Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
Tale # 107
Dept: Management Score: 11
Apr 20th 2007 Submitted by Anonymous
“Once Upon A Midnight Bonus”
A donut The service company I work for has several interlocking policies which combine to make the office staff miserable.

You can't take vacation unless the office is in total compliance. Total compliance is impossible to achieve, by design. If you reach the end of the year without taking vacation, you lose it. Recently, due to excessive cashing out, a new policy was instituted. You are no longer allowed to cash out your vacation. HQ is said to be very surprised at the increase in office staff turnover.

Corporate takes 10 percent off the top of your location profit and loss statement. Unless you are shown to be making a profit at the end of the year after the cut to HQ, no Christmas bonuses. Due to the nature of our business, we often have unplanned overtime circa the end of the year. One year we were already promised Christmas bonuses when -- you guessed it -- December's P&L came in and the bonuses went away. Merry Christmas.

The senior manager in the office decides who gets the Christmas bonus. They are usually very bitter and disillusioned. My first year: I got $150 bonus in cash. My second year: I got a $30 gift certificate to Honeybaked Ham. Found out the manager had dipped into their own wallet for it. My third year: a cocoa mug. My fourth year: nothing. My fifth year: almost certainly nothing.

HQ takes about thirty-five days to pay expense reports. Expenses are routinely challenged and audited. After twenty years of stellar service with the company, an office manager was accused of defalcation because she attached the wrong receipt to a $25 expense report. Senior managers are therefore very unwilling to throw down their own money on behalf of the company. We lost a million-dollar client bid because none of the three managers present were willing to pay for the client lunch.

Our workplace violence prevention policy appears to be taking the office staff out every few months to a nationwide chain of arcade/restaurants. Anyone seen to have played a shooting game is counseled by HR. Really.

Recently a new change was instituted. HQ would no longer pay for food expenses not associated with travel (such as meetings, training, etc.) but would pay for coffee service. We immediately changed to a brutally expensive coffee service. So we snack on wafers and crackers from home while drinking premium java. Who knew? The driver: a salesperson who is no longer with us, who became very cranky when deprived of her caffeine. She is now much happier and sells coffee systems.
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