terrible bosses: the racist boss, the evangelist boss, and more

I’ve teamed up with The Cut on a week-long series on bad bosses — what makes some bosses truly terrible and how you should deal with them. Every day this week, I’m offering thoughts on people’s accounts of their own bad bosses. Yesterday’s were about a boss who made racist comments and a boss who was inflexible and uncaring. Today’s are about a boss who tried to religiously convert someone and a boss who lied about salary.

You’ll be able to find each day’s entries here.

{ 201 comments… read them below }

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Yeah I get it from accounting teams sometimes as an excuse of why they can’t be bothered to pay their bills. I’m usually grateful that they’re so dimwitted though, it means that now I know for sure to never let them screw us over again.

      “Start up” being a defense for breaking the law is extra cute though!! Too brand new to have a lawyer? LOL okay.

      1. Biomed Going Anon*

        I worked (very briefly) at a biomedical startup that only decided to hire quality people AFTER they’d been selling product for 6 months. They made stuff which, you know, went in people’s bodies, permanently.

        I did an audit of the device history files and found them atrociously lacking in even the simplest documentation. I wanted to do a recall of the first batch because we couldn’t even remotely prove the device was made to engineering’s intent. For all we knew it was cast iron instead of aluminum.

        They wouldn’t because *whiney voices* we’re a startup, we are HELPING people not hurting them, you’re being dramatic, I can’t believe you’re accusing us of this don’t you trust we did things ethically, it was only the two of us we did the best we could, what if I just sign an affidavit saying I know it was checked and we put that in the file….

        ugh ugh ugh

          1. Biomed Going Anon*

            The mental image made me literally lol, thanks. Glad I got SOMETHING out of those months of despair.

            Also, that should have said titanium, not aluminum… clearly I have been blissfully gone from that industry for too long.

            1. Quill*

              Look, I also worked in a biotech adjacent startup, fortunately our product was not going *in* people (but only because we were doing preclinical testing and formulation) I would believe an aluminum medical device because someone had decided it was cheaper.

              And I say this as someone who once had to have an epic argument with a supplier about how tissue samples including warts were, in fact, not “skin free of structural defects.”

              Then they sent me clearly jaundiced sample, and I had to do it again.

              “How do you know it’s jaundiced?”
              “Because if it isn’t, your donor was Homer Simpson.”

              1. Biomed Going Anon*

                Oh man, I loved the days of negotiating for body parts from suppliers. Once they show up, it’s not like you can just send them return FedEx. So it was always a bunch of emailing pictures back and forth like LOOK AT THIS MUTANT THING YOU SENT US.

                1. Biomed Going Anon*

                  Yeah, little known fact. If you donate your body to science, they piece it out by part. You know, a hand, a foot, a head. So paying per diem is… A literal thing.

          1. irene adler*

            Theranos – to my understanding- was invested in an IVD device that would test drawn blood for diseases – hence outside of the body. But yeah, squirrely as heck, they were.

            So why not drop a dime on these clowns and alert the FDA?? It should not be an issue for any company whose mission is to genuinely help people to have FDA inspect them from top to bottom. Certainly they would appreciate the FDA’s wanting to protect the very people such a company wishes to help-right??

            1. Biomed Going Anon*

              So, fun fact, you can (and should) request the company name for any implant before you allow it to be implanted inside your body. Then it’s a super easy FDA website search to see any audit findings.

              Much, much less fun fact: the FDA is not at all powerful. For example, somewhere over half of Indian generic drug companies have “official action indicated” against them by the FDA. Which means they’ve found things so egregious (in some cases, literally fabricating entire lab operations rather than actually testing product) that they will no longer accept new drug applications from these companies. And yet, there is absolutely nothing done to prevent the sale of the already-approved drugs the FDA had the audit findings about in the first place.

              I know, I’m sorry, it sounds tinfoil-hatty, but next time you get a generic drug try googling the company name + OAI. Which is why I now only buy from a pharmacy (Valisure) that does 3rd party testing.

        1. Amy*

          Oh dear…”atrociously lacking in even the simplest documentation” made me cringe myself inside out! SUPER YIKES.

      2. Accountant*

        It’s not that the start up accountants are dim-witted? It’s that they don’t have $ to pay you.
        I’m not defending the start up not paying its vendors, just don’t think that their accountants are stupid.

        1. Biomed Going Anon*

          Whats dimwitted is that they think its an acceptable excuse.

          Like, they don’t go out to eat at a restaurant and then say “Oh sorry, I can’t afford to pay you, I’m a recent college grad.” What makes them think its any different for businesses?

          1. Accountant*

            The difference is that the person eating out for dinner chose to go to that restaurant, the accountant at a start up likely didn’t choose to order the items that the company now owes you for. They are just the person having to respond to payment inquiries.

            Also–obviously I’m coming from a place where I’ve had experience with this–and brought up to a friend how terrible it is to be working at a place that orders more than it can pay for in a reasonable time. His response was that businesses do credit checks on other businesses, they are aware this is a start up when they extend credit, and they accept the risk of getting paid later for the reward of having a business relationship with a start up that will potentially be successful in the future.

            Let me be clear, I personally think it’s terrible when companies don’t pay their bills and act like it’s no big deal, but the people actually in charge of these companies think the way my friend does, that the start up is a risk-reward to the vendors. My defense is just that the accounting department is not the people actually making the decision not to pay you.

            1. Falling Diphthong*

              If the company puts you out on the end of the stick as the person to be mad at when the company won’t pay vendors, expect insults.

            2. Blueberry*

              I agree with you, fwiw. I don’t see why people don’t realize that the person being propped up to say the stupid company policy is almost never the one who came up with it.

