Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
Showing 86 - 90 of 121 Tales.
Tale # 121
Dept: All-Staff Score: 9
Sep 24th 2007 Submitted by Anonymous
“The Watchtower”
A donut I used to work in an office estate out in the middle of nowhere- we were ferried in by minicab from the train station at nine, taken back at six- you were otherwise trapped. My job was the 'change request manager'. Every week I would have a meeting where all the problems with the program we were working on would be presented and I had to approve or deny funding for the fix. Since the project had gone over budget well before I even began working, I was under instruction to always decline the fix- my job was to tell people no.

The company was crazy about buzzwords. We didn't have problem solvers, we had 'solution architects'. The architecture metaphor was well and truly out of hand, instead of saying they had a fix, they said they had a 'solution blueprint'. Once I was asked to fix something, and I sarcastically said: "Well I'll just load up AutoCAD, lay out the foundation for the solutions building with some answer-concrete, and then maybe write up some budget cladding on top of it?" This suggestion was met with enthusiastic agreement.

There were two people whose sole job was to make life working in the office estate more bearable. Every year they came up with a campaign to make people feel better about their jobs. One year it was giving to the Cancer Research Fund. They installed a projector screen in the lobby and looped an ad for the Cancer Research Fund on it 24/7- we were constantly subjected to images of children looking in the mirror to see their mother fading away behind them while sad music played. Work had quite literally become as 'fun as cancer'. LINK
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Tale # 124
Dept: Management Score: 9
Oct 18th 2007 Submitted by Anonymous
“The Playground Dynamic”
A donut I am employed with a credit union whose management sector, with exception of it's president, is comprised of high school graduates, some whose extended education is limited to a few real estate-related classes.

The new president, whose appointment began on 1/01/07, immediately appointed 4 assistant vice presidents despite the fact we are a medium-sized institution. In the months which followed his appointment he terminated several people, almost all of who either made suggestions to improve how we do business or who questioned some of his directives. One of his first casualties was demoting our former, well-season Marketing Director to the position of marketing coordinator and though he attempted to reduce her salary, he failed to do so due to the intercession of some members of the Board of Directors. He later removed the director from her exempt status, forcing her to clock-in and placed her immediately under the supervision of the former Director of Lending, who made no secret over the years of his contempt for her.

The Director of Marketing was terminated in July 2007, and repled by a Marketing Committee. The Committe is comprised of the former Director of Lending, now the Assistant Vice President of Operations, the Branch Manager, the Lead Consumer Loan Officer, the Loan Manager, The VP of Operations, and a member services representative. None of these people have any experience in marketing development. With the exception of the member service representative, all the others have been cited for everything from sexual harassment to mistreatment of employees and failure to complete assigned tasks.

The President who orchestrated these changes, was selected by the Board of Directors because of his "past" experience in the banking industry though it has been more than 16 years since he last worked for a bank. During the 16 year interim, he served as our VP of Operations, and during that period, developed a reputation for laziness, ineptitude, while periodic accusations of favoritism, sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior were brought to the attention of our VP of Human Resources who coincidentally is his friend.

On 1/04/07, he promised employees of the company that there employment would be secure and that it was his intent to work hard and elevate company morale. Since then, he has terminated many employees, including one who asked that he prove his statements that she made disparaging remarks about the company and his leadership abilities.

Recently, it was discovered that 4 years ago he ordered the repossession of a vehicle, whose payments were 3 months delinquent. The owner and our former member, had suffered some personal problems, but in an agreement made between himself and our former collections supervisor, he agreed to specially structured payment plan which would ideally make him current. The vehicle which we financed was a BMW. Our president who was then the AVP of Operations, collects BMW's, owning approximately 7 of these vehicles. He along with the owner of the collection company we contract,
rescinded the agreement which would have allowed the member to become current and soon thereafter, ordered repossession of the vehicle. Ownership was afterwards transferred to our President's name, becoming an addition to his stable of cars.

The saga continues.
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 # 143
Dept: All-Staff Score: 9
Mar 10th 2008 Submitted by Anonymous
“How would you like to be fired like this?”
A donut At one major multinational communications company that is Canadian based, they called my whole department including the department head in to a conference room, where a phone was set up without any other personnel from the company were present.

The phone rang and the department head answered it. He was told to put the call on speaker phone and in in a one minute statement the voice at the other end told us we were all layed off immediately with one weeks severance per yaer of service and to clean out our dseks and leave. That was it! NICE COMPANY! LINK
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Tale # 162
Dept: All-Staff Score: 9
Mar 25th 2009 Submitted by Nosucker
“My accountant needs to do your taxes”
A donut Right out of college I was hired by an arrogant blow-hard of a boss. It was a small company... just him, me a part-time assistant and four freelancers. I had worked there for two years, getting regular paychecks -- everything was pretty normal. Then one day, the guy calls me into his office. It seemed that though he had been withholding taxes and Social Security from my wages, he wasn't actually sending that money in to the IRS. He had talked to his accountant and the scheme they worked out was to make me an independent contractor, retroactively to my start date. To do that, he needed his accountant to do my taxes.

Sure thing. I walked and my first call was to the IRS. LINK
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