Thursday, 29 May 2008

Swimming with sharks

It’s only business. And bizarre though it may seem to me, I am supposed to be a business man.

But I can’t see it that way. Not when a large corporate client, that we have regularly turned ourselves inside-out for over the past twelve years, suddenly sacks us out of the blue.

Without criticising our performance in any way, but because they are ‘rationalising their supplier base’ in favour of a bigger company. And without giving us the opportunity to put in a counter proposal.

We are expected to take the news stoically and bow to the compelling argument of the client's decision. Apparently that's called 'professionalism'.

But I just can’t help but take it personally. Very personally. As a betrayal of goodwill. As will the dozen or so guys here that now face redundancy, none of who can understand how the fuck it is possible that they have sweated their bollocks off over the years only to end up like this.

Intellectually I know that capitalism is a jungle and that when you work with big business the only rules that apply are those of the markets. But emotionally I'm a simple soul - and I can't shake of the idea that if you graft and produce good work you'll have success.

Most of the time it's actually not a bad management philosophy. But when something like this happens I realise that I'm not really a business man at all and I'm out of depth with the corporate sharks.

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