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I Would Walk 500 Miles Just To Screw The Jerks I’m Working For

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: gaarmstrong318 | December 10, 2020

I work for a phone network in the UK in the late 2000s as a shop salesman.

The company has a problem with declining sales, so, along with a string of other draconian measures, they insist that if you miss any one of your twenty-one key targets each month, you have to travel to wherever your area manager is and explain in person why you failed and how you will correct this for next month. If you don’t, they start disciplinary proceedings.

A lot of us on the staff realise the colossal mistake they made in the wording. First off, we can choose when to travel to them, and by law, the company has to pay for it. They even say they will pay travel and “other expenses” in the announcement and link to the government website stating the requirement.

Cue malicious compliance!

I have taken a new role in a different industry and am on my three-month notice. This new policy comes into effect in the first of the three months, and a while later, I miss one of my targets (for amount of accessories sold) by 2%. So, I get the summons to see the area manager.

I am informed that there will be a meeting of area managers held in Aberdeen — the far north of Scotland — in two weeks, so I schedule my meeting with him accordingly.

I live and work near the other end of the country, so I use the company system to book my travel, and due to the journey times — nine hours each way — I have to book a hotel for two nights. I also opt to pay the optional £50 to upgrade all my bookings — first-class rail ticket and a four-star hotel instead of a budget option.

On Monday, I travel up and stay overnight. Tuesday afternoon, we have my fifteen-minute meeting.

Area Manager: “So, why are you here?”

Me: “I missed my target for sales of accessories by 2%.”

Area Manager: “How do you plan to correct this so that we don’t have to start a formal disciplinary?”

Me: “I don’t.”

Area Manager:I beg your pardon?!

Me: “I have no intention of making a huge effort to sell £4 more stuff. I officially leave the company in three weeks.”

Area Manager: *Turning red with anger* “What the h*** are you doing here, then? Why have you even bothered?”

Me: “Well, I need a good reference, so I’m following all the rules.”

I also showed him how much they had paid to send me up there. Train tickets were close to £800, and the hotel was around £400 for two nights. So, they spent close to £1200 to send me most of the way up the country to tell the manager I was leaving. Oh, and they also paid me for three full days of work to attend this meeting, since it was on company time.

Coworkers told me later that they also did similar tricks and it basically cost the company tens of thousands of pounds to send staff here there and everywhere to these meetings. It also caused a huge turnover in staff who had just had enough with all the garbage. Around three months after I left, I heard that they stopped doing this as the cost was astronomical, and the amount of staff downtime was also astronomical.

The company has slowly learned their lesson, mainly through replacing most of the top brass with people who have a clear idea of what they are doing. But that was the best trip I ever had to Scotland!

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