New Sherwood

Could you work for this company?

Pop quiz! Identify the warning bells in this company overview:

“And we would like to talk to a very specific person. We would like to talk to you. We would like to talk to you because you see it all. You do not let the tunnel vision of tradition and convention prevent you from making the world a better place. You are bigger than that. You know that there is someplace else for you, someplace where you will be challenged to exceed your potential, where you will be recognized and rewarded for your contributions, someplace where your creativity can emerge. You are not willing to settle for a small life. And though you might not know it yet, you are not willing to settle for anything less than the expanded and amplified world of Daiichi Sankyo.”

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January 17, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

18 Comments »

  1. The usual self-contradicting philosophy – they challenge tradition and convention by offering more tradition and convention: “challenged to exceed your potential, where you will be recognized and rewarded for your contributions”. Very conventional. Hoist By Our Own Petard R Us.

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    Comment by Bill White | January 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. Not to mention, of course, their wrong-headedness on tradition and convention, the mainstays of civilization.

    Like

    Comment by Bill White | January 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Then there is the deceitful flattery, and the condescending “you are not willing to settle for a small life”.

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | January 17, 2009 | Reply

  4. I used to work for a very large pharmaceutical company. The folks there were very much the ‘mad scientist’ types, who would not let ‘convention’ and ‘morality’ get in the way of their wills.

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    Comment by Mark Scott Abeln | January 17, 2009 | Reply

  5. Sadly, that has been my experience with most companies I’ve worked for. The mission statement above is virtually a blank check.

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | January 17, 2009 | Reply

  6. Well, “we would like to talk to a specific person; we would like to talk to you” is baloney walking around on stilts. They’re saying this to the whole world, to a bunch of complete strangers who are reading their web page on the Internet. They _don’t_ want to talk to a specific person. They _don’t_ know you. They don’t know anything about you.

    I suppose that’s just part of that deceitful flattery. I feel patronized by it. My reaction is, “Just how dumb do you think I am to feel excited and pleased by the blatantly false statement that you want to talk to me, specifically?”

    But the thing is, if some real person that I thought well of actually were talking to me about working for the company, I’d probably brush off the nonsense on the web page, assuming that it wasn’t written by any of the real people I would be working with or for but rather by some stupid consulting firm that the company hired. So it could mean little about the company itself.

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    Comment by Lydia | January 17, 2009 | Reply

  7. Sounds a little like that monologue Mr. Potter gave to George Bailey, in Potter’s office at the bank, when he was trying to buy him off…

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    Comment by Chris | January 17, 2009 | Reply

  8. “To exceed your potential” results in failure. Just ask those burdened with debt. They probably meant “expand,” which they used later.

    Globalism, careerism, and anti-traditionalism have a symbiotic relationship that is parasitic on most everything else.

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    Comment by Kevin J Jones | January 17, 2009 | Reply

  9. I will have to disagree with Lydia. Many companies spend considerable time, money and effort “creating a corporate culture”, or as I I like to call it, “brainwashing the employees.”

    My employer was recently purchased by another company, and yesterday we had a “welcome aboard” meeting with the regional president. We were introduced to the Company Philosophy (about 50 positive statements of what WE do, i.e. “We value and promote diversity because it is good and because it is good business.”) She told us she reads it out loud to herself every morning, to help get herself centered.

    Think about that. It’s become a religion analogue for her. It’s her morning offering. This company has spent literally millions promoting their so-called philosophy, and weeding out those who don’t accept it. In doing so, they have turned their executive ranks into a cult, that is perfectly able to excrete the load that Jeff cites above.

    BTW Any know of any openings for a Unix administrator with 25 years of experience?

    Like

    Comment by danby | January 18, 2009 | Reply

  10. I absolutely believe you, Danby. I didn’t mean to imply that companies don’t believe this stuff. I was merely saying that _if_ I had personal contact with people in the company who just seemed normal and didn’t seem to be saying all the nonsense on the web site, I might conclude that the nonsense on the web site didn’t represent the corporate culture. But I’m absolutely sure there are companies that have “corporate culture” as a religion substitute. That story of the regional president is big-time creepy and oh-so-believable. Even to someone like me who is just guessing about this stuff.

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    Comment by Lydia | January 18, 2009 | Reply

  11. I can relate to Danby’s story and have even quit a good paying job where the corporate atmosphere was similarly toxic. A substitute religion is exactly what these companies demand. I just don’t know where, in corporate America, it is possible to get away from this. Rest assured that only “players” get promoted and retained.

    The last such company I worked for hired a consulting firm that essentially instructed them to radically change their procedures periodically so as to eliminate those within the organization who are resistant to change. The point was to institutionalize perpetual revolution, so that no one ever becomes competent enough to become irreplacable.

    Danby, I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for Unix administrator jobs.

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | January 18, 2009 | Reply

  12. Thank you Jeff. It’s becoming a tough market

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    Comment by danby | January 18, 2009 | Reply

  13. Sounds a little like that monologue Mr. Potter gave to George Bailey, in Potter’s office at the bank, when he was trying to buy him off…

    Yes! I also thought of Homer Simpson when he went to work for Globex run by evil overlord Scorpio

    Like

    Comment by Scott W. | January 18, 2009 | Reply

  14. The last such company I worked for hired a consulting firm that essentially instructed them to radically change their procedures periodically so as to eliminate those within the organization who are resistant to change. The point was to institutionalize perpetual revolution, so that no one ever becomes competent enough to become irreplacable.

    That’s right. Liquidity is just as important as fundamental value, and that is a perfectly rational result of how our system works. I keep telling people that, but it is a tough thing to grasp.

    I might take the job of CEO and get rid of all this idiocy, if I thought doing so were feasible, just for the principle of the thing. Hard to imagine taking any other job there except in a case of hardship, where taking the job would be a penance.

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    Comment by Zippy | January 18, 2009 | Reply

  15. Zippy, let me know when you take that CEO job. I’ll send you my resume. :-)

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    Comment by Jeff Culbreath | January 19, 2009 | Reply

  16. I realize this will sound really fundy, but thinking about that woman president Danby told about: That lady needs a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I mean, talk about a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of man.

    I wonder if she does her “centering” exercise, reading these PC bits of corporate culture-ese, sitting in a yoga position.

    Like

    Comment by Lydia | January 19, 2009 | Reply

  17. Danby,

    I’ll keep an ear and an eye out. Ann Arbor’s traditionally had a few companies who do hire grizzled Unix veterans, but times are tough here, too, and my information isn’t all current. Feel free to email if you’d like to discuss details.

    peace,
    Zach

    Like

    Comment by Zach Frey | January 19, 2009 | Reply

  18. Kevin:“To exceed your potential” results in failure.

    Actually, I don’t think it’s logically possible to exceed one’s potential. Because if I think my potential is (e.g.) a score of 95, but I score 97, then my initial estimate of my potential was simply mistaken and my real potential was at least 97.

    Therefore, my first question to this employer would be: “When are you going to hire better translators?”

    And, by the way, Danby, I have found that Taiwan is a place with many opportunities. One might have to get one’s bearings by studying the language and teaching English for a while, but there are more opportunities in Taiwan than one might think.

    Like

    Comment by scs | January 22, 2009 | Reply


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