Me and James have been talking in another post. I think that fundamentally, the issue is this…

I think that needing to work for someone I trust has a LOT to do with being diabetic.

I wonder if you guys feel this way and how that plays out.
I wonder if this is just a quirky mohe-thing, or if this is a factor for other diabetics.

I suspect/know that this IS an issue for a much larger proportion of the population now with covid at play. I think I see these issues playing out with a lot more prominence since covid started.

For me, initially, I just got lucky and worked for a lot of really trust worthy, collaborative people in small, family run restaurants.

Then, as an EMT, I refused to work with people I didn’t trust because I didn’t want to do harm to other people (people like me, who were patients). I would only work with people who I felt had really, really good intentions (and, honestly, this kept me out of all sorts of trouble). I was trained for that stuff at a really young age and indoctrinated really heavily with healthcare morals. I took that stuff really seriously because of my experience with diabetes.

But, I think that a lot of that stuff also gets intertwined with my own personal safety and feeling safe. I fundamentally, didn’t want to work with people who I didn’t trust to provide me with care. The practical reality of that is that sometimes I have diabetes issues and sometimes I have epilepsy issues. I’ve seen people get hurt at work (sometimes REALLY badly) and have their employer prevent ambulance response because they dont want to get a workman’s comp claim. Things like that have happened to me, personally.

It’s a self reinforcing thing.

It extends to the professional workplace. We see employers, now, who aren’t real good people, placing employees under undue risk, for sometimes only very minor benefit. So, I think these concerns escalate & reinforce now. I can tell really quickly who I can trust and who I can’t. Working with people who I can’t trust probably produces an unusually high stress response. But, I almost never do it, so that is kinda why I’m asking the rest of you about this.

I am definitely selective about who I will work with. The economy is bad. When that happens, you can’t afford to be super selective. Maybe I am being too selective. But, I feel like when I work for a bunch of thugs and criminals (who totally exist in professional environments) and/or people who I don’t trust to have good judgement or good character in an emergency, there are always problems - nothing but constant problems.

Working with good people that you trust, UNDENIABLY keeps you out of court.
It helps keep you physically safe.
It prevents people from taking advantage of you
It prevents association with people who would put you in harms way.
It solves so many problems upfront.

You guys help reinforce ideas like this. For instance, my fear of MT & UHG. I know that this community does not judge those companies to be ‘good’ organizations. I feel the same way. It translates into physical fear of working for them…which I believe is totally justified.

I think this internet site is FULL of good people. That’s why I hang around. But, I know that not all of you work in fantastic environments - that’s not possible, statistically.


My $0.02 worth:
I believe a good medium term goal (5-10 years) for anybody starting a new career job is to eventually end up in a small business. The trust relationship, control over your own destiny, etc. are all better in the right small business. You are basically working side by side with the owner every day. Many small businesses are “niche” providers that are by necessity very intent on training you to provide good value to the customer. Some people who share my beliefs start at a big corporation or institution, learn everything they need to know about the industry and then they split for a small business.

That said, of course there are small businesses that will screw the employees. You have to make good choices about who to trust when/if you join one.

I might be biased (I’ve always rankled under “higher authority” such as corporate offices, etc.) but I think many large corps and institutional employers treat you like a number on a spreadsheet and nothing more until you move up the ranks pretty far. The best way to survive starting at a large corp or institution is developing a good trusting relationship with your direct supervisor. That person is the go between helping you navigate all the roadblocks the bean counters might throw at you. And hope/pray you can trust that person to handle things properly.

You learn soooo much with small companies because they need you to wear so many hats! Small companies are fantastic.

I do worry that diabetes makes me too expensive for a small company - that’s one reason why I have always financed my own health insurance policy.

Thanks for the input. I’ve felt a little discouraged since last week’s interview with a small company. I felt a stronger obligation/responsibility to very open/honest with them because they were small. It really hurt me to tell them that I couldn’t work for them, but they were very unconventional because they wanted people on-site. I just had to tell them, upfront, that I wasn’t gonna do that.

