View Full Version : Loyalty versus sanity

09-19-2007, 11:06 AM
What to do, what to do.

I currently work for a company that I used to really love. It was great, the owners are awesome, the culture is incredible, the job and company were fun.

However, last year the owners sold a majority share to an equity firm in order to grow the company rapidly. Out of all the bids they took, this bid offered them the least amount of money for that large portion of the company, but they took that because the deal supposedly would give them much more latitude and control over the company for the equity contract's duration than the other firms were offering.

They hired a head hunter company to find a CEO and found a guy who was eventually hired. At first, he seemed like a good guy.

Unfortunately, it turns out that he's a total asswipe. He initially buddied up to everyone in the company and tried to play the, "Cool guy, man-of-the-people" angle. Then, he started to slowly show his true colors.

His first order of business was to hire several of his buddies from his old company and place them in key corporate leadership positions. The company has always been one built on promoting from within and sustaining the close-knit culture. Well, he's pretty much shown his disdain for that time and again. His last was a few weeks ago when he brought in another friend from his old company and "created" a new position for him, taking that opportunity away from people who've been in the company for many years. He's even paying this guy more than the other people in similar positions in the company who've been at it much longer than he.

The other day, in a rather heated argument between him and several area supervisors regarding his actions hurting the culture of the company (something the owners had worked tirelessly to build up over the past 15 years), he snapped, "Stop talking about the culture. The culture is dead."

What a dick. Now, several long-time employees have left (another one sent out a company-wide email today bidding us all adieu, and she's been there for 10 years) and many others are looking for other jobs. He's basically forcing everyone out and installing his buddies in those positions to form his new "reich."

Anyway, so now I've put out some feelers to my contacts at other places, notably a company I used to work for, and may soon have the opportunity to go elsewhere.

The pros: Most likely better pay and I'd be back at work at a place I know well and feel comfortable in, and the bullshit politics aren't as bad there.

The cons: I still feel very loyal to the company I'm at, love many of the people I work with, and would like to see it get better. I also don't really want to move and the company I might go back to had its own share of issues I didn't like.

To be all metaphorical, I almost feel like I'm dating a girl who used to be wonderful but is now horrible and I'm only staying with her because I'm hopeful she'll go back to being the girl I fell in love with.

Oh, wait. I've actually done that before.

Bad example.

Anyway, I'm going to write a heartfelt email to the owners asking for the honest truth on the situation and the company's future. I suppose my decision will be based on the response/answers I get. I think they were wanting to fire him a month ago, but he's still here so I can only assume that the equity firm didn't want him gone (the board of directors is made up of the three owners, the idiot CEO, and a few members of the equity firm. If the owners get outvoted by the equity firm, he stays). The equity contract is up in 4 years, but who can wait that long?

All of us loyal employees will likely be gone and replaced by this asshole's buddies long before then, anyway.

I guess there's no question here, just a venting. Is it time for me to pack up and leave or stick it out and see what happens?

Guess I'm the only one who can answer that, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

09-19-2007, 12:12 PM
If the management has changed, then your loyalty doesn't mean what it used to. It sounds like it's time to jump ship and move on--from what you're writing, the new CEO doesn't seem to care about the way things used to work anyway.

Unfortunately, too many companies now don't care about loyalty. I sure do miss those days.

09-19-2007, 03:39 PM
Loyalty? What's that?

My tolerance for bullshit is proportional to my salary. The bullshit will be everywhere in varying degrees, but the money might not be.

Kate Thornton
09-19-2007, 06:14 PM
Your loyalty to the company is commendable - but that company is now gone. It won't come back - do what you can to make your career a better one for yourself. Keep the fine memories and good things you learned and take them to your new job.

Soccer Mom
09-19-2007, 06:20 PM
More money and better atmosphere. You know the right answer. Loyalty to the past will never be rewarded.

09-19-2007, 06:38 PM
If you're uncomfortable there, then leave. This is your professional career you're talking about.

