Sunday, September 30, 2007

Shattered dreams

We used to say as 'American as apple pie' or 'the American dream' (some still do). Ought we rephrase and talk about 'as American as the shattered dream' (or such)?

In 2005, there was an event, alluded to in the Ethics and truth post, that will be the subject of a separate blog (WhoseNoseKnows) plus will be further analyzed from the truth engineering viewpoint (a case study).

The event was the type in which a company split out a local division. There was a weekend at that time during which people waited, in anticipation, for a notice to arrive. Now, the means by which the notice arrived was indicative of the message. Granted, some knew their fate prior to the weekend. Most did not.

By one of the means, many people who worked for a company for many years found themselves out in the street and cut off from not only their job, but from the 'dreams' associated with involvement with a major entity. By another of the means, those who were to be kept with the new company lost in terms of quality of benefits, not to mention having to experience an eventual degradation of the work environment leading to very low morale.

We wish to take a closer look, as far as public record and individual memory will allow, at the events leading up to the split and later consequences thereof, such as the pocket lining of the chief manager and of others (was this the main motivation from the beginning? did the original company actually benefit from the deal? So many other questions.).

If you would like to tell a tale about this event, please use the 'comments' section (describe your experiences of this event or your loss or gains) of the new blog. Comments can be anonymous. Also, supporter comments are welcomed, too. Practice here, if you like.

Related e-mail (if you want to provide details that will be summarized) can be sent to ajswtlk[at]gmail[dot]com. Sources will not be revealed.

Additionally, we would like comments related to other events of this nature, especially when there was significant off-shoring.


06/08/2014 -- Does time tell?

03/15/2013 -- Some controversy in the way SPR fired some people. See Weagle.

12/12/2012 -- Trial awaits?

10/18/2011 -- Hopefully, the OWS will bring this type of thing to public awareness.

03/21/2011 -- Turns out that these events fore told what was to unfold, in many ways. There was an IPO, a little bubble, than a burst (all around). Some feel that the chimera indicates improvement. Is it really that which the politicos wrought (or intend to wrought) portends more for the favored than for the rest?

01/27/2009 -- Now a new day and way to consider these matters.

Modified: 06/08/2014


Anonymous said...

After attending the mandatory ethics training at Boeing in March of 2005, I was introduced to the bat cave (Wichita Eagle story, 2005). The ethics training emphasized the following of the golden rule as a core trait of the ethical (yes, even those in the jungle of business).

Well, after that introduction (rat hole, it could be called), I was counseled to prevaricate tales to my fellow employees.

You see, employees sign away rights in order to work. Behind the cloak of the 'proprietary' and 'competitive information' labels are probably (definitely) a bunch of unethical (albeit, perhaps even bordering on non-legit) practices.

During the months leading to the split, it was my pleasure to watch the forked-tongue manipulations of the truth by managers who had their feet in both companies (old and new). The older company dropped the ball of ethics (we need to look closely at this). The newer company had the potential of pocket lining as the carrot (which subsequent events proved to be a correct assessment - oodles of money in the pockets of a few -- giveaways, albeit by force, from the pockets of the many).

Anonymous said...

It's funny but the new company's founders were so laden with inferiority that they prevented people from moving. That is, even those with job offers elsewhere in the parent company were not allowed out of Wichita.

Is that crap or what?

Some net results: some (many - we ought to get a count) lost not only their good insurance and their early retirement options but lost their retirement insurance (so, now they need to work to 65 - while pockets were lined at the top).

Anonymous said...

We need a true accounting of how much money went to pockets not directly related to the company. Why? Well, that value (or the things behind the value) were built up by old company employees over many years. They worked with pride and cared. Seeing financial types bilk the site is not fun (also, the Kansas [and other local] taxpayers are supporting this thing with their bucks).

Anonymous said...

