Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
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Showing 26 - 30 of 34 Tales in "Management".
Tale # 509
Dept: Management Score: 10
Nov 3rd 2010 Submitted by D_M
“Fire! Ready! Aim! ”
A donut I worked at a small software development company. In order to get our product to it's target demographic we employed teams of independent contractors to represent the company and sell our software.

Because of this it was necessary to have a weekly conference call with as many of our contractors as possible to provide updates, selling tips, inform them of incentive bonuses and recognize successful agents.

The problem was that the executives who ran our company didn't know the first thing about the software development process nor were they big believers in communicating with their support staff.

This led to a weekly occurrence where the executives would announce launch dates within the month for new features or new software. Features and software our developers hadn't been aware of yet and thus hadn't begun programming.

Since these launch dates were typically within a matter of weeks we we're usually lucky to get an untested and buggy product up and running by our deadline.

Sadly it wasn't just the development team that got shafted by this. Every single employee was kept in the dark about these changes to policy until hours, sometimes days after they were announced to the field. This of course resulted in the most common answer to any agent or customer inquiry to be a simple "I don't know". 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 # 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 # 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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Tale # 122
Dept: Management Score: 8
Sep 24th 2007 Submitted by Anonymous
“Give with one hand...”
A donut I used to work for an engineering firm that had to downsize during the post-2001 economic downturn. There was much hand-wringing and apologizing for it, but in the end about 15% of the staff were given a month's notice. About two weeks into this month, the CEO cheerily sent out an e-mail saying that they were thinking about hiring someone full-time to set up a permanent coffee/sandwich stall in the lobby. One of the outgoing staffers decided to hit 'reply to all' and wrote a very lengthy, expletive-filled diatribe about how insulting it was to be fired to make way for a sandwich stall. LINK
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Showing 26 - 30 of 34 Tales in "Management".