The fact that the layoffs were due to an epic level of mismanagement is especially
ha ha ha
Oh, relax, I’m just kidding.
As a business professional and a former executive, I wouldn’t dream of criticizing my former employer, no matter how well deserved. And whoa boy, it is well deserved. Really well deserved. Really, really, really well…I guess you get the point.
I can tell you a story though. This is a completely mythical tale. Uh huh, it is. (You can’t see it, but my head is nodding.)
Once upon a time, a company dwelled in a tall tower. This company was managed by people called Blockheads. Panic driven, incompetent, fear based blockheads.
One day the Blockheads said “Let’s get some contracts that will pay us millions of dollars by promising some dupes, I mean companies, the moon.” They clapped their hands and cheered because they were going to get millions of dollars. Even though what they promised was impossible to deliver.
The Biggest Blockhead realized “Uh oh. We don’t have anyone to do the work we just promised!”
“Uh oh!” cried the other Blockheads.
So they scurried and hired many people, some sight unseen, because the minimum requirement for the work was breathing.
These New People were smart. They asked for policies and procedures. “Oh, we don’t have any.” said the Blockheads. They asked for a training manual. “Oh, we don’t have one.” said the Blockheads. They asked for a training program. “Oh, we don’t have that either.”
“But how will we learn the job?” they cried.
“Teach each other.” was the response. And the Blockheads disappeared into a conference room and would not be disturbed.
The New People tried to do the work as best as they could, as they needed jobs. But much of it didn’t make any sense. And each week the Biggest Blockhead told them to do something different from the week before. And he would call them names when they didn’t get the moon, like ‘lazy’.
The Biggest Blockhead’s management style was screaming, yelling, cursing, and throwing things in the office against walls. It is believed he was a model for Mussolini. He perpetually yelled this: “I HAVE AN MBA!”, while thumping his chest. The New People guessed that he was attempting to intimidate them with his intellectual accomplishments, but they all laughed at him behind his back. They believed MBA actually meant “Maniacal Bullying Ass” not Master’s in Business Administration. Because no one with an actual MBA could run a company down so thoroughly or be so bad at management. He routinely sent out e-mails criticizing the New People. These were so long, so confusing and so rambling that everyone had the same response upon getting to the end of one of these manifestos: “Asshole.”
Other Management Blockheads wore about a half dozen hats each, none of them very well. And they switched hats constantly, so often the New People sometimes didn’t know who they reported to from one week to the next. The New People couldn’t get answers to questions or they would get conflicting answers to questions. There was no IT staff and no Human Resources. The Blockheads were having trouble with cash flow, furloughing workers every week in order to meet payroll.
Eventually, the companies the Biggest Blockhead had promised the moon to wanted to know where it was. His response was to yell more at the New People, who were already running frantically like hamsters in a wheel, all of them doing something a little different because no one had ever really told them exactly what to do. The Biggest Blockhead was panicking because the people he promised the moon to were catching on and ending their contracts.
There soon were only two contracts left. Four others had been ended when the companies didn’t get the moon as promised.
Now the New People were scared too, because if these contracts went, so did their jobs. And it was proving impossible to get the moon.
Finally, one of the last two companies ended their contract. They actually had discovered that they had an in house department trying to get the moon and they didn’t have to pay the Blockheads anymore. They were Blockheads too!! But that was it for many of the New People, even though they had worked hard and done everything they were supposed to. Even though they had actually chipped off pieces of the moon! They were laid off. Over the phone. And they were told, I swear someone really said this, “It’s not personal, its business.”
Unfortunately, as we all know, it is very personal to the person they lay off.
So, to this day, the Blockheads are still trying to catch the moon for their last client, threatening and generally abusing the New People who are left.
The moral of the story is…beware of Blockheads.