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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)
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This question is now closed.

[a half-arsed rehash of the plot of training day]
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 16:38, 10 replies)
Overheating server room.
Piss poor ventilation.
i.e. a small window that didn't open fully and a small vented fan in ceiling that seemed to just stir the wrm air round the oven of a room, rather than pull in cool air and vent hot air.
Air conditioning? No way, too expensive (ignoring cost of the servers and what it would cost to replace them)
Boss told me to put a vent on the (always shut) door to let some air in.
Said door was a fire door, which I pointed out to him.
Was told to do it anyway.
So I did.

There was also the issue of using a keygen to generate more licenses for the mail server as they were too stingy to actually PAY for more than 5 licenses.

Not sure which is 'naughtier'.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 16:25, 8 replies)
This isn't going to shock anyone
I worked for a company that was supplying a computer system to a very large government department. To test that things were working correctly we requested to have a copy of the client data they had.
This was sent to us via email in a speadsheet.
Password protected? No.
Encrypted data? No.
Sanitised data? No.
So we reported this to our managers who:
Immediately ordered the mail to be deleted? No.
Contacted HSBC (or whatever the government department was) and told them of this breach of security? No.
Ordered us to sanitise the data before we used it? No.
So we:
Reported it to the newspapers? No.
Ethically we were all to blame.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 15:48, 6 replies)
I could write books...
...but given most of the people involved are still alive I can't mention too much but it would involve; breaking and entering, tampering with competitors documents, bugging, having people beaten up/threatened, cracking online security, taking clients to knocking-shops then gaining photographic evidence, many many drugs offences including planting - the list goes on.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 15:47, 11 replies)
I'm the boss
And regularly get the staff to pick up my massive drugs
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 15:34, 5 replies)
Completely irrelevant to the topic, but just had to be shared.
I was just up in New York visiting my parents in the Adirondacks. A great trip- got to see fireworks go off directly overhead while on a boat, took a brewery tour with my sons, spent a lot of time with Mom and Dad- but at last it was time to go home. My sons were staying an extra day or two, so I left before them.

For a variety of reasons I got delayed getting out the door until about 2pm. It's a good 11 hours of driving, so I elected to stay overnight in a hotel in Pennsylvania. Due to some miscommunication, I ended up with reservations in Lebanon PA a bit out of my usual way. No big deal, but still took a bit of extra driving to get there.

The following morning I got on the road and my GPS tried to take me over toward Washington DC to take me down I-95 rather than down I-81. By the time I realized this I was a bit east of Hershey. I told the GPS to take me to Winchester and followed its directions. The route went directly past the Hershey plant, and included a left turn on Chocolate Avenue.

I texted my son: "Stopped overnight and am going now. Just went through Hershey."

He replied: "Why Hershey? That's out of the way."

I replied: "How often do you get a chance to go up Chocolate Avenue without making santorum?"

His reply: "OH YOU"

...umm, to try to make it at least a little relevant, I'm still out of work and haven't sent out a resume in a few weeks. Mainly because there aren't jobs being posted and because I want more summer vacation.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 15:28, 19 replies)
I have so many cnutish stories about my manager and work colleague.
Unfortunetly for this QOTW they have both been suspended over the last 2 weeks and I have strick orders not to discuss anything until the matters are resolved.

*edited to explain what I'm not allowed to tell you.
*edited back to original because it reads better.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 14:50, 6 replies)
One night only.
Not long after I got my first car, my elder brother worked for a few months delivering takeaway. One night something came up and if offered me his shift so I could make a few quid.

This particular establishment didn't enjoy a good reputation for hygiene and I was soon to learn the facts of the matter. I needed a piss twice that night the first time i'd just made a drop so stopped in a quiet street and watered someones wheelie bin. The second time though, I was in the shop and couldn't wait long enough to get back out. I asked and was directed upstairs. The dingey steps let to what I think was once a flat. It was now a decrepit smelly storage space. On lights worked so I stumbled around in the dim glow from the street lights outside. Next to the gag inducing toilet (on lie or seat, not that i'd need either) was a bath filled with fetid water and pre-cut chips. I mean really close together.

