So, this is my Blog, my thoughts / feelings / ideas. You may comment if you like. If you attack me, I come back at you with reckless / racist / suicidal abandon. If you compliment me, I thank you. If you don't ever visit again I don't care. Other than that, just enjoy what I write, or not.

LIU - Look It Up!


Monday, June 20, 2011

On the work front.......

I have not reported on the status of the work life for some time (or maybe I have but don't remember).

So, a few weeks ago we get an email from the new "Big Boss", who heads up our specific division, saying that due to falling sales, and stuff, there is going to be some "Restructuring". A nice way to say we going to have some retrenchments. Basically, the gist of the mail was that they going to follow the recommended retrenchment process, so as not to fall foul of the government requirements, and make sure they keep their noses clean.
Ah well, there's always another way to skin this cat, I think, so I'll keep my eyes open for the gaps.

One of the things they propose to do, is get all the sales people to reapply for their own (or other if they want) jobs! WTF is up with that? I'm in the job already, if you think I'm not good enough, it's your responsibility to a) retrain me, or b) find me an alternative position you think I am more suited to!!
Anyway, the other requirement they have is for all the technical positions to be reassess on the basis of a) What is the resident skill? b) What is the skill required by our clients, and c) Will you retrain to meet this new skills requirement....!

I'm not too phased by either of the above, even though I fall into the sales team portfolio. But what does bother me is the following:-

a) We are seriously "Top heavy". Management positions abound with no real value add to the company or staff
b) We have an enormous "Back office" structure, most of whom don't really do much as far as I can see. They add no value to me (sales) and at best, generate reports on reports, and spreadsheets. If there ever was a company that survives on spreadsheets, this is it.
c) What about he management? From where I sit (and I have been in this position and division for 15 years), some seriously bad management appointments, and then decisions have been, in my humble opinion, the main reason for the fall in sales (never mind morale)!

Anyway, last Friday (10th June) at 4 pm I had my interview. Now I have not done an interview for 15 years, so it could have been daunting. What I did though, was treat the meeting as another C level meeting with a client. Where I have full confidence in my self, my capability, and my product. And I sat there and sold myself. After all, the 3 people who interviewed me were not as knowledgeable as I am on my product, know that I have an awesome track record (recent failures not withstanding) and that it would take them more than 6 months to find a replacement, and train them, to take over from me.
Well, that was my attitude anyway.

When the interview was finished, I took the opportunity to raise what I consider to be a major issue.
Now, every year (at the beginning of the year) we have to read, and then sign a Business Conduct Guidelines procedure. Everyone has to read it, and confirm that they have. This way, if you fall foul f the company business conduct process, they can nail you. And, in many instances, rightfully so. Basically, you cannot plead ignorance of the law!
So I asked "Is this relevant to all the employees, irrespective of their position or designation?" "Yes" they replied. "OK, so I have a serious issue here. I have an email from our legal team stating that a very senior person in our department (a VP no less), has been notified, and chooses to ignore the fact that we as a company, are providing a service to a client without the required license to do so, in direct contravention of one of my countries laws! And in doing so, not only are we at risk to get a ZAR10m rand fine, we also could be exposed to a very negative press release!"

You had to be there so see the facial expressions!!!! Their fist response was that I might not have all the facts, and I conceded to that. But, I still expected them to institute an inquiry into it, and if proven to be factual, I expect this person to be fired, and deported (Yup, he's a fucking American here on assignment!) "Fired?" I was asked. Absolutely I said, read the booklet sent out 2 days ago to everyone about Conduct and dismissals. This is a very serious breach of the company's guidelines, to the extent that it qualifies for immediate dismissal.

So they agreed to look  into it, and I made sure they saw this issue as a separate issue from my interview!!!

Anyway, I have since learned that the person in question is no longer here, he's gone back to the USA. I think it's co-incidental, as his term was nearing it's end. But I still expect an inquiry into the issue, and if proven to be correct, I expect that they will take some action, I don't care if he's now out of country.

So what's the expected outcome of all this?
Well, letters indicating success in applications, or offers to separate were due last Friday 917th), but needless to say, they never arrived - "We running a bit late" As usual!!!
A bunch of people applied for other jobs in the company, effectively vacating the positions they were in. Some have gone for interviews outside foe the company, having had enough of this crap. I think we will find that they don't need to retrench anyone, but may consider "getting rid" of some of the really low performers anyway, as that was their original intention (according to me).
Some of them who did apply for their jobs, came well prepared, especially them of the darker features. They have connections in the unions, so even though we may not belong to any union, they had good advise, and support. One comment was "Don't tell me I get paid anyway, if I wanted a basic salary I would be working for the government!" when she raised the issue that commission payments were always late / wrong, and she was told, well you get paid your basic anyway!
Another was "You can't quiz me on my performance to date - this is an interview for this position currently! Anyone else who might apply for this position wont be asked that question, so you cant ask me!" And she had a good point too!!!

So, I think management may find that their idea to get rid of some slackers, and restructure the department, may have backfired on them to some extent. Will be interesting to see the final outcome. And to see if I qualified for my own job!!

More to follow as it comes available!



Divemaster GranDad said...

I don't think you need worry about retaining your position. They know they cannot afford to lose you.

On the other hand, I really like the way you approached the interview...great idea, and probably put them on the back foot straight away too...

WV = riection (rejection of erection?)

Wreckless Euroafrican said...

So, reality is "No one is indispensable". They also might not want to have to put up with me. You know what I mean. And of course, if they have to cut heads, how would they make those selections? Based on previous experience, badly!
As for the WV - interesting to say the least!

Bruthafromanothamutha said...

I agree that they need you, however its only going to get worse for all of us that are still here. Over here in the land of the screwed up they got rid of 40,000 people over the last two years and then employed a bunch of under performers/ unnecessary staff in other countries........
The scary part is I remember when doing your job and keeping your head down kept you safe but in the last round of lay offs they were getting rid of 1 performers because 'they had been around too long....'
Oh I could go on forever on this but in summary - you will be OK - just watch your back

Wreckless Euroafrican said...

So, first prize would be a severance package of 3-4 weeks per year served. That's not going to happen. However, I did raise the issue of no increases for 4 years, and that seems to have hit the spot. I have been told, in confidence, that they have put in a request for a salary correction for me.
Not sure what that means, but I will keep you posted - in confidence please.....

Then, at my current rate of earnings, I had planned to earn at least a million Rand in Comm this year. I wont quite get there, but if I bring in just 2 of my current mega deals, I will get close. That alone is worth more than the proposed severance pay.
So, all in all, I'm still here, but maybe on a slightly better footing, and more in control. I now know they want / need me here, at least for the short to medium term, and I will make the most of it.

Thanx for the comments and support. And advice.