09-19-2007, 06:56 PM
You don't need me to tell you what to do. Maybe you need me to give you permission to do what you know you ought to do? So do it.

That company you feel some loyalty for is no more. Begone.

Maryn, who likes that last word

09-19-2007, 06:59 PM
Heyyyy, Spork. Whaaat's happening?


Corporate loyalty is a thing of the past. Time to leave.

09-19-2007, 07:03 PM
we need to talk about your tps reports, spork.

Kate Thornton
09-19-2007, 07:04 PM
and that's my stapler...I brought it with me....

09-19-2007, 07:11 PM
It doesn't sound like improvement in the situation is very likely, and loyalty has to be earned. The company that earned it isn't around any more. I'd jump ship while the jumpin's good.

Good luck with your search!

09-19-2007, 07:20 PM
Is this part of a hostile takeover plan?

Anyway. I wouldn't email (first, leave no trace). Can you call or talk to them in person?

At first, he seemed like a good guy.

Unfortunately, it turns out that he's a total asswipe. He initially buddied up to everyone in the company and tried to play the, "Cool guy, man-of-the-people" angle. Then, he started to slowly show his true colors.

Damn if the same thing didn't happen to me - including the majority of the staff bailing one after the other.

Do you want to stay there? You could outwait the asshat. (The bitch left finally and from what I hear is getting her just desserts... bwahahahaha)

Can you put up with his bull til he's gone? Is the company in danger of being bought out? I'd have a frank discussion with the owners ... but come to think of it - it didn't do any good in my case.

oh. well. guess I can't help ya after all ...

09-19-2007, 07:33 PM
What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?

09-19-2007, 08:47 PM
First of all, I don't think there is anything wrong with showing loyalty to a company that has "provided" for you for some time, in fact, I consider it a strong personal attribute. However, when that company starts to take that loyalty for granted, figuring it will allow them to treat you in less than a fair or upfront manner without any repercussions, it creates a situation I call a "loyalty tax" on the worker's performance. Sometimes in business, a loyalty tax can't be avoided, but it is only tolerable if it is (1) short term, (2) due to market forces or other business-related constraints, and (3) dealt with in good faith by the employers as soon as possible.

If your company is exacting a heavy loyalty tax on you and your co-workers without any hint of concern about it, I'd say it's time to bail.

09-21-2007, 10:44 AM
You have wise words, Neuro.

And, you guys are all pretty much echoing what I've been feeling lately. I'll probably start exploring my options with the other company in the next few weeks.

It's upsetting, because the owners have been screwed over by this guy nearly as much as the actual employees have (because he apparently has the support of the equity firm members on the Board of Directors, whose votes outnumber the owners), but it happens in business.

I wonder if the great company they started will even be recongizable to them after the equity contract is up in a few years. Will they still be proud of it?

Guess it doesn't matter to me, as I and many other people likely won't be there anymore by then.

01-25-2008, 11:57 AM
Update: He got fired this week.


01-25-2008, 01:18 PM
Told ya.

Patience and Wisdom outlast

Youth and Lies.

You getting promoted now? You should at least ask. ;)

Good on ya, Spork. Way to ride the whirlwind, dude.

Loyalty might be rare but it's still welcomed.

01-26-2008, 12:47 AM
A promotion for me remains to be seen. I got a small one a few months ago, but not enough to satisfy me.

I got an email from one of the owners today (who's been pulling his hair out the past few months trying to get the CEO fired, and has now succeeded) and he and the other owners seem pretty pumped about getting more involved and getting the company back on the right track.

And, as far as my loyalty goes...I was getting ready to start sending out resumes next month. The timing of this guy's firing couldn't have been more fortuitous.

Overall, everyone is really happy now and the morale of the whole company just did a 180. Two months ago, when we really hit rock bottom, there were people literally crying on a conference call. This week, people on the call were literally cheering, hooting, and hollering. It was great.

I'm pretty hopeful now and don't hate going in to work anymore.


01-26-2008, 12:59 AM
Update: He got fired this week.


Schadenfreudealicious! :D