            3. somanyquestions*

              The level of narcissistic self-righteousness your friend is displaying is horrifying and makes me hope for the existence of karma. Like running a business is equal to rolling dice, if you’re lucky you win & are paid for your work! And if we don’t have money to pay them, sorry, they should have known this was a casino game & completely not our fault they get nothing for working for us.

              That’s saying it’s OK to steal.

              1. Crooked Bird*

                You don’t even know if their friend actually runs a startup?
                If not, he’s making a comment on business practice run that may or may not be accurate. Not “displaying… narcissistic self-righteousness.”

              2. Wintermute*

                Businesses see things differently than people do, and successful business owners don’t use the same logic as most people would. in some cases it’s narcissism in others it’s realizing that laws are there to be used, not frightened of, and that sometimes intangibles matter more than the paycheck– relationships, connections, goodwill, these can be more important than cash-in-hand when you’re looking to expand a business.

                Another great example is bankruptcy laws. To most people they’re ashamed to admit to being bankrupt, to a business it’s a simple calculation “we were underwater on the deal and saw no route to profitability so we took bankruptcy, offered our debtors a discounted payback and negotiated a way to keep the business open and our employees fed.”

        2. Derjungerludendorff*

          Okay, but then they should just say that. This makes it look like they’re making excuses, without actually having a good excuse. Which seems a pretty bad way to tell your vendors they won’t get paid.

          1. Accountant*

            I think “we are a start up” is nearly synonymous with “we don’t have money” in this situation. They likely can’t go into more detail without sharing information that wouldn’t be allowed to be shared with outsiders.

            1. irene adler*

              In many cases it is worse. Not only do they not have money to pay the bills, they don’t have an immediate means to generate funds i.e. their product is not to the point where it can be marketed in the short-term. So they are existing on venture capital or other funding- with strings attached.

              Our venture capital group advised the CEO to cut costs to slow the burn rate. They told him to axe things like employee health insurance and other benefits. And they told him to only make partial payments on bills- like 1/6th per month. Which ruined our credit. Then they decided they would hold up funds for paychecks until “some product got sold.” CEO put a quick stop to that -law says the employees must be paid on time.

                1. Observer*

                  And stupid. Didn’t they know what holding up vendor payment was going to do to their credit rating?

                2. Gazebo Slayer*

                  Yep. In my state, nonpayment of wages is actually a felony, and i would dearly love to see some smug VC finance bros go to prison.

              1. TardyTardis*

                I worked for a company who changed their pay dates from 30 days to 45 and then to 60 during 2008 and 2009. They pulled out of their slump in 2010 and things went back to normal, but most of us in accounts payable had a good idea what that meant and scanned the help wanted ads *intently*.

                All three of them (and one was for Air National Guard).

        3. mark132*

          I could be wrong, but I get the impression the dimwitted part of this was actually telling The Man, Becky Lynch this. Basically if they were smarter and promised payment in a month or two or some other thing, they may have been able to scam more product.

          1. Accountant*

            Haha, true, in which case I’d be on board with getting pissed at the accounting team for lying…

          2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

            Yes, this is what I meant.

            It’s an automatic “Oh…so you reveled you have no money source right now? Thanks, you’re pre-pay only now.”

            You just blew up the fact that this could have been originally categorized a “one time weird payment issue” into “this is actually because you’re not cash positive, nope nope nope.”

        4. Dust Bunny*

          It’s still not an excuse for ongoingly abysmal pay, theft of intellectual property, lack of standards and safety measures, etc. If you can’t get this off the ground safely and honestly, maybe you weren’t ready to start up after all and should still be courting investors.

          1. Accountant*

            I don’t think the “dim witted accountants” are thieving the intellectual property or in charge of the safety measures or the people who founded the business typically?

            1. Anonapots*

              But you don’t know they aren’t part of the problem, either. The point still stands: “but we’re a start up” is a bad excuse used by all levels in a start up, not just the top.

              1. Accountant*

                True, BUT I think this whole article and people’s anecdotes about start ups mean that you should be very very careful around start ups! They are a credit risk, they are a risk to work for as an employee. It may not be moral, but it is also good to be aware that the reality is that most start ups aren’t successful, so this risk should be accounted for when engaging with them.

                I feel terrible for the people who are telling stories about not getting salary increases from start ups, but take the lesson from it that I personally would not accept a lower salary *now* waiting for merely a market rate future salary when the going gets better. The reason to take a big risk of working for a start up at lower-than-market salary is potential reward (say stock options, etc), and it sounds like even then there’s plenty of risk of missing out on those without an airtight contract.

        5. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          I’m an accountant myself, I have worked for companies who have went bankrupt and the minute they cannot pay their bills, I leave because of the ethical issue it then raises.

          But yes, the others are correct, their dimwitted move is showing themselves as an actual funding issue, therefore they blew their cover. The credit check comes back that they’re good at paying their other bills at the time credit is extended, then they just basically yanked the carpet out from under themselves with this kind of spillage of information.

          Yes, I do question intelligence when you hitch your horse to a dying business when you’re knee deep in financials and know they’re tanking. Take your highly marketable skillset and leave that sinking ship, don’t make excuses for them.

    2. oh start ups*

      “We’re a start up” is the new version of “we’re a small business,” as code for shouldn’t have to act legally or obey the same regulations as every other company.

      I interviewed recently at a start up that was trying to recruit me. I asked them about their fear mongering marketing on their website, politely, and was told that because their marketing was done by one person, they didn’t have the resources to do it right, they’d just fix it later. Yeah….no.

  1. That Girl from Quinn's House*

    Leaving Bible tracts *at a Purim carnival* is a borderline hate crime, that boss should be glad he’s not in jail ffs.

      1. Magenta Sky*

        Given that Jack Chick dies two years ago, I’m sure they’d share a very warm room in you-know-where. (And in my experienced, that kind of evangelist never gets along with their own kind, so they could well be each other’s eternal torment.)

