Looking for a Josh Janicek

CEO: “How many pieces of unsolicited inbox clutter did we deliver to the NYC segment?”
Jeff: “Ummm, let me look.”
CEO: “…”
Jeff: “It looks like 8,475 were delivered.”
CEO: “WHAT?!? We don’t even have 8,000 unknowing recipients in our database to which to send our pieces of unsolicited inbox clutter, you ****ING MORON!!!” I added that last part, but given the nature of the conversation, it wouldn’t have shocked me in the slightest had he said it.
Jeff: “Oh. Hang on, let me double check.”
CEO: “…”
Jeff: “Ah. I accidentally transposed the NYC and LA numbers. We sent 4,938 pieces of unsolicited inbox clutter to the NYC segment.”
CEO: “That sounds better.”
Jeff: “Sorry about that.”
CEO: “I celebrate your ineptitude.”

The above was an actual conversation. And that was the day where the straw broke the camel’s back. Later that day I had a somewhat unrelated conversation with my boss where we collectively determined that the job I’d originally accepted had become non-existent.

I’d accepted a leadership position with this new company on March 10th, and put in my resignation with my former employer the same day. A week later, my soon-to-be employer was listed on Spamhaus. Without going into great detail, getting listed on Spamhaus is heart attack serious. Ask any reputable ESP and they’ll more than likely just respond with an, “Oh, fudge. Sorry.” And then they’ll hang up. Since I was going to be charged with heading up the email efforts of this company, I inquired about the Spamhaus listing and what needed to be done, even though I hadn’t even officially started working for the company. I was told that “the problem is currently being addressed.” The CEO called my cell phone at 8 a.m. the next morning, assuring me that the company had never been listed on Spamhaus before, and to not worry.

Prior to my start date, the company was removed from the Spamhaus blocklist.

After my second day with the company, they were listed on Spamhaus again.

For the remainder of my first week, there was no email to be sent because of the Spamhaus listing. No leads to generate for clients. Nothing for my staff or me to do other than look for “a band aid” so we could send email. I couldn’t find a “reputable” band aid because they all required our opt-in source(s). I even called in favors from friends in the industry: “The company’s on Spamhaus?! Fudge.

Since there was no work for the better part of the week, I was charged with reducing headcount. I barely knew the folks that were reporting to me and I had to reduce staff by 44% after my having been employed for only 5 days.

Since then, the company has employed a “don’t ask, don’t tell” email marketing service, and was working on outsourcing its sending servers overseas at the time where I left.

I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t adding value. I wasn’t at fault. I was fired. There wasn’t a fit and the company and I parted on amicable terms.

So, I’m looking for a new job. If you, or anyone you know is looking for a Josh Janicek, let me know.

2 Replies to “Looking for a Josh Janicek”

  1. Fired, Quit. Whichever. When good values and honesty come up against charlatans and opportunists there’s gonna be a falling out.

    Falling out-way out-of a bad situation is much better than staying and having something big and ugly fall on you-and stick.

    You’ve salvaged your reputation in the business. Leverage it to get the best job ever.

  2. Haha! Sounds like classic CEO. It’s a sinking ship, dude. It sucks, but I’m actually glad I got let go.

    P.S. If you find anything, put in a good word for me.

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