Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Take This Job...

I’m in a pretty good mood today. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the fact that I have a new job and turned in my resignation to my current employer this morning.

Honestly, what my current company has become is a bit depressing. I’ve been here since I graduated college six years ago. At the time we were a small company just getting started. I think at most we had 20 employees and three owners. Most of the employees were the same age give or take a year, and most of us had come from U of I, and the camaraderie was something that I don’t think you’ll see at most companies. As people have been leaving they’ve repeatedly said the hardest thing about leaving was the people they were leaving behind. If it wasn’t for that I think the company would have dissolved years ago. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

As the dot com bubble burst and the economy went south we were still hanging on. As the larger consulting companies were going closing up shop we were still around. We had outlasted most of the big players, but unfortunately not by much. Management saw the state of the economy as something they could use to their advantage in hiring and caring for their employees. They hired couple of really smart guys right out of school and paid them about half what they were worth. There wasn’t much the new guys could do at the time because the job market was so tough. I think when management saw how cheaply they could get new employees the stopped worrying about keeping the old ones happy. Unfortunately for them the market has since turned around, and their compensation packages are no where near competitive.

Years ago some of the senior employees started voicing concern. It wasn’t just salaries; it was other things involved in running and growing a successful business that weren’t being done. One of the biggest problems is that we operated under and prided ourselves in being a no-frills and low overhead company. That meant cheaper rates for our clients and theoretically more money for us. There are a few problems with that. I think our cheapness gave the impression that we were also low quality, and the partners did nothing to convince anyone otherwise. Frugality is nice and all, but sometimes spending some money without any immediate return is a smart move.

More and more people started speaking up and pointing out areas that our company would need to improve to be successful moving forward. A few years ago the employees started scheduling company wide meetings to discuss our frustrations and concerns. Management attended the meetings, and made promises to improve, yet did nothing.

Then a few people quit, and then a few more. And they did nothing.

We had some more meetings, where they tried to paint a rosy picture of the future, but they didn’t act on anything discussed.

They were warned that the remaining employees were not happy and were beginning to seek employment elsewhere, and they did nothing.

And then someone else left. And they still did nothing.

And a few weeks later two more people gave notice. One of them was their first employee and the guy that has more knowledge about all of the remaining projects than probably the rest of the company combined. This time they sent out an optimistic email about how we have a great future, and even though we lost some key employees, our future is good because we have a bigger potential workload to employee ratio than ever. (The astute reader will realize that this is not due to an increase in work, but a decrease in employees, not the way to run a successful business.)

I gave my notice this morning. There are currently seven employees remaining and three of us have given notice. I think at least two others will be leaving soon. I still don’t think they plan on doing anything.

It’s really sad. We had some really smart people working here who could have done some amazing things, but somewhere along the way people stopped caring. They were content to keep doing what they had always done because it was making them money, and they figured that everyone else would feel the same way.

The good news is I’m moving on and as far as I can tell my new company is everything that my old one could and should have been.



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