Smart Gray Matter

Digital Marketing Solutions

Social Media Cost Me My Job

Happy Friday Everyone!

Boy, it sure does seem like it has been a while since last I was able to yap at you.  Believe me, it isn’t due to a lack of material to communicate.  First, I just want to say thank you to all the individuals who have added my RSS feed to your already bulging list of subscriptions.

If you follow my tweets, then you know that I was terminated on Wednesday afternoon.  My dear employer, who’s name will go unmentioned(for the time being) prominently displays the ‘Fortune 500’ badge, and enjoys success not only here in the States, but also abroad.

I had been employed for nearly 5 years, and my even my worst days were spent in a tireless effort to ensure the security and value of my stock.  From day one, I set about trying to implement new ideas I randomly kept having for achieving operations efficiency.  Of course I would openly communicate these ideas to corporate office, and I’m proud to say that several were in fact utilized.

Here is the kicker.  Did I ever receive compensation for assisting with operations management?  No.  Was I ever invited to speak at the corporate office regarding my presentations?  “Who is Steven Gray?”  Even though, I came packaged with a wealth of training and CRM expertise.  At our office, smiling posters of employees dressed in smart uniforms paraded the caption, “The Solution is Us!”  I believed it.

At first, I wasn’t bothered.  I knew that I had no “seniority” to use simple terminology.  I’m the “new guy.”  Haven’t been around the corporate culture block, and all that jazz.  So, I was content to happily give my ideas away, and watch others benefit.  Good things come to those who wait right?

In an aforementioned post, I explained that I’ve been a social media advocate for quite some time.  I’ll never forget the first time I broached the subject of using CRM as a viable alternative to traditional CRM practices.  We were all gathered in what basically amounts to our annual business town hall meeting.  You could have heard a pin drop.

Lavish carpets and swirling patterns compete for the eye’s playful attention as I meandered through the lobby.  My thoughts are scattered, and I’m impressed with the interior of this banquet facility.  Is all this really necessary?  Sure, the finer things in life are great, but isn’t there a reserved place for them?  I mean, here we are in the middle of an economic hurricane, and we’re all sitting down to an extravagant luncheon?

Back to what I was saying a minute ago.  Oddly cheerful faces, and laughter laced with falsehood garnished each conversation.  Everyone had their “brave face” on, but truthfully no one could earnestly tell you how they felt.  Fear was tangible.  This year we had congregated around a new CEO for our division.  The goal: Profitability.

Raising the microphone up to his mouth, our new CEO looked genuinely perplexed.  You could tell that he had an answer to every conceivable question prepared 3 hours before the event, and mine caught him by absolute surprise.  He raised his eyebrows, and then after a pause that lasted an eternity gracefully admitted that he had little knowledge with which to answer my question.

“What was the trillion dollar question?”  I heard you before, but it’s my story.  Hang on for half a second! LoL.  I’m sure you already know, but the content matter was SM.  Shocker!  You don’t say!??  Come on guys, I know 99.95% of you know what I’m talking about.  Don’t make me elaborate.

Long story short, I recruited various DM(district managers) from every major city in the us.  Moreover, I had support from the backbone of our company.  With presentations and data in place, I set about marketing the idea to every individual in the corporation that would lend an ear.

Most recently, I was finally pointed to our Marketing Executive office.  Yeah, apparently, we here at ahem…ahem…nope, still going to be nice, believes that SM falls under Marketing.

SIDE NOTE: Ok, so here is my thought on that whole fiasco.  Corporations should abolish both PR & Marketing.  They should take the elite from each department and create an office for “Dynamic Brand Management Team.”  Yes, that is mine.  I coined it. #SmartGrayMatter#tm

Why?  Because SM channels are not limited to either PR, or Marketing.  In fact, you can do both quite handily, and unbelievably effectively using the same mediums.  Thus, you should have a room for your SM handy wiz kids, and let them turn you into an empire.  #soapbox

In short, the executive of marketing attempted to “procure” my ideas, and I told him to suck it up, and fly me to corporate.  Ok, I didn’t exactly say it that way.  As of Wednesday, I still hadn’t heard from him.  We’re talking over a month here.  To emphasize my point, I conducted a transparent QA call to our Chicago market last weekend.  I identified myself, explained I was testing response times, efficiency, the whole nine.  We failed.

Wednesday, project manager asks to see me.  “Steve we know about the calls you made last weekend.”

