As a consultant, my main responsibility is to be on premises of a client and commit to particular project objectives... And most of the clients belong to a big enterprise group. Considering my experience I compiled a list of reasons why I find corporate world disgusting and sometimes even humiliating.
Starting a new project is always exciting! But in 9 out of 10 my excitement changed into disappointment within the first couple of weeks. Imagine: in order to get an access to system A, you need to raise a couple of requests through (most of the time) horrible/unusable internal tool which should be approved by person B and C and signed by manager D. Do you think it must be done as a part of on-boarding and even prior to that? Well, theoretically - yes, but practically: the only person to care about yourself is you. In my worst cases I was waiting to receive a building access in MONTHS, while developing offline and managing to be sane.
Sometimes you are on the project with a team, sometimes - alone. If it is a second case, the best way to adapt to the new environment is to make some connections with people who surround you. That's what I try to do. However, it always feels like employees in big organisations are scared/mentally exhausted. People are afraid to look at each other, sit down with strangers and have a chat. It feels like everyone exists in same ecosystem without noticing each other. Countless lunches with mobile phones, weird long toilet breaks and closed behaviour make things look not right. Sometimes I would just go for a run, play table tennis on breaks or do some other activities. But big organisations choke any desire/possibility for freedom and self-activities. Everyone is afraid and... boxed.
Imagine: you've been working from 9:00 to 20:00 in order to finish a project until deadline. For a couple of weeks. You tried to do your job well and prove that delivery to market/production is possible! But suddenly report shows that your performance is low and unavoidable conversation with manager is approaching. But you worked hard, sacrificed your free time and energy. But why? Because of numbers. Because of cold, generated numbers. Nobody cares if you do your job good or whether you enjoy what you are doing. There are tasks. There are deadlines. And there are estimations. Remember - you are a part of a giant system, where in case of failure any component is substituted and never recalled in future. Like it never existed. Never. This context is a main reason of project failures and people resigning/performing badly, however it still exists almost everywhere.
The pyramid of lie
Hierarchical relationships. They are everywhere. In corporate companies your manager reports to another manager, who reports to stakeholders and other business units. Sounds complicated? Not really. It gets complicated when each of this chain starts to provide fake promises on delivery/cost estimates in order to achieve faster deliverables and in-budget objectives. Still confused? More general: your manager will push you to do a task 3-times faster just because he promised stakeholders to go into production earlier than it is possible to be within the budget. Otherwise - it is his fault. But it will be still your fault, because you work slow. Because nobody cares of quality, but more about metrics and time-to-market records.
Everything is fake
It depends from one company culture to another, however I found out that most of corporate relationships are fake. The person who smiles to you and asking how was your day actually doesn't care about you. When you are asking a feedback from project manager it seems everything is perfect, but after performance report arrives - oops, it was not as good as been told. If you leave a project, all of those people who worked with you will never call you back or even have a lunch after all. Maybe it is not bad, but when you realise where it comes to, this feeling reminds an entrance to the Matrix where the truth can't be unseen.
In this post I don't say that all corporate companies are bad. No. There are amazing companies out there with great people and awesome cultures. These are just example from my experience which disturbed me most 😁