The Very Common Things Cruel Managers Do

What constitutes cruelty at the office? Someone asked on Quora “What was the cruelest thing a company has ever done to you as an employee?”

You may be prepared for stories of confiscating passports or not wage theft, and those things are cruel. But the things people wrote about also sound a lot like what a lot of us face in the office. For example.

Not allow an employee to work from home.

Being allowed to work from home isn’t a right. If there’s a disability question it may be a reasonable accommodation, but otherwise, companies don’t have to allow it. So, why was this cruel? As Laurie Bethard explained, someone else had done it, made a disaster of it, and so when she had a dying father and could have really used the benefit, her company said no.

To keep reading, click here: The Very Common Things Cruel Managers Do

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7 thoughts on “ The Very Common Things Cruel Managers Do

  1. I was working as a Social Worker for a state agency when I got pregnant. My job was to go out and visit my clients who were foster parents, then write up the results for my casefiles. My immediate supervisor did not believe that women should work during their pregnancies. She made my life a living hell. She demanded that I get written clearance from my doctor to continue working, but — repeatedly — rejected every letter he provided, as “insufficient.” He, finally — in total frustration — wrote a letter that said that the only medical restriction he was placing on me was “no horseback riding.” I was called on the carpet before my supervisor and the HR Manager. The HR Manager proceeded to regale me with a gory tale about how much I would suffer if I proceeded with my plan to have a Lamaze delivery, describing his Wife’s experience, not with Lamaze — which is a process of total preparation — but with unprepared, unmedicated, delivery. I was totally stressed my entire pregnancy. My Son suffered from extreme colic the first few months of his life, and I have no doubt that my pre-natal stress may have contributed to that.

  2. A colleage told me that he hired someone to fill an approved vacancy because he knew his incredibly good team was going to need to lay someone off due to to a forthcoming corporate mandate. Sure enough tje mandate came to pass and this new person was sacrificed so the original team was kept intact.

    1. This is a perfect example of my frustration with (presumably large) companies! The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Why on earth would there be a budget for an approved hire when they will be soon laying people off – so soon, in fact, that the department has wind of it. It’s an incredibly frustrating waste of time and resources. This happened at my job 2 fiscal years in a row, as well.

  3. I once had a manager that would hold a pre-team meeting with everyone on the team but me. During these meetings she would apparently put the pressure on to say bad things about me. I only found out a year later when a former coworker called me out of the blue crying and apologizing for all the lies she told about my behavior. She confessed that she was afraid if she didn’t have fodder to bully me in the real team meeting she would be next.

  4. I invested $10,000 in moving to Canada, my full-time job refused to write the letter for the government. My full-time job is only stateside, but I had to prove to the Canadian government that I have worked in the US. HR woman, who I turned down once for a job (didn’t pay well), flatly told me she couldn’t write the letter and had her secretary write it. Secretary couldn’t write my job description and the stupid thing was, Canada wouldn’t accept a letter from me, it had to be from an employer. I was refused on those grounds (part-time library job wrote a beautiful letter). After I was refused, head HR woman wrote the letter, but the job description they have on file doesn’t match my duties. They have general clerk work as my duties, but I am a researcher. I guess that is why I get paid so low. Needless to say, my clearances and tests for Canada are good for another few years, but I need a new job. Thinking of teaching English abroad.

  5. An organisation I worked for, my manager used to open the sealed medical forms and tell everyone the “juicy bits” of people’s medical histories before they started work there. Because this was in the days before the legislation changed it was under the old Data Protection Act – anything on paper didn’t count under the legislation until you entered it on computer, so it was actually perfectly legal so to do at the time. Frustrating though and led to at least one NSFW incident…

  6. My job laid me off while I was out after having surgery. Kicked me when I was down. I was on short term disability though, and stretched that time off for an additional 4 months to actually heal from the surgery. Once I was released by the doctor, I got 30 days notice for the layoff.

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