Monday, March 17, 2008

RANT: Corporate Raiding

See that logo on the left there? Yeah. I've played the pen-and-paper version of that game before. I don't really mention the fact that I'm a gamer on this blog a lot, but I am. I only mention it now because lately I've been thinking a lot about one of my favorite sessions.

Our contact met us in your run-of-the mill dive bar and set out to contract us to kidnap a scientist from a corporate research facility. The money was right, so we took the job, completed the extraction, and got screwed in the process. Turns out our contact was working for the scientist, who had to fake the kidnapping because he wanted to change jobs. He worked for a company that kept you for life - and the only retirement option was a lead injection to the base of the skull with a high-caliber hypodermic.

It got me thinking about the lengths people go to when they want to avoid hurt feelings with their employer. They think of their company as an entity unto itself, something that hopes and dreams, lives and dies, and loves and hates. Since corporations are made up of people, that's sometimes true. Since corporations flow with the blood of money earned by the labors of those people, it's also not true.

Think about it for a minute. If you were costing your company money and not generating any results, would they keep you? Would they really worry about how you felt or how to protect those feelings? If their bottom line was in jeopardy, would they keep you out of fear of inconveniencing you or causing grief?

If the answer is yes, you should start looking for a new job, because your company isn't long for this world. For the rest of us, the answer is no. Knowing that, you take the offer that's best for your bottom line (whether that's happiness, job satisfaction, or monetary gain). Sure, some people will miss you, and some of your co-workers will be put out because they have to make up for the slack your absence generates, but if your company really wanted to keep you, wouldn't they make a better offer?

So, if you're thinking of moving on, solicit some offers, make your intentions known, and give everyone a chance to do right by you. Get it all in writing to cover your bum, and make the best decision for you. Look out for yourself, and trust everyone to do just the same for themselves. That way, whether you walk or stay, you'll be able to do it with a clean conscience.

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