Wtf, corporate America…


This, alas, is a real photo. I know that because it came from someone that I know, from a place where I used to work way back in the day. So this is what it’s come down to? Corporate America just outright mocking its employees? I’m almost at a loss for words. I’ve always realized that the employees in any corporation below a certain level are just nameless, faceless cogs in the machine. Fine, whatever. But this is something wholly different.

The department got the not-so-coveted “plunger award” because they suck. That’s literally the message that this “award” conveys. And it’s displayed publicly for all the customers to see.

Never mind the fact that customer service surveys are a load of crap, because the only people who actually fill them out are the few outliers that are angry enough to spend the time doing so. It’s one thing to hold workers at any place of employment accountable for the job that they do. But when did it become okay to shame and humiliate your employees into doing a better job? What the hell kind of business model is that? Telling people that they’re shitty at their job, even if it’s using a toilet metaphor, is just downright mean, no matter how true it may be.

And even if it is true, being so callous and cruel about it isn’t necessary. Even if you did have a department full of employees who couldn’t or wouldn’t do their job, how about maintaining a level of professionalism? Why not just call the employees into a meeting and brainstorm ways they could improve, help them set goals, etc? Wouldn’t that do more to solve the problem than to publicly display a sign that says that your employees do a shitty job?

I just don’t get this “award.” It’s demotivating, it’s unprofessional, and it’s degrading. I haven’t shopped at this place in years, but you can be damn sure I definitely never will again if this is how they’re treating their employees now.


One thought on “Wtf, corporate America…

  1. Depends on your perspective. This sort of thing makes a lot more sense if you believe that everyone is fully, totally responsible for their actions (and the results of those actions) – therefore if the measurement of success is clear and they fail, then the only ones responsible are themselves – punishment/shaming is then a reasonable response. You see this sort of approach around a lot, from old-school educators, to right-wing governments (‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps, lazy unemployed slackers’), to many families (the ‘strict father’ model).

    Of course, as you rightly observe, this mode of thinking is heavily flawed and so simply doesn’t work. Leaving aside the debate about free will existing or not, what is undeniable is that the vast majority of a person’s life is out of thier control – perfect case in point here is that very few people ever fills out a positive customer feedback form.

    If you then punish this team with no consideration for their control over the situation, you will naturally demotivate them because how could they possibly ever improve?

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