About eight years ago an external consulting firm came into our company and examined everything. Like all other business consultancies they came to the conclusion that staff numbers should be cut. Consequently the older employees in particular were under pressure to leave the company with a financial settlement. I was 58 at the time and was therefore also under pressure. But I was stubborn and so I was put under more and more pressure by my managers in the form of appraisal interviews. Since I was still being obstinate, they finally tried the last means of pressure: they put me in the so-called death chamber. That was a small office, equipped with a desk, an office chair, a computer and a telephone. Officially my field of work was outstanding expenses. However, I had no tasks at all, was not invited to meanings, I was completely cut out of any flow of information. All the colleagues that this had happened to ended up on their knees after 3 months at the latest and begged for premature retirement, because they couldn't put up with the torture of isolation.
At first I managed it by spending several hours of the day playing chess on the internet. Then I opened an account for online poker. I would spend the whole day there, from morning till evening, with a short break for lunch. The day would fly by. At the beginning I kept making losses, but I learnt from it and gradually started winning, and after three months I would make on average 300-400 Euros worth of winnings. Every day I went to my "workplace" gladly and often even did overtime. I didn't tell anyone about my poker playing. My managers were confused. One of them was punished for not freezing me out. My colleagues were either annoyed about me, the lazy sod who earned a fat pay check for doing nothing, or they laughed themselves silly at me. So I carried on, until I went into retirement at the normal age of 63. Then I stopped playing poker; I'd had enough. I confess that I damaged my firm because of my stubbornness and that I inflicted losses on other poker players due to my winnings. Perhaps I should have left earlier?
Posted on 09.03.2013, 23:44:45 CET