OT the "JC" mind

The last place I worked, the owner generally tried to do right by people, In 2009, when we worker bees got a pay cut, he cut the honcho’s pay by a larger percentage, and stopped drawing pay for himself entirely.

Having been out of office furniture for a while now, I did not know that Herman Miller, of Zeeland, MI, had merged with Knoll. You can imagine what the plague and “work from home” has done to the office furniture industry.

The CEO of, now, MillerKnoll, has managed to make herself famous. After pocketing millions per year herself, she berates her employees for their concerns that they may not receive an end-of-fiscal-year bonus, and in effect tells them “shut up and work”.

This report is from WZZM in Grand Rapids, only a few miles from MillerKnoll in Zeeland. This report is about the company’s PR department trying to walk back the CEO’s comments from a few days earlier.

This is the initial report:


Ah, there is more. The CEO of Clearlink, based in Utah, telling his employees they can’t divide their time between work and having a pet or children. Apparently, he thinks employees need to spend every waking moment making him richer, and nothing else.


Fortunately, they’re not all like that. When the founders of Kingston Technologies (the memory chip maker) sold a majority interest in the company, they famously shared the proceeds with all of their employees. And not just a token amount. The average bonus was in excess of 100k.

On the other hand, that I have to go back two and a half decades to find such an example doesn’t speak well for JC’s in general.


My favorite bad CEO was Hector Ruiz of AMD. He was a director of semiconductor at Motorola where he demanded they remodel a nice office for him by grabbing engineering space for the view. This disrupted the team during a critical stage towards the end of the project. Just before he moved into that office he left to be CEO of AMD. That engineering team was livid.

I was hired into AMD a few years after that. Hector nearly ran the company into the ground. Tried to take on Intel legally, which honestly was a mistake. The company started stumbling some as well. Got to the point he needed to sell off the wafer fabs to get the capital to keep the company going. Then the '08 turmoil hits. AMD has laid off so many people at this point that they can’t lose any more. So they cut salaries 10%, suspend 401k match, and all bonuses get scuttled. Except for… Hector. Hector spins off Global Foundries, makes himself CEO of Global Foundries, and takes a $3 million dollar bonus on his way out the door.

I’ve never seen the rank and file so livid in my life. People openly bad mouthing both Hector and AMD, in rough language, in the hallways, in meetings. No bonus for us, pay cuts for us, he gets $3M from the company he slowly ran into the ground.

I’m honestly surprised the company survived, but it really was close. Very impressive what Lisa has been able to do with the ruins of a company she took hold of though.


Yup. The common thread of the two CEOs in the videos above is that the rest of us only exist to work to make the CEOs richer. Seems likely that those people who are CEOs now, were once peons. Amazing how they have forgotten the times they were treated like expendable costs to be minimized, so the CEO could stuff more loot in his own pocket. Or, maybe it is like the frat hazing tradition. Having suffered the treatment when young, CEOs adopt the attitudes of their tormentors.


I liked this “Conversation with the Boss”

‘Thank you’: Worker’s unorthodox response to boss’s criticism sparks online discussion (msn.com)

[[“This is the discussion that was sparked online when this worker took an unorthodox approach to their boss’s criticism by replying with a curt “Thank you.” when their boss told them that they worked “Far below their potential.” Their boss was surprised by their response, prompting the worker to go on and elaborate that they had a satisfactory performance already and that putting more into their role would not have earned them any further compensation or consideration from the company.”]]

That was my attitude during my 17-year long engineering career which came to a halt once I’d accumuated enough capital to live off the “4% rule” at age 38 and quit.

The savvy boss gets as much uncompensated overtime as possible from the employee. And the savvy employee just does enough to keep from getting fired. Unless the employer has presented you with a clear path to steadily increasing compensation, you’re wasting your time.



They probably haven’t forgotten, this is their revenge/payback.


“Spend your time and your effort thinking about the $26 million we need and not thinking about what you’re going to do if you don’t get a bonus. All right? Can I get some commitment for that?”

Translation: You losers won‘t get any anyway!

Her ‚energizing and empathic‘ pep speech has made it into the European media. JC’s finest hour. Reportedly:

“We have a meeting at the beginning of every shift,” one employee told the Holland Sentinel on Wednesday.

“Last night the comments were brought up in the meeting and they said if anybody spoke out, it wouldn’t be good for them and they could be terminated.”


The line I always got from the boss was “what are you going to do to take your performance to the next level?”

Typical “JC” attitude: “I can get an infinite amount of work out of this person, if I beat on him enough”.

I reached that happy point at 58. Walked out the door, never looked back, never doubted the correctness of the decision for a moment.


1 Like

Same attitude most of the places I worked. The District Manager at Radio Shack, in the monthly manager’s meeting, started going on about the company’s “open door policy”. His comments were met with derisive laughter from the store mangers, because we had all seen top management’s response to hearing something they didn’t want to hear, in person.



iirc, studies have shown most CEOs are sociopaths. Whether that is by nature, or nurture, is an interesting question. Have they always been sociopaths, or were they groomed into that mindset by their work experiences?


1 Like