What do you say about the company you spent a lifetime at…

When they tell you they don’t need you anymore…Leave. Now. We will not be replacing you…

It’s been a month…

I was proud to work for this company. On the whole they treated their employees well.

They did have the myth of “family” working far longer than it was actually a fact. It is still a family owned company…Corporation. And that’s where the problems began to grow.

Suddenly, we weren’t just a regional/national firm anymore. We were a “billion dollar corporation”. We quit promoting from within. Those of us who grew up with the company just didn’t understand the way “billion dollar corporations” worked. Top management hired consultants who told them so. They then hired more consultants who told them were they should spend all the profits…new software systems, new product lines…best of all, new names and logos…Changes from the changes that were inspired by the old consultants…pie in the sky, bye and bye. The Kool-Aid just kept getting sweeter. It seemed like every time we turned around there were new Vice Presidents, new Directors, new departments doing things new ways…Change seems to have become necessary for it’s own sake. Yet the company continued to grow and stay profitable.

Personally, for at least a year or better I had made no bones about the fact that I planned to leave (retire) in 2010. Earth Day was they date I chose, just for grins. That would put me to 37 years of service, I thought that was long enough for one career. As the local management, in my view, went off the rails over the past few years, I let my hair grow out almost as it was when I first hired in in 1973. I watched the money being spent…Began to think 2010 might be a year too long. Over the past few years I began to check out the tax laws and other issues that would come up with me leaving the company earlier than the normal retirement date.

Then along comes this financial crisis. Knee jerk reactions seem the order of the day so it’s bye bye. Now I’m not sure who at the corporate level decided when and how, but damn, for some smart people they sure act dumb. Let’s be nice and bump severance packages just a bit…It’ll make us feel better about the hard decisions. But let’s be dumb and pay it all in the 11th month of the tax year so these folks we just laid off are liable for more taxes next spring as they still look for a job. And in my case, January would have removed me from the 10% additional tax if I have to tap into my 401k moneys to get by, but no, let’s do this quick…try to make it painless on those that are left…Thanks for the forethought. And just think, as a company we were hired for our expertise in planning for the unexpected…everyone out in the real world hires us for our ability to foresee these types of problems.

What does thirty-five years of loyalty buy you these days…With a buck fifty, it may get ya a cup of coffee, muse on that.

Do I sound a bitter? I am a little. Funny thing though, I’m also glad I’m gone…Once they started taking themselves so seriously, it wasn’t fun any more. My only regret is there are still a lot of good people around the country who can still be hurt by this idiotic behavior…The one good bit of news…In the past week the karmic dissonance¬† has come back to a semblance of balance with the leaving of the manager who had the most to say in pushing me out the door…Have a great life MM…I sure plan to.

And to all my colleges at my old home away from home…All the best in this new working environment. I’ll miss all of you, but I’m moving on. earlier than planned, but going forward just the same. It was mostly fun, that life we had together…Maybe we’ll run into each other…down the road.