By Stanley Bing
October 10, 2007

Elsewhere on this teeming site, you will find a nice bouquet of Q&As that I offer this week. One question of sorts did pop out that I thought would share with you here. I say “of sorts” because while the writer does pose several philosophical queries in the body of his missive, his is not really a question that can be answered, at least by me. It is, however, a helluva good story and more uplifting than you might think at first glance. It also verifies my general contention that inhuman, stinky management does eventually get punished. 

I was initially diagnosed with prostate cancer last year at age 44. My company went through a huge re-organization last year as well and I had a new boss. After 16 years as a top sales engineer I was forced to re-prove my abilities. But what’s more, I had to approach my boss about my medical condition.  She told me, “This is a place of business, if you need to take time off then take time off.”  Then she hung up on me.  (She is located in Denver and does not directly get involved with day-to-day business as she should). 

In fact, she immediately turned up the pressure with aggressive behavior like calling me every fifteen minutes, sending me emails that changed my daily priorities two or three times a day.  I tried to contact our HR team and no luck.  They basically were surprised by the new bosses callousness, but they offered no help and said she had her right to manage the way she felt. 

I decided to leave the company to fight for my health.  Some would say I should have gone on disability, but that’s not me.  I quit and after surgery joined the competition, selling the same product lines.  My new bosses are tremendously supportive and have helped me back to prominence. My sales are good and even though I have treatments every day they don’t want me to overdo it.  I know my old company won a large project I helped with even after my departure, but after that, their sales are flat.  In fact I keep beating them in deals and have taken accounts that just were P.O.’d at this new management team. 

How the heck can she still be there?  She is terrible for morale and does not have enough numbers to show for her behavior.  I could have sued the old employer I think.  But again that’s not me.  Instead I stay between them and their business by simply staying true to the customers and my adherence to integrity. 

Why did my new management think this was the way to do better business?  It’s not even close.  They are not fooling anyone and I love it because my old customers are new customers to my new company.  So the commissions are better too.

What a happy story. As for his questions, in my view there are no answers as to why organizations sometimes find themselves run by mean, unhelpful people. But when they do, the rot starts from the head and goes all the way down through the ranks, passing through the HR department before it exits the system and hits the customers.

The good news is that in general, I believe, what goes around comes around. It’s nice to see evidence of that working thesis now and then. So keep those uplifting cards and letters comin’ in!

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