Those of you who follow this blog are familiar with TMCCC. That Major Credit Card Company was a place I was employed for almost 22 years, mostly as a credit card fraud investigator.
To be fair, it wasn’t all Hell. I wouldn’t have stayed over twenty years had it been. I met some terrific people there. But, it seemed to suffer from the same diseases as do many corporations.
First, the Peter Principle. In the 1970′s Dr. Laurence J. Peter wrote a book regarding how corporations lose their functionality. In short, persons get continually promoted until they get promoted above their skill set, then remain forever stuck there, incompetent.
Second, paranoia. As the new kid on the block in the mid-Eighties, TMCCC fought to grow and keep it’s people happy. Sadly, it did so by
questionable dysfunctional means. Because the Peter Principle had already kicked-in in management.
There was a woman who ran the H(uman) R(esources) Department. One rarely saw her unless someone was going to be fired. Then, she prattled about, to-and-fro, scaring the beejezus out of everyone. Until the ax fell. It got to the point where many of us would hum the Theme for The Wicked Witch of the West (from the film Wizard of Oz) when she was scurrying about. Under our breath, of course.
Another credit card company opened an office maybe five miles away. They had the same personnel needs as TMCCC. So, we were concerned about losing good people to them. A legitimate concern.
Wicked Witch of the West H.R. Lady took it upon herself to park in the other company’s parking lot, watching for TMCCC folks who might be exploring other options. So she could find reasons to fire them.
After a few years of this kind of nonsense, many of the longer term employees had lost their espirit de corps. The company countered our malaise by giving us cheap plastic crap with the company logo on it. Coffee cups, beer mugs, pencils, pens.
And began putting up banners throughout the building reading:
“TMCCC IS A GREAT PLACE TO WORK!”
I don’t know about you, but, I always figured, if they have to tell you…
What a world, what a world.