2003.09.26

pissed off

i am pissed off. i’m still on a rant about corporate america.

why is it that companies feel obligated to court sales people? they have their cell phones paid for, they go on business trips with convenient extra days tacked on, they keep their own hours, they get to go on team building trips (often to exotic locations). why? what more do they contribute that any other employee doesn’t?

i work for a magazine. i’m in the IT department. i don’t sell a single thing to anyone and in fact, from the companies point of view, i cost because my department spends money. sales people, on the other hand, bring in money. they sell advertising space, they generate interest in consumers to buy our product (if you lump in marketing with sales, which is often the case). yet without our support they would soon not be able to do their jobs. without us, there eventually wouldn’t be any sales.

look at the typical editor for our magazine. they help make the content that sales people sell. if we didn’t have editors, the content would either suck or not exist, then sales people wouldn’t have anything to sell.

look at the typical assistant. they do all the grunt work for whoever they work for so that person can focus on their jobs. without that support the person wouldn’t be able to do their jobs as efficiently, time would be going into making photocopies, or sending mailings, or simply answering the phones.

not a single one of us is appreciated by the corporate aspect. i mean, yes, they pay us, but it’s like we are expected to do our jobs and if we have to work extra they don’t feel too badly about it, do they? no. when i have to stay late to fix a computer some incompetent sales person destroyed because they deleted some system files, they don’t stay late. they take a mini-vacation because they can’t get any work done anyways. in fact often we are complained about because, as we are in charge (supposedly) of technology, it must be our fault the computer doesn’t work. it’s our fault.

freaking idiots.

specifically, what is pissing me off today, is that our sales department just went on an all expenses paid team building trip. loads of them. i’m sure there was some actual work involved, maybe a few hours in the day of motivational speeches and videos, little seminars, etc. however, they also went white water rafting, went to saunas for massages and steam bathes, had meals at nice restaurants and went to the bars afterwards where they didn’t pay for a single drink. why? i can’t even get a decent raise, and how much money did they spend on this trip?

let’s assume only 20 people went. this is a gross understatement, but let’s just use that figure.

airline tickets: $250 x 20: $5000
hotel. $100 x 20 x 3 nights: $6000
meals: $15 x 20 x 3 days x 2 meals: $1800 + tip: $2070
presentation areas: rental ~$1000
transportation for trips: ~$2000
whitewater rafting: $50 x 20: $1000
saunas: $50 x 20: $1000
bartab: $4 x 2 drinks x 3 nights x 15 people: $360 + tip: $410

total: $18480

i know for a fact there were more than 20 people at this sales meeting. not too shabby. note that i severely understated the actual cost of things. airline tickets probably cost more. the hotel is surely not a cheap hotel. meals cost more than $15 normally, and they probably went to fancy locations. the rest is surely off, too. for example while i’m sure not all of them drink, those that do probably had more than two drinks, and not just $4 drinks.

however -assuming they did it the cheap way i outline- i suppose any company would think this was a great price tag to motivate their sales force to do better.

you’d think they would spend a proportionate amount of money to motivate my department (or even let us take classes). you’d think they could divide that up by 40 and give each of our magazine editorial staff a $500 gift certificate as a way of saying thanks. you might even think they would take a fraction of that and send the assistants flowers (or concert tickets or whatever) and a thank you note for all their hard, thankless work.

no.

why?

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