Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bad Boss Starts Contest, Employees Flee

Want a job?

I bet there's openings at QC Mart.   I also bet you don't want to work there, even if you're down to your last dime and living in a discarded refrigerator box down by the railroad yard,

Turns out he boss, William Ernst of the Iowa-based chain of convenience stores, had a nice little contest for employees, where he encouraged them to guess which coworker would get fired next, according to the Des Moines Register. 

The lucky store clerk who stabbed his co-worker in the back and accurately predicted the firing would win, get this, a whopping $10. Whoopee!!!

Some employees objected to this contest, and quit. All this came to light when one of the employees filed for unemployment, Ernst contested it, and the case went to a judge.

Said Administrative Law Judge, Susan Ackerman, sided with the employee: She said, in part:
"The employer's actions have clearly created a hostile work environment by suggesting its employees turn on each other for a minimal monetary prize," she wrote. "This was an intolerable and detrimental work environment."

Too bad Ackerman is such a killjoy. I imagine her ruling will discourage other employers from creating any more, um, innovative, employee contests.  Imagine the other cruel contests employers could dream up, just to be mean. (That seems to be the American way, in the eyes of a few employers out there)

Maybe a $20 prize for the correct guess as to which co-worker keels over and dies next because they have no insurance.  How about $25 for the person who correctly guesses how many pints of blood another co-worker loses during an accident with faulty equipment.

Here in Vermont, we don't have any QC Marts, so we can't join in the fun of this happy little corporation.  So we'll just have to marvel at the company's unique management style from afar.

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