Stupid Stuff My Company Does

Red Dog

Perpetual Student of Life
Supporting Member
Jan 12, 2019
264
Iowa, Trenton's Tiki Hut
Ever have a moment at the place you work that makes you go "WTFO"?

I'm lucky(?) enough to work at a place where I have those moments at least weekly if not sometimes daily. I simply cannot fathom what, if anything, goes on inside the heads of our management in regards to the process of assigning priorities and/or making decisions. Just a few things I can think of from the past that make me shake my head:

  1. Despite being told by other companies we have contracts with, it took 16 years and almost a lawsuit to install weather resistant additions to some of our main equipment. Before this we were expected to use "volunteers" to go onto our non-OSHA approved roof and remedy weather issues the best they could.
  2. Over the past 10 years there has been an increase in violence against people in our field of business. Yet we continue to send people out alone, defenseless, usually in the dark, to remote areas, and usually some of the smallest sized people you've ever seen.
  3. Equipment in the area that is most critical to our product is often denied replacement and/or replacement can only be used/off of eBay in order to make sure we have funds to keep things looking nice... but if the needed equipment isn't replaced no one is going to be able to see our product to begin with.
  4. People are often denied going to professionally offered refresher/improvement/misc courses so that we can have consultants review our products monthly.
What boggles my mind the most is what happened last week, wasn't corrected, and happened tonight. We have a fleet of over a dozen vehicles and apparently my personally owned jumper cables are the only ones anyone has access to. Seriously, as much of our fleet I had to jump last week and being located in Iowa where cold is standard issue during the winters I can actually feel the gears inside my brain (OK, hyperbole) lock up trying to figure out why no one else has ever said "gee, maybe we should make sure as part of the fleets BII (basic issue items) every vehicle has its own set of jumper cables?"

Granted I'm seen as "just a pee-on" (actual quote from last year around this time), but who ignores basic stuff like that? I just don't get it.

So I'm curious, any of you reading this feel like sharing questionable things you see at your place of employment? If so, keep in mind in this day and age negative comments about employers if mentioned by name can be seen as fire-able offenses so please don't use your employers' names.
 
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cliffish

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Oct 22, 2017
2,597
St James, NY, United States
my wife works for a regional hmo/health insurance provider...she worked for 2 years to land a huge contract (added 220,000 members) and they forcasted a loss of $4,000,000 the first year when the contract was signed. They actually lost $9,000,000 that year, stilled paid out 6 figure commissions to at least 6 people involved in the sale. The next year they were trying to sell a state college with a built in loss of $2,000,000 in it? They reported they lost 2.2 Billion over a 4 year period, yet they still maintained sky boxes in NYC to the tune of $2.4 mill + cost of food/beverage for each event (anywhere from $1500 - $3k per)
 
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Red Dog

Red Dog

Perpetual Student of Life
Supporting Member
Jan 12, 2019
264
Iowa, Trenton's Tiki Hut
my wife works for a regional hmo/health insurance provider...she worked for 2 years to land a huge contract (added 220,000 members) and they forcasted a loss of $4,000,000 the first year when the contract was signed. They actually lost $9,000,000 that year, stilled paid out 6 figure commissions to at least 6 people involved in the sale. The next year they were trying to sell a state college with a built in loss of $2,000,000 in it? They reported they lost 2.2 Billion over a 4 year period, yet they still maintained sky boxes in NYC to the tune of $2.4 mill + cost of food/beverage for each event (anywhere from $1500 - $3k per)
Wow. Just... wow. Wonder if they get a tax write-off for some/most/all that loss?
 

cliffish

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2017
2,597
St James, NY, United States
I also wonder if some creative accounting is going on. But there is no denying the spending, example last holiday wife's boss takes her and the team out for holiday dinner (his gift??) 8 people in a NYC steak house...first thing he orders is a $600 seafood tower appetizer. When all said and done with drinks bill comes to $2300, now he knows his direct boss won't approve it so he has my wife charge