thinker

A Fatidic Day

Posted on February 20, 2012

Today, I receive an email from shareholders. They express worries about the high costs of the F-Startup. With my natural disengagement, rapidly I reply: “Don’t worry, I know a method to reduce the costs… there is a tax deduction for software companies, if we match several conditions…”

One minute later, CEO of the parent company come into my office very angry:

-If you ever send again these kind of emails to shareholders you are fucked up! I will kick your ass and throw you in the street…

I remained astonished.

-Hey, wait a minute how, why? What I did wrong? I want to help them to reduce the budget with 16%…

CEO shout loud at me almost entire company heard it. I could say, rarely in my life, I felt so humiliated, but I was so shocked by his reaction, I remained without words.

-Is not your job to reduce the cost, continued the CEO. What don’t you understand? I told you, there are things you don’t know yet in this company…

(After 8 months from this incident, I found the reasons why the CEO didn’t let anyone to cut the cost: there were some over-evaluated contracts and cutting cost mean a lost of his profit. There were rumors saying CEO was also involved in fraud of the company using suspect contracts to his own interest. After a while, because of defraud suspicions from one of our key partner, the core contracts were terminated. A huge scandal between all the parties lead finally to bankruptcy of our parent company).

-If you want to ignore my proposal, just tell them my idea is not feasible. Is so simple…

-You don’t understand. This guys will put me to investigate your proposals and will force me to make everything possible to get rid of 16%. What a hell? You should be happy you have 16% more on budget, why would you want to cut your own budget?

-Okay, I replied. I will write them an email and let them know I reanalyzed the situation and I figure out my proposal is not applicable in our case.

-Wait! I have another idea: we won’t let them to receive your email. Come with me. Until is not too late…

We started to run desperate to the infrastructure and network department.

-We want to delete a recent email sent to the shareholders, before they manage to read them.

(The internal policy of the company did not allow any employee to enter or modified the content of a shareholder account without his permissions. IT administrator tried to delete emails directly from the server).

-A part from mails could not be retrieved… their emails clients didn’t allow me. What we do next?

-Never mind, let’s hope they will not read them… Look in what trouble you get me in? reproach CEO.

On one hand I felt guilty, on the other hand I felt angry because I felt humiliated in front of my colleagues. Above all, I received a phone call from my boss, who “encourage” me in his own style:

-You deserve it… Why did you do it?

At that moment, I hardly refrain not to resign.

The next day, CEO called me in his office to make peace. He was calm, while me I was still furious. Finally, here we are both of us on the same table:

-I am sorry I was raised my voice! apologies the CEO.

-You are kiddin, right? After you humiliated me in front of all? If you thought I was so wrong, why didn’t warn me officially, why didn’t fire me and you preferred to shout? Your behavior is inappropriate for your position. I don’t care if you are CEO at NASA or the son of God Ra. Such conduct I could expect from laundress, but not from an executive officer. I am truly disappointing. Yesterday, I was so close to resign.

-You are right! But you must understand… I could not control myself… Remember the time I was teaching you what means EBITDA, EBIT, etc? Now are you trying to give me lessons about cutting costs?

After we reconciled, I returned meditative to my desk. I watched the beautiful view from my office window: the round with flowers near the cross roads, the neighborhood park, trams and traffic jam, the shiny sky, the sun, the clouds, no wind breeze. What a wonderful day… I said to myself. But despite all beauty around me, I felt miserably, humiliated and I lost motivation.

Read next the story of a Brand Workshop.

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