    1. GooseTracks*

      I wouldn’t go that far, but yeah, it’s HUGELY offensive and wrong to intrude upon a religious celebration in a place of worship to solicit for your own religion. Also, Judaism is a determinedly *non-proselytizing* religion, and we have a lengthy history of being persecuted and massacred for simply trying to observe our faith. Just…leave us alone, dude. The bullying and intrusion is so disgusting. I’m glad LW got away from that boss!

      1. Observer*

        Do you really think that someone who could characterize the CRUSADES as “basically zionist” would understand or care?

      1. MsChanandlerBong*

        Hmm, I am not a Constitutional scholar, but I don’t think the First Amendment gives people the right to go to a private event at a synagogue and try to convert people who are trying to practice their faith.

        1. Clisby*

          The First Amendment doesn’t give anybody the right to attend any private event, for whatever reason. The First Amendment restricts what *the government* can and can’t do.

        2. Wintermute*

          You can be asked to leave, if you do not, you can be charged with trespass, but yes, you can say whatever you wish and cannot be punished for what you SAY, only for being there once asked to leave.

          1. Jedi Squirrel*

            This is incorrect. You can indeed be punished for what you say. Racial discrimination and religious discrimination and other forms of hate speech are not in any way protected by the First Amendment.

      2. Lobsterman*

        First Amendment also guaranteed the right not to associate. Boss is attempting to violate and depending on the government to enforce his violation of others’ 1st Amendment rights.

      3. Jedi Squirrel*

        All of the rights in the Bill of Rights have limits. Slander, libel, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, sexual harassment, religious harassment—none of these are protected speech.

      4. Blueberry*

        Seriously? You’re going to build your First Amendment case around the right of someone from a religious majority to harass people from a religious minority during their celebration of a religious holiday?

        The Devil has enough advocates, you know.

      5. LAP*

        I know, right? That amendment is just the worst.

        For the record, I agree with Allison. A boss who tries to evangelize is obnoxious and I could see not wanting to work for them. But they are not a threat. I’m more scared of people who want to lock up all of the wrongthinkers and throw away the key.

        1. Blueberry*

          How is a boss, who controls one’s job, one’s livelihood, not a threat? Everything they demand of one has an implicit “or else” included. How is being told, “Convert to my religion, or else,” not a threat?

        2. Veronica*

          The OP said after two years of resisting his attempts to control her he became more punitive. He would have continued to escalate punishments until she quit or was terminated. He is most definitely a threat.

          I grew up with fundamentalists and this boss is an outstanding example of a typical one. They’re not really about religion or God, though most of them think they are.

          What they’re really about is controlling everyone and forcing everyone to conform to their rules. They don’t have one iota of respect for anyone, all we are to them is warm bodies to force into conformity.

          The whole thing is about money and power. Their leaders are rich from followers giving them money and powerful from followers giving adulation. They are actively trying to get political power and make America a theocracy where it would be law that we all have to follow their rules. :(

      6. Alienor*

        The First Amendment gives people the freedom to stand on the steps of the Capitol building and yell about their personal religion. It doesn’t mean they get to trespass on private property and harass members of a different faith who are trying to practice said faith.

    2. Smithy*

      One question I had about that one….if the OP worked at the organization I think it is, it’s a fully a fairly religious. Now what that means for them legally I do not know. I do know that other international religious humanitarian organizations include hiring questions connected to observing the faith of the organization.

      Again – if this is the organization I think it is – I’ve also known Jews who have worked for chapters and not had this experience. But I do wonder if legally some of the advise (such as you can only rise so high in the organization while being a member of a different faith) where that falls on the line of being awful behavior vs illegal?

      1. Janet, Sower of Chaos*

        NAL but my understanding is that they can only take religious belief or practice into account for ministerial positions, which it sounds like this probably isn’t (but if it is a religious org, someone who counsels clients might be considered a minister, maybe? again, NAL).

        1. Jules the 3rd*

          No, the client counselors are not ministers. It’s about time and money commitments. I have a couple of friends who work in that org. They’re christian but not ministers, and not evangelical.

        1. Polaris*

          Or any of the other holidays that boil down to “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.”

  2. Artemesia*

    I know two people who got let go one day before their stock in a start up vested. One was a tech guy who totally created the on-line presence for a company that was an on-line business. He got it up and running and was paid minimum wage on the promise of the big stock pay off. They stole his labor essentially and when creation was done and maintenance of the site the primary role, fired him the day before his stock would have vested. I know the details of the second case less well, but she basically worked for peanuts for a year and was fired the day before she vested. Assume anything not in writing is a lie; and a contract usually has a way out — the guy who got cut loose had a contract but it did depend on good will — and they manufactured excuses to cut him — it didn’t help that the other stockholders were a family group. Use em and lose em is a time honored start up tradition.

    1. Quill*

      My dad got headhunted for a programming position for a startup, moved, got let go after less than a year because they essentially lied to him that the position would be ongoing.

      I’m at the risk of someone going #notallstartups here, but I hear you on at least some of them being egregiously awful.

      1. Artemesia*

        I was offered a job in San Antonio that would have uprooted my family and forced my husband to take a new bar exam and re-establish himself at the beginning of my career. We had agreed on one big disruptive move for my career. I just had a bad vibe and so turned it down — a friend of mine later was hired and discovered that the organization had lied about everything, had alienated the community on which implementation of the program relied and that the CEO had his hand in the till and the place was about to take a nosedive. It would have been a personal catastrophe for me to have taken the job — such a close call.

    2. Kiki*

      My husband had the same thing happen to him. He worked 18 hour days getting their entire engineering department up and running, was able to court MIT grads to this piddly startup, and was fired the day before he would have vested. His pay worked out to less than minimum wage.

