When did “corporate america” change into the uncaring ruthless quarterly profit beast it’s become?
Code of Conduct for the U.S. Fighting Force
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Article IVa. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will give no information nor take part in any action which might be harmful to my comrades. If I am senior, I will take command. If not I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me and will back them up in every way.
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This seemed so natural from my early days at AT&T.
When I was being managed, my supervisors were evaluated on how well they “developed” me.
When I was promoted to “management”, a full 50% of my evaluation was on how “my” people were progressing towards THEIR stated goals. Note: Not my goals for them or even the company’s goals for them.
Then came Employee Retirement Income Security Act — ERISA!
As a young “fat old white guy injurer”, I was aware of the changing landscape when I was in ingineering skrule.
Lockheed Corporation and Martin Marietta Corporation were big Engineering firms. But, we were warned against going to work for them because they were rumored (later sued) for dumping engineers out the door every five years to hire younger and cheaper engineers.
Out of this came the ERISA and the “five year pension vesting” rule.
This set off the “turnstile effect”. Every five years, people would move on to better jobs regardless if they wanted to or not. Collect those pensions.
At the same time, corporations began to shift from “Personnel Departments” to “Human Resources”.
And people became as expendable as pencils and screw drivers.
Didn’t take very long for the “humans” being resourced to adopt an adversarial attitude towards their employers.
Took me a while to lose my AT&T trained behavior that I trusted my “leadership” to be my advocate.
That happened the first time I was “downsized” out of a job.
Luckily, I had the experience of taking a “golden handshake” from AT&T. So I dove right into the process. It didn’t hurt that they had to keep me on for six months to “transition” and “knowledge transfer”. (I learned from my exposure to the IEBW Union workers in NYC that one NEVER EVER tells anyone EVERYTHING that you know.)
After that experience, I never truly trusted a manager or a leader. Many of who were “good guys”, but one has to recognize that there are factors beyond their control. (Like the one job where the day I started, my new boss, his boss, and his boss’ boss were all nuked. For six weeks I was reporting to the CEO’s secretary with absolutely NOTHING to do.)
So, in my working career, “Corporate America” has morphed into “Crony Capitalism”, where politics, image, and political correctness have replaced results, honesty, and integrity.
It’s very sad,
I weep for the youngsters coming up behind us for the environment they are getting into.
Hence my constant preaching — save your money, don’t accumulate bad debt, be in your own business — which you are anyway — even if you’re a full time employee, and try to find 10 part-time jobs or 10 distinct income streams where the loss of any one doesn’t put you at risk of having to live in cardboard box.
Dona Nobis Pacem and “Bon courage a vous tous”
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