Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The latest

Lately all I want to do is rant about my dysfunctional company, so it’s hard to write about other things that are stuck in my craw.

So after being told on Monday that the reason for layoffs in various holdings around Minnesota is due simply to a financial downturn during the past few months, things took a turn for the humorous on Tuesday, depending upon your point of view.

Of the layoffs, one was an editorial manager. There are four of them in my group of about 38 editorial staffers. The manager with the least seniority was kicked to the curb with a meager severance. Never mind he had been promoted eight months ago and had worked for the company for about five years, that didn’t matter.

On Tuesday one of the three remaining managers announced she was leaving at the end of the month. She has a new job. Allegedly she told the department head on Friday that she could be leaving. This conversation, if it happened as I have been told, was presumably to suggest perhaps if the plug didn’t have to be pulled on our department last Friday the company could save itself some trouble. Our fearful leader couldn’t delay the inevitable, although I doubt she even tried. She’s a real “yes man.”

So on Tuesday the former manager returns to the office. He left on Friday without packing a few personal possessions and they were gracious enough to let him come back and pack them up himself. Allegedly he was asked if he wanted to come back and be part of the new three-headed monster that he was a 25 percent partner in last week. He said no. I love it! After a weekend of mourning he is excited about the chance to find a new and better opportunity, and spend 40 hours a week doing it. He’ll be back on his feet in no time.

In the meantime we have to find a new manager as soon as possible because they can’t honestly expect two people to do the work of four for very long without a lot of things slipping through the cracks. Of course nobody internally is going to want to move up to a management position with this dysfunctional company, so they’ll have to hire from the outside, and therefore bring in somebody who has no idea how we even format a text document. We’re geniuses when it comes to planning.

Oh yeah, one of the paginators decided he has seen enough. His wife works full time and in the past he has considered simply bailing out, taking a little time off to spend with the kids and then finding a new job. Now he will be able to do that, and we have to scramble to find someone we can teach to design several of our papers.

I have a feeling there will be a few more hasty departures in the weeks to come. All I do is sit and laugh.

The good news is that those of us who write are now picking up slack and writing less. That’s OK because we’re pinching so many pennies that we have smaller papers these days. We should still care about our work as much as we did in the past, but that’s not necessarily happening in every case, and with everybody stretched thinner, the quality of the smaller product is going to suffer.

All of this should help boost our stock price when we become publicly traded this summer, eh? Everything in the past few months has been to try and drive the stock price through the roof, as I have noted before, so the honchos get the biggest bonus possible. Then what happens, the stockholders look at our editorial product and develop a strategy for investing in it, even though it won’t provide a direct return on their investment?

Yeah, I'm sure that's what happens. And then happy days are here again. (Pun intended.)

Some of the idiotic decisions remind me of NBC’s “The Office.” The sad part is that our clueless leaders aren't the least bit entertaining. Offensive, yes, entertaining, no.

That’s enough about that place.

On tap this weekend: nothing special.

Memorial day weekend plans: my 18th annual camping trip to Wausau, Wisconsin.

My immediate plans: siesta.

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