Monday, January 16, 2006

The Morning After

Last night I had a dream about my former employer. The CEO and her husband (who is the Director of Research) and the president, the CEO’s niece, had discovered I knew some kind of dark secret about the company and were tracking me down to kill me. I spent the entire dream running and hiding, never being able to find a safe enough spot; and though I had my cell phone I couldn’t get 911 to work.

Well, the last part is fairly realistic.

This is my first work-related nightmare since leaving. I kept in touch for some time with another former employee there, who walked out in despair slightly over a year before my departure. He’s mentioned having nightmares too.

See? It wasn’t just me! It wasn’t!

And of course I did know that. When you’ve seen seventeen people quit such a small company over a year-and-a-half period, you can pretty well tell you’re not alone.

At my new job, I find myself making comparisons a lot. I hope I don’t bore my new coworkers with horror stories about "where I used to work, we did thus-and-such." I still have so much I want to get off my chest about how ghastly life was at the old place. How did I survive being so miserable for so long?

Lately I’ve been increasingly of the opinion that the company is doomed. They just can’t keep focusing entirely on new sales and new money, to the complete exclusion of performing the services they’ve sold to existing clients, and actively penalizing the employees who want to ensure they deliver on services sold. More and more clients are becoming increasingly dissatisfied. And they’re becoming more outspoken about it. The company’s reputation can’t possibly hold out much longer.

What will happen to the people who've flourished in that environment? The CEO and her husband are wealthy - they can easily retire. But what will become of their young nieces – Tiffany, the president, who is 32 and has never worked anywhere else? Tiffany has great sales skills, and many other skills besides; but she's so accustomed to being able to terrorize other people that I can't see her surviving in any workplace where she doesn't get to be head honcho. Or her cousin, Ginger, who is 22, has never been to college, is a senior consultant despite not really ever having made any sales and having made plenty of the kind of mistakes that would get any non-relative fired, and is pulling in $60K/year? On the open Corpus market she's probably worth about $8/hour.

Ginger’s a sweet kid. I’d feel bad for her. Tiffany, not so much… my feelings about her can more or less be summed up, "HA! See if you get on Oprah now - beeYOTCH!"

Dear God, it's good to be out of there. Daylight is a beautiful, beautiful thing.


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