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Noah’s Cog Life Eerily Similar

When Noah published this post titled “Life as a Cog, 14 months in a corporate cubicle [3],” it resonated with me as I also work(ed) at a 100,000 person company. I said so at the time (check out the comment I left [4]) though I wasn’t going to go further with it until now… after I’d tendered my resignation eight months later. Before you read further, check out his post and let me know how that compares to the job you’re holding now (and whether your company has 100 or 100,000 employees).

First off, I enjoyed my time at my former company. The people I actually worked with were top notch and were far better performers than I was. That being said, there was a lot of dead weight (one guy spent an entire day talking to his real estate agent about buying his fifth house with an adjustable rate mortgage and quibbling over points, I should have told him that the first four houses on ARMs were going to screw him in about a year or two) that the company is just suffocating under but appears powerless to remove. If I was married and had kids then it would’ve been the ideal situation for me. My managers were great, the projects I worked on were challenging and interesting, but ultimately I think it was time for me to move on.

That being said… the five points Noah makes about Intel are the same at my former 100,000 person company. Exactly, to a T. A lot of groups still use Excel (but this is true everywhere), in my area they turned up the AC a few degrees to save some money (oh wait, it’s “broken,” like the escalators that have been broken for the last month), and yes our CEO also reported incredible profits and was given an enormous double digit raise (over 20% on several million, amazing) while our managers told us raises weren’t going to be good this year.

Maybe it’s just a size problem, just as mutual funds perform worse after incredible years because they just can’t invest the new influx of money the way they used to (they lose agility because of size).

Maybe they just needs the Bobs.