This week, I headed out to an American Express Alumni cocktail party. What's that you say, a room full of ex colleagues getting together for cocktails, you aren't obligated to go and it's not company sponsored so you have to pay for drinks yourself. Who does that?
I must admit that it is a testament to the culture of the company and it's hiring practices that a former Amexer took upon herself to arrange this cocktail party 2x a year. Of course, in the last year, there are a lot more familiar faces because of the massive number of layoffs in the last year. But again, why would people come out in droves? Because for the most part, Amexers are smart, personable and likeable people. Like I said, most. I will not sugarcoat the fact that at the end of the day, it is a Fortune 50 with tons of warts and plenty of a**holes and plenty of people who rise to the top and you spend your time wondering why. But of all the companies I have worked for, I have kept in contact with tons of current and former Amex employees and while I have been unemployed, so many people who have long left the company have been more than happy to network with me and have recommended for open positions.
Glad I went because it was nice to run into so many people I spent many an evening working late with.