As you all know I am somewhat displeased with where I work. I’ll get to that in a second but I want to explain a little bit for the newcomers precisely what’s going on. (As a warning I’m home straight from work and incensed so this is going to be one of those posts)
The short version: I got one degree (Theatre) that didn’t do much for me professionally, then I took myself back to school for a second degree that did … I started working in that profession (Engineering) and have been really successful (at least when compared to my peers at this company) but I didn’t much care for where I saw my career heading after looking at the veteran employees around me and decided another change was in order. Two years into engineering I went to business school for an MBA and now I’m done with that and hoping to become the Grand Poobah Extraordinaire making more money doing something I am passionate about and living a lifestyle I love.
Suffice it to say none of that has happened yet.
Which brings me to today and a fantastic example of why the place I’m at currently is a toxic and soul crushing environment.
When you work at a company you want to think of it as a paragon of excellence, a bastion of integrity, and the nursery for creative ideas that will forever alter the course of mankind. Well ok you might not but I sure do. My company is none of those things. As a matter of fact it’s the antithesis to those things.
Because this isn’t an #AskSisyphus on the inner complexities of what an ISO Rating means for a company (you can get the basic gist here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_9000) let me just say that the following quote sums it up nicely:
The ISO 9000 family of standards is related to quality management systems and designed to help organizations ensure that they meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders  while meeting statutory and regulatory requirements related to the product.
Most large companies are certified per some ISO standard as it shows that they’re dedicated to a certain level of quality control and data management. Some places probably require their business partners to be ISO certified in some way before dealing with them. Apple may require their manufacturers to adhere to certain standards, the government requires certain standards, and so on and so forth.
The general assumption is that these guidelines and criteria will be used throughout the daily business practices ensuring that everything that is produced meets those predetermined standards. Daily Business Practices.
It works something like this: An auditor calls and says “Hey, I’m coming on the 29th of November and I’m going to perform an audit of your company and its adherence to the standards associated with the certification you hold. If you pass, great. If you fail bad enough you’ll lose your certification and ability to do business with people.”
Normal companies will have been preaching and practicing these standards all along, driving home their importance because the business depends on it. The quality of their products depend on it. Everyone’s jobs depend on it.
Now take my clown show of a company. We get this call two, maybe three weeks before it happens and management says “Hey shit, we don’t follow any of those standards. We better hold a training to show everyone what standards we’re supposed to be following, where to find the list of processes we’re supposed to be using, and make sure everyone tells the auditor that this is how we conduct our business.”
And then in the next conversation they say, “We can’t hold the training now, we’d better do it within a few days of the audit so people won’t forget what they’ll be asked.”
At this very moment some of you might be feeling like something has gone horribly awry. You’re right and this really instills a certain faith in my company. I know that my company is basically lying and cheating its way to a certification that allows us to conduct business with our customer. And now you know too, but I’m not done.
After that someone who spent the last 2-3 years laying people off has an idea, “Hey wait. We can’t take all these people and give them training. It’ll cost a lot of money that no one has given us. It’ll also show as overhead and everyone will look bad. I don’t want to lay any more people off and we need to cut costs so let’s call it a brown bag lunch and that’ll take care of everything.”
Brown bag lunches are what my company uses to offer training without paying you for it. You bring your lunch, you spend your lunch hour sitting in a conference room being “trained” on something that isn’t supposed to be vital to your job … they can’t make it mandatory because they’re not paying you to be there so all of these are optional. Since they started laying people off every training they want to give us is a brown bag lunch.
The best one of these was when two years ago they rolled out an entire new product database management system that everyone had to do their work in. They didn’t want to pay anyone to learn to use it so they hosted a couple brown bag lunches and called it done. They felt good because they offered the training, but only a small percentage of people went and now that whole system is FUBAR because people have been using it for two years without doing it right.
So today I was invited to a brown bag lunch ISO Audit training where I will learn what to regurgitate to the auditors at next week’s audit. It’s such a depressing thing knowing your company lacks any semblance of integrity and isn’t even dedicated enough to its corrupt practices to ensure they get done right.
I desperately need to get out of here.
And no, I’m not saying it’d be okay if they just executed their corruption more effectively.