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Wednesday, December 21st, 2022, 2:15 pm

Big Egos Ruin Small Company

“Under control” or controlled demolition?

Everything is controlled

Summary: Everything at Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been very rapidly coming down this year; not much was left of the company, more was being outsourced (what’s left), then the “office manager” (for an office that does not exist) went on extended leave (causing severe operational problems/lapses), and a ‘controlled demolition’ sequence was initiated to deprive remaining staff of severance payments/separation fees

THE situation at Sirius is not just bad. It is very bad. It is chaotic. There are even confidential documents to that effect, but we’re not sharing confidential and sensitive material here.

The company continues to fake its size and its future prospects. That basically involves deceit or — to put it more bluntly — lying.

The current ‘UK’ CEO (the company likes to pretend that it operates from the US as well, but everyone inside the company can see beyond this façade) showed some promise at first, but over the past year the evasion and pointless finger-pointing became too much. Some believe that he came from a client (not the first such ‘manager’) without even mentioning this anywhere, but actually he came from the University of Oxford. He used to work on a large project that became a lot smaller over time. Some think that maybe he got sacked and used Sirius as a landing point or ‘consolation prize’. In fact, coming from the client (far bigger) to managing a very small team that’s rapidly decreasing in size is a bad sign. It’s not a rational migration; one lucky colleagues moved in exactly the opposite direction (to the public sector with job security). Either way, Cambridge University and the University of Oxford are known for all sorts of things, including patronising behaviour that had both institutions dubbed “Oxbridge” — a ticket to “the club” (Eton et al).

In Sirius, either you’re in the club or you’re being obstructed by the club. If you sleep with a member of the club, you get special access. But that’s a shortcut and an exception.

I’ve no personal grudge with the University of Oxford. I used to work with them and went there regularly when completing my doctoral degree; but that seems to be a place where people are taught never to admit mistakes or listen properly. I had several very lengthy talks with management, but even though I was being heard (or maybe even listened to) this resulted in no changes, not even basic compliance.

Sadly for the dude from the University of Oxford, he is harming the company he was entrusted to manage and soon he might be out of work, with nothing to show for it (not even a company left to write a reference for him).

The text below is the first part of the last major section. It’s about how the charismatic genius from the University of Oxford decided to become judge, jury, executioner, and monarch. That culminated in truly irrational and self-harming behaviour — a vindictive campaign of witch-hunting to defend one’s big ego.

The Self-Destruction

The company — and it seems safe to predict so — has reached a point of no return. A new client, Argo AI, officially became defunct earlier this month. The company’s recent meetings (Sirius and Support Team) suggested that they needed to lay off staff but preferred to encourage any of those attending to take voluntary resignation instead, i.e. no compensation. The Support Team is the majority of the company, so this is a very big deal.

It’s reasonable to assume the company looked for excuses to dismiss without compensation, seeing its financial state (which is in the public domain for all to see). Staff was repeatedly asked whether it was willing to “voluntarily” resign, i.e. leave without compensation. Nobody ever said “yes”, in spite of the question being asked several times. External HR people were apparently (allegedly a company that provides other service to Sirius) advising and steering towards this strategy.

For a number of weeks there was apparently an effort to take this further, looking for reasons to dismiss staff, preferably without compensation. Prior to that, around July, Roy was already cautioned he had been put on a “shortlist” (a bit of a vague term).

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