If you didn’t read Friday’s open thread, you missed out on this amazing story, which almost already wins Bad Boss of 2016 (but that can’t happen because it’s only February and that would demoralize all the other bad boss contenders out there, who are doing such good work toward the title too). Here it is in all of its horror and glory:
I need some advice on how to survive in a company that both praises and shames publicly.
I’ve been at this company of about 350 people for eight months. The floorplan is a giant square open office with manager/director/VP/executive offices lining the outer perimeter. Most everyone can hear what’s going on inside the square.
The way this company deals with both praises and mistakes is through public announcements. If you do something well, your manager or another higher up will come out onto the floor and stand at your desk and publicly declare what a great job you did. But if you make a mistake and do something wrong, you will get yelled at in front of all your coworkers. It’s distressing and really humiliating. There’s never any follow-up privately about why you made the mistake or how to prevent it; you just get yelled at and that’s that.
Performance is evaluated on a point system. At random times, the executives will send out a stack ranking of every employee’s point score. The top five are gathered and paraded around the office and each handed $200 in cash as a reward. The bottom five are also paraded around the office but are made to wear dunce caps (I wish I were making this up). The bottom five go on probation, and if they are still in the bottom five the next time the ranking goes out, they’re fired.
The last time the rankings went out, I was in the top five and got the money, but I still felt embarrassed being paraded around like that and being made an example of. People were congratulating me for days afterward, but I did NOT feel good or like I’d accomplished something.
I am searching for a new job, but based on the scarcity of jobs in my area and field, I don’t expect to find one soon. I am having a really hard time dealing with this toxic environment and am about ready to flip a table and storm out. Any advice on surviving until I’m able to quit?
And if you were wondering, they didn’t do any of this stuff when I was there for my job interviews.
No, seriously, dunce caps.
The only way to survive this and come out unscathed is to pretend that you’re a sociologist studying an alien life form and its behaviors and rituals, right before its planet’s sun is about to fail and destroy them all.