Corporations -- like mysterious islands, Colonel Sanders, and vaginas -- are full of secrets. And every now and then, those secrets leak out and let us in on how screwed up and out of touch the batshit suits behind the corporate logos really are.
#4. Yahoo Begs Employees to Use Its Email
This past November, Yahoo asked all its employees to switch from Microsoft Outlook to the new Yahoo Mail for their main email account. This isn't the most extreme request for a company to make, but since people hate change and Yahoo's mail service sucks, only 25 percent of their employees actually made the switch. This led to a recently leaked email trying to encourage the remaining 75 percent to get on board, complete with (we are not kidding) mentions of Ayn Rand, Mr. T quotes, and a rambling metaphor about dinosaurs. When referencing Outlook, the executive said:
Certainly, we can admire the application for its survival, an anachronism of the now defunct '90s PC era, a pre-Web program written at a time when NT Server terrorized the data center landscape with the confidence of a T. rex born to yuppie dinosaur parents who fully bought into the illusion of their son's utter uniqueness because the big-mouthed, tiny-armed monster infant could mimic the gestures of the Itsy-Bitsy Pterodactyl.
"Quick! Switch his account while his brain is confused and disoriented from the words."
To which that remaining 75 percent of employees who hadn't switched over responded "What the actual fuck?" and quit their jobs then and there. Probably.
#3. The NSA Hands Out Holiday Talking Points
Working for an unpopular secretive government agency can make conversation with family around the holidays even more difficult than usual. And for 2013, the National Security Agency wanted to make sure that once their employees got to the point over Thanksgiving that the only thing they had in common with fellow secret-keeper James Bond was that they could not stop drinking martinis, they would still say the right things about the agency.
"Pbfft, how are they going to know what I tell people in my personal conversa- oh, yeah ..."
In order to make sure of this, they sent out a memo, arming their workers with dozens of bullet ... points. This allowed employees to head into Thanksgiving dinner, metaphorical guns blazing, with stock lines about inflated terror plot statistics, anti-Chinese propaganda, and the ever popular holiday classic, 9/11. Because if anything will shut your libertarian uncle up about the snooping on American citizens, it is robotically repeating generic statements about how great the government is.
#2. Qantas Airline Asks Employees How to Save Money, Then Fires Them
Australia's Qantas airline is having a bit of a cash flow problem, and while consultants in $3,000 suits were probably paid a lot of money to come up with cost-saving measures, so far nothing has worked. But recently someone in the company had the brilliant idea to turn to its greatest asset, the employees, and emailed them asking for out-of-the-box ideas on how to start saving money.
The next day, Qantas fired 1,000 of those same employees.
"The severance was peanuts. Literally."
Now, to be fair, we don't know that 1,000 individuals' money-saving suggestion wasn't "Fire that one guy I hate." To be less fair, the airline needs to save $2 billion over the next three years, so the firings would only be worth it if each employee made over $665,000 per year. Still, dude. Not cool.
#1. McDonald's Tells Employees to Sell Gifts, Tip Their Nannies
In 2013, McDonald's came under fire for a "helpful" website set up to dole out advice to their underpaid workers, which, among other things, encouraged employees to get a second job and apply for food stamps. And during the festive season, McDonald's started to think about the true meaning of Christmas.
In order to avoid the crass commercialization of the holidays, the fast food giant encouraged employees to sell or return any unopened gifts they receive. This way their workers would have more cash, just in case those food stamps weren't stretching far enough this time of year. Another quick tip from the McResource site: Stop complaining, because all that bitching is raising employee stress levels.
"It's gotten so bad, I've had to steal to feed my family."
But everyone's most tolerated fast food establishment wasn't done shelling out helpful advice just yet. Apparently assuming that all of their employees lived in houses with literal golden arches, the website also explained how to tip servants at the holidays. Fortunately, their website quoted the famous etiquette expert Emily Post, reminding their fast food workers that one week's pay plus a small gift was standard for an au pair, as well as the generous cash gifts expected by pool cleaners, massage therapists, and housekeepers. You know, the usual staff employed by people who work at McDonald's.
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"Hey, what's it say about feng shui gurus? I want to make sure I didn't short mine."