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Old 06-16-2008, 03:30 PM   #61
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the people who don't want to make decisions and just exist... and get the huge paycheck.
How do I get one of those jobs?
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Old 06-16-2008, 04:02 PM   #62
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How do I get one of those jobs?
Count me in.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:36 PM   #63
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My mega corp did something similar ... but we used a single ranking list which was submitted to HR.

Problem with these rating systems is that department heads have little insight into individual performance. Sooo they delegate to middle managers who then might delgate even further. So now a group of 5 or 6 employees is being ranked by a single manager. Obviously his/her PET will head the top of the list and be brought up the chain (for no other reason than than being a brown-nose). Then to add insult to injury, the pet gets a better raise that year .... wash, rinse, repeat.

Thanx for reminding me why I got out at 43!
And for being physically attractive, and for belonging to the same organizations, and for being able to do sports talk, and for 'having a family to support'...

Reminded me of the high school crap.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:45 PM   #64
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And for being physically attractive, and for belonging to the same organizations, and for being able to do sports talk, and for 'having a family to support'.
If your boss is a smoker, taking up the habit can be helpful to your career (I've seen several cases of 'smoking buddies' helping each other out). Of course, it might shorten your life, too; but that's another story.
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Old 06-16-2008, 05:51 PM   #65
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Have we mentioned "the casting couch"?
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:26 PM   #66
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If your boss is a smoker, taking up the habit can be helpful to your career (I've seen several cases of 'smoking buddies' helping each other out). Of course, it might shorten your life, too; but that's another story.
I'd forgotten that one.

Serious individual discussions would take place 'out on the loading dock' because pointy-hair-boss couldn't talk business unless he was inhaling nicotine (smoking was banned indoors).
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:34 PM   #67
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I've been at a megacorp for nearly 23 years and have been a very senior manager (top 10) for the last 7 years. In that time I have had to "retire" several excellent managers who were over 50, just because my boss didn't like them. As I said, these people were excellent managers, who had been responsible for a great portion of the growth and success of the area I run. I did what was required of me, but at the same time, I have made it clear to my own boss (the global CEO) each time I have had to do it, that it would cost him hundreds of thousands to over 2 million to do (very senior managers do not go away cheaply). In doing this, I have made sure that 1) those who are departing go away in a friendly manner, 2) precendent is set for my own future departure. Only one of those who have been "retired" have been with the company the same amount of time as I have, and none have been in a level as senior as mine. My intention is to depart before the current CEO does, as he is now fully aware of what my departure will cost. Problem is that I have had 5 bosses in the past 6 or 7 years, so nothing is guaranteed.

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Old 06-16-2008, 08:12 PM   #68
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They got rid of me and two others because we were not sitting in 'corporate'... and the new boss did not like the people who had a lot of experience that would challenge her decisions... she wanted robots just out of college who thought she was brilliant.
When competence hurts instead of helps....
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Old 06-16-2008, 08:26 PM   #69
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My mega corp did something similar. Problem with these rating systems is that department heads have little insight into individual performance.
These systems generally lead to bad results, so middle managers will start gaming the system as soon as they understand what is being imposed. I knew one guy who always had a new hire or two slated to start just before ranking time. They always got low marks (too new to know our systems yet) so the core of the department could be ranked above the bottom tier that faced HR sanctions. The new recruits were clueless. Upper management didn't care since the letter of the process was observed. Ironically, experienced folks loved to work for this guy, because he knew how to protect them from corporate. Moral hazard?
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:34 AM   #70
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Khan said it best....corporate america is just like high school.....if you can get in the clique....you are ok, but if not.....life will be hell.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:03 PM   #71
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Talk about a clique ... don't forget religion. We did VERY WELL working for a customer who happened to be of the same minority religion as our department head. All came to light when he retired and the funding dwindled annually.
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:47 PM   #72
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And for being physically attractive, and for belonging to the same organizations, and for being able to do sports talk, and for 'having a family to support'...
I wonder what the ROI on plastic surgery would be... I wonder what the success/satisfaction rates of plastic surgery patients are...Plastic surgery--the key to a successful career and social life!
Time for some research

Sports talk would negate any plastic surgery benefits, however. My eyes start glazing over in a cross-eyed manner, then my mouth gets slack and I start to drool, sometimes my head lolls back--not pretty.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:03 PM   #73
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The ROI probably depends on what the surgeon has to work with. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear (that would be like putting lipstick on a pig, to mix metaphors).
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:17 PM   #74
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I worked for a larger corp for 25 years and bit on a retirement incentive package at 56. We went through a number of work force reductions in my years and I would probably say that there was just a little bit of job security for the 50+ age group. Reason being that to legally avoid an age discrimination suit, getting rid of older workers who might be overpaid, underproducing or otherwise targets for layoffs had to be off-set be also laying off younger productive and lower paid workers so that the median or mean age of lay offs was below a certain age. I'm thinking it was 49? That said, we joked that when you approached or were over the magic age of 55, where you qualified for pension and health insurance, you had a layoff target on your back and there were ways to "pursuade" you to leave voluntarily using severance incentives and making you feel very uncomfortable, insecure, or giving you undesirable responsibilities.

That said, if I were comparing job security in a larger or smaller company I would favor the larger. Just because the larger company probably has a more stable performance history. Early in my career I worked for a smaller company and they went totally belly up and got rid of everyone. Hey, no case for age discrimination there.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:20 PM   #75
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For yourself this is definitely a good attitude in order to keep competitive in the marketplace. You will probably be among the last to be layed off if times get very rough.

