Vipers, Backstabbers and Traitors, Oh My!
There is a rule in business that is as universal in its acceptance as it is in its truth. Whenever you buy a company, you replace ALL key management, staff and employees with your own people. There is a reason for this and it is the one rule that I ignored when purchasing Lats and Atts. I made the critical mistake of getting to know everyone on a very personal basis. In fact, I became part of the “Family”. I did not know the consequences of that crucial mistake until months later as you can see. I bore the burdens of their personal lives, their work loads and their past greivances with Bob. They unloaded on me about how they had been paid pittances as Bob and Jody travelled the wold and lived lives of decadence and their reward for their loyalty and hard work? Broken promises of bonuses, or bonus checks that couldn’t be cashed and pay raises that never came. We took over the magazine and gave the bookkeepr and Editor pay raises, we purchased a new computer for the Editor to make her job easier, we tried to make the dirty and cluttered office a better environment by painting the walls, (the first time in years), We tried to help them succeed by giving them new tools to do their jobs more efficiently and made some family members who were never employees of the company official employees so that they could actually be a part of L&A rather than orbit around the periphery (Woody, Dave Dudgeon etc…) and our repayment for treating them with respect and dignity? Absolute and utter betrayal when the opportunity presented itself. It has been put out there that employees were not paid in weeks and that is not wholly correct. All employees were paid except for the partial pay period just before the company closed. It is true that Heidi Benson is owed some reimbursements and sued Lats and Atts for it. Notwithstanding the inflated expenses she included in her case, we were unable to attend the hearing and she won her case by default. We have never disputed that she was owed her reimbursements. Howver, her solution to not being paid was to engage in a smear campaign on the social media sites. We now know that this has been her pattern before based on conversations and information from her previous employers.
As things were spiraling downward we had multiple communications with key employees about being laid off while we tried to figure out our next moves. Sue had told us she was retiring, we laid off Cheryl so she could collect unemployment, Heidi asked to be laid off so she could collect unemployment (see emails) and we were in the middle of working things out with the remaining employees. Looking back on it now it is clear that Bob was very active behind the scenes regarding his former employees.