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Long term relationship tanking.
End of the line coming fast.

 3:33 am on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Being set up for the axe. No question. Owner is looking to make numerous upgrades to sites and documents that will have some 'life span' and I will be history very shortly after. September at the latest.

Dragging my feet a bit on the way to the guillotine for a few extra paychecks, and to figure out a Plan B. Not supposed to know this is coming (will be an escorted from the office hatchet job), but I do, and it's not a surprise anyway. I see the same data as the owner does. His choices, my job. One of those things..... Hate being thrown out the window of a company that I did so much to help build. A real shame. Giving strong consideration to just quitting. (Though I've been deemed expendable, there is a lot that they want done first - and am not feeling terrific about that. Leaving first will put some deserving people in a tough spot for a while.)

Check me off as officially 'disguntled'. Short of anything that puts me over the line, or even near the line, of liability - my inclination is to spill as much of their blood as possible.

One issue is security; lack of. I've looked the other way many times on many security issues - an expected part of the job.

This company stores CC numbers with an online service. It also stores the CVV numbers with that data; a huge TOS violation. Huge enough that I would wonder, in the event of a traceable breach, if the corporate shield could be penetrated directly to the owner due to the extreme negligence of deliberately retaining those numbers and retaining them with the CC number itself.? If the online service is compromised, or the company's weak usernames and passwords are compromised 'in house', thousands of customers would be exposed.

I have always opposed this, but gone along with the expected policy for the paycheck.

Can I 'whistle blow' this practice without being vulnerable to liability of disclosing 'company secrets'? I know - a question for a lawyer. And I intend to take a consultation to get a solid overview of what tripwires that I will have to beware of. No non-compete, and I know this niche every which way. It's not an opportunity that I want, but may be a great thing longterm. Bad decisions are leading to worse decisions, and this could be a good thing. I've got the expertise, the capital; know every competitor, vendor, customer worth knowing..... why not?

But back to the CVV - Is exposing this practice 'whistle blower' protected? It's not like the source will be a secret; I don't even have to be anonymous (2 + 2 = 4), but is there a set 'industry standard' for this?



 3:51 am on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Whenever a door closes, a new one opens - usually a better one. Emotions aside, you'll need a reference when sending out CVs. And think about it: if the dam ever breaks on the data, you won't be there to take the heat; so take comfort in that. And hope for a nice severance package.

Also, when let go or laid off, you're eligible for collecting unemployment benefits (if needed). When you quit, you're not.


 4:01 am on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Whistleblowing is a poor career choice.

Whether you're in the right or in the wrong, it usually ends up as a train wreck for the whistleblower. I'm not talking about morality, or even legality, it's just how the world seems to work. Don't take my word on it. Track some news story involving a whistleblower, and watch how they come out of it. The outcome is usually not good, even if they succeed in bringing the target down.

On top of that, the thing you want to blow the whistle on, okay it's wrong, but it's not exactly selling babies into slavery. They store the CVV number when their own terms of service claim they only store the credit card number and expiry date? Outrageous!

You say you could slay them in fair competition. If so, then that's your best revenge. Also, use every resource at your disposal at work to set up a new business. But forget the whistleblowing option.


 4:20 am on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Giving strong consideration to just quitting.

If you're in the United States you will make yourself ineligible to collect unemployment benefits while you're between jobs.

Check me off as officially 'disguntled'.

You know the sales data hasn't been good. Wouldn't you do the same?

If you keep working for others then layoffs, firings, and businesses that disappear overnight can be expected. It's a fairly normal experience of life, like losing a favorite girlfriend now and then and experiencing an auto accident. It's the stuff of life. Surf it.

I agree with Marcia, it's always been my experience with the one door closing another opens thing.


 12:31 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Stop taking it so personally...being made redundant is a great life experience not to be missed. Do your job well till then even though you know what's gonna happen. Keep your eyes open for something else...if you find something better take it.


 7:24 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I was in this EXACT same position about 6 years ago. SERIOUSLY. I had inside information that could bring the company to their knees, I was p****ed at putting so much into the company and no one gave a crap, the same thoughts passed through my head, the whole deal.

But as it turns out, parting ways with that company turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me.

Set aside your emotions and wait for this revelation to come to you. Anything you can do to draw blood is going to come BACK to you tenfold. No one in your business will be able to trust you, and you'll lose so much more ground than gain it with petty revenge. Rest assured that it will be THEIR karma that will come back on them.

Shortly after I left, the company was sold to another, who was then sold to another. Departments dropped like flies, everyone that was instrumental in bringing down the company all lost their jobs.