Typical hard ass attitude and makes me angry . I don't usually see red when reading a post. Well there might be a few sloths in the workplace but all in all people want to perform given a chance. You've just worked in your company for the right 20 years. I worked for a large company for 30 years and during the dot-com bust they layed off around 50% of the people. We had a ranking system too. That didn't stop them from laying off very high ranking people who were in the wrong units at the wrong time. I hope you're not the type of guy who sees their layed off collegues outside of work and looks the other way. You need to develop some compassion.
Isbcal, I did not mean to offend you or anyone, I was simply stating what I've seen in my company. I work with degreed professionals only...perhaps others work with production employees...which is a completely different story (they may be laid off REGARDLESS of how hard/smart they work).

As for whether I look the other way when I see them outside of work, it depends. If it's a person I like/admire, or someone who I think got the bad end of the deal, then I approach them and express my compassion for them, even offering contact names or to act as a reference so they can find another job. However, that has rarely been the case. Most of the people I've seen let go are ones who brought it upon themselves by turning down assignments at work, coming in late and leaving early, taking too many breaks during the day, turning in assignments that are late and sloppy, and other such things. I don't feel compassion for people who have control, but choose not to exercise it. If you think that makes me a "hard ass", then I guess I am. I call it accountability.

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Old 06-19-2008, 09:26 PM   #76
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Dave, I think you'll find that this board is filled with people with graduate degrees and professional certifications of the highest difficulty. Even so, most of us have seen enough to know that competency is necessary but not sufficient to ensure continued employment.

You may be right in that there is some rhyme and reason to who gets fired. That may actually be a good thing because it shows that the universe does have some rules. However, I have seen plenty of FOBs (friends of the boss) do little, strut around, create unnecessary and counterproductive chaos, and still remain employed. Trust me, no matter how good you are or how many black belts you have (in Six Sigma or in one of the martial arts), you cross one of the FOBs even if unintentionally, you're done.
I'm not denying it happens, only saying I've not seen the things you mention. There are some checks and balances. For example, it costs about $100,000 to "replace" an employee. Smart companies don't like to let go of people without good reason. Granted, if the company is small, it may be one person (or a small group of cronies) making the decision, and they may do as you mentioned above.

BTW, the $100,000 is a number used by our corporate HR group in reference to manager level Finance people within my firm. This number is well documented FOR OUR COMPANY (it may differ for yours).
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:31 PM   #77
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Yep, very true.

Believing in yourself, and working hard to maintain/improve your qualifications and abilities, are certainly worthwhile; but they are not guarantees of job security.
Don't think I mentioned a guarantee. I'd like to point out that my post was in response to someone who says there's no security anymore. I was simply providing an alternative opinion. So do you think there's no security? or do you think you can create SOME security for yourself?

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The downside to buying into the 'I alone am responsible for my job security' crap trap is that if (or more likely, when) you are eventually let go you will - obviously - blame yourself. And people who blame themselves for being laid off are usually the ones who never work again ("no one wants me. I'm damaged goods, I'm a screw up").
I hope my self esteem is high enough that I don't fall into that. I have been let go from a job before...but it was a LONG time ago...and I can't even remember how I felt (it was one of those "high school" jobs, not a professional job). If I am let go, I would not "blame" myself, but I would ask myself "what could I have done better to prevent this?". If the answer is something I can control, I'll try to fix it. If it's not something I can control, I'll lift my chin and go look for another job.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:35 PM   #78
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Khan said it best....corporate america is just like high school.....if you can get in the clique....you are ok, but if not.....life will be hell.
I agree with this to a point, but at my company (a large company where people move around frequently to increase their exposure to other parts of the company...be it other functions, other business units, etc.). As a result, it's very common to hire into a group with 6 other people, and a year later 4 of them are different people...including the boss. In my company if you stay in one job more than about 4 years, people start asking when you're going to move to another role. In a large, complex company like ours I find this valuable. I've worked in 3 of our 4 business units, and I've worked in Purchasing, Finance, Research, and Operations. This gives me excellent insight into the overall business and allows me to make good decisions about how to make changes that improve the company. I'm sure this would not work well in many companies, but I believe it does in ours.

I guess what I'm saying is that the "clique" changes about every 6 months.
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Old 06-19-2008, 09:36 PM   #79
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Dave, I worked with degreed professionals also and in an R&D technology setting. I'm not sure you are talking about a mass layoff situation and I am. In those situations everybody is vulnerable. Perhaps you have not experienced this and have seen only a few layed off?

In any case I still contend that 99% of workers try hard and deserve our respect when layed off. In my workplace some of the first to be layed off probably deserved to be the first because some of them did not perform as well as the ones who stayed. But they still deserved a lot of respect from me and I feel like the company failed them.
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Old 06-20-2008, 03:15 PM   #80
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In my workplace some of the first to be layed off probably deserved to be the first because some of them did not perform as well as the ones who stayed. But they still deserved a lot of respect from me and I feel like the company failed them.
In my company we have had the opposite several times. I've worked for a MegaCorp chemical company for the past 29 years and they have had many mass lay-offs in that time and what usually happens is that they want to lay off "x" people and offer up packages on a first come basis so that the most marketable emloyees will find another job, or be confident they can get another job and take the package, plus many close to retirement with the most experience will also take the package.
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