Posted by: Kathy White | August 11, 2010

Corporate America Sucks Sometimes

It’s ridiculous. Mark Hurd might have sexually harassed a woman and certainly lied on his expenses to the tune of $22K — yeah, he lost his job. But wow, what a nice way to get fired: Golden parachute worth $50 million.

I swear I will screw up BIG time if you just put me in a position to do so with a nice letter saying if I screw up, I’m still entitled to a LOT of money and stock.

Every day we see and hear and live the stories of Corporate America. We know that our government is screwed up but how is it also true that corporations are just as screwed up and probably even more so? Yes, I’m going to over generalize the problems here and no, not everybody is like this. There are still plenty of great people doing great things at their companies. But there’s also a lot of great people who have given up at their jobs because they just can’t fight it anymore. I find that very sad.

Here’s a few of my observations:

  • A lot of workers do as little as possible — both out of laziness and out of a need to not touch anything thus you can’t get blamed if it all blows up. You didn’t do it.
  • A lot of managers are ill-tempered, ill-trained, and spend a lot of time passing the buck — down. No one should be promoted to manager just because they’ve sat in a seat the longest. “Well, he’s been here 7 years, guess we better promote him/her to manager.” NO! Only those with a talent for managing people should be allowed to do so. Period.
  • Stop with the forever time-consuming and paranoid-inducing over-the-top performance review process. If there’s one thing people worry about on the job, it’s whether they’ll get a raise and how do they keep that performance review stellar so they get one. Mostly, don’t screw up. Keep your goals broad so nobody can hold you to them. If you have to get specific, make sure you write in a loop-hole clause. Basically, the time it takes people to cover their ass is time that could have been spent actually doing something productive at the company. But no. Nowadays it’s keep your head low so it doesn’t get lopped off.
  • Indifference: The number of people I’ve worked with and met at some corporations who are so completely indifferent to how anything turns out stuns me. I take a great deal of pride in what I do, how I do it, how successful I am at it, etc. I’ve found that is more of an exception than a rule.
  • Make a decision! Nobody wants to be held accountable and thus decisions never get made or take WAY too long to happen. Somebody please step up and pull the trigger so we can move on. Not everything takes a committee and 200 meetings to decide. Sure, some things do. But damn near EVERYthing seems to get done this way anymore. Corporations have stopped being nimble and fluid. Some corporations are truly big, stuck, unchangable things with no interest in moving in to the future. Better way to do things? No, thanks. We’ve always done it this way — so we’ll just keep right on doing it this way. Great.
  • Nobody gets fired. Sure, there are layoffs sometimes and that is a good way to cut some dead wood, but the truly incompetent that are huge road blocks to success exist in every department in every corporate environment and nobody does a thing about it. Some of them have worked there a long time! Hey, if somebody sucks at their job, document it and get rid of them so that the people who ARE doing work and trying to get something done don’t have to deal with them. It’s only right.

Again, these are generalizations but they are also real problems that I, and a lot of other folks I’ve spoken with, have dealt with way too often. The corporate group think and general malaise needs to be replaced with motivated, skilled people who care and who are willing to speak up, make decisions and deliver. There are plenty of folks like this out there, Corporate America. Hire them. And stop rewarding mediocrity.

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Responses

  1. Another good one. My biggest problem work wise has always been my inability to work in a controlled structured as expected day-to-day frame of mind. So many school friends did 20/25 years at Beech, Boeing, Cessna or Lear, went home to the stratolounger for 2 years and bye bye. Ego aside I see these guys my age that look in their late 60’s early 70’s. Ha! Greg Chisholm did 28 years for murder and that CS looks better than ALL of us!!

  2. gawd, you touched many points, that are common sense, but in most places it’s gonna down the toilet

    great reminder 🙂


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