Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
Showing 11 - 15 of 121 Tales.
Tale # 24
Dept: Management Score: 676
Dec 4th 2005 Submitted by Omni
“Soft-Boiled Customer Service”
A donut Call centers collect a lot of stats on their employees, "average handling time" being one of them. They're meant to be be measures of efficiency, but when these stats are the only thing team leaders have to justify their existence sometimes that can lead to wackiness.

Take my mate, who was a genuinely nice guy. Far too nice really to be doing the job he was doing.

He thought he was there to help customers get their broadband services connected, his manager thought his job was to get customers off the phone ASAP in order to get good stats for the month.

Naturally this difference in goals lead to the amusing situation where the manager brought in an egg timer, set it to go off after a minute then would literally stand over the employee yelling, "Why are you still talking to this customer?!?" while the employee tried to juggle an irate customer and an irate boss.

After a couple of days of his he was really stressed out. I guess it wasn't helping that he had this whole Pavlovian dog thing happening with egg timers going off (yes, I'm a big meanie for setting one off during lunch) and he came to me for advice.

The only honest answer I could give him was to help 2 out of 3 customers and that should bring his handling time down. Just hang up on or transfer the third one. Although he baulked at this (nice guy), it did work, got his boss off his back and everyone was happier... well, except the customer obviously.

I suppose that's why I got promoted when I made the suggestion to management that they should make "Customer Satisfaction" a measure for team leaders as well? LINK
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Tale # 45
Dept: All-Staff Score: 655
Dec 14th 2005 Submitted by Anonymous
“Everyone's Nice Until Someone Gets Hurt”
A donut This is a pretty awful story. And not funny, but certainly a tale of corporate oppression.

I worked for a company that specialised in vocational rehabilitation for people with psychiatric illness. So we were all nice people, aware of issues pertaining to recovery, stress and work.

Until it happened to us: one of my colleagues commited suicide. After hearing a new senior manager who we had met once before tell us that [Jane] had died because she was "very troubled" and assuring us that management had done all they could, we were informed that the funeral was to be the next morning. After telling us it was "business as usual," she left sighing that it had been a "pain in the ass of a day."

So we all worked for the rest of that day and turned up at 9am the following for the 11am funeral. It turned out that we got the time wrong and it was actually scheduled for 3pm. So management decided to make good use of the time and began a three hour strategy meeting before seeing our normal daily clients. None of us got much done, we were all extremely shaken and upset --Jane had been a great friend as well as colleague to many of us. Management complained we were "unmotivated" and asked "when we thought we were going to move on."

We went to the funeral at 3, and management had us back in the office at 5 to call our clients and let them know that Jane had died and get back to work.

No time off was offered, we were to make do with a one hour group corporate counselling session, and we had to get on with things immediately. We were told that poor Jane would have wanted it that way.

Seriously doubt it. LINK
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Tale # 71
Dept: All-Staff Score: 601
Feb 7th 2006 Submitted by Anonymous
“You Call This a Bonus?”
A donut I spent a year of my life working for a giant retail corporation. They routinely made us work a full day with only one 10-minute break for lunch (which is, incidentally, illegal), and required us to work unpaid overtime.

But it was a tight economy, so we all stayed. And we worked really hard. We were able to raise sales by 30%, even though we had our staff reduced by 15%.

When it came time for our Christmas bonus, we were excited, thinking that surely our efforts finally would be recognized.

What did our bonus turn out to be?

Six chocolate chip cookies that arrived smashed to pieces.

Not six chocolate chip cookies per person. Six cookies to be split between fourteen people.

Merry Christmas, everybody! LINK
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Tale # 75
Dept: Human Resources Score: 588
Feb 21st 2006 Submitted by Anonymous
“Women's Issues”
A donut I am a woman. I worked on Wall Street where the C.E.O. (a man) convened a meeting to explore "Women's Issues on Wall Street." Successful women from the firm were invited along to share their opinions.

One woman, "Diane," said she thought mothers shouldn't take maternity leave, and that women just had to work harder and longer than men to get ahead.

The C.E.O. appointed Diane as "Head of Women's Issues." Diane's boss was forced out and she became co-Head of our department, meaning that I reported to her. At 35, I had been trying to get pregnant for years, and, as everyone in the group knew, was using fertility drugs. Happily, I became pregnant with triplets.

I was a very good producer for the department, but Diane was not happy about my news. She suggested, "as a friend," that I abort one or two of my children so I could "better manage my career."

After giving birth to three beautiful children, and taking my full maternity leave; I found a new job on Wall Street. With three babies, I did not want to fight that fight. Diane continues to move ever-higher on Wall Street. LINK
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Tale # 46
Dept: Operations Score: 575
Dec 19th 2005 Submitted by Michael
“No! No! No!”
A donut I once, very briefly, worked as a telemarketer. I know, you hate me. I'm sorry.

We were collecting charitable donations for "The Police Benevolence Foundation," which had absolutely nothing to do with the police per se. I still to this day don't know what the money we were collecting for actually went to. They wouldn't outright tell us. They would only respond to the question by answering 'we might use the money to help officers who are wounded in the line of duty.' Then again, they might not.

We were told to never accept no for an answer. In fact, we couldn't accept two no's for an answer. We had to be rejected three times before we could give up. And they actually had to say "No," or "I'm not interested," or in some way offer a firm rejection. "I don't think I can afford it" did NOT count as a rejection.

So one day, I was listening to an old lady tell her tale of woe: her husband had died, her daughter never visited, she didn't know where her cat wandered off to, she couldn't afford her medication, she was laid up in bed for two months and her home care nurse was stealing her valuables... I really didn't want to keep pressing this poor old lady for money. But she had never said "no."

I should say there was also a strict guideline on how long these calls should LAST. The sooner you get one out of the way, the sooner you could start ripping off someone else.

Instead, I listened to her and tried to console her as best I could. After about the first three minutes I never brought up the subject of the Police Benevolence Foundation again. We said goodbye after about 20 minutes and she thanked me for calling.

As I left for the day, the boss calls me over to berate me for the length of the conversation, and--since it was screened--hassle me about letting her go without ever getting one firm, "No."

As I walked out the door, I waved and said, "Bye! Bye! Bye!" I never went back. LINK
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Showing 11 - 15 of 121 Tales.