Yes I did. Their product really did suit their reputation that night, although I doubt it needed any help from me.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 14:33, 6 replies)

I worked in a shop selling hand-made fudge. (Please note, I have heard all the fudge-packing jokes I can cope with in one lifetime.) As part of the job we had to pour out 22lb of boiling sugar onto a marble table. This takes two people as the pan is heavy and sugar solution at 118-122C is not exactly good for your skin.
It's pretty entertaining for slack-jawed tourists and small children to see all the fudge being made, and we would talk to them and feign interest in their observations.
The boss made me pour fudge with a complete idiot who turned to talk to customers who were behind him, sending a panful of fudge slopping towards my face. If it had actually hit me I would have been blinded from the heat and needed skin grafts, or it would have killed me. The turd who came inches from maiming me for life couldn't understand why I was irritated, and I still had to pour fudge out with the same light-fingered moron.
The boss's boss took an entire week's pay from me to pay for a rather silly uniform which I didn't even get to keep when I left.
If anyone wants to make Jim's fresh fudge for themselves, I'll be posting a version of the recipe in the replies.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 14:17, 11 replies)
Not so much naughty as possibly illegal due to health and safety regs
Back in the day (well, around 2003) I used to do waitress and bar work at the only restaurant in a sleepy village in the middle of pretty much nowhere. Now this place had kind of a good reputation, especially for wine, but also for food. Well, this was true when one of the chefs was on.

As for the money saving boss (sample behaviour - any tips that weren't in coins went into her profits, any card payment tips conveniently "forgotten"), well, apparently use by dates on dairy are "guidelines". So we can clearly use stuff that is a few months over. Even when the few months stretches into years. As I discovered when I had to clear out the cupboards and found a can of 5 year (for some reason I am thinking it was nearer ten, but I think that that is memory just out to scare me) out of date tinned peaches. Mmmmm. So after making a joke about this, I had to make a trifle as it was "cost effective...and fine, because they are preserved".

We threw it out the next day when the other chef was on. I also refused to write "homemade traditional chutney" on the board when said boss discovered that Tesco Value did a pickle which was clearly cheaper than actually making your own. I also had to hide the meat slicer we had, as it had no finger guard. (Still worked though apparently.) And all of this for the princely sum of £3.50 an hour.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 14:03, 3 replies)
As a naive 17 year old
I worked in a hospital as a porter, and wasn't allowed to do heavy work like pushing dinner trollies around ('girls can't do that!'), so I used to cover the male porters desk duties whilst they pushed trollies.

Consequently, I asked my boss if he'd still like me on the desk at 4pm. Which prompted much hilarity.

What was even worse was that I didn't get the innuendo until about a week later, and ended up going a very very deep red as it slowly dawned on me midway through delivering a bag of blood to ITU.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 13:35, 5 replies)
Not mine but...

(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 13:34, 7 replies)
Retail fun...
My old Boss… 1996 -1999 - wavy lines again….

Working for a well known electrical retailer – these were some of my best days…

When we were under staffed and rushed off our feet – rather than offer us a motivational chat and encourage us to sell quick and get the money in the till. He opted to give us some Speed. Not the powdery crap you get these days. This was the paste and pretty much kept you awake for several days. At one point I was the only saleman in the shop and single handedly served every customer. I was on Fire!!!

He would ‘forget’ to give customers their Credit Cards back so he could send the Cards back to the credit company and claim a ‘reward’. I remember there being about 15 credit cards in the safe just waiting to be sent off…

Let us ‘borrow’ Sega/Nintendo games and then write them off at the yearly stock take.

But the best thing in the world was the Cricket.
You can make a good improvised cricket bat using: A vacuum cleaner handle, corrugated cardboard and lots of masking tape. The ball was just bubble wrap covered in masking tape.

Next take a Delonghi ‘Dragon’ oil filled radiator (http://p.mdcd.net/product_images/full/2f0c5cc9ec8edbb392ca201876840508066a0105.jpg) which made a great set of Wickets, place it at the rear of the store and set out the team. It was 1 run for hitting near the white goods, 2 for TV’s, 4 for Vacuums and 6 if you hit the front door or the cash desk. Games would become pretty competitive and there were many occasions where customers had to wait until the end of an over before we’d serve them.

Why was work much more fun when you were younger….
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 13:07, 1 reply)
Shitting in odd places
If you're caught short on a remote hilltop site invariably you've got to make do with what's on hand - it's not unusual to find at least one roll of toilet paper in workie van.

