Monday, April 12, 2010

There's a Person for That

I've just started a new gig with a larger company. By far, not the largest company in my employment history, but certainly not the smallest. The last company went under (yes, hence the asset sale of a prior post), and never cleared 30 people. This one is a good 2+ orders of magnitude larger and publicly traded. I'm back to a cube, and back to a world of proper business casual attire.

As I sit here being guided through our new hire orientation, in which I'm being read the orientation guide by a team of folks from a variety of disciplines, from IT to HR. On my to-do list are meetings with public relations, analyst relations, web site management, collateral management and trade show people. There's someone whose whole role is managing analysts. A team, really. And they are distinct from the investor relations people. There's someone who manages the web site, though I have to contribute my content. They organize the content, pick the colors, place the banner ads and manage the customer registrations. There's someone who books the trade show booth, and ensures we have carpeting and scanners and signs and freebies, and ensures I get a shirt with a logo. They pick the color of the shirt. They put the logo on it. They produce glossy copies of product information. They negotiate speaking schedules. Someone else manages the implementation. Someone else fixes the laptops. Someone else manages the budget.

I'm knee deep in corporate information, product information, competitive information and roadmap information, all of which I ought to know cold in a manner of weeks. It's a broad product portfolio, so this is no small task. But, I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of the team is around me. All those jobs - I used to do them. Me and one of the many friends of TC (shout out - SJ!) at different times, and then some. I toiled through the canape choices for a cocktail party, negotiated prices for branded polo shirts, organized meetings with partners, and created PR campaigns to get press coverage.  Now, all I have to do is the core of my job - the actual marketing of the product.

I am certain this job will challenge me. I'm certain I'll be up to my gills in work. But, for the moment, I'm blown away by the team. It's refreshing. I'm happy.


Priya said...

the best part is, behind every staff employee there's a consultant or vendor who does actual work. i promise when you start digging you'll find out that every one of these people, down to the lowly trinket buyer, actually works with another company that "manages" their trinket buying for them. the amount of overhead to do any actual work is pretty high.

Capt. BS said...

Given all of these layers of management, abstraction, and obfuscation, could one of you folks working for Fortune 500/1000 companies please quietly funnel a measly 200K or so to my poor, so that we may continue to exist for another year? I don't think anyone would notice. Please, help out that poor old lady in Harvard Square who's constantly imploring of you, "Spare change please ma'am sir miss!"