Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Signs Your Company Doesn't Have Its Priorities Straight

1) During a general downward trend in the market, rather than giving employees cost of living raises, they instead choose to remodel the lobby.  This fact can be exacerbated by the addition of weird architectural features, such as an unnaturally loud outdoor fountain, Buddha statues, gargoyles, stained-glass windows, enormous pillars, or flying buttresses.  In the case of the fountain, if your company harvests wishes to pay for upper management's "company" cars, you may be in more trouble than you think.  

2) The lobby has been remodeled, but your bathroom hasn't been updated since the Cold War.  In some cases, this sin can be more grievous depending on the ratio of bathroom users to bathroom.  For instance, if you work on a floor with 50 women and 5 men, and the sole bathroom for women only has three working stalls, then your company is violating the Geneva Conventions.  Can be compounded when compared to the bathrooms on floors housing upper management if they have been updated or given facelifts recently.

3) Correspondence from the CEO features chilling metaphors relating company operations to Dancing with the Stars, Celebrity Apprentice, The Amazing Race, Lost, or any other popular television show--matters may be worse the further the CEO must stretch the metaphor to make it fit, i.e. "Just like an island caught in a time-warp, our company and the services we provide lend a sense of completion to our clients, filling the void in their existence and giving them something to look forward to."  Missive length can be a good measuring device for how misdirected the company's priorities are.  For example, a very long, meandering, confusing, and poorly structured letter is the sign of a CEO with nothing better to do except torture employees.  A short, quick, brief letter with detailed bullet points that give pertinent information about company procedures or corporate direction relates that the CEO is informed and competent.  

4) Your company emphasizes continually that its goal is to be on the forefront of technological advancements--they want to change as the market changes to stay relevant.  Thus they create a Web site, but then dissolve the market research division and lay-off the web development team.  To make matters worse, your company gives the Web site reins to one person.  One. Person.  The magnitude of this crime is in direct proportion to the size of your company and the purpose of your Web site.  To illustrate: if your company is a small advertising firm, this is a pebble in a lake.  If your company is or, this is Mt. Kilimanjaro in a pond. 

5) Rather than moving to a smaller building after the size of your company has gone from 2,000 to 500, your company continues to inhabit its current premise, which is replete with archaic features such as a cafeteria that no one uses, a Soviet-influenced locker-room, lead pipes, an empty warehouse, and asbestos tiles everywhere.  The more empty space your building has, the greater the offense.    

At some point I might make this into a quiz.  Wouldn't that be fun?  

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