Employees Recall The Most Epic Workplace Scandal They've Ever Seen
One day, I walked outside looking for my manager. He was on a smoke break in front of the building with a couple of his buddies, and I overheard him say: "I think we need to fire Janet because she's too pretty."
My jaw dropped, but he continued: "Between you and me, half the guys here have already hit on her, so they aren't getting their work done."
I was too p*ssed to say anything, so I went back inside. But then I found my backbone and I went back outside. "IF you do that I will march her to the Department of Labor myself and quote this phrase to them."
Needless to say, I did not get along with my manager and quit as soon as possible. That was one of many things that went wrong there.
#6 Perfect Company, Perfect Employee
This was the eighties. I worked for a squeaky-clean, all American image company that prided itself on the "look" of its people: generally young, healthy, attractive, fit.
Part of the corporate "team building" and "brand recognition" was to enter every 10k race, and every athletic corporate competition of any kind. They were dead serious about looking good and doing well at these events. The most important competition was baseball.
One day, this new guy from accounting joined the team. he was an amazing player, very fit, and extraordinarily attractive. He turned the team around! Suddenly we were the talk of the tournaments. Everybody went to the games and out for drinks after! Management was so proud.
Then one day he didn't come out of his office for lunch. His colleagues knocked on the closed door. Nothing. So they opened the door...
There he sat, behind his desk, naked, without his crisp, tailored white shirt and silk tie. Bare chested he hummed monotone, "HHHHMMMMMMMMMMM" with his head cocked ever so slightly to the left. Eyes wide open, staring straight ahead.
Our squeaky clean All-American management had and hired a raging cokehead.
#5 Email Scandal, Taxpayer Money...
This is particularly funny because this happened in a government office. The main office, in DC, of the SEC. Yep, while reviewing those big corporate mergers, with literally billions of dollars flowing through that office, this was going on.
I received a number of odd e-mails.
Email 1: "You are so sexy. I can't believe you with that ice cream - I wanted to lick that drip off your chin and down your breast. Your boobs are so f*cking hot. I can't wait until tonight."
I turn to my office mate, who is turning to me simultaneously - "did you just-" We hear laughing in the hallway. Turn back to the email. I am now laughing hysterically as I realize what had happened.
Some idiot accidentally hit "reply all" and his naughty note was transmitted to all of us.
Emails 2–50: Increasingly funny and inappropriate responses are mass emailed as we all realize what happened. Personal favorite: "Sorry, my cat got there first. I, um, maybe late tonight."
Email 51: original sender apologizes for mass email, and admonishes everyone to stop sending joke responses.
People have now figured out and passed along that sender is (a) married and (b) not to the person described in the first e-mail. Bigger yipes.
Email 52–2000+: Emails go NUTS. No work is done. At all.
Email 2001: Email from original sender that he is going home and not returning for remainder of week for "obvious reasons."
Sender never returns to work. Your tax dollars at work.
#4 The Doomsday Man
I was managing at a call center. The company, when I was first hired, was very small, only about 100 employees, small enough where everybody knew everybody else’s name.
Three years later, I'm going to estimate we had about 1,500 employees. When a company grows that fast, there are growing pains. You have to stop worrying about hiring the best, choosing instead to just hire....anybody.
There were some minor indiscretions at first, just silly things. But, then things escalated: sex in the VP’s office, sexual harassment, people stealing from work, all the usual things that happen in a company.
But, the really scandalous thing that happened included me right in the middle of things, and it started when I received a rather innocuous email: "Hey Garrett, I got the cheese for the V."
I had no idea what that meant, so I asked one of my employees. She looked at me like I was crazy. "It means you have the money for either the Valium or Vicodin I gave you."
I looked in our employee directory and found another Garrett in our email system...it was a simple case of somebody being lazy when typing and autocompleting an email address.
This meant we had drug deals being arranged via our corporate email system. This was really bad. As an outsourced call center, if there had been an arrest, we would have to turn over all our email records which would have caused several clients to leave.
So, I went to the VP who oversaw operations and had to break the news to him. An internal investigation began that had many embarrassing consequences. There was a crapload of drug use and sales going on there. Turned out most of the management staff and entire sales teams were on serious drugs.
In the end, though, the company realized they couldn't fire 30% of their staff. Some token firings were made. However, the biggest casualty was me. It was WELL known that I was the guy who started the downfall of the drug trade there, so I no longer felt welcome there.
#3 Shady Dealings
There is something that city workers do here in Chicago that is technically legal, but very, very shady. It's the main reason the city is broke. I know several people who have done it. It goes like this.
A city worker will retire on a Friday, and begin collecting their pension (about 75% of their usual pay check). Then that city worker will form an LLC, or a one-person company, that performs the same task that the city worker did for the city. This is where it gets shady.
The city will "privatize" that job, and hire the LLC to do the same job the person retired from, but at a higher pay rate.
The former city employee returns to work on Monday as a contractor, but does the same exact job. They are now getting two paychecks: their pension, and the contract pay.
A friend of mine "retired" at age 55, began collecting a $85,000 annual pension, and went right back to work the next week as a "private contractor" for the same exact position, making $150 an hour.
The hiring boss usually gets a kickback from this. They will approach a worker who could retire, but might not be ready yet. Then they'll offer them to retire/re-hired as contractor deal, for a price.
#2 The Hunt
At the factory where I used to work, the night cleaners found a bloody condom floating in one of the mens' toilets. This began a Witch Hunt spearheaded by the "virtue" of our homophobic general manager.
The discovery of a bloody condom would tend to raise eyebrows. However, it did not end there, as our GM took it upon himself to "locate the deviants" and take the "appropriate corrective actions" (whatever that’s supposed to mean).
One week later, "BR", one of the nicest guys I've had the pleasure of working with, comes back from his last vacation. He had been with the company some 40 years. His wife had just died, and BR was a month away from his retirement.
Even so, the GM decided to question him about the bloody condom.
As our supervisor described it BR immediately barged into a management meeting with tears in his eyes and rage in his veins after being questioned.
He explained to the group that he has cancer (we assumed prostate) and that he has to place a condom on his wang to keep from "leaking" blood.
He apologized about the poor flushing job he must have done to have left a soiled condom floating in the bowl, but then unleashed an ego-shattering description of those who jumped to conclusions, singling out the GM and calling him out as a homophobic piece of sh*t.
"BR" retired a month later to enjoy his last months before succumbing to his condition. The GM never seemed the same after that, kinda toothless and withdrawn.
#1 The Swingers Phase
The company I worked for went through a swingers phase. And yeah, I mean the whole company! It's a reputation that we're still trying to fix even though it's been five years since the people mostly responsible have left.
Incident one: Big Boss sleeps with an employee's wife. Employee finds out. Big Boss continues sleeping with wife (event though he's married as well) and Employee does nothing. Employee's son is later hired at the same company. Weirdness ensues.
Incident two: Employee comes to work in the middle of the night to check on something. Walks in on a threesome involving two other employees. Employee is scarred and tells everyone. Threesome is not punished. Weirdness intensifies.
Incident three: Swingers start coming to Company to "connect". Keys left in jars, comments on the perky nipples of Employees (male and female), caressing of cheeks (face and otherwise), multiple people in single bathrooms for extended periods of time. Weirdness at maximum level.
We're much better now though! But it's fun to reflect on the lingering weirdness that occasionally happens.
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