Today I would like to share a story about a now old client of mine. It is just something I have to get off my chest. For obvious privacy reasons I’ve made a few changes but overall this is how it went down.
Over the past few months I’ve been witness to a buyout that has destroyed my client’s business. It is difficult to watch as I have been a part of their company for a long time now. I understand that buyouts and acquisitions usually never turn out well for employees of the bought company. However from what I understand this one should have been different. In fact my client was promised it would be different. I guess he should have gotten it in writing.
My client’s company (JL Ex Service) was a small 40 person business. Their culture is pretty great and everyone is treated like family. Everyone is very respectful of each other. Gossip is pretty low. Overall the company is very good to work for and everyone loved their job. But as the owners have gotten older they looked to sell the business so they can move on. Well this past November the business was bought by a large 250 employee company (BB Ex Service) that does similar services.
BB Ex Service assured everyone that there wouldn’t be any bad changes and that it would be business like usual. They would just help structure JL Ex Service better and provide resources to help the company grow. And if they did need to let someone go they would do everything they could to move them to another department first or help them find a job. It seemed pretty unusual compared to most buyouts but everyone was happy that this time around it didn’t mean everyone was going to be let go.
December was pretty overwhelming for everyone. Lots of paperwork to sign, training, and a new way of doing business. As the holidays passed everything seemed to be going pretty well. Even though a lot had changed everyone seemed pretty positive and hopeful for the future with BB Ex Service. BB Ex Service even hired about 10 new employees between December and January. Some to even help with the JL Ex Service side.
Then on January 17th ten employees of JL Ex Service were to be let go on the 31st. They would all get a severance. BB Ex Service claimed they need to cut payroll. Then to add insult to injury a series of events happened. On the 19th two new employees were hired. Yearly reviews were still given to several of the soon to be let go employees. They all got raises. Later that week the ten employees were told to reapply to other positions within the company as new employees but then on Friday were told they didn’t score high enough on an “unimportant, it is just a formality” test they had to take back in December. Later that day they had a year end, all employee company meeting. BB EX Service posted record profits for the last year even with buying JL Ex Service and had already matched part of February’s goals for profits and they still had week to go in January.
It has been two weeks since I talked with my old client. 5 of the 40 JL Ex Service employees are still with BB Ex Service. The rest either quit, were fired , or let go. What got me was the utter disrespect for these 40 employees of JL Ex Service. BB Ex Service could careless about what happened. In the end it became clear that BB Ex Service just wanted the clients and to see how JL Ex Service did things.
I know after the dust settles that all the old employees of JL Ex Service will be ok. They will move on to better things and find happiness in a job once again. It is just sad that is had to end this way.