Monthly Archives: December 2016

Food for Thought: “Loyalty” is a Seven Letter Word

 (Part 2)

‘Part 1’ of this article postulated that there is a protocol of professional etiquette one should follow when a decision is made to leave a company. This protocol takes into full account perceptions of fairness or a belief of having been treated unfairly.

Maybe it’s best to leave quietly but express yourself at the exit interview, or do it in a letter to the object of concern. Putting it “on blast” is a bit questionable. There are exceptions like provable criminality, legally culpable racial discrimination, or sexual harassment.

Here’s the rule: If it will be in public discourse, speak to your reasons honestly. Don’t hire ‘Red Gloria’ and get pimped like a fool, though. Don’t.

I’ve interviewed prospective employees that lambasted their former bosses for any number of subjective misdeeds. Some having to do with business ethics; while others spoke to personal and intimate details of things one normally commits to memory and silence. Some people also go online and place a blot on the reputations of a company and individual. To me, this is wrong.

We forget that bosses and coworkers are people that probably wish us well. I understand keeping one’s business close to the vest, but jobs are more than just collecting paychecks: they are relationships of trust. It hurts when a friend walks out the door.

Certainly, how one leaves the job is an individual decision, and thus their actions are individual undertakings. On that, there can be no argument. But an employee leaving is often a kick to the solar plexus – it hurts. It hurts particularly if you felt that you mentored an individual. It hurts because you feel that they did not trust you enough to let you know of their decision. Of course, it’s the employee’s prerogative. The question remains as to whether a courtesy is owed.

I remember this young woman whom I mentored and thought a bond and trust existed. I did everything I could to prepare her for dealing with advertising at our level and beyond. In the most inconsiderate fashion, I found out she was leaving because a fax came in reminding her to bring her resume and related materials to an interview that morning.

She’d call and misled me, with: “I may be in later – if that’s okay.” It was her business to act in a manner she deemed appropriate, but that fax kicked me in the gut. And, it was the last time I saw her.

When I’ve had to fire someone, I found it depressing and reacted accordingly, cocooning myself until the feeling went away. I’m sensitive, sure. But, I also grew up having to fend for myself. Still, someone leaving a job that you shared in commonality leaves the degree of a scar.

But, we’re all grown-ups here.

Bernard Alexander McNealy, President

CDM Digital Advertising Agency LLC

Food For Thought: Loyalty is A Seven Letter Word


Loyalty is a Seven Letter Word    (Part 1)

One seldom writes a newsletter because they happen to be great a writer. The same applies to blogging. As a business, we assume that there is an audience eager to digest and intellectualize what is in our newsletter. A communications business is no different than any other firm – the mechanics are the same – the problems are no different.   This isn’t a great mystery.

We’ve committed ourselves to impart information about marketing and advertising. The idea is to help the reader in some manner. After all, we’re in this together – whatever this is – hopefully, we’ll come out smarter because of the experience.

Right now, I’m freestyling. I intended to write on something else, but my mind feels like it’s swimming in a sea of melancholia. This is attributable to a thoughtful LinkedIn article I read this morning. The topic had to do with whether one should be silent as they are looking for another job. I have some thoughts about that.

Pay attention, millennial.

My contention is that one must be careful about burning bridges. They know it, but the reasons are lost on them. Often when a person is looking for another job, it may result in the employer ending the relationship early; that very possibility may compel that employee to just leave. My feelings are colored by personal history; my views are shaped by it.

I once worked for a public interest law firm. People figuratively sat their hair on fire and used the strands as fuses for Molotov cocktails – we were radicals, baby. Okay, that was especially the case if you had a trust fund. Anyway, some people believed that I was the resident head of radicalism – exemplified by a three-piece suit and a Che’ Guevara beret.

One day, after a lot of office turmoil, this very interesting woman walked into my office and sat down. She waxed eloquently about how she was dying to meet me, yak, yak, yak. It turns out she was sort of an imported hitwoman whose sole job was to get rid of me. She was sent by our funding source. “White shoe” law firms used her to devise ways of dismissing problematic employees. Wynonna Earp, a cute, but deadly enforcer.

Well, I silently started my job search, yet soon announced my intent to call it a wrap, in advance of leaving. Despite the corporate bat feces that had been directed at me, I felt obligated to let Boss Hogg and his herd know.

It strikes me that most people think it’s proper to search by stealth and announce they are leaving. Personal choice. I’ve seen some people develop an attitude that can be interpreted as:

“I don’t owe you nothin’, so I’m outta here.”

To me, this is wrong. I felt obligated to the people that paid me a paycheck, even though I took my Che’ Guevara fakery seriously. Boss Hogg and the Hazzard County Commission were really decent people and seemed sincere at my going away party. Wynonna Earp stayed outside poised like a gunfighter.

Damn. A crazy girl with a gun ready to kill my future…Damn.

Bernard Alexander McNealy

CDM Digital Advertising Agency LLC