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Old 01-20-2012, 04:50 AM   #41
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Shutting down a division because it was "too small and not profitable enough". It was in an economically depressed area and many of the folks that were let go had worked there for 20-30 years, with very little hope of finding another job in the area.

As it turns out those "larger, more profitable" divisions were inappropriately accounting for certain items (i.e. they weren't very profitable after all) and several corporate exec's who sponsored the inappropriate accounting ended up going to jail! Too late for the poor folks that were let go. Kind of reminds me of todays financial services industry, the little guys and gals always end up paying the price.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:07 AM   #42
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Constant travel 3-5 nights per week, mind numbing daily phone conference calls, back stabbing co-managers, constant changing of commission plan because we employees "made to much $" - having to deal with fake people and whining reps, large price increases on "me-too" products making them difficult to sell, FDA delays .....man, I love retirement!!
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:33 AM   #43
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- Watching grown people with advanced degrees and self-important attitudes fighting over the "lollipops" (project funding) when there were always plenty to go around.
- "Pencil whipping" - revisions to technical writeups that had already passed spelling and grammar checks with flying colors.
- "Powerpoint Engineering"
- Being sick all the time from the latest cold bug/flu
- A building with no windows, and in winter months, driving to w*rk in the dark and back home in the dark. Sunlight deprivation is not funny over time.
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Old 01-20-2012, 11:11 AM   #44
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Shutting down a division because it was "too small and not profitable enough". It was in an economically depressed area and many of the folks that were let go had worked there for 20-30 years, with very little hope of finding another job in the area.

As it turns out those "larger, more profitable" divisions were inappropriately accounting for certain items (i.e. they weren't very profitable after all) and several corporate exec's who sponsored the inappropriate accounting ended up going to jail! Too late for the poor folks that were let go. Kind of reminds me of todays financial services industry, the little guys and gals always end up paying the price.
That truly is criminal, and a sobering reminder of how these types of changes have a very human price.
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Old 01-20-2012, 12:36 PM   #45
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Taking time off and having the "dread" in the back of my mind the whole time beause I know I gotta go back and accomplish everything that I missed while gone.
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #46
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Taking time off and having the "dread" in the back of my mind the whole time beause I know I gotta go back and accomplish everything that I missed while gone.
Yeah -- vacations really aren't vacations much any more for a lot of folks -- they are just "deferring workload" until you get back. Sure, if you are in a service sector job that's not usually quite as true, but for many of us, the work doesn't go away and it doesn't get reassigned.

So if we "recharge" by taking a vacation, we're burned out again in a week of pulling 60+ hours at the office to do all the work that came in while you were out. What a system...

And vacations are even worse for those who are expected to be on call with cell phones and/or e-mail while they are out. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? What about that requirement is "on vacation," anyway?
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:13 PM   #47
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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? What about that requirement is "on vacation," anyway?
It's just a GAAP controls mandate to force the financial people to allow others to ride their desks for a few weeks to investigate whether the incumbents are stealing money.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:15 AM   #48
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I'll limit this to three worst parts:
1. Boss - when you have a good one it is hard to go back to the procrastinating, story-telling clown. I am going through this right now.
2. People - having to deal with people in megacorp is a large problem. Surprise! "I don't have to give you an answer, and it will take the company years and years to get rid of me."
3. Lack of Respect - generally speaking, when you have an abundance of people, you have an oversupply of individuals who have never been taught the golden rule.

The right boss can get you through all of the other bs.
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Old 01-21-2012, 07:51 AM   #49
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I'm a self employed salesman and the thing I hate most is the decline of personal relationships with the buyers. Most sales used to be conducted over the phone and personal relationships developed over time. Buyers got to know me, trust me and respect my knowledge of the product and the industry. Even if my prices were a little higher the buyer knew he was getting a better product at a fair price and also knew that I would be there to back them up on the few occasions where problems arose.

