Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
Showing 46 - 50 of 121 Tales.
Tale # 129
Dept: I.T. Score: 15
Dec 26th 2007 Submitted by Anonymous
“Errant Boss”
A donut Earlier this year, a good friend recommended me to his boss to be hired as a freelance PHP developer.

I jumped at the chance. The pay was obscenely good, I could telecomute, and they even shipped me a company laptop.

I worked my butt off for three months, doing some of the best coding I had ever done. The boss was a great guy, it was cool working with my friend, and my bank account (and fiance!) was happy.

Suddenly, my friend called me to tell me to hold off on working, as something was going down. I halted work, and waited.

A week passed. My friend talked to me daily, telling me he could not get a hold of the boss for some reason. We were both a little worried, as paychecks were due and there was nothing from the boss.

Finally, after two weeks, the boss contacted us. We told him that we expected to get paid, and he said the company was in some financial trouble, asked us to be patient, and gave us the laptops as a down payment for the paychecks. We told him that was all well and good, but we would not continue work until we got paid.

A week later, my friend calls me to tell me the boss was now impatient at a mental hospital. He had been embezzling from the company, and most of what he had told us was completely bogus. We weren't even on the actual company payroll. He had tried to kill himself when everything hit the wall. So, he was resting comfortably in the loony bin while my friend and I were out almost a month's pay with no hope of ever getting it back. LINK
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Tale # 128
Dept: Management Score: 13
Nov 27th 2007 Submitted by Anonymous
“Teambuilding Company - Tyrant President”
A donut I contracted with a teambuilding company - something like Outward Bound, but not at all as professional. This company solely focused on working with companies ranging from Fortune 500s to small local businesses. We would create 1/2 day to 3 days programs for these companies so that they could challenge their groups, sales forces, managers, etc. We would use group challenges and high ropes course events to build team communication, time management and stronger leadership. We helped to build better teams.

The President of the company that I contracted with was not a team player. His introductions to the groups would always include his tales of how he got started and how his employees and company rallyed around each other and made a wonderful team.

But the reality was much different. He hired young people and family members. He dictated his will. He failed to communicate clearly and expected you to know what he was thinking. For instance, an employee - his nephew - was instructed via notes on a napkin to build an outdoor ropes course. One of the challenge events was to be an 8 foot wall between two trees. The nephew went out, built the wall by himself using 2 x 8 boards. When he finished, the President (his Uncle) came out to the property looked at the wall and said "Hmmmmm... we need to raise this entire wall 5 more inches." The man was like the character Vizzini from The Princess Bride.

My personal story is when I was hired to Tech (gopher) for the President's own program. The event was to happen on a Friday in the mountains about 6 hours or more away from our office.

Communication failures - The President left no schedule or agenda so I had to pack his program by calling around to get ideas for what he might want. I found out that one event he wanted was a bosun's chair. I had no idea what that was, but found out that I would need to (1) find a large ditch on the property, (2) rig safely two cables across the ditch, and (3) secure a swing (the bosun's chair) to the cables so that the chair would become the way to transport people over the ditch.

Long story short... I was expected to pack for a program that I had no idea what it would entail, know about some items that I had no idea what they even were, know the layout of property that I had never been to, and make sure that the President was kept informed of all that was going on.

Once I got to the property, I scouted the area at night in the dark. Next morning, in sleet no less, I set everything that I could up except the bosun thing. Then with my hands numb, I went to ask the President when he would be leading his group out to the program. The reply was "We are going to stay in and continue working in the conference room. We will not be going outside." LINK
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Tale # 127
Dept: Management Score: 9
Nov 19th 2007 Submitted by Murchadh Ruisia
“Lies and Deceit”
A donut I worked for nearly 20 years as an emergency planner for a Scottish local authority.

On Wednesday 15 February 2006, I was invited to a meeting with my line manager at 1400 hours in his office. He advised me that our departmental director had identified the production of a generic major incident plan as a priority and she wanted it completed within three months. He said that I was to move into an empty office across from his own and we would work on it together. I was extremely surprised by this instruction, especially as it meant that that I would be unable to discharge other duties that fell to me in my position, not only in respect of my employing authority, but also under a service level agreement for the local health service.

I suspected that I was being set up for disciplinary action. My managers would have expected me to fight tooth and nail to remain in the Emergency Centre. I raised no objection to his proposal and his demeanour immediately confirmed that my acquiescence was unexpected. I asked him what was going to happen to the Emergency Centre and he said that his emergency planning assistant Jim (false name) would be there. The meeting went on much longer than I felt the discussion warranted but we were on reasonably amicable terms. Before leaving his office I suggested that he ring Jim and advise him what had been decided.

He agreed to this and I walked back to my office. When I got there shortly after 1600 hours, Jim was not there and I assumed that he had left just before I came back. About ten minutes later my manager phoned and told me that Jim had reported some problem at home to Personnel and had been allowed to go home early.

