Despite my employer's efforts to sell high on me, I coolly declined their proposition to trade me to a competing firm in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Friday, July 30 of the year 2021. The Boss is locked in his office. His voice muffled, and frantic; his head buries in his telephone furiously responding to text messages as he simultaneously barks orders in a conference call. Mere hours stand between now and the Employee Trade Deadline. All companies in the Paper Pushing Middleman industry are scrambling to finalize their staff before all employee transactions are frozen for the remainder of the year at 4:00PM today.
Rumors are spreading that the company has peaked and revenue is taking a turn for the negative. Common sense dictates a short-term restructuring phase and a reallocation of resources in pursuit of a new long-term approach. Turnover is high. Until today I have been one of the few to survive the flurry of old blood going out and new blood coming in. I’ve been an adequate performer making a decent wage.
I’ve noticed huddles of busybodies quiet to a whisper when I approach. They speculate my future. I wasn’t born yesterday.
What they didn’t know? I was prepared.
I’m dutifully filing files when my phone buzzes on my desktop. I check the notification.
It is a text message from Shelly in Human Resources.
It reads, “The Boss has a deal in place to send you to Wilson Documentation Services and Solutions, Inc. in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Do you accept?”
I take a deep breath. I knew it was coming. But it always provokes a reaction. Someone doesn’t want you. But someone else does. It is a curious sensation.
The Boss continues to deliver muffled barks behind closed doors as I compose my response:
“No, I do not accept. I exercise my full no-trade clause.”
The no-trade clause. I swell in the warmth of my foresight. The Boss rued the day HR accepted that request in my employment negotiations. I did not wish, at any moment’s notice, to have to upend my entire life, sell my house, force my wife out of her good job, geographically abandon immediate and extended family, break all local connections and move clear across the country to a completely random new city. I did not wish to cede control of my life to my employer.
But I know Wendy in Client Relations asked for a higher salary in lieu of a no-trade clause in his contract negotiations. I bet a young startup somewhere could use his valuable filing services experience. Maybe The Boss can get some wide-eyed up-and-comers for Wendy.