Nowadays, buyers work for MegaCorp and are doing the jobs of 2 or 3 people. They are also buying multiple products lines. They have little time to talk and so many resort to blanket e-mailing their inquiries to every possible supplier they know and end up buying mostly based on price alone. Once I quote the business it is often impossible to get any feedback from the buyer as to what they bought or at what price or if they even bought anything at all.

And then on the supplier side many of my competitors resort to cheating to get the business. Buy one product with low specs and then represent it as something else to get a price advantage.

Been doing this for 23 years now and it is so much less satisfying than it used to be. SO ready to FIRE now but have to stick it out another 3-4 years.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:20 AM   #50
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3. Lack of Respect - generally speaking, when you have an abundance of people, you have an oversupply of individuals who have never been taught the golden rule.
How many workplaces still have an abundance of people? Most I've seen have slashed down to the bone and, in some cases, all the way into the marrow.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:18 AM   #51
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Thank you

I was feeling sorry for myself. Everything I just read here resonated with me. Ready to quit my job. Then I read these posts and realize my job is not so bad afterall. Going back Monday with flowers for the boss.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:30 AM   #52
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Definitely busting your ass(ets) off day in and day out, while some schmuck co-worker (sitting in the cubicle next to you) pushes his pencil around, spends hours typing on his keyboard, and shoves every bit of work onto a subordinate to do.
How about speaking at the top of his/her voice during a speakerphone "conference" (I'm sure to try to impress the folks around him/her).

I've been retired almost five years, but this is one that drove me crazy in years past....
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:44 AM   #53
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Even though I mentioned only the commute as the worst thing about my former job, I had a few other, lesser things I did not like.

I hated doing employee reviews because HR and the higher-ups were frequently changing the style and format of the forms, one time requiring us to attend an all-day class (which started before my regular arrival time, forcing me to get up earlier for this waste of time). Then I had my own division's management marking up whatever I wrote to suit their own agendas and blaming me for not writing it up "correctly." Thankfully, when I switched from working FT to PT, I was removed from having to write up any more of those things in the last 7 years I worked.

Meetings were another thing I hated, from the biweekly divisional management meetings to broader department staff meetings to project-specific meetings which always melted my mind LOL!

I did have a few crummy coworkers and superiors in my 23 years of work. One got so bad I had to file a harrassment charge because she went out of her way to embarrass me in front of a subordinate I was doing work with. Most of the time, the bad coworkers and superiors either quit or got transferred which was nice.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:01 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by BTravlin View Post
I'm a self employed salesman and the thing I hate most is the decline of personal relationships with the buyers. Most sales used to be conducted over the phone and personal relationships developed over time. Buyers got to know me, trust me and respect my knowledge of the product and the industry. Even if my prices were a little higher the buyer knew he was getting a better product at a fair price and also knew that I would be there to back them up on the few occasions where problems arose.

Nowadays, buyers work for MegaCorp and are doing the jobs of 2 or 3 people. They are also buying multiple products lines. They have little time to talk and so many resort to blanket e-mailing their inquiries to every possible supplier they know and end up buying mostly based on price alone. Once I quote the business it is often impossible to get any feedback from the buyer as to what they bought or at what price or if they even bought anything at all.

And then on the supplier side many of my competitors resort to cheating to get the business. Buy one product with low specs and then represent it as something else to get a price advantage.

Been doing this for 23 years now and it is so much less satisfying than it used to be. SO ready to FIRE now but have to stick it out another 3-4 years.
I feel your pain from the other side of the coin. I bought many millions of $ worth of stuff for Megacorp during my working career. I, too, developed personal relationships with trusted salesmen. At some point back in the day (I think it happened after the WWII generation left the company) we were required to buy stuff from vendors selected by higher management. I strongly suspected the CEO and/or other top executives had personal interests in the selected vendors. Higher management never said a word to the salemen who were kicked to the curb. That was left to me.

