our CEO calls employees’ babies “future employees” and gives us no paid parental leave

A reader writes:

I work for a contracting company that places workers in other company’s offices all over the place. I’ve never met anyone from corporate HQ, just my regional managers, but I do get emails from our CEO. A lot of emails. Every single day. In the middle of misspelled and grammatically incorrect messages about hitting sales goals or wishing us a happy holiday, he’ll drop in some incredibly personal details about his life. I’ve never met this man, but I know all about his mother’s mental health issues, his acrimonious divorce, his great new girlfriend, his trip to the Middle East with an evangelical preacher, and his thoughts on gun control (against) and the Holocaust (also against). He’s also repeatedly encouraged all of us to follow him on his personal social media.

Whenever an employee has a baby, the CEO sends out an all-staff congratulations email and refers to the baby as a future employee. Often, a picture of the newborn wearing a onesie with our corporate logo is attached to the email. He often refers to the company as one big family and his employees as his one true family.

This company does not offer 401k matching and barely contributes to our insurance premiums, but they’ll sure as shit send you a ONESIE WITH OUR SHITTY LOGO ON IT.

This company offers no paid parental leave, by the way. The policy on parental leave is explicitly the bare minimum covered by the FMLA.

I don’t have a question! It’s a crappy company and a crappy field to be in, under a sane economy neither would exist, and I’ll be incredibly happy when I finally leave.

I know you’re not asking for advice, which is good because I don’t really have any, but your letter was delightful in the way other people’s horror stories can be delightful. You are his one true family. I hope that on your last day at this company you find a way to wear an adult-sized onesie with the company logo on it.

Read an update to this letter here.

{ 289 comments… read them below }

  1. Ask a Manager* Post author

    Y’all, please stay on topic here! I’ve removed a slew of comments about flat earthers, space program deniers, and other conspiracy theories unrelated to the letter. Oh, and dogs. The OP has also confirmed below the boss is not a holocaust denier, so I’ve removed a TON of off-topic threads about holocaust deniers.

  2. Barely Human*

    Is it sick that I *super* wanna meet this guy in person? (Not in a dark alley, mind you, or anything else nefarious…but just out of sheer desire for the excellent anecdote I know I’d be sure to walk away with…)

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Having met this sort of person throughout life in various forms. It’s absolutely awful and makes you want to die inside with each interaction. And I’m super easily entertained by shenanigans

      1. Rainy*

        A friend of mine left a job with a boss who was super into one of those “prosperity gospel” type megachurches and referred to my friend frequently as “an angel sent from God” to fatten his bottom line. In fact, that’s what he wrote on her birthday card a few weeks before she left.

          1. Jadelyn*

            Funny you say that – my brain stalled out on that sentence and for a second I did actually parse it as the friend fattening the boss’s bottom. Not that that actually made it much worse tbh.

        1. RabbitRabbit*

          Of course he is. Because he can use that to justify paying his employees crap wages (God isn’t into them enough).

    2. Snark*

      “Dad, what was late capitalism like?”

      “Oooh, have I got a story for you. Pass me a rat kebab and stoke up the fire.”

    3. Grapey*

      IME men like this are actually super charming and personable and seem ‘normal’ at first glance. That’s why they’re so likely to be given free passes to act/think like they do. “Oh, but he’s so nice!” Or they do a lot of community work and nobody really wants to put down the folksy guy that plows their driveways for free or is a local company CEO.

      I met a few of my in-laws and really got to like them before my MIL was like “oh, he’s a flat earther creationist”. I still like the guy since he asks questions about my personal life and doesn’t bring up/put down my very left wing progressive ideals.

    1. Asenath*

      I thought most people were against the Holocaust. (OK, I can probably figure out what views on the Holocaust were really meant, but that was my initial reaction.)

      I’m also wondering under what circumstances I would even consider sending my employer a photo of my new baby in a onesie with the company logo on it. My mind boggles, and I don’t think it’s just because I don’t have a baby.

      1. LunaLena*

        I have to admit, I secretly hope that the onesie in the photos is actually the same onesie in all the photos, and the CEO sends it over every time someone has a baby to request a photo, then asks that they send it back. Just to make the story a little more insane/entertaining.

        1. LQ*

          I was going the other way, I want it to all be the same baby photo and every time someone is asked to send in a photo they just forward the standard baby in the onesie photo. Here, have a picture of a baby

      2. Librarian of SHIELD*

        I mean, if my work group went in together to buy a cute outfit for my baby, I might send them a picture of said baby in the outfit. But a cheap onesie in place of actual maternity leave and good health insurance? I’m probably not going to all the trouble of sending a picture.

        OP. Is it definitely a different baby in every picture? Because I love the idea that your boss has one photo of a baby in the company onesie that he sends out with every birth announcement.

        1. not really a lurker anymore*

          That’s what I was thinking – it’s one or two kids (maybe his?) in the photos.

      3. Kes*

        So, my company actually also does provide corporate branded onesies to new parent employees, and I have seen a number of photos of infants in said onesies in congratulation emails. (There’s also just a lot of swag in general, though we haven’t yet reached adult onesies… but I have four different tshirts and a hoodie, for example). However, our CEO and leadership in general is much more, um, normal. I think in this case the onesie is a red herring that just highlights the actual lack of support for new parents

        1. Wearing Many Hats*

          Yeah, we send out onesies to new parents, and post pictures on the company Slack channel if the parent wants, but also provide paid parental leave and have solid health insurance (of which the company pays a majority).

