back to article If your bosses tell you you're 'in it together', don't EVER believe them

Tech titan bosses like John Chambers, Meg Whitman and Joe Tucci often deliver tributes to their employees when reporting quarterly business results. Yet they lay employees off. NetApp says it’s a great place to work, and lays people off. Chambers lays thousands off and gets a pay rise. This leaves a faintly sour taste in the …

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Silver badge

'We're in it together..'

But if it means a choice of getting rid of you or losing my bonus, pay rise and increase in pension fund........

Usually two to three weeks before Christmas....

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Silver badge

Uh ... duh?

Follow the money ... and see who is routinely left behind.

This wasn't rocket science before we had rocket science.

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REMF - Lol

Wouldnt it be more appropriate to expand it as " Rear End Mother Fuckers" ?

Echelon sounds too polite !

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Gold badge
Unhappy

Re: REMF - Lol

"Echelon sounds too polite !"

It's a military term.

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obligatory dilbert cartoon

this one or this one

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Silver badge

If you're ever described as "core .... "

Just remember that the core is the part of the fruit that is discarded after all the nice, fleshy, bits have been consumed.

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My, my....

Ah yes the insider trading on the shares always gives it away. Mr CxO what a lot of shares you've decided to exercise your options on? I wonder why.....?

A few days later.... A whole bunch of us are leaving due to down sizing of the workforce, the share price climbs on the back of it. We get shite all but look you've just cashed in those 50,000 shares you bought at $14 and they're worth $1.3m. Good work, you're definitely feeling our pain.

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Re: My, my....

That would probably be classed as insider trading and illegal in a lot of countries.

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Gav

If you ever want to know where you stand, look at the spreadsheet in the finance dept.

You'll find yourself listed under the '"liabilities" column, not the "assets". Accountants don't lie about these things.

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Self-Censorship

I'm so glad that you censored 'Rear Echelon Mother F*ckers', because as it is now I have absolutely no clue what that word could mean, and you totally spared me from seeing it! We're so fortunate that the human brain is completely incapable of decyphering single-letter substitution!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Self-Censorship

Agreed. The Register is becoming Prudish? They are still not totally a virtual generation, despite being a tech forum/site.

Technically, a star is a star is a star is a star is a star. isnt it? Oh sorry, it's also an asterisk. No, its a multiplication symbol in Excel.

See guv, we are not breaking the rules !

Oh sorry, in the context, its supposed to FUCKERS .

There, finally nailed it. But what does it mean?

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Re: Self-Censorship

You may have an idea of what it means, but many company proxies and filters won't have a clue what is means and therefore won't flag the page up as inappropriate language and block the page (or site).

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Re: Self-Censorship

Er, or it might be because a lot of content filters - as used at large companies and schools - auto-block pages that contain swears?

So F*cker - ok.

Fucker - no page to view.

I've worked at places that enforce that sort of childish bollocks (and that's what it is, frankly) and it's fucking annoying.

Steven R

Edit: TheMole beat me to it by minutes!

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Re: Self-Censorship

I've always wondered about the f**king point of doing that 5h1t. Is it founded in some sort of plausible deniability. "Look, I never said c*nt, it's just your filthy mind".

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Self-Censorship

As others have said in this thread, it's because corporate firewalls tend to throw their toys out of the pram if we swear too much.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Self-Censorship

I don't give two c*nts what you think. - quote from an email I sent to Mr Whiny

I *clearly* meant cents Mr HR person. The head of the relevant department and the CEO and I still do not give two c*nts for Mr Whiny's opinion. So how about I give him 25 c*nts and he can call someone who cares - my reply to the HR complaint

Did end up with a formal warning letter on record. About breaching privacy of HR complaints by forwarding certain emails. The 50 cent poster with Whiny's head on it in the breakroom had very little to do with me.

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Silver badge

Re: Self-Censorship

I mentioned female waxing, post withdrawn, I mean who on earth could take offence at that, and I didn't even swear ***************?

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Anonymous Coward

We constantly get talks from upper management telling us how great our deliverables are and how much we mean to the company, but we all know we're one bad financial year of being kicked out. I suspect this is the same in many IT companies.

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Anonymous Coward

well, so, they have to be ruthless....

The test therefore is not any "all in this together/valued staff" nonsense, but how well or poorly they handle the redundancy process and its effects on the employee.

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Anonymous Coward

no news

Everybody I know appears to be aware of the gap between the world of sweet-worded fantasy shit coming out from the top, and the shit-smelling shit of reality pouring out from the same generals (I know, different orifice, but same source).

That said, it doesn't hurt to remind people every now and then.

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Re: no news

You would be surprised how many young 'uns entering industry don't appear to know or understand this.

Thankfully when I was a young 'un, the old hands quickly gave me the run down on how sh*t always rolls downhill. I try and pass on that hard earned knowledge where I can to the next generation...

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A soldier fights using his rifle (amongst other things). A lieutenant (and indeed all officers) fights using his soldiers.

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Bronze badge

I occasionally fantasise about how the world would be a better place if the person who did the 'downsizing' was forced to take a pay cut for every person they canned. Sack 10% of the staff and they take a 10% pay cut. Same applies to their boss, and their boss, all the way up the chain.

Yes, I realise that this is not at all realistic in a capitalist system but it's nice to dream.

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Silver badge
Headmaster

Yes, but...

"Capitalism is ruthless and you are a human resource to be exploited, one amongst many."

MarxMind detected.

Capitalism is based on exchanges on so it happens here: you get paid. Seeing how things are, quite a lot of people do like this, though they bitch about being exploited, adhere to the labour theory of value, demand that government pass laws so their paycheck is embiggened etc. etc.

THIS DOES NOT HELP.