When I got to my office shortly before 0900 hours on Thursday 16 February, Jim was already there. He seemed to be very tense and he told me it was time to “put our cards on the table”. He said that he had been told to lie to me about the events of yesterday afternoon but that he was going to tell me all about it. He also said that he expected me to be straight with him. He told me that a clerical officer from Personnel had telephoned him just after I had left the office to meet my manager and told him to go home. This was on my manager's instructions, she said. Jim then told me that my manager had phoned him at home that evening and told him to tell me that he had asked to be allowed to go home. Jim also said that my manager had told him that I had said that he was not competent to do the work that I was going to be leaving behind. I was absolutely shocked. I never said this. I assured Jim that I have the highest regard for his ability and had never made a secret of that fact. Jim then went on to say that he had come in to work that day prepared to “rip my arms off and beat me to death with the stumps”, if I hadn’t persuaded him that I had not made any such statement about his competence.

I feel that my manager put me at considerable risk when he lied to Jim. He had told me himself that Jim had a problem with “anger management” and I consider that it was at the very least irresponsible, to put me in such a position.

My manager came to the Emergency Centre around 1000 hours that day with a technician from IT, to take away my PC and office chair. I confronted him about the false statement he had made to Jim. He told me that he had sent Jim home to protect him from me in case I had become angry at being required to move from my office. I was absolutely dumbfounded, I assured him that I don’t go around assaulting people and in any case, I can’t imagine someone as young, fit and strong as Jim (who used to be on a Royal Navy Field Gun Team), needing any protection from me. As far as Jim's competence is concerned, he stated that Jim had misunderstood the definition of 'competence' that he, my manager, had been using during their telephone conversation.

Mealy-mouthed, or what?

I no longer work with these people.

LINK
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Tale # 126
Dept: All-Staff Score: 5
Nov 14th 2007 Submitted by Web Girl
“Just your average evil small business...”
A donut I was desperate for a job and started working at a place that SEEMED ok at first, but I soon discovered that almost every 3 months exactly they would either fire someone or force someone to quit...often for no reason at all excepted they didn't think the person was a "team player."

The first person to leave was a guy who was there only a couple weeks. He quit claiming issues related to his wife but I think he hated the job.

The next person to go was a temp who ran off to Greece as a college exchange student. Lucky her. She didn't really like the place either.

The next person to go was a guy who was there to replace the other guy who quit...he was fired for not being a "team player" because he stopped working hard after he realized he was being force to do the work of 3 people for 1/2 the pay of one person.

The next person to go was a girl who was hired around the same time as the guy who was supposed to replace the other guy. She quit, claiming she needed to move to stay closer to her boyfriend, but I knew she hated working at our company and thought the company was evil and unfair.

The next person to go was a crazy creepy, bossy person who nobody liked anyway...Again they didn't like her attitude so she was fired.

The next person to go was a guy they hired to replace the girl who quit and the guy who was fired. They claimed he just "didn't get it" and fired him for not being fast or smart enough to work 2 jobs for very poor pay.

The next person to go was again the person who was hired to replace the guy who was hired to replace the first guy. He quit saying the company was unethical, didn't treat their employees right, lied to their customers and were stingy and rude (all of these things turned out to be true).

The next person to go was actually the first person they hired. They forced her to quit, threatening to fire her if she didn't leave. They also claimed she wasn't a "team player" and wasn't there for the right reasons. They said they'd give her a good reference if she quit and when she did leave I overheard them in their office give her a bad reference when someone had just called in to ask them for a job verification for her.

The next person to go was the person they hired to replace the person they hired first as well as the person that they fired who was replacing the other guys who were fired. She quit in anger because they didn't pay her the benefits and pay they had promised and were making her work three jobs at once and would yell at her and treat her poorly.

Finally I quit just before they had announced they were going to lay me off and take the company in a "new direction"

This all happened in the period of 12 months. They started with 3 employees, expanded at one point to 7, and then ended up with zero and had to go out of business after firing 3 people, having 3 walk out on them and 4 quit out of anger or threats of being fired by the company. All this happened because the company didn't want to treat their employees and customers right.

Man was it a trip just sitting back in my office watching all of the fights and firings unfold. And man I feared for my job everyday I was there. Out of respect for my fellow employees I held a F*ck (insert company name here) party where I brought everyone together to celebrate not having to work for the evil company anymore. People who had never worked at the company at the same time got to meet for the first time and everyone had a blast! LINK
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Tale # 125
Dept: All-Staff Score: 0
Nov 3rd 2007 Submitted by Anonymous
“DISILLUSIONED - AT LAST!”
A donut I once thought I wanted to be a teacher - Tech Teacher that is - practical electronics, radio, computers, business machines and the like. I attended a reputable university and received my accreditation in due course in education and yet another later in psychology. However, inasmuch as I could put across the most intricate concepts eluding almost all who tried, I was persona non grata in the local school board. How does that work? Thought I in terms of Darwin and evolution. I once naively told a hiring principal that the only reason I wanted to teach was to encourage young people to think for themselves, question authority and be more than an iron bomb (zombie). It took the entire board, the entire teachers' union, and the ministry to force me to go away for I questioned their authority to inflict learned helplessness on virtually all the children and their parents. That was about ten years ago. In my almost 70 years I have seen young people reduced to little more than chickens being raised for market once all the curtains are drawn back and authority can be seen in its proper perspective. Today we have business leaders who truly match the psychological profile of psychopaths showing no remorse or responsibility but to money - making them mercenaries and nothing more. So we ask not why unions formed to protect the defenceless. I am vindicated in my conclusions having just seen the movie Corporation. All of this has as its cyclorama, the white man's mistreatment of the First Nations people, of which I find I am a part.
Old Wise Wary and Impervious LINK
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