Friday, 6 July 2018
Occupational Hazards: Karma
About a year ago our sales started diving due to an economy going into recession. (50% of that was brought on by external global markets, and 50% by our home grown commies - who are now getting mugged by reality in the worst way).
As our fortunes at work became more dire, the heat on us sales guys was turned up to 11. My national sales manager would come out every couple of months and he started accusing me of incompetence, misconduct, and horse thieving. We had a few shouting matches, I told him to go F himself and fire me (and get a lawyer) and those meeting often went to hell from there.
In a stroke of genius, he decided that he would hire MORE sales people (in a receding economy) - and play them off against each other and increase sales. The ones that gave him the results he wanted would keep their jobs, and those that didn't - welp, you're fired!!! HAR HAR HAR! So one Friday he sends an email saying he's coming in on Monday, that he's hired a new salesgirl, and we were all gonna sit down, divide up the territories - and make arrangements for me to train my replacement. He didn't say that - but I knew what he was thinking. Who wants to work in an environment like that?
I went into work early, sent in my two weeks notice of resignation - and waited for our corporate hotshot to arrive. He finally flounced in, we set up in the boardroom, and he demanded my plan for how we were going to handle Alberta. I shrugged, told him it wasn't my problem anymore, and that it was something he could discuss with his new senior salesgirl - and got up and left. Of course, there was a little drama when head office called and asked their national sales manager why their senior guy in Alberta just quit. The president called, asked me to stay and I told him he either put his idiot of a fwench sales manager on a leash, or we were done. He told me to clean out my desk and leave. "did that last week, Jim," I said, "been a pleasure working for ya!" With that I finished the last page of that chapter of my life. I had put in some really good years there. I was climbing around on the 18th floor of sky scrapers being built one day - and doing product tutorials in front of 300 tradespeople and engineers the next. One Friday on the long drive home I stopped by a lake with a deserted camp ground - and went for a swim. I'd help the customers out, and then drink their coffee and gobble donuts. I worked around massive machines and huge projects, I got in the middle of my customer's companies and helped them work through their problems, I miled three company trucks out as I tooled around the province, harassing the customers and having a good time. But now - the company was replacing me with a 20 something bubble gumming millennial power girl, who couldn't lift the tools and products, who had never had to stand toe to toe with an angry 250 lb ironworker with an attitude, who wore power suits and wouldn't be caught dead in dirty coveralls and steel toes.
I just shrugged and walked away. Nowadays ya don't take stuff like that personally. I think it happens to a lot of people eventually. That phase of my life was over and it was just time for me to go. My Maker had other plans for me and that's all there was to it. I looked ahead, rather than behind.
A week after I left, the other salesman quit. He wasn't going to put up with our national sales manager either. Now the company had no experienced sales people in Alberta at all. A couple weeks later they fired Big Al - a manager I was training. Apparently he was so bad he couldn't retain his people, they said. I made a point of tracking Al down and telling him the real scoop - but he knew. He's moved on too.
The other day some facebooking went on and I learned all this, and that they fired the bubble gummer they had hired to replace me. At first I laughed - she had lied through her teeth on her resume and any idiot (except our manager) could see it. That young lady deserved to be fired, but in truth, she never should have been hired at all. They replaced her with a chinaman and he apparently he crashed and wrote off my former company truck. The manager they hired to replace Big Al is falling apart at the seams.
I surprise myself sometimes. I woulda thunk I'd be happy to see those idiots shooting themselves in the foot - but I'm not, really. Sure, I would like to see my national sales manager die in a fire for what he's done, but it doesn't particularly bother me if he doesn't. I just remember those days of working hard, having fun, and building something meaningful. The sky was the limit back then; I was setting sales records, the company was expanding, our customers were too... and all I can think of that is... it's all gone now. It's the classic story of the family business - pop starts the company in the back of his truck, moves into his garage, then into an office and a shop, then starts opening branches across the country... and then retires and the kids run it into the dirt.
Bah. It was just a job. And - I still have real work to do. I now work for kids half my age and at least these ones have a sense of ethics - or so it seems so far - so I give them 110% and a little bit more. They seem to appreciate it. I'm training one of the new hires so they must think well of me at least a little bit.
The work never stops, and that is a good thing. Have a great Friday