Working For Gibson

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by omahaaudio, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. omahaaudio

    omahaaudio Senior Member

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  2. Heinz57Pep

    Heinz57Pep Member

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    My initial reaction to it is....tough rocks. That's what you signed up for when you chose to be a "leader" at Gibson.
     
  3. Tom CT

    Tom CT Old Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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  4. GuitarGuy66

    GuitarGuy66 Member

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    That's why it's sometimes better being one of the workers instead of staff.
     
  5. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Member

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    The comments section was the best part of that article.

    [​IMG]

    Some serious antipathy in those comments towards HJ who, truth be told, bought Gibson for a paltry $5 million in 1985 and now runs a company that has sales of over $800 million per year. That is one serious business success story which one would assume wouldn't have required a toxic management style.
     
  6. OOG

    OOG Member

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    There was a guy here a few years back called Clownpuncher who was a Gibson employee
    His posts about his life at Gibson were quite interesting to say the least
     
  7. texasdw

    texasdw Gold Supporting Member

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    Well. Sounds to me like 1) there was a LOT more to the story, and 2) this was upper management, not a line employee. Fair to expect a little more from somebody who is supposed to be setting an example. From Henry's response to that it seems the employee had clearly crossed the line before this email was written.

    I'm not really defending Henry's tone. As a CEO you also have to be careful with what you throw out there on email. But still. I'm in upper management as well, and I understand that the expectations for me are pretty high. I live up to that and therefore do not get (nor send) emails like that.
     
  8. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    Re-read the link. It has been updated with a lot more information / background on the situation.
     
  9. chrisjw5

    chrisjw5 Member

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    Agreed. I tend to generally think of Henry as an ass, but I completely get his point here. I also think he may have crossed more than a few HR lines, but his point? I get it. If you're a direct report to the CEO of a large company, you're getting paid well and setting an example is something you do as part of your job.
     
  10. DRS

    DRS Member

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    Being a CEO is more than counting widgets and dollars. A leader must have the ability to motivate the execs that report to him/her. Now fear of dismissal is a powerful motivator but not at the top echelons of management. If you are good enough to make a difference, you're good enough to find other employment and you know it. So a CEO must motivate by appealing to an execs pride in success and also desire for increased remuneration.
    If the employee was motivated by pride/gain, he/she would not be looking for days off. Poor work morale makes people scheme and snivel for days off.

    I suspect that Henry J probably doesn't want to pay what good people are worth so he may very well have an employee who isn't good enough to make a difference. He/she knows it and is open to the kind of abuse H dishes out. Especially in a down economy.

    Fear of dismissal is only for the line workers and it's a blunt instrument that will never bring out the best in even a line worker.
     
  11. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    If you re-read the article, you'll see that Henry provided more background on this:

    - - - - - -
    The headline does not truthfully reflect the email which was in the body of the article. That email was accurate but does not reflect the context of the situation.

    Our company offers generous vacation and sick days. Our concern is that these days are scheduled respecting what is happening at the company and the people that might be impacted.

    This executive had previously requested a day that I felt would potentially be disruptive and that request was denied by myself. That executive then emailed me that they were sick and they were absent on the day that had been denied. When asked for some proof of illness, they admitted they were not sick and had misled me.

    This executive has used the generous vacation policy to take a great many Mondays, Fridays and days before and after holidays off working consistent short weeks leaving the employees that work for them without leadership and showing insensitivity for the people that work for them and come in to work.

    The people copied on this email were top executives and this was only addressed to our top company leadership. This unnamed executive never asked to discuss our policy, my concerns or had made any attempt to communicate with me. It was clearly inappropriate to copy 20 other executives when they request a day off. This clearly send a message of an agenda on their part.

