Loyalty to the workplace or to the boss?

For seven years I worked in a company which started off as a promising start-up with the most gorgeous CEO whom we all loved and appreciated. The atmosphere was one of comradery. We worked hard and long hours which were not extra paid for, but we all loved it. There were about 60 people in the company when I joined. The CEO did not want us to have job descriptions, so that we would be free to expand our field of involvement. It was the 90’s…

The company did so well in the semiconductors industry, so much so, that a large international company was interested and eventually took over. Almost all the employees got the benefit of finally having our shares in the company having a real value. I got to buy myself a new car for the first time in my life. I was a single mom raising my hyperactive son and the miracle of being able to buy a car was very uplifting.

Gradually the atmosphere in the company changed. Applied Materials that took over our small but significant company, Opal, took over another Israeli based company and merged the two together to form the Israeli based Applied Materials. New regulations were imposed. Our beloved CEO left the company within two years. We had to adapt or leave. What other option is there? But, old habits die hard…..

Two Co-CEO’s were nominated for the interim period. My job title at the time was “Allocations Manager”. It was my job to assign a system in the production floor to a specific customer. We had lots of interest from customers, but not enough production capacity to supply the demand. Since I was highly informed in the production process and had administrator’s access to the inventory of the production parts, I was qualified to say exactly how many systems we could make in a given quarter, at which production phase they were, and whether or not we can adjust them to the specifications of a certain customer.

What does it mean to do my job well? I was highly informed. Made sure I didn’t miss anything. And, most importantly, reported truthfully to my superior, the projects manager. Now, that is the old loyalty for you… That was definitely not enough in the monstrously large company that we had become…  The CEO to whom my manager reported had promised 8 systems next quarter.  I knew we would produce only 4. That CEO had not signed the purchase orders of critical parts, because he wanted the inventory to be low so that he can show that we are cost-effective while on the other hand, he promised systems that we wouldn’t be able to build. Every day I would find between one to three hundred e-mails from the “field” asking for systems for various customers. It was an impossible job.

So, in the famous spirit of the Israeli inventiveness, I tried to make miracles and even succeeded a little… for example, one of the critical parts was manufactured by a company that needed 3 months in advance to receive a purchase order. The part in question was not in the inventory, but I found out that the Physics lab in the R&D Dept. received two such devices a month ago. So I went straight to the Physics lab technician who is someone I knew from our Opal start-up. David, I asked him, do you have those two devices? He said that they were purchased for two important scientific tests. The first test was supposed to blow up that device, but it didn’t, so he did not yet open the second device. He didn’t need it just then.  Can I have it please? Pretty please?  Sure enough I got it!!! Under the noses of the “big shots”, I managed to allow us to produce 5 systems and not just 4…  There were other such examples of working under the radar in order to allow the company to benefit.

Now I ask you…. Is that loyalty?  What kind of loyalty is it? The answer is simple: I was re-assigned to another job. The new job entailed spending lots of time in the other company that was purchased by Applied Materials where I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t like that job. I asked to please be released from it. I was not free anymore as I had been when we were a start-up company. I got depressed and eventually, thankfully, was fired on the account that I was not doing the job I was assigned against my will to do.

I received two month’s pay, double the amount due me according to my contract with Applied, and my severance fee which was a substantial amount after 10 years of work. Also, in January 2000 I could cash all the options that were already vested. It was also a substantial amount in my standards back then. I knew that by being laid off, I lost the options that were not yet vested, that at the time were valued at USD140K. All that lump sum money that I did receive allowed me to do the big shift in my life and become a full time therapist in the Life Alignment method. I opened my clinic and am teaching the method as well as treating people individually, to enhance wellbeing in their lives. With the gift of retrospection I now know how I could have changed my attitude, or what other venues I could have used in order to harmonize the conflicting forces that were distressing me then.

I found the way to love my life again. For the past 16 years I have the best boss ever…  My boss has many names: The Universe, The collective consciousness, God, whatever suits you.  People hear of my work and come for sessions. If I’m not feeling well, they start calling up to reschedule their appointments, because my boss knows that I need some time off…. Now I don’t suffer from loyalty issues anymore… Thank God!

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