《环球邮报》最近刊登的一篇名为《Tim Hortons的残酷转型》之文，读后让我有些不寒而栗。这篇文章揭露了加拿大咖啡连锁店Tim Hortons被巴西财团支持的RBI（Restaurant Brands International）公司收购后所经历的企业文化转变，将该公司疯狂削减成本的经营战略置于镁光灯下。事实上，我的儿子目前正就职于RBI。
I’ve got goose bumps after reading a recent article from the Globe and Mail “Inside the brutal transformation of Tim Hortons”. The article sheds light on the business cultural change after RBI (Restaurant Brands International) – the Brazilian backed company that acquired the Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons, putting the company’s corporate strategy of zealous cost cutting under scrutiny. The truth is that my son is a current RBI employee.
据这篇文章称，在RBI收购Tim Hortons后，随即便在Tim Horton的总部进行了大规模裁员，削减了数百名员工以及一半管理团队成员。与此同时，该公司也开始进行大举招聘，吸纳大量年轻而又充满活力的MBA，这些新鲜血液被称之为3H，即勤奋上进、质朴谦逊并渴望成功者；或PSD，也就是贫穷、聪明并有着强烈致富欲望之人士。
The article revealed that after RBI’s takeover of Tim Hortons, massive layoffs ensued at Tim Horton’s head office that eliminated hundreds of employees and half of the management team. Meanwhile, the company has embarked on a hiring spree, bringing in a new crop of young, fresh faced MBAs, dubbed 3Hs: Hard-working, Humble and Hungry, or PSDs: poor, smart, with a deep desire to get rich.
My son became one of the 3Hs after getting a job offer at RBI last year, which came after he survived several rounds of a rigorous selecting process and earned an honors degree at the prestigious Ivey Business School. But a few weeks into his job, he started to work crazy long hours, leaving home before dawn and coming back late at night. Often, he would crash into his bedroom after getting home, too exhausted to speak. Despite living under the same roof, I wouldn’t be able to talk to him for several days straight in a week.
But this type of work schedule does not seem the norm among his peers. One of his childhood friends who worked for an American high tech firm as a software engineer told me that his company has adopted a laid-back corporate culture, offering employees a casual schedule and allowing them to work remotely from work. With a light workload and flexible workhours, many employees enjoy plenty of opportunities to pursue their own leisure while working for the company.
But according to the Globe article report, RBI encourages a corporate culture that puts work ahead of personal life and family, and the young hires are expected to put in grueling hours. During a tour at the company’s workplace, I found that there were no cubicles in the spacious office, only rows of communal tables, with no barriers between workstations. The Globe article appears to suggest that this type of office design intended to shame those who leave office early, effectively forcing employees to work beyond regular office hours.
Seeing him putting much longer hours at work, even donating his off hours contemplating job tasks has made me worry that the stressful job may consume his life and threaten his health. The Globe article has prompted my concerns that the aggressive corporate strategy would leave him vulnerable to employer’s mistreatment and exploitation. However, while I am despised by this ruthless, profit-driven corporate culture, my son surprisingly told me that he loved it.
他向我讲述了《环邮》文章所未强调的RBI的另一面。那些包括售出了前Tim Hortons公司飞机在内的一些大幅削减成本的措施虽然看似残酷，但却有效地避免了浪费，并提高了员工的生产力。新Tim Hortons为新员工提供了大量迅速成长，并在公司里获得快速升迁的机会。目前该公司行政和高层管理团队中的许多成员都是年龄在35岁以下的年轻人，一些顶尖人才在毕业后的一年内便可晋升至高级及管理层职位。
He revealed the other side of RBI that the Globe story didn’t emphasize. The cost cutting measures—including to sell the corporate jet, while seemingly brutal, has eliminated all waste and improved employee’s productivity. The new Tim Hortons provides abundant opportunities for the new recruits to thrive and quickly move up the corporate ladder. Many in the executive and senior management team are young and below the age of 35, and some top talents were promoted to senior and management positions within a year after graduating from school.
“The culture of seniority in the former company encourages laziness and doesn’t give young people like me a chance! ” my son said proudly. “I am willing to devote to my job and build a future here!”.
I was gripped by mixed emotions as I heard his words. In an era when millennials are criticized as a generation of lazy, work-loathing narcissists, I am not sure I should be concerned or satisfied.
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