Companies = People?

ESPN shot of the Le Batards
These are the Le Batards, father and son, and this picture was taken by ESPN, and profiled on the article mentioned on this blog

If companies are composed of a large or small amount of people, how come some of them have no soul?  Companies = people?  Do they really?  Let’s analyze.

A couple of days ago we were watching the Dan Le Batard show and there was a debate about Master degrees.  Apparently, Dan’s father had one and so did Bomani, the only one that did not have any sort of graduate work was Dan.  In a search for what did Papi graduate from, I came across a beautiful article written by Dan Le Batard himself about his father and the show.  Now this was back in 2011 and the thing that stuck in my head happened even earlier.  He told the story of how his father worked for a company for 20 years and due to management changes, they fired him.  He did not even have a chance to clean his desk, everything went to the trash.

Maybe I am a little sensitive about people getting fired.  The truth is I know companies have not changed that much.  One day you are the best employee and the next day you are a target.  In a world where everybody has a score card, if your manager smells that you might be considering quitting, he will fire you because if you leave, that will affect his numbers.  If he fires you, his numbers will be just fine.

There is something really wrong with the way companies develop through time.  In an era where management should be more empathetic, rules about HIPAA protection encourage leaders to not ask questions, which makes it easy for unsympathetic managers and puts caring individuals in an uncomfortable position.  Managers now are supposed to use all these tools to get the most out of those who work for them.  They are supposed to act more like a colleague, open door policies abound and they even sound like cheer leaders.  The thing about all this psychology is that it misses a very important thing:  we as humans can definitely tell when somebody is blowing sunshine up our behinds.

I’ve worked for many companies, big and small.  I have seen how they handle touchy subjects, encourage employees and separate them from their jobs.  The first thing I want to say is that this is not a marriage.  Stop telling me that it is time to “separate employment”.  Be honest and use the word.  It will not make you feel better and I will resent you more.  That is just something you need to learn to live with.

There is no easy way to tell somebody that their services are not needed.  It is even more annoying when it is done to save somebody else’s neck, or their numbers.  More importantly, if you are human, why are you making it so clean and sterile.  Let the person cry and get whatever off their chest.  If they are willing to share something with you, let them do it.  I am so tired of watching so- called leaders who are only managing their employees like they would manage any other resource in the company.

In the Dan Le Batard story, his father had the last laugh.  The company that fired him ended up closing down.  Unfortunately, not all bad managers are unemployed.  Many companies are now infected with the great malady of carrying all these people who are not good for them.  If you are a CEO or an owner, beware of the people you hire.  Spend a little less time and money on all those psychological exams, and a little more time getting to know the people who work for you.  You will be surprised by how many heartless bastards you might have under you.  They might be making you lots of money, and that might be great.  They are also costing you a lot of money because training new blood is always more expensive and it will take you a lot longer to recover your investment.  Some times, the costs we don’t see are the most expensive costs of all.


Where we Are

The last fourteen months have been a learning experience.  For a person that likes to have control of things, nothing is more interesting, annoying and heart breaking than to have absolutely no way of making anything happen.  As important as this lesson seems to be for some reason, it is also important to keep myself accountable.  Today, we are going to discuss where we are and hopefully get some idea of where we are going.

When I started this blog a long time ago, I was hoping that I could blog once a week, maybe even more.  It did not work out that way.  Mostly due to career and health challenges, there have been times when I’ve been able to write once a week, five times a week and then I disappear for a month, sometimes more.  This is not the way I wanted this to be and it is very frustrating.  I am a control freak and I freak if I have no control.

So then comes 2014 with my beautiful health diagnosis and I was off to surgery, medications, horrible side effects and then no medication.  In September I started feeling better, in October my husband got sick and then the big nightmare started.

Between January 2015 and January 2016, my husband and my father both got diagnosed with cancer.  My husband had surgery, some moron gave my dad radiotherapy which eliminated the cancer but messed with the leukemia my father had been living with for ten years.  Then we went to Puerto Rico to get my parents to the US, became aware of my mother’s own situation, came back here, and finally, my father passed away in January.

Twenty four days later I was unemployed.  There are many reasons why this turned out to be a good thing, mainly because my mother is still undiagnosed officially and I am looking for a good doctor for her.  And yet, in another twist of fate, I have to spend all her waking hours with her, because it calms her down, severely limiting the amount of time I can look for projects or work on my own things.

Then last night I saw a video about a young man called Sam Berns.  He passed away a few months after he gave his speech in TED talk.  I am including the video here.  The one thing he made me think about is that I have to re-engineer my ideas.  She wants to see me around her but that does not mean that I cannot create content, answer questions and communicate with the outside world while I take care of her.

I started a separate blog for the journey that I have with my mom.  That is one of those projects.  I am hoping that I can blog here once a week.  I am wishing that if anyone reads this and is going through something similar, they can give me advice and I can remind them that they are not alone.  In the meantime, I leave you with the video so that you can get a lesson on living a happy life no matter what.  And if you come up with something, even if you are not going through this, leave your comment below.