Have you seen this article in the NY Times? Congratulation! You’ve Been Fired! Dan Lyons shared some of his experience working at HubSpot, a tech company. Here is a little excerpt.
..when you got fired, it was called “graduation.” We all would get a cheery email from the boss saying, “Team, just letting you know that X has graduated and we’re all excited to see how she uses her superpowers in her next big adventure.”
Dan Lyons in Disrupted
Okay, this is inconsiderate and cruel. I guess they are trying to put a positive spin on it, but I’d prefer the old pink slip any day. Anyway, the article and the follow on comments are quite entertaining. As a disgruntled former tech employee, I agree with his assessments 100%. Many companies no longer view employees as human. Now, companies just want to squeeze as much production as they can and replace as needed. I’m glad that I got out early and never had to go back.
Warning: anti-corporate rant ahead.
*Originally written in 2015. Updated for 2022. Back then, NYT was free online. Now, you need a membership. Layoffs are back. Many companies are laying workers off and it will get worse.
Join the Cult
How would you like to join a company where everything is provided at the office? Free food and drink, dry cleaning, on-site clinic, massage, shuttle with WiFi, gym, shower and towels, concerts tickets, and more. You don’t need any work-life balance because you live at work. The less time you spend outside of work, the more productive (and indoctrinated) you will be.
You will be interacting with some of the smartest people on the planet and you are changing lives with your work. At least, that’s what the corporation would like you to believe. Your social life is at work and you don’t ever need to leave. It’s a good thing too because you’ll be slammed with so much work that 40 hours won’t be enough to finish them. Even if you complete all your assignments on time, you’d still need to be better than your coworkers. The annual review is coming up soon and if you stumbled this year, you just might “graduate” from your job.
This work-centric lifestyle might have been attractive to me when I was 22 and just starting out in life. Now, it sounds like jail.
*Wow, worked changed so much since 2015. The pandemic gave rise to working from home and many employees don’t want to go back to the office. These perks aren’t as attractive as the comfort of working from home. Corporations are trying to get people back in the office, though. If you’re reluctant, watch out for that pink slip.
Follow the money
Corporations aren’t all bad. They facilitate the invention of new technologies and create a lot of jobs. True, but the explosion of technology is making our lives way more complicated. Seriously, how many of these new gadgets are really essential? All these new shiny gadgets are making everyone spend a lot of money. Everyone is plugged in every minute of the day and there is no more downtime. Life was simpler and easier 20 years ago without all these apps and gadgets.
My real gripe is that only a small percentage of the money generated goes to the workers on the ground. The executives are mostly concerned with making money for themselves. Shareholders come in second, and workers a distant 3rd. Executive pay is out of hand. They get millions in bonuses even when the stock price craters. Workers are the first ones to feel the negative downturn because they’ll be the ones getting laid off while the executives pocket their bonuses. Laying people off increases productivity so that’s a good thing for shareholders and executives.
I’m glad I’m out
Truthfully, I find it hard to do a good corporate rant these days. I’ve been out of the workaday life for 10 years now and I can’t get worked up about it anymore. My mind is kind of funny because I forget most bad things easily. Life is much better now and I’ve moved on.
Anyway, I will check out Dan Lyons’ book and see if I enjoy it. It sounds like a fun read and it got many good reviews on Amazon. Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble
Are you working for a corporation? What’s your biggest gripe about your employer?
Feel free to gripe as much as you’d like in the comment.
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