Managing vampires and werewolves
Corporate America has its own special Halloween and its own special boogey men.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- It's the time of year to beware of vampires and werewolves.
No, I'm not talking Halloween, or at least not the one your kids enjoy. I'm talking about the corporate sort. Budget season.
For many companies working on a calendar year, now is the time when the finance department is doing its final number crunch. The result of that alone can be very scary. John Carpenter's Michael has nothing on what a deranged bean-counter can do in terms of bloodshed and pain.
The final months, when various departments are competing to win precious operating dollars or investment money, can bring out other monsters as well.
First come the vampires. These folks usually hide in various corners of the corporate woodwork. But they'll come out and after you, particularly if they hear you have lifeblood ... that'd be dollars. Typically they arrive at your office doorstep with various come-ons about joint projects or inter-departmental endeavors and such. And they can be quite charming in a Bela Lugosi kind of way.
Follow the movie code: Don't invite them in and keep your crucifix handy. Anything they want to do with you is just a pretext for keeping themselves in the land of the undead. They want to suck you dry.
It's pretty easy to identify the vampires. The scarier monster is the werewolf. They start out normal, even as friends. But then that corporate budget comes out like a full moon. Quicker than you can say "howl," they change. Savage and vicious, they will suddenly tear at you and rip at your carcass. You and your department are meat to them. You must die for them to live. No amount of reason will sway that primal instinct.
Of course these monsters are present year round ... it's just that budget season tends to bring their activities to the fore. Continuing the calendar irony, most budget issues are resolved by Thanksgiving. You hope you have something to be thankful about. Otherwise it's layoffs for the Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa season.
In the meantime, good luck with monster season.
Allen Wastler is managing editor of CNNMoney.com and appears on CNN's "In the Money." He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.