          1. Door Guy*

            We got leave and the like, but were also supposed to receive a $50 gift card and some diapers and other helpful items. I found out several months after I had had my baby. We had our youngest on one of my normal days off (we got 3 day weekends after working 4 10-hour shifts) and although the message that I was going to be out for 2 weeks reached payroll and attendance, it apparently didn’t reach the person who did the gifting since I didn’t call out, didn’t leave early, or anything to disrupt and they thought I was just on normal PTO when they didn’t see me around.

      4. I coulda been a lawyer*

        Perhaps the price one is paid for the photo is another few hours of parental leave.

        1. Matilda Jefferies*

          Hey, One True Family! Congratulations on meeting those Q3 sales targets! Something something Holocaust… Have a good weekend, everybody!

          1. Johnny Tarr*

            Congratulations to Jane and her new future employee, Matilda Rose! Mother and future employee are doing well.

      5. Texan In Exile*

        I just assumed the company sent the employees the onesies and associated paraphernalia as a gift.

        You know.


      6. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

        I really want the onesie to read, “My mom gave birth and all I got was this lousy onesie [logo].” Maybe while holding a sign that reads #HealthInsuranceForAll #PaidParentalLeave.

      7. Scarlet*

        I am beyond puzzled at that. My initial thought was he was a Holocaust denier and stuff but with Alison’s note above… now I’m just really confused lol. I’m against it too I guess? But why is he bringing this up in an email to his employees?! He’s like a creepy uncle that shares too much.

    2. Working Mom*

      My initial thought was “how is one against the Holocaust” ?? With some head scratching. I don’t get it. Sadly, I suspect denier as well. I have NO IDEA how that happens. Literally, how does one not believe something that happened, happened? Not the conversation for today, of course. But man… what a bizarre individual.

      I could understand taking a pic of my newborn baby wearing my company logo… but the difference here is that I LOVE my job. My company rocks, provides kick-A benefits, is led by super awesome people, and generally is a great place to work. So yeah, I’d have my baby rock a company onesie. But OP’s situation sounds the exact opposite.

    3. HannahS*

      I can assure you that “basically the entire world” was NOT against the Holocaust, because if that was true, it wouldn’t have happened.

        1. Late to the game*

          That’s an excuse culpable countries use now to lessen their guilt.

          We could have bombed the tracks to Auschwitz or believed and let in the refugees with horror stories, just as the US. We didn’t.

    4. Snow globe*

      According to my 22 year old son, the vast majority of kids he knew in high school and college claim to believe that 9/11 was a government conspiracy.

    5. lilsheba*

      Those kinds of idiots are known as Holocaust Revisionists. I knew one years ago, and I didn’t hang around him for very long.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I’m assuming that what the OP really is saying is that the’s a Holocaust denier :|

      Didn’t happen.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        No, I assume he means he’s against the holocaust but sending rambly messages to the staff list that are utterly unnecessary — as in, the staff doesn’t need to hear about his horror over it and that’s emblematic of how rambling/extraneous the messages are. The OP’s wording was for comic effect (I thought it was hilarious).

        1. Myrin*

          Oh my, I’m glad you bring up that reading – I also thought the wording was hilarious, but morbidly so, as I read it the same way as The Man; I hope yours is the correct interpretation. (Either way, the OP’s writing is genius, though.)

        2. Warm Weighty Wrists*

          A friend of mine went to a wedding a few years ago where her aunt made a joke about Sandy Hook in a wedding speech. Yes, a joke. About Sandy Hook. That story entirely broke my meter for shock at what people will say.

          1. Warm Weighty Wrists*

            Right? I know some people short circuit when public speaking, but that particular type of wiring remains a complete mystery to me.

        3. Former Future Employee*

          OP here! This is correct, he’s NOT a Holocaust denier. He sent a very long email after visiting the Holocaust Museum in D.C. about how horrible the Holocaust was and how nothing like that should ever be allowed to happen again, I was just trying to be clever with the wording.

            1. Jaydee*

              I mean, I’m just trying to figure out what type of CEO visits the Holocaust Museum in D.C. and the first thought they have is “I should send an all-staff email about how horrible the Holocaust was because probably my employees have no idea.” And that was the only answer I could come up with.

              1. Lady Catherine de Bourgh*

                “GUYS. I just found out about this thing called the Holocaust and wow. It was really bad. There’s a whole museum and everything. You should definitely look it up.”

              2. the enigma cipher*

                Because it’s totally unreasonable to vise Holocaust Museum and be profoundly affected by it?

                I’m not denying that his response might have been socially awkward, but I see posters here nominated him for worst boss of the year. Which means he’s up there on par with the boss who asked his employees to donate a kidney, or refused to key them attend their college graduation.

                If OP doesn’t want to read her boss’ extraneous thoughts, why can’t she just skip them?

                1. JamieS*

                  Yeah. This guy sounds more like a rambler who has trouble distinguishing what’s appropriate to share with employees and when it’s appropriate than a terrible boss. At least as far as being a manager. In regards to providing benefits, those sound lousy but that’s unfortunately true of a lot of places.

                2. Patty Mayonnaise*

                  Thirding this – I haven’t been to the Holocaust Museum but every person I’ve ever talked to about it has talked about how deeply affecting it was and how it gives you a new sense of the scale/tells you things you never knew/etc (and most of those people were Jewish). I think the boss is completely inappropriate to put this in an email but this reaction is pretty common and coming from a good-hearted place.

