Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Boo Boo Kitty

Sitting in a meeting, we had a discussion with a client. Client wanted us to share information with a third party which we can not do. Client complained. Client said in his previous line of work, he decided who had information or not. Client complained some more.

Years ago, and long before our current state of economic crisis for many people, I worked for a Fortune 15 Company. F15Co bought other companies like my Mom used to buy doughnuts for us at the bakery: O' Plenty.

These companies and employees would be absorbed, sometimes quickly, into our labyrinth. This absorption can be challenging, understood. Most people, happy to still be employed, make the transition smoothly. Some do not.

What I grew very quickly to enjoy very little is this:

Why do we have to do that? To which an explanation was given. And then, sometimes much too often, I would get this: When we worked at Company X (the purchased company) we didn't have to do that.

Listen, I get it. I really do. I think the F15Co I worked at tried very hard to make the transition easy for people. And I came to F15Co from a previous corporation bought in a hostile takeover the ugliness of which was covered in every major news and business chronicle. Because of this I personally attest to how difficult it is to work at a company and be bought and absorbed into another company where corporate missions, cultures, and protocols do not necessarily (or easily) mesh. And I get that sometimes the transition is rough. I worked at F15Co and moved offices three times in one year. Put up a fight about it? NO. It's an office. That I don't own. In a building. I don't own. In a corporation. I also don't own. Its not my living room. I don't care if I move offices ten times.

But, there is a small group of people convinced that "because I didn't have to before" is simple and feasible reply . Guess what? Is is not.  

And this is for whom I coined the phrase Boo Boo Kitty. And it is said sometimes while I pretend to whisk tears off my cheeks.

This is what I dealt with in the legal department:

Angry employee: Is that what we have to do now? At our "new company?" Well, I am NOT going to do that and "new company" can kiss my arse.

The first several times, I was empathetic. Again, many people do not like change or handle it well. But at what point do you simply need to adapt? Can you run around asking "who moved my cheese?" for the next 12 months? NO.

So after dozens of conversations like this I once provided a different response.

Me: Let me explain something about commerce to you. An analogy if you will. "Your company" is like the girl standing on the corner of 14th and Crescent at 2:30 am. "New company" is the man in the long black sedan who pulls up with a curious and healthy interest in your services. Guess who decides what is going to happen? The man with the cash.

Bottom line: the person who signs the check is the one who decides how things will be done. If you don't like it, and new company isn't for you, move along.

And after about the 100th time I heard We did not have to do this before I decided I no longer liked that response. So to the 101st person who said it to me, she got this response:

Listen, I get it. I know you didn't have to do this before (maybe Company X SHOULD HAVE done this and you would still have a Company X to drive to everyday). However, I did not have to pay my own bills or cook my own meals at one point in my life either. When I lived at my parents house. But that is not the day I am living in any more. So I need you to get on board.

I know you hate all the new policies. Do you like having a job though?
Awwwwwwwwww, Boo Boo Kitty.

So, sometimes Boo Boo Kitty is a handy expression. And I will admit, I have used it multiple times since there in a variety of ways, for a variety of people. Admittedly, I have even used it in self-reference when I might have allegedly been salty about something, with my lip out like a 2 year old, acting like, well, a perfect Boo Boo Kitty.

33 comments:

The Random Blogette said...

Good for you! I hear this so much. I work for a small IT Company but I think that anyone who has a job right now should kiss their boss's feet! Those people who were absorbed should feel lucky, not resentful. I understand that change is hard but it happens. I totally believe that what you told the 101st person is perfect! People need to stop whining and grow up!

vanilla said...

Excellent. She who holds the purse strings also holds the reins. Why don't people get this?

Ed said...

wow. I am confounded by your ability to come up with a seemingly innocent, and yet at the same time derogatory, term that addresses such behavior.

I bet your law school professors are SO proud.


(sarcasm)


Seriously though, Boo Boo Kitty reminds me more of something you'd see at a pantsless Halloween party.

Simply Suthern said...

We use Index finger sliding back and forth over the thumb, the worlds smallest violin playing a sad sad song visual.

Sometimes change sucks. But those folks eliminated in the mergers would swap places in a heartbeat.

brainella said...

Try working for the government!Holy hell on skates -- what a big bunch babies. And they never retire and leave the rest of us in peace. No, that would be too simple.

Jenn @ Youknow...that Blog? said...

Big giant YUP on this one :)

My comeback is generally "Awww, Muffin." I tend not to sympathize. Like you said, "do you like having a job?" Suck it up, princess.

Have a super day, JM!

Bouncin' Barb said...

My line when I became a new manager for a new company and had much resistence to my changes (which were successful) was this: Everyone has the power within them to make choices. You can choose to do it the new way or you can choose to find something that better suits your needs. Either way, the new way will be done by everyone. That's why I was hired!

Brian Miller said...

yep been there...used to work for citi and buy up little financial companies and experienced much the same...

Little Ms J said...

Mine is, "Aw, Pumpkin," with a pouty face. I do like Boo Boo Kitty, but I've got a lot of pumpkin heads around my office now. I could totally confuse the dynamic.

Pricilla said...

Before my brain went south on me I was in banking.
Community Banking.
In the 80ies.

Need I say more?
Do I have to tell you how many times I had to remember what my bank was when I answered the phone?

Oh, I was a Branch Manager and VP so I get it.

Kristina P. said...

Love it. Will try to work it in today.

Eva Gallant said...

