Nine Signs You’re Working in a Sick Company

It’s difficult for most workers to know if their company is sick so that they could run for survival instead of catching the infection. To help them, here are nine signs that confirm a company’s sickness.

By Rakesh Raman

Rakesh Raman
Rakesh Raman

Some are sick because of the persisting recession. Others are sick because of their own weaknesses. Truth is that corporate sickness is spreading like plague all across the world. So, chances are that you’re also working in a sick outfit.

But it’s difficult for most workers to know if their company is sick so that they could run for survival instead of catching the infection. To help them, here are nine signs that confirm a company’s sickness.

1. Shabby Reception: Activities in the reception area are among the early signs. You’ll suddenly find that the beautiful female, who used to greet you with a silken smile every morning, is missing. And that trendy chair is occupied by a fat peon under whose weight the chair can give way any day. And when that peon is not around, a security guard is forced to double as guard and receptionist.

2. Cheap Coffee: The tasty tea bags and delicious coffee powder are replaced with cheap mixture at the tea and coffee vending machine in the office. And casually you will receive the innuendoes from the HR department to go slow on coffee. You must not dare to ignore such advice. It’s a known sickness sign.

3. No Payments: Your salary and other reimbursements will get delayed invariably on one pretext or the other. And you’ll find the mobile phones of people in the accounts department switched off to avoid external suppliers’ wrath. The emails to the accounts department to get the payments released will mostly fall in a pit on the other side. No response.

4. Economy Travel: This is a universally popular measure with the sick companies. You’re asked to travel by the cheapest airline or even a train instead of that top-of-the-line airliner that always gave you an extra kick. Moreover, you’ve to stay at a cheap inn instead of a proper hotel. And for local travel, you are asked to use public transport instead of that cool cab that was at your beck and call.

5. More Meetings: Corporate sickness also has its side effects, as bosses start feeling depressed. To overcome their depression, they’ll call you for multiple meetings that have neither any beginning nor any end. And in every meeting, you’ll be randomly asked to come again with new ideas. About what? No idea.

6. Innovation Pressure: The frequency of messages for you to innovate in your work will suddenly increase from the company’s top brass – so much so that you’ll develop doubt even on the concept of innovation. This is considered a way of artificially hiding sickness signs by the companies.

7. Tall Talk: Even the smallest activity of the company will be highlighted as a big feat. For example, if after a dozen reminders, the marketing department gets an email back from a potential foreign client, a message will be sent that global companies are exploring the possibilities of a tie-up with your company. Most companies and their owners don’t want to show that they’re in troubled waters.

8. Excessive Gossip: You’ll start gossiping even at the slightest opportunity – in the corridor, at lunch table, near the loo, and so on. This could be about the brash behavior of your boss, bad cold of your spouse, long tail of your cat, or your views on some hot affair. Your interest in your office work will wane gradually.

9. Stale Site: The news section of your company’s website will show even six-month-old news of giving the ‘best employee’ award to your colleague is the latest story. Your office phone numbers have changed, but the old numbers are still on the site. And emails of outsiders are bouncing back because your site’s disk quota is full.

So, what to do? If you find any or all of these symptoms around you, it’s time to act. Instead of cursing the captain of the sinking ship, you must jump. Simply jump out. You should.

By Rakesh Raman, the managing editor of RMN Company

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