    3. Elbe*

      I’m honestly not sure how this is legal. Wouldn’t these employees have a pretty solid case for wrongful termination? It’s so blatantly an attempt to get out of paying them.

      At the very least, I hope their Glassdoor reviews were vicious.

  3. No bible at work, please and thank you*

    Ugh. Evangelicals are the worst. I worked with a manager who thought he was “put on this earth” to spread the word of Christ. That’s fine and dandy, just don’t do it at work. The company kept him around because he was a GREAT salesman. He was so great in fact, that senior executives wanted to have a company-wide, recorded town hall so that he could share with us what it is that helps him close deals. This was an unfortunate mistake. The very first thing he did was drop to his knees and proclaim that “all glory is to be to God” and then went on a 10 minute tirade about how Jesus gives him the divine motivation to sell for his family and raise money for his ministry. Part of me found this hilarious. Part of me found this offensive. Another part of me wondered how many sales people would convert to Christianity in the hopes of increasing sales.

    1. Ben Marcus Consulting*

      In Visa’s name, amen!

      In reality though, there’s a not small market of decision makers that respond well to overly religious people. It wouldn’t shock me if the fact that having religion as his personality is exactly why he does so well.

      However, there are people that would immediately end a meeting if their salesman started in on devotions. I would be one of them.

      1. Magenta Sky*

        This is very tied tow here you are. Here in southern California, he wouldn’t last long with that kind of sales pitch. His company wouldn’t, either, if they didn’t publicly abase themselves for having the bad judgement of hiring him in the first place.

      2. Quill*

        As someone who grew up the “project” friend of a girl in an evangelical-adjacent church, I’d probably start running.

        (To be scrupulously fair: I was not the girl’s conversion project, that’s just how the adults in her church group treated me. “Oh, bring Quill to the church party, she’s not a ~Christian~, but she’s a catholic, we can save her!”)

        1. Platypus Enthusiast*

          I was a “project” too! In high school, seniors were allowed to have lunch off campus on Fridays, and one of my friend groups at the time said they were going out. They invited me and offered me a ride (didn’t have my own car at the time). They took me to their church and sat me down for a serious talk about why I was a sinner because of my pagan/heathen religion, yadda yadda yadda. I just wanted to get mozzarella sticks…

          1. Quill*

            Lol, I showed up to the clue themed halloween party, ate everything I could get my hands on, and critiqued the setup to the youth group manager because the actual clues didn’t make any sense.

            The youth group leaders had NOT thought about the fact that as a catholic-raised atheist, I can proactively daydream with my eyes open for multiple hours, aka an entire easter mass.

          2. Blueberry*

            Ugh. As someone who was raised to do this, I apologize on behalf of my former religion.

            My first project told me off, which I deserved, and my second one convinced me to give up on Christianity and date him, both of which made my life better.

            1. Platypus Enthusiast*

              Most of them awkwardly trailed off after I said that I respected their belief system but I had no intention of converting. One girl kept badgering me about it throughout the year, culminating in an incident in AP Government where she refused to take my paper while we were passing them up because she couldn’t interact with someone who stubbornly refused to be saved and continued in unholy ways. I can respect other belief systems, but it’s incredibly uncomfortable for that to be brought up in non-personal settings, especially if you can’t leave!

        2. Media Monkey*

          oh i was one of them too. west of scotland, was catholic in a community with mainly protestants and a girl from school (non denominational but broadly church of scotland) used to invite me to things with her family regularly. one time her mum called my mum to invite me to go to the cinema with them. the film – the cross and the switchblade (this would have been in the late 80s so it wasn’t a new film then)..

        3. iantrovert (they/them)*

          The Catholics will do it too. And when you stop being active with them (because you literally can’t leave the Church, they’ll count you forever) the loss of networking and being viewed as the right kind of person can be rough.

          I was a lapsed Catholic leaning toward paganism when I went from public middle school to Catholic high school (the public HS had carcinogenic air quality issues), and my new friend was super Catholic and into the Charismatic Renewal movement. I got to be her project. Went full in on it too, until I came out as bi and started dating someone of the same sex my senior year. She literally asked her priest about an exorcism for me because she was convinced the devil was why I was into my partner. It was exhausting and because most of my buds were into the movement too, I lost a big swath of my friend-based support system at 17. Then I went to a predominantly Jewish college after that, dropped Catholicism like a hot potato, and haven’t been religious since.

      3. Massmatt*

        Likewise other types of “affinity marketing”–to veterans, portions of the political spectrum, etc. There is a trade-off that while some people in your target audience are more likely to buy/become a customer, lots will be indifferent and others are going to be turned off. I have generally avoided this kind of approach when doing sales, but many find it successful. But making a sales meeting about Jesus? Ugh.

        I am regularly approached by Christians of various denominations to talk about Jesus. The strange thing is that they mostly all act as though they are telling me some secret thing I’ve never heard of before. Uh, it’s pretty hard to not know anything about Jesus growing up pretty much anywhere in the USA.

          1. Wintermute*

            My favorite retort to that is from a Jewish Comedian, “oh… we found Jesus alright, have you heard the *bad* news?”

        1. Artemesia*

          my husband once prosecuted a case where an evangelical church took out bonds to build a big school/church complex that proved financially non viable (it was a seg school originally and there were too many other competitive options by the time they upsized their little bigoted schoolhouse) So the minister went out and sold a second set of bonds to elderly people in the community who were christians but not church members of this church. He prayed with them over their ‘investments’ in the lord’s work. He then took that money and paid off the members of his own church for their bonds, and then they defaulted on the outsiders whose retirement money they had snared.

    2. Richard Hershberger*

      “Another part of me wondered how many sales people would convert to Christianity in the hopes of increasing sales.”

