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An unfortunate organization chart


I had lunch with the employee of a large corporation yesterday. Her company was bought by another, larger company last year, and the new owners fired 4,000 people, including everyone in her department. Except her. She performed a more clerical function, and apparently she escaped the new owners’ attention.

Her department performed a vital function related to product development. But unfortunately, nearly everyone’s position was titled “Market Analyst.” When the new owners began swinging the axe, they took out the entire Sales organization (several hundreds of people), including those benighted “Market Analysts.” But not her, because her title didn’t sound sales-related.

My lunch date was left all alone among a hundred empty cubicles. She wondered if she had been lucky. Since the layoffs, though, those cubicles have been filled by young telemarketers working for the new owners, and they are treated badly by both the owners and the “customers.”

Meanwhile, the survivors of last year’s layoffs are trying to do the same jobs with far fewer people. Chaos reigns in the remaining ranks. More people quit every day. The new owners do not care. This is now just one small part of a much larger company. It’s not worth trifling with.

My lunch date thinks now that she was not lucky. Her org chart title saved her from the cuts, but now she is alone on a sinking ship that’s on fire, while the ship’s new captains sail blithely on. She’s holding on, hoping to retire in a couple years, if she can just keep her head down and avoid attracting attention.

I hope she’s successful. She’s a lovely person, good at her job, and well-respected among the survivors. She deserves better.

One Comment
  1. 2012-08-03T01:46:07-04:00 01:46

    When the ship is sinking, the first ones off have a better chance of getting into a lifeboat.


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