                3. wittyrepartee*

                  For me it was a trip to Europe where I stayed at a school converted to a hostel in Amsterdam. The school has a plaque to commemorate the 50 children that it had lost to the Holocaust. 50 children from one school.

                4. wickedtongue*

                  I think the reason OP might be reacting to this with an eyeroll/frustration is that there is a group of people in the states who will post huge, emotional “the holocaust was TRULY AWFUL” screeds…while simultaneously downplaying every kind of social justice issue currently happening in the world today.

                  I’m guessing that if this guy went to Israel with a televangelist, hates gun control, and doesn’t think people should have paid family leave, he’s one of those people, and it’s totally reasonable to be annoyed by his blathering about the Holocaust.

                5. Oaktree*

                  Uh, because it’s completely inappropriate to performatively monologue in a work email about Your Thoughts On yaoi The Holocaust?

                  I hate to #asajew this, but honestly it would be really off-putting for me to get an email like that, unless it was Holocaust Memorial Day or something.

              3. Veronica*

                It sounds like he doesn’t have anyone to share his thoughts with, so his employees get his sharing.

                1. JillOz*

                  That’s the impression I got.
                  And if it’s a “family” type company, he’s probably not up with how top level workplaces do work and should work.
                  Not everyone who runs a company has an MBA, many people do it to earn money and survive, not make a statement.

            2. Former Future Employee*

              After I’m done with this company, I solemnly vow I will send an update with more specifics about how my CEO is like Michael Scott.

              1. Jaydee*

                I wish you luck in your job search! And not for purely selfish reasons. But I do really want that update because it promises to be gooooooooood!

          1. Liz T*

            I bet he thinks the worst part is how Hitler took all the Jews’ guns! That’s a favorite amongst 2nd Amendment proselytizers.

      2. Hey Karma, Over here.*

        Same here. That’s why I didn’t go with my initial thought: Corporate Onesie is my new band name. And the hit single from the Album Fresh Hell, “Holocaust. Against It.”
        It is a fresh hell song, because if the guy isn’t a denier (which was my thought) he’s an over explaining twat who discovers the “next big issue” and has to tell everyone about it.
        Which is indeed, Fresh Hell.
        Shout out to Lobsterpot for the B side sleeper hit, Nope Rocket to Nopetown.

          1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

            I got Def Leppard shot glass on their last tour with Journey. I think Corp Ones should do that. With a full graphic image from the video for Baby Butt Blowout.
            “Slap a label on my baby’s clothes.
            I’ll send a picture, because
            no one knows
            If it’s worth a day off
            or corporate perks
            when your baby rocks the onesie
            sent by corporate jerks
            But my baby had a blowout
            up the diaper
            out the back
            Yeah, my baby had a blowout
            What can my boss
            show off
            on Slack?

        1. Texan In Exile*

          There was a poster in the co-op near my house in Memphis that said, “Against rape.”

          At least they were willing to take a stand.

          So few will.

    1. Shirley Keeldar*

      I’m envisioning the OP coming to work his last day (I’m visualizing OP as a middle-aged man, possibly bearded) in the adult-sized onesie. Working all day to tie up loose ends, hand in his ID badge, go over last minute details with colleagues, packing up his desk. All straight-faced in the adult-sized onesie. It’s making my day.

        1. Gazebo Slayer*

          THIS. I am visualizing a big, burly, bearded middle-aged man in a onesie with some crappy logo on it and a big badge marked SECURITY, putting his potted plants in a box.

      1. TardyTardis*

        I did have a good last day at old ExJob. The name of our building is one shared with a notorious prison. So a bunch of us got matching shirts with the building name on it, and our serial number was our date of hire. So for the last day, I got a Parolee with the last day of my employ there to wear at the potluck they had for me. Best $$ I spent on a shirt *ever*.

    2. Clorinda*

      You could make one pretty easily. You know for sure this company provides (=makes employees buy) T shirts with the logo. Get one of those Halloween adult onesies, something vague in the background color of the company’s logo, remove the hood with the unicorn head/other identifying item on it, cut out the logo from the T shirt, and pin it to the onesie. No sewing required. Worth the cost of the Halloween outfit and then some.

      1. Nanc*

        I’m visualizing the trip to the Giant Baby Stuff store from that one episode of CSI (original flavor) and the look on Grissam’s face when the clerk asks him his size . . .

        OP, I hope your end of year 2020 update is spectacular in an all bridges burned while wearing an adult onsie and on your way to a fabulous new job!

    3. Data Nerd*

      I have friends with Cricut machines and the will to use them. OP, I would be honored to make you your adult-sized onesie.

    4. Ophelia*

      I can’t decide if I want it to be, like adult-sized footie pajamas, or just like a giant adult infant bodysuit, with no pants.

      1. Kyrielle*

        The latter, but wear pants over it. Have “I quit” on the butt and….

        …okay, no, but still….

  3. Mockingjay*

    The emotional labor it takes to support this man…

    Wouldn’t it be great if you can get placed in another company’s office?

  4. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    This sociopath sounds like he’s secretly thinking of your company as his own personal cult instead of a business.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        Is it? I need more stories to make sure of this…….

        I can see how if you work peddling uh…humans, in a professional sense how it could take this kind of weird cult stuff on though.

    1. the enigma cipher*

      Sociopath? Seriously? Because of onesie for newborns?

      I don’t get the We Must Be Outraged reaction here. Corporate logo wear is a thing. If it offends you, don’t wear it.

