In a shock to absolutely no one, it turns out most jobs suck. But sometimes you get to have a “Casual Friday” or “Lunch Breaks” or “Payday” and that really makes it all worth it.
Other (most) times the management comes up with ways to make life unbearable for the employees. It’s almost like the decades of studies that have come out saying “Happy and appreciated employees are more productive” actually said the opposite, otherwise, why would any business operate the way it does?
Oh right, because if you don’t work, you starve and die. This seems like a really good system we have designed here.
But if there’s one thing the Disney Channel’s High School Musical has taught me, it’s that “We’re all in this together” and if decades of working horrible jobs for misogynistic managers has taught me anything it’s that “Bonding over how much we all hate our jobs is the literal glue that holds our society together.”
So let’s all come together and bond over the fact that our entire adult lives are basically spent working so that some guy we will never meet, who only pays us because he’s legally required to do so, can send his horrible children to some overpriced school so they can party with the children of other rich people and squander the family fortune.
And you thank them for the opportunity.
Anyway, here’s the list.
36. This is why most developed countries have “unfair dismissal” laws
One of our senior employees asked for a raise because it had been a few years since he had had one and he was doing a great job. Management reviewed his file, realized they could pay one of the new guys half of the salary of experienced guy, fired senior guy, promoted junior dude. They weren’t aware of the warehouse dynamic and soon found out that no one liked or wanted to work for or with junior guy, morale dropped a lot.
A week later, senior guy took his own life. Once the warehouse was informed/invited to the funeral, morale reaaalllly dropped and eventually junior guy became so ineffective trying to run the shop that he was fired and the next senior guy just kind of took over without management doing anything about it everything began to run as it had before senior guy was fired.
35. The harder you work, the better a vacation your boss gets
Business had been running for three years and many of the employees had been there from the beginning without getting a pay rise.
After some requests the company announced that there would be a review of everyone’s pay. Called in each worker to discuss.
Basically they had decided to pay every employee the same amount. This meant that a few got a raise, most stayed the same, and some (who had negotiated better at hiring) had their wages reduced.
Needless to say most employees were unhappy.
Two weeks later the three brothers who owned the business bought themselves two new cars and a second hand Rolls Royce.
That was a real slap in the face.
34. They make a dollar I make a dime, that’s why I poop on company time
Our company policy in my position is if you are THE top performer you get a 1.5% raise which doesn’t even keep up with inflation or cost of living increases. Most people get nothing. Our senior managers always get asked about this and they always say “oh we would love to give you more but it is not up to us it is decided by the compensation board.”
Our CEO got a 36% raise
33. Nobody wants to feel like a drone in an endless maze of the same grey cubicles
In a very short span of time, they changed everyone’s 401K plan (for worse) and then implemented an office-wide cleanliness policy. No eating at your desk. Only 3 personal items on your desk. Everything labeled. No items other than your keyboard, mouse, and monitors on your desk at the end of the day.
Talk about anger. You could feel the gloom when you walked in.
32. Alternatively, you could just make the walk take an extra 30 minutes and get paid 1 hour of overtime a day
I worked in a large factory. Each department clocks in at a different place, mainly that department’s breakroom. My department clocked in across the facility from the main entrance, which meant it took about 15 minutes to walk from the front door to where you clocked in and out at, and another 5 to walk from that entrance to the parking lot. There was a side exit that we would use, however, that literally cut that walk down from 20 minutes to 3, since our department was right next to the parking lot.
Management decided that ALL employees must enter and exit through the SAME DOOR. Which meant we had to walk all the way down to the main entrance and then back around to our cars.
There was so much rebellion from the employees in our department that they had to bar the door shut with 2 x 4’s. Jokes on them, we contacted the fire marshal, who upon seeing a fire exit barricaded, fined the company $8,000.
We still were not “allowed” to enter through this door, but they stopped trying to stop us.
31. Retail managers really do believe that you owe them everything just for a job
I used to work at Bass Pro in high school, who hired me under the contingency that once one of my seasons ended at school (it took up all my weekends) I would have to work weekends. However, I joined a summer activity that required my attendance on the weekends.
