With industry consolidations, buyouts and mergers the norm today, it certainly is more true than ever that you don't want to burn any bridges. During the past several years I've known a number of people who worked for company A, and quit to go to work for the competition at company B, only to have company A buy company B. Now they're working for the company they just left.
One salesman I know worked for company A. When it was bought out by the much larger company B, he was no longer needed because that company already had a salesman in the area. He received his walking papers, then went to work for company C. Shortly after he started withcompany C, company B bought C, too.This time, however, he got to keep his job. He said that had been the first time he'd ever been tempted to burn a bridge, and he was glad he'd never had the opportunity to tell company B what he thought about the whole situation after it bought company A.
It's a real dilemma and one that causes much anxiety among the ranks. One salesman lamented to me about how he left one company, not on the best of terms, and went to work for the competition.
A year later, the company he left bought his new employer. He was certain he would be fired immediately, and was almost angry at his employer for selling out to the competition. He kept his job, however, but eventually left to go with another company.
``I didn't like working for them in the first place,'' he told me. ``That's why I left, so I knew I wouldn't like working for them any better on the second round.''
More mergers and acquisitions certainly are in the plastics industry's future. For an industry reared on the nurturing of thousands of small mom-and-pop companies, the advent of the mega-plastics corporation must seem like a startling turn of events. Yet, that's the way it's going. Large, financially strong companies begin looking at a niche market or a geographic area, then find a small company serving that area or niche whose owners are ready to sell. It's great for the companies, but tough on employees.
Plastics is one of those businesses that gets in a person's blood. People try to stay in the business, changing companies if they feel they have to, but in a closely knit industry like plastics, they often find themselves back where they started.
That's why, in this industry, it is true that what goes around comes around. Burning a bridge may mean coming face to face with a chasm someday and having no way to cross.