      I get that the letter writer feels undercompensated. That’s what job hunts are for. A branded onesie for new parents probably costs the company less than $50 a couple of time per year. Matching 401k plans probably go into the six figures. The onesie isn’t supposed to be part of your compensation, just a fun little tradition.

      1. the enigma cipher*

        I should add that the above assumes we take LW literally that the boss is against the Holocaust. If he’s a denier, that’s obviously very different!

      2. SarahTheEntwife*

        On its own, it would be vaguely cute. Combined with absolutely no support for employees with new babies, it’s insulting.

        1. the enigma cipher*

          I disagree. You can acknowledge something in a socially graceful way. It’s exactly the same principle that saying “sorry” after an accident should not be construed as admitting you were negligent for legal purposes.

          A couple of branded onsies isn’t in the same league as 401k matching or leave more generous than that required by law. It’s a few magnitude less on an income statement. I’d love it if every company offered out of this world benefits, but the reality is different, and in fairness, not every company can afford to. That doesn’t invalidate a graceful social gesture.

          Labor market economics is A Thing. If this company is compensating employees below market, they can leave. OP is clearly unhappy and should dust off her resume. If enough employees follow suit, the company either adjusts compensation, hires less qualified people, or makes do with fewer staff.

          None of this justifies the scorn being piled on this guy.

          1. Lady Catherine de Bourgh*

            It’s not about the onesie. It’s about all the disingenuous “we’re a family! We support each other!” when you’re also offering shitty benefits and clearly don’t actually care about your employees as people.

            You want all the benefits of a “family atmosphere” without actually offering any of the things that make people feel valued like family.

      3. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I’m mostly not on board for his rage against gun control, I’m not sure why you’re only focusing on the onsie part?

        1. the enigma cipher*

          Because he shared his opinion on gun control. Which in my book (which is pro-gun control) is OK, so long as he’s not forcing anyone to endorse it. I know many of my co-workers opinions. I do not view my workplace as toxic.

          And even if you disagree, at best this is oversharing, which I don’t see as grounds for a public shaming. (You do realize this letter potentially maligns every company that produces branded onesies as part of its logowear, yes?)

          1. Marthooh*

            This is not a public shaming, though. It’s just an anonymous roast. Mr. Onesie doesn’t even know about it… or… or… could it be?…

            1. the enigma cipher*

              If you’re implying I’m the boss in question, I’m sorry to disappoint, but it is possible for people to dissent from the Hive Mind on occasion.

  5. Artemesia*

    This all makes perfect sense; a classic narcissist of course blathers all his personal concerns to his employees but has no concern whatsoever for their own well being or even individual personhood (hi there future newborn employee). I worked for a big university years ago that did not cover maternity costs on their insurance (had my child just before the federal law mandating this kicked in alas); I was paid so poorly that I got the lowest sliding scale rate at the welfare clinic where I had the baby; they also providing zero leave or coverage. I timed the baby for summer break but she came two weeks early and I also succeeded in conceiving her first try so it was at the front end of my target window — thus I had a couple weeks of classes to cover and was required to either get colleagues to volunteer, pay a substitute or teach them myself. Luckily I had a colleague who covered my undergrad classes and he was gracious although when he agreed we didn’t expect he would actually have to do it and not for two weeks. I taught a grad class on Weds after giving birth on Sunday. One big family.

    1. Stephanie*

      This was my last boss to some extent. For the most part, he was a good boss, but when he had some family problems, our 1:1s devolved into mini therapy sessions. (including one where he started crying). I was his only female subordinate, about 30 years younger, and we had a good working relationship, so I suspect it was like “I can open up to Stephanie!” Meanwhile, I think he asked anything about me personally less than five times. I kind of got he was going through a lot, but it was getting to be a bit much.

    2. GreenDoor*

      Can I just give a great big Thank You to women of your geneartion and prior who put up with bullsh*t like this for too long and fought for the women of mine to have an actual leave? Wow!

      1. Yikes*

        Just want to say, my wife had an almost identical experience in academia three years ago. Short version: despite carrying a course load every semester, because she also had administrative duties as a librarian she was considered “staff,” rather than “faculty,” and therefore was ineligible for any leave. She literally almost died in childbirth, but was delivering a lecture four days later. THREE YEARS AGO.

        1. Librarian1*

          What the fuck? The university she worked for didn’t give staff parental leave (or short-term disability or something similar)? Academia is even more messed up than I thought.

    3. the enigma cipher*

      “a classic narcissist of course blathers all his personal concerns to his employees but has no concern whatsoever for their own well being or even individual personhood”

      I’m sorry, but there is ZERO evidence to support this statement, which is really unkind.

      The corporate onesie is meant to be a fun little tradition, not part of your compensation. If you think it’s corny, don’t put it on your baby. It’s not narcissistic any more than a university onesie with “class of 2032” written on it is. It’s not meant to be taken literally. Kids should choose their own college.

      At worst, this boss is guilty of oversharing, or maybe writing something too banal on Holocaust Remembrance Day. That’s a far cry from being a sociopath. (Again, I assume he’s not a denier, here.)

      Finally, I get judging people who use poor grammar — really. But I also believe in the adage about people living in glass houses not casting stones. OP’S writing caused a major misunderstanding OP wrote a letter that literally has folks debating whether the boss is against the Holocaust or a denier. Thousands of people have read that letter. If it’s misconstrued and someone figures out the name of this company, OP has done real harm.

