Wednesday, April 4, 2007

WHY IS THIS BABY SMILING?


Because his daddy has prevailed in getting unemployment benefits, even though the man at daddy's old job was fighting it! Yay daddy! You're my hero! Now go get me some new clothes and MORE dipeys!

So, let's do one final recap here; the "Reader's Digest" condensed version.

Let it be known that this was a personal blog, just a practice-run of a blog that had only been in existence for three weeks at the time I was sacked. It never mentioned Mercenary or was linked to Mercenary. Any references to pro audio or recording were drawn on my 24 years as an engineer, musician and producer (I had only been at Merc for a year). It was solely my intellectual property. Only one of the five blogs was about studio-recording. The others were rants about social issues, and the announcement of the birth of my baby boy; the posting that got me sacked.

1) I was fired for blogging. That was the reason given to me at the time, in no uncertain terms.
2) I was fired without any prior warning whatsoever. (I had worked there 13 months)
3) I was fired over the phone on voice-mail. It was the day we got home from the hospital with our new baby, and also my wife's birthday.
4) I was not given any second chance, and was cut off on that very day without a penny of severance.
5) In an attempt to save face, Fletcher created a laundry-list of additional reasons for firing me.
6) "Excessive absences": a) There was no company policy in-place until after I was fired. b) My absences were due to very legitimate issues like a high blood-pressure spike (180 over 110), migraine, and primarily my wife's very difficult pregnancy. c) According to Mercenary's own newly written policy, one is allowed 5 vacation days, 4 sick days and 2 personal days. That's 11 total. d) Going by Mercenary's own numbers, I used 4 sick days, 4.5 personal days, and only 2 vacation days. That's 10.5. So, how excessive was that actually?
7) "Failure to sufficiently participate in Mercenary's 'educational' program": a) I am already a veteran engineer with more experience than anyone at Mercenary, with 24 years, including six recording projects in the last 18 months, four of them being full-length CDs. As such, I have a very good knowledge-base in all things pro-audio. b) I have a wonderful home studio in which to test gear, which is far more convenient for me than staying after hours at work (for which no additional pay was offered). c) Using my home studio, I brought home and tested at least 26 pieces of gear during the time I was at Mercenary. d) I did four recording projects at the Mercenary studio, during which I tried and learned dozens more pieces of gear. e) Fletcher said I failed to do the 4 hours-per-week required in the Mercenary studio. Well, so did everyone else. There is not a member of the sales staff that came close to filling that "requirement", yet others were not fired. Like them, I was busy answering the phone and talking to customers.
8) I worked on my blog during "company time": a) I worked on the blog during breaks in my work-day, and at home. b) There is rampant non-work related activity going on there with regard to computer and internet use. All day, every day, employees are surfing places which have nothing to do with their work. Why were they not fired? At least my blog could be considered a supportive companion-piece to my day-job at Mercenary.

Lastly, I really wanted the blog to be a positive part of Mercenary. I hoped that in the future it could be tied-in as a feature of Mercenary's web-site and the company's marketing efforts on the internet. Clearly, blogging and the blog-o-sphere itself is a growing phenomenon on the web, and can certainly be used as a tool to draw interest and draw traffic to a certain issue, or in this case, a certain sales agenda. Good marketing right? Not anti-Mercenary! PRO-Mercenary! What if in my blog I talked about this great new microphone I just tried and really love, and in that posting I embedded a link to a place where you can learn more about, and PURCHASE, that mic? A place like....um... Mercenary? Hello!

I believe Fletcher lost his temper, became enraged, and did something out of impulse and anger. His firing me may have been legal (maybe, barely!), but from the standpoint of moral righteousness, it was utterly wrong; a horrific decision, and personally damaging to me and my family. In a word, it was viscous. I absolutely have punitive grounds to stand on. I'm sure the deed hasn't been good for Mercenary either. Not only has it generated bad press for the company, but they lost a top-performer in sales, and one who was popular with and respected by the customers.

The next place I work, and yes, there is plenty of interest out there, will respect my talents and embrace my blog.

In the meantime, Drew the Fourth is screaming for hs bottle. Gotta go!

3 comments:

erikwolfe02 said...

Hey buddy.

I'm sorry to hear about all of this. You helped me make an important purchase and you were a great employee. You should be picked up pretty quickly by a better employer.

Congrats on the baby, and if you care, I'm done with Mercenary.

Simeon said...

Nice to see you looking forward to the future with your family (and your blog) in a positive manner. Good Luck but I'm sure you wont need it.

Sam said...

Blog on brother! Blog on.

It's All About The Tone, Baby!