Friday, July 31, 2009
If only the July 31st trade deadline applied to the rest of the working world
The professional sports business can toy with human lives unlike any other profession. "We don't see you in our future plans, son, so we're shipping you to Kansas City." This, of course, is magnified the most on this day every year: The July 31st Major League Baseball trade deadline, a day where bosses trade their commodities for goods and services. (Before sports, they called this the slave trade.)
We're big Deadline Day fans and wish it applied to all professions. Consider these 11th-hour deals that would change the make-up of your office.
The Attitude Dump: He's the burnt-out company lifer. Been with The Company for 26 years. Doesn't know anything else, or how to do anything else. But he's slipping. Production is down, bad attitude is up. It's weighing on the rest of the staff. So HR offers him a "retirement package." A few weeks later, a similar company comes calling about him, in need of an experienced pro. So HR pulls him out of retirement, trades him, and is off the hook for health benefits. It's a change of scenery for the employee and an addition-by-subtraction for The Company. 2009 MLB Equivalent: Pirates send Ian Snell to the Mariners.
The Salary Dump: The Company has just lost its No. 2 client. Profits are marginal. Layoffs are becoming a realistic possibility. Time to "reorganize." So HR sends the flashy 30-something Account Executive with an impending raise to the Dallas office in exchange for two unpaid interns and promotes from within to fill the hole. 2009 MLB Equivalent: Indians send Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco to the Phillies.
We Both Win: Employees are loyal at The Company. With a reputation of promoting from within, the staffers stay. But now those interns from back in 2002 are Account Executives. And those Account Executives hired in 2002 are still Account Executives. The Company has too many Account Executives. But its Payroll Coordinator just went on maternity leave. The Company gets on the phone with The Business, an in-state group in a different sector, who is rumored to be in need of some AEs. The Business is flush with Payroll Coordinators so a deal is struck and both sides are happy. 2009 MLB Equivalent: A's send Matt Holliday to the Cardinals for Brett Wallace and others.
We Need Help NOW and Will Mortgage the Future: Things at The Company are heating up. A recent write-up has landed The Company some new business. Nail these new projects and the Best Business of the Year Award could be yours! The Company decides they're going for it. They aren't there yet, but the goal is within reach. HR assesses the staff and decides it needs to bring in a Senior Vice President with 15+ years of experience to head the new projects. Stock full of AEs, HR sends two packing for Detroit which needs younger parts. The new SVP will get the job done, but will be retiring at the end of the year. 2009 MLB Equivalent: Giants send Tim Alderson to the Pirates for Freddy Sanchez; Anyone who trades for Roy Halladay.
Happy Trade Deadline Day, you weasels. Now go trade that brainy IT guy for a smokin' hot Administrative Assistant.