I received a SMS from one of my ex-Boss (EK) few days ago. He is now a property agent.
I was invited to join a certain publishing company that publishes some newsletters and an “educational magazine”. When I went in, I found out many things wasn’t in place. They employed the wrong people to sell ads, the magazine was in a mess, the editors treated this magazine like a book and to make things worst, the bosses know nuts about publishing.
I took up the job, brought along all my advertisers, revamp the magazine, change the editorial directions (changed the Editors too), change the concept, set up a new ad sales team, beefed up the distribution network and marketed this magazine aggressively to the ad agencies and clients. Soon advertisement ratio went up and the magazine was making money.
Salaries was often late, suppliers and printers payment always delayed, out of curiosity, I demanded to know about the financial status of the company from the accountant. I was shocked that despite the 4 folds increase in billings, they are reporting losses month after month. I was even more shocked that the bosses are changing new cars and buying houses at that time under company’s account.
I smelt a fish but decided to monitor the situation before planning my exit. After all, I had put in all that I got in publishing into this magazine. Things didn’t change much.
After a 2nd magazine revamp, I am bent on getting out of this publishing company. Things wasn’t really looking good on the company’s financial front when I even picked up a few calls from our vendors and was told that that payment hadn’t been settled for months. The salaries for the staff also started to pay later and later than usual.
When I ask the bosses what happened and he simply brushed it off and denied that this is happening. He claimed he usually pays them on time and puts the blame on the late payment of advertisers. What an excuse. You meant there’s no funds in the company account at all?
The Boss soon “resigned” and have his nephew (EK) took over the business. Being the new Boss, he wasn’t really told (the full story) what was really going on in the company. EK was even made to take up a business loan (in EK’s name) to “tide” the company over.
When I left, my commissions are left unpaid citing they do not have enough funds to pay me back. Feeling bitter and cheated, I murmured beneath my breath;
“You will not survive for another year.”
That was Nov 2006.
Shortly after I left, I made an announcement to the industry.
Ad Agencies started to call that company to cancel their bookings, advertisers called to cancel their advertisements.
(Not that I am great or anything. Read On.)
Why? After I left, this company started employing “Cheap Labor” sales staff from 3rd world countries. Some of them can’t even communicate well in English! Many ad agencies called me and shared with me how terrible their account servicing skills are and how bad the magazine has become.
I was sad because after all, this magazine is my “baby”, I managed to revived a “dead toad” and have it turned into a lucrative money-spinner. Then this bunch of incompetent idiots have to destroy all that I had built up. But somewhere inside me are rejoicing. Something evil in me was brewing. I wanted more bad news about them to come to me.
Back to the SMS. So I replied the SMS to EK and asked him what happened to the publishing company? And why he has to work as an estate agent now? He replied me and told me that he closed the publishing company in Nov 2007.
It was exactly One Year after I left, and as predicted by me. Karma has finally catch up with this media owner.
For the good of all other ethical media owners, I guess its better that this publishing company closed down.
I had forwarded EK’s SMS to a regulating party for estate agents in Singapore. I want to make sure if the “10% referral fee” that he is offering to me (and probably everyone else in his mobile phone) is legal and acceptable by industry practice.
God Is Fair, Yeah He Is.