b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Dodgy work ethics » Page 1 | Search
This is a question Dodgy work ethics

Chthonic asks: What's the naughtiest thing a boss has ever asked you to do? And did you do it? Or perhaps you are the boss and would like to confess.

(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:36)
Pages: Popular, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

My first pearoast
And oddly enough a pearoast of my first ever post here 5 and a half long years ago. Anyhow..

I used to work as a barman in an Irish pub in North London that also ran quite a well-known rock/indie/metal club next door (I may well name it if anyone's curious). When working in the main pub area, we were always told to empty the lager drip-trays into a big bucket under the bar. I never gave much thought as to why; just naively assuming it was to save us the trouble of having to walk over to the sink to empty them every time they filled up or something. It was only after working there for a number of months that I found out the management would secretly empty this bucket into a vacant barrel at the end of every week and then serve it back up to the goths next door on a Friday and Saturday night.
That’s a second-hand mixture of three different lagers, kept at room temperature for a week and then served back up for £2.50 a pint (this was around 2002 when you’d expect to pay no more than about £1.80 for a legitimate pint in a decent pub).

I really should have reported them, especially after they gave me the sack for helping myself to a free drink after work one night, the cheeky cunts.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:50, 23 replies)
Anyone that proud of
staying out for the summer can't have any work ethic at all.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:48, 7 replies)
I'm an accountant.
I work for a large charity.

In business expenditure,

specialising in staff expenses.

'nuff said.

They're not that bad really (compared to say... MPs)
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:44, Reply)
"Find me some child porn"
A psychotic editor wanted me to access child pornography on the net so I could write a story about how easy it was to do. Mercifully, my line manager agreed with my position that I did not wish to become A) mentally scarred or B) a criminal (we didn't work for the News of the World). I declined.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:43, 3 replies)
I used to earn cash as drug dealer in Chelmsford.

(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:28, 13 replies)
We had some unfavourable reviews coming up if you typed the name of our hotel into Google maps
I was asked for a strategy. I turned to the girl in charge of Social Media and asked if we had a policy on sockpuppetting. After I'd inevitably had to explain to her exactly what sockpuppetting is and how people might use it for nefarious purposes, she admitted that she'd not given it any thought before and that we didn't have any specific policies that covered it.

So I suggested to the hotel manager that he create a few sockpuppet accounts, post up some favourable reviews and drown out the negative ones. It worked a treat.

I'm not sure this is exactly classed as dodgy, because in common with every other Social Media professional I've met, our Social Media Officer hasn't got a fucking clue about anything anyway, so if we do get caught out, I'll just blame her and say that she said it was perfectly fine.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:25, 1 reply)
Working in a supermarket
part time as teenager, I found that absolutely no one really cared that much about their job except the Manager-trainee types who saw themselves going 'all the way' to the top of the retail ladder (via. telling a bunch of teenagers to get a move on and restock the bananas).

Anyway. On one occasion, when the duty manager was trying to persuade a few of us to be more keen about the job, as our success depended on the company's success, he told us that he was so competitive that he used to go into the local Asda and complain about nebulous stuff in order to waste their time. He'd recently written a letter to them telling them that he was very old and infirm, used a wheelchair, and that the ramp to their front door slanted so steeply that it was dangerous, in the hope that they would be forced to spend large amounts of money remodelling their store.

Me and the other part-timer I was with both got the giggles so hard we had to stop working on the palette we were unloading so we could sit down on the floor for a minute and get our breath back.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:22, Reply)
Dodgy work ethics?
I once worked at Greggs. I win the compo right now.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:21, 19 replies)
Desperation on the sales floor
Fresh out of university with a degree in English, I did what most clueless grads did in the 90's and took a media sales job.

I met the publishing company at a recruitment fair, and I'll be honest, I was somewhat relieved they were even talking to me. Alarm bells should have been ringing when they called me back the next day to ask if I would consider working for them.

I of course accepted even though the salary would barely cover my travel expenses. (I reasoned it was better to be on the ladder being paid pittance than not at all).

My first three days on the job were training with 20 other recently recruited sales execs. The sales trainer declared on day one that only 50% of us would make it through training, and only 20% of those who remained would be with the business for more than 3 months. Turns out he was being a little generous with his predictions.