So as any high schooler does, I set my priorities straight, and when the time came around to break it to management that I would need to continue to only work during the week, the management called me into their office. At this point it is myself, a low-self-esteem high schooler with a room of 4 or 5 retail managers (sorry but — one of my least favorite demographics of people. I was not pleased.) They told me that I could not participate in my summer activity because they needed me to work weekends and I intended to prior to this activity coming up.
So right there I grew some balls, told them if they won’t give me weekends off for the summer then I quit because this is a terrible part-time high school job that I will not even waste a single brain cell thinking or caring for in a couple of months’ time. The managers looked dumbfounded as that was the last thing they expected me to say, and followed up with an “alright, we will keep your weekday schedule normal”.
30. Sounds like a government job
They were hiring for Job A. Job A is entry-level but requires about 5-10 years of experience before moving into Job B, and honestly, most people in Job A don’t ever get out of it because it’s a career position despite being entry-level. Job B doesn’t have anything to do with Job A, but the experience requirement has always been followed.
So they test and interview for Job A and offer positions to those who were best qualified.
Well, this is at the end of the fiscal year and it turned out that they had enough money to hire people for Job B. However, they didn’t have enough time to do a job posting and new interviews so they called up all of the rejected applicants from the Job A hiring them and handed them these higher positions.
There were people who had worked their entire adult lives trying to get Job B and then they hired people off the street, rejected people mind you.
People were furious.
29. Next you’re gonna tell me you want a living wage and benefits, too?
I work in IT. It’s a job where if you work absolutely perfectly, you’re totally invisible and only appear on the radar when something breaks.
Just a few weeks ago we did a major office move. My department worked back to back 12-18 hour days to get everything moved over, which we managed with less half a day’s downtime (and we were moving the company’s main data center).
By the end of the final weekend after carrying 30+ servers (plus cabs) up four stories, re-cabling 200+ desks and literally moving trucks worth of gear, I got home and my legs just wouldn’t work anymore. I still have the blisters on my feet from walking about 30 miles in two days…and I was still at my desk at 7am the next day to run around the office fixing teething issues.
Then, a few days ago the country chief got the whole office together to thank everyone for their hard work. He had a stack of envelopes with ‘thank you’ card £50 vouchers in them. Everyone who volunteered to help with the move got one…including the people who ‘volunteered’ to have an early snoop around the new office, spent 30 minutes on-site and did nothing.
You know who didn’t get a mention, or an envelope? Anyone in IT. The people who were there working unpaid overtime until 2am for weeks.
The funny thing is, when this happened, the newer members of the department stared in absolute disbelief and once it sunk in, they were absolutely furious.
The rest of us who’ve been there 5-10 years? We fully expected it. We laughed about it.
One of the things about working in corporate IT is you quickly learn that ‘The IT Crowd’ wasn’t a comedy, it was a documentary.
28. Ahh yes, the shotgun method to employee management
I worked for a concierge company owned and run by a crazy lady. We had contracts with buildings and she’d routinely lose the contracts by taking meetings with them and then acting crazy. She was actually banned from one of the buildings that we still had a contract with.
Anyways, I worked at a building with about 4 other people. We were basically security guards checking in guests all day and we didn’t make much money. After hiring this one employee who basically wouldn’t do his job and instead surfed the internet right in front of the guests, rather than firing said employee, they took away our internet access. This made all employee performance worse as now everyone had to stare down at their cell phones, instead of straight ahead at the computer. Even I would occasionally get caught staring at my phone instead of the guest in front of me (some people are quiet). So then they banned our phones. Which, banning someone’s phone basically just means that whenever a supervisor is present (which was about 5 minutes per day) nobody was on their phones, and the rest of the time it was phone-city all day every day.
This was like a month-long battle and most of the 5 person team we started with ended up quitting. Guess who the one dude that didn’t quit was? An original trash employee who I know continued to ignore guests and stare at his phone because I stayed friends with some people in the building and would stop by from time to time, always catching him staring down at his phone.