    Henry
     
  12. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    I'm a manager, and frankly the problem we have (and have had at every place I've worked at for the last twenty years) is getting people with seniority to take all the vacation, typically resulting in a skeleton crew from about mid November onwards, because people feel they're too busy to take their vacation, and then the end of the year looms and they're faced with the prospect of use it or lose it by December 31st. So, the idea of someone taking off a random day or two for a long weekend doesn't strike me as a problem. At all. As long as the would-be vacationer doesn't know that the day in question requires them to be present for some specific critical meeting or process--have at it. Until someone burns through all their vacation and sick time and then wants some time off, I'm not going to worry about it. Frankly, management is the least likely to be missed on a given day, and the line workers know that higher pay grades get more vacation and are glad to not have the boss around all time. And it's not clear at all that having someone gone for a week is easier to handle than five three day weekends through the year.

    If your business is as large as Gibson and requires senior management to be in the office except under the most extenuating of circumstances, you've got problems, and it's not the guy who wants a long weekend at Thanksgiving. Gibson is a factory that makes guitars and junk--how fragile is that work flow?

    Plus, the tone of the letter was ******. If you've got one guy with this "problem" of...taking the vacation that was promised to him as part of his compensation package, and you then dress him down with a cc to twenty other people, either you're trying to publicly shame him or you've got twenty other guys who also have this "problem", in which case it's again time to look in the mirror and start asking who the "problem" really is.
     
  13. fjblair

    fjblair Silver Supporting Member

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    Just from reading the emails it is pretty obvious this guy is a control freak and a prick.
     
  14. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Isn't Gibson known for being hateful to work for?
     
  15. DanR

    DanR Member

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    IMO Gibson has done some wacky things, product-wise. And Henry J just seems kind of weird. That said, in this particular situation, I don't think he is being unreasonable.
     
  16. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    The updated info provides some basis for refusing the request in this case because it sounds like the employee was not honest and essentially abused leave policies. I've been a manager over 20 yrs and may have dealt similarly with a manager who was dishonest with leave requests.

    But the 5 contiguous days of leave idea is complete asshat incompetent micromanagement of the highest order. Henry's throwing the baby out with the bath water here. What a d-bag.
     
  17. Squeakys

    Squeakys Senior Member

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    What really bothers me is the blatant pronoun-antecedent agreement errors in Henry's email. "They" functions as a plural pronoun, so he shouldn't use it to refer to "an executive," which is a singular noun.

    Personally, I think the board should ask for his resignation over such abuse of the English language.
     
  18. Scratchyrat

    Scratchyrat Member

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    You can tell management staff was boxing holidays with vacation time, most places frown on that. Its placing a day before and a day after a holiday. So it turns a holiday weekend in to a week off and stretches vacation time.

    I had so much vacation time at a job once I took every Friday for half the year off.
     
  19. straycat113

    straycat113 Member

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    Well what was it 3 or 4 years ago on an online survey of the worst company in the US to work for Gibson was #1. I also remember that was when 'Premier Guitar' magazine had just came out and showed they actually had some real journalist and were not just a "fluff" kiss ass magazine. In the 4th or 5th issue they decided they were going to do a Q&A with some of the top names in the business and picked Henry J to be their first guest. After receiving a list of the questions he was going to be asked (some which had to do with the poll and work conditions at Gibson) he declined. He also forbid any execs to talk to Premier or answer any more of their inquiries. Premier wrote about the whole incident and printed out the list of questions he was going to be asked, of which about 3 out of the 10 may have made him uncomfortable. They went with the CEO of Line-6 I believe instead (who were happy to do it) and all went smooth.

    For coming across as such a hard ass Nazi of a boss it is pretty mind boggling he still cant get his quality control center cleaned up after more then a decade lol. In all seriousness it is a proven fact that a healthy work place environment where workers look forward to showing up for work, produce products of the highest quality.
     
  20. utterhack

    utterhack Member

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    orly?

    vacation days are vacation days. so long as there's appropriate advance notice and coverage whatever works best for staff and their families is fine by me.

    ps plenty of companies encourage what you're describing since things are slow between the holidays anyway.
     

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