Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
Showing 1 - 5 of 121 Tales.
Tale # 17
Dept: I.T. Score: 5877
Dec 1st 2005 Submitted by Anonymous
“The Audit”
A donut I once got talking to a guy whose job it was to go into a company, sit alongside the Systems Administrator for two weeks, and write a professional audit on his processes and practices.

Naturally the sys admin would be on his best behavior, showing off all the clever things he did to keep the company's computer network ticking over.

At the end of the two weeks, the sys admin would be fired. There was never any audit: this was just the method the company used to replace their IT people without disruption, making sure the new guy was trained up and the old guy didn't cause any damage before he left. LINK
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Tale # 47
Dept: Management Score: 2321
Dec 27th 2005 Submitted by Anonymous
“Temporary Promotions”
A donut At a former employer of mine it was common practice to only grant the pay raises and other benefits associated with a promotion six months after the promotion was given. The official rationale was that management needed to know you were going to work out in the position. Not suprisingly in practice the vast majority of promotions were recinded 4-5 months after they were announced. They always managed to catch people slipping up SOMEHOW over that time.

It was an horrific system but jobs were so scarce in that area that no one quit. (Obviously it wasn't a union shop.) Finally things came to a head when my friend and cubicle mate was promoted to group leader. The poor guy was put on earth to do the kind of Quality Control work the job entailed. He loved his job and worked at least three times faster than everyone else. Better yet he was obsessive about being on time for everything never slacking off during work hours.

In a normal company he would have shot up the corporate ladder. In this case the management freaked when they couldn't trip him up after 5 months. They started increasing his workload by the day. To the point where he was doing five and a half peoples share of analysis. He was my good friend and had a kid and needed the raise so I'd stay late for the first week and would help him finish his work. Then suddenly everyone was banned from assisting one another in their work load.

They finally got what they wanted and he missed a deadline and had his promotion canceled. It was honestly the saddest sight I have ever seen in any workplace. He literally cried the entire day in his cube while still doing his work faster than any of the rest of us.

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Tale # 38
Dept: Operations Score: 2130
Dec 12th 2005 Submitted by Anonymous
“Say My Name!”
A donut At one call centre I worked at it was policy to use the customer's name five times, no matter how brief the call.

A friend of mine had a lot of trouble with this, so his team leader decided to coach him: listen to his calls and tell him what he should do differently.

The very first call they received was from somebody asking for a service they didn't provide. The call went like this.

Customer: "Do you provide such and such service?"
Employee: "Can I get your name please?"
Customer: "Sure, it's John."
Employee: "John. John, John, John, John, no we don't, thanks for calling." LINK
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Tale # 15
Dept: Management Score: 1370
Dec 1st 2005 Submitted by Max
“The Magical Disappearing Office”
A donut My company was very big on open plan: not one employee anywhere in the world, it was boasted, had an office. Instead, we all had mini-cubicles: there were giant floors of maybe two hundred employees and the only internal walls were for the bathrooms and elevator shafts.

One day in my far-flung regional headquarters, carpenters arrived and started building something in the corner where the new General Manager sat. As the weeks passed, this contraption began to look more and more like an actual office.

Naturally this was the topic of hot conversation, but the word was that the General Manager believed that whole "open plan" thing to be more of a guideline than a rule, and not controversial at all.

His office was not quite complete when, quite by coincidence, the worldwide CEO announced he was planning to visit us. It was the first time in maybe decades that this had happened.

The next day, the carpenters began dissasembling the office. LINK
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Tale # 26
Dept: Sales & Marketing Score: 1306
Dec 6th 2005 Submitted by Anonymous
“The Importance of the Envelope”
A donut I work in an advertising agency, which essentially means that I can go drinking during the day and write it off as "research". A while ago we were pitching a critical campiagn to a BIG client, the biggest client this agency had. Most of our jobs depended upon keeping these guys happy.

So we were talking them through the boring direct mail part of the campaign when we came to the envelope colour. We had recommended orange... they decided that they liked green. We politely explained that the envelope was orange to ensure consistency with all the other elements of the campaign. They insisted that they wanted a green envelope.

Normally we'd stress why orange was important, but in the interests of keeping the client happy, we'd let them get their way. But something strange happened this time....this evolved from a simple debate to a fully fledged argument. Senior art directors presented their case, the creative director spent the next 48 hours in envelope meetings (at $300/hr!), the MD stepped in. All us lowly suits were made to work 20 hour days piecing together all the orange collateral we could collect from the past two years' worth of campaigns. Finally the agency paid for a shrink, who specialised in colour symbolism to present the case for The Orange Envelope.

Eventually we reached a compromise: green outside and orange inside. The client got what they wanted, and we charged them an extra $12,800 in head hours, so the whole thing was worth it. LINK
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Showing 1 - 5 of 121 Tales.