AT&T

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AT&T - a changed company

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Supervisor in Washington, DC
Former Employee - Supervisor in Washington, DC

I worked at AT&T

Pros

Pay and benefits were very good compared to some other companies of the same size. For example, before divestiture, all new employees were given extensive training. You were sent to their schools, and taught all the facets of the company, and telecommunications in general. You had frequent reviews to let you know how you were doing. The medical benefits package was excellent, as was the salary schedule. Since there were many different special departments, if you needed to do any research for your job, the information was more than likely available within the compay. Vacations and holidays were more than ample each year.

Cons

After divestiture the mind set of the company changed drastically, and some of the senior managers tended to overreact. It made it difficult to work with your customers and have them understand that thing were not going to be the same as before. Middle level managers were placed in the middle of trying to keep the customers happy and following the new guidelines of the company. There were a lot of customer losses, and since they were long term contracts, it took a while to gain back the lost revenue. Then at the same some time new employees came on board, and since they did not really understand telemommunications, that hurt also.

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Please request feedback from all levels that work at the company, and listen to it. The happier, more informed you can keep the employees the better the company will run.

Approves of CEO

6506 Other Employee Reviews for AT&T (View Most Recent)

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Ever sit in hours of gridlock, only to find there's no accident? That's AT&T.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior IT Analyst in Bedminster, NJ
    Current Employee - Senior IT Analyst in Bedminster, NJ

    I have been working at AT&T

    Pros

    AT&T sends paychecks out on time. They tend to pay what seem to be reasonable severance for employees who are laid off. Entry level management salaries appear to be fair.

    On an individual basis, I have worked with some truly stellar people, including all of my immediate supervisors. I have worked with individuals who truly cared about the brand and our customer experience. I have learned a lot from them. The most intelligent and productive people I have ever met in my life, I met at AT&T. When AT&T is (was) at its best, it is *the best* in the industry.

    Cons

    Since the merger, there is no consultation between middle and upper management and front line employees and/or managers. It was not always this way. And when I mean no consultation, I mean no consultation whatsoever. Something like 6 people (I have lost count) have "run" my "organization" in the past 2 years; I had no opportunity to even meet any of them. One was despised by everyone to the point where people would openly talk about how frustrating he was to work for, but no one would ever confront him, even in a constructive manner, to let him know that a lot of the whims he demanded people act on made no business sense whatsoever.

    When management gets a whim, everyone is afraid to say anything or raise red flags because the attitude seems is, "Just be lucky you still have a job." The company operates using, basically, negative reinforcement - management governs by the stick.

    Organizationally, it seems to play musical chairs constantly, organizing individual teams into wildly inappropriate organizations which have nothing to do with what the team actually does. I am waiting for the finance staff to placed under the custodial department.

    The past 4 years, especially, have been a series of layoffs and disgruntled people leaving the company. Things tend to have a "slowly sinking ship" feel. People are laid off all around you, suddenly and seemingly without discretion, often leaving teams ludicrously understaffed. Even if I make allowances for not seeing the "big picture" in the way upper management do, I have to seriously wonder sometimes if layoffs are done completely at random, and without any assessment of possible consequences.

    No time is taken to document procedures, processes, and systems, so it becomes necessary to reinvent the wheel constantly. Sometimes, entire systems are abandoned, left running, with no one ultimately responsible for them, ghost machines chugging away in the night. There is simply no time to document anything or transition things in an orderly fashion. Middle and upper management either do not care, or do not how to address the aggressive, reckless, impetuous cost cutting which has become a managerial fetish in the past several years.

    There is no money for infrastructure or IT; many internal systems are laughably ancient and/or obsolete. There appears to be little or no leadership in the industry. AT&T, basically, reacts to what other companies do. The general feeling is that consumers are in awe of our brand name alone, so the way the company runs, or the quality of its products is secondary to the swooning admiration consumers (they think) have for the stripey blue globe.

    My workload has more than quadrupled and I have no personal life anymore. I work from the time I wake up until I go to sleep, and often on weekends. I am useless to my family in the free time I do have because I am so exhausted.

    I'm afraid to turn down any responsibilities already placed on my overloaded plate for fear of being let go. There just aren't any other jobs around; I've looked. Despite this unhappy situation, I have given every last bit of energy I have to the company. I am fairly certain it will not be reciprocated or even noticed.

    Yet, with benefit cuts (another major downside), I am making pretty much the same thing I made 4 years ago, despite positive appraisals. I've concluded there is nothing I can do to get ahead. Lest one conclude that this is exclusively my fault, I would point out that of the 200 or so people who were batch-hired when I signed up with the company, to my knowledge I am the only one left; they have retained me either for reasons I do not understand or because I have not said "no" to any request or responsibility, however unreasonable. I have done my part. I am easy to work with, and a team player. I have painstakingly honed my professional demeanor to be as positive, outgoing, and helpful as possible, but this has failed to make any kind of impact.

