Sony's banished employees report to an empty room where the only entertainment options are newspapers and the internet, with the occasional college textbook thrown in. Workers can choose what they do throughout the day, surfing from website to website however they see fit, before filling out a log detailing their daily actions. Like an evil genie, Sony gives the banished employee what they want (being a lazy, lazy worker) and then turns it against them in the hopes that confronting bad employees with the vast emptiness of their existence will drive them to work harder.
One worker's nightmare scenario is another's dream job.
Not that Sony would mind some old-fashioned bully tactics; they're just not allowed to. Labor laws in Japan are much stricter than in other parts of the world. It's often almost impossible to punish or fire employees, especially long-term ones. So because they can't wave around a big stick, they've decided to go the other route and make bad employees choke on their carrots. This means forcing employees into an endless vortex of procrastination, with every day filled with nothing but browsing through endless humorous fact-based lists. The horror.
Bill Gates Punished Bad Employees With An Idiotic Dog Project
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According to billionaires and stalkers, success lies in perseverance. Whatever you're doing, it's not enough. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and enough charities to get away with a few murders, knows this better than most, as he founded his entire empire on making his employees feel so inadequate that they had no choice but to improve.
Back in the day, to ensure his employees were always on the ball, Gates would take the time to memorize every single license plate on his parking lot, along with who each vehicle belonged to. That way, he could carefully monitor the comings and goings of everyone in the office. The only reason he stopped the creepy practice was that Microsoft became so large that even a classic nerd like Gates couldn't keep all those numbers straight.
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"My employees may never, ever go home, but at least their spouses will have a computer to keep them company."
Remembering who goes on long lunches is only one part of the process, so now Gates needed to find a way to punish these lax employees. In the early '90s, when Microsoft was deep in the Windows 95 creation crunch, they needed a new trick to ensure their developers consistently performed at high standards.
Rather than firing underperformers, Microsoft reassigned them to a little-known CD-ROM project called Microsoft Dogs. The project was ambitiously pointless, with developers meticulously gathering facts on the proper methods of feeding and caring for over 500 different breeds of dogs. It was the company's dunce cap. It was considered so unimportant and boring that they could threaten developers with the work as an extra bit of motivation. But what of the workers who didn't get shamed into working harder by this doggy detention? We're not sure what Microsoft did to motivate them, but we get the feeling it involved a rolled-up newspaper.
"Eh, still better than working on Windows ME."
Carolyn sometimes tweets cat videos on Twitter.
For more instances of corporations being asshats, check out 5 Stories That Will Change Your Opinion Of Famous Companies and 5 Spectacularly Crazy Meltdowns By CEOs Of Major Companies.
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