Kodak Bankruptcy Ruling: Lessons for Business & Workers

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Cryptoman
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Re: You are the captain of your own ship
Cryptoman   11/9/2012 8:04:14 AM
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@Bolaji

You have raised good points. I agree. It is unrealistic to expect everyone to have an entrepreneural attitude. If that was the case, everyone would be a boss with no workers!

None of us know how to steer the career boat when we first start working except a few exceptional individuals maybe. However, one has to self-monitor while working to find out where he/she wants to head. If a person does not know how to steer the boat, that person has got to learn it either from more experienced colleagues, life coaches, friends or literature etc. There is tons of reliable information sources on such things.

The trouble is when a person gets into a comfort zone while working and forgets to raise the head to look around and to look into himself/herself to see where the career is heading and where it should be heading.

Employment requires constant personal growth and awareness to take a person further. Simply keeping your head down and doing your job properly is not enough. You always have to have the bigger picture in perspective to be successful and to avoid disappointments in the future.

Furthermore, you should not be afraid to change direction and location - even if your current job looks safe - if you believe that manouvre will be to your benefit.

The universal rule of "survival of the fittest" applies when it comes to a successful career. The worst thing one can do is to keep on running in the "rat race" simply because everyone else is doing it without questioning why and without keeping an eye for opportunities and better alternatives.

 

 

 

Bolaji Ojo
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Re: You are the captain of your own ship
Bolaji Ojo   11/9/2012 7:26:25 AM
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Cryptoman, First, I agree with most of what you've written. However, I have to ask: How many of us can captain the career boat successfully? Many workers who agree with Grove try to steer their own career but many don't know exactly where they are headed and the realities of what it would take to get there even when they know.

Our educational system encourages the "Get-a-job" syndrome. We send kids to school for donkey years -- all the way to a Phd, in cases -- so that they can finish and then start hunting for a job created by a smarter fella or woman who doesn't have a Phd but knows he/she needs to be a job creator first to be in control of his/her destiny. As you noted, many of us (including this writer) spend 5 or more days a week sweating for a salary but owns no stakes in the enterprise -- except for a promised set of benefits that may anytime go poof with the job!

R.J.Matthews
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Re: More to the story
R.J.Matthews   11/8/2012 6:57:23 PM
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That's ok Barbara over in the UK our pensions are in a huge mess as well.

Do the right thing and save and you will not get any benefits and inflation helped by quantitative easing will kill your pension anyway.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ianmcowie/100021093/chancellor-must-change-tack-or-risk-the-wrath-of-pensioners/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19967194

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/9596938/Pension-annuities-in-freefall-due-to-money-printing.html

Maybe the answer is to save all you can then hide it away in a Swiss bank account!

 

Barbara Jorgensen
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Re: More to the story
Barbara Jorgensen   11/8/2012 4:17:09 PM
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@RJ: Thanks. It seemed to me there was such an agency but no doubt its enforcement powers are limited. I'll take a look at the links--thanks again!

Cryptoman
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You are the captain of your own ship
Cryptoman   11/8/2012 3:13:24 PM
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I think the worst part of working for someone on a salary is the false sense of security and longevity the worker gets. This false sense is also the key reason why millions of people go through the trouble of polishing up their CVs purely to be employed by someone else.

The reality is very different though. Businesses can go down and employees can be left jobless on the street. People currently employed read about such things in the paper and feel sorry for the unemployed never realising that the same can happen to them one day. I realised this when I first lost my job. I was sent an SMS saying that the company filed for insolvency and therefore the employees were not required to show up for work the next day. It was shocking at the time but probably was one of the best wake up calls I ever received in my life. It transformed my vision about careers, jobs, employers and security. Unless you experience unemployment at some stage in your life, you keep on living in a bubble and keep on chasing a carrot called 'a successful career' as the very valuable years pass by. You keep on giving 5 days of your valuable week for some money so that you can spend it in the remaining 2 days. That means you are giving 71.43% of your working time to realise the dreams of someone else under a highly insecure employment environment! (I suggest you read the last sentence again but this time  a bit slower).

Therefore, although I sympathise with the retired personnel of Kodak, I think they are just an unlucky bunch who have found out too late that the bubble can burst one day. Trusting an employer to keep you employed for many years to come is naive enough but expecting a former employee to keep on paying you after retirement is unrealistic. This is simply the reality of the world we live in and whether we like it or not we have to accept the facts as they are and move on.

Fortunately, human beings have one fantastic attribute that has helped them evolve and stay alive over thousands of years. It is called "adaptability". No matter how bad the situation looks, people (thankfully) always find a way to survive.

I agree with Grove's remarks and have one more bullet to add to that list:

7 - Never put your eggs in one basket. Always have a plan B in your profession and safeguard yourself while you have a job and a stable income. Always remember that you are the captain of your own ship.

 

R.J.Matthews
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Re: More to the story
R.J.Matthews   11/8/2012 5:52:57 AM
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Barbara there is a government agency but it does not seem to be working that well.

http://www.ehow.com/about_7447144_happens-pensions-companies-go-bankrupt_.html

http://www.pbgc.gov/
http://www.pionline.com/article/20111212/PRINTSUB/312129997

http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20120119-717692.html
http://burypensions.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/pbgc-protector-or-predator/

http://www.pionline.com/article/20120709/PRINTSUB/307099969
http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/adimLink?id=65043

http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/Kodak_Transforms/Former_Employees.htm
http://cashmoneylife.com/find-lost-pension-plan-401k/

http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/political-news/new-plan-to-insure-pension-savings.18085962

 

Bolaji Ojo
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Re: More to the story
Bolaji Ojo   11/7/2012 5:18:26 PM
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The obligations were promised by the company and they should have "funded" these entitlements. I think it's morally reprehensible that a company should be able to do this. In fact, I think a management should be criminally liable for not putting the funds for such an entitlement in a lock box that cannot be touched. By the way, such a lock box does exist. Pension funds for senior executives are typically excluded from this kind of discussions and cannot be touched because they are always well funded and exist outside of the control of even the company's management.

Bolaji Ojo
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Re: More to the story....
Bolaji Ojo   11/7/2012 5:13:44 PM
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Daryl, Exactly. Why should it be possible for Kodak to ask for the cancellation of its obligations to its former employees? Any of these obligations should have a lock-box that cannot be touched when a company is seeking bankruptcy protection.

Bolaji Ojo
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Re: technological hamster wheel
Bolaji Ojo   11/7/2012 5:05:04 PM
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T.alex, The tough choice the company made was to eliminate its obligations and leave the workers with a nasty hangover. I don't call that much of a "tough choice". There wasn't anything tough in here for Kodak itself, after all it isn't a flesh and blood organization. The management that took the decision would never take the same medicine. If they choose to do this, that would be a tough choice. They could decide to cut off their own entitlements or eliminate their own pension payments. That would be a tough choice.

Bolaji Ojo
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Re: technological hamster wheel
Bolaji Ojo   11/7/2012 5:04:51 PM
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T.alex, The tough choice the company made was to eliminate its obligations and leave the workers with a nasty hangover. I don't call that much of a "tough choice". There wasn't anything tough in here for Kodak itself, after all it isn't a flesh and blood organization. The management that took the decision would never take the same medicine. If they choose to do this, that would be a tough choice. They could decide to cut off their own entitlements or eliminate their own pension payments. That would be a tough choice.

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