      1. valentine*

        It’s not narcissistic any more than a university onesie with “class of 2032” written on it is.
        Universities provide benefits to both parent and student, though.

        You seem to miss the problem that the scrap of cloth with an unwanted logo and using the real F-word, family, rings quite close to sarcasm.

        1. the enigma cipher*

          Plenty of company use the “F word.” Some of them may even be good companies to work for.

          Do I think it’s some kind of best practice? No, for the reasons that are often put forth on this blog. But it is not remotely sociopathic, or even worthy of a public shaming.

          If the logo is unwanted, don’t wear the logowear. Easy. Some people do wear logowear and are evidently OK with it.

          University students aren’t the target market for “future alumni” onesies. Alumni are. Taken literally, they’re presumptuous, because the kid should decide where she goes to college. But everyone with half a brain knows they’re meant to be lighthearted fun, not a Super Super Early Decision application.

          1. DiscoCat*

            Are… are you…. are you narcissistic Onesie Boss? You seem awfully protective of this guy. Or are you doing an art?

      2. Yorick*

        I don’t think people are really upset about the onesie. Sure, the onesie is a cute tradition and isn’t meant to be compensation. Nobody thinks it is. What people are upset about is the boss is presenting himself as caring about the employees and their families and being supportive of them when he doesn’t give benefits that they need. If the boss didn’t give any paid maternity leave and just kinda ignored the births of employees’ babies, there’d be no reason to write a letter. But here, his talk and his actual actions don’t match up.

  6. cheese please*

    Not as disgusting as your CEO sending corpo onesies and oversharing about his personal life, but our company president loves to say that he wants you to have a job that accommodates your family needs. What he *really* means is that if you need more flex hours, paid parental leave or anything of that sort, he will be understanding when you quit in favor of a job that provides the things we cannot.

    1. Grey Coder*

      Yeah, the parental leave policy for ExJob started “we pride ourselves on being a family friendly company blah blah” and then detailed the absolute minimum required by law.

      1. Gazebo Slayer*

        I feel like their executive team needs a plate of cookies with “meets bare minimum standards of human decency” written on them in frosting.

        1. EinJungerLudendorff*

          Made with the cheapest ingredients possible, and the lowest number of cookies that can still technically be considered “a plate of cookies”.

          1. BookishMiss*

            Two. Two cookies, and the icing writing that didn’t fit on the cookies should be on the plate itself.

  7. Annastasia von Beaverhausen*

    I will contribute $5 to the acquisition of the adult onesie. Like, real cash money.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      I’m too big for adult onsies. And I’m still upset about it…thanks for this reminder *flails*

      1. Amber Rose*

        I am too, but I managed to cram myself into a unicorn one for Halloween.

        It was the worst wedgie I’ve ever had in my life but I looked adorable.

      2. Just Elle*

        If it makes you feel any better, I just paid All of The Money for an adult onesie. When it arrived, it was, in fact, a regular old two piece cleverly photo shopped to appear to be a onesie in the crappy instagram ad.

        1. Drew*

          Advertisement clearly showed adult onesie with footies. When it arrived, I learned that the onesie was a twosie and footies were not included. 1 star, would not swaddle again.

      3. YouwantmetodoWHAT?!*

        Plus size adult onsies are definitely available! My daughter & I just did a search – she wants a hippo, and we will, of course, add a tutu.

      4. beagle mama*

        Adult onesies are highly overrated; especially if you have a bladder the size of a pea like I do. But I too would chip in money to get them a custom one

  8. Not One of the Bronte Sisters*

    Since the guy is a great big honking baby, the onesie makes perfect sense.

      1. BadWolf*

        I started reading the newsletter from a local hobby business in depth once I realized they were getting weirder and weirder.

      2. Jadelyn*

        The email program dings. You see who it’s from. A general shout goes out to the office “We got one!” as you go to make popcorn and everyone clusters together to enjoy the trainwreck.

        1. Gazebo Slayer*

          I once worked in an office where I got a gloriously bizarre evangelizing email that somehow wandered from Jesus to aliens midway through. I wish I still had it because it was… something. Definitely provided entertainment for everyone.

          I don’t know whether it was sent by someone who knew us or random spam.

  9. Amber Rose*

    So, if you’re his one true family, is he inviting you over for Thanksgiving/Christmas dinner? Are you not entitled to presents?

    1. Just Elle*

      Oh man, please, please send him a wish list for Christmas this year. I suspect that if you put guns and a subscription to a conspiracy theory blog on there, he might actually get them for you?

    2. irene adler*

      Can you borrow large sums of money from him and not pay it back?

      Nothin’ quite like family.

  10. 2 Cents*

    Love that the first related article is “my boss thinks he’s a Mayan shaman.” The AAM blog is the gift that keeps on giving!

    1. Quill*

      Okay, I need to read this, because I actually met a Mayan shaman once! (He was a lovely person who obtained some stranded classmates from the mountain that my group had unwittingly left them on when we split up because I twisted my ankle. We were in Guatemala at the time.)

  11. Jennifer*

    I REALLY want to know how someone can be “against” the Holocaust. Does that mean he is a denier, or he thought it was bad? Because I’d think any decent person would think that Holocaust was bad and wouldn’t need to say that out loud.

    The OP is funny but I think most CEOs are like this, honestly. Even the ones who aren’t as stingy with the benefits don’t really see their employees as human.