Looking back at the year I spent with the company, it saddens me to recall some of the practices on display which included:

- Removing all chairs from the sales floor to ensure employees were always on the phone when the daily averages were below standard

- Bullying poor-performing employees into giving up their basic salary to go 'commission-only'

- Putting the poorest performers on the 'blanker's table', reserved for anyone who hadn't sold anything for over 2 weeks

- Encouraging employees to go on sales training courses and asking them to pay hundreds of pounds for the privilege

- Only allowing the top 20% of performers to go to the Xmas party

In my time I also saw one guy carried out on a stretcher twice after having a stress-induced heart-attack. He also used to openly weep after getting a deal because it meant he could pay his mortgage :-(

There's loads more to tell, but neither the space nor the time. The thing is, I don't regret my time there, rather I see it as the catalyst for what I've achieved since.

Horrific experience? Yes!

Character building? Absolutely!
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:19, 10 replies)
I once ran a banking institution
That I then fucked up royally and these daft twats, the British they are called, then gave me money so I didnt go bust. And now I'm wanking them dry LOL.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:19, 3 replies)
One time I was in charge of the London Metropolitan Police, it was a summer job.
And I couldn't be arsed going out and finding fingerprints and all that, so I got this website to ask lots of people to incriminate themselves and shop in colleagues.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:17, Reply)
Spot the odd one out
CHCB's story about bombs reminds me.

I remember having to do something similar when I worked in a shoe shop in Oxford, in 1991 I think it was.

Apparently someone had planted a firebomb hidden in a shoe box in another shoe shop in Oxford. People were being evacuated from said shop. This was some Major Shit. It was certainly the most interesting thing that had happened to me in a shoe shop, in a very short list of uninteresting things.

Leaving aside the question of why anyone would actually hide a bomb in a shoe box (Oxford, always a big target for the IRA), my thoughtful boss sent me into the fucking store room to go and 'check for bombs'.

Right, so that's look for an incendiary device that's supposed to be hidden in a shoe box, in a room full of shoe boxes that all look identical. As a 17 year old at the time, my bomb disposal skills were minimal, to say the least. Fuck knows what I would have done had there actually been anything to find (rather than it being a lame hoax); scattered myself around the store room and caught fire, I imagine.

I think I poked my head around the door for about 10 seconds, told everyone it looked fine and then went back upstairs and carried on standing around like everybody else.

That memory had escaped me for 20 years.

It was Barratt's on Queen Street, if anyone remembers (or cares).
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:11, 1 reply)
Public Virtue from Private Vice
There was a couple of occasions when I was younger on which I had to decide whether to do a reprehensible job, and opted not to. I wish that I could attribute this to virtue on my part. I can't.

The first time this happened was when I, as a 16-year-old, answered an advert for call-centre workers. I was invited in for a chat. On a wet summer afternoon, I caught the bus to the address I was given, knocked on the door, and was led up to a dingy office in a converted attic above a shop. The office was lit with one bulb, and the only furniture was a couple of scratty desks and chairs, a couple of telephones, and some phone books. My job would be to cold-call people selling timeshare. The hook was that they'd won a prize in a draw (and if they denied entering the draw, I was expected to say that someone must have entered them on their behalf), and were invited to come to collect it from the company in question. If they turned up, they'd be given the hard sell.

It took me about 35 seconds to decide I wanted nothing to do with the outfit.

The second time was when I was a student, I was offered a gig doing door-to-door sales. The idea was to knock on people's doors, and flog them some kind of sheet of money-off vouchers for a local curry house. At other times, it might have been selling things on behalf of other businesses on the same sort of model. I don't know: you could tell from a mile away that it was dodgy, and I didn't last a full day.

Did I walk because I had a deep moral objection to the scams being perpetrated? Well, I did have an objection to both, since both demanded a fair degree of mendacity. But that isn't why I declined either. I declined the first because the office - which had no natural light and stank of decade-old ashtrays, mildew and misery - was just too scummy; I declined the second because it was obvious that the pay would be not worth the effort.

