Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bad Boss Finalist #3 - Extreme Measures

And today we have the story from the third finalist. Don't forget to check back on Friday and vote.

Extreme Measures

The time: September 1994, when IBM was in the throes of the "Gerstner Gutting", and layoffs were rumoured to be on the horizon for even (gasp!) Raleigh.

My second-line manager issued an edict in late August that there would be mandatory meetings on Tuesday, September 6th and Thursday, September 15th - no one would be allowed to take vacation, personal holidays, etc., and if they did they would immediately be given a "four check" (failing) appraisal, regardless of their performance level otherwise. These dates were Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

As one of only two Jews in the organization I protested, knowing based on past history that the selection of those dates was not coincidence. The protest was ignored, and when I returned to the office on the 7th I was called into his office for an immediate appraisal.

I exercised the Open Door Policy and went up to the fourth-line manager, who I knew well, and explained what had happened; my second-line was reprimanded for his actions. But while I may have won the battle, he won the war; my name was added to the layoff list at the last moment (his secretary, who had been my father's secretary 25 years before, called me at home late the night before to tell me), and I was one of over 100 people in our organization laid off and escorted out of the building on the 14th.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Curious as to why the employee wouldn't have simply talked to someone at the ADL...they would have made a huge stink about it with local news media.

Colette said...

I think there's a lot that goes into weighing a decision to fight. And while we don't whether this employee took any action, what I do know is it's a personal decision for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Well, in that case, if it isn't worth fighting for, it certainly isn't worth complaining about, either.

Colette said...

I'm not suggesting that it wouldn't be worth fighting for -- simply that there's a lot that goes into a decision to fight (time, money, how to support a family, stress). It's a different journey for everyone. And, in fairness to this guest blogger, I wouldn't have called this a complaint -- more of a sharing of life experiences. We can learn from all of these situations!