I leaned back in my chair, “Really?  Well that’s good, because there wasn’t anything secret about it.”

His face turns red, and he hastily beckons to two police officers standing outside the office door.  “Steve it is over.  Leave.”

I look around calmly, “Where is HR?”

“They’ve been informed.”

I interject, “I thought they were supposed to be here?”

“They’ve been informed” was the quick retort.  Saliva drips from one side of his lips.  He is entirely irate.

“Really Pat?  Really?  Can I have a box to clean out my desk?”

“No.  Just leave all your stuff here.”

“Haha, that’s what you think.  That is my personal property.”

I ended up using my trash can.

Officer #1: “This does seem really wrong, thank you for the way you handled it man.” /Shakes my hand. Officer #2: “I would call my attorney if I were you.”

My eyes graze the parking lot.  “Yeah, that is the plan.”

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: Smart Gray Matter just flipped their light switch.  Social Media might cost you your dead-end job, but allow you the luxury of opening erecting your own empire.

Thanks for reading……x


6 comments on “Social Media Cost Me My Job

  1. Felicia
    June 5, 2010

    Wow! I am proud to say you are a friend of mine. Way to stand your ground.

  2. Sirine
    June 10, 2010

    Well done Steve!! You handled it quite right! More power to you! 😉

  3. Justin
    July 19, 2010

    Hello Steve.

    My oh my do I have alot to say to you…. I do believe we have spoken. I do believe you made one of those calls to me…. I do do believe I find myself in agreement with you, but at that time when i was with this company you refer to I had to follow protocol.

    Is it true your twitter account is smk something??? Did you call the GCS division of this company??? Do you remember speaking with me…. You asked for the DM of that chicago area to call you. I remember his name. A Rodriguez. I cannot say his first name because I would like to protect his privacy.

    I am no longer employed with this company for reasons that are also very skewed and sneaky. I believe the calls you made were quite strange and you could have spoken to me much more honestly about your intentions. I would have found a way to have you speak with the DM. Although I fully know what it feels like for this corporate ship to not listen to new ideas and think “only certain ideas from the proper people are acceptable”. Our response time to your calls was slower than i wished it could have been also. Programming was not done properly on our database. Communication with managers was not done properly at our site. IT IS STILL NOT DONE PROPERLY.

    I now work for a much better company, but still hold alot of resentment and I have contacted the president of _______ Pest Elimination. I have told my story and how the managers have behaved. I also told him of what happened with the totally unsatisfactory customer service of GCS after hours support. Some of you who read this may remember as we took many calls. I personally took 100 GCS calls a week, which is not alot compared to 1,500 pest calls a week. Yes I was a wonderful employee.

    I applaud you for writing your story and encourage you to contact me. Let’s fight this together.

  4. Smart Gray Matter
    July 22, 2010

    Justin! Nice to talk to you again. I’m surprised you found my blog without my twitter handle. =) I apologize you felt that I failed when trying to communicate the intentions of my call. Clearly we weren’t communicating adequately and it was all my fault. Absolutely! Let’s look at an intelligent solutions for all parties eh?

    Take Care,


    • Justin Mondry
      August 6, 2010

      Steve, email me.

      Stay in touch. The communication inadequacies were not all your fault. I would have asked more questions had I not been “programmed” to function a certain way and behave in a robotical fashion to make as much money as possible. I do believe I did understand your concept better than anyone else you spoke with. It was apparent to me you believed in twitter and social media and you wanted our company to utilize it much more and revolutionize us. I have had many ideas for our company also, many of them involving improving the GCS after hours database (the division you called). I did get 4 of my ideas approved and helped improve the database but there were other things the managers missed. When they did orchestrate my ideas I never got credit for any of them. What a complete slap in my face right?

      You did say you worked for ecolab when you were on the phone with me. I took notes via the computer program notepad as you spoke and i typed fast yet quiet. Did you notice that? I am sorry I did that, because it ended up getting you fired. I had your name correct and almost everything else. I didn’t want to repeat information too much because that is too robotical and not human customer service. Do you think it is fair to say that I was better and friendlier than anyone else you spoke with?
      What is an intelligent solution now?

      Where are you currently working? Where does the corporate torch burn for you now? I work for a small business that I enjoy very much.

  5. Justin
    November 22, 2011

    How are things now steve?

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2010 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , .

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