in Stephen King’s “Shawshank Redemption” said, “like a fart in the wind.”

The co-CEO’s of this company (no names here!) inherited the company from their father; I worked for their father. I was loyal to him; so were a lot of other people there. He was loyal in return, making sure that the health care available to each employee was the best available, and that their retirement plans were beyond compare.

The man was a pure gem: if you wanted to work for him, then he wanted to work for you: it was an equitable trade, the best any sane man or woman could ask for.

Not so, his children: they obviously have no sense of loyalty; if they did, they’d keep a lot more of their employees, most of which do a good job (well, let’s say that about those that are actually employed within their respective training — the kids have a history of moving talent from one position to another with little — or no — respect to their talents or career education; the prime definition of inefficiency).

The biggest thing that irks me about all of this: what are they saying to young people with a move like this? Don’t count on loyalty; don’t ask for loyalty; don’t even think that loyalty will bring you an ounce of respect, or an ounce more consideration should some other person decide they don’t like your butt; years of loyal service with one company doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this world; being an “employee-at-will” means nothing if the company decides they’d rather replace you with a close personal friend, regardless of that person’s talents, training or skills.

Both of these people are parents; do you think, for one moment, that they are teaching their kids about any of this? Hell no!

But they are, merely by their actions, for actions speak louder than any written or spoken words. They’re teaching them this: “don’t even be loyal to us, your parents, for we aren’t loyal to you.” If this isn’t the “Royal FU,” I don’t know what is.

May God help this country; we’re in deep manure — to our eyeballs. The proverbial creek without a paddle. It’s hit the fan, folks. We’re “Strictly SOL.”

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I’m also sad/reflective/happy/sentimental today, because today is my mother’s 86th birthday; Mom passed away in June, 2001. I dedicate this day, today, to her memory: may she rest in God’s loving peace.

I miss you, Mom.

2 Comments

  • by Jeff Hess 05 Feb 2005 at 12:32 pm

    Shalom Will,

    Anyone today who makes a business or career decision based on anything other than an iron-clad contract (very rare in an “at-will” state like Ohio) is hanging their hopes on wisps of smoke. With very few exceptions (so few that we now write books about them) business owners view employees as commodities, nothing more. The only question that is important to them is “what have you done for me today?”

    85 years is a long run on this planet. I’m sure the world is a better place as a result of your mother’s life.

    B’shalom,

    Jeff

  • by Will 06 Feb 2005 at 12:55 am

    Jeff,

    I meant to add to this piece that the current co-CEO’s father would have never dreamed of an action like this. I’m sure the event has horrified him.

    Will

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