    1. KayDeeAye (formerly Kathleen_A)*

      I’m totally against the Holocaust. Also cancer. Also slavery. Also Richard M. Nixon. And the people dying in hurricanes, fires, tornadoes and earthquakes? I am so smart and special and sensitive that I’m against all of those things too!

      1. Matilda Jefferies*

        Also I am totally in favour of the following: Kittens, puppies, fall colours, and double rainbows when the sky is juuuuuust right after a rainfall. Very much for all of these things! *nods* *proud of self*

        1. Jennifer*

          You like kittens and puppies but what about really sweet older cats and dogs? I need to know to figure out if you are a sweet and sensitive person!

          1. valentine*

            Senator, what’s your stance on Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary?! Is it true you have the same brand night light?!

      2. Jennifer*

        You are such a good person! I didn’t know hurricanes were bad! Thanks so much for saying it out loud. You are so brave!

      3. Mr. Shark*

        Right, KDA. I always wonder when I see t-shirts or posters or whatever that says “I hate cancer” like it’s a big proclamation — I mean, I get it, cancer sucks, but the thing is, pretty much 100% of us hate cancer, so it’s not like there is going to be any opposition to that position!

    2. VirginiaGirl*

      The OP says upthread somewhere that he sent out an email after visiting the Holocaust Museum in DC saying how horrible the Holocaust was. The OP also stated that he wasn’t a Holocaust denier.

  12. KayDeeAye*

    Nah, I don’t think so. The way the OP writes it, the boss just thinks the Holocaust was – hold on to your hats! – a Very Bad Thing. The way the OP frames it makes me think that the boss is one of those people who think their every thought is original and pure, pure gold – as though he is so thoughtful and sensitive that he feels so deeply – much more deeply than most people – that the Holocaust was very, very bad.

    Which isn’t quite as delusional as Holocaust deniers, but is definitely much, much funnier.

    1. Parenthetically*

      Yes, exactly my read. “Guys, I dunno if you know this, but the Holocaust was BAD? Like I read this excerpt from this one book about it and turns out, holy smokes, it was super terrible!”

    2. Just Elle*

      Imagine living in a world where thoughts as simple as ‘Holocaust bad’ were genuine nuggets of golden truth and you were in such a great position to share these truths with hundreds of employees so they, too, can become enlightened by your genius? Jeez, someone nominate that man for a Peace Prize ASAP.

    3. Janet, Sower of Chaos*

      I’m imagining an email like “My children, today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Please remember to dress my grandchildren in their official Llama Corp Holocaust Remembrance onesies. As a grandfather, the thought of the Holocaust is especially painful to me….”

      1. Matilda Jefferies*

        Okay, I just snort-laughed at my desk. So much for gaining the respect of my new colleagues!

    4. Sabina*

      I had a nutsy friend who was convinced she had a past life experience of WWII because she found Nazi’s scary…

  13. Stephanie*

    I work at a company with a very strong brand and I can’t imagine my boss sending me a Logo Onesie (and I’m sure we sell them).

  14. nnn*

    I hope that on your last day at this company you find a way to wear an adult-sized onesie with the company logo on it.

    Halloween costume!

      1. Pebbles*

        Is it odd that I’m just a bit disappointed that your comment did not include the obvious pun:
        Makes for some strategic s(h)itting?

  15. Free Meerkats*

    I have pretty good sewing skills, I volunteer to make the adult onesie for the LW. Alison has my contact info and I give her permission to share it with the LW.

    1. Daughter of Ada and Grace*

      You should accept this offer, OP. Free Meerkats has posted links to pictures of his work before, and it’s amazing. You will have the best “I Quit” onesie ever!

    2. I WORKED on a Hellmouth*

      Ooops! Hahahaha, I didn’t see that you had posted this–I see we both had the same idea!

    3. Mr. Shark*

      I think Alison should sell AAM onesies on this website! I mean, everyone sells t-shirts, who else sells adult onesies to advertise??

  16. Detective Amy Santiago*

    Thank you OP for sending this in and Alison for posting it today. It’s been a crappy day and I really needed it.

  17. LKW*

    I just need to clarify that the adult onsie that shall be worn on Quitting Day is the t-shirt body suit kind and not some sober full length pajamas with footies and body-length zipper.

    Respectfully awaiting confirmation…

    1. My Brain Is Exploding*

      Agreed. People started talking about footie pajamas if they were onesies! Not the same. They’re probably true onesies… Footie pajamas would cost more!

    2. LilySparrow*

      You’d have to adjust the legholes a lot to account for not having Giant Diaper Butt.

      Unless you were also wearing a giant diaper…..

  18. LGC*

    LW, your letter is awesome. In the Biblical sense.

    We also need to discuss your CEO next month in a poll.

      1. LGC*

        To be honest, the next update I want to hear for LW is “I found a new job with a CEO that isn’t an oversharing psychopath,” but I’ll accept more ludicrous dirt.

        I’ll also accept voting this guy Worst Boss of 2019, although it’s a close call between him and the boss who made her employee wear her old clothes, eat her leftovers, yelled at her when she fell through a subway grate and broke a couple of ribs, and – oh yeah – paid the employee $32k a year for full time work in New York City.

        …okay, maybe not that close of a call, but he still definitely belongs on the short list.

            1. Jadelyn*

              Oh, gods, I’d forgotten about that one. I hope OP sends an update for the end of the year, and I hope it involves literally skipping, Wizard of Oz-style, out of the office on her last day before starting at an amazing new job.

          1. LGC*

            It happened back in June!