    The mergers have left so many redundancies that there is little upward promotion. I have basically given up any hope of being promoted. I have attempted to maintain a positive attitude and even sought constructive advice on how to get ahead, because I am more than qualified now to run a team in my particular skill area.

    No one has anything to say other than there's nothing I can do, things just are the way they are. I have scoured appraisal comments for some indication that my stagnation is a result of a personal deficiency and have critically looked at my own performance, and I find no explanation for why I am still doing the same job now that I was doing 10 years ago. I accept responsibility for the fact that I should have seen this coming and left the company some time ago. But I *wanted to be an AT&T employee*. I was proud. I wanted to use my talents to help make this company successful. Naively, I believed I would be taken up on the offer, and possibly compensated for it. It is my fault for not understanding the unfortunate direction the company was headed in.

    AT&T now pays contractors to do work that it should be an industry leader in and selling as a service to other companies. It has become fickle and short-term oriented. It does little research or innovation of its own - the iPhone is a perfect example.

    Internal objectives and accomplishments tracking is particularly amusing, given the complete understaffing and number of proverbial holes in the dam that need to be plugged. So you start the year with, say, 10 objectives, all of which need to be tied to some kind of mathematical metric (however inappropriate for the task at hand that is - I have to basically make stuff up for some of my responsibilities because they don't track to a mathematical metric). Then half your organization is laid off, and you've inherited those responsibilities.

    Meanwhile half of your objectives are no longer relevant by years end, but guess what your appraisal will be based on? Nothing you do outside of those objectives will count for anything. As a result, people just let things fall through the cracks. Things fall apart - often collapsing suddenly - and no one will accept blame, and fair enough, because those things weren't in anyone's objectives. There is no incentive whatsoever to do anything other than what is on your list, which is not an appropriate situation given the massive attrition and layoffs AT&T has become so fond of.

    Paperwork has increased dramatically since the merger. More and more time is taken up with whims and pointless formalities, including but not limited to the astoundingly poor, and often completely irrelevant online training they require. I work in IT; I have nonetheless been required to take online courses in things like underground fuel storage and federal regulations pertaining thereto. That was maybe 18 months ago. To this day, I have no idea why.

    Overall, the general feeling within the company is decay. When the mergers occurred, I thought we'd be blasting off like a rocket, with SBC's expertise providing some substance and energy to AT&T's declining fortunes. Instead, the slide has continued. Morale is horrible and continuing to sink. The declining economy has made people concerned (understandably) almost exclusively with earning a paycheck, so unhappy folks will stay on, which will result in a further decline of morale. While everyone I know who has been laid off was dismayed to lose the paycheck and confront the chaos of unemployment, not one was sad to be leaving AT&T's negative and dispiriting corporate culture.

    I used to really love working for this company, but now I loathe every day, and I begin loathing Monday morning by the time I wake up on Saturdays. It's sad, because this once-great company, the company of Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone system, and innovation and scientific research (Bell Labs) is now all about the service equivalent of cheap plastic widgets.

    My hope is that the company changes course, finds its groove again, finds a way to make employees proud to work for it again, and become a leader in the industry. This could happen but it will take a visionary at the helm. One should not read my negativity as contempt; it is sadness and disappointment. I want to feel the same kind of enthusiasm and pride I felt when I first signed on with this embattled corporation.

    I have put so much sweat into this company, and it is truly discouraging to see it all for, apparently, naught.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I would have no idea what to tell them other than dragging employee morale down through the mud has a price - one which will have consequences once this economic slump is through and previously loyal employees leave en masse for less depressing, better compensated environments.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful  

    "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Atlanta, GA
    Current Employee - Customer Service Representative in Atlanta, GA

    I have been working at AT&T

    Pros

    First off, at&t is really ‘SBC’. Based in Texas, SBC bought at&t’s name and network, when ever you hear at&t now, it’s not the old at&t you’re familiar with. When SBC bought Pacific Bell, SBC received much negative publicity because their corporate atmosphere is rather harsh. I feel the Bellsouth takeover wasn’t given much media attention as far as SBC’s treatment of employees, because they’re getting rid of employees slower.
    The best reasons to work here are good benefits & above average salary. Had the same with Bellsouth. Bellsouth was a much more employee/customer friendly place to work, but with the economy downturn Bellsouth was beginning their path to an ‘SBC’ culture as well.

    Cons

    So far, at&t is by far one of the most hostile environments in which I’ve worked. I know of no previous Bellsouth employees that likes “the new at&t”. at&t will squeeze until they can't get anymore from you. After you're used up, consider yourself gone. View this job as a temporary stepping stone to something better.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.”

    Disapproves of CEO
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