Or, to put it another way: I did what I believe to be the virtuous thing for what I believe to be vicious reasons. It turns out that I'm only prepared to violate the demands of decency when the working conditions are good.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:07, 1 reply)
Work experience
Sorry for teh lack of funnies...

Way back when I was in secondary school we had to get work experience for fourth year. My first placement I got in my local vets who the previous year had managed to fix my dogs broken spine. A great place I thought.

Anyways all staff were friendly and the place was run efficiently and there were two public examination rooms, a private one in the back and then the surgery.

One of the days I was in the back room when in walked the cocky cool vet with a young lab puppy. Said puppy was full of puppy beans and jumping all over. The vet hooshed him up onto the table and asked me to watch him. I cooed at him and he was all friendly and waggly.

Vet came back in with a drip and an injection and hooked it into the puppys leg while I calmed him. He then gave it the injection and it drifted off to sleep. I turned to the vet and asked if it was going for surgery now.

He looked at me shocked and produced a black bin bag. As he unhooked the drip and slid the puppy into the bag he said "No! Little fucker nipped the postman, he's dead". He then handed me the bag and told me to throw it into the skip they had out the back.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 15:02, 15 replies)
Famous high street electricals retailer
The Christmas job I had as a student, where I commanded the princely wage of £3/hour, was a pretty shitty place to work. The manager and his deputy had the morals of a necrophiliac's tally-whacker.

They were determined to win the company wide competition where the store with the highest xmas revenue would win a holiday for the manager and his junkyard dog. Amazingly he used this to try and motivate the sales guys.

One of the highlights included the morning pep talk from the Manager telling the sales staff that the head office had a load of obsolete black and white printers cluttering up the warehouse. Everyone was instructed to promote the virtues of black and white printing that week to dump this shite on people who knew no better.

What really pissed me off, and was one of the reasons I walked out, was that when the sales guys put out the display models for products they just flung the empty box into a large room upstairs full from ceiling to floor with other boxes. The instruction manual would fly one way, the remote the other, and all the vital auxillaries would just disappear into the mess.

If you're ever in the position where the thing you want is out of stock and they offer you the display model, just say no. One of my jobs was to box up the display models and try and find the gubbins that was lost somewhere in the stock room that time forgot. More often than not only some of the bits could be found. But the manager and his pet used to insist I'd just box it up and pass it to the customer knowing full well that these were Christmas gifts and these people would be giving these to love ones whose initial glee of getting the gift would turn to dissappointment as they realised it wouldn't be working that day. All so Captain Cunt and his rent boy could get a free holiday.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 14:58, Reply)
My ex boss bullied a very heavily pregnant woman
He told her that unless she took a very short maternity leave she wouldn't have a job when she came back, got right up in her face telling her to "play the fucking game" etc. The guy was an absolute cunt to everyone but I thought this was low. What he didn't know is that I was in the room fixing a PC. When he found out he took me to one side and gave me some bollocks story about how stressful his position was and when you are in charge of multi million pound budgets you have to be a bit of an ogre and then told me he didn't want me to mention to anyone what I saw.

She sued, I was a witness, she won, we both quit.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 14:17, 7 replies)
I used to edit a business travel magazine.
They were scum for various reasons, but the most morally-reprehensible part was their paying of bills, particularly of commissioned freelance journalists.

When I took over, I was given a list of contacts, whom I set about commissioning. It came out yearly, so imagine my surprise on saying "Hi XXXXX, I was wondering if you fancied doing the XXXX chapter again this year", to receive replies from all 40 or so of them saying "Well - I might be interested, but when are you going to pay me for last year?"

Considering that the prices were only between £500 and £700 for what was in total well over a week's work, it was pretty bloody difficult to keep them on-side.

The meeja is perhaps the most sordid place I have ever worked - I know that's not news (ha!), but it's notoriously amoral. See the current phone-hacking scandal for details.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 14:16, Reply)
Supermarket sweep
I had a weekend job at a (since closed) supermarket in Reading, and being the new boy I was often sent out into the multi-storey car park to bring back the trollies. Worst job in the world, as the lifts stunk of piss and was once propositioned by a mad old granny, causing me to flee - FLEE! - for my very life.

The only good thing it had going for it was that at 6pm every Friday night, you could stand on the roof of the car park and watch some bloke in the office block opposite shagging his cleaner over his desk.

