Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
Showing 31 - 35 of 121 Tales.
Tale # 160
Dept: Management Score: 14
Jan 27th 2009 Submitted by Anonymous
“The Mystery Task”
A donut I think this story is best told in dialogue format. Here's how the conversation between my boss and myself just went:

Me: "Here are the contracts for you to sign."
Boss: "Great. Hey, when are you leaving today?"
Me: (smiling) "Whenever I'm done."
Boss: "When is that?"
Me: "Well, whenever I'm finished with whatever task you're about to give me."
Boss: "Well, when would you be leaving if I didn't give you anything?"
Me: "Uh...probably at 5, so I can finish my homework."
Boss: "Well, then come see me before you go, because I have some stuff for you to do."
Me: "Um, why don't you give it to me now so I can finish it early?"
Boss: "I don't know what it is yet."

All I can figure is that he needs the time between now and then to invent something for me to do, just so I don't get to go home. LINK
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Tale # 159
Dept: Management Score: 12
Dec 28th 2008 Submitted by PED
“We're All In This Together”
A donut I worked almost 20 years at a Fortune 500 high technology manufacturing company. After several years of poor performance a new CEO was brought in to turn things around. In late October, several months after he arrived, an All Managers meeting was called at which the new CEO talked about a number of changes which were going to be made.

A key component of his message was that "We are all in this together." One thing we would all be doing together was that there would be no Management Bonus Program for the year. As the CEO said, "None of us will receive a management bonus."

About five months later, while reading the fine print of the company's SEC report, I learned that corporate VP's and above had aactually received tens of thousands of dollars of cash and stock bonuses for the past year. They had done so because they were covered not by the Management Bonus Program but by the Executive Bonus Program.

And corporate executives wonder why they have a bad reputation!
LINK
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Tale # 157
Dept: I.T. Score: 24
Oct 12th 2008 Submitted by Anonymous
“Suckered”
A donut I was independently developing an application for several months leading up to 9/11. It was the only application scheduled for completion during that several month time period. I was working 7 days a week, at least 12 hours a day. Then 9/11 came around, and they kept us at work saying, "what's the big deal?" I continued working.

During the week after 9/11 the company employees were in a panic. The CFO assured us our jobs are safe and there is no truth to the rumors.

By the time I finished testing my app and began to write docs for it, the CTO sternly asked me EVERY 30 MINUTES if I was done yet. "Are you done yet? Are you done yet?" I was proud of my work and told him I'll let him know the minute the docs are complete. He persisted asking me every 30 minutes.

Finally I told him it's complete. He immediately got up from his desk which was across from mine and walked out of the room. Ten minutes later I was called into the CFO's office and became the first employee of the company to be "laid off", and was given no severance. That was the beginning of the end, and the company soon folded during the post 9/11 IT slump. LINK
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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 # 152
Dept: Management Score: 8
Jul 1st 2008 Submitted by Anonymous
“Groom Him to Leadership - Then Can Him Like Trash”
A donut At one of the leading disease management companies in the world, a young man was given many advantages and opportunities based on his education, experience, and the quality of his work all within the first 6 months to 1 year of employment. He was given special projects to complete individually and was encouraged to participate in a handful of focus groups and special project teams all of which he gladly accepted and for which he produced solid outcomes.

At the same time, he maintained excellent productivity in the central aspect of the job which was health education via telephone for the chronic disease population coast to coast across the U.S. The company uses telemarketing technology and processes which are unwelcome and offensive to most Americans, making the job very stressful. One of the primary objectives of this company's health education was to recognize depression and risk for depression as it results in very poor outcomes in persons with chronic diseases - increases morbidity and mortality rates.

This employee had a major LCE (life changing event)about 13 months into the job. He and his wife lost the adoption of a newborn girl when the birthmother changed her mind the night of the birth. Having picked out clothes, carseats, decorations, nursery furniture and paint, and a name for this new child, he and his wife were emotionally and spiritually devastated. A new life and all the plans that accompany that new life were stripped away with a single telephone call.

This definitely affected the young man's work and having performed less than average phone calls over the course of about 6 weeks, the company began listening and watching his calls until he made a terminable offense. He was aware that they were secretly observing/recording his calls on a daily basis and, in his frustration and in a sense of broken trust he made an ill-advised cry for help by finally giving them what he thought they were looking for. They sent him home that very day no questions asked.

How many hours and countless conversations had he carefully helped others recognize that they were at risk, due to life changing events, of spiraling into poor mental, physical, spritual health. How many referrals had he made after completing depression screens on people that were not allowed to grieve properly? How many people had he helped in the name of this company and it's mission to recognize those at risk for poor health? How many healthcare dollars were saved because of it? It's taken him down a some very dark roads including alcoholism. The sense of betrayal that he felt in the cold way he was treated at this job further devastated him. He lost his house, even. How hard would it have been for one person to stop and recognize his situation, give him an opportunity to grieve, and therefore make a solid human connection that was consistent with the company's mission statement and goals? Apparently no one gave a rip.

LINK
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Showing 31 - 35 of 121 Tales.