Changepoint part 2
I had been at Changepoint for 4 years, I was 59 and thought I would retire from here. But my world turned upside down one day at 10 a.m. when we were summoned to a meeting at the company cafeteria. The company had around 90 employees. Sixty or so were in the cafeteria, the rest in the meeting room. Everybody in the boardroom were sent home, and those in the cafeteria were told that the company had been sold and we were chosen to stay.
As an idea, this was not a disaster; it is known that in any company if you carefully choose 30% of the employees and fire them, the company can move on without repercussions. The 20/80 rule is the same all over the world, that is, 20% of the employees do 80% of the work, and you have to know who those 20% are and don’t touch them.
The bad news was that the new owner was a “hedge funds” company. Most of the world’s billionaires are hedge fund managers. And they are also the most hated businesspeople in the world. The main way to make money is to buy companies at the water line and make a lot of money by destroying them. You may be wondering how that’s possible, but it’s possible, and now I know how it’s done, but when I left, I signed a non-disclosure document that forbids me from saying what happened there.
The one hired as the transition president was a guy from the USA. His main quality was how to lie believably: “We cut everything that needed to be cut; from now on, we are profitable, and we will all increase in value and salaries, blah, blah blah.”
I didn’t believe a word he said, his eyes squinted mockingly when he spoke. But I wanted to stay until the end. The reason was that I wanted to receive the severance package. The law stated that when the employment contract is terminated due to company policy (not fired, which is different), employees receive 2 more weeks’ wages for each year worked, and those with managerial positions 3 weeks for each year worked (where I also belonged ). But if the employees could prove they were very useful, one more week was added for each year worked. That was a strange legal provision and difficult to prove, so these things were cleared up in court. Most of the time, the judges ruled in favor of the employees. In our case, the chance of winning against the new owner was even higher because it was a “hedge fund” that everybody hates. So, I expected 4 weeks’ salary for every year worked. In the first wave of layoffs, they gave the legal minimum but were immediately sued by some employees. The employees won, and the donkeys learned their lesson.
After a few months, the president of Changepoint that we had before the transition left, taking a big paycheck due to her collaboration. Just a few days before the transaction, he told us what a bright future we have thanks to the running projects (the one with Dell was in first place). Of course, she knew what would come, but the only thing that interested her was to leave with pockets full. I never liked her. A few months later, the vice president with whom I was in those technical meetings described in the previous post also resigned. The man has always been a gentleman to me. Although quiet and reserved, whenever we met at the company cafeteria, he would come over to chat (only a few sentences) about this and that.
What I expected happened a year and a half later: 60 percent lost their jobs, and I was among them.
I must admit that in the market economy, “hedge funds” also have a role. Some companies are wiped off the face of the earth by these people, and others appear in their place, starting with modern, more effective strategies and technologies. Those professionals who want to survive must continuously adapt their knowledge to stand a chance of being hired by new companies. Well, progress requires effort.
Although I knew what was coming, I was hoping to be in the group chosen tgo stay. It didn’t happen, and I felt like it was kicked in the but.
I was already 60 by that time.
I signed the agreement with the company for 5 months, three days and a half pay (they calculated to the minute those four weeks pay for every year worked). I didn’t want to go to court to ask for more. I’ve never been before a judge, and I thought I’d find a job in 5 months. I had no idea how significant this 60-year barrier was; I was no longer the one playing the music.
My delicate situation with jobs for the next few years begins with the next post.
I was 60 and did not need headaches with my job finding. Well, fate decided otherwise.
Where it all started: