2 Years Later!

I thought it might be fun to catch you guys up with how this story ended. We lost the big customer, I got us some more new business to cover the losses, and back in March of this year I was promoted to GM. Thanks again for the support.

Thanks everyone for the diversity of advice and feedback. It helped me to view this situation from several angles.

I spoke with the majority shareholder this morning. He said that he had already assumed the lifespan of the contract would be shortened based on the performance level of our team and last years feedback. They are viewing this situation as an opportunity to do some much needed housekeeping before moving forwards in a new direction.

Apparently my job is safe in that they agree that getting rid of the only person bringing in revenue is probably not the best strategic move.

Completely not bass related, but I’m so screwed. I’m the sales and marketing manager for an industrial construction business. Today I met with our largest client who is responsible for about 75% of our revenue and jobs. They told me we’re being fired because they feel our general manager and superintendent are basically incompetent or at the very least, not up to their standards and the problems caused by this issue aren’t worth putting up with. They told me I can speak to our shareholders and then present a step by step plan of how we will restructure to do better. The biggest problem is that our general manager is a minority shareholder. So do I risk getting fired and present this issue to the main shareholders, or keep my mouth shut and let the company lose 75% of it’s revenue stream and then the customer can explain the reason to the owners themselves if they choose to?

Raise it to your boss and make it their problem.

Which is very likely your duty as a manager to begin with, I am guessing.

This does not sound like something you should face on your own. You especially do not want to be the one left holding the bag if it all goes south (which sounds likely)


Thanks. The general manager they want gone is my boss.

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Yeah this sounds like a bad situation- no idea what to suggest, but all I can say is if I were you I would not try to solo this one.

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I don’t understand - why is the customer telling you how to handle your shareholders? Why are the presenting this to you when your boss is the problem, rather than directly to him?

That’s one of the risks of having 75% of your eggs in one basket, but I don’t know what to tell you. Certainly awkward to go to your boss and say “we’re losing this customer because you suck at your job”. I’d probably try going to your boss’ boss and tell them what’s about to happen - let them deal with it…

Good luck man…

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Well let’s look at this problem as ex military types.

You have intelligence that others do not yet possess. You can give this int away for free (tell your boss) or you can use this time to prepare your exfil.

So pull up your resume. Polish it up and start actively looking for other jobs whilst on the work clock. So get paid to investigate your options. If it goes South, you’re in the right headspace and maybe a few steps ahead of where you might have been.

Per Ardua


@skydvr My job is to get and keep industrial construction projects. So when there is an issue, I am the customers go to person within the company to get things rectified. They’re not so much telling me how to deal with the shareholders, as telling me we have one shot to fix it and that fix needs to come from the ownership because they have no faith in our management.

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They need to bring this up in a shareholder meeting and stop being passive aggressive. This is not a situation for you to decide the outcome. Sounds like your company is going to lose either way with a small chance for your GM to get his shares bought out

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@Barney Thanks for the good input. I’m actually not ex military. militaryrat0 was my son’s email and gamer tag on xbox. I just shared it with him so I can screen what is being sent to him online from any potential weirdos. The tag on here was system generated.

If it was me though I would talk to the GM one on one behind closed doors and tell them what I was told and be prepared to find a new job. I was never a fan of chain of command, because I feel the individual responsible deserves to shoulder 100% of the load, so the decisions I make are never corporate approved

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Yeah. The problem here is that you actually do have a responsibility to your employer. If you try and act on it yourself, and then it goes south, getting fired is only the start of your worries. If the company can show that you had material information about the potential revenue loss and hid it or kept it to yourself, you may be legally liable as well.

This is a big hot potato and if I were you I would escalate it to an appropriate level to deal with it.

Your client is doing you no favors. He should be the one talking to the GM and delivering the news. But you can’t fix clients.

You should talk to the GM and let him know what’s going on. And update your resume. I’ve been in no win situations with clients and they never end well

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I would follow the chain of command. Once you’ve informed your manager of the situation, the ball is on his court. He can address the rest of the shareholders.
Keeping quiet will definitely get you fired.

Depends. Definitely is a strong adjective for a situation you’re not intimately involved in. Unless you also work there. In which case, yeah.

Has the client officially told your company that they’re been fired or have they only told you informally?

With respect to the general manager and superintendent they have an issue with, has the client spoken to those individuals directly? or previously communicated to your company that there are performance issues?

@HowlinDawg No they haven’t officially told them. They are in the process of slowly onboarding a competitor. They brought up their complaints this time last year and mentioned that we only had 1 year left of our contract, and to be completely forthcoming, the general manager didn’t want to spend the money to address them .

If you don’t tell anyone, you’ll be the scapegoat. "If Military Rat told us we would fixed everything, it’s his fault we’re in this predicament. Not our fault.

And communicate it by email so there’s a paper trail

And update your resume

Like I said this won’t end well

Sounds like they gave fair warning.

I think in your situation I’d seek a meeting with the general manager and a corporate level exec that you trust/respect. Share what you know and see if they’re willing to try to save the account (if the client are already onboarding a competitor, that may be a lost cause). Have some suggestions prepared before you walk into the room.

Caveat - I’m used to working in the EU… your environment may be alien to what I’m used to dealing with.

well then, just go to the GM and inform them that the client has stated they are indeed leaving like they said they would. if he asks why, say they have informed you that it is the same issues they brought up with the GM in the past. if he failed to address their grievances in the past than that is on him, and it is also on him if he wants to try to address them now.


If they brought up the complaints last year then yeah, that’s out of your hands. Get that resume ready