Organizational Change



  • They sent out a company-wide email the other day advertising a seminar titled "A Survivor's Guide to Organizational Change".

    <FONT face=" Arial" size=1></FONT>

    Participants will learn to:

    <DIR>

    Identify the impact of the aftermath of organizational change, including survivor reactions.

    Describe the phases that survivors experience.

    Develop strategies for coping with feelings, putting the past behind, and re-engaging in work.

    </DIR>

    To my knowledge they haven't laid off massive numbers of people yet, but that's sure a hell of a way to tell us they're going to.



  • Unfortunate choice of words too, managing to convey elements of both huggy-feely and warzone PTSD without even touching any point in-between.



  • @vt_mruhlin said:

    They sent out a company-wide email the other day advertising a seminar titled "A Survivor's Guide to Organizational Change".

    <font face=" Arial" size="1"></font>

    Participants will learn to:

    Identify the impact of the aftermath of organizational change, including survivor reactions.

    Describe the phases that survivors experience.

    Develop strategies for coping with feelings, putting the past behind, and re-engaging in work.

     To my knowledge they haven't laid off massive numbers of people yet, but that's sure a hell of a way to tell us they're going to.

     

     

    Layoffs and a buyout is what it sounds like. 


     Edit:  Sheeesh! I'll get the quoting down sooner or later xD



  • Wow, that's bold.  I wonder if "Organizational Change" means "we're laying off the best people first because they're more expensive..." ?



  • @djork said:

    Wow, that's bold.  I wonder if "Organizational Change" means "we're laying off the best people first because they're more expensive..." ?

     

     

    Middle-management is usually the first to go.  Higher ups with bigger titles usually stick around until round 2, and sometimes they are given "leaving packages" to allow them to resign instead of get "fired."  This is because, really, a department manager is easily replaceable and the department can at least function for a while without the manager by taking any real 911s to the manager's boss.  At a time like this, it's best to be the little guy because you will keep your job for a while and have time to get the fuck outta there without any surprises.  It's one of the few good times to be in IT too since you can't just can your infrastructure support without training someone else to know the system. 



  • @djork said:

    Wow, that's bold.  I wonder if "Organizational Change" means "we're laying off the best people first because they're more expensive..." ?

     

     

    I like to call this the 'Digital Chocolate' or 'Electronic Arts' style of personnel management....



  • @untalented_newbie said:

    @djork said:

    Wow, that's bold.  I wonder if "Organizational Change" means "we're laying off the best people first because they're more expensive..." ?

     

    I like to call this the 'Digital Chocolate' or 'Electronic Arts' style of personnel management....

    Or the LA Dodgers style, accroding to (I think) medialint's old signature.  It was about laying off all the old (expensive) guys in favor of hiring 5 year olds.



  • Nice way to put it. I've been through it many times, though (every place I've worked!), and it really does feel like a war zone sometimes. Most of the time, the war never ends afterwards. Maybe the initial battle, but there are always flare-ups. We've merged twice since I've been at this company (3.5 years now). We constantly have to fight authority from the Northern office, and the really higher up people in the umbrella don't even know what's going on.

    In the first merger I went through at another company, the entire place switched to backstabbing mode. I was one of the casualties. In a matter of years, the bought company imploded. Unfortunately, they decided to buy my new employer at the time to replace the one that imploded. Obviously I immediately got fired due to a "conflict with my termination agreement" from the initial termination. Well, they've manage to implode that company, too. They don't have anything left worth mentioning from either takeover. The funny thing is that two people I used to work with at that company now work here (although they are in Help Desk).

    I really hate mergers/takeovers/whatever. I'm always in the company being taken over, and the "parent" company acts like one -- an overly strict, micro-managing, ***** of a parent.



  • @Lysis said:

    It's one of the few good times to be in IT too since you can't just can your infrastructure support without training someone else to know the system.

     

    To quote an old friend from HS:  Well, you can, but Consequences Will Occur.

     



  • If you come out of it alive you'll no longer just be an employee but a survivor! You have won the war of attrition! 

    I'm thinking Donald Trump takes a staff of 20 people or so to an island ... you see where this is going. 