If you're installing radio kit, there's usually loads of boxes - so the fashion at the time would be to shit in a box which was empty and shut it back up (and obviously dispose of it later).

A mate did a job for one of the mobile operators in Ghana, and told me that the ops manager had to send out an email telling all the field staff not to shit in any of the boxes, as when they came back to the warehouse to be stamped flat, the local workers were stamping shit everywhere. Not so much dodgy as just weird.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 12:51, 1 reply)
Smooth Draught
Tennent's foray into strong (5.0% abv) IPA which was ill-fated (although, actually quite tasty). We had ordered waaaay too much to sell on before it expired, so after a while every pint that was poured smelt like a fart pushed through a sock into eggy water.

No amount of pipe-cleaning will shift that smell.

We had to sell as much as we could, and apologise and replace the pint with something else if the customer started retching / heaving / dry-boking.

Five fucking kegs worth all in.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 12:46, 1 reply)
Just don't drink the Bass...
Years ago, an old girlfriend took a summer job pulling pints behind the bar of a local boozer. Naturally, combining the presence of my then-good-lady with beer meant I felt a strong compulsion to go and visit her while she was working.

The pub served two ales, as I recall. I think one was Adnams, the other was definitely Bass. After a rather unsatisfying pint of the former, I thought I'd give the latter a try. It was vile - it didn't taste like Bass...it barely tasted like beer at all.

"Bloody hell, this is terrible!" I exclaimed, "How long's this barrel been on?"
"I don't know," she replied, "do you want me to get you another Adnams instead?"

She took the duff pint and poured it into a bucket.
"Why not pour it down the sink?" I asked, as she poured me a 'fresh' pint, which I suspected would be disappointing, but at least drinkable.
"Oh, he tells us to pour all the spillage into that bucket. Everything from the drip trays except Guinness and cider, they go down the sink."
"I see...and what happens to the contents of this bucket?"
"I don't know, I've seen him take it down to the cellar after we've closed up..."
"You know what, love, I might just have a Guinness instead..."
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 12:31, 21 replies)
I was good friends with a chap called Nigel in the late eighties.
He had a bit of a lisp, which got him some stick at school. He got over this, and to help him build confidence, he started singing with a band, and they did alright in the end, charting a few times I think.

Early in the band's career, they were doing a local tour in the South East, through Basildon, Chelmsford, Southend, among others. I was fortunate enough to roadie for them.

After the gigs (which generally didn't pull in many punters) they'd supplement their income by turning a few houses over on their way out of town. Nigel would hold the ladder, while Matthew climbed up, prised open the windows and climb in. Andy would hand the stuff down and I'd put it in the back of the van.

One evening, while this was going on, Nigel turned to me and said "Tho, thaber-tooth monkey, how doeth it feel helping Dodgy 'work' Etthex?". Felt pretty good when I'd got my 10% cut.

Later on, we did a bunch of other stuff, which, while fun, was entirely made up.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 12:07, 17 replies)
During the last election I ended up working for one of the main political parties
It was like b3ta, only a bit less organised.

"Emvee!" my boss shouted across the office. "The other side have posted a Downfall parody about one of our candidates on youTube. Is there any way we can get it removed?"
"Sure," I said. "Just flag it for copyright violation. Constantin Films are really touchy about all the parody videos people keep posting and it'll disappear soon enough."
"Oh," he said, looking a bit crestfallen. "So will that apply to all the Downfall videos that we've posted about them?"

Somehow knowing that the politicians in charge of the country are every bit as peurile as the rest of us isn't greatly reassuring.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 12:03, Reply)
Shop fittings...
I used to work for a company that supplied and fitted shop fittings.

When we got a contract to fit out a small chain of pet food stores, we needed to purchase 100 or so shopping trollies. My boss decided giving me £5 for every one I could 'obtain' from the local scummerfield store was better than paying the £80 or so new ones cost (we just replaced the handle bit with 'scummerfield' written on).

And that is why a 7.5 tonnes curtain side lorry was parked up in the car park a couple of nights...