      It might work, too. Evangelicals are big on affinity marketing. This is why you might see a cross or a fish on the side of a plumber’s truck. This has nothing to do with spreading the gospel. It is all about signalling to other Evangelicals that he is one of them. As a non-Evangelical Christian, I avoid those guys. The most generous interpretation is that this guy believes that God sent his only son to die so that this guy can better market his business. This doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t do good work, but bad theology often results in bad practice. In this case, the belief that being “Christian” makes you a good person, and therefore makes your work good, without the tiresome necessity of actually being good. This is still at the upper end of the range of possibilities. It goes downhill from there, ending in outright fraud, surrounded by pieties.

      1. Quill*

        It’s one of the reasons why churches are far more often targets of MLMs looking to score as many patsies as possible than places of worship for non-christian religions.

        1. Richard Hershberger*

          I benefit from belonging to a decidedly non-trendy church. No affinity scammer would give my church even a glance.

          1. Quill*

            I belong to the church of “I’m an atheist, but Dawkins can take a long walk off a short pier too.”

          2. fogharty*

            My dad once hired a siding contractor because the guy had a Bible quote on his business card.
            It did not go well.
            At all.

            I had not heard the phrase “affinity scammer” before. I like it.

      2. Miss Astoria Platenclear*

        There’s a comic meme going around of a landscaper consulting Jesus on whether he should include a Christian fish icon in his ads. Jesus gently suggests just letting his honesty and work ethic demonstrate his faith. Preach.

        1. tangerineRose*

          I like this! Jesus said something like “You will know them by their fruit”. In other words, you will know whether someone’s a good person/hard worker/good at what they do based on what they do.

      3. Alienor*

        My husband used to call those people Jesus Hat Christians. “See my Jesus hat? See what a good person I am? Now buy my product/trust me with your kids/etc.”

      4. Massmatt*

        I LOATHE the notion that someone is better because they’re religious, or the converse that someone who isn’t can’t possibly have morals.

        I doubt you’ll find more fervent religious people anywhere than in ISIS!

      5. Gazebo Slayer*

        “the belief that being a Christian makes you a good person, and therefore makes your work good, without the tiresome necessity of actually being good”

        Brilliantly put.

    3. HoHumDrum*

      I mean that makes sense as Evangelicalism is a sales-based religion. Whether they’re selling people on joining their church or buying a products it’s pretty much the same skillset and techniques.

    4. Petunia Cakes, The Atheist*

      Unfortunately, Evangelicals think it’s part of their mission and duty to convert everyone around them. I come from an Evangelical background, and we were told that if we “failed” to convert someone, then we were responsible for sending them to hell. Like…it was messed up.

      1. Librarian of SHIELD*

        Another ex-vangelical here. The guilt that always followed any conversation with a non-churchgoer who didn’t immediately see the light and repent was REAL.;

      2. starsaphire*

        I read an excellent article recently that pointed out that the proselytizing culture may just be a huge failure setup guaranteed to build camaraderie and facilitate the us/them mentality in certain proselytizing-heavy religions.

        I’ll try to find a link.

      3. Cog in the Machine*

        I come from a quasi-Evangelical background. It was strongly hinted that we should try to “bring people to the faith,” but there weren’t any guilt trips if we didn’t. Total guilt trip for missing church on Sunday though.

      4. Artemesia*

        My extended family are all various flavors of fundamentalist christians — some of them without any church program go out individually door to door to try to win souls for Christ.

    5. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      I am super anti being proselytized to, but let’s please not use all-encompassing statements like “Evangelicals are the worst.”

      1. Blueberry*

        Right above yours there’s a comment describing how children raised Evangelical have been told that “if we “failed” to convert someone, then we were responsible for sending them to hell.” (I’m another ex-Evangelical. I was told that too.) What’s defensible about laying such a burden on kids? And that’s just one small example of the emotional cruelty baked into Evangelicism. Saying, “Evangelicals are the worst” isn’t about “X religion is the worst” but “using religion as a reason and justification to hurt people is the worst.” I don’t think that’s so inaccurate.

        1. Brazilian Hobbit*

          Yup. “You have their blood in your hands” was the wording my mother’s church used. I was also pressured into going to church when I was crying in pain with migraines because “if I stayed home I didn’t love God enough”, and other fun things like having my personal items thrown away because they were somehow satanic. No, not everyone whose parent is religious has to live like this, but for those who do, it’s not too far fetched to dislike the religion as a whole.,

      2. tangerineRose*

        I think Princess Consuela Banana Hammock is basically saying, not all Evangelicals are like that, and I agree.

      3. Engineer Girl*

        Thanks. As an evangelical that (hopefully) doesn’t do several of the activities mentioned, I appreciate it.

        An all encompassing statement like “evangelicals are the worst” is nothing but pure bigotry. This board wouldn’t tolerate that statement for any other group.

        1. Petunia Cakes, The Atheist*

          You’re right, not all Evangelicals are like that. Howe veer, A) Many of them are, more often than not and B) Evangelical Christianity is still a despicable religion that promotes hatred and bigotry. So, no, I won’t be going easy on them.

      4. Veronica*

        Not all Evangelicals are like this. Some are regular, normal Christians who would never disrespect anyone.
        It’s unfortunate the religious maniacs call themselves Evangelicals and now many people think all Evangelicals are like this. The non-maniacs might have to find a new name for themselves.

    6. Elizabeth West*

      I hate the idea that someone is so indispensable or valuable that they can’t be fired or that a company wouldn’t want to fire them. It’s total bullshit. There are plenty of great salespeople they could have replaced him with.

      1. Gazebo Slayer*

        Yeah, people that obnoxious usually drive away multiple other good employees to the point where their supposed skill isn’t even worth it.

