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spyguy

Working for a family company

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Come about from a response on another thread and the whole Cytus Mistry/Tata disaster.

Me , personally, nah. Id not work for a fsmily firm, either mine or another.

The Tata thing is fascinating.

Tata have always been pitched as the more reputable, competent end of Indian business. TCS have alwsys showed some (rather the nine) competance in doing IT contracts.

Cyrus has just lifted the rug a bit and, my, what a fcking corrupt, useless mesd.

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I don't think I would; down here they're smallish firms and you are always going to get tensions from people being in roles because of to whom they're related.

One local building project managers firm somehow managed to go bust in a business I thought was zero risk; I interviewed an ex-employee for a job and it turned out the trouble had started when one family member demanded to be, and was, made FD despite having no financial qualifications and minimal experience.

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Isn't there a saying that "the first generation builds it up, the second trashes it, and the third runs it into the ground" or similar?

What I will say is that family based businesses have a unique vulnerability which comes from successive generations growing up and going straight into the business without any other work experience.

It can sometimes lead to a lack of capability to understand what competition is, and the need to change and move with the times. "It worked this way in 1970 and so if it isn't working now, it isn't because the approach is wrong, it is because we are not doing enough of it".

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4 hours ago, DTMark said:

Isn't there a saying that "the first generation builds it up, the second trashes it, and the third runs it into the ground" or similar?

I see that with a family I know:

The grandmother ran a string of hotels and cafes, was mayor several times, and made a lot of money.

The mother / father had junior local jobs whilst awaiting their inheritance.

None of their three children have worked since their early twenties and are now about fifty.

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No I wouldn't. Been there done that. Family arguments in the office makes an uncomfortable working environment.

 

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Nepotism rules in family owned businesses. You tend to find the older members of the family have a clear head on their shoulders and the younger ones have a kind of lazy entitled attitude about everything. I worked in a family owned bar for a couple of years and hated it, I felt like an outsider and was often the first to blame when something went wrong (they banded together as a family and would project blame onto non-family members of staff).

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14 minutes ago, Renewed Investor said:

Nepotism rules in family owned businesses. You tend to find the older members of the family have a clear head on their shoulders and the younger ones have a kind of lazy entitled attitude about everything. I worked in a family owned bar for a couple of years and hated it, I felt like an outsider and was often the first to blame when something went wrong (they banded together as a family and would project blame onto non-family members of staff).

There's a priceless episode of "The Hotel Inspector" in which exactly what you describe is happening. The woman running it calls a meeting with the staff in which she basically says "You're the problem" and when the staff point out that maybe if she got off her backside and did something, anything (instead of just sitting at the bar getting pissed while the world falls apart around her), then the place might run better, to be told "Do as I say and not as I do".

That said, one of our clients is indeed a family run business and they really are superb.

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1 minute ago, DTMark said:

There's a priceless episode of "The Hotel Inspector" in which exactly what you describe is happening. The woman running it calls a meeting with the staff in which she basically says "You're the problem" and when the staff point out that maybe if she got off her backside and did something, anything (instead of just sitting at the bar getting pissed while the world falls apart around her), then the place might run better, to be told "Do as I say and not as I do".

I might have to check that out, sounds very similar. The woman who ran the bar did exactly that, get pissed at the bar whilst we slaved away. What was most annoying was when they would invite their friends and family round on days like New Years Eve and demand that we give them preferential treatment over other punters. It got so bad that the regulars would often comment and complain about it and we would get all the grief. I really do not miss that job, that establishment was a total joke and I wasn't surprised to hear they declared bankruptcy about a year after I left. My only take away is that I improved my social skills and thickened my skin a bit from having to deal with angry customers and incompetent staff on a daily basis.

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10 minutes ago, Renewed Investor said:

I might have to check that out, sounds very similar. The woman who ran the bar did exactly that, get pissed at the bar whilst we slaved away. What was most annoying was when they would invite their friends and family round on days like New Years Eve and demand that we give them preferential treatment over other punters. It got so bad that the regulars would often comment and complain about it and we would get all the grief. I really do not miss that job, that establishment was a total joke and I wasn't surprised to hear they declared bankruptcy about a year after I left. My only take away is that I improved my social skills and thickened my skin a bit from having to deal with angry customers and incompetent staff on a daily basis.

Having had a quick look - it might be "The Black Bear" in Wareham.

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No, I worked for a medium sized company (Irish) that was packed full of family members from top to bottom, the politics I don't miss at all. You had to run a check on the surname/find out who they were married to before you could open your mouth.

The promotion of genetics above performers doesn't do anything for general staff morale either. It is almost impossible for a young person introduced straight into a family company (and then indoctrinated into it) to understand the pressure and stress of work for the average Joe.

When I see "family company" in a job advert, I instantly dismiss now. Not worth it on your health.

 

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