I wasn’t the only one having difficulty with the transition.
When you’re used to working in smaller groups of people and you’re suddenly absorbed by Team Infinity, it’s a little strange.
The best analogy I can draw is when members of the Enterprise travel back in time to pick up some whales on good ‘ol planet Earth in Star Trek IV. They land in San Francisco and are utterly clueless about how to integrate into the crowds of the city. We stand out.
Our Sales Guy
So first off, the lone sales guy who comes over from StartupVille is a total grump about the thing. You’d think he would be a little happy — after all, he’s still got a job — but he’s the opposite, constantly complaining about absolutely everything. You couldn’t shut him up.
He complained about the lack of real work, too many meetings, and the fact that he was being asked to learn some new product suites so he could sell additional products offered by Mega. He complained about the size of the kitchen and his shitty commute and the lack of a real break area and he didn’t like the enormity of the building and didn’t want to meet anyone new.
I know what you’re thinking. I complain about the same things, you’re saying. So I’m being a massive hypocrite by calling out the same behavior in this guy.
But here’s the thing. I didn’t once complain about any of this stuff publicly. In the office, I put on my happy face and dealt with it. I didn’t want to look ungrateful for what Mega was doing for us, and the truth was that I was happy to have a job because it meant that I could pull good income while looking for a new gig in my leisure if it suddenly became necessary. And holy crap, the last thing I wanted was to be a poison or cancer. I’d actively rooted for Mega to buy us, and now that it’d happened, I wasn’t going to undermine the assimilation process by sowing the seeds of discontent.
At any rate, after two months, our sales guy was gone. Quit on his own accord. I don’t even remember where he went. Initech? Intitrobe? AnotherSoftwareCompany? It hardly matters. I’m pretty sure he ended up doing the same thing at a different place, just like most normal folks do when they leave their current employer.
Unless, of course, they FIRE.
I believe this group had it the best.
For the first six months or so, they continue to work on the ‘original’ StartupVille software. The Mega management staff wants them to add new features, which is the kind of work they like to do. Sure, they’re reporting to someone different, and this new guy isn’t as likeable or competent as the one from StartupVille. And yeah, they are, much like me, forced to do a lot of additional paperwork in order to complete tasks because of the high level of beurocracy built into the system.
But overall, the kids are all right.
Our QA staff is mostly comprised of our H1-B folks.
They’re very happy to have retained their jobs, because it means they don’t have to worry about their legal status in the US.
It is true, though, that they don’t have much to do for a long time. It’s only in their second year that they’re finally tasked with interesting work again. Mega let them idle for nearly twelve straight months. But this didn’t really bother them. They were pretty good at wasting time.
I tried hard not to envy them.
My Old Manager
Probably had it the worst. He was instantly demoted to a sort of engineering-lead position, since the real engineers were placed under a new manager.
As a part of this title change, he took a large pay cut. Privately, he told me that Mega asked him to leave, i.e to seek alternate employment, but he was just unable to find anything. (Keep in mind we’re in early 2010 at this point and the job market is still very weak.) So although he manages to hang on for a while, he’s demoralized. Mega was awfully nice to keep him around as long as they did.
I felt pretty bad for him, but there wasn’t much I could do. He mentioned a few times how glad he was to have increased his savings and lowered his cost of living, though. It made him a lot less afraid to lose his job, if Mega ever chose to make that decision.
And they eventually did.
The Executive Staff
All gone. CEO, CIO, CFO, CSO. Poof.
Rumor has it that they weren’t taking a salary during the last couple of months at StartupVille anyways — that they were hanging on just to complete the sale.
Didn’t matter. Mega already had folks slotted into those positions (obvious!), and so there was literally no place for them at the new company.
Our Lone HR Rep
Left after two months.
He was vocal about his disinterest in working for a company as large as Mega.
I remember him saying something like Been there, done that, never again. Basically he hated the massive quantity of red tape required to get everything done.
Another complaint: If I learn Mega’s systems, after a while, I’ll only be employable by Mega. No thanks.
Made sense to me.
So I have a new manager. It’s a woman in her mid forties. She seems fine — absolutely crushed by life, but fine.
Her main functions are to assign work, manage people’s time off, review performance, and listen to customers complain.
And I already mentioned how things went over the first half a year or so. I’m interested in doing well and completing all of my work on time and delivering high quality stuff but at the same time I’m frighteningly bored+busy: a bad combination.
Still, it’s tolerable and I’m not yet thinking about looking for something else. It doesn’t take me long to get there, though.