Plays Well With Others

Corned Beef…

Working for a large, worldwide corporation, I’m finding, really didn’t mean that much. It’s kind of funny, but when you tell people that you work for a worldwide financial organization, people start listening. They get a little impressed. Like, wow, that’s a great company to work for.

I have to say, they had some benefits that were nice. But honestly, I can buy my own tickets to the amusement parks, or pay the extra couple of bucks to get into the museum. I don’t really go that often anyhow. Other than that though, it’s kind of an isolating, lonely type of experience being a drone in a sea of drones walking the hallways like zombies, rarely receiving a hello or goodbye.

That environment made me extremely unhappy and I’d have left a long time ago had they not been providing me a steady paycheck and medical benefits that we can’t live without these days. Most of my days were spent staring at the walls or ceiling, waiting for work to come my way. And when the work did come, I was typically done with it in less than a few minutes.

When I made the change in mid-2007 to a smaller—much, much smaller—statewide company, I knew things would be different. Way different. It’s strange going from a company where the department you work in has more people than the new company you’re going to work for. The biggest change was actually having a steady stream of work to do. My first couple of months, I was totally under water trying to keep up with the work and learn the process at the same time. Eight months later, I’m falling into the groove. It’s less structured, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

At the old company there were days I didn’t even know if my supervisor was in the office; at the new company the CEO comes by a few times a week to greet us “good morning”. It’s really the small stuff that makes coming to work so much better. Today is St. Patrick’s Day and they served us corned beef and cabbage—all free, just because. They did the same thing for some of the other holidays, along with the week between Christmas and New Year’s off.

I’m guessing that I’m just not a “big company” type of person. I do better in a smaller atmosphere where I can share my opinions and ideas and see them come to life. You can’t get that in a corporate atmosphere. It just won’t happen, unless you’re kissing the right asses.

And I don’t kiss ass. I do, however, like the corned beef.

2 Responses to 'Corned Beef…'

  1. personal avatar
    sarah | 20 March 2008

    found you on dooce’s comments today. this post sums up exactly what i’m going through, only the other way around. small, successful startup gets bought by large corporate software company. i’m struggling being a ‘drone’ day to day. problem is i love what i do, i just don’t want to do it for large corporate company named after a type of stucco building.


    great site! corned beef is awesome!

  2. personal avatar
    Greg | 20 March 2008

    Thanks Sarah. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this site for nearly 10 years. Ugh.

    You’re in for quite an adjustment going from a small startup environment to a large corporate one. They start off installing a time clock, then HR starts holding training sessions on how to be a good little corporate drone and next thing you know you can’t wear jeans and have to blend into this business casual dress code. Ugh. I can work for McDonalds if I want a uniform.

    I came from a startup and after getting laid off and being out of work for six months, took the first job I could get. Worse six years of my life. Like you, I love what I do and thought that as long as I was doing it, it didn’t matter if it was in a startup warehouse or in a big, fancy corporate building. Man, was I wrong. I went from “great idea, Greg, let’s hear more” to “can you stop talking and just work”.

    Anyhow, not trying to bum you out. You’re experience may be a lot better than mine. If they give you some corned beef… well, that’s half the battle right there.