27. Good opportunity for everyone to quit so he can start his retirement early
My boss is looking to retire in the next 3-4 years. He told everyone that he wanted us to come up with our visions for the company and its future over the next 5, 10, 20 years.
We’re a small office of about a half dozen people but we’ve been growing and so everyone brought up growth projections and succession planning once he retires, etc.
His son is the heir apparent and has a precocious 8-year-old so in my 20-year version, I even included the grandson joining the business and grooming it to become a legacy company.
My boss went last and we were expecting something acknowledging some of our thoughts or at least an expression of appreciation that the company he founded would live on well past his retirement, be in good hands, etc.
Instead, it was brutal and short. It was something along the lines of “I do everything around here anyway so I should just sell the company to fund my retirement and you can all find other companies to work for in a few years.”
Mood killed. Meeting ended.
26. Shut up, you stupid peasant! You should be grateful we’re letting you work here!
Many years ago when I worked for everyone’s favorite big box store, Walmart, they tried to tell us employees who worked in the automotive department that we all had to use the main front door to enter/exit the building when going to work, leaving work, going out on break/lunch, and returning from break/lunch. The reason this was met with heavy opposition was because our department had a public door leading out into the automotive parking lot where we were all allowed to park (a certain distance away, of course, in order to leave the closer spots for customers, which is fine).
I argued that when I was coming in to start my shift, I wasn’t currently clocked in on company time, and I’d use any public door I wanted. Same for break and lunch. That’s my time, and I’ll use whatever door I want. Everyone else did this as well, so nothing ever happened. The company just sucked it up.
It just blows my mind that this happens at so many places. What’s so hard about just being decent employers and treating people with a bit of dignity?
25. He now runs a company of 3 people
In a company of 6 people, the owner said in a meeting with everyone that his 2 sales guys are irreplaceable and that the rest of us are “just paper pushers”.
Sales guys put maybe 20 minutes into one deal, then operations put days into logistics, payment, paperwork, claims, etc. We also just purchased an office building for $1 million+ , so if we leave and sales can’t sell sell sell, this place will most definitely end up deep in bankruptcy. I’d hate to see that happen, but it’s not the first time we’ve been informed that we’re scum and just suck up company money while the sales guys are the ones making the profits.
24. Together, we bargain, divided, we beg
I’m a former teacher. The administrators at my school were usually pretty chill, but had a habit of randomly coming up with minor rules that they would enforce for us (male teachers had to wear ties even on jeans day, etc.). Overall it wasn’t bad, except for the time an administrator made a crucial mistake… they banned staff from drinking coffee in front of students.
Now if you’ve never worked in a school, you’d think this isn’t a big deal. When you spend nearly 100% of your day in front of students, it definitely is a big deal.
First, we tried to find any loophole we could. Energy drinks? Banned the next week. Tea? Banned two days later. It was chaos.
Eventually, we realized they couldn’t fire an entire school’s worth of teachers and aides, so we ended up doing the one thing that private schools fear most: we formed a union.
Realistically, it was more of a weird pseudo-union focused specifically on civil disobedience regarding the coffee issue, but it ruffled feathers nonetheless. The administrators caved to our “demands”, allowed us to drink coffee again, and even bought each of us a reusable coffee mug as a gesture of goodwill.
And that’s the story of how a handful of school administrators almost accidentally created a teachers union over a complete non-issue.
23. And companies wonder why employees leave after 3 years. No one knows. It’s a mystery!
Removed raises each year for all employees and implemented a “raise when promoted or take on more responsibility” model. However, promotions are very rare and raises are never approved. So everyone is losing money to inflation each year and they tried to sell it As a big ‘win’ for the employees.
We aren’t stupid people.
