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There Is No Future With Your Employer


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#1 cre8pc

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 01:24 PM

This article is making the rounds...
 

#AgencyLife – The Big Agency Lie
 

Agencies, by and large, sell hours. Unless they find a way to productise intellectual property or build a clever piece of proprietary technology, agency businesses scale by adding staff as they add clients. Win a client, hire people. Lose a client, fire people.

 

Somewhere between starting and selling an agency you realise that the only ways to make better than average margins when billing hours is to exploit staff, or manipulate clients.

 

Because many agencies are deeply insecure about their ability to show tangible results, awards become their primary differentiator. This fuels the unhealthy dynamic between clients and agencies even more. Work is done because it wins awards, not because it achieves business objectives. Choosing an agency primarily on its awards is like choosing an intimate partner based on the car they drive.

 
"Win a client, hire people. Lose a client, fire people." This has contributed to today's practice of not working for a company until you retire, the acceptance of layoffs and the crazy high turnover rates in companies. They can't keep their best employees because they don't have to.



#2 jonbey

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 02:37 PM

Doesn't that apply to every business? Businesses, charities, non-profits orgs all have to let people go when they lose business. Without money coming in the business would collapse.

 

“Agencies don’t fire clients. Clients fire agencies!”

 

Not true. Sometimes an agency has to let a poor client go! 

 

I guess this article comes from somebody who has had a bitter experience with agencies. A lot probably are like that - especially those London ones that only take on interns (no pay). But, they aren't all bad! 



#3 EGOL

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 02:57 PM

That was a really interesting article and some of the comments were even better. 

 

I have been employed for about 40 years at government agencies as professional staff and manager; universities in adjunct, untenured and tenured capacities; and in companies as an hourly worker. 

 

"Hourly worker" was the job that had the fairest value exchange for me.  I simply sold them my time and got paid for about every minute - at a rate that I had agreed to. 

 

All of my work in government and academia was as a salaried worker where lots of duties were required and getting all of that work done, even at "passable" quality could not be accomplished in 40 hours a week.  If you wanted to do your job exceptionally well (and you damn well better if your tenure in academia or appointment as a government manager is on the line) you were going to work well beyond the 40 hour workweek and subsidize organizational performance with a big chunk of your personal time.  That's just the way it is.   They know you are "expendable labor units acquired at fixed cost" and take full advantage of your professionalism.  The higher your level of personal professionalism the greater value the employer gets from you.

 

Today, hourly workers are even getting the hard squeeze because they are held to the wages and standards of offshore workers. 

 

So, I have come to the belief that paying employees by the hour and giving them a share of the profits is the preferred way of running a business.

 

As for the "no future with your employer"....  things were like that even when my parents were in the workforce, if you worked in a coal mine, a trucking company, a retail store or a restaurant,  if the company lost "clients" then somebody got the ax.  It's basic arithmetic.   The big boss might have been Andrew Carnegie or Henry Clay Frick or Aaron Montgomery Ward.  They got their money's worth at your risk.


Edited by EGOL, 29 April 2015 - 03:03 PM.


#4 bobbb

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 03:31 PM

you were going to work well beyond the 40 hour workweek

Indeed



#5 EGOL

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 04:59 PM

Two quotes that I remember hearing the director say at manager's meetings at a government agency. 

 

  --  "employees are sunk costs"

 

  --  "its easier to give more work to your busiest people"

 

I left for a new job shortly after those meetings, but after I hit the "tenure track" I learned that the same stuff happens in academia.



#6 EGOL

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 05:11 PM

When I was a kid in the 1950s I attended a grade school that was a short distance from a sawmill.  The steam whistle blew at that saw mill four times a day... 8, 12, 1 and 5.    The 8 and 1 whistles meant "get to work" and guys would shuffle to their stations.   But when they blew at Noon and 5 those guys threw down their tools as hard as they could throw them and moved with vigor towards the gate.

 

Every type of employment has its attractive and unattractive aspects.  But the guys at the sawmill worked in heat, cold, rain or snow and I am sure that they were pushed to produce more units, but they got paid for each minute that they worked. 
 



#7 iamlost

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 10:03 PM

There are two types of employers: those who view their employees as a cost and those who view them as an asset.

Note: the former are by far the most common.

One tends to want to reduce/elimiate costs and to invest in assets.

Mindset makes a world of difference.

 

Aside: BOSS -> a backwards double ess oh bee.



#8 bobbb

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Posted 29 April 2015 - 10:15 PM

I have always hated unions that can dictate what you can do and not do but I understand the need for them to keep bosses in check.



#9 Nny777

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 06:10 AM

That Human Centipede infographic is brilliant.



#10 cre8pc

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 09:54 AM

The article was from a marketing agency but my personal experience with tech companies has been identical to what he described.  

 

For example, I worked for what was then called a "dot com darling" in the year 2000, when company stock was $350 a share and to be an employee there was a dream come true for me.  I watched as we grew from one building to 3 massive office buildings in the span of a year.  The Governor of our state came to visit us and even hung out in the user interface department where I worked.  Two of my co-workers had a world famous websites that sold for over a million dollars each. As a single mom, I thought I was lucky as hell.  I worked my donkey off.  These forums were already in existence as a side hobby.

 

Then, management got greedy.  The founders left, and turned the company over to someone who decided we would build software.  In the next year, we lost everything and I was laid off during the 3rd round of layoffs.  The company went to $1 a share and then died.

 

I've had that experience repeated 2 more times.  

 

Before that first experience, I worked for two other large companies.  One was famous and is no longer.  When I was there, I was assigned to 3 intranets and watched as management rushed to get into ecommerce, which was not their base or expertise.  I moved on to the dot com company just before they suffered huge losses for their stupid decisions.  Many of their employees came to work where I had already gone to.

 

The other company was made up of investors who had one mission, which was to build a company and then sell it.  While I was away at my brother in law's funeral, my boss and entire department were let go.  I returned to work to be put into a new department and I went from maintaining one website, to 13, at the same pay.  I was laid off when I asked for a raise.  That company was not a tech company.  

 

Everyone has different experiences but the habit of hiring during the good times and firing/laid off when management makes bad decisions that ruin the company is so common that I wonder why it is legal.  


Edited by cre8pc, 30 April 2015 - 09:58 AM.


#11 bobbb

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Posted 30 April 2015 - 11:45 AM

I wonder why it is legal
 

Simple. That is busine$$. To force them to do otherwise would make them close down which is the same (for the laid off person)





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