Confession of a former COO: The ugly truth of the corporate world where backstabbing and deceit are common

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Mass layoffs has been plaguing many countries for many years as thousands of skilled workers have to be temporarily or permanently dismissed from their companies, especially when the countries are going through a recession. Most layoffs have proven to be ineffective for companies as well the ultimate nightmare for the victims. 

For the first time, a former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a chemical company revealed the ugly truth about the destructive and unsympathetic practice. In an anonymous post which was posted on Humans of Kuala Lumpur’s Facebook page, he shared the real reason for most layoffs decision – greed and pure selfishness – and why he quit from the corporate world at the peak of his career.

Even though he was embarrassed to tell the truth and to admit the things he used to do when he was working in corporate, the former COO felt compelled to the reveal the truth that not many people know about the corporate world. Here is his confession.

“I used to be the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a chemical company. But I am embarrassed to tell you the things I used to do in corporate. When we wish to fire people who work in corporate jobs, instead of offering a severance package, we make life very difficult for them,” he wrote.

We humiliate them in meetings, we tell them they are not performing, we restructure the organization and reduce their seniority, and put junior people as their bosses. Eventually even the strong cannot ‘tahan’ (stand) and they will leave themselves. This is what they taught me in corporate, and this is what I did. But you don’t realise it all eventually comes back to you.”

According to him, the cut-throat nature of a corporate environment, unfortunately, has always ensured that the company is never short of people who are willing to undermine and backstab their own colleague through any means in order to achieve their desires. Even if that means they have to resort to ruthless measures. However, never did they know that the karma will hit them back in their face.

He added: “If you are mid-manager level, it’s fine because you are purely operational. Once you get to senior manager position, that’s when the politicking starts. People get jealous of you, people backstab you and they would do anything to get rid of you. This is the ugly side of corporate culture and sadly the dark side of human nature too.”

After years bein in the vicious cycle, he finally decided to quit the job and do the right thing in his life before it is too late. He further wrote about the reason behind of his resignation. His words speak volumes about how he finally has a sense of security and contentment in his life after he quit the tough industry.

“One late night I looked through an old photo album of my family – of my lovely wife and children and I realised the past 20 years passed by in a blur. I could barely recall my children growing up and that my wife has become older – it was like I just woke up from a coma and I lost my memory. I regretted this bitterly and it was this moment I decided to make right of my life.”

“I’m grateful I’m given a second chance in life. This is my second chance.”

“Now, I operate a modest chemical business of my own. During the weekends, I also trade at a flea-market to sell our unneeded items, and have been a trader for two years.”

“I am actually saving up more money now, than when I was in corporate, as I’ve also learned to manage my finances more diligently and realized money was spent on unnecessary luxuries. For example, I thought I could not live without Astro because I used to watch EPL (English Premiere League football) every weekend. When I cut off Astro to save money, I realized I didn’t miss it that much.”

He also planned to move into a smaller apartment when his youngest child goes to the university one day. Now that he lives a simpler and modest life, he wrote that it makes him able to focus on the things there are really matter to him.

“During my corporate work, I reported to the board and I had up to ten bosses. But now I just have one boss. My wife! This is my life now, it’s a lot simpler, but I’m happier.”

Sources: Facebook/Humans of Kuala Lumpur

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