    7. Elbe*

      I’m curious – did this guy talk about his faith to clients he was trying to sell to?

      If he did, it seems like it would lose him a lot of sales (unless it was in an area where his faith was very common and he was essentially preaching to the choir). If he didn’t, it seems odd that he thinks that nonbelievers’ souls should only be saved when it’s not affecting his commissions.

  4. Crackles*

    Can someone copy and paste the article into the comments here. It won’t allow me to read it without subscribing. :-(

      1. Reader Fan*

        Could you not provide links then that are not accesible to all of your readers? I love your column but do not like getting a teaser and then am unable to read the rest.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          99% of the content here is free and accessible to all, but occasionally something might not be. NYMag allows a certain number of free views per month so it’s still going to be accessible to many (although even if it were 100% subscription-based, I’d still link it from here because some people want to know). If it doesn’t work for you, there’s a ton of other (free) content here.

        2. techRando*

          This is kind of a ridiculous ask. The reason is costs money (theoretically) to view those articles is because they’re a publication which pays Alison money to write them. Saying “Can’t you do everything for free and never be paid?” is not a reasonable request.

          As people say below, if you want to view them anyways there are workarounds which don’t involve asking Alison to work for free.

    1. Richard Hershberger*

      You get a certain number of freebies a month. These are, in practice, per browser per device. So if, for example, you normally use Chrome but also have Firefox, you can switch browsers. Or if you are reading on a desktop but also have a phone or a tablet, there you go. Failing this, you can dive into your cookies folder and start deleting stuff, but that is a pain.

      1. Lily Rowan*

        I feel like I’ve just made this comment in the last week or so, but note that the firewall is across all of the NYMag sites, not just the Cut.

        The more you know!

    2. Elenna*

      It’s working for me (without a subscription). Odd.
      If it’s telling you that you’ve reached your monthly free article limit, try copy-pasting the address into an incognito browsing window?

      1. Richard Hershberger*

        The incognito angle worked great up to about a year ago. (“Incognito mode: It’s not just for porn!) Many sites have caught up with this, and now disallow reading articles in incognito mode.

      1. Aquawoman*

        Right, at a minimum, do not ask a writer not to link to a site that’s paying them for their work.

        1. Shramps*

          Right! I cannot handle the disrespect and entitlement that happens every time she posts an article to/from/at The Cut. She has a contract and business relationship with them, she makes money from those posts, and yet every week people complain.

    3. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      If you open in an incognito browser, it should bypass the subscription block.

  5. Magenta Sky*

    “We’re a start-up”

    “It sounds like you’re *badly* underfunded. Good luck.”

    As for the proselytizer, two things come to mind. First, when he says he’s just joking, the obvious response is “You’ve been told it’s offensive, and you keep doing it. Therefore, you are doing it on purpose, and you intend to be offensive.” But that’s best said in letter of resignation.

    And second, Matthew 23:15.

    1. Richard Hershberger*

      Also, Matthew 6:5. In my tradition we read that in our liturgy every year. So far as I can tell, it is one of the many parts of the Bible that Evangelicals read with their eyes discreetly glazed over.

      1. Derjungerludendorff*

        Those kinds of groups do tend to have a very… specific interpretation of their scripture.
        It’s like they started their own religion, but then instead of making up new scriptures they just hijacked an existing religion and mangled it until it looked like what they actually wanted in the first place.

    2. Derjungerludendorff*

      If they’re doing it as a joke, then that means they’re perfectly hurting people for their own amusement.
      Which should be a damning indictment, and even moreso for a manager.

      1. Blueberry*

        Needless to say, this is totally true. I remember how shocked I was when I learned that all the disparaging of Pharisees in the Gospels was about an inter-religious fight and not Good vs Evil, and that the Pharisees were horribly misrepresented.

        1. Richard Hershberger*

          There is not unanimity on this point, but there is a substantial school of thought that Jesus came out of the Pharisee tradition. If so, this is an internal fight, with Jesus criticizing his own people.

        2. Engineer Girl*

          It kind of ignores that several Pharisees (some highly placed) supported Jesus. It’s right there in the New Testament ifnyou bother to read it.

          1. Blueberry*

            Do you mean this in reference to the article Oaktree posted (in which case I don’t think it’s the height of religious tolerance to tell Jewish people they need to read the New Testament of the Christian Bible) or in reference to my comment and thus an attempt to call me a liar about saying I was raised Evangelical? (I saw your comment earlier about how objecting to Evangelical methods and the harm they cause is “pure bigotry” — it’s always fun to see the Oppressed Western Christian meme in the wild.) If the latter I’ve read the New Testament enough times already.

            1. Engineer Girl*

              My comment was to your comment on being shocked about the Pharisee disparagement. I see Pharisee disparagement a lot in the church (not just evangelical) and I’m thinking that maybe they should read their bibles. Because Jesus clearly had several Pharisees supporting him.

              I also CLEARLY stated that saying “Evangelicals are the worst” is bigotry. I did NOT say anything about objecting to evangelical methods. There is a huge difference in those statements. I’m not claiming oppression either.

              Please don’t put words in my mouth.

      2. Monokeros de Astris*

        Thank you for raising this! I try to raise this exact point when I notice it happening. It plays directly into an *extremely* virulent and ancient strain of antisemitism that claims that Judaism is a “dead religion” or “without soul” or whatever.

        And historical arguments about what was going on at the time it was written? Do nothing at all to counteract the antisemitism in modern day usages.

