Nov 5, 2008

A Non-Apology Apology, Of Sorts

This is in response to an email I received that implied I was a threat to this company.

You know who you are, and I know why you're here; unfortunately, there's nothing I can actually do for you. I stand by most of what I write--sometimes editing is needed after the fact, so I'll dial it back a bit, if need be--but for the most part, I'm telling my truths. And the truth is, I have a real problem with keeping people in legally-vulnerable gray areas, empty promises, blatant dishonesty, treating employees like non-entities, and hiring management with very little interest in self-reflection or self-assessment but a whole lot of interest in placing the blame. I tend to frown upon unethical business practices, expansion in spite of economic realities, inexperienced leadership, and going back on your word to take care of people with integrity; so that's why I have a problem with your business. If you want to understand why people have given up on you, don't look at us: look in a mirror. Who or what is the common denominator here? And who will be there for you if it all falls apart? Not Starbucks.

I'm not sorry for anything I've written, because [enter canned answer here]. I'm just not, and that's the truth. I'm only sorry for allowing myself to be silenced back in February, because I was really trying to say something, and was scared for our future: whatever we were doing, it wasn't working. I saw the writing on the wall: you didn't get it. And then we were surrounded, like hog-tied hostages, by a whole TEAM of people who didn't get it, and who flaunted that ignorance. Which is why we had to go, and why more and more people will have to go: self-preservation. Also, some people--even people without college degrees--have higher professional standards.

Working for this business was, in the beginning, like campaigning night and day for Barack Obama: hard work, tiring, rewarding, and fun. But in the end, it was more like hanging with Sarah Palin, a cutesy, two-faced politician who couldn't understand what the people really needed because she was too blinded by her own corporate ideals and ever-changing personal mission statement to actually walk her own talk. I couldn't wait around for the 'good intentions' I kept hearing about to appear. It really is possible to lose faith in people, and to finally run out of excuses. I'm glad I lost it early.

Honestly, I would like to let go of this year, and this is as good a catalyst as any for an attitude change. But as I said on Facebook, it's hard to let go of resentment towards a former employer when all of their current employees keep calling to complain. It used to be you could go talk to a lead, a manager, an owner--what ever happened to an open door, a willing ear? But now, in order to be a part of the process, your people have to call former employees in order to unload their fears and hard truths, just so they can be heard by someone who cares. If only you owned a business where the truth was valued.

None of this matters, because it isn't my business; you can fuck it up 'til the chickens come home to roost, and they probably will. But the point is: just like it's your business, this is my blog. And I can write what I want, when I want, about whoever I want, in whatever manner I want, while jumping up and down, screaming 'RAPE' or 'HEAD CHEESE', if I want. My lawyer said so, as did my back-up lawyer; it's like a cheap lawyer sandwich, and I'm the meat.

I just want the best for your employees, who are being seriously EFFED in the A. Good luck to them all; I hope they find a place that seeks to understand them, listen to them, and compensate them in a way they deserve. If you really want to see a positive change in your business, it has to start with you. Oprah and Tony Robbins agree.

To the people who work there that consider my blog a threat or 'something of interest', which implies wrongdoing of some sort: I don't appreciate you as readers, or as friends. Please don't come back, because you're not welcome here. In a show of good faith, I'll put my business blogging away for now. Thank you.

If only I could have summed this whole thing up in a brilliant, dismissive haiku.