Dec 6, 2008

The Unemployment Mambo

It's no big news these days that a Detroit-based company is cutting its workforce. It is surprising when it's a company that claims to be doing as well as ePrize. Despite cuts made in July, they've undergone another round of pruning this week.

The real surprise comes when, out of the settling dust, comes the name of some of those folks summarily dismissed. Amongst the score of people let go are at least three people that have been there three or more years, including one employee who helped extensively retool and build upon the infrastructure created by the last guy who did the same thing (before he was fired). Also amongst the bodies was an employee who came in with huge ideas that were warmly embraced by the company, displacing rogue elements... like me. Between him and another useless ass-kissing joker, this was almost a karmic sacking.

That these guys were longer-term employees may lead some to posit that this was more of a cost-saving measure to dismiss those who have higher salaries in favor of keeping lower priced hires. Yet another sign, too, of the lack of loyalty from the top all the way down the line. It seems that even if you're part of the family or a long-term hire, you can't count on ePrize sticking with you.

To all the folks fired - You may be devastated by the disloyalty and disservice from ePrize but, believe me, this is the best thing that could ever happen to you.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

So is no one getting let go where you work? Your company is immune to the recession? That's incredible. Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd post on this blog.
Since I left ePrize, I had continued to be amongst its most ardent supporters. The July firings made me raise a critical eyebrow, however. Those fired were people I had worked alongside for years and absolutely KNEW to be dedicated, competent and hard-working. To read the news and see them publicly labeled "underperforming" by Josh Linkner was a tasteless slap in the face to those who had given so much of their personal lives to his company.
This latest round included people who had been with ePrize since its infancy. How do you justify firing a man who built a large portion of your beloved prize-awarding information architecture? A man who sacrificed countless nights, weekends, holidays, and vacations to make sure the work got done. What do you say to a man who, literally, made millions for your company? "Gee. Thanks for making me all that money. Sales are slower now (and we found someone who'll do your job for less money) so - You're Fired! Happy Holidays. xxxooo, ePrize"
I'm sure we'll hear "business is business", "its not personal", and "tough times require tough decisions". There is also, my friends, something to be said for remembering those who helped get you to the success level you're at. Even in business, there has to be some loyalty. ePrize asks for it - frequently - from its employees.
ePrize used to be fun. Used to be that I couldn't wait to come to work each day. We cared about the company and its success - not just for personal gain, but because we believed in ePrize, our fellow co-workers, and those who ran the company. And we thought there, for a time, that the management cared about us. Seems the company grew, but the morality shrunk. Congratulations, Josh. You've really become a big business CEO.

Anonymous said...

The economy sucks, and ePrize only laid off 5% of the team? I think it is great that it isn't 30% of the team like in many places. "Morality" is great and all if there is money to pay everyone. As an employee, I'm glad the leaders make these tough calls to ensure our survival. I'm glad I have a good job, and love the company. This is a bummer for everyone, but is could be much worse.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous (LOL) Don't be surprised that Jeremy Walker was let go. Yeah, the guy used to fucking sleep there, working 23/7 (taking an hour out for bathroom breaks) but everyone could have seen that coming after Les Orchard, the guy who literally built toybox, got the can a few years prior. Loyalty... not one of the core tenants of the company.

Anonymous said...

There are layoffs all over. Just hard to imagine that ePrize, the company that portrays itself as bulletproof, would need to fire anyone.

Or is that the force of Slither at work?

Anonymous said...

You guys are idiots. Almost every major company in america is trimming costs including yahoo and google. Hospitals are laying off doctors. GM stock is at 50-year lows. Warren Buffett had to bail out GE. Easy for you to point fingers at ePrize. They still have 300+ families they are feeding. I'm glad you are not running the company, since you're "loyalty" would run the company right out of business. What about being "loyal" to the rest of the people that work there, not to mention their investors? And "bulletproof"? Show me one company in the US that is bulletproof these days. Citibank, GM, Ford, GE, Yahoo, AOL? Do you know how many huge companies have filed bankruptcy this year?

Anonymous said...

"As an employee, I'm glad the leaders make these tough calls to ensure our survival."
I'm gonna take a quick guess here and say that you have been with the company less than two years. I do suggest that you revise that statement slightly. Instead of "our survival", say "ePirze's survival". My friend.. if you think you have job security... guess what? You don't.

Anonymous said...

'What about being "loyal" to the rest of the people that work there'
You're kidding, right?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, things are tough all over. I just wonder what kind of "rah rah" meeting was had afterwards.

Were the people leg go portrayed as "non performers" that had been "talked to" before? If so, you can pretty much count on that as being a lie. Those let go at ePrize are quickly vilified -- whether they were truly good employees or not.

Anonymous said...

The fact that this blog even exists tells you enough about this company. Getting fired from ePrize was the best thing that ever happened to me and my career.

Anonymous said...

You should put some ads on this blog, as you are likely to get a pretty large traffic increase in the coming months.

I suspect we will see a layoff of about this size each quarter for the next four quarters. It will only stop when ePrize gets under 200 employees again, as last year's efforts to scale up have not yet paid off. I am crossing my fingers that I am not in the next bunch!

Anonymous said...

The news about letting go "underperforming" employees more clearly defined ePrize than any of their typical manipulations of truth sent to the press. Horrible way to let people go. Hope it was an eye opener to the so called "raving fans"

Anonymous said...

Many companies are hiring in this industry. How long could Eprize keep up the growth? Seriously, what do they do that is so special?

My company is still hiring...

ePrize proponent no more said...

It's interesting there weren't more layoffs, with the financial mess ePrize is in. The board keep turning the screws on Josh, so how else is he going to meet their $MM expectations. Smoke and mirrors. Denigrating the people that leave is used to cover up the real issues, and to make the company seem financially stable; morality and deceit be damned. The incapable VPs means canning people is the only way to stop the bleeding. Any company so averse to change will always fail, and more so when nepotism over-rules incompetence. ePrize was once a shining light for the state of Michigan, but has rapidly declined into a disappointment.

ePrize - still strong and growing said...

You people are ridiculous. ePrize grew like 30% last year when most companies lost their ass. The company is still growing, strong, and healthy. Throw all the stones you want... it is just jealousy. Companies are not perfect, but the good ones like ePrize adapt and win. Tell me... how's your company doing right now in this economy? ePrize is a great companby with great leadership that will weather this storm and be even stronger. You know, for every great achievement in history there were dozens of negative nay-sayers just like you. History remembers the great ones, not the complainers.

Anonymous said...

It really seems like a lot of people hate this company, not just dislike it, but really despise it. Why?

ExPrizer said...

To address the last comment - I think that the reason for the vitriol comes from the company chewing people up, spitting them out, and saying how poorly they tasted.

ePrize isn't just a company - it's a way of life. That explains both the positive and negative comments here. The negativity stems from those who believed in the company while the company didn't believe in them -- or found something better/cheaper and cast them aside like wretched refuse. That hurts -- badly.

Anonymous said...

What does ePrize do that is special anyway? Our company (which I will not mention here)builds Flash and other technology based contests both online for websites and offline for kiosks and such. There is nothing difficult about it that can't be accomplished by an average designer and developer. We do it all the time, but on a smaller scale - in the same markets. We could scale up if we wanted the accompanying headaches with infrastructure and payroll, but we choose not to.

I see absolutely nothing unique in the ePrize world.

I smell serious hype here, as I see no unique market advantage that ePrize brings to the table.