Hot mess…check it and see

Good day! Hump your lovely lady lumps for Trump without mascara clumps!

No clue what that meant but I think my inner Eminem with a learning disability was trying to come out. So I’m living this broken record that I call my work week. For those of you only aware of the technology bubble, a (vinyl) record was the precursor to the CD (compact disc) that the magical scientists somehow learned to lock your music into before the iCloud or MP3 players.

While at work, I constantly find myself muttering: Well this is a hot mess, check it and see … to the tune of the classic rock song Hot Blooded by the band Foreigner (1978). Not much in corporate America makes sense or goes with the flow of logic these days. Being a caretaker of the company’s most valuable asset (their customers – internal and external) should earn an employee some cache. But the upper management team from their high perch just degrades your contributions and grumbles about your salary all-the-while looking for an opportunity to jettison you (and your salary) for cheaper options overseas or just go without your work process altogether.

Local beer giant Anheuser Busch or InBev or ABI or whatever they are calling themselves today, recently announced a merger with another larger beer conglomerate which in essence will eliminate most if not all of the remaining employees of the company here in St Louis. A handful of friends of mine have worked there over the years. One left on his own terms amidst the ‘cuts’ and the others were given severance packages on their way out the door. This is SOP or Standard Operating Procedure for all the high profile companies these days. Their bottom line says they made so much of a percent of profit based on “X” projections of revenue. Instead of having the satisfaction of knowing that the team under them made that success happen, they look at who they can carve out and take that 2.5% profit margin to maybe 2.7%. Thus giving themselves a bigger bonus and their shareholders that 7 cents a quarter increase. I get that in the business world you need revenue and profit to sustain a successful business model. However, at some point the bell curve becomes impossible. Static profitability is better than negative cash-flow. Research and development (R&D) is costly, especially if you have the wrong people aiming your direction for new developing markets and products. But why take the people, real life flesh and blood consumer-ish employees, and indiscriminately axe them without understanding the collateral damage such a move creates for the dependent organism that is your organization? Obviously the person was in place for a need and a reason; so to just put them on Santa’s Naughty List due to the amount of salary they draw…is asinine. But such is the business culture from coast to coast and in fact globally. Their collective motto is: The future is not my problem and I need to money grab in the here and now. And we wonder why society is so short-attention-spanned and relationships are disposable? Hey, I needed you to get to this point but now I got what I wanted and for whatever reason I don’t see a need for you (and your skill set) anymore. Sorry not sorry. Have a nice life.

OK deep cleansing breath. So much in the world today we are powerless to change, unless you do something violent or grossly repugnant or so against the grain of good taste to get attention. This piece could easily spin off into politics and religion but I will hold the line and not call God or Bill Gates onto the carpet just now. The main point I was trying to make with the piece is this: With the rich guys at the top playing demi-God with the workforce (consumers) lives, soon they will be cutting off their noses despite their faces. Because let’s be honest, if people cannot work they cannot buy. All these corporations want consumers to run to the store or Amazon.com or wherever their products are sold to consummate a transaction and fill the company’s bank accounts. How are they supposed to do so with reduced income on top of paying for food, gas, utilities, student loans, car payments, credit card payments, medical bills, clothing, babysitters, etc? At some point the business decisions are not savvy financial transactions, it’s just plain greed. Workers are not loyal to companies anymore because they know the companies themselves are in no way loyal to the very workers/employees who drive the company’s success. Incredibly sad but true.

As a final caveat to my point of view, I will concede that over time a company will most likely need to evolve as competition increases or the demand for their product decreases. But there is a difference between a company re-organizing to survive and a company chopping its proverbial healthy leg off because it doesn’t want to share the ‘blood’ with that section anymore. Maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about but if you have ever watched the movie Office Space it will make a little more sense.

Thank you for not outsourcing your interest to another blog stream today. Have a great Hump Day even if you do not have access to a talking camel today.

Peace.

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