BUT! My boss, the portly Mr Oliver, was a competitive sort, and his main competition was Sainsbury's round the corner. Sainsbury's was always packed, while our low-fi establishment was dying on its arse. But he had a plan, which he made clear to me on Saturday morning in a dark corner of the stock room:

"Scary lad - when you get the trollies today, I want you to do something else."

"What's that, Mr Oliver?"

"I want you to take every Sainsbury's trolley you can find, and hide the fuckers"


"Extra tenner."

I hid them in the private car park in the basement, where all the tramps slept. Our not-so-super-supermarket was closed within a year.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 14:15, Reply)
I was asked to do a few illegal things in my first job as a geo in a working gold mine
one of them was to re-sample the diamond cores used to calculate the reserves. Legally you cut the long cores in half, sample one half, and keep the other as a permanent record in case anyone decides your multimillion estimation of how much gold you have(and hence your share price) is based on bullshit, so grinding the remaining half is quite illegal. I did it without too much thought, and found myself promoted within a year. Other illegal activities elsewhere in my career were entirely of my own volition.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 14:09, Reply)
My boss is a cunt who thinks it's ok to pay people 2, sometimes 3 weeks late.
And by cheque - usually issued at 5pm on a Friday.
He also has 5 dogs which he brings to work, which would be great if they didn't wander around growling at people and shitting everywhere.
It's my last day next Friday, thank fuck.
Sorry for lack of lols.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 14:06, 1 reply)
What they don’t know can’t hurt us…
As a younger, pastier, fatter Deskbound, I used to work in a fruit shop on Saturdays. It was cash in hand and generally a good laugh with the other three who worked there.

Each morning, we used to have to wheel out two large display racks onto the arcade that the shop faced out on to. These would then be laden with many vitamin-rich delights for the wasps and old people to finger.

Both of these large units were in a state of disrepair, with panels missing and a few sharp bits sticking out.

One day, an elderly lady managed to slip on the tiled floor and drag her leg past a nice sharp piece of metal sticking out of one of the units. Blood started pissing of the wound at an alarming rate.

We managed to get her into the back of the shop and hastily cleaned the blood up and bandage the wound, a nice cup of tea helping to ail her shaky self.

She could have sued for thousands and should really have gone to hospital. But we ordered her a taxi and went about our day.

It was the boss’s call, not mine, but I still get the odd pang of guilt over this, 15 years on.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 14:06, Reply)
I have worked in advertising
for nearly a decade. I have personally planned hundreds-of-thousands of pounds-worth of advertising in The News of the World, The Daily Mail, The Sun, etc.

to be fair, I blame the fuckers who read them... we wouldn't do it otherwise. I promise you I'd be much happier if I could put all my clients' advertising money in Viz.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:56, Reply)
My boss asked me to hack Milly Dowlers mobile phone
Might as well get it out of the way early.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:53, 2 replies)
When movies bomb

Working in a cinema in Northern Ireland in the mid-nineties was always eventful. Since my beloved, inbred hicksville country is about 400 years behind the rest of the UK we often had to put up with things like Ian Paisley and his merry band of Free Presbyterians picketing the lastest releases. Showgirls incurred the wrath of the righteous (Flesh! Fornication! Could lead to dancing!) and going to see In the Name of the Father was a tense waltz past the placards.

It was The Devil's Own that proved most controversial though. A film worth picketing for Brad Pitt's dodgy accent alone, it did not escape the attentions of the Loyalist factions who saw it as some kind of glorified IRA recruiting vehicle (perhaps they were peeved at the implication that Republican terrorists are strapping blond Holywood hunks). Anyway, I was selling tickets for that evening's showing when the call came in.

Norn Irn in the mid-nineties had a well-established system in place for all things Troubles-related, so codewords were used to confirm that bomb threats were legit - as legit as a bomb threat can be, anyway. We were told there was a bomb in the cinema in one of the 10 screens. We heard the code word, and we responded. The evacuation procedure sprang into place and we began herding people out of the multiplex. I held the door open and cheerily reassured the customers that it was just a precaution as the RUC Land Rovers raced up outside.

