Working for Bad Companies

I was reading a story by a friend of mine the other day, a story based on true events. In it, several times, he did something great for the company he was working for at the time, and was rewarded for it. Well rewarded.

This led to me to recall a number of events in my own working life. The first was where I used MY personal connections to discover information that saved the company I was working for, from complete bankruptcy and total ruin. Yes, they still lost a fair piece of money (7 figures) but if I hadn’t warned them, told them everything, gave them court dates and venues, using up personal favors owed to me, they would have lost 8 figures and the two owners of the company would have lost pretty much everything. And everybody would have lost their jobs.

My reward?

I was laid off a week later. The guy who got them in this position however did not lose his job.

Another one that comes to mind. I’m working for a German company, the world’s leading manufacturer of pacemakers. I’m in the R&D division and the head of Engineering HATES my guts. Because German’s don’t make mistakes and my job is to find those mistakes. (side note: Germans suck at SW and most engineering). Well, I discover a fault in all of their pacemakers installed in people throughout the world (We’re taking hundreds of thousands of people) that can cause the pacemaker to stop working. Completely. Across all product lines. Even the back up R/C circuit won’t work.

The Head of Engineering damn near hugged me, thanked me, and told his bosses they needed to fix this ASAP. I literally saved this company from ruin and many of its officers from jail. I also saved the lives of untold thousands.

My reward?

Nada. Nothing. Zip. I didn’t even get a letter of recommendation.

Only ONCE in my life have I ever had a boss who took care of me when I went above and beyond and did the job no one else said could be done, fixed the thing that needed fixing, worked long hours, and saved everybody’s ass. His boss must have found him threatening because he called him a N***** in a meeting (my boss was black) and my boss left the company, with of course a HUGE settlement so he wouldn’t sue. His boss was now my boss (yes, they didn’t fire him for that) and I left not long afterwards because I no longer would tolerate being treated like shit.

Seriously though I have seen gals I worked with (who were admittedly very attractive) get engineering awards for just showing up to work. I’ve guided products to successful launches for those same companies, gotten the thanks from marketing and sales heads for the work I did to help them get that product out there and teach people how to sell it against the competition, and never got shit for it.

I guess this has a lot to do with why I hate my old career. I did amazing stuff, above and beyond the call of duty, and only at one place was I ever rewarded for it. At some places they just dumped more work on me, because they knew it would get done, and the rewards went to the connected people, or the ones management wanted to take to a motel and screw.

Looking back, I definitely picked the wrong companies to work for.

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