Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sobering Reality

Yesterday an ex-employee of the firm came in to retrieve some tax forms he needed. This guy was working here when I started, and had been there for about 3 months or so prior to my arrival. Shortly after I showed up he was shown the door, not due in any part to my performance, but rather the lack of performance on his side.

Anyway, he comes in to get these forms and says hello to those of us he knows, including my manager. It should be noted that this guy didn't make the best impression on people as he was a little crass and rough around the edges, but he was a decent enough fellow. Anyway, he gets the forms he needs and before he's even out the door of our office my manager looks over at another coworker and mimes "What was his name again?"

Granted, it was kind of funny given the character of both my manager and the individual getting the forms, but it also revealed something about the perspective of our manager in relation to his employees. Here's a guy who trained someone, worked with them for at least 4 months in a small office (10 people or so), and now 4 months later has completely forgotten their name.

OK maybe the guy has a bad memory (which I wouldn't doubt) and we DO work in sales, so there's a ton of names flying around at any given moment, but it was a little disheartening to hear him say this in such a jokey manner. It made me feel really unimportant to this firm, aside from the numbers I put up on the board.

I've never worked in a pure sales environment like this before, so this is kind of a new gig for me. To be nothing more to a firm than what you give them (basically you are not human capital at all) is kind of cold and brutal. I suppose on the one hand that's capitalism, but it's a little jarring. I've always been sort of brainy, which firms utilize to their advantage in various ways, and thus keep me around. Here, if I don't get the #s on the up and up I'm out the door and no one will give a g*ddamn, so it seems. Am I in the wrong place? Maybe, but I DO enjoy the work, and the firm overall.