Then, and I am astonished looking back at this but at the time it seemed perfectly normal, our managers appeared and asked us to search the cinema. Yes. We, who were getting paid under £4 per hour and had to wear dreadful uniforms into the bargain, were told to go and search each screen for suspect devices. The deadly, lethal, bomb-y sort.

I got cinema 2. As I approached the front row I saw a sports bag peeking out from under a seat.
"Um, John..." I said to the security guard who was tentatively poking around the back row, "there's a sports bag here..."

"Get out NOW," was his immediate response and the pair of us legged it to the door and into the foyer where we alerted the men with guns to our findings.

I then had to go outside and ask several hundred people if anyone had left a sports bag behind. None had. Bag was removed, found to be harmless, everyone trouped back in and the film was restarted. I left Norn Irn a few years later on the basis that it's an inbred hicksville country about 400 years behind the rest of the UK.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:50, 11 replies)
I once spent
an evening scouring the Biffa Bin outside a hotel looking for empty wine bottles to prove to the customer that the bill he received for 150 bottle of wine at a wedding was correct.

I collected 97 in total, realised that a) I was working for a crook and b) I had better things to do with my last Saturday night before I headed back to uni, so went to tell my boss I was quitting. I couldn't find him anywhere. Turned out he had locked himself in one of the bedrooms in fear after realising he had been caught trying to rip off an Essex Gangster over his daughter's wedding.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:45, 4 replies)
Whenever we confiscated alcohol on the door, we used to pour it back into our own bottles and sell it back to them.

(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:43, 2 replies)
Supermarket Butcher
Manager to a young prime..

"I like the look of that fillet steak joint. But I don't want to pay more than 50p for it"

.. I liked my old manager!
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:43, 5 replies)
I posted this from work cause my boss told me to.


Bah, too slow. I'll settle for the bronze.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:40, Reply)

A company I worked at had big night out. A Treasure Hunt through the streets of Croydon followed by a quiz at the final pub in the hunt.

The treasure hunt was a series of clues, each clue leading to another pub where you had to find the next clue. On the way there was a series of challenges that you had to complete, a copy of a certain newspaper dated the day BEFORE the hunt, the most intricate or amusing model built out of McDonalds drinking straws etc, etc.

To say my Boss was competitive would be putting it mildly. He wanted to win this and win this big. So he turned to me.

"You know that week you're having off next month. The week you won't be paid for because you're a contractor?" he asked "Well how would you like to get paid for that week?"

"Err - whatever you want, I'm game" I replied.

"Lee from marketing is setting the quiz and the hunt. Find me those fucking questions, and the route, and we're golden..."

So I waited until everyone went home - not unusual as I rarely left work until 7 or 8pm - and wandered up to where Lee worked and Ghosted his hard drive. (That means I took an exact copy of his system). Toddled off by to IT and booted his drive on a machine that wasn't connected to the network, logged in as local admin and then....

Ferreted through his documents until I had the route, the quiz, the challenges - the lot.

(Aside - I could have just logged into his computer, remotely or locally, as admin and found the info - but that leaves *traces*. Mama Legless didn't raise no fools. Apart form my younger brother but we won't go there just now...)

So, night of Treasure Hunt arrives and our team were roaring around the circuit. We already had a copy of the previous days Gaurdian, we'd pre-built, from McDonalds straws, a magnificent peep-hole bra that Sally, the token girl from IT, wore and we knew the answer to every single question in the upcoming quiz. Things were looking good.

Then, in the penultimate pub before the quiz, we ran into the marketing team. They were looking good, looking confident, but their McDonalds straw creation was waaay better than ours. It was a, perfect, desk-sized model of giraffe. Tightly woven, perfectly scaled, it made our effort look like something produced by pre-pubescent kids.

So I did what any contractor who wanted a paid week off would do. I took one for the team. Boss engaged them in conversation. I leaned back against the bar and flicked my lighter and.....

It went up surprisingly well. And went down in a melting pile of plastic even better. Job done, we legged it the final pub followed by marketing screaming


We won.

Paid week off vs morals?

Week off wins

(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:39, 37 replies)
Oh fuck, I became that what I hate.

edit: OK, my story:


(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:39, 3 replies)

This question is now closed.

Pages: Popular, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1