Drinkin' the Kool-Aid ...

Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 11:20 am
... or not, as the case may be.

Have you ever worked in a place that was truly horrible, a miserable spot where any of the following would happen regularly?
  • Nasty reviews
  • Bad or no raises
  • Harrassing supervisors
  • Making people move or switch jobs for little to no reason
  • Late, unpredictable hours
  • Meaningless paperwork
  • Bosses playing favorites
  • Bad or badly maintained equipment
  • ... insert your own bit o' job-related hell here ...

Anyway, have you ever worked in one of those places, but everyone else there seemed to just love it?

I worked in insurance for several years, as I transitioned out of the law and into my current IT career. And while I hated insurance, it was (mainly) stable and I could find work doing it, and even in times of the economy being not so hot. The last insurance place I was at, the higher ups would close offices for reasons of economy, but also to be able to lay people off without really laying them off. Hey, we kept your job open! It's 1,000 miles from where you live and we offer no moving assistance, but we still have a job for you! The higher you got up, the less you knew (but the more decisions you made about) tech, until you got to the top of the company where pretty much no one knew how to do anything but open email, but they sure had a lot of nonsense to say about how tech people such as myself did our work. The raises, if they came, stank. Reviews were an ugly process. Think Dilbert crossed with Office Space and you'll get an idea of it.

Yet people there seemed to love it. And I really mean love, as in wearing company gear and grinning about uprooting their families for the fifth time in as many years. People who had been kicked around for decades and thought it was the neatest thing since sliced bread. People who toted around ten-year-old heavy "laptops" that were killing their backs and think, hey, this is the greatest, most cutting-edge tech ever.

So I think they swallowed a lot of Kool-Aid. Shocked Anyone else have any industry tales of the zombie workers who think a 1% raise is generous and feel it's within their bosses' rights to treat 'em like cattle? Or who feel regular sixty-hour weeks are fun, particularly when they don't get paid for anything beyond forty hours?

Bring 'em on. And stay away from the Kool-Aid!
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Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 11:31 am
my personal favorite was always grape.
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Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 12:07 pm
Ugh, that must've been awful...

I seem to have only experienced either extreme -- I loved the place and everyone else seemed to, too, or I hated the place and everyone else seemed to, too. (At least the communal kvetching at the latter was fun...)
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Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 12:11 pm
Yes, yes and yes! And there are lots of bozos still there. I think this people who loved it are either out of their mind or are faking it.

I found out that several pretended they loved it and at the first opportunity jumped ship. I believe the reason they act all in love with the company is because they would get better reviews and perhaps better raises and bonus as a result. And the others are just incompetent and therefore cannot get a job elsewhere.

I was honest - not rude or unprofessional, but would speak up in the appropriate forum to discuss issues or problems. As a result I got a bad review and no raise or bonus. I even had proof - including written and saved emails that proved what they stated in my review was incorrect (and in many cases was actually my bosses mistake or issue).

I left and now work some where that workers are respected. I also do not work until 10:00 or 11:00 at night or weekends. The latest I now work is 6:00 or 6:30. I got an increase and better benefits and these bone heads are still slaving and being unappreciated.
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Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 03:15 pm
My experience was more similar to Soz's.

In my first job out of college I was a lab tech in a small community hospital. The chief tech was a psycho whose husband was the hospital pharmacist. My boss carried a large makeup bag everywhere she went. It was full of various and assorted pill bottles. If anyone wanted to go home sick she would whip out some of this and that and insist it would cure whatever ailed the complainer. I started looking for another job a few months after starting there.
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Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 04:47 pm
Oof, that musta been fun, J_B. Nawt.

Yeah, soz, I've also been in places where it was either great and everyone was happy (e. g. where I am right now Smile) and awful places and everyone complained. But every now and then there's just some awful place that wackos actually enjoy, and it makes for a really odd disconnect. Perhaps it's employment for the terminally clueless who have low self-esteem. I dunno. It does seem to go hand in hand with some insurance jobs, though, as they are notoriously low payers but also fairly stable. It's hard to do enough bad things to actually get fired.

And yes, it's like Linkat says. Some are just faking it to get ahead and/or bide their time until something better comes. And others are just out of it and think that's the way things have to be. I recall telling a secretary in Rhode Island (the job before the one I described above) that she could make 5 figures (yes, she made <$10k/yr, this was in '94) if she looked for work elsewhere. She looked at me like I was nuts. Why would anyone want to leave that glorious place? I quit maybe 2 months after that, once I'd found a way to get a better gig.

PS dys, will strawberry do?
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Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 04:52 pm
strawberry? well in a word NO.
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Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 04:59 pm
Hmmm, grape.

My last lab job did me in, the atmospherics drove me crazy, though it took a while - but the discomfort was generally shared by the work force - well, until this or that person or persons wa/were fired, then we'd have new sunshiny faces for a bit.
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Reply Sat 28 Jan, 2006 05:45 pm
Most jobs I've had always had a Frank Burns employee (think M.A.S.H.). The one that everyone else loved to bitch about. Eventually Frank would quit or get a transfer, but there would be a new designated Frank within a matter of weeks, if not days.
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Reply Sun 29 Jan, 2006 10:54 am
Yeah, there seems to sometimes be a Frank-like niche out there, in a lot of places.
0 Replies

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