            I actually realized I mixed up a couple of the details – LW fell through a loading hatch and broke her ribs. But that’s like saying that when the train derailed, it knocked over five trees instead of four. Also, she said she made $35,000 (as if that’s that much better – NYC minimum wage is $15/hr, so roughly $32,000/yr).

      2. YouwantmetodoWHAT?!*

        We do need a new Friday Ridiculous & Horrifying! Since Hellmouth got a non-hellmouthy job, Fridays just aren’t the same.

  19. Just Me*

    Alison, I know you said you couldn’t give any advice but I think this is the best advice ever: “I hope that on your last day at this company you find a way to wear an adult-sized onesie with the company logo on it.”

    1. valentine*

      I sometimes wish this were possible, like for the “makes me wear her clothes” OP mentioned above and the personal assistant to Dad’s GF/couples’ therapy/baby-sitting a newborn great-granddaughter without the parents’ knowledge.

  20. J*

    So…. You work for Michael Scott at Dundee Mifflin paper company?
    “It’s like all my kids grew up and married each other”.

    1. Jennifer*

      I bet he comes in one day and starts throwing ice cream sandwiches at everyone – instead of increasing benefits.

    2. Peaches*

      I literally just did a CTRL + F to search “Michael Scott”, because I was sure someone else had already said what I was thinking. Sure enough… :)

  21. RVA Cat*

    Assuming this is the US, there’s an extra layer of squick about referring to PoC offspring as “future employees”….

    1. AuroraLight37*

      Agreed. I mean, it’s already cringeworthy, but adding that is is just a whole new level of NOOOOOOOO.

      1. Quill*

        Don’t know how I missed that but considering the REST of the letter the alarm bells are going like a church carrilon.

    2. LGC*

      To be real, though, it’s honestly a paper-thin coating of squick added on to the current sixty-mile thick foundation of squick already present. I would be more horrified at the thought if it were physically possible for me to be more horrified than I currently am right now.

    3. Jennifer*

      Ick. I didn’t even think of that. It made me think dystopian, Brave New World. He’s genetically modifying and breeding the next generation of employees to ensure world domination.

      1. Gazebo Slayer*

        Yes! Or one of the businesses/mafia families from the hypercapitalist planet with no government in the Vorkosigan books.

  22. Volunteer Enforcer*

    OP, I am simultaneously crying at you having to deal with this situation and laughing at the sheer absurdity of it.

  23. I WORKED on a Hellmouth*

    Hey OP! I do not sew for other people and generally get really irritated when people try to get me to sew things for them, but listen. As long as you know what day you are leaving far enough in advance, if you can find me IRL I WILL SEW YOU A SHITTY ONESIE TO WEAR IN ON YOUR LAST DAY. I will paint the shitty logo on it–heck, if I have enough time I will HAND EMBROIDER IT ON THERE. I got you, fam.

    1. the enigma cipher*

      He visited the Holocaust Museum and wrote a piece with his personal reaction to it.

      Let’s put him in the stocks and pillory him.

  24. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

    and the Holocaust (also against)

    OP, I cannot give you a 401K match or parental leave, but I would love to buy you a drink. This was amazing.

      1. Anon for this*

        Magenta, as you would would be forced to learn if you worked here. Call it pink at your peril!

    1. LGC*

      …I mean, I totally would wear one if I worked for T-Mo. But as I mentioned in the short answer post, I’m a manchild.

  25. CatCat*

    You should post this on GlassDoor (unless you think it could be used to find and retaliate against you.)

    1. Anonymouse*

      I’m not so sure that it would stay on Glassdoor. At my former toxic hellhole, numerous staff left realistically critical reviews that got removed for violating one rule or another. The thing that they had in common was that the reviews were detailed and specific enough to be “revealing” of the identity of the perpetrating manager even without naming names. Now if you looked on the company page, you only see one glowing review from the Managing Director accusing the staff of gossipmongering and “oppressing the management” while “stuck in a cycle of self-victimization”.

      Tl:dr- Glassdoor is unreliable AF, might not post your review if too critical with specifics

      1. Gazebo Slayer*

        Glassdoor needs a replacement that lets people actually be honest about how much a place sucked.

  26. Spek*

    Step 1. Fire up VPN or go to local library
    Step 2. create new anonymous gmail or yahoo email address
    Step 3. Decide whether to send to all on the original distribution list or just schmuck CEO
    Step 4. Copy and paste entire letter sent to AAM. Include link to site so he can enjoy the comments
    Step 5. Hit SEND
    Step 6. Sip alcoholic beverage of your choosing

      1. LGC*

        I mean, it doesn’t have to be a Gmail account? (Plus, I don’t know if the boss would go looking to see whose phone was linked to the account, right?)

  27. Jennifer*

    What is up with all the parents who put their precious babies in that horrible onesie? Seriously? They should make one that says, “I’m a week old and I don’t know where my mommy/daddy is.”

  28. Catsaber*

    I work at a big state university, and it is the university I graduated from…my boss gave me a onesie with the school logo on it when I had my most recent baby, and I thought it was cute. I took a picture of her in it and it’s in my cube. I’m feeling a little embarrassed now…but I guess the difference there is 1) my boss is not a loon and doesn’t refer to her as a future employee 2) it’s my alma mater 3) I’m paid well and had a perfectly acceptable maternity leave (and just treated well in general and not like an extension of my boss).

    1. valentine*

      The letter is the antichrist of your situation. There’s a sense of pride and belonging when it’s a school and Class of Year.

