This is what I would very much like to say to former co-workers who had a part in my departure from this fast-food company I used to work for, either directly or indirectly. Maybe I’ll get the chance to say this one day. The company would actually be the perfect example of horrible business strategy: poor understanding of the target demographic, hostile work environment, poor work culture, sexism, racism, poor management, poor organization, frequent lawsuits from partners, crude training, no innovation, no to low standards, lack of collaboration, etc. I am trying so hard to think of one good thing about the company that it is giving me a headache, so I must stop.
I want to thank you for letting me go. I had wanted to quit since after the first month, but I stayed for the money. I convinced myself to stay for just a few more months, just long enough to settle some debts and establish a solid savings. I then got the corporate card, and put off leaving until after the corporate card was paid because I was all to familiar with how well-organized the company is. Then I though it might be nice to have a corporate job on my resume for at least a year, and then that would coincide with bonus and the Olympics, so maybe I should stay a little longer for that whopping week vacation.
I had a friend looking for a job. I was honest with her and told her that I would only refer her so I would have company at work, but that I would not wish this experience on my worst enemy. From day one I felt like an outsider. From people name dropping universities, incorrectly, by putting a near by state school and MIT in the same breath not understanding that those who attend the latter have no idea what the former is, AT ALL. The way people looked at me as a minority female and really made me want to start swearing in the 5 languages I know, carry around my top tier diploma (top tier meaning “top ten of the ranked”, not just bragging about it being ranked), brag about my two degrees of separation from the president, Donald Trump, and even an MVP quarterback, and my one degree of separation from a Principal at McKinsey.
You told me the numbers were bad, the partners complained, my attendance was poor, and the little bimbo in HR dropped something about the company being “results-driven.” Where did she go to school again? While she was playing with finger puppets, I wrote a 60-page thesis, which later became a published book now available on Amazon. From what I could see, I had the best numbers period, not just for a female. As I understood the company more, I could see why that might be a problem.
The company value was falling, but that was going on prior to my arrival. I had looked at the financials hoping to talk about rapid growth, but was surprised to find none. With regards to the partners, one woman was mad that she did not get what she wanted and deleted emails to support her claim that she was being ignored. I had all the emails. Even while out for bereavement I responded, but I guess you must have believe the gossip that I was on vacation, hence “attendance issues”, despite the fact that I frequently stayed late too. The partners were frustrated in general because they were given the run-around and saw that internal communication was poor and I neither denied it or affirmed it. I tried to fix it, but as my colleagues spoke of things like “sink or swim” and “passing the hot potato” it appeared that the problems were just supposed to be swept under the rug while at the same time trying to find a scape goat. Que me.
I was your scape goat. I worked my ass off to be the best in the midst of poor organization and people running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to be the best and trying to be the elite when they can’t even distinguish up or down. You blamed me for issues with a large partner that wasn’t even mine to control. You all would have known that if you had bothered to be organized and have decent managers. Or maybe you did know. Now your rhetoric, the same one that includes “meritocracy” and “results-driven” has blown up in your face.
Before I left the bimbo from HR told me I would still have health insurance. I didn’t really believe her. I requested written confirmation and got no response. Once I needed the insurance I thought I’d call to see the status: inactive as of the end of my last month with the company. More rhetoric, but yet in the U.S. there is this thing called COBRA. Since I’m not the HR bimbo, I know what it is. Since I am not the HR bimbo, I can pull up my records where I reached out to her for confirmation of health insurance and she never responded. So I hope you enjoy the fine you will be receiving from the U.S. Department of Labor and thank you also for confirming that I was in fact surrounded by idiots while working for your company. Also, consider this payback for not paying the corporate card on time, but I will also be doing everything within my power to get you blackballed from recruiting on elite campuses, no that will not include that little state school you are so fond of.
And then there’s your little cult mantra that includes “meritocracy”. Typically companies with strong, positive cultures that are in fact meritocratic do not need to advertise this on every wall… I saw that my salary and bonus was used nicely to give raises, namely to those who didn’t ask questions and behaved like good drones sucking up to their male superiors and talking about how the little wife is at home wishing he would come home early from work because she’s been waiting for him all day to take her shopping.
Next, my favorite, “results-driven”. During my exit meeting I had nothing to say at that point because it didn’t register. It’s not that I needed time to process, my brain could not compute that NONSENSE. That’s your company’s mantra and then you let me and countless others like me go, or they leave. It really seems like you and I were just playing a game of chicken. The bimbo tells me the reasons for letting me go was because the company is “results-driven” but yet I went to a top 10 private school, a top 10 university, a top 10 graduate school and have a résumé would confirm the fact that she was sitting in class playing with finger-puppets. Borrowing, and modifying a line from Captain Philips: I’m number one.
You all schemed, laid off, and spewed rhetoric to become number one, but I am number one. Thank you. I work for a billion dollar company. Your earnings only represent a tenth of ours. They give decent benefits and still have earnings that blow yours out of the water! Did I mention that my company is in fact number one? I don’t think I did. Just so we’re clear, this is what “results-driven” looks like, not whatever sham of a company you are running.
So, again, thank you. Thank you for helping me leave when I wouldn’t. Thank you for showing me what the bottom is and releasing me to be with my people, smart people, results-driven people.
Be sure to keep an eye out for that fine from the Department of Labor. I wouldn’t want you to miss it because they’ll probably charge interest, if they haven’t done so already. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Also, let me know if you want me to send you some postcards from my 3-week vacation in China. Oh, but they’ll be in Chinese. I hear Chinese is a hard language to learn. I wouldn’t really know though because I speak it 😉