22. PTO is a scam
The company I worked for held a super positive, pep rally-style company-wide meeting about how they were going to start combining our sick days with our vacation days and now just call them ‘PTO.’ This was presented to us as a great thing, since we could all now use our PTO days fully as vacation days if we wanted to. Once the system was implemented, everyone realized that instead of getting 10 vacation days and 10 sick days per year, we now all had 15 PTO days. Everyone was rightfully angry.
21. Turns out that cutthroat jerks who stab their way to the top aren’t exactly the best leaders
The head of my department realized that we weren’t about to meet our targets for the financial year. So he completely banned annual leave for 3 months, forced anyone who didn’t fill in their time sheet on time to attend disciplinary meeting (despite problems with the system meaning that some didn’t get filled in) and generally had lower management terrified, causing a massive blame culture and several people to be signed off with mental health issues.
In the end, the employee survey which went to his bosses was hilariously bad, and he’s now somewhere else making some other people’s lives a misery. The best part was when his replacement came in and fired his right-hand man who was also a jerk.
20. Everything according to plan: can’t claim unemployment if you quit
The company-wide meeting announced the promotion of several high-level management and executives (mostly title and responsibility changes). Lots of smiles and handshakes, not unlike a college graduation ceremony.
After these promotion announcements, they declared that due to the stagnant economy and poor sales, the entire company would be experiencing a pay freeze as a result. So, no raises for anyone.
They then concluded the meeting by discontinuing “Casual Fridays.” So, no more jeans on Friday.
It almost felt like it was designed to make people want to quit and leave. It worked though, I and many others moved on to greener pastures within the year.
I moved on to what was the most lucrative job I have ever had as a result of this, so I don’t hold any resentment, I just remember it utterly destroyed employee morale that day. If it was the ownership/management’s plan to get people to quit, it was pretty stupid, as only the mobile and capable talent moved on, while those incapable of finding another job or the lifers (Who would probably stay on even if the company announced they planned to cut the oxygen supply to the building by 50% to save money) stayed on through it.
I can understand the need for promotion to fill positions from vacancies, etc, I can understand the need to have a pay freeze (beats, layoffs right?), but doing the prior two right after each other and then saying, yeah, and no more casual Friday’s just seemed really vindictive and malicious. If anything, they should have softened the blow of the pay freeze by saying casual Friday is now every day, and people would have left the meeting at least neutral if not slightly hopeful.
19. You don’t have to be crazy to do traffic control, but it does help
I used to do traffic control and was working a 24-hour site, 6pm-6am shifts 6 nights a week. Our site was basically a 3 exit roundabout, next to a hospital, but not the emergency side. Essentially, from 10pm-4am there was zero traffic.
Our main requirement was literally to just stay awake. We would bring camping chairs and set them up in the middle of the roundabout and talk to keep each other awake. No phones allowed either on the off-chance an inspector might drive past. I can’t remember the exact figure but the fine for being caught using a mobile phone whilst working as a traffic controller was pretty high.
One of the guys I worked with was a shameless Bible basher as well, couldn’t have a conversation without it turning into being about Jesus in 1 sentence or less. He kept bringing me bibles and hiding them in my car to “turn me from my wicked ways”. I cleaned my car out once and found 15 bibles hidden about!
Worst job ever. Most days, the people taking over for you for the day shift would be late. You’d be standing there an extra hour or 2, baking in the sun, thinking about how many hours sleep you might get that day before you have to come back at 6 to do it all again!
18. High schoolers don’t need your job as bad as you need their cheap labor, you dingus
The manager of a grocery store I worked at, who primary employed high school seniors like myself, would state “your employer is your number one priority. You work for them, not the other way around. I don’t care about whatever teenager/highschool things you have going on. If you can’t work the shifts I want you to, I don’t want you to work for me.” The only job I straight up walked out on after he told me I couldn’t get off for my own graduation.
17. Complaining is like vomiting: Something caused it to happen, and it’s best to figure out why and change it so it doesn’t happen again
My company put up a poster that said “Complaining is like vomiting. You feel better but everyone around you feels sick.”. The morale was already bad but it was just a bad way to take a hit at upset employees rather than do anything positive.