    2. Vicky Austin*

      And I’m also sure that your boss doesn’t remind everyone that the Holocaust was a bad thing.

    3. Librarian of SHIELD*

      Yeah, it’s not the onesie in and of itself. It’s the “we’re not going to provide you with paid leave after having pushed a human being out of your body, and we’re going to give you the least amount of insurance coverage we can so getting that baby out of you will be extra expensive, but here, have a onesie with the company logo on it, free of charge.”

  29. Nat*

    I hear OP’S frustration but I get some BEC happening – I mean, notes from leadership noting sales figures, or wishing staff happy holidays or congratulating them on a new baby aren’t a big deal? This CEO went beyond that but let’s not overreact!!!

    1. Jennifer*

      Don’t congratulate me on my new baby when I had to come back to work in a diaper because you don’t offer parental leave. THAT’S why it’s obnoxious.

      1. the enigma cipher*

        This company is either subject to FMLA or exempt from it. It may be exempt because it has fewer than 50 (IIRC) employees. Congress decided that it was appropriate to exempt smaller companies from FMLA, because it may not be economically possible for them to offer this benefit. I don’t see how it follows that the company can never offer a socially graceful “congratulations” to new parents.

        1. Jennifer*

          This sounds like a fairly large company. The OP has never met him, which I think would be unusual in a company of fewer than 50 people. Either way, FMLA is not the same as paid parental leave. It just protects your job. Many companies in the US don’t offer this benefit based on pure greed, nothing more. I don’t want congratulations from a CEO that makes life so difficult for working parents, particularly the ones who actually give birth. He could keep it, and his stank onesie.

    2. LGC*

      What Jennifer said – and also, it sounds like it’s a pretty large company, so the sheer volume of messages is a bit overwhelming.

      And I think the issue is that not only is the CEO sending daily messages, he’s also sending daily boundary-violating messages. Bro, no one wants to hear about your messy divorce except for your friends.

    1. Indigo a la mode*

      I’ve been meaning to ask you for months, Alternate Brown – can Alton Brown really get eviler?

  30. RB*

    OP, all my support to you, but we are in a relatively “sane economy” so maybe there’s some wiggle room on other job opportunities?

  31. WinStark*

    The tone deafness reminds me of my old job. I worked for an electric utility, in the South. Many of us were displaced/lost homes/lost family during Katrina.

    As a thank you for all our mandatory overtime for 3 months straight, we all received copies of “The Wizard of Oz” from our CEO. Because of course, there’s No Place Like Home after being displaced in other locations…however, many employees didn’t have homes to go back to. One coworker screamed “My DVD player is under 3 feet of mud, you .

    There were many copies in the trash that day.

    1. Veronica*

      Note to companies that want to give gifts: Everywhere I’ve worked, employees said they’d rather have the money.
      There was one gift that was good: An outerwear fleece jacket. Practical, and I wouldn’t have bought it for myself.
      Money is best though.

  32. AKchic*

    Imma say it.

    If someone gives me terrible insurance and leave, but expects me to send a photo of my baby in the corporate-logo onesie, you’d best believe I’d be using that onesie as a diaper cover. Just to make a point.

  33. sfigato*

    I have imposter syndrome and worry that I always say the wrong thing or say too much or say the quiet part loud, and then I read about dudes like this and I feel a little better about myself.

    i also keep my emails super terse and short and unfunny because it is just not worth having stuff in writing.

  34. Cheluzal*

    Ehh not seeing the big deal. I’m a teacher and we have zero paid maternity leave. The email seem ignorable and laughable to me. *shrug*

    1. Clarice Fitzpatrick*

      I assume the company (and the entire field by the sounds of it) is pretty bad in other ways, but the weirdly arrogant emails combined with the poor benefits are just strange icing on top of a shit sundae.

    2. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

      I’m also confused by it. She states she works for a contracting company. You usually don’t get the usual benefits when working for one. The CEO sounds like a tool but after the first obnoxious email, I’d set up a rule to send them straight to my delete folder and not let it get to me.

  35. RVA Cat*

    Anyone else hoping one of the newborns has a poop explosion all over/under/through the corporate onesie during the photo shoot?

  36. Who Plays Backgammon?*

    When you leave, I think it would be hilarious to include on your bye-bye email a pic of a baby in that onesie, faded, stretched out of shape, and stained with every possible solid and liquid a baby discharges.

  37. Sun Tzu*

    When a CEO says “we are all a big family”, the first thing it springs to my mind is the Charles Manson Family.

  38. Different Name*

    Well, I hope this isn’t going too far in the unrelated theory direction…
    This fits in with my theory about the American ruling class. I’ve come to believe one of the reasons they oppress people with low wages and lack of reproductive health care is because they know the children of poor oppressed workers grow up to be easily exploitable workers (and if they’re young women, sexual playthings).
    I try to fight this at every opportunity. I hope everyone will join me.

  39. QuinleyThorne*

    On its own, I think the company giving new parents a free onesie with the company logo is a kind gesture, and kinda sweet.

    But coupled with the absolute lack of parental leave and other benefits needed for new parents, I can definitely see where this would be annoying if not outright insulting.

  40. Pet_Vet112*

    LOL my company does the same thing – no paid leave or real support but they will send a “baby bundle” with a branded onesie and a bunch of free pamphlets our insurance provides for them; all while preaching about the wellbeing of the employees. Companies like this do not understand real culture. Most moms just throw it in the trash.

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