The Way Out... The Road Back


corporate realities


Then an interesting thing happened. I got fired.

No, that's a joke; I didn't really get fired. But like many modern American mega-corporations, MCI is a swirling vortex of constant change and reorganization.

A corporate "reorg" usually comes with a certain amount of Reduction In Force—RIF's—layoffs. It is not unlike a child's game of musical chairs. During the secure times it's important to guard your position, stay close to your allies, protect yourself from your enemies (or at least, those who aren't necessarily your friends). When the music stops, if you've played your cards right, you will have a seat.

I managed to survive quite a few reorganization/layoffs at MCI, but in the summer of 1996 circumstances were more tenuous. I was managing a now-smaller group for a less than supportive management team. In the Fall, the music stopped, and though I wasn't left standing—i.e. I didn't get laid off—I was relegated to a reduced capacity, staff disbanded. No longer moving forward, I was slipping back. It was a call to action; I took a severance package and said "Sayonara."

It was a most excellent wake-up call, and believe it or not, like my experience with The Assassins, I found myself feeling upbeat. I still look upon the experience at MCI as a crucial, force-fed growth spurt, ten years experience in four. A grueling, but altogether positive experience.

Next: Musical Reawakening...

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