Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
Showing 16 - 20 of 121 Tales.
Tale # 86
Dept: Management Score: 566
Jun 19th 2006 Submitted by Walt
“Scholarships for the Deserving”
A donut At a medium-sized private textile company, the CEO prided himself on his benevolence to his employees. He even created a non-profit Foundation which provided college scholarships for the children of plant workers. Though each scholarship was only $1000, for the very poor it did provide assistance in helping them achieve their dreams. Each year, the winners were proudly announced in the company newsletter.

After several years, my old computer died and I needed a new one. The IT guy brought in a used computer from Accounting for me to use. I soon found that this computer had been used for running the Foundation. The IT guy hadn't wiped the hard drive and so I was left with lots of information.

As I reviewed the documents (of course I looked), I noticed the CEO's children's names popping up quite frequently--like once a month. They weren't even in college, so it didn't make sense. And the numbers were much larger, too.

A little digging revealed he was paying his kids' private school tuition out of the Foundation, to the tune of $25,000 per year for three kids!

Strangely, this one didn't make the company newsletter. LINK
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Tale # 42
Dept: All-Staff Score: 521
Dec 14th 2005 Submitted by Anonymous
“Rotten from the Top”
A donut I worked for a Not For Profit organisation where ineptitude is not only tolerated but expected. These are people who would be slaughtered in a private organisation quicker than you could say 'bleeding heart'.

So this isn't really a corporate tale, more of one about human shortcomings and passing the buck. Pretty much transferable over to the private industry world.

I worked in a small team, with two managers. Both managers were completely useless and under-performing for years. As is common for these types, they got away with this by passing the buck and lying to senior management. They blamed their staff for poor performance, we were lazy, lacking motivation, always late...yada yada. We weren't, in fact we were surviving and meeting targets in an sector where all our competitors were having their funding cut and being closed down.

Eventually, these managers had to up their lies - we were difficult (yeh, we were - we told them they were useless), hard to manage and had 'attitudinal problems' (is that even a word??) The General Manager believed them, HR stepped in, and we were all put on Performance Management. The shortsightedness of such an act escaped them, and we 'naughty' staff dutifully attended daily meetings to explain our every act to our hapless manager who didn't actually understand what it was that we were doing.

This went on for six months, the only thing we could do was laugh and wait to be fired. Eventually, the General Manager was fired and his replacement quickly cottoned on to what was happening and sacked our crapola managers. We were all taken off Performance Management, had our 'naughty files' destroyed, and given counselling for our ordeal.

If this isn't incredible enough, it turned out that the old management had been messing up reporting to our government funding body and we had actually performed 15% above what was originally thought. LINK
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Tale # 25
Dept: Management Score: 512
Dec 4th 2005 Submitted by Omni
“Rubber Elephant Stamp of Disillusionment”
A donut A colleague of mine had to cover for the boss while he was on leave. She did an outstanding job, everyone agreed, introducing a few new things to smooth out communications as well as managing to get the rest of her work done to its usual exemplary standard.

Boss gets back from leave and is suitably impressed that not only is everything running smoothly but staff moral is higher than ever. So he suggests to his boss that she get a special mention in the greater team meeting.

These special mentions are called "Gold Stars." Yup, do a great job and you don't get a bonus or a pay rise or time off, you get a... gold star.

But clearly this isn't insulting enough. During the team meeting, the uber boss is making mention of people who have done well, mentioning the work they had done and how this has benefited the team.

She gets to my colleague and says, "And this award to [Sally] is for... no reason in particular! Well done, [Sally]."

I just looked at my colleague, trying to keep a straight face for the rest of the meeting. All the things she had done and they couldn't remember one of them for the meeting.

Oh, and she's supposed to get a tacky gold star for her desk, but it's been several months and nobody has ever seen one.

I don't think she's holding her breath. LINK
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Tale # 53
Dept: Management Score: 439
Jan 6th 2006 Submitted by Mark
“Beware of the Shirts”
A donut I was part of a large team (100+ people) working on a worldwide rollout of a software product. It was quite a complicated business - the project was scheduled to roll out over a seven year period and we were about halfway through.

Early in the project one of the guys joked that we should have team T-shirts to build morale. Our manager said he didn't like T-shirts as they were too casual for the office. Our guy suggested golf shirts instead.

But no-one could agree and the "team shirt" debate continued, steadily becoming more serious, over the next few years.

One day, out of the blue, the manager arrives with boxes and starts handing out team golf shirts. I was impressed. Not only were they nice-looking, but they were decent quality.

He says everyone should wear their shirts the next day at our monthly all-hands meeting, to show team unity.

At the meeting we're all kidding each other about how cool we look in our team shirts. Then the VP stands up and tells us the project has been cancelled. Effective immediately.

Some of the people there had been hired two (I kid you not - TWO) days before. They looked like they had been sucker punched right there...

It's now three years since I left and the problem the project was meant to resolve has still not been fixed. Business is steadily declining as a result.

My shirt still looks sharp though. LINK
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Tale # 27
Dept: All-Staff Score: 431
Dec 6th 2005 Submitted by Anonymous
“Afternoon Tea”
A donut I worked on a shared floor combining Internal Communications, Risk, and ourselves (Marketing). Our team, though small in number, was great in volume.

We used to have a tea lady who would take a snack trolley to each floor of our 40 storey corporate head office. This sounds nice, but it was actually a ploy to stop employees leaving for an afternoon sugar hit, thereby reducing productivity.

As she exited the lift on each floor, she would ring a little bell on her trolley and sing out "afternoooon teeeeaaaa". Our team would loudly sing along to the "teeeeaaa" part. This went on for about ten months until one day someone from the Risk department asked us to stop singing along with the tea lady as it was disrupting the rest of the floor. They then made a complaint to catering about the tea lady's singing and now she is only allowed to softly ring the bell - just once - them must remain silent for the rest of the duration that she is on our floor.
LINK
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Showing 16 - 20 of 121 Tales.