Shortly after this (around '87?) they started with the chain things to lock them together.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 11:58, 3 replies)
I used to work in a printing company that only did cookbooks.
You'd be surprised how many printers wank into the ink used for the soup recipes.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 11:38, 2 replies)
I used to share a house with a girl who worked
here. Mmmm, look at all that delicious(ly described) food.
What they don't mention is that none of it is made on the premises.
It's all prepared in factories, put in vacuum-sealed bags and heated in the microwave, like at Little Chef, but about three times more expensive.
Bon apetit!
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 10:28, 15 replies)
Eric – man of the people.
At sixteen, I was about to burst free from my GCSEs into my first ever super massive long summer. Wanting to cultivate a burgeoning drink problem, I had to seek out monkey work wherever I could get it. Preferably something with minimal responsibility and short hours. Keen to help, my best friend suggested something that I've never forgiven him for. Eric's Fruit and Veg Van.
My friend had spent some time as an assistant on this van during its Friday evening rounds, and assured me that it was easy money. "You just bag up whatever the customer wants and take it to the door. This Eric bloke does all the driving and cash handling. It's a piece of piss. I'll let him know you're starting."

Why did he have a mischievous smirk on his face whenever we spoke about it?

I turned up for my first shift the following week. Eric and his wife were loading produce onto the van – he looked about 60, with a flat cap and whiskey nose. I introduced myself. He cackled and shook my hand. "That behind youse is Ian, he works the early round." I turned and saw a harried-looking, sweating man with Downs Syndrome holding out his hand. I went to shake it and Ian recoiled in surprise. "Nahhhh," leered Eric, "ee wants 'is wages!" Eric held out a fiver in one hand and fifty pence in the other. Ian took the fifty pence.
"Never learns, the daft cunt!"
Me and Eric climbed in the van and set off.

I won't go into all of Eric's failings as a husband, a handler of food, and a human being. There are too many and they make me too sad. Suffice to say that first evening on his van was an eye-opener for me. Two incidents, though, stand out above the others, and I was to see them repeated weekly for the next two months.

As said, my task was basically to say hello to people as they came on the van, bag up their fruit and veg, and walk them to their door. But for one lady (a regular), Eric took responsibility. She staggered on, old, confused, obese and completely shitfaced, murmuring something about having fallen in her pond earlier. Eric hooted and cackled, smacking her considerable arse every now and again, before hauling her bags after her and disappearing into her house. He didn't said why, but when he walked out after five minutes rubbing his hands and winking I felt I didn't need to ask.

Fucking a mentally-ill alcoholic customer is pretty off, but when he got back on the van Eric decided he needed a piss.

"Keep an eye out will you?"

He peeled off one of the plastic bags used for the apples, teased out his still-spermy cock right in front of me, and proceeded to fill the bag with worryingly dark urine. He twisted it round, ran it through the plastic-tying machine, and we drove off with this wobbly yellow present sat on his lap. When we got a bit further down the road, he chucked it out of the window.

I hated Eric.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 10:18, 8 replies)
Let's see how they like it
I sent bailiffs into Lloyds Bank one luch time, to recover oustanding rent, in central london.
They were not very happy
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 9:57, 13 replies)
Year Of The Snake
I was looking for a job in Prague in 2004, and a friend suggested I work for her company, Year of the Snake Productions.
I turned up at the interview and was met by a guy with a leather jacket, sunglasses and a ponytail. He was sitting at a big wooden desk with a Czech woman who clearly wasn't enjoying his borderline sexual harassment. Instead of asking me questions he told me, at length, all about their business plan.
A few years earlier two managers at a call-centre in the UK had had an idea for a film. They had set up this office to raise funds. About twenty young men sat at desks with headsets on ringing up every registered company in the UK and Germany and reading out a script telling them why it would be a smart move to invest in the film "Year Of The Snake."
The two guys had written the script themselves, apparently it was going to be "like Lock Stock but more mainstream". Jason Flemyng was allegedly on board already. Who was going to direct the film? Ah, yes, they were going to do it all themselves. Any previous experience? No. Of course not.
So the job was cold-calling businesses and trying to get them to invest in a film that obviously wasn't going to happen. In return for this I would get a lousy salary but be allowed the job title of "associate producer" so that I "could pick up chicks in bars." That's what he actually said.
I didn't take the job, for some reason. A year later the company collapsed. Apparently they'd raised over $7m and had spent it all on, well, the kind of things you can waste $7m on in Prague.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 9:39, 3 replies)
Criminal Damage
when I was a teenager I had a Saturday job in a little shop that sold video's, tapes and CD's (about 20 years ago). The place was owned by a guy (let's call him 'Vic') that was something of a small time gangster with a little crew that would raid warehouses and we would sell the stuff in the shop. I didn't really think much of it at the time because the people I worked with were nice, lol.
Someone with a Jaguar XJ6 used to regularly park in our clearly marked loading bay. We left 3 different notes reminding the driver that this was private property and they shouldn't leave their car there.
Long story short, Vic eventually offered me twenty quid to put a big old scratch down the side of the car with my keys. Easiest £20 I ever made, and the guy never parked there again. I would kill either of my kids now if they did such a thing, but I was just thrilled to get £20 :)
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 8:56, 23 replies)
I work with a Somalian guy
who’s always stealing office supplies. He really is a dodgy work ethnic.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 8:43, 7 replies)
Working for a despot
You may sometimes think your boss is a bit of a dictator, well earlier this year I discovered I was, literally, working for one.