  • Be glad you didn't get the "A Loser's Guide to Being Downsized" invite.

    Highlights include:

    Learn how to trade food stamps booze.

    "Three legged dogs and a camo jacket:  Improve the operational efficiency of your panhandling outfit by more than 20%"

    "Public Library Restrooms: Nature's bathhouse"

     A retrospective on the last 3 months of daytime TV, to prepare you for your life outside the loving arms of Initech.



  •  

     For
    fuck sake, I can't decide if the person who thought this up is soulless or just
    clueless.  Imagine the thought process
    you have to go through to convince yourself that a seminar is going to help
    take the edge off of massive company wide firings.    <o:p></o:p>

    Why do these morons believe this type of bullshit adds any value whatsoever?  I have never been laid off or even a “survivor”, but it seems to me that people would respond better to simple, plain-old honesty.  Why don’t they ever just say “Look, we are about to go through a round of lay offs.  There will be some good people who will lose there jobs.  We don’t like it either.  But we feel that this change is necessary for the good of the organization."<o:p></o:p>

    I’m not saying this approach makes a mass firing any easier.  But at least you avoid adding insult to injury with this type of nonsense. <o:p></o:p>



  • On the plus side, it sounds like you'll also be prepared to survive a nuclear war after this course.



  •  Yeah, I really don't get the stupid stuff they say to try and guide people through firings.  I remember when my last job laid everybody off entered an Involuntary Separation Agreement with us, they gave us all one of those BS manager charts showing what to do.  Don't remember it exactly, but heres my best attempt at recreation:

     

    Gee, thanks guys.  That really cleared up the process for me. 



  •  Ooh, I found the actual document and it's even better.  Here's a link



  • An invitation like that is about equivalent to a stranger in a dark alley at night offering you a discount for a personal injury lawyer, on the off-chance that you'll be needing one in the next five seconds.



  • I have never been through a "re-organization" myself, but I have heard some unbelievbable stories.

     

    One of the biggest candy-a$$ stories I heard was when they had a meeting with the entire office present and told people about the lay-offs. They instructed them to go back to their offices and attempt to login. If their login was rejected, they were a casualty and needed to proceed immediately to another meeting with the HR representative for out-processing.

    Another story I heard (although I do not find it very credible) was that they instructed everyone to stand with their backs against the wall of the meeting room, then turn and face the wall so nobody could see each other. If they were tapped on the back, that meant they were laid off.

    It amazes me that people are able to rise to Management positions that are such complete cowards?



  • @jpaull said:

    It amazes me that people are able to rise to Management positions that are such complete cowards?

    It's not limited to managers of large businesses.  I worked for the owner of a small business who refused to tell someone they were fired.  He was drunk most of the time anyway, but come on, grow some balls.



  • Wow.

    At my last company (a telecom that was going to hit it big with VOIP), we were all in high spirits in the middle of 2001, everything was going great, we were all getting pay raises "just because" (keeping up with the market) and one day we were all invited to an off-site meeting where the CEO was going to make a big rah-rah presentation followed by a reception.

    As luck would have it, there was another party going on at the same time as our event.  A farewell party for someone.  "FAREWELL" banners were everywhere.

    We all thought it was funny at the time, but it wasn't so funny 6 months later when I was hit in the first round of layoffs.  It happened very quickly, too.  My boss asked to see me, brought me to a meeting room where he and HIS boss sat at one end of a large table across from me.  As soon as I walked in that door, in my heart I knew what was going to happen, even though my mind was still refusing to comprehend.  I was handed an envelope, thanked for my service with the company (all 1.5 years of it as a new grad) and then ushered to the parking lot.  That was it.

    Up until that moment, I had always assumed that "two weeks notice" would involve me still working for two weeks, cleaning up, packing up, saying goodbye.  It had never occurred to me that it could mean "we'll keep paying you for two more weeks, but you're out the door as of this very instant".  I had to book an appointment to come back in and pick up my personal things, under security escort.