I worked for a bank that bought up other banks and weveral times had to go to the new acquisitions to help them adapt, so I know what you are saying. It's frustrating on both sides.

Princess said...

From this entire post, I gathered that people never really grow up. It truly sounded similar to conversations with my children. "Daddy cuts my sandwiches this way." "Grammie lets us do _____." Boo Boo Kitty. That's awesome!

Michael said...

I wish it was isolated to just company take overs. Unfortunately at my place of business it relates to new policies and such the higher ups decide on and I grow so weary of the whining. I think I'm going to adopt the expression, although I may just wait until the 101st time I hear a whine, that should be next week sometime.

Hookin It With Mr. Lick Lick said...

The company I work for now, bought the company I used to work for. I totally understand what you are saying, because I also saw that happening.

There is also the other side where 'our stuff' is a tad different but along the same line (that's why we were bought to begin with), and some of 'their' people not understanding what it is we do exactly and what needs to happen to meld our companies together seamlessly, and not miss a beat. They would not even listen to what we had to say to help with a smooth transition. As if 'we' didn't know what we were talking about, that they knew exactly what needed to happen.

Up until the time to 'Go Live' and our stuff would not work because they would not listen to us about how 'our stuff worked'.

Guess what? They had to start all over from scratch and listen to us about what our needs were to make it all work together (this came down from the top IT boss). As it should have been from the beginning. I'm talking months. A lot of time and money wasted.

My boss was told plain out that she needed to 'shut up' when trying to explain how it needed to work in order for us to keep selling and shipping product. Nice way to start a working relationship with the company your boss just bought huh??

As a side note - we are two of the few left from the original company that was bought.

I totally related to what you were saying but lived the 'other side' of the corporate buy out too.

sweethomeamy said...

Right on. I am in a position at a company that's never had someone in my position before. So I get to hear, "We've always done it this way...we want to change, but we don't want to change." To which I have started replying, "You know what? I don't care how you 'feel'. I care about what's best for the company. We're changing. Deal with it."

I like your "boo boo kitty" expression. Maybe I'll start incorporating that into my vocabulary!

Mommy Lisa said...

Love the message - hate that book "Who moved my cheese?" too sappy for my taste.

I much prefer your hooker analogy. ;)

Amber said...

Loved the read and we stole some stuff hope you don't mind

mermaid gallery said...

I bought my husband one of those cards that you open up and it makes noises....this one cries like a baby. He uses it all of the time when necessary...nothing stops them faster than the crying baby card......

Talia said...

True, true, true! And, I love boo boo kitty. I am totally stealing that line!

Janet said...

I used to get this all the time at my previous job. "Well when C...was in charge we had to..." Right, and that was how long ago? Six years? Right.

MommaAmma said...

Oh I like the term! Not the people. I work with a ton of those through my client and strangely enough they are canned left and right. Adapt, shut your mouth, go forth, make money, keep your mortgage. So simple.

I'm Jane said...

HA! Love it! Just went through a merger too. My observation was that when people feel like they can't control any element of a situation, they focus in on the little, insignificant things like, "What if they don't let us wear jeans to work anymore", or "But I don't want a fleet car, I want to keep my car allowance!" or "WHAT IF THEY DON'T LET US KEEP OUR MACS AND WE HAVE TO GO BACK TO PC!!!!" It's a way of refocusing themselves away from the fear and insecurity that comes with monumental change. It dies down eventually. But not before making Legal and HR a little crazy. :)

Inge' said...

Like many others, my company was also bought out by another company. Now we have a revolving door of Gaming managers itching to leave their mark and move on.

As long as my paycheck doesn't bounce, I don't care who is in charge. I am just happy to still have a job.

My "Boo Boo Kitty" saying is a little more saltier but with a twist of the south. I prefer "Who pissed in your iced tea?" If I am really tired of hearing the whine I will remind them that like the "old days" there are at least 150 people that would kill to have their job so STFU. Sorry for my language:)

the walking man said...

Not to be overly crude but all I ever got when someone else took over was; "If you don't like it get the fuck out. I can train a monkey to do your job and most likely better and for less money so what's it going to be?" which f course i prefer over this whole Boo Boo Kitty thing, that may have come to physical altercations using 2 3/4 inch wrenches.

Chelsea said...

Love it! I'm going to use it on my students... they always think they have the bad end of some deal because we are asking them to, you know, learn stuff.
yeah, we suck.
I'm having a boo boo kitty day myself, though. I guess I should get over it. See, the thing is, I'm having a really hard time getting an appointment to get my hair did. Yeah, it's rough.

Grand Pooba said...

Definitely stealin that!

Anonymous said...

OOh, good vent. I love a good vent. Well done.

Kristy said...

Love it, great strategy. Will come in useful when I listen to an a-hole at work repeatedly remind us all how things were done in "his" district. Blah.

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

Will this work on kids? I think it might... hmm.

KittyCat said...

Great saying. Yes most ppl dont deal with change very well.

I love change. only cause I get bored very easy.

Elz said...

I wish I could tell my clients-Oh, poor boo boo kitty. UGh. So much whining. I feel like I mother more than lawyer sometimes!

Maria said...

Boy, if I had a dollar for everytime I hear, "But Ms. B didn't do it like that..." Guess what, I am not Ms. B. This is how we do it now. Guess what else, this is probably NOT how next year's teacher is going to do it. Roll with the punches folks...

At least you know you are not the only one...Boo Boo Kitty...