Andrew Merenbach

Better living through InfoSec

Don't get burned

2019-01-21

Last night, Liz and I watched the Netflix documentary about the Fyre Festival. Former employees of startup Fyre Media, which developed software for booking musical acts, weighed in on the marketing initiative that slowly consumed their entire company.

Despite the crescendoing trainwreck around them, many of these key players stayed on. It’s hard to blame them for enabling their employer thanks to several powerful motivators: charismatic leadership, a deep belief in the product, and fear of missing out (“FOMO”). More importantly, this article hadn’t been written yet. With the help of my dear wife, I’ve distilled my thoughts on the matter into ten precepts to consider during employment with any company:

  1. Your employer has never asked you to do anything that you would be ashamed to have on the front page of a newspaper.
  2. Your paycheck is consistently on-time, for the correct amount, reported properly to tax authorities, and paid from a domestic business bank account via physical check or direct deposit.
  3. You have never been asked to assume personal liability, either financial or legal, for company operations.
  4. Management has never gaslit, lied to, or otherwise misled you, even to preserve morale.
  5. A “culture of positivity” has never been used as a tool to stifle you.
  6. Your organization is as transparent to you about its failures as about its successes.
  7. When you raise legitimate concerns, they are met without deflection, retaliation, or minimization.
  8. You have never suffered as a result of the impulsiveness, shortsightedness, or hubris of someone working above you.
  9. Extraneous endeavors don’t dilute your focus on the company’s core mission.
  10. Mandatory overtime for you is the exception, not the rule.

If any of the above failed to ring true, especially repeatedly, I would dust off my résumé immediately because where there’s smoke, there’s Fyre.