Thursday, March 27, 2014

Time to take flight

I gave my 2 week notice at Dilbertland the other day and it is liberating.

After 12+ years, I decided it is time to move on.  I'm not bitter, angry, or apathetic.  I'm just tired; really tired.    Tired of the complacency, the games, but, really tired of weak management.  Now those reasons might sound like complaints coming from someone with an axe to grind,  But, they are not.  Let me explain.      

When I entered Dilbertland over 12 years ago, I had no practical experience in the industry.  I was embraced,  however, for my enthusiasm and was actually valued because of my lack of experience would afford me to be trained in the mold of what Dilbert wanted.  To me, it was fun.  I like to learn and I like to change things up.  I wasn't intimidated at all.    And, along the way, I learned and actually got to be fairly proficient at it.  I still don't have all of the answers, but am not afraid to admit so, and when I do get posed a question I don't know, I research, find the proper answer and relay it cheerfully in the interests of the customer.    Anyways, I did observe some things gradually  that I did think as a bit odd.  There became an evident message of "Do as I say, not as I do", type of mindset: "You know boys, the budgets are very tight right now and we can't afford any more resources. What's that, honey?  Oh sure, bring another bottle of both white and red  for the table and roll out the dessert tray, but, keep it light.  I can't spend more than $800 for this dinner".   OK, I get it:  let's eat well tonight because the sample budget is going to be lean for a while.  Sounds kind of like a funny way to run a company.  Or, "We recently enjoyed our best quarter ever with an increase in both top and bottom line results.  We anticipate a successful quarter ahead and forecast even greater numbers in line with industry expectations."  During the annual spring evaluation and review season, however, the message is that "the current tough economic climate, though improving, limit us to offer a modest 2% cost of living wage adjustment."  I think the light finally went off when I got the missive from corporate, though, when discovering that the guiding principle is to "return a fair value to the shareholder". The shareholder?  What about the customer? The employee?  Or maybe the product?   I'm a shareholder through the retirement plan and I sure as hell know my return on investment would be substantially higher if they focused on the customer instead of focusing on me.  I'm not buying anything.  I'm collecting.  And I would collect a whole lot more if people bought a whole lot more.  I am not idealistic to think that no company has warts.  I'm sure my new employer has some things I find a bit odd.  I know how they have treated me so far and I am not even on the payroll yet.  After accepting their offer, I received 3 phone calls in 4 days asking,  "how are you doing, how was your announced resignation received, do you need anything?  We are super excited to have you join our team."  Thank you very much. I've seen enough.

Wikipedia defines Stockholm Syndrome as  a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them.  I was not a hostage, Dilbertland was very good to me, and I am grateful to them for the past 12 years.  I do know of people who are experiencing the Syndrome, however.  I didn't want to become one of them.  Fortunately, I caught a rising updraft. And I am going to soar.  

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