The Din of Inequity

The Din of Inequity

...yes, I spelled it that way on purpose.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Busy-ness! Aieeee! Whoooooo!

It's always just business, but Jacob Marley would tell you that excuses little. A coworker got the axe today--sort of a layoff, apparently brought on by an urge to restructure his division.

We went out for a farewell lunch, just the two of us--I think I was the only person outside his bosses who even knew at that time. He was OK with it, or at least philosophical about it. He came out of a number of small-time startups before coming here, and more than one of those went belly up while he was aboard, so I guess this kind of upheaval was nothing new to him. He was certainly brave about it--a lot less angry and alarmed than I would have been, had I been in his position. Maybe that will come later.

The idea behind getting rid of him seems to be that, in a bid to change the structure of his department, they needed to free up some dollars, so management decided that his job could be better done by a "cheap" trained monkey than some "expensive" lower-middle manager.

Now, I've never thought my company has had a good handle on how to deal with your man's department--it's always had the highest turnover rate (still very very low, but probably three times what any other department has had in my tenure)--and wholesale changes of strategy have happened twice before in seven years. They never knew what they wanted, and now they want something else.

I've seen how this particular strategy can turn out if in addition to not knowing what you want, you don't know what you have.

In my last job, they basically assumed that I, as Production Manager, was the Art Department secretary. Since I did all the non-design Art Director stuff our Art Director didn't like to do, the job was substantially more than what could be done by anyone who didn't already have design, offset printing, project management, office management and computer troubleshooting experience. Management never could understand this. I tried to explain, yearly, and again before I quit, because I thought they needed to know what was really required (and also to bring home to them that I had been a huge bargain they'd suffer for not appreciating). The partners, of course, didn't listen. That's their job.

Anyway, when I quit they tried to put an assistant-level kid in the job. To their credit, she was one of their harder-working assistants. I think she lasted a month before she quit, being unable to climb the learning curve at anything like the speed required for the pace of work that went on in the place. I think this happened a couple of times.

The Art Department turned back into the poorly-run, unpopular place it had been before I started, and several other people left it, including the Art Director.

Eventually, they found someone who had enough experience to do the job, paid a lot more than they ever imagined paying me, and things got back on track. But it cost them pretty dearly, their miscalculation about what the job required.

I sure hope that doesn't happen here, but believe me--it might.

Anyway, there's no real point to this post, I guess. It's always shocking when somebody gets shitcanned, even more so when it's a decent person who always wanted to do his best for the company. I'm a little bummed out about it, and thought I would subject my readers* to my working-through of it.

Here's to the C-man--I hope this turns out to be a change for the better for ya, pal.

*I think I probably only have one or two readers who come back with any regularity, but I'm just as happy for the dozens of people who've gotten here in the last couple of months by searching for "camel toe" to read this. Though I doubt it's much what they are after.


|| Bikeboy 5:24 PM ||
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