In what can be one of the most jarring experiences I can recall this past year, I was without warning let go from my job as a web project manager. While this would normally bother me to no end, let me tell you how the day-to-day operations was like at REDACTED. For those skillful Internet searchers, the company I worked for is located in Los Angeles. We only recently moved there the beginning of September from a small city just by the border of South Pasadena. We cleverly advertise a “full internet marketing” agency when we in fact outsource to India for a majority of the work. Yelp reviews are a resounding 5 stars across the board, but strangely only date back to 2014 and without a negative review to be found. The lowercase e in our name lets our clients know we’re all about the Internet and not afraid to boast our rankings as “one of the top SEOs”.
I promise there’s only a hint of sarcasm in that description.
Refunds (or lack of thereof)
If you were one of the unlucky few who were magically called upon by one of our sales people and lured into the unforgiving trap we set forth on your credit card, getting you the website you wanted was far from our priority. Deadlines often ran far into the third month when we quoted customers a turnaround time of just 1-2. What if you wanted a refund, you might ask? We don’t give out refunds. Ever. Keeping you on billing was skillfully executed by our most seasoned managers who knew how to keep clients relatively happy with little to no work to show for it. If there was a billing mistake and you were commonly overcharged you would recieve additional months of service. That only begs the question: If the service is free, does that make it good? Nope.
Take a large company with many departments who don’t regularly coordinate communication with each other and what do you end up with? A huge cluster fuck of “I didn’t know.” and “Oh did they?”. I heard that more times than was considered normal. If a client requested a change in service, I never trusted my email to magically make it to the right hands or monitors or even have it properly forwarded to the right people as protocol would dictate. Might I remind you that our “new process”—as one jolly gentle project manager put it—was an incredible fifty pages in length. As thorough and well written in formalities as the language on bounded paper was, this “new process” was more of a front for the amount of half-assed shenanigans that was regularly going on.
Lastly, come my thoughts on the people working there. Not everyone who worked there was a quack. In fact, there were a select few who rightfully earned their places high up in the company. Guys in billing, and the big boss lady are the best examples that I know of who had every right to each letter of their title. However, look down a few rows and you couldn’t help but notice the high school students in social media who laughed and chuckled every time you caught them walking through the hallway. Better yet, my own manager (who I shall not name) was every bit a kid in disguise with a troubling past and more run-ins with the law than one could reasonably laugh at.
To end this on a positive note, see ya M___, M____, and V____. Those three people weren’t just my co-workers who sat beside me. I can honestly say without a doubt they were also my friends—and that is something I will truly miss about not working there. Laughs were shared, crazy and wild stories were exchanged, and just a little bit of ourselves rubbed off on one another to make a small difference.
So long, farewell, and a can of Coke.