After 5 years as Legal Counsel I received a promotion to Manager of Compliance for the institutional division. However, in addition to this new onerous position I continued to provide legal services to the business unit. Another Megacorp lesson which is to load up as many responsibilities on an employee as possible at minimal cost. I had no one to delegate to and all this new responsibility for an extra $2,000 a year.
Speaking of money, a competitor offered me a position for $10,000 more than I was currently earning. I had the job and just had to sign the offer but upon reading the offer there was a probationary period. This for someone with close to a decade of experience. I wanted this clause removed but their wonderful Human Resources Department insisted upon keeping the probationary clause in so we parted our ways.
CRAP’s Human Resources Department was also whittling down a once generous stock purchase plan where initially there were matching contributions by CRAP to those made by employees. Year after year CRAP’s contribution requirements dwindled and then a vesting period was imposed to get your hands on the shares whereas previously once the shares were awarded to you they were yours. Eventually they terminated the plan without raising salaries. Perhaps that inebriated Bleedco guy on the elevator had more truth than the vodka fumes would otherwise suggest. When you sell a company you cut costs down to the bone so your profit looks bigger than ever. A stock purchase plan with generous matching contributions by CRAP made CRAP a more expensive acquisition target…less of a bargain you might say.
CRAP’s institutional division was really doing well running from fourth position to a dead heat with the competition for first place all done in just short of a decade. Profits had quadrupled in 10 years. To be part of the team that accomplished this was rewarding to many employees despite no true financial rewards were extended to CRAP employees contributing to this remarkable growth.
All in all, I had an enjoyable time working in the business unit aside from the service campaigns and the poor compensation.
Then three things happened that caused me concern.
The first was that a new Vice President, Myra Pigall, was appointed for our division. She had no experience in the industry as she had been an accountant in her previous positions and spent all her time behind closed doors. She started interviewing employees asking them what they did. Suddenly there were a rash of terminations. Once again cost cutting and cleaning up. As a target for purchase a business unit making a billion dollars in profit with a low expense ratio is more attractive for a purchaser than one with a higher expense ratio. It soon became obvious Pigall’s snout was rooting out expenses to be trimmed like a pig hunting for truffles.
The second event was the termination of Beluga as CRAP’s General Counsel and his replacement being Felicity Poker. Poker was a hot shot corporate lawyer with a law firm that was Bleedco’s major external law firm in Calgary, Ooze & Ooze. I was commandeered into her Legal Department and no longer reported into the business unit.
The third was dealing with a major client of CRAP that wanted a refund of expenses it had paid us as a recordkeeper for its pension fund. Ooze & Ooze was their law firm. The lawyer from Ooze & Ooze, Brian Cochon, had stated to me, “You repay that money or we will have you terminated.” I assumed “you” meant CRAP. As Cochon was once a partner with Poker at Ooze & Ooze my assumption should have immediately be seen as incorrect.