Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Define “Team Player”

, , , , , , , , | Working | April 27, 2023

Many years ago, the company I worked in doing radio systems design had a group doing medical systems. A customer approached them with a requirement for a “pill” that was a swallowable endoscope to send back pictures of the small bowel — something that cannot readily be done with a conventional endoscope.

The medical products group had no radio design experience and they “borrowed” me for a three-day meeting in California. My manager, who I didn’t get on with, justified it to his manager by saying, “It’s only three days, and they haven’t a hope in h*** of getting the contract.”

So, off I went to California with a marketing man from Sweden, where the design work would be done, and we got the contract — which proved to be worth about $15 million by the time it was finished. The three days turned into three and half years as other projects appeared, much of which saw me in Sweden and California, and occasionally at my desk in the UK.

Toward the end of this time, layoffs were coming. My UK manager, who I had hardly seen, gave me a review — something he should have done annually but was too lazy to bother with. He said, not knowing or possibly not caring what I had been doing, that I “didn’t contribute” and “wasn’t a team player,” obviously setting me up to be laid off.

Three weeks later when I was in Sweden, the last flight back to London was delayed and I eventually got home at 3:00 am. The following day, Thursday, I didn’t go to work, but I went in on Friday to find a number of strange emails.

That Thursday, there had been a worldwide electronic meeting covering the US, Canada, Sweden, and Japan with subcontractors in Russia, Spain, and Australia. There it was announced that I had been given a $5,000 special award for “contributions to the Medical Products Group design team” — thus the strange emails.

Rather than being laid off, I was transferred permanently to that group, and my old manager took a voluntary layoff!

Karma, indeed…

Question of the Week

What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

I have a story to share!