Saturday, May 16, 2015

Buyout Memories

Anonymous from Gentiva,

Retirement is great.  Every now and then a bad memory of a former Generic Hospice buyout invades my brain as I sit on back porch sipping mint juleps.  There are flashes of false promises, vacuous language, image obsessed people in suits and a widespread, shallow excitement over all the money the company would save or make under the new combination.  This dull energy, like excrement, urine and water, flows downhill.  Our site was to spend less and make more for the company.  Customer needs, service levels and employee concerns (heaven forbid) were not in the equation.

What did we get?  A ceaseless rotation of corporate "leaders" who were supposed to support our site.  They delivered handcuffs in the form of "no overtime" and other absurd corporate edicts  The amount of work to be done didn't matter.  We had staff doing the work of 2.5 full timers.  There was no concern of burnout for loyal, dedicated employees.  Our abusive branch manager was a hero for getting this level of productivity.  They were lionized in the company's eyes when they should have been vilified. 

After one buyout, the new company wanted to hear from employees.  Corporate sent a human resources person to gauge the pulse of our site under our horrific branch manager.  They heard from most people, directly in one-on-one sessions.  The line of people shared their individual stories of how this leader had dashed our site's historically low turnover and high employee morale, achieving soaring turnover and plummeting morale.  After processing this feedback Human Resources invited anyone who didn't like it to leave.

Six months later they administered an anonymous employee survey.  If they didn't care about our plight when informed directly by dozens of loyal, dedicated employees what difference would a survey make?  A few new employees penciled in their rankings on a variety of measures.  Most of the rest of us trashed it, just as the company had trashed our verbally shared concerns.

I scribbled comments on each question, ignoring the rankings.  I simply edited the survey based on my experience.  In my attempt to recreate a few of those I offer:
My colleagues support one another in spite of local and executive management.
My branch manager creates unnecessary conflict
My branch manager serially picks people for micromanagement and abuse
Human Resources aids our branch manager's abusive counseling 
My colleagues are chronically underpaid and not appreciated.
Senior management has never visited our site. 
Good luck with the survey.  Enjoy the honeymoon while it lasts.  When the union settles in Kindred's true face will be revealed. 



  1. I wonder if someone finally heard our complaints. I know of someone who left the KCFSU and recently wanted to come back but the manager told her that her old supervisor said she's a bully so the manager wouldn't hire her back.

  2. What honeymoon??????

  3. It has been the Rocky horror show so far!!!