I am a very tiny cog in a rather large multinational corporation.
Earlier this year, when things were getting a bit lively in that there Middle East, it was revealed in the media that the fifth largest shareholder in the company was a certain Colonel Gadaffi.

Nice. For a company which talks about being 'decent', 'honest' and all that bullcrap this struck me as a tad dubious.

Luckily, later that week was our annual briefings, where the head of the company decides to fly over and tell the proles how well we've done, but this year you need to do better.

Q&A comes up... no one is asking any questions... fuck it, I'm not going to get a chance like this again

"We seem to recieve an endless stream of emails detailing every little thing that occurs in the organisation, so I was wandering why you did not feel it appropriate to inform staff that for the past couple of years our hard work had been helping to fund Colonel Gadaffi."

There was an audible murmer around the room. i couldn't decide if it was people going "WTF!??!" because they didn't know, or if people were going "WTF!!???" because they couldn't believe I'd asked the question.

To her credit, Big Bosser feller gave her best politicans answer, and basically said they have no control over who buys the shares, but failed to answer why they didn't inform staff about something that was all over the (quality papers) and that Twitter.

It was not a nice feeling to read on your way to work that you've been helping to fund a despot, and had I been in a position to, I would probably have left that very day. Sadly, as someone said yesterday about NOTW staff, it's fine to have morals if you can afford to.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 8:34, 8 replies)
I can still remember
when people answered last week's question late.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 8:17, 3 replies)
Lack Of Daring Spoils Fog Control
The plan was, we would dangle long hoses downward from a flotilla of small planes flying just at the top of wintertime, supercooled fog over a large urban area. Liquid carbon dioxide would flow from the hoses into the fog and create ice crystals that should clear out the fog. All very well and good.

But what happens if the fast-moving dangling hoses catch on something in the fog, like power lines, or some other urban obstacles? That could bring small planes down in seconds!

What to do? What to do?

To start, it's best that we evade aviation authorities that might demand expensive remedies, like well-engineered detachable hoses, and instead insist to legislators that engineering research is inherently risky, and seek their help passing laws that would provide a legal cloak for the risky work. No legal liability for any possible damages from crashing aircraft might be a start. It's SCIENCE!

As always, young students without families (such as myself) would man the aircraft, providing an extra protective shield from any sudden unpleasantness resulting from hoses that don't detach.

We don't take unnecessary risks, you see, just unavoidable ones.

But since we didn't actually own the aircraft, in the end, no one bought the argument. Student life may be cheap, but aircraft are too valuable for this kind of work.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 8:07, 1 reply)
One of the cheapest and nastiest things I was ever asked to do
Was when working in a nightclub. It used to have gigs from local bands early on, and would be open to 14 year-olds and over (we used to call it "the paedo shift"). As most of those coming were youngsters and clearly underage, they rarely tried it on at the bar (though we often found half-bottles in the toilets) and mostly just ordered water, especially after pogoing to whatever pop-punky bands they liked. The promoter in charge of the evening got money from the door and a percentage of the bar takings, and so asked us barstaff to stop giving away water, so they would have to buy a glass of coke at a pound fifty.

What a prick. We all refused.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 3:36, 18 replies)

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