Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Old Boss, hanging out a shingle

Today's post is not going to be about marvelous famous people, but more the business of the business. So you true star-effers out there who read only to find out if Jennifer Aniston has man hands can just hit the snooze button until next time. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

As I believe I have mentioned before, my old company is heading quickly for that good night. Like many of its former employees, I have a lot of unflattering things to say about how they ran their business (I, like many, also had these things to say while I was there). I cannot be and am not entirely sour on them because they did give me my foot in and two years of glorious, easy fun. A job that literally made my jaw hang open the first few days in the office, terrific friends, travel, and for the first time in my life a career I actually cared about. It is a luxury I will seek to repeat for the rest of my life. Like I always said, 'Terrible company, wonderful job.'

But now said company is reaping the benefits of what it sowed. And by that I mean last week their second major round of layoffs finally came to fruition. You see, in case you weren't sure that their heads were up their asses, they laid off about 60 people a couple of months ago. However, not being a California-based company, they were evidently unaware that if you lay off that many people (I can't recall if it is a solid number or a percentage of your workforce) in California, you have to give a thing called, 'mourning pay', i.e. you can tell everyone they are being fired, but you still have to keep them around for about 60 days, thereby totally screwing your desperate money-saving measure to begin with. So, that happened two months ago, wiping out my surviving former web coworkers and a lot of other good people with it. But the poor fuckers had to sit around like lame ducks in limbo for 2 whole months doing their job so they didn't get fired outright and then lose their severance and unemployment, all the while knowing their days were numbered. Pretty glum.

A month ago said company made another delightful announcement: they were picking up roots and relocating the entire operation to New Mexico. Obviously. Because that is definitely where you should go when you are a network based on the movie industry. This move is basically characteristic of the foolish decisions that were made all along. The Powers That Be were evidently acting on some major tax incentives to bring entertainment-related industry to NM, which is delightful in the short-run, but to anyone with an IQ higher than Forrest Gump's it is obviously a terrible idea if you have any desire for the company itself to succeed in the long run. Perhaps that is not their plan, in which case it makes total sense.

Regardless of the why, it was decisions like this that made those of us in the trenches absolutely insane from day to day. But unfortunately, with the economy as it is, the Powers That Be are now able to blame their failing enterprise on the current financial climate instead of the terrible choices they have made all along--thereby depriving the (literally) hundreds of solid workers they'd hired in LA of the satisfaction of at least knowing that somewhere in their hearts they had to, as Michael Jackson put it, face the man in the mirror and realize they fucked up.

Meanwhile, this desperate Hail Mary of theirs effectively pink-slipped the entire rest of the workforce. I'm not certain how many, if any, of them were given the opportunity to stay on with the company and relocate. Actually, I believe they were were told they could look on the corporate website and see what positions they were hiring for in New Mexico and then apply. Oh yes. You read me right: they were allowed to APPLY FOR THEIR OWN JOBS. Now if that isn't respect for you, I don't know what is.

This move is so terrible that even the nearly retirement-aged cronies that have been riding the corporate coattails of said company for decades have opted to abandon ship and go their own in this horrible economy. It is truly staggering.

As for me, I'm experiencing the delights of freelancing in this climate. Considering that the media is actively hemorrhaging employees on a daily basis, it's not as easy as it once was. But stuff floats around here and there, unemployment is a blessing, and I am working on things in my lovely basement. In the meantime, I look forward to the time in the future when we can look back on the Great Recession of the New Millennium and say, 'Oh, remember that winter in 2009 when I ate nothing but shoelaces for an entire month? Good times.'

No comments:

Post a Comment