  6. Antilles*

    From the Monday one about 9-1-1 responder:
    You go to him and ask to swap shifts with someone, and he says no. Someone recently wanted to swap shifts because his sister was graduating from college and he said, “No that’s your shift, you’re not allowed to swap it.” (…) We have a policy called scheduled on-call. One day a month, your boss can call you and make you work anywhere.
    I get that being a paramedic isn’t a 9 to 5 job and working graveyard/holiday/etc shifts is part of the role, but not being able to swap shifts and randomly getting a “hey, you’re on call tomorrow, deal with it” phone call both seem way over the top even for a coverage job like that.
    But I’m not in the medical industry, so is something close to this normal and I’m just a dumb layman? Or is this way outside the norm and this guy is miles off the deep end?

    1. EPLawyer*

      Miles off the deep end. Swapping is normal. As long as 1) the shift is covered and 2) no one is working more than the allowed hours in a row (no one wants a fatigued paramedic). This guy was on a power trip.

      1. Richard Hershberger*

        It also is likely to result in more scheduling problems. If you know you can’t switch shifts to attend your sister’s graduation, you might just end up being “sick” that day rather than asking in the first place. I’m not saying anyone should do this, but neither could I blame anyone who did.

        1. Elizabeth West*

          I can’t speak to emergency personnel, but I saw this happen a lot when I worked in food service with rigid or power-trippy managers.

          1. Quill*

            A friend has a name for those sorts of food service establishments.

            They’re all called “sandwich hell” regardless of what they try to serve.

            1. Goldfinch*

              Accurate. At my last serving job, the day manager refused to advertise for ‘chefs’ or ‘cooks’ because he wasn’t willing to pay for “that level of skill”. He settled on WANTED: food assemblers.

              1. Oaktree*

                I remember seeing ads for “sandwich artists” back in the day when I worked in “quick service” (i.e., fast food that thought it was fancy).

                1. Jules the 3rd*

                  That’s still current – I just looked up the pay for Subway bcs of an ‘Uber pays better than Subways, in UT’ post last week, and they still advertise for Sandwich Artists.

    2. Quill*

      Yeah, what happens when an EMT is, themselves, sick? Not being able to swap shifts in that case sounds like a huge liability.

    3. Derjungerludendorff*

      I can see the sudden calls for emergency situations. If many people are sick, or there are way more calls then the team can cope with, then you want to be able to pull in people without notice. And just letting a few calls drop isn’t really an option.

      Not swapping shifts is just dumb though.

      1. That Girl from Quinn's House*

        Yeah, but emergency services of all people should be staffing with extra slack in their schedule, so if there’s a low level emergency (an accident shutting down a highway preventing staff from getting in, a virus rips through the office), they still have adequate staffing.

        I know that’s not how for-profit ambulance companies work, but it is how they should work.

        1. Brett*

          They actually have something called mutual aid compacts to deal with this for public ambulance companies. If there are not enough people available to respond to an emergency, then they have an agreement that authorizes them to call in people from neighboring jurisdictions in a defined order.
          (The drawback is that the people called in on mutual aid are not paid, so you want to use it sparingly.)

    4. doreen*

      I think ( although I can’t be sure) that the “scheduled on call” doesn’t mean that you get called today to work a shift tomorrow. I think what it means is you are scheduled to be on-call Tuesday Nov 26, and the boss can call you on that Tuesday and assign you to work at any location – maybe on an ambulance, maybe at the dispatch center.

    5. Alienor*

      He’s off the deep end. I have a friend who’s a physician assistant in a hospital, and they regularly switch shifts or get colleagues to cover for them (or cover for other PAs who need a day off).

    6. anon24*

      Swapping is normal. As for on call, it depends on the agency. My company allows you to sign up for being on call, but doesn’t force anyone to do so if no one signs up. It’s also written in our policy that they can call us on our days off and force us to come in if they are short staffed but I don’t think that’s ever happened – we just run down trucks and those of us working have to work harder to cover the missing trucks, which means we take more calls and may have a longer response time. However, I work for a big company that covers a large population and has a lot of trucks running. A smaller company may only run 1 or 2 trucks at a time or be spread so far out that they absolutely cannot afford to be down a truck. This is not a field you get into for your work-life balance, it just doesn’t exist.

  7. Sun Tzu*

    I felt so sorry for the lady that worked very hard while being paid 3 or 4 times less the normal rate, and then fired. That’s pure evil.

          1. banzo_bean*

            Lots of news sites have a tip feature on their websites. I know the new york times and vox both do. I would do that as a first step. Or if you have contacts in journalism, reach out to them first.

          2. Anonymous Poster*

            If it’s not too late for anyone to see this comment, yes. I used to answer the phone line that people called with stories. :)

            Someone who wants to tell their story to a reporter has several options:

            – Use a contact form on the newspaper or news site’s website.

            – Look for reporters who have covered similar stories or similar businesses. Write one email and send it to all of them; don’t spend your time personalizing it. BCC them all if you like.

            – Look for the phone number of the newsroom. Call and expect to tell your story briefly to someone like me, get transferred to a reporter, and start your story all over again. A lot of people calling about problems find this a PITA, but it’s necessary to get you to the right reporter.

            (PS: The best times of day to call are mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Expect a relatively short initial conversation with some questions. In-depth followup comes later.)

            1. Blueberry*

              Definitely not too late. I’m saving your advice for if I ever end up stumbling across something newsworthy. :)

        1. Gazebo Slayer*

          I absolutely think she should. Exposing this supposedly “feminist” company and its two-faced exec would be a fine public service, and potentially a very juicy scandal that would get a lot of attention….

        2. pamplemousse*

          Journalist chiming in! I know “sell her story” is colloquial but just to be clear: no reputable journalist in the US would compensate a source!

        3. Elbe*

          I’m assuming that they made her sign some type of NDA. If they didn’t, should should talk to whoever will listen.

  8. Hiring Mgr*

    I’ve been there before with the startup who promised to increase my salary once they got their next round of funding which was to be in a few months. Even put it in writing in the offer letter. Of course once they got the round, there were lots of reasons why it didn’t happen that were indicative of further trouble down the line.

