Saturday, September 15, 2012

Connections are Important to keep open in Corporate America

One of my first experiences negotiating the Corporate Ladder came at the No-Name Software Company. My team lead JT -- which stands for Jealous Troll -- wanted all the benefits of being in charge but none of the responsibility.

I recall asking JT for a day off about a month in advanced. JT's answer was to ask him when the time drew closer because he didn't want to endure the overhead of tracking vacation requests. Because, you know, it would be such a hassle to put a note on his Outlook Calendar.

Even with my inexperience in Corporate America, I could see where this was going, especially since I heard him say the counterpart to another teammate earlier in the week. As the date drew closer, he would say "oh so and so already requested that date off and he has seniority." Pause. "You should have asked sooner."

JT had many of these management quirks. When a new guy would start, JT would take the computer equipment ordered for that person and swap it with his stuff so that he had the latest available hardware. And he'd brag about it.

No-Name Software Company was a dysfunctional culture. In the early start up days it was possible to get away with anything because the employees were young and the culture wasn’t very mature. Once we grew and went corporate, that shit wouldn’t fly and JT got demoted. Most of the people he use to have seniority and authority over are higher on the Corporate Ladder than he.  JT finally left the software company about a year ago.

JT reached out to me last week.  Apparently he's sick of his current position and is desperate to get out of there. The interesting thing is a few months ago I reached out to him to see if anyone we worked with needed a new position and he was all coy and evasive, wouldn't connect me with anyone. Instead he took the info and said he’d pass it along

Another person from the No-Name Software Company whom I’ve spoken to on the phone but only met once at a going away party reached out on LinkedIn. At that going away party we were introduced and chatted but were abandoned by our common connection and ran out of things to talk about which thus made for an awkward moment. I think we could have been friends except I suspect my "reputation" kept this person from connecting at first. The LinkedIn connection doesn't mean anything besides she's covering her bases. Still, a part of me likes to think that's progress.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments Encouraged! And the nice thing about this blog is that I rarely get spam so don't need to moderate the comments.

I've set the comments up to allow anonymous users -- but I'd love it if you "signed" your comments (as some of my readers have done) just so you have an identity of sorts.