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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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There have been a few stories about insurers which reminded me of this one.

My dad earned bucketloads when I was growing up so there was always the drive to become a big earner. I used to work for a Multi National insurance company specialising in corporate Ex Pat health insurance. I was fresh out of uni and was ready to climb the corporate ladder and earn the big bucks.

As a fresh young "insurance executive" they put me through some training then sent me off with another fresh face to their offices in Redhill, Surrey.

I got picked up by limo (classy long wheel base Merc, not the tacky black Lincoln efforts you see full of screaming hen and stag parties) and taken to the airport.

I was ushered to the first class lounge where my colleague and I enjoyed a complimentary breakfast and drinks and was eventually seated in a comfy first class seat.

Got to Stanstead and was picked up by an identical Merc and taken to head office. I was surrounded by the richest and friendliest people I had ever mingled with. They were all tanned, happy, friendly and drove porsches with the odd Jag thrown in for variety. Wrists were adorned with Rolex, Cartier, IWC. Suits were sharp, chit chat covered holidays which would cost the national average wage.

This was all just a couple of years over the horizon for me.

A few presentations and some meet and greets and it was time to check in at the hotel and freshen up for dinner. My boss picked us up in her 7 series BMW and we raced away to a disgustingly expensive restaurant. I was fucking loving this shit. I got my usual wage plus a hefty per diem (not that I had to put my hand in my pocket once. Whenever a bill arrived there was a flurry of company credit cards to take care of it.) This went on for 3 days. I lapped it up. I had already chosen the colour of my BMW 3 Series coupe.

Some time was spent talking about the odd tough decision that needs to be taken regarding the funding of a clients health care. I figured that most clients were huge organisations and those covered by the policies were usually company big wigs who, if push came to shove, could probably afford to pay for their own health care if we pulled the rug out from under them. It left me feeling slightly uneasy but hey, that's they capitalist way. No?

Anyhoo, on the final day the boss, Therasa, gave us a lift to the airport. On the way she was talking about how, in the wake (pun not intended) of the 2004 boxing day tsunami the company had set up a special hotline for policy holders affected by said event.

Then she told us how they had only received three calls, all of them trivial.

Instantly I replied "Yeah but it was a fantastic PR move".

That was when it happened. I had related to my boss how an event which snuffed out the lives of quarter of a million people had allowed them a minor Public Relations triumph.

I knew it was all sorts of wrong before I had even finished saying it. My boss and colleague couldn't agree enough. Big fucking grins on their faces. I just felt increasingly uncomfortable. That moment in he summer of 2005 will stay with me forever.

I left a week later.

I am a special needs teacher now.

I dont own a BMW 3 series coupe, my watch is an entry level Seiko and my last holiday was a week long trip to Berwick where I stayed in a wee cottage. I am really happy and I dont have to sell my soul to the devil.

In retrospect they were probably in debt up to their expensive haircuts.

(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 23:00, 12 replies)
Good story.
I shall be clicking.
(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 23:23, closed)

So what games did you get up to in your wee cottage? I hear the Tweed is excellent for water-sports. What was the shower made out of? Did you rent it from Mick Turation as I hear he does extremely good rates. Or was it one of U.R O'Philia's?
(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 6:24, closed)

You taking the piss?
(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 13:13, closed)
As much as I'd like to agree, why should they be criticised for agreeing with you? It was a salient comment on your behalf - a move that cost the Company very little, yet gained them significant exposure to the public, exposure that would have cost them a lot of money in the long-run.

That's not a bad thing - they can't do anything to help with the problem to hand, they actually offer something more than their competitors, and you feel bad because they came out of it smelling like roses?

Don't get me wrong - they work for an insurance Company, therefore they automatically lose their rights as human beings, but I don't see why they should be criticised for that one....
(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 14:24, closed)
it was not their dodgy ethics that were the problem
My transformation into one of them was the issue.

I simply did not feel comfortable thinking like that. Hence the career change.

Don't get me wrong. I managed to get involved in shoddy customer service, debt recovery, insurance and even became a paralegal before I started questioning why I kept choosing to earn a crust by being a professional asshole.

They are welcome to their porsches. Doesn't stop me hoping they use them to involve themselves in a high speed collision with lots of fire and ouch. :-)
(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 14:56, closed)
Nice story, have a *click*
Karma credits stacked in your favour
(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 17:30, closed)
So you flew from redhill to stanstead?

(, Thu 14 Jul 2011, 10:28, closed)
not quite
I flew to stanstead and wad the driven to redhill. Lots of motorway then lots of bendy little roads with hedges right at the side.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2011, 14:49, closed)
That's just daft
Redhill is just up the road from Gatwick airport...
(, Thu 14 Jul 2011, 14:57, closed)
you are completely right
Gatwick airport is after all the only airport in the world to have scheduled flights coming in from EVERY SINGLE AIRPORT IN THE WORLD.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2011, 15:02, closed)
Give me a Porsche over a class full of spacker kids any day

(, Thu 14 Jul 2011, 13:05, closed)
not so fast
Although teutonic engineering can be quite entertaining, the "spacker kids" are the gift that keeps giving. One of mine randomly breaks into song with Disney's finest tunework.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2011, 14:59, closed)

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