Just Another Blog
Saturday, April 10, 2004
Farewell Omni Financial
I did indeed quit my job. I tried real hard to just quit and not talk about the reasons behind my leaving, but the managers kept pressing me for my reasons: why would someone with so much potential and apparent skill in the job up and quit just one month after being promoted?
So I gave them as much of the straight dope as I thought they could handle and without taking a torch to the bridge that I was crossing over. I explained that they had created an atmosphere where the almighty dollar was the only thing that was important. Bringing in more and more money is the only thing that matters and must be done by any means necessary. I explained that this causes people to always be pushing the envelope in terms of what they are willing to do and say in order to keep the dollars flowing. There is a systemic pressure to do things that are contrary to the true interests of their clients. At times the pressure causes people to do things that are at the best immoral and at the worst illegal. Sometimes these pressures are exerted expressly by members of the management team, but mostly it is an implicit threat that you need to find a way to create more money -- client interests be damned.
So I told them all those things at they gave me a look that said, "You poor, naive, little boy." Maybe I am naive. Maybe every company in the world is just trying to maximize revenue from every client. I honestly don't have a problem with that if you are upfront and honest about it. But when you have to resort to lighting false fires under the feet of your clients and when you have to constantly bill one hour for tasks that take ten minutes or less in order to force desperate clients to pay even more money, then, yeah, I've got a problem with that.
There are a select few folks at the company who have been able to rise above and make a living beyond the fray. Those few can run run an honest book and make an honest living. But they are few and far between, and I am not convinced that even they don't occassionally bend their moral code in order to hit their number.
There were a lot of other management problems that I did not address with the company. I think in the long run, my professional interests lie in the realm of personnel and operations management. Omni Financial is a firm with serious, serious issues in terms of both of these areas. I roughly calculate that their turnover rate on an annual basis is close to 400%! I'm serious. Can you imagine working in a place where everyone is replaced four times a year (or would that make it 300%?)? It's unbelievable. What's worse is that they don't seem to see it as a problem. They start a new-hire class every other week and have to train folks from the very beginning. The fact that they neither recognize turnover as a problem nor seek to cure the underlying causes is absurd.
But I'm out of there now. I leave behind a few friends all of whom are jealous that I am in a position to be able to just up and quit my job. No one likes it there. I'm glad I'm gone. I sleep better at night now.