    What was frustrating was, I *had* seen it coming, only I hadn't been willing to admit it to myself.  Something had felt "wrong" for the past few months at work, even to the point I had resolved to myself to "step up my game" and try to impress people.  And as for that big hoo-hah the CEO always put on?  I was always cynical.  The man was a brilliant speaker.  Everyone always left those meetings cheering, clapping, excited, with visions of "we're #1, we'll take over the market, we're right on track, we'll all get rich"... I always left thinking, "Wait, no, something's not right here."

    I guess I was right.

    I found out that after I had left, they instituted pay freezes, cuts in many cases, and a few more rounds of layoffs shortly after.



  • @WhiskeyJack said:

    ushered to the parking lot.

    They hired Barney Fife to escort me out. They kept him on the premises for 2 weeks afterwards. I was the only one that got the hostile termination. Damn pricks.

    @WhiskeyJack said:

    I had to book an appointment to come back in and pick up my personal things, under security escort.

    If only. I had my stuff personally delivered to a neutral location (a gas station) by another employee. About a year later, they mailed my personal papers to me. I never did get all of my things. I had some dishes left in the kitchen, and I probably had other things at my desk that the other guy missed.

    @WhiskeyJack said:

    they instituted pay freezes, cuts in many cases, and a few more rounds of layoffs shortly after.

    This one had instituted pay freezes the instant they bought the company, and the "layoffs" happened the entire time -- including after I was terminated. I found out from one of the former employees who now works here that people were either getting fired or quit. That corporation is the most sadistic one I've ever seen. Even now, 7 years later, they are still doing the same thing. They have to keep buying up replacement companies to perform their sadism on.



  • @WhiskeyJack said:

    Wow.

    At my last company (a telecom that was going to hit it big with VOIP), we were all in high spirits in the middle of 2001, everything was going great, we were all getting pay raises "just because" (keeping up with the market) and one day we were all invited to an off-site meeting where the CEO was going to make a big rah-rah presentation followed by a reception.

    As luck would have it, there was another party going on at the same time as our event.  A farewell party for someone.  "FAREWELL" banners were everywhere.

    We all thought it was funny at the time, but it wasn't so funny 6 months later when I was hit in the first round of layoffs.  It happened very quickly, too.  My boss asked to see me, brought me to a meeting room where he and HIS boss sat at one end of a large table across from me.  As soon as I walked in that door, in my heart I knew what was going to happen, even though my mind was still refusing to comprehend.  I was handed an envelope, thanked for my service with the company (all 1.5 years of it as a new grad) and then ushered to the parking lot.  That was it.

    Up until that moment, I had always assumed that "two weeks notice" would involve me still working for two weeks, cleaning up, packing up, saying goodbye.  It had never occurred to me that it could mean "we'll keep paying you for two more weeks, but you're out the door as of this very instant".  I had to book an appointment to come back in and pick up my personal things, under security escort.

    What was frustrating was, I *had* seen it coming, only I hadn't been willing to admit it to myself.  Something had felt "wrong" for the past few months at work, even to the point I had resolved to myself to "step up my game" and try to impress people.  And as for that big hoo-hah the CEO always put on?  I was always cynical.  The man was a brilliant speaker.  Everyone always left those meetings cheering, clapping, excited, with visions of "we're #1, we'll take over the market, we're right on track, we'll all get rich"... I always left thinking, "Wait, no, something's not right here."

    I guess I was right.

    I found out that after I had left, they instituted pay freezes, cuts in many cases, and a few more rounds of layoffs shortly after.

     

     

    It's never worth being the "bright star" in this industry.  You're laid off just like the guy who comes in late and browses the internet all day.  I did the same as you working in a great job, going beyond what was asked of me, etc.  I was laid off along with the rest of my team in 2001.   We too had conference calls ensuring us that no one is losing their jobs and we just need to work with our new team members (we were bought out by AT&T) so that they can assist us with our daily work load. LOL  Like you said, you know when it's coming though.  This is why I've become the guy who comes in late, browses forums all day, and just doesn't give a shit and if it came down to it my ass will be laid off along with the other schmoes in my office who feel the need to come in on time and work hard to show the company how great they are.  To these people I say:

     



  • @Lysis said:

    This is why I've become the guy who comes in late, browses forums all day, and just doesn't give a shit and if it came down to it my ass will be laid off along with the other schmoes in my office who feel the need to come in on time and work hard to show the company how great they are.

