Matthew Gates 3m 874 #dyingcompany
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
I was working for a company that specialized in web data for displaying the data collected by solar power energy panels. I had gone in knowing a little HTML, Adobe Photoshop, and Flash, which were the requirements. I had been hired to mostly play catchup for the company — 230 projects pending when I was hired. They hired me based on the fact that I was a quick learner and would catch them up to where they needed to be. It was definitely a great job and I loved it.
I was called into the meeting room to meet with Human Resources who informed me: “We are not letting you go as a reflection of your work performance, but we have to let you go.” How could I really be upset? I knew why I was hired. It seemed the company was crumbling, however, because they were not getting any new clients. On my way out, I warned everyone to be careful because I knew they would be next.
No one took my advice, and after failing to pay them their salaries, those remaining employees had to file a lawsuit which is still underway today, and asked the company to lay them off, so they could file for unemployment, which I had found out through two of my former co-workers. The company did me a great service by letting me go first and even cutting me severance package on the condition that I would not file for unemployment. I happily agreed. Luckily for me, I already had another job lined up and was hired immediately, certainly not worried, and the extra few paychecks were very nice.
I had thought the company had completely gone under and was no longer existing, but sure enough, they held on to about three employees to continue on the appearance of a successful company and maintain the existing client accounts.
Fast forward to almost 8 months later — one of the employees who had not been laid off contacted me and mentioned to me that “new management” of the company was looking to re-establish the company again and start things back up, getting a fresh new face of clients, but still using the old system. He was calling to see if I would come back and work for the company. And my answer?
No. They would be not be doing me any favors. Maybe I should have asked what they were paying or would pay me, but the fact that they let me go first, without even discussing it with me, without any advanced warning, acting as if everything had been okay for months, really let me know that they cared so much. Again, I know I was hired for a reason – but I had been hoping to stay with the company.
Maybe it was just the fact that I really did serve my purpose and they had no more use for me, however, that was really all just based on my own assumptions. If they had warned me at least a month in advance that they were going to be making some cuts, I may have considered the idea of coming back, but I could not foresee a stable or confident future of this company, a company unwilling to update its technology, a company that kept secrets from its employees, and a company that is currently involved in a lawsuit with five former employees — hell no way would I ever return to a dying company.
There are many companies out there who classify as “too big to fail,” but there are still many small companies out there that are are struggling, that are bound to fail, or are on the brink of failure everyday. I almost never return to the same company twice, whether I quit or I am laid off, I feel that every company I work for is an experience and one that I never need to repeat. This one, in particular, was so desperate to save itself, that it began reaching out to former employees, who they laid off in the first place.
Maybe they should have listened to their employees when the entire team demanded they upgrade their technology in order to compete with the other competing companies, but having lost all employees, and desperate to reach out to its last legs and arms, for sure, the company is facing an inevitable death.