A number of recent posts have reminded me that truly toxic workplaces run by truly evil and manipulative managers will actually use bullies and cliques to eliminate or control other employees in ways that might be legally actionable if done directly by management itself.
At the Radio Station from Hell, active in-fighting was encouraged by the owner. He wanted the business to be a turnstile so that he wouldn't have to pay top wages or even benefits. When his once-beloved secretary/confidant/lover was finally forced out after new owners came in, we were shocked to find out that her base salary had been only around $18,000, with little paid vacation and no benefits. Yet she was responsible for the departure of dozens of staff.
Some large companies are known for hiring recent grads, burning them out, tossing them, and hiring another new grad as a replacement.
As long as both parties understand from the start that the job is strictly entry-level, it seems fair. If not, you end up with angry, frustrated folks battling each other for miniscule raises and petty titles.
One can be a hard-nosed businessman without being an evil jerk. If someone demands a raise that the company can't afford, mavbe they can come up with a plan to bring in new revenues of which they can get a commission on.
Sadly, too many companies have opted to misinform and mislead employees into working their butts off only to find that compensation or even credit for their work is not forthcoming.
dontask 0 (04/03/2008) You said it all. Now what can WE do about it?
One horrible depression story deals with two trucker being told to "duke it out". Whoever won would get the "job". The business owner got cheap gratification for little pay.
One of the truckers was the father of my father in law. He won the fight. He suffered several strokes, did not recognize his family and died helpless in a nursing home. He also had gone to night school to get his engineering degree.
anonymous (04/03/2008) to make the workplace uncomfortable and as unergonomic as possible is another way to create turnover. As long as management and owners do not have to take responsibility for repetitive and accidental injuries they can get rid of people who are in pain.
Keeping them unnecessarily on their feet for hours without breaks is another preferred method.
labtech (07/02/2008) Yes - the company does not want to pay out pensions. Turnover also keeps payroll low. That's why we work 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year - NO holidays off. We must WORK every holiday - and they just cut our compensation for that. Meanwhile, the suits get the holidays off, with pay - and bonuses for giving out as little overtime as possible. That's why talking on your cell phone at work can get you fired. That's why being late 8 times in one year (and that means one minute late to work) can get you fired. They really, really don't care about the workers - we're disposable. Our union - worthless - the union lawyer agrees with management more that half the time, even if you have documentation IN HAND that proves your point. It is truly another Depression, where the worker will do anything they have to just to keep a roof over his head.
dontask 0 (07/06/2008) AgaiN, I will ask the QUestioN:
"What can we do about it?" I mean it and I pose this as a serious question. How can we keep our jobs and pay and save our sanity?
Brainstorming required - no jokes please!