Here is what you have, and this is more valuable than the purest chunk of gold: you have seen things from the inside out, things that no one else will ever have the chance to see, and you know the true danger of what is WRONG. You can tell people this, but no one will really know, not like you do. Use what you've learned to rise above them.

Go with this one, life's about to change and it will change for the better. Although it doesn't seem like it now, you should be CELEBRATING!


 7:33 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

This company stores CC numbers ...

I have always opposed this, but gone along with the expected policy for the paycheck.

Two questions:
1) Does/did your job involve working with the CC numbers (e.g., the design/coding end of things)?
2) Do you have a paper trail to backup your strong opposition to the practice?

Be careful or you could end up being a fall guy. What happens if there IS a security breach and the owner points his finger at you as a sacrifical lamb, saying he had no idea about the process? Do you have ample evidence against that?


 7:43 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

if you're that unhappy then maybe it would be better to just quit.
instead of sitting there brooding for three months maybe it would be better to just up and leave and in three months time when the axe falls you'll already be settled in a new place.


 9:23 pm on Jun 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

>Be careful or you could end up being a fall guy.

As a professional it can sometimes be very difficult to decide how to handle thses things with personal, client and public interest conflicts. I have sent you a link that may help.


 3:45 pm on Jun 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

Never burn the bridge unless you have a job opportunity already lined up. I've only rockstarred once and I have no regrets about it.

I'd just start setting up your own website in the meantime, and when the day comes, Viola! you site launches.

Fortune Hunter

 2:42 am on Jun 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

One of those things..... Hate being thrown out the window of a company that I did so much to help build.

This is one of the unfortunate realities of employment in the U.S. today and probably other countries as well. Only security you can expect is the one in yourself. Having good salable skills and being an entrepreneur is the best route.

If you keep working for others then layoffs, firings, and businesses that disappear overnight can be expected. It's a fairly normal experience of life,

This is a perfectly accurate statement. That is why having your own business designed around what you love doing with multiple profit centers is the way to go. I was fired from the last job I ever held about 5 years ago. I started my own business shortly after and I can tell you with absolutely certainty this is probably one of the single greatest decisions I have ever made. I can also tell you I didn't think so at the time, but in retrospect, a great thing.

Personally, if I were in your place I would not quit. I would spend the next few months forming a new business, getting business cards, software, marketing and networking for new clients etc. Hopefully the next 90 days or so will be a big three months for you to get a business up and running. If you do this instead of figuring out how to get revenge when ax day does arrive you can take satisfaction in the fact that you have started building security nobody will ever take away from you again. If you still need more time you can use your unemployment benefits as well.

Either way you have two choices in front of you. One is to focus on how wronged you will be and plotting a revenge that will end up hurting you in ways you can't even predict right now and the other is to use the time you have wisely to build a security that is bullet proof for the rest of your life.


 8:11 am on Jun 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

First, don't quit.

Second, don't let it come to being made redundant without having a few frank words with your major shareholders. You know what's lined up so you have nothing to lose by rocking the boat and telling them exactly what's going wrong with their company.

You may be surprised by the way that frank words in a time of difficulty are received; and if they are acted upon it could lead not only to you not being made redundant but being favoured for a management role or a seat on the board.

Nobody who has a major investment in a company wants to see it hit the ground, however it may be just that there are no options being presented other than downsizing and cutting costs.

Fortune Hunter

 6:48 pm on Jun 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

and if they are acted upon it could lead not only to you not being made redundant but being favoured for a management role or a seat on the board.

I can appreciate this opinion, but the flip side to look at this issue is that the sales are still going down and doing an action like this may save your job, for a little while anyway, but also cause a lot of raw feelings with people you may still have to work with. You will continue to collect a paycheck, but I can think of easier ways to make a living than going into a company that doesn't really want me; working with people that don't appreciate me.

However I recognize not all people are ready to be entrepreneurs, and some never will be, so at the end of the day you have to make the decision that YOU can personally live with.

Vince has a good point and you may find a way to come out of this fine and your boss would get the ax for incompetence instead, but in my experience that is a distant long shot. The guys at the top are typically better protected than you and in a position to put all the problems on your shoulders and make it stick. Look at the guys at Enron, one can argue they finally got indicted, but the guys in the middle and bottom got shafted much worse than the management team and those are the people ultimately responsible.


 10:04 pm on Jul 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have had to downsize employees a few times - it sucks. I kept them as long as I could, but in the end it becomes a matter of save the company or save the individual... only to have the company die because of bloated payroll.

If you "did so much" to build the company, then it should be simple for you to build your own.

If your work is valued, then the company may become the biggest client of your new consulting business - it has happened thousands of times before. If you screw them, I am pretty sure they won't hire you back as a contractor. By the way, I have used former employees as contractors a number of times.

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