Thursday, September 07, 2006

My former corporate life

See if you can detect a pattern from my work history. Should be pretty obvious if you pay close attention.

Major petroleum company - most of the 90's
* 30,000 Employees
* Acquired by British Petroleum around the end of my tenure
* BP is currently under criminal investigation.

Software company - height of the dotcom boom
* 500 Employees
* Acquired by Choicepoint around the end of my tenure
* Choicepoint is under investigation for compromising consumer data.

Hardware/software company - around the dotcom crash
* 150 Employees
* Acquired by some East Coast company.
* The parent company shut the place down shortly after the acquisition.

Noah Data Solutions - present
* 1 Employee
* The company named after a dog.

While everything you touch may turn into gold, in my case, well...

I hope to share some humorous as well as sobering stories from my former corporate life. Let me start off with a short and sweet one.

Here I was a young engineer straight out of school. Eager to impress my superiors as well as co-workers, I often worked through lunch and slaved away in the office burning the midnight oil. Well, you get the picture.

One of my colleagues was an older gentleman near retirement. The moment the clock hit 5, he flew out the door like a bat out of hell.

One day, we ran into each other in the men's room. He complimented my work ethic and asked me how I liked working for the company. Then he said the following which I will never forget:

Working hard here is like peeing in black pants. It gives you a warm feeling, but nobody notices.


21 Comments:

At September 07, 2006 6:51 AM, Blogger Bruce said...

I imagine it would be like peeing in black pants, with 30,000 employees and probably 100s of eager young graduates just waiting in line to get in. Look forward to your stories of corporate life.

B~

 
At September 07, 2006 10:20 AM, Blogger J.OTIS MERSTER said...

I quit the workaday corporate world at 27, and went into business for myself. I set my own hours, answered to no one, and made about $15 a week. Fancy way of saying I quit my part-time job as a library page to be a dogwalker. I had 2 clients-excluding Rufus. Within 2 years, the owners of one of the dogs died, and the other dog was given to someone with a bigger yard. So now I spend time learning Spanish, reading, blogging, and taking pictures.

 
At September 07, 2006 10:48 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

$15 a week? Seriously, what is the going rate for dog walkers, and how does one find them?

 
At September 07, 2006 1:47 PM, Blogger American Girl said...

I work in the corporate world and over all it is an okay experience. I have a boss who appreciates my work and says thank you. Over all I think I am pretty lucky.

 
At September 07, 2006 4:33 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

I go to work wanting to be satisfied with my performance, not wanting to impress others. That's why I'm in the non-profit world. Make next to nothing, but I always feel like I'm making a difference...whether others seem to notice it or not!

 
At September 07, 2006 5:11 PM, Blogger Elevated said...

haha I vow to use that saying to someone this week.

 
At September 07, 2006 6:49 PM, Blogger A thinker said...

Wow. I. Don't. Know. What. To. Say.

Peeing in black pants...ugh.

Hope NDS works out slightly better--maybe it's your time for an upturn.

 
At September 07, 2006 7:12 PM, Blogger Brian Buriff said...

Peeing in black pants? More than once I've ditched out of church during the offering because I drank too much coffee during Sunday School. If I didn't, it would be a very very short sermon. And yes, I do turn off the lapel microphone in the bathroom.

 
At September 07, 2006 9:38 PM, Blogger Granny said...

Funny story. I'll remember it.

 
At September 07, 2006 9:48 PM, Blogger ManNMotion said...

I don't know about the black pants but I did have a VP tell me once that it wasn't worth the 70 hour weeks week in week out that it took to get to VP and realize that it wasn't likely he'd go farther because the fellow who'd pulled him along through the company left and now...well I think he works for a smaller company too.

 
At September 08, 2006 11:42 AM, Anonymous franklin said...

David, this is a GREAT post. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the story! I was LOL at that quote! I've been there done that...

 
At September 08, 2006 12:44 PM, Blogger Mad Anonyethelmous said...

Peeing in black pants, eh? Ewwwww.

Ew.

 
At September 08, 2006 12:47 PM, Blogger Friar Tuck said...

Love the quote and may use it at some point.

 
At September 08, 2006 9:55 PM, Blogger Gary Means said...

I've been a cubicle rat in corporate amerika for over 20 years now. I freelanced before that, but poverty did not suit me well. Now I can recognize the brilliance of Scott Adams weekly. Sadly much of what he depicts is all too true.

Oh wait, I love my job, and every one of the engineers I work with is brilliant, talented, effervescent, caring, and has a highly developed sense of humour. Pardon me while I go outside, sing the corporate anthem, and bow to the company flag. Evey day my internal clients make me grateful to be a creative person. It is not for me to question why, but merely to obey.

Hmmm. let's see . . . one son in college, another one about to go to the U in two years, and then there's all the medical expenses, the radiation, the injections, . . . so I close my eyes, then turn in my chair, smile and serve. Employee number . . .

thank God I don't have an attitude problem.

 
At September 09, 2006 10:00 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

@bruce, it is coming up.

@sarah
Exactly! And ideally, even in the corporate world, hard working people should be promoted, butt kissing people. But that is rarely how it works.

@ag
I thought you worked at your old high school. Is that a private school?

@elevated
Yes, and please blog about it.

@thinker
Yes, NDS is a lot better.

 
At September 09, 2006 10:03 AM, Blogger David Cho said...

@brian
Oh so you didn't want that warm feeling. Does your congregation give you enough of that? :)

@frank
Thanks. I hope you are feeling better.

@mad
Why the ewww? The black pants? Would white pants be better? J/K.

@friar
And please blog about it.

@gary
You are describing some of the main issues I have with corporate America. They need you just as much as you need them if not more. But that is not how it seems

 
At September 10, 2006 9:17 AM, Blogger Mad Anonyethelmous said...

You're right. You're right. But it's still kind of gross to think about it.

 
At September 10, 2006 1:13 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

We pay our dogwalker $15 per walk. That's the going rate these days.

I love that you named your company after Noah. :)

 
At September 10, 2006 1:28 PM, Blogger David Cho said...

15 PER walk?

Actually it may be better than leaving him at the local kennel, which costs more than that. And plus it is a better place for him.

I left him at a kennel over a weekend., and he never ate the whole time.

 
At September 10, 2006 3:04 PM, Blogger L-girl said...

Yup, per walk. Noah would get to stay in his own home, he'd feel more secure, and not have to be stressed out waiting for you to come home.

In all our years with dogs, we have only used a kennel once, and we weren't pleased. And in that case Gypsy and Clyde had each other, so they could feel more secure. I'm always afraid my dogs will feel abandoned, or be afraid I'm not coming back for them.

Of course, with Buster we had no choice. But for any dog, I prefer a dog-walker and/or house-sitter to a kennel any day.

 
At September 15, 2006 5:00 AM, Blogger Brotha Buck said...

Dang, that's a funny quote. I'm going to have to use it, paste it to my computer. LoL! Cho, I miss coming here a few days, and now I gotta catch up.

 

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