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November 12, 2011
Gone Corporate: A Firing, a New Boss, and a Written Warning
Hi there. Corporate Hack here, with yet another dispatch from the bowels of Corporate World.
It’s been a “yeesh” kind of month since you last heard from me, so let’s get to it.
They fired my boss. I always got along with Boss #1 pretty well, although apparently there were issues with other employees, an outburst here and there, and a slight attitude with others. My only complaint was that Boss #1 didn’t always deal well with stress, but I didn’t complain to anybody about it. (Clearly, at least one or two people did.)
So the VP did one of those “Hey, everybody (except one person) go out to lunch on the company dime and get out of the office so we can let someone go” deals. And we returned to find an empty cube. (Except for Boss #1’s stuff, which was slowly boxed up over the next couple days.)
Lesson: When the HR folks are at our office, somebody is getting a cardboard box.
As the wave of weirdness washed over us, we got an email at 1:51 p.m., announcing a “Team Huddle” at 2:00 p.m. The VP came in to say things like “It was about management style” and “personality issues” and “some important errors” and followed up with a “but a great person.”
So naturally...
They assigned me to a new boss. Now I report to someone who has the title of “Creative Director,” even though it’s HIGHLY dubious he would hold that title at an agency. In fact, he’s perfectly built for being “the creative guy” in Corporate World. (In that he’s not all that creative, he’s willing to provide input just to appear as if he’s involved, and he pretty much excludes the writing team from the more interesting, conceptual projects — as rare as they are.)
Originally, I thought that reporting to a “CD” would make things more agency-like and break down the walls. And he said all the right things: “It’s my job to make your job easier,” and “I’m not going to mess with what you do,” and “Let me know how I can help.”
But when it comes down to it:
–He’s no CD.
–He doesn’t involve us in the good projects.
–He seems to be talking out of one side of his mouth with me while saying/doing the other.
And I know that because...
They “wrote me up.” For “tardiness” that “affected productivity and quality of work.” These things are in quotes because they are “bullspit.”
I have been and continue to be a hard-working employee who was doing the work of two people for most of my time here. And yes, I was spoiled by years of the ad agency schedule, which usually says “You get to work anywhere between 8:30 and 10, and you might take a long lunch, but you stay late if you need to in order to meet deadlines.” And also, “You might work from home or on the weekend if necessary.”
But that doesn’t fly in Corporate World. IN YOUR SEAT by 9:00 a.m., even though your internal clients might not be there yet. Which, of course, creates a “Fine, then I’m on the elevator at 5:01” culture, which is stupid.
So fine, I’ll straighten up and fly right. I’ll be here between 8:30 and 8:55. I’ll play the game. Because our family plan says that I’m not ready to start my own agency yet.
But now that I’ve seen more than enough (probably unnecessary) layoffs, I’ve been given a semi-clueless supervisor who doesn’t seem to like me, and I have a blemish on my Corporate Personnel Record, it will be super-easy to leave this place behind when I’m ready.

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After a year of creative incarceration in Corporate World, your beloved Corporate Hack finally distracted the guards, outran the bloodhounds and scaled the wall to make his escape. Now that he’s back where he belongs in Ad World, he’s re-branded himself as The Inside Man...but he’s still having Ad-Verse Reactions. 
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