    Wow, I agree with you!

    When you're a corporate programmer, they demand all of your skill but trust none of your judgement.  It's in your best interest to conserve your energy, instead of trying to be a "go-getter" and innovating all the time.  99% of the time, corporations don't pay us to [i]think[/i]... we're just code clerks constantly living with the consequences of someone else's mistakes.  I've caught crap for building real, tangible, productivity-improving enhancements without going through the official multi-month committee approval process.  I won't bother anymore.

    Sit down.  Be quiet.  Fix a bug or two.  Pretend to be conscious for the rest of the day.  That's the way to get a pat on the back.

    The only way to work in software without being a code monkey is to find a small company that is actually staffed and [i]run[/i] by people that give a damn.



  • @WhiskeyJack said:

    Up until that moment, I had always assumed that "two weeks notice" would involve me still working for two weeks, cleaning up, packing up, saying goodbye.  It had never occurred to me that it could mean "we'll keep paying you for two more weeks, but you're out the door as of this very instant".

    You're lucky you got "two weeks notice" instead of just "get out by 4:00.  We'll mail you a check for your unused vacation days."

    /If things go well at my interview next week (or if I get organizationally changed), I'll get to have the fun or arguing over reimbursement from my recent trip to NY that I had to pay for out of pocket and am still waiting for them to pay me back.  Yay...



  • @djork said:

    The only way to work in software without being a code monkey is to find a small company that is actually staffed and run by people that give a damn.

     Guess you're talking about my company. Almost everybody gives a damn about our product here, and making it better. Must be why we can get things changed around in a few days/weeks if thats what it took.



  • @pitchingchris said:

    @djork said:

    The only way to work in software without being a code monkey is to find a small company that is actually staffed and run by people that give a damn.

     Guess you're talking about my company. Almost everybody gives a damn about our product here, and making it better. Must be why we can get things changed around in a few days/weeks if thats what it took.

     

     

    You must work for a small company. Small companies are nice in that respect, but I bet you're paid like crap. 



  • @Lysis said:

    You must work for a small company. Small companies are nice in that respect, but I bet you're paid like crap. 

     Nope. I'm sure you can term us as a small company since we have less than 500 employees, but we're a pretty great software shop. And the pay isn't half bad either.



  • @pitchingchris said:

    Nope. I'm sure you can term us as a small company since we have less than 500 employees, but we're a pretty great software shop. And the pay isn't half bad either.

    Can I join you? Our entire umbrella probably has less than 500, but the branch I'm stuck in cannot be convinced that making rock-solid, user-friendly, consistently-maintained software is the way to make a profit. Instead, we are forced to write software in a hurry after it is sold, then its development is frozen until a client complains.



  • @AbbydonKrafts said:

    Can I join you? Our entire umbrella probably has less than 500, but the branch I'm stuck in cannot be convinced that making rock-solid, user-friendly, consistently-maintained software is the way to make a profit. Instead, we are forced to write software in a hurry after it is sold, then its development is frozen until a client complains.

    I did work in similar companies like that prior to this one, the development wasn't frozen, but the trigger never got pulled until after a sale, when we had months to prepare. Back then I always got work that they wanted yesterday, expecting a product by tommorrow morning. All it did is make me spend half of my time troubleshooting and we got little testing time. Everything went straight to production. Thats why I love my job now, the QA process gives us a cushion.  



  • @ole gustie said:

     For fuck sake, I can't decide if the person who thought this up is soulless or just clueless.  Imagine the thought process you have to go through to convince yourself that a seminar is going to help take the edge off of massive company wide firings.    

    Remember a few years ago when United Airlines did their last round of layoffs in the midst of their bancruptcy restructuring and some HR drone sent everybody a memo to "help" them with the changes?  If I remember right, the list of things to do included dumpster-diving and shopping at thrift stores.  I think that's just the epitome of soulless.


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