Higher management would hand down specifications for complex products to be purchased by competitive bid. The specifications were tailored to match the favored vendor's products. So, naturally, the favored vendor submitted the low bid. Often the product was not exactly what was needed. I was then forced to buy the extras required to make the product work properly from the vendor at an exorbitant cost. However, when higher management wanted to show how much money they were saving, they showed only the basic bid cost and not all the extras.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:52 PM   #55
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How many workplaces still have an abundance of people? Most I've seen have slashed down to the bone and, in some cases, all the way into the marrow.
At least 125,000. There have been cuts, but it seems there is always a way to replace the guy over 55 with a younger "talent." There will be more cuts for the next 3-5 years as defense gets scaled back.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:04 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by freebird5825 View Post
- Watching grown people with advanced degrees and self-important attitudes fighting over the "lollipops" (project funding) when there were always plenty to go around.
- "Pencil whipping" - revisions to technical writeups that had already passed spelling and grammar checks with flying colors.
- "Powerpoint Engineering"
- Being sick all the time from the latest cold bug/flu
- A building with no windows, and in winter months, driving to w*rk in the dark and back home in the dark. Sunlight deprivation is not funny over time.
Yes, they kept the programmers in the basement.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:05 PM   #57
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Yes, they kept the programmers in the basement.
Hey hey hey, I spent my entire career in windowless concrete-block Faraday cages offices. When the fire alarm rang you frequently had to run upstairs to evacuate...
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:31 AM   #58
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How about speaking at the top of his/her voice during a speakerphone "conference" (I'm sure to try to impress the folks around him/her).

I've been retired almost five years, but this is one that drove me crazy in years past....
You know, it's really funny you mention that - the aforementioned cubicle do-nothing hard(ly) working neighbor is a prima donna in every sense. He reserves our sole conference room so he can do his 3 times a week conference calls with a contractor, so he can look at the conference room's bigass projector screen, instead of viewing the images on his dual screen workstation.

Meanwhile, rather than give up his use of the conference room for his own self, he expects other people that have conference calls (up to 4 people at a time) to huddle around a phone in someone's half-wall cubicle, having to turn up the volume to the max so everyone can hear and be heard on the call....which completely disrupts half of the other people in the office because they have to deal with excessive background noise.

Oh, and when the neighbor periodically gets kicked out of the conference room for others to use during his calls? Yes, he sits at his cubicle and insists on turning on the speaker phone, so he doesn't have to inconvenience himself to hold the phone against his ear.

Of course, he doesn't keep this just to conference calls. Every so often, he'll feel important enough to simply do a speaker phone call with another person just to exercise and flex his prima donna muscle.

And don't even get me started with him demanding training for software that he ends up never using, and demanding one of the fastest computers in the office to run software he never uses (why should he? He has his slave that he piles everyone on to do for him...)
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:03 AM   #59
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I feel your pain from the other side of the coin. I bought many millions of $ worth of stuff for Megacorp during my working career. I, too, developed personal relationships with trusted salesmen. At some point back in the day (I think it happened after the WWII generation left the company) we were required to buy stuff from vendors selected by higher management. I strongly suspected the CEO and/or other top executives had personal interests in the selected vendors. Higher management never said a word to the salemen who were kicked to the curb. That was left to me.

Higher management would hand down specifications for complex products to be purchased by competitive bid. The specifications were tailored to match the favored vendor's products. So, naturally, the favored vendor submitted the low bid. Often the product was not exactly what was needed. I was then forced to buy the extras required to make the product work properly from the vendor at an exorbitant cost. However, when higher management wanted to show how much money they were saving, they showed only the basic bid cost and not all the extras.
Bad situation to be in for sure. Don't know that I've been on the receiving end of such nonsense but it's possible.

My sales are usually in the $20-50k range and I used to deal primarily with the business owner who had the best interest of the business in mind when making purchases. Over time, industry consolidation has changed that to where I now deal with MegaCorp clerk who may be under similar pressures. Very frustrating.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:55 AM   #60
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I run a nonprofit and some of the things I hate:
Looking for funding, grants, etc.
Trying to make sure we are always covering our backs, since our clients are are often looking to sue ( we had cameras installed, which have really helped with false accusations.)
Dealing with numerous regulatory agencies.

And one of my biggest ones is just having to talk to people, network, do PR, speeches, since I'm an introvert.
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