Thursday, November 25, 2010

Exxon Office System Shrinks, Part III:

{I began this story here, about the two biggest divisions of Exxon Office Systems.}

Eventually, Exxon management told EOS that it must consolidate. EOS set up a committee to decide how to do this, and it took them only a month or two to make their decision. The decision was widely leaked, and almost everyone was excited by it: the Qwix building would be closed.

Vydec people were jubilant. This was the end of their battle for dominance over the Qwix people. Whoever was willing to take the transfer from there to Vydec was going to eat a lot of dirt, assigned to jobs as low in the ladder as their expertise would allow. Qwix people were equally excited. Mostly, they planned to resign and take the handsome package that would be offered to resignees. Many Qwix people expected - at last - to be able to buy a house.

The EOS committee placed their case before an Exxon board. The meeting was brief. They explained the big advantages of closing Qwix. An Exxon manager asked, Do you own these buildings, or rent them? EOS explained that they rented where Vydec worked. They owned the Qwix building. The next question was, Do you have a buyer for the Qwix building? No, but EOS was sure they could sell it soon.

The Exxon board made their decision: Since EOS owned the Qwix building, it would close Vydec. Nothing else mattered.

Employees were stunned. Qwix people saw their ‘Get out of Jail’ card fluttering away. Vydex people saw their empire crumbling, and few of them wanted to move to farmland south of Philadelphia. The Vydec people joked about the bonus package they would get for relocating: first of all, everybody gets a cow. Second, it’s understood that some people want to relocate, but their spouses do not; the spouses who are willing to move will be placed in a pool, and redistributed among the employees who relocate. Bitter, bitter, bitter.

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