16. And now Gamestop is flirting with bankruptcy, how sad
Was working for EB Games when GameStop bought them. 20% of any warranty and $1 for every subscription sold went into your paycheck as commission. And you’d never feel dirty selling the things because Edge Magazine (EB’s answer to Game Informer) and their extended warranties were legit and fairly priced.
GameStop buys the company. The first thing they do? Nix the commissions. You still have to sell the stuff, of course.
I’ll never forget the first meeting I had with GameStop as a manager. They really drilled how profitable those things are to the company. Soon after came the threats of reduced hours if you didn’t hit quotas, mandated by corporate.
Yeah. Screw Gamestop.
15. Welcome to childcare
I work at a daycare.
A parent got in a disagreement with one of our employees over something pretty dumb. Parent was in the wrong but my coworker could’ve handled it better. Parent wanted the employee fired which was definitely overdoing it. Supervisor refused. So the mother was now mad at both my coworker and my supervisor.
The mom ended up getting several other parents together and complaining to the owner. Both my coworker and supervisor were fired.
Morale in that place dropped! Not only was every other employee angry but we were now short-handed.
It went from being a place where I was legitimately involved and concerned about the babies and their future, to just another job and it showed.
Kids could tell, parents could tell, the owner could tell. We went from being the number 1 rated childcare center to just another daycare.
14. Pretty cool of you to give them 2 weeks, considering they wouldn’t do the same for you
I’m a security guard at a library. My boss said she wanted me moving around a lot, which is cool. I would get up every 15 minutes, patrol the entire building, then sit back down for another 15 minutes. It’s not the busiest place so it seems to work out fine, especially since my coworkers always know how to get a hold of me. However, apparently a coworker told my supervisor I was slacking off (and this coworker’s known for micromanaging people she has no control over) and wasn’t doing my job properly.
But instead of talking to me about it, my boss just says, “Oh I meant CONSTANTLY. CONSTANTLY walking, 4 to 8 hours straight, no sitting down AT ALL. Also we fired the only other security guard so you gotta take his shifts too.” So other than a legally obliged 15 minute break, I’m supposed to be hiking all day long and “assert my presence” to the dozen or so patrons we have.
I’m turning in my 2 week notice on Wednesday, and in the meantime I just take VERY long bathroom breaks
13. The “pee in the corner & make this place MINE” technique. It’s the horrible boss calling card
New general manager came in, fired all the best people (I was really good but had only been there for 3 years so I wasn’t making a lot) because they were “making too much money” and replaced them with base pay workers who didn’t care. Then that increased the workload on everyone else that wasn’t fired so they all quit. Then the hotel was stuck with half staff. Funny thing is that we made in the ballpark of 20 million dollars the year before my original GM left and the year the new GM took over I heard from one of the few people that still worked there (there were 2 originals out of a 60 person staff) that they were projected to barely clear 2 mil.
We were in the top 5 Hiltons in the entire Midwest for years and there were only a handful of nights like Christmas when we wouldn’t sell all 140 rooms. Why that moron tried to change everything when the place ran itself I will never know, but he’s out of a job now. My old GM would literally leave halfway through the day if he wanted (rarely) because our managers were so good and everyone actually cared about the place.
You wouldn’t think it possible for a hotel to go out of business in less than 2 months but lo and behold it did just that.
12. Wait, that’s illegal
Old folks home kitchen. Maybe 20 staff members. Boss declared we were too happy and made a new set of rules:
There was to be absolutely no talking, laughing or jokes. The kitchen was to be silent because we were “distracting ourselves from work.”
Anyone working less than 9 or 10 hour shifts were forbidden bathroom breaks. Going to the bathroom on a shift with less than 9 or 10 hours was a fireable offense. Permitted Bathroom breaks could not be on the clock. Your lunch must be used to use the bathroom. Lunch breaks were 15 minutes long.
Any communication with management was seen as inappropriate. Staff and management were to be kept separate at all times.
