Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Buddy System

About two years ago, our President announced the hiring of a new Executive Vice President. The position of Executive Vice President (EVP) was a new position that was being filled by an external candidate. The new EVP, Bruce, was touted as a guru, who would help bring our company up to date with the latest trends in our industry. The hoopla of his hiring continued in various industry publications as Bruce was celebrated as an industry expert, who would challenge the status quo and shake things up at our company. Bruce has indeed shaken up the organization by clearing out existing employees so that he can hire his buddies. Many dedicated employees at my company have fallen victim of Bruce’s buddy system.

Bruce started his buddy system onslaught with scare tactics on the existing employees in his organization. In order for him to hire his buddies he had to clear the way. He started his scare campaign by bullying employees if they disagreed with his thought process. If an employee questioned him, he would grind them down and embarrass them in front of his group. Several employees left due to these tactics. As positions opened up, Bruce was able to circumvent our HR policy that requires jobs to be posted internally with internal candidates being interviewed prior to any external postings. Somehow, the stringent HR policy was ignored and new people began popping up to fill the positions Bruce had cleared. Much like with Bruce, propaganda began to flow as his buddies were showcased as quality individuals Bruce worked with in the past. The buddies would then spew more propaganda about Bruce and his business smarts and accomplishments. Everyone in the buddy system was happy, it was a love fest. The employees not part of Bruce’s buddy system, including myself, would sit through the bruce-a-palooza love fests in disgust.

Well, it’s be two years and Bruce’s efforts have resulted in sales decreases, the loss of one of our biggest customers, and massive increases in the number of product errors. Bruce’s biggest accomplishment has been helping his buddies out by hiring them into our organization at high profile, high paying positions. Bruce has been able to operate the buddy system and in doing so created animosity, distrust, and morale issues for those outside his inner circle. Bruce has created a lot of Work Turtles in his career as many employees like me realize that being a buddy is more important than being a high performer. I don’t want to be a buddy, and why perform for nothing. I choose to just blend in and lay low. I’m a Turtle at Work.


Seriously, I can feel the sorrow in the last 2 sentences of this post. (Or maybe I'm just projecting my own feelings.) Even working in a small company, nothig seems to be much different. I took more blames (from all sides) as I was more willing to take up more duties. I just realized how stupid I was. LOL

I wasn't even really trying to be a high performer. Just doing my job with the best quality I could achieve. The reality is of course not so desirable. In short, I'm turning myself into a turtle. This is the 6th year of my working life.

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