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Happy

A dev team I was in was shit canned the day after the celebratory 'thanks for the hard work delivering drinks'.

The writing was on the wall for months prior as they were outsourcing more and more, what was amusing was the outsourcing company began to revert to standard rates, along with recouping the loss leader, once the dev team was out of the way.

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Unhappy

@Tony

"A dev team I was in was shit canned the day after the celebratory 'thanks for the hard work delivering drinks'."

Oh yes one outfit I worked for could always be relied to having a "culling" when a company lunch was organized.

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Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: @Tony

As soon as any of us saw a congrats or PHB waffle with the words "staff are our most important asset", we polished our CVs. Probably what PHBs wanted anyway. Pass the scepticism on. Mentoring the young is a good thing to do.

The irony is the frequent waffle uttered by business councils about the need for commitment, dedication and motivation in workforces to compete with sweatshops around the world. Icon because kids are already learning to starve in style.

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Psuchopaths

An article in your rival, the Independent newspaper years aog claimed that the financial institutions actively sought out psychopaths as they were more effective at 'making money' than people who cared about others. When major losses were 'made' they would cry "O P M!" (other people's money). When large profits were 'made' they got big bonuses from their bosses.

But success of psychopaths is nothing new. Herodotus' "Histories", recounts a king who, on discovering that the lieutenant he had ordered to kill his son, Cyrus (I think), had not actually done so, summoned all to a banquet, where the lieutenant had aspecial dish, which he ate, and was later shown that it was made from his own teeneage son.

The good thing now is that all they really can do is fire you after stealing, sorry reducing, your pay. Cooking and serving up your children for you to eat has gone out of fashion.

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If your employer considers you a resource...

... then they can't reasonably demand you don't.

X hours per week, Y days notice when resigning, and don't do anything to the IT that they can come after you for.

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Bronze badge

Not quite sure I understand the article.

"Big companies sometimes make redundancies".

Was there a subtext, metaphor, or related newsworthy event that escaped my notice?

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Silver badge

Re: Not quite sure I understand the article.

It's the logical disconnect between "employees are our most valuable asset" and firing them to save money.

You don't see Rolls Royce saying "The technology for single crystal Titanium fan blades is our most valuable asset - so we decided to scrap it"

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Bronze badge

Re: Not quite sure I understand the article.

Been up for redundancy four or five times. Been made redundant once. No point getting upset about it.

You owe them a week's work. They owe you a week's pay. Anything else is PR.

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Bronze badge

Engagement

Whenever I see another warm, caring, global distribution email from our beloved CEO, country VP etc., once my bullshit meter has stopped spinning wildly, I just think of one of Terry Pratchett's lines (rough quote, from 'Going Postal' I think) :-

"They cared so little about their employees, they even had an employee satisfaction programme."

Still makes me giggle (Mr Pratchett, not the psychopaths in charge powers that be.)

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Silver badge

Businesses are in the business of making money.

Too bad the employees aren't.

Employees cost the company money. Employees are tools, required to make the company do whatever it does to make money.

Employers patting the backs of the employees, is a simple but effective method to keep them functional till they get shitcanned.

Don't get me wrong, they're not *all* out to get you, just most of them....

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Anonymous Coward

Last laugh

9:30am: Developer A (among others) was laid off.

9:40am: Customer Support Rep B was asked the status of very important bug-fix for very important customer.

9:45am: CSR B answers "You'll need to ask Developer A. He was working on it."

11:45am: Developer A re-hired as consultant at double his salary.

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Re: Last laugh

I was got rid of from a place and 2 weeks later the Exchange server goes tits up due to hardware issue. They managed to get someone in to rebuild it and then went to apply the backups. Of course they'd got rid of the guy who monitored and ensured the backups worked.... me.

Oh I how laughed... then I remembered I was unemployed which took the shine off it. Oh well.

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Black Helicopters

Now I know...

Now I know what the universe had in mind for when I grew up! Sadly, I got RIF'ed despite everyone EXCEPT HR (equivalent) wanted to keep me. I wonder if that kept me more sane? [Am I sane. Nope. Doc says so.]

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We're in this together...

Roughly translated as "We've got ourselves a patsy guys, we're good to go".

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Unhappy

"We've got ourselves a patsy guys, we're good to go".

Correct.

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wasn't always this bad

In the 1960s people did have more loyalty to their companies because the companies didn't do the new CEO once a year to lay off thousands to get his quick bonus and once crap hits fan he gets his golden parachute routine. People were laid off back then as a last resort. The difference I believe has been the sociopathic generation of the Baby Boomers (I got to get mine screw the grandkids) joining leadership ranks.

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Re: wasn't always this bad

Today layoffs are now part of many business models. But of course it all due to those ungrateful employees.

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That reminds me

...of the time I fired someone for riding a bike to work.

News just in: your childish hobby is not a protected class.

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Re: That reminds me

Wow somebody would agree to work for a douche bag like you? They must have been desperate.

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Re: That reminds me

I tried to be reasonable. I told him I'd hire him back if he bought a car like a normal person.

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Heads I win, tails, you lose

What cheeses me off is the "Every CEO's a Winner" approach to compensation. In a really good year, the execs get great bonuses for producing profits (even if the company merely kept pace with the industry.) In a bad year the execs get bonuses for leading the company through such difficult times of trouble and toil.

They literally cannot make a decision that leads to a pay cut.

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Gold badge
Holmes

This just in. Work is where you get paid money to spend people you man not like

Including subordinates, co workers and supervisors.

Depending on your personality and their hiring practices you might like most of people and you may enjoy your work, but that is the exception.

Yes, I do view all jobs remarkably like working for an "escort" service. :(.

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Generals sat

and the lines on the map

moved from side to side

Obviously somebody else's famous words

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