You will not be paid overtime but will be expected to work. If you are to clock out by 8 pm but are still needed you must clock out then return to work. Complaints to HR or the labor board are fireable offenses. Yes, people complained. Yes, the place was investigated.
Ex boss was sued. Lost. Morale dropped. They have a hard time keeping employees now and from what I heard most of the new employees are high school students. Ex boss announced a sudden retirement for the end of the year and the kitchen will be taken over by all new people.
I jumped ship early on. Do NOT miss the place.
11. At my last job I didn’t get the end-of-the-year bonus because “You started working here on the 10th, and the cutoff was the 9th.”
There was going to be a $1,500 bonus if the company landed a certain client.
I’d been working there for about 6 weeks. They had replaced 4 full-time software testers with me, a 20 hours/week student who wrote automated tests and was well on my way to run more tests than the 4 full-time employees could do.
I didn’t get the bonus because I was just a part-time employee.
From then on I felt like if I wasn’t important enough to get a $1,500 bonus, my job must not be important enough to care about too much.
Why exactly would you expect a bonus for working part-time at a company for less than 2 months?
I didn’t expect it, but the talk was always “team team team”, but then everyone but me got the bonus. Even a token to show appreciation would’ve gone a long way. It came across as “You’re part-time, so you’re not part of the team”.
A part-time employee was able to do the same amount of work as all 4 staff? What am I missing here?
They were manually testing the web app (moving the mouse, typing stuff, clicking stuff). I wrote a test framework that ran automated tests in Firefox, IE, Chrome and Safari, and with the various database backends, the software support, and on Windows and Mac. My framework took 30ish minutes to run all the tests the manual testers had been running before.
They were let go because the company was struggling financially, between VC funding rounds, not because the company was really planning on moving to automated testing. They (in my opinion) got lucky when I came on board because I was able to do so much.
Get out of QA as fast as possible / development / etc.
10. Simply take every single piece of trash to the bin every time thus wasting more money because you’re away from the desk
I work in a big corporate building. The same older lady came by everyone’s desk towards the end of the day to collect the trash. Just the sweetest lady ever and every time she’d walk to my desk she’d give me a big smile and ask me how my day was and chat for a minute as she got my trash (usually I’d dump it in for her). I had some rough days but she has a way to cheer me up and send me home on a higher note. I know I’m not the only one either.
So then a few weeks back our work implemented a new policy to ‘cut down on trash usage’. It’s no longer allowed to have a trash bin at our desk and we have to walk across the room and use the community trash to throw anything away. Not a huge deal but the real reason they did it is so they can cut down on cost… i.e. the cleaning crew.
Sad to say that I haven’t seen Sharon since.
9. Meanwhile on the CEO’s Yacht: “They think they are people! Adorable!”
Company I worked for consisted of something like 1,200 employees at the time and rented out a big conference center for a Christmas party. At the opening of the party, the CFO was giving opening remarks and asked – expecting cheers – if everyone liked their Christmas bonuses.
He got booed.
See, of that 1,200 people, a bit over a thousand were in customer service. No one in customer service got bonuses, only people in the ‘corporate’ departments got bonuses. And our awesome CFO decided to rub everyone’s noses in it because clearly, the Chief Financial Officer of a company would have no idea that 80%+ of his company didn’t get bonuses.
At the same party, the CEO made an announcement that the company would be closed on Friday (Christmas that year was on a Thursday), and everyone got a day off. Now, he had literally just finished making a speech about how everyone was important, and everyone was part of the company, no matter the department.
The next day, we all got a memo that Customer Service still had to work on that Friday. We apparently didn’t count as ‘everyone,’ and the CEO just hadn’t realized that the announcement wouldn’t apply to anyone.
January saw a 60% attrition rate.
8. What do you mean there was a car wreck on the freeway? Just go around it
My job years ago tried to implement a very strict attendance policy where if you were one second late you would get written up.
Till one Saturday a guy who had worked there for like 30 years shows up to work 30 seconds late. They pull him into the office and write him up. He then gets up and tells them he’s going home. Working Saturdays was voluntary and he basically said I don’t have to be here today so I’m going home.
