Merger, Buyout, Cash on Hand

Today my company announced it is being bought by a larger company for $300 million paid in “cash on hand,” with retention bonuses up to $220,000 for top tier management.  From what I can see in a brief online search, lawsuits are already flying about how the deal was managed for stockholder shares, which jumped to hover around $30/share this week.  I cannot afford to own shares, so I have no comment.  Nuance Buys Transcend

I actually like what I do, the continual learning, the fact I can make an impact at a world-renowned children’s hospital by providing accurate patient care documentation, and take pride in doing a good job, despite griping about my long hours at the keyboard and the fact it can be described as white collar factory piece work done 99% by women, managed primarily by men; or the fact I take no lunch breaks in order to produce for an 8 to 11-hour day.

I have been here twice before in my 17 years in this industry.  The first time I left a company after a buyout when all women top management were replaced by men; the other resulted in massive layoffs including yours truly.  Par for the course, the layoffs happened right before the holidays, and at that particular moment happened to be while my child was in the hospital on life support.  Fortunately, there have always been jobs available to me in healthcare transcription and editing, so I tend not to get my feathers too ruffled.

What gets me are the terms like “cash on hand.”  It would be an interesting experiment for these companies to ask each transcriptionist at the bottom of the company structure responsible for producing the quality documentation so prized for its weight in gold how much “cash on hand” their household has.  Or how many of them need to work 2 jobs in order to meet their basic bills and avoid the food bank.

Contrary to the above stated, I am done being bitter and will ride this wave like I have all the others.  I do not envy top management positions for their responsibilities and stress, and I believe they deserve compensation.  I just think the scale of difference between the people making the product and the people selling it is yet another example of the huge disparity highlighted by the 99% Movement and the reality in which we find ourselves in this new world economy; a sea change for us Americans, flattening our expectations, consuming less and less, getting one iota closer to the majority of the world’s peoples.

I saw a cheery news byte last week about how the state of the US economy is clearly on an upswing because new credit card offers are back in the mail!  Oh how glorious.  There but for Grace go I.  Eventually we all have to say No More!  This month I have officially paid off and canceled every last bit of debt and credit card to my name (except those debts generously extended by family) and as long as I live, I endeavor to never fall into that false promise trap again.

I can envision many more things I would like to be doing with my life energy than my job 60 hours each week, but it is all worth the high of being able to buy my child a new pair of shoes, have cash to sign her up for 5th grade volleyball (a deferred dream of my own from my youth), and not need to postpone buying milk when it runs out.

Merge, Buy, Prosper, and for all our sakes may we see a new day of opportunity for new directions, new solutions to the age old weary ways of the world.

About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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