Meet the New Guy
Thomas Sullivan

The new owner walks onto the stage. He’s dressed like Steve Jobs. I sit in the audience with the other employees, thinking that we might have a chance. The guy clears his throat and starts talking:  

“As you know I’m the new head of Globadyne. My primary responsibility is improving our profitability. Now, there are a number of ways to do this. We could hunker down and create some exciting and innovative product that the marketplace clamors for. We could do this. But that’s expensive and it takes a lot of time. As my teenage daughter likes to say, that’s so yesterday.”  

The audience sits in dead silence.  

“Our first step will be merging PacCorp into our operations. Some of you have questioned this move and cited our widely dissimilar corporate cultures, but absorbing another huge company is the quickest way to grow revenues. Once the merger is complete we plan to eliminate forty percent of PacCorp’s employees. Some have chosen to label this as undertaking layoffs, but I prefer to think of it as achieving cross company synergies and reducing inhibitive redundancies. Think about it this way – if you wanted a better car, would you invest the time and energy building one from scratch inside your garage? No, you’d just borrow the money and go out and buy one.  

Some guy behind me laughs.  

“Phase two. A company’s return from investing in politicians is far greater than investing in new product lines. Consider this: Globadyne could invest ten million dollars in developing a new product and hope to see a one million dollar profit on that invention. Or, we could invest one million dollars in lobbying and get changes in regulation and tax laws worth ten million dollars. You’re all smart people, you all went to college. Which approach offers a better return on investment? It’s a no brainer. So we’ll be investing heavily in our lobbying efforts over the next few years.”  

I cannot believe I am hearing this.  

“Lastly, I have uncovered some pretty wasteful spending here at Globadyne. Real eye opening stuff. For instance, we spend ten thousand dollars each year on daycare. Now, we all agree that that the kids playing with those big block numbers down on the first floor down are cute and all. But, they don’t add anything to company revenues. Plus, we already have accountants to handle the big numbers around here…”  

Total silence.  

“Okay, that joke fell flat.”   “I’m sure you’ve all gotten used to making your own post-it notes, so adjusting to this change shouldn’t be all that difficult. Okay, that’s it. Thanks for your time. Remember, my door is always open.”  

We are so screwed.

First published: May, 2010
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