He was doing them a favor by working that day but when they wrote him up for being 30 seconds late he decided they could shove off and he just went home.
That policy didn’t last too much longer. For the most part if you’re a few minutes late it’s no big deal at all. If you’re late all the time they’ll have a word with you or write you up. But they understand things happen sometimes that’s out of your control to cause you to be late.
7. You guys realize a 2-week notice is a courtesy, not a requirement, right?
I worked at a dog daycare center as the assistant manager for a few months. We just started a training class so you would tell us what commands you would like us to teach your dog and we would pull them aside for 1 hour and teach that command with a certified trainer. The service usually costs an extra $45+ on top of your daycare visit. Well, our trainer quit unexpectedly and the owner asked me and the other manager to step in as the trainers.
We informed him that we did not have the proper certifications and our program promised the customers a certified trainer. He then told us to bring them in for an hour and have the dog hang out with us in the office and he would tell the parents what they worked on for the day.
Needless to say, we refused to do so and we were blamed for being non-loyal good for nothing millennials. Well, he received six two week notices within one week after I revealed this conversation with the employees. This place only had 10 employees in total.
6. Protip: If the owners or management change, you should get out as soon as you can
I worked at a family-owned market that was well known and loved by locals. The owners were a lovely couple that took care of their employees and would bend over backward for their customers. They were very active in the community and highly respected. They had a few core employees and would hire on temp staff during the summer and holidays.
The temps were mostly high schoolers and college kids that were home on break. They would bring back the same people as long as they could and the kids would try to stay as long as they could. The pay was well above market for those positions, we could shop and get a 75% discount, after six months you got two weeks paid vacation, and the owners would close the store a couple days a year and host a party for all of the employees. It was the best job any high schooler in the area could get. I lived right next to the store and my parents were friends with the owners so I was given a job there. All my friends were jealous.
After working there for a few years, the couple decided they wanted to retire to spend time with their daughter and her children in another state. Many tears were shed and they had a huge retirement party where they introduced their son to everyone and told us he was taking over. They gushed about his prestigious business education and background.
As soon as they were gone, the son decided he was going to remake the store in his image. He fired basically all the staff, most of whom had been there for 10 to 15+ years. He then staffed the whole place with home school kids and junkies. He cut discounts and vacations. He hired some old high school friends to manage the place so he could take the profits to go party.
The shop went from having the same staff for years to having to retrain an entirely new staff every other month. No one wanted to stay. Managers were reporting perfectly good product as damaged and taking it home. Shelves sat empty. Locals stopped shopping there. The place became a corpse of what it had been. The original owners had enough of their friends complain to them about their son that they came back for a short time and tried to make it right, but it was too late. Their original staff had all moved on and vendors had stopped doing business with the store. They decided to close the store, sell the property, and move away permanently. Last I heard, the son was in trouble with the IRS and his wife divorced him when she found him cheating.
5. Working hard gets you nothing except taken advantage of
I was a hard worker, like an extremely hard worker. One day a supervisor asked why I wasn’t working at my usual pace, so I told him I was facing homelessness if I couldn’t find somewhere to live.
He said, “Heyyy well I really need my superstar out here! I depend on you getting a lot done for me.” He couldn’t care any less about my problem…I was an employee who made him look good because I got results, and not a human being.
I never worked hard again, and personally undermined the work ethic of everyone I came in contact with. I didn’t have to learn that particular lesson a second time.
4. I can’t imagine why morale was low
I work in IT Support.
Everyone was pulled into a meeting one by one to discuss negativity in the workplace.
We were told we were not allowed to complain about clients between ourselves, not for the reason that I would expect and would understand (in case a client heard it on the phone), but because of the negative energy in the room.
In IT Support, complaining about people is the only thing that gets us through the day.
Previously to this, I worked in a retail store of a decent size, which only ever hired two staff, the managers would sit out the back and do nothing pretty much (would always catch them on their phones when I went back for something).
