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Corporate Growing Pains and Gains

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Passing the torch, transitioning, growing the brand, turning a page, writing a new chapter, continuing the vision....the company I work for is celebrating their 25th year in business. It's been a year of changes. We have a new CEO. The last founder has retired. We have a newly revamped HR department along with a new HR guru. We have a gaggle of new board members and many new managers. I just finished getting through the first year in a newly renovated dining facility. Lots to celebrate. I was recognized as one of the company's OGs. I was the fourth hourly employee hired when the company began and worked my way up that ladder to my present exalted management state. We've gone from a little company with a handful of clients and quirky business practices (home office was a broom closet for the first year) to 70+ accounts spread out across the country and a more conventional corporate culture. At the anniversary celebration, they gave me a medal in a box, which serves no purpose that I can figure. A symbol of my loyalty I guess, but I'd chalk up my longevity with the company more to comfort and inertia. I like where I work and see no reason to go elsewhere other than for a change of scenery and a larger salary. How large? I don't know what my price would be until it was in front of me. I'm not a greedy man - something that would make me and mine comfortable would likely do. Still, I'll probably stick with where I am until I get too old to stand all day in a kitchen for 10-12 hours expediting and cooking food, managing the krew, and kibitzing with the customers; in this case, college students who are eternally exasperating, entertaining and rewarding to be around.
             

The company also gave me this gift book full of appliances, gadgets, trinkets and such to pick from as a thank you for my service. The thing was like a SkyMall magazine. I flipped through it for days, trying to find something I liked. Finally settled on a pair of head phones even though I already have a couple pair. The ones I have are cheap, go anywhere sets that I use with my ipod. The ones I picked were a couple hundred dollars and literally something I would never, ever spend that kind of money on even though I love me some high end audio equipment. So this gift was a good thing however I would have appreciated just getting a cash bonus, but I get the logic. I would have spent the cash on practical stuff for the house or the kid, etc. Not on myself. The SkyMall idea was a good trick.

We had a 25th anniversary celebration dinner for the managers at a nice venue with an open bar and hors doevres. Everything was fine and about what you'd expect but the caterer was definitely not up to our usual corporate standards. The staff were all in mis-matched uniforms and looked like they'd been sent here by a temp agency based out of a homeless shelter. The food was beyond bad and embarrassing especially since this was a celebration for a Contract Food Management company. Whoever was on the catering committee was going to have some explaining to do. Much as I enjoyed being served and not having to cook the meal; had I known what sort of horrible shit was going to be served I would have gladly given up my seat at a table in order to cook food befitting the occasion and the client. The worst meal I've had in a while and it's at my company's 25th anniversary dinner. Oh, the irony. Being polite midwesterners, most of us have held our tongues but I'm sure the upper reaches, particularly the new CEO, have let their displeasure be known quietly, but firmly. That said, this dinner won't be forgotten amongst the chefs who were there and it won't happen again if we can help it.

We had our annual corporate meeting which was an all day affair filled with themed break-out sessions and sub committee meetings. We had an actual key note speaker which we'd never had before. A friend of the new Head Cheese who talked about something he called "Upside-down Leadership" which essentially is leadership modeled after how Jesus lead the disciples. My company is faith based in its mission statement and motto so this keynote theme was no surprise. I thought it was more of a sermon than a speech and at times I thought I'd been transported into a church service rather than a corporate meeting. But again, this sort of thing is no surprise with my company and something I've grown used to. I will say that working for a company that's faith based has been more positive than negative, but at times the spirituality seems out of sync with what we may be involved in on any given day. I'm still getting used to having a prayer before doing a food demo or having a catering strategy session. I've even been asked to pray with an employee before their annual performance review. I wonder what the new HR guru will make of that? We'll see.

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Comments

resonant
Jun. 3rd, 2015 03:57 am (UTC)
Hooray for surviving a quarter century at the same place!