Let’s Be Perfectly Clear

I was fired, you sent a kill command to my blackberry, my computer and told me to vacate the premises.

So when you have employees call up or email and ask where files might be, I am under no obligation to answer. I was willing to stay with the firm for 30 days, and remain reachable beyond that for questions and support, your ego wouldn’t allow that to happen.

As a result: Do I have any idea where such and such file might be? Yes. Am I required to help you find it? No.

You created and implemented a new filing system for all the files on your network that was going to “streamline” your business…. try using that road map to find your files.

Where there is smoke…

I had started to decide in November, during the company retreat to Cancun that I needed to move on. The amount of animosity between my two bosses kept growing and growing. Both of them were talking to me about what was going on, but neither would talk to the other.

I expressed to John, while in line to go back to the US that if I quit, he and Jim would be forced to reconcile for the business to continue on. John said that if I quit the company would fail… seriously, he said this.

So, in December, at a low point in the company when I returned from a vacation – I decided to leave the company. My resume was being worked on each day as I came to work.

John’s behavior continued on as if nothing were wrong. He submitted a strategic plan for the coming 3 years that had no financial plan at all – when a staff member pointed this out, he appeared at least a little embarrassed – but still believed in his 3 year plan to sell the newsletter, the website, and a massive data base of information people would pay to see. I realized it would be like this regardless of who was working for him, his pipe dreams to make millions instantly are the core of his company.

So I let Jim know in Mid December that I would be giving notice by February 1. He tried to talk me out of it, but at the time he still had hope he and John could work things out.

The day before John fired Jim, I again pleaded with him to reconsider. To give it two weeks where everyone could think about it. But he plowed on and said it had to happen that day, December 31st. Which again leads me to believe his entire motivation for firing Jim was financial – he has to help pay for the Commune in MN.

People who know the company were shocked that day, shocked… not one of them saw this coming at all, not one of them took me seriously when I told them, not one of them thinks the company has a future now that the one person to counter John’s lunacy is no longer there.

When did it start? and why?

I don’t know the why of it… I can speculate that he was having troubles making payments on his credit cards and to investments groups that he belongs to (he has a habit of discussing his financial issues in the open office for all to hear).

In the summer he first started to talk about changes, and made me start to wonder what was going on. He mentioned selling staff and consultants shares of Company stock to get them more invested in how the company was doing. I was skeptical, and made it clear that the employees seemed pretty dedicated to their jobs already.

In July or August he decided that we should honor Jim for one of his drawings and show the company’s appreciation, during our Fall trip to Cancun, for all the hard work he had done over the years… now this might not come as a shock to anyone reading, good companies do that… but at this company I was told over and over and over again that they don’t do that… they recognize employees all year long in salary and bonuses. (my hinting at Administrative Professionals day got me a talking to). So, I started to create a plan to do a slide show with photos of those who know and have worked with Jim over the years… John stepped in and said: Jim isn’t dying and he isn’t going anywhere. He didn’t want it to seem funeral like (Jim’s mother in law had passed away and her grand daughter made a slide show – it was a good slide show). So the idea was scraped.

It wasn’t even a month after that that John approached me about changing the structure of the firm and hinted at getting rid of Jim. I approached him about checks and balances and asked if Jim weren’t there to stop him or advise him, what was to keep him from doing crazy things. He said “you Jamez”.

The only things that I know happened between then was he and his siblings are trying to buy property in MN, (I edited the document for him) and if he was struggling to pay his credit card bills and his investment group, how was he going to afford this?

Perhaps that’s the motivation, I don’t know.

When I said in early fall that getting rid of Jim was a mistake and he needed to rethink it, he agreed. Then it came back in October, and I again said it was a bad idea. In December, when he was about to fire Jim, the night before I said: Don’t fire him, give it some time… He said he couldn’t wait any longer. These are fine examples of him listening to someone.