They had a policy also where you were not allowed to be doing nothing, and you were also not allowed to sit for your whole shift (sometimes had 11-hour shifts), except for the 30-minute break where the manager went on the floor and I got to have a coffee.
I was expected to run around cleaning if no one was in the store, and not be allowed to be behind the till, even if I had already cleaned every single shelf in the building. This also had the side effect of being at the back of the shop, behind isles, without a bell on the door when someone came in, meaning people would often come looking for me, and be really angry because I wasn’t already at the till waiting for them to give them their smokes.
I worked morning shifts usually, and was required to be there 15 minutes early to put the papers out and start putting magazines out, before it hit open time, because we would have people lining up and knocking on the door at 6 am for their papers, this time was unpaid, as was the time I had to stay every day counting my till after waiting for the person taking over my shift to come out.
To explain the above, person starting mid-day walks into the shop at 12 which is their shift start and my shift end, they then count their till, then bring it out, then I go and count my till, then get to leave. Which means I ended up working between 15 and 30 minutes overtime every day more or less, maybe more, without extra pay. The only time we had extra pay was if we worked a full hour of overtime.
3. We are disappointed that you have decided that you need “Oxygen” to breathe, what next, you are going to tell us you need “Food” or “Water”?
I was one of a large number of programmers working on a project at CSC. We had a deadline coming up in a couple of months and they over-promised to the client and then asked us all to work extra hard to meet the deadline, and asked us to work 50+ hour weeks. Which we did – and then some: some of us put in 70-80 hour weeks to meet this deadline.
But once that deadline was met, suddenly there was another deadline they needed to meet. And another. People got tired, had lives to lead, and scaled back on their hours. Most of us were still working 50-60 hours a week, but not a lot more than that.
Once they realized we weren’t killing ourselves on their project any longer, there was an “All Hands” meeting where the managers told us that they were incredibly disappointed in our lack of professionalism because so comparatively few employees were now working more than fifty hours a week.
One of our harder workers stood up and said, “Look, I have three kids. I’m driving an hour into and out of work every day, I’m taking care of my family, I’m trying to get presents for Christmas, write out Christmas cards, decorate and clean the house for everyone we’re having over for the holidays – I’m having a really hard time just getting to fifty.”
And the manager looked at her and sneered, “If it wasn’t Christmas, it’d be because it’s Easter, or Memorial Day, or because it’s summer and it’s nice out. You’d always have some excuse.”
There was dead silence in the room.
When we left that meeting, we didn’t talk to each other, but every single worker on that project put in exactly fifty hours a week after that.
Then came Christmas – raise and bonus time! Every worker on the project got a 1/2 percent raise; the managers got a five-figure bonus.
For management, the pain came after Christmas. In the first week of the year, four programmers had better jobs lined up and quit. Three more the following week. Five the next. We hemorrhaged 3-5 programmers every single week for over three months. It got to the point where the managers had to schedule a meeting every Monday at eleven to discuss that week’s resignations and rearrange the surviving staff.
2. Is it company policy to kidnap their employees?
When I worked overnight at a department store stocking shelves I got sick one night and wanted to go home. I was told I could clock out but under no circumstances would any door be unlocked to allow me to leave prior to the bread delivery at 6 am. I really did not feel like waiting 7 hours for the bread delivery. When I reached for the phone I was asked who I was calling and I told my manager the local police to report a kidnapping.
Magically he was suddenly able to open the door to let me go home and be sick in the comfort of my own bathroom.
Also magically that rule didn’t apply to a pair of siblings, one of which was regularly blacked out, and they were allowed to come and go as they saw fit.
1. And if I had to guess, a 50% pay raise for the owner
I worked at a pizza place a few years ago. The pay was incredible for the job, 6 an hour flat rate, tips, and 52 cents a mile. I was making like 600 a week after taxes just to deliver pizza. Everyone loved the job. The owner decided to decrease to pay to 7.25 while in the store, 2.13 on the road, and $1 dollar per run. This resulted in about a $200 decrease every check. Half the drivers left.