Our Company was founded in the mid-1950’s back in the days when consumer goods were still manufactured in North America. The company started out in the business of making folding lawn furniture for summertime fun in suburban backyards all across the northeast.
The plant was located along the banks of a polluted river close to where it drains into Lake Erie – thus maximizing any potential damage to our planet’s rivers and lakes. Adding to Our Company’s impressive resume of environmental irresponsibility, a large smokestack belched pure sulfuric acid into the jet stream 16 hours a day, 5 days a week. As a direct result of its extreme disregard for the planet on which we all live, Our Company was quite successful. In its heyday it provided secure, unionized production jobs to over fifteen hundred blue collar workers.
By the early 1980’s, however, inexpensive imports from Asia had virtually locked up the market for lawn furniture (and almost everything else for that matter). Our Company, unable to compete profitably, bought back all of its stock and closed its doors in 1982 while it sought new funding and re-tooled its business plan. It re-opened a year later as a private company organized around highly empowered, although still unionized, project teams and a fashionable Just-In-Time manufacturing system (JIT).
Today, the company continues to eke out a marginal profit by bidding on US Department of Defense (DoD) build-to-print contracts and other low-run production jobs.The production floor may have been organized around highly empowered teams, but that silly nonsense stopped way short senior management. The top few tiers of the Our Company’s organizational structure would be as familiar to most North American as Happy meals are to a six year old.
J.F. Goodhair (see photo below) is the General Manager of Our Company. His parents were both rich and well connected. They sent him to the very best schools. J.F. is tall, with great hair and a chin like a dung beetle.
J.F. believes himself to be a truly superior human being who deserves to have good things happen to him. His mother was a beauty queen and his father was a CEO. He has never held a position lower than Vice President. J.F. speaks entirely in sports analogies sprinkled with words he learned at MBA school such as ‘paradigm’ and ‘synergy’. J.F. is truly proud of the inspirational speeches he delivers at his semi-annual communications meetings which are held at random every couple of years – usually just after a major layoff.
The other members of the Senior Management Team are Frank Moneymaker, Donald Dickless, and Aaron Baffles. Gwen Cheermore, the Human Resources Manager, is only invited to sit with the Senior Management Team when people issues, such as an imminent readjustment of the workforce, are on the agenda. The position of Vice President of Sales is vacant, having been eliminated during a recent blood-letting over poor sales.