Exposing cruel and unusual workplaces since 2005.
Showing 96 - 100 of 121 Tales.
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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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 # 551
Dept: Management Score: 8
Oct 11th 2013 Submitted by chris
“the ”
A donut I worked as a lifeguard for a fairly large city. The Parks and Rec department had a director, assistant director, and then an aquatics director under the other 2.

We had just built a new aquatic center so the P & R director hired an independent consultant and a new aquatics director. She was new to the pool industry so didn't have much knowledge of how to handle a pool.

The consultant was the biggest idiot I'd ever met. The policies he started went against everything we are taught as lifeguards and even bordered on illegal. For instance, he became convinced that children were purposefully defecating in the pool (the children's pool for kids 12 and under, of course there is going to be poop in the pool). so instead of clearing the pool and shocking it with chemicals, he told us to keep people away from that area and have a manager scoop it out.

About halfway through the summer, the aquatics director made a decision (that she was hired to make) at the advice of the more experience guards but it went against the consultant. He had her fired for "insubordination."
I left after that summer. LINK
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Tale # 116
Dept: Sales & Marketing Score: 7
Sep 5th 2007 Submitted by Zchidzo
“Cheat me out of pay, will you?”
A donut I worked as a business to consumer telemarketer for a health magazine a few years back. It was my first job as a telemarketer, and I didn't really like the product, which was basically bogus.
This of course affected my sales, and after a few months I started looking for a new job.
I found one with a business to business telemarketing company.
i then went to my boss and explained that I was quitting, and told him that I would stay on for another two weeks if he wanted me to, something I didn't have to do, as there had never been a contract.
He told me that he didn't think that would be necessary, and so I left.
I started work at the new place selling real products, and liked it a lot better, and my sales grew... But I was owed money from my old work. Money I needed to pay rent.
I called them three or four times, and the boss kept explaining that he had just wired the money, that it was in the mail, and a lot of other excuses. Now it wasn't a lot of money but I really needed it.
In the end I had to go there, on an afternoon when I knew the team leader was a rather sweet old lady who wouldn't hurt a fly. How she became a telemarketer team leader I'll never understand.
And explain to this elderly woman, whom I quite liked, that I still knew the codes to get into the building, and I still knew the work schedule, and knew when only one person was at work, and if I didn't get payed very soon, I might come by and pick up my pay in whatever I found lying around their office.
Im a pretty big guy.
Next day the money came.
I can't believe I had to resort to threats, threats I would never carry out BTW, to get paid. LINK
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Tale # 121
Dept: All-Staff Score: 7
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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