Letters from the week of December 5, 2002

Sprint to the Finish 

Letters from the week of December 5, 2002

The firing line: Regarding Casey Logan's "Screwed by Sprint" (November 21): Thank you so much for doing such a wonderful story! I was screwed by Sprint in the first round of layoffs in October and my husband in March the following year. My husband was rehired with Sprint later that month in a different department. Now, with more layoffs coming down the pike, it looks like we are set for yet another layoff in December. (We will have to wait and see.) I currently work for Mid America Health, which is being bought out by Coventry Health Care, and I will be set for a layoff estimated for the end of January.

I am so thankful that a newspaper/ media organization was willing to print the truth about that company. While you would think that everyone in Kansas City would understand what an evil company it is and how these layoffs could have been prevented, it is very important for the media to relay such stories.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all families and individuals who are affected by these difficult economic times.
Kelly Elizabeth White
Overland Park

Phone lines: Let's summarize. You are complaining because Sprint:

Treats its employees to visits by celebrities and flowers; maintains a nice work environment (even outside of the office); provides convenient services for its employees; attempted an innovative service for the convenience of the customer (ION); expects our workers to work eight hours a day; provides employees nice, large cubes (versus some of the offices I've seen downtown); gives two weeks of severance for every year worked (severance pay is not mandated by law); employs a significant number of people in Kansas City; and because our CEO thanked God for saving us from a poor business deal.

Hmmm. Let's see. Your intentions are to lose readers, bring KC's economy down and bring Sprint down, thereby causing more KC employees to lose their jobs.

Did I get this right?
Hattie Williams
Kansas City, Missouri

Lords of the rings: I agree with your article 100 percent. I worked on the ION project for almost four years. One thing your article did not fully expand on was the politicized atmosphere of Sprint.

ION is/was a classic case of how not to manage a major software project -- major application components were put under warring directors and VPs. On one occasion, a contractor was sent home without pay for writing a trouble ticket on a software application.

Sprint management is totally inept and uncaring of its employees. Thank you for finally bringing most of this out.
Morris Parker
Overland Park

Hang up and try again: I understand you have to find some disgruntled, self-conscious ex-employee to bitch about Sprint, but not all of us feel that way. Why don't you ever print a story on how well Sprint is doing for once? Have you mentioned that a couple of weeks ago Sprint received the J.D. Powers & Associates award for business long distance again? No, you haven't.

I work for Sprint, in the MMO division -- the backbone of the company. We make up the majority of the business for the company, and we're growing like crazy. For me, Sprint is the best thing to happen in my life. I have met high-ranking execs, have access to some of the best benefits available and have a Fortune 500 company on my résumé.

If Young has sent out 2,000 résumés, obviously it isn't Sprint; it's him. What some people don't understand is that you are working in the telecom industry, an unstable environment. One day you're king of the hill, the next you're laying off employees. That's what happens. Sprint started out over 100 years ago as an alternative to the big dogs at AT&T, to make your own choice for your long distance. And every day, Sprint continues to impress me and their customers. So I wanted to say, good job, guys.
Cindy Ferrell
Kansas City, Missouri

All fired up: Thank you for a wonderful article exposing the evils of Sprint. However, I have different feelings than some of my past coworkers.

Although I was also displaced from Sprint in October 2001, after five years of employment, I only harbor a few ungrateful thoughts. It's easy to have ill feelings toward a previous employer after going through something like that. Sprint has made many terrible business decisions in the past, and it is showing itself today. I don't think even the high-level executives would argue with that.

Sprint did provide me with one valuable thing: work experience. I truthfully enjoyed every single day of my employment with them. I actually didn't feel like I was going to work when I awoke in the morning. The environment that I worked in was great, the people I worked with were great, the benefits were great and I was happy with my pay structure. I enjoyed the industry itself, and the whole technology behind it.

I think people are naïve in thinking that they are completely safe in any job they have, regardless of the size of the company. Complaining about what happened to me at Sprint won't change anything. All complaining will do for me now is make me less aggressive in my future job search.

As bitter as everyone is about that company right now, if I were offered a position at Sprint that I felt was a good opportunity, I would take it in a heartbeat.
Brian Gray


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