Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Career Limiting Move (CLM)

CLM means Career Limiting Move. It's an expression we use for someone who has just brought themselves closer to the exit door. There are many examples I could give you. But they always center around some goofus that said the wrong thing in front of the wrong person and are doubtless marked for life. At least, life in their current job. But no CLM could have been greater than the one I heard about today. It takes the cake.

Several were invited up to some Exec's Board Room late in the day. These Execs work all manner of hours (that's why they have often been married several times) and I guess they expect everyone else to work the same. It's not uncommon to have one of them get their Admin (their secretary) to schedule you in one of their meetings, say at 7:00 in the morning, or at your 12:00 lunch hour, or even late into the evening. If you are really lucky, you'll get an invite for a Saturday morning or afternoon. You are really special if you get one of those.

Anyway, several of our group were invited into one of these late night meetings. It started at 6:00 p.m. Nice. One of the guys in the group had come into the office at 7:00 a.m. and had gone out running during lunch. (He'll often do that to relieve some stress.) So he has already worked an eleven hour day and has run three miles at lunch. He's tired. He should have never gone to the meeting. But here he is, in this roomful of people (about 20 or so) and the VP at the other end of the desk is pawing papers while shooting questions at the group. It reminds me of a kid fireing at little moving targets in a carnival.

This is so typical. A VP will schedule a meeting but will do other things while his drones are present. They'll bring their notebooks into the meeting and read their email or thumb-type on their Blackberrys. It's really a mark of importance, you know, when you have so much to do that you have to read your email while you conduct an important meeting during dinner.

Well, the guy I'm talking about has a bit of an edge to him. He gets a little thirsty and asks if anyone wants anything. Everyone looks down and shakes their head. So he waltzes in to the Executive's kitchen and helps himself to some cranberry juice in the fridge. But when he gets back the Exec says: "You know, the policy has been changed on access to the Executive's kitchen. You are not to help yourself anymore to the free drinks."

Now if it had been me, I'd have said: "Sure, no problem, didnn't know, I'll put it back."

But as I said this guy has an attitude. So he says to the VP: "You know me, do you think I care? If you are going to fire me over some cranberry juice, go ahead and do me the favor. I don't want to work for a company like that."

Dude! Is that a CLM or what?

He gluged his juice and stayed for the meeting.

We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees. -from a Fortune 500 company