The 4 Worst Corporate Attempts to Bond With Employees
If you've ever had to talk to one of the higher-ups at your job and felt nervous about it, just imagine how they must feel: Some of those corporate fat cats only know about the existence of non-rich people from watching Downton Abbey. That's why sometimes a giant company will end up trying hilariously misguided tactics to get chummy with their employees that eventually blow up in their faces, like ...
Walmart Asks Employees for Good Reviews, Gets the Opposite
This month, Gawker put out another in their series of articles featuring real horror stories from Walmart employees -- you know, stuff like constant sexual harassment, insta-firing pregnant mothers, or taking the value of stolen merchandise out of employees' bonuses (while telling them they can't do anything to stop theft). This time, however, Walmart noticed and decided to strike back. How? By sending a memo asking the same underpaid employees they treat like crap to bombard Gawker with stories about the "real" Walmart:
His face was so punchably smug, we've blurred it to protect your monitor.
Predictably, Gawker did get lots of emails from people who work at Walmart ... featuring even worse stories than the ones they had. In fact, the employees are so unhappy with the shit conditions they have to put up with that, putting their own jobs on the line, they also flooded Walmart's internal website with more negative comments. As one of them put it, "Whoever OK'd this memo will soon have their own negative experiences to tell."
One man's positive story- about Wal-Mart giving him a week off without pay for the birth of his first child, was sadder than all the negative stories put together.
Sears CEO Chats With Employees Under Fake Name, Gets Caught
Sears CEO Eddie Lampert decided he wanted to learn how his dime-a-dozen store employees were doing by talking to them on their own level. Of course, he didn't want to actually set foot on a Sears sales floor (and we don't blame him), so instead he made his IT department build an entire social network from scratch before forcing every employee to join and logging their hours to make sure they actually use it.
But rather than using good old-fashioned spying to know what his employees were talking about, Lampert instead joined the social network under the fake name "Eli Wexler" and started chatting everyone up. This plan might have even worked if he hadn't started arguing with everyone who said anything negative about Sears, or simply been so transparently CEO-like that everyone figured out it was him within 15 minutes.
"Oh, he's just my profile pic because of my respect for him and his gigantic penis. BTW, don't you hate unions?"
Target Doesn't Understand Latinos (or Common Sense)
Three former employees at a Target location in Yolo "we're so sick of that joke already" County, California, are suing the company over, among other things, the contents of a company memo describing how to treat Latinos sensibly. Well, what's wrong with that? Plenty, if you assume people's definition of Hispanics comes directly from Speedy Gonzales reruns:
"All this time we thought the sombreros turned invisible in front of white people."
The memo also helpfully explains the difference between the several types of Latinos:
But which one works best against Charizard?
It also points out a common mistake managers might make when explaining something to a Hispanic employee: Even if the employee seems to understand (signaled by the red-flag keywords "OK, OK"), they may not actually know what you mean. Listen, we're just happy that Steve Carell's character in The Office landed a good administrative job after leaving the show.
McDonald's Has No Clue How Their Employees Live
McDonald's apparently had good intentions when they released their recent finance guide to help employees manage their budget and calculate exactly how much money they can spend on Quarter Pounders each month. The problem is that the guide was pretty clearly designed by someone who has no idea how anyone not living in a mansion survives:
"For heating, you can just burn dollar bills in piles like everyone else."
Yeah, the only thing the "finance guide" ended up proving is how impossible it is to get by on a full-time, minimum wage job at McDonald's: You'll have enough money to cover your (hilariously low-balled) rent, (impossibly cheap) insurance, a car payment (but no gas), and most of your phone/electric bill. If you want to have any spending money, you'd need a second job working another 30+ hours at minimum wage -- and by "spending money," they mean cash for luxuries like food or clothes, which aren't included in the list.
What's that? You wanna put some money in a savings account, go to college, or engage in any form of relaxation other than sleep?
"Shit, is that gum? Ah, no, it's just hopes and aspirations."
Good luck with that.