To the Editor: After reading Mike Farrell's article in Multichannel News ["Atrocious' Morale: Ex-Adelphians Cite Mistrust, Misery" Dec. 16, 2002] I felt compelled to respond and clarify what I feel to be more truthful and less distorted information. As the assistant to the former [Adelphia Communications Corp.] chief financial officer [Timothy Rigas], and now the assistant to the current CFO [Chris Dunstan], I would like to present the view from my perspective.
There is a team spirit like I have never seen in my four years with Adelphia. New management meets with their people, provides direction, has time for employees, and there is no
waiting or excuses for not meeting with people. Adelphia is darn lucky to have professional managers. Coudersport [Pa.] is darn lucky, too!
New management is accountable, their people are accountable, money is not being squandered, reports are generated, and we even have budgets, the likes of which I have not seen before!
[The hiring of] Chris Dunstan, the new executive vice president, CFO and treasurer was the best thing that has happened to me in my 30-year career. I've had the worst in my career, and now I have the best! Chris is honest, trustworthy, fair and just. He works with his people, provides direction, and has a wonderful attitude.
He's a great family man and extremely bright. No one would ever know that because he has a humbleness about him, too. He always has a smile no matter how rough things may get. If anyone can make it happen, he can. Chris is highly respected by his current and former employees. Just ask them.
Fear of firing
Employees know what has happened. They know some of us will eventually have to go. It's happening all over this country. To say that employees are petrified, I believe the verbiage is too strong. Employees are concerned — for sure! The job market is not very promising. The competition is tough — we all know it!
The job market in Coudersport is flat, unless one is employed by Adelphia. If you work for Adelphia, have a home and family in the community you were born and raised in, or relocated here from somewhere else — and now there is the fear of job loss — it's only human to be concerned.
Hard to let go
"Letting employees go" is never easy. As a former internal affairs agent for a major Pennsylvania utility company and an employee for 23 years, I have both walked employees "off the job" and have been caught up in downsizing. Been there, done that! I know companies do the best they can under their own particular circumstances. It's never easy when a company is in trouble.
[Adelphia interim CEO Erland] Erkie Kailbourne and his management team are extremely busy trying to fix the problems. Why does he need to be visible only at corporate headquarters? Erkie spends more time in the field offices than any Rigas ever did.
Erkie's communications with employees has been excellent. He keeps his employees updated on the latest developments via email and employee conferences — something I have not seen prior to Mr. Kalibourne taking over as CEO. Communications, not visibility, is significant, especially with Adelphia's current state of affairs.
The directive of Oct. 14th was totally misconstrued. Because of the unusual circumstances — small town community living, neighbors, school friends, Adelphia being the major employer in Coudersport, so many fine lines, so many folks in shock, so many needing their jobs, so much confusion — many employees asked for direction because of their relationships with the former owners. Because of the legalities involved, no one wanted to jeopardize his or her job. These folks in this small town have never encountered this type of situation previously; we all needed direction and we got it.
As far as the birthday party, the guidelines were provided in Randy's memo — employees need to be responsible for their actions; they need to decide where their loyalties are.
Adelphia is a good company with good people. I would not hesitate to recommend our company and its services to anyone. We're strong and we're getting stronger!
We now have the full foundation the American dream was built upon — trust, hard work and honesty!
Rosie Krammes, Adelphia Employee, Coudersport, Pa.