Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
Showing 101 - 105 of 121 Tales.
Tale # 154
Dept: All-Staff Score: 7
Jul 2nd 2008 Submitted by Kay
“Paying for the privilege of being a slave”
A donut I had a blip in my career when, for some bizarre reason, I decided to become a chef. (Never again - despite my love of cooking it's a job for sadists or masochists.)

I enrolled on a full-time college course for a year to get the basic training. Everything was going well, and all that was required to complete the course was a three week work-placement at an establishment with recognised high standards.

I was "lucky" enough to be accepted by [an international oil company - can't name names here but if you think of crustaceans and sea you might guess]. Their HQ is on The Strand in central London. All very prestigious and I was looking forward to the experience and to learning some new things.

I knew they wouldn't pay me for my placement, but I did think that they might refund my fares. (Travel in London is very expensive and travelling at peak rates costs substantially more than after the rush hour.) Nope, they didn't want to do that. Maybe I wouldn't turn up. I suggested that if I didn't turn up, then they needn't refund the fares. But no, I had to turn up at 7am every morning at my own expense, which was a big drain on our then very limited budget.

Still, I thought it would be worth it as I would learn a lot from the experience.

Yes, I did learn a lot.

I learned how to behave like a whipped dog with all the bullying that went on. To be fair, the more senior chefs were nice guys and were above that sort of behaviour. But the lower ranking ones, those with even one little rank above a trainee, mostly behaved like megalomaniacs. (There were exceptions, of course - two of them were really nice guys.)

I also learned how to cook 1,600 sausages in an hour every day.

And finally, I learned that no matter how well I did on my work placement they would never employ me because they always hired staff via an agency. LINK
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Tale # 165
Dept: Sales & Marketing Score: 7
May 14th 2009 Submitted by Anonymous
“BIG PHARMA”
A donut It all started at the Company wide National Meeting in Orlando. Marketing Day- they gave us Sales Managers our Quota's for each drug our team sell.

The quota was arguably very high. Problem was the patient population that our drugs treat is not huge, its a small disease-not like, say, Hypertension. In fact if Everyone who had this disease used our drugs 100% of the time we still could not sell enough pills to meet quota.

So we were instructed on how to teach "Probing Skills" to our reps. To "Help and Lead" Physicians use our drugs on people its is not intended to treat. This was not the usual out of indication use that physicians do every day. It was expanded use with no clinical evidence or even medical history!

Many of us were not comfortable with this, of course, and asked our(boss) Director to clarify. So he brought us to a special meeting with his boss-the VP of Sales. He asked us the infamous question all managers have been asked "Are You On Board?" If your not with us.... He mentioned the high number of sales positions open that we could take instead of managing. That we should "think about that and try to refocus our energy on solutions not obstacles."

So I'm ashamed to say I "GOT ON Board". I spun the new "aggressive sales attitude" our company has adopted- to my team.
This is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the new sales tactics we began using over the next 2 years.

I have since left that company and started my own business that is doing OK- but I sleep much better! LINK
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Tale # 551
Dept: Management Score: 7
Oct 11th 2013 Submitted by chris
“the ”
A donut I worked as a lifeguard for a fairly large city. The Parks and Rec department had a director, assistant director, and then an aquatics director under the other 2.

We had just built a new aquatic center so the P & R director hired an independent consultant and a new aquatics director. She was new to the pool industry so didn't have much knowledge of how to handle a pool.

The consultant was the biggest idiot I'd ever met. The policies he started went against everything we are taught as lifeguards and even bordered on illegal. For instance, he became convinced that children were purposefully defecating in the pool (the children's pool for kids 12 and under, of course there is going to be poop in the pool). so instead of clearing the pool and shocking it with chemicals, he told us to keep people away from that area and have a manager scoop it out.

About halfway through the summer, the aquatics director made a decision (that she was hired to make) at the advice of the more experience guards but it went against the consultant. He had her fired for "insubordination."
I left after that summer. LINK
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Tale # 151
Dept: All-Staff Score: 6
Jun 27th 2008 Submitted by Anonymous
“Don't go on that project management course”
A donut About six months after starting my job I decided to see if I could get work to pay for some training courses. I sent an email requesting I go to a project management course. I was working as an editor and writer so I was very persuasive and the company said yes. Off I went and it wasn't very useful but I now had something else to put on my C.V.

Fast-forward two years and I'm writing an educational book for kids. I write 8000 words in three days. It's wrong because the brief is wrong. I rewrite over three days and cut it down to 4000 words. It's still wrong because the new brief is wrong. I rewrite again over three days and bring it down to 1500 words.

Few days later and I get called into office and grilled over why this 1500 words took 9 work days. Grilled by the guy who gave the bad brief two times. I'm sick of this behaviour from him so for the first time ever I tell the truth: it took 9 days because your briefings were wrong each time.

Fast-forward another two weeks and I'm called into a meeting to discuss my "performance". The HR person says "We sent you to a Project management course when you started here because you weren't managing your projects. Nothing has changed and we think you shouldn't work here any longer."

I quit during that meeting. Soon after some of my friends there were fired in the same way: any course you went to was used as evidence you were not performing.

Later we found the boss and two others had accepted jobs at a rival company and were gutting the whole place so they could put in an ultra low bid for it. Which they did and won. The entire place got sold off, many people were fired and that company lost massive sales.

The only justice in here? The evil HR lady lost her job too. One of my friends said she was crying in the carpark when he left after being fired. LINK
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Tale # 520
Dept: I.T. Score: 6
Nov 13th 2010 Submitted by Anonymous
“COMMUNICATION!!!”
A donut This seemed to happen every time we had a new major project. Our Design team was quietly working away in our end of the building as the IT manager walks in and announces that she just got out of the weekly board meeting and we have a new and exciting project. We have a design meeting and get started. The four of us work for weeks as we go through a sequence of changes and ideas. Finally the dead line approaches and we are all excitingly finishing up the last bits. The manager comes in after another one of the weekly meetings and announces that what we have built got scrapped and here is the new idea and we have 24 hours to get it finished! This happened at least 4 times as I worked at this company for about 2 years. Can they say, "COMMUNICATION!!!!!!"? LINK
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Showing 101 - 105 of 121 Tales.