The Tale of Mandalay, Part Five: A Ringside Seat To A Losing Battle

I have no doubt that Ginormocorp tiptoed gingerly into the Layoff Minefield when it came to my department.  After all, out of forty people approximately ninety percent had been with Country/Ginormocorp for twenty years or more.  Many had been there for over thirty years; one guy had close to forty years.  Getting rid of people who have been with an employer longer than most people in HR have been alive is a tricky thing.  Continue reading “The Tale of Mandalay, Part Five: A Ringside Seat To A Losing Battle”

The Tale of Mandalay, Part Four: Ginormocorp Drops The Big One

Given my history with my employers getting conquered by far larger entities, almost from the moment Ginormocorp acquired Countrycorp Mr. Mandalay and I began preparing for what we thought would be the inevitable.  However, we felt that the process would take at least five years.  As the years passed, though, we learned that for such a … well, ginormous corporation, Ginormocorp really didn’t have its shit together.  It was only in 2015, ten years after the takeover, that we began to see signs that it was ready to do what a good conqueror does.   Continue reading “The Tale of Mandalay, Part Four: Ginormocorp Drops The Big One”

The Tale of Mandalay, Part Three: The Waning of Countrycorp

It was the spring of 2009, and now I knew what I would be doing in my new department.

Data entry.

Oh, sure, it was dressed up with a fancy title and was considered a promotion (with an accompanying raise), but still, it was data entry.  Countrycorp was one of the few companies left in the world that had its own mainframe operating system, which got its start around the time I left college … in 1986.  Still, once I got used to the work it was easy.

Because there was no room in the department when I joined, the other noobs and I were at study carrels for two years.  When we got the word we were moving up with the rest of them on the sixth floor, we looked forward to having cubes instead of the cramped carrels.

Unfortunately, what we gained in elbow room we lost in drama. Continue reading “The Tale of Mandalay, Part Three: The Waning of Countrycorp”

The Tale of Mandalay, Part Two: Ginormocorp Arrives

“Holy shit, we just got bought by Ginormocorp!”

On a sunny Monday morning in May 2005, these incredulous words echoed across the Countrycorp call center as I settled into my workstation to begin the day.  A quick check of CNN’s website showed me that headline, just as an email arrived announcing a “brief meeting.”  A few minutes later in that meeting, the director of the department confirmed it.

“We’ll still be Countrycorp,” she cooed.  “We won’t lose our identity, what makes us such a great company.  Nothing will change.”

Several mutters of “bullshit” disguised as coughs were heard.  One may have been mine. Continue reading “The Tale of Mandalay, Part Two: Ginormocorp Arrives”

The Tale of Mandalay, Part One: Before Ginormocorp

I have had, let’s say, a long and storied employment history.  In my younger years, it was dictated by boredom and lack of general life skills.  I did everything from cashiering at convenience and discount department stores to managing a dry cleaners to telemarketing to being a phone sex operator (I got fired for laughing too many times).  After much personal upheaval in the mid-to-late nineties, I began my road to adult respectability with a job as a file clerk for a credit reporting service in Lexington, Kentucky.  Since I actually knew the alphabet, the files were in order for perhaps the first time ever, which caught the attention of higher-ups.  I was offered a promotion to customer service rep.  I was surprised to learn that I was good at this, and thus began a pretty enjoyable two years.  I loved my job, my coworkers and immediate boss kicked ass, the VPs were cool and the office was plush. Continue reading “The Tale of Mandalay, Part One: Before Ginormocorp”