NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Of all the Sears Holdings (SHLD) articles I wrote at the beginning of the year that went viral, If You Work For Sears, Quit and Find a New Job Now triggered the most controversy.
I led that piece off with a message I received from a VP at a major corporation not named Sears:
I refuse to go on the record, but let's just say your work this past week has confirmed that one of my decisions last year was the right one.
If a VP -- who, obviously, opted not to go work for Sears -- chest bumped and fist pumped to numbers such as More Pathetic Pictures From a Dying Sears or Sears: A National Tragedy, there's no reason why a rank and file retail associate shouldn't.
Don't do something dumb like quit a job if you're not prepared to be unemployed or if you don't have something else lined up, but -- for Pete's sake -- start looking because, as I noted during the January 2014 Sears social media dustup, what Sears requires is ...
about 2,000 sticks of dynamite and a management team staffed w/ techies who have never heard of Sears.
It's clear they're not going that route, so if you work there you need to make alternative plans pronto.
Nothing Eddie Lampert is doing at Sears keeps the best interests of the company's employees or its few remaining customers in mind. If you don't believe me, check what a former Sears VP and current retail consultant, Steve Dennis, said on his blog the other day. You might have seen him on CNBC or floating around Twitter (TWTR), but it's worth repeating what I consider the key takeaway from his spot-on rant where claims Lampert's "either a liar or delusional":
The results speak for themselves: Lampert doesn't know what he is doing. After 28 straight quarters of declining sales - let THAT sink in for a minute - he has the chutzpah to assert, among other things, that Sears is investing in where retail will be in the future (huh?), that the 'Shop My Way' member program is some huge differentiator, that having fewer, less convenient locations than the competition is a good thing and that Sears can compete effectively with Amazon.com (AMZN). All of these hypotheses would be laughable if the implications were not so tragic. Whether he really believes any of this is, or is merely spinning the story to buy time, remains an open question. But regardless of whether he is being disingenuous or whether he is nuts, you'd be crazy to give him your money.
Don't walk. In fact, it would be ideal if you have a faster time in the 40-yard dash than Michael Sam. That's the type of speed you need to run away from Sears.
When Sears collapses, Congress should call for an inquiry into what happened. Though, why wait? Lampert needs to answer some questions about how he's managing the downfall because it sure doesn't appear to be in the best interest of Americans, be it consumers or on-the-ground retail workers. Instead, Sears, in some respects, has become little more than a way to service Lampert's hedge fund.
Dennis said it best at the end of his blog:
Frankly, it's been game over for some time now. It's only Sears legacy equity and Lamperts ability to pick at the carcass that has propped up the corpse.
Let's stop the insanity.
--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.