  9. Seriously?*

    I can’t read the columns through the link. A subscription log-screen overlays the answer and there is no option to close it. Can you fix this or not use links they require a subscription? It’s frustrating.

    1. Shramps*

      It’s incredibly disrespectful to tell Alison she shouldn’t promote the work she’s getting paid to do.

      I honestly cannot believe some of these comments. This community usually celebrates fair compensation for excellent work, yet some of you don’t seem to think that should apply to the owner of this blog!!

      1. Seriously?*

        I do not agree that I or other people are being disrespectful. We enjoy reading Alison’s work and find it frustrating to start reading the column then find out it is a teaser for a link that blocks access to Alison’s response. It feels entirely reasonable to request not providing links that won’t work without a subscription.

        1. Shramps*

          It’s absolutely disrespectful to tell her how to run her blog. She gets paid to write for The Cut, the have a business relationship to promote each other’s work. She has every right to post the links here, especially because it does not require a subscription to read. You get 5~ish free articles with them a month, and that’s before all the hacks and work around a that are posted here each week.

          To request she take down paid content because you can’t afford it? Entitled, and at the very least rude af.

            1. Shramps*

              It’s not a matter of differing opinions. The commenter asked Alison to stop linking to work’s she’s published- that’s her job. She deserves to promote her work on her own blog, and someone requesting that she stop because they choose not to pay for content or use many of the posted work arounds is rude.

              The perspective/opinion that she shouldn’t do that isn’t the issue, it’s the request (the action the commenter took) that’s disrespectful.

    2. Massmatt*

      Less than 1% of the site has a link requiring subscription, boo hoo.

      What an extraordinary sense of entitlement you have expecting an author turn down exposure and revenue because you find it inconvenient you can’t access it for free!


    1. Zona the Great*

      Religion is so deeply deeply personal that I’m shocked people discuss with and ask others about religion so often.

      1. Veronica*

        It’s part of the culture here. Specifically fundamentalists are taught their mission is to “save” everyone, and they are very passionate about doing so. I’m sure you can imagine what that leads to.
        There are also other branches of Christianity like Jehovah’s Witness and Mormons in which proselytizing is a big part of their religion and everyone is expected to do it.

  10. Sally*

    Regarding the inflexible boss: I had a boss like this once. It wasn’t so much about shifts or vacation time, but almost every time we asked about doing something new or trying a new way to deliver training, the answer was always “no” because the client said no. After that boss left, and I got her job, I found out that I had a lot of leeway to run the team the way I wanted, and the client didn’t say no to our ideas. At first, I had a knee-jerk “no” response to every request, out of habit. But I did get into the habit of asking myself “why not?” whenever someone made a suggestion or asked for an accommodation. It was such a relief to be able to say yes! I wish the OP’s manager knew that they actually gain respect and authority when team members see them actually considering the team’s requests and using their discretion to try to say “yes” to them.

  11. Imaginary Number*

    My worst boss story: I was deployed to Iraq and my company commander would send out emails on the government system reminding everyone to send gifts back home for various holidays … with a link to her MLM website to buy gifts from. She also organized a cruise for the officers and senior NCOs to take together once we all got back which she claimed to have “found a great deal for so make sure you use this link” which was, of course, part of her MLM. This was before I knew what an MLM was and I was too junior at the time to realized what an abuse of power this was. Our battalion commander (her boss) didn’t bat an eye either.

  12. Agile Phalanges*

    What about the senile (literally) boss? My boss is well-meaning, but his mind is deteriorating, and despite talking to his business partner (who is not directly involved in the day-to-day, so doesn’t quite realize how bad it is), it’s problematic. It ranges from minor mistakes we have to follow behind him to catch to constantly forgetting important things (we hired a guy the other day, and he kept forgetting that fact, and the guy’s name, etc.). I’d planned to be pretty loyal here, hoping to be promoted significantly when he retires, but it’s not looking like he’s going to retire despite his mental decline, so I’m looking for other jobs at this point.

    1. Never Been There, Never Done That*

      If you don’t leave it might be helpful to start documenting such events. Helpful to family/friends that try to get help for him. Best of luck to you, I’d be looking too.

  13. copperpenny*

    I no longer work at the job I had in a small business where my boss saw providing his wife with something to do at part of his responsibility to her. She was toxic, and I hold him responsible for exposing employees to her. I will tell of one incident that I feel is illustrative. At the time, I lost my temper, apologized unreservedly for that, and put it behind me. However, a long time later, my boss chided me about it, and I saw it with new clarity.

    What happened was one morning the coffee stand in the lobby of our office building offered free bananas. Neither my boss and his wife were in at the time, and I had gone to pick up drinks for myself and my lone other coworker, and I was offered a free banana with each drink. My coworker wasn’t interested in the banana, so when my boss and his wife arrived in the afternoon, I offered it to them. Out of making small talk, I explained that it was offered by the coffee stand, but that Coworker had declined it.

    My boss declined, but his wife decided weaponize the offer of a free banana to chide me for “not thinking of her and asking for a banana for her, too.” No matter how much I explained that I felt it would have been rude to ask for more when it was complimentary in the first place, or that, “but you are not deprived of a banana. You can have this one,” would make her stop needling me for my supposed selfishness in not thinking of her. It got to the point where I lost my temper and brandished the banana saying aggressively, “Banana. Do you want it. Yes or No.” At which point, she reacted sharply with, “Good grief, you do not have to be so aggressive!”

  14. Never Been There, Never Done That*

    If you don’t leave it might be helpful to start documenting such events. Helpful to family/friends that try to get help for him. Best of luck to you, I’d be looking too.

Comments are closed.