The other tricky thing about small companies is simply knowing that they exist. There are so many of them, but they are hard to keep track of and notice, even though they do tons of valuable work.

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I’ve worked in fairly large corporations for the past 25 years, ranging from 5,000 to 100,00 employees, and although there is anonymity, particularly as they get global in scope, there is also fair and generous treatment, at least in terms of pay and benefits. Small businesses, being more intimate, can present a problem, if one does not want to have a close relationship with peers and managers, and would rather have independence, say when designing applications. For me, clients and feedback are good, but I’m given freedom to build products management wants, so I don’t mind the distance, and interaction on my designs are usually focused during meetings.

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Are you all doing Ok out there?
MN says they are gonna pass another aid package.
But, they say that they are the only State prepared to do this.
I don’t know how you all are getting by. It worries me.

I expect the culture of a large corp will vary a lot between companies and between industries. In your industry maybe a large corp will be fine? I spent my entire career in professional services businesses which by necessity must have a strong focus on customer service. Advancing in an industry like that is pretty basic…those who can bring in new business will eventually have a say in their own career prospects and those who bring value other ways (f. ex. technical abilities) will be treated well if the management believes he/she can keep you busy and productive.

I spent some time in senior management of a national engineering services corp. and I was appalled at the bean counter attitude towards technical people who bring value but do not directly bring in customers. They literally were tracked on the expense side of the ledger and many discovered they were expendable when the recession hit about 10 years ago. And don’t get me started on the whole corporate politics thing…which is easy to prevent in a small biz.

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I’m a small company girl, and it has completely soured me against the big companies. Not in terms of working for them, as I’m not employed anymore, but just a complete distaste for big business in general. I was so happy to escape the city and all the business drama to be an isolated little homesteader.

I started off being just a namesake for the small business I built my career with. They were a company that provided both medical and cosmetic laser procedures. Every different classification of laser comes with various operation requirements. These particular lasers required that someone of my background be associated with the company, but not necessarily on the premises.

Eventually I came to be very “hands on” in the business, because I found it much more interesting than I first thought it would be. I was fascinated by the medical exploits of LIGHT. The fact that we have chromocytes that respond to specific colors of life, and how Noiger frequencies unlock certain healing properties of light. As a company providing services for payment, though, we constantly fought with the fact that the treatments weren’t very impressive. It was truly amazing what could be done with the lasers, but they were so weak and covered such a small area that it took a long time, and a LOT of money, to achieve the desired results. There were many angry customers. We kept saying, “we can do this better…”

And so we started experimenting, building makeshift equipment out of the garage. The owner of the company had the capital, I had the science background, and we brought a nasa engineer in on the building. What we were able to achieve out of a garage blew our big company competition out of the water.

We decided to focus first on getting cosmetic FDA approval, because it was the least expensive and easiest way into the market. We were taken completely off guard when our assigned FDA liaisons showed up at the door unannounced, looking very “Men in Black”.

The entire purpose of this visit was to surmise if we wanted to “play with the big dogs”, exact words that were put to us. It was literally about buying lobbying power, and it determined the track our submission would take. We were proposing a device that was in direct competition with Erchonia, a massive scale medical device manufacturer, even though we were only working it from the less-stringent cosmetic angle. We opted to be a “little dog” the first round, and we were fast-tracked for approval following a “grandfather” rule that our photonics had already been proven safe.

And then the Erchonia nightmare began… People don’t understand the language used in reference to anything related to the FDA, and they don’t know what recalls mean and how they work. Basically, with the billions Erchonia had paid into the FDA, they had the lobbying power to demand recalls be issued on our device with no evidence of wrong-doing whatsoever. A recall does not necessarily mean anything has been determined unsafe, and doesn’t even mean you have to stop using the recalled devices (in most cases). The most substantial recall issued was in regards to a typo in the user manual, which meant we had to pay again for the manual to be approved. The FDA issues recalls first, and lets you defend yourself after the fact. Erchonia was relentless with the recalls, trying to bankrupt their competition in court and re-filings. They also started a smear campaign against us, advertising our recalls, knowing how bad it made us look despite there being not a single thing substantial about them. We’re talking light here, the thing that surrounds us all the time…

Thankfully, we impressed enough people with our product and were diligent enough in the patent department that we were able to gather enough investors to file as a medical device as a “big dog”. The whole process was ridiculous. Some things I expected, like surgical procedures to document internal effects, but other things were absurd. They charged us ludicrous amounts to drop our device from planes (newsflash, there isn’t a medical device on the market that will survive a 35,000 foot drop undamaged…), and rent the most powerful Tesla coil facility in the country to electrocute it. The fact devices can’t survive these stressors doesn’t mean :poop: to the final ruling, either. It was all just as a farce to buy us equal footing to fight Erchonia. And none of it stopped the recall damages. All it essentially meant was that we could issue our own recalls against them.

None of this FDA battle was about providing effective and safe devices. NONE of it. It was literally just about doing dirty business and greasing palms. It’s left me forever poisoned against big medical companies. I see it everywhere now. The big company mentality about not growing, not changing, not providing the best experience for their user, but just protecting their investors and their hold on the marketplace. I see that stink all over Medtronic. It’s why I’m such staunch supporter of Tandem and the other upstarts that are honestly just fighting to bring a better product to the market.

If I had to go back to the job place, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go to work for one of those big companies I hold so much vehemence for. I need to see the intrinsic value a company brings to their market, and that doesn’t have a thing to do with shareholders. I need to see the company takes care of and protects their employees, hair employees turn out better work. Most importantly, though, I know I wouldn’t be appreciated by a large company. Large companies need mindless worker drones that do as they’re told and don’t make a stir. I’m not that person. I want to be someone who can influence positive change to a product or even the process. I don’t do well with “shut up and just do the job we pay you to do”.


Not to dispute your retelling or to criticize what you were doing in any way but medical device manufacturers are assumed to be pretty low in the medical/ethical hierarchy, a few rungs lower than pharmaceutical, even though with the vaccines they look like heroes. Where I worked before isn’t really better just different, finance and banking, and we know how those industries have helped ruin the world. Now, I work at a major cancer center, but even here, there can be ethical brouhahas…

Thats the most interesting post that I have read in some time, @Robyn_H.

Lasers are interesting, but medical lasers are even MORE interesting.

That’s interesting because the software grad students are always arguing about if ‘garage startups,’ are real or if its just a sorta fairy tale of marketing.

No way! That’s terrifying, lol. You should do a podcast or write a book about this whole experience. Its so interesting…especially the FDA real world experience. I don’t think a lot of people have that type of knowledge about FDA procedures. The overlap with small biz is fascinating and entertaining.

Experience with small biz and FDA is sooo rare. I think people would be fascinated by this stuff. You should speak at some medical tech conference. People would eat this up.


That’s quite possibly true. Unfortunately, my personal big business experience is only in the medical and cosmetic device markets, so I don’t really know how much farther up the ladder other types medical companies go.

I’ve got second-hand big business distaste for the flight industry, too, though. My husband also gave up work with one of the big jet manufacturers to go fly as an independent contractor or just for small charter companies.

The distaste for big business in general runs DEEP in this house.

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I worked most of my career in small businesses.
I switched over to a large corporation about 7 years ago.
I have to say the feeling ina small business suits me reall well.
However I was never treated so well as when I moved to a large corporation.
My salary is almost double. I have very good insurance and a company car and quarterly bonuses.

I essentially do the same job as before, now I’m paid well for it.
I think the small business world taught me how to work hard and taught me a great work ethic.
The corporations are now seeing that as an asset and are willing to pay for it.

My retirement accounts have more than doubled what I worked for in 23 years in just 7 years.
I have 10 years left in me to work I figure and I will likely stay where I am
I like my job, I like my boss, and I like the people I work with.
I’ll take the corporate crap. Maybe I just landed in a good corporation.
Hard to say.

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