I sat in on the interview between the newspaper reporter and the general manager in which the reporter "put on the table" the initial rumor of the sale and asked for comment. Naturally, and as a long-standing practice, the general manager said nothing. Thereafter, and until the rumors were made public and substantiated, I who was "allowed" to respond to news queries using the standard old "non-speak" that, to this day, tarnishes the practice of media relations and the credibility of its practitioners. From that day forward, even though I had signed the requisite "non disclosure" agreement, only two communications specialists were allowed access to information for the purposes of building the "employee communication plan" and I wasn't one of them. It was amazing to see standards of conduct and the company's much ballyhooed practice of good, sound ethics evaporate in the beckoning promise of personal financial gain. Citing my own case as example, in the course of one weekend (48 hours) I had a wonderful (and still very productive) career cut short by the very people I had worked so hard to protect and make successful over the years. I was just another 60-year-old, white, male, U.S. armed services veteran who suddenly found himself without a job and, because of age, unable to secure a job anything like the one the company just took away. Having just lost my wife of 38 years to cancer less than two months prior to being dismissed, I was absolutely overwhelmed. So then, the bottom line (at least for me) is this... It has been over two years since many of my fellow employees and I lost our jobs to a questionable set of employment practices and an absolute lack of any corporate compassion. Those to whom we were loyal now find themselves literally worth millions. Conversely, my economic, social, and professional status will never again be what they were. I have not recovered and, since my life's runway is getting ever shorter, I doubt I ever will. If that is the way corporate America treats those who keep faith and are loyal to it, then I suppose I should be glad to be quit of it. I suppose I should...but I cannot seem to get past angry and bitter.

Anonymous said...

The weeding message went out over the weekend via mail or DHL. Now, each in the DHL group was given 'dear john' letters the receipt of which for some was well publicized. Since everyone had been told to leave on Friday, those in the DHL group were told to not to show up on Monday.

Those who got mail were in receipt of an offer, a very restrictive non-disclosure statement, and more information. This group had to step up to, or into, the queue that was going into the new company. So, the decision loomed on Monday; many a weekend was ruined.

As one comment mentioned, all through the proceedings starting from around February of 2005, management principles and ethics were trampled under foot as those driving the deal ran after the dream of the big payoff (IPO).

So, if you weren't wit 'em, you were by definition agin 'em.

Several didn't accept the offer. In one case, an older gent was escorted out the door like a pariah with a proverbial fist at the nape of his neck.

Then, those who were playing the trampling game went so far as to start to take away earned benefits.

Well, what would one expect from such black-booted thuggery?

Anonymous said...

Some of us later talked about how the events of that whole weekend were not unlike what we would think about Kristallnacht (yes, even with the black-booted thuggery) where dreams were shattered and careers trashed.

In fact, the video related to that period was passed around.

Anonymous said...

My friend was not 55, unfortunately, but fell in the screwed 49+ group. His pension was pushed over from Boeing to Spirit who sits on it. By the time he takes it, the value will be 1/2 what it would have been if Boeing had not gone through with the sale. To add insult to injury, his Boeing 401K is languishing while Spirit's is anemic. How many poor unfortunates were there in this class?

What gripes me? Well, of the money that flowed out, only some went to the new millionaires in Wichita. Oodles went up north and east.

Who would have thought that Boeing would allow this? Were they sleeping up there in Chicago and Seattle? Ethics?

Anonymous said...

Guess who was instrumental (as in counselor, etc.) in the atrocity? Big pockets, flim-bag golden sacks (GS, in other words). The poster boy of the 99.99999%.

Anonymous said...

This Memorial Day weekend (of 2013) marks the eighth anniversary of the DHL/mail split which followed months of preparation for a NewCo formed out of a Boeing organization under the auspices of golden sacks, and others. Post this event of 2005, Boeing still had a presence in Wichita, KS that supported the Defense side of the house.

Now, eight years later, that little remnant of Boeing is gone leaving no representation of the company except for the name being seen a few place and for its mark on the hearts of many in the town. After all, the company was in Wichita for several decades.


Lots of water has gone under the bridge since that moment in time with which are associated a whole lot of heartache. Time has not healed it all. All tales have not been told.

The resulting company is a heavy supplier to its parent company. But, too, the parent company has gone down south. So, the Wichita newco has new competition.

You know, in certain senses, this move of the parent company has parallels with the textiles picking up from New England and finding better (or so they thought) times in the deep South. Eventually, the textiles went overseas (again, for reasons that apply today).


Lots of analysis remains to be done. This little remark is only to keep the weekend from slipping into the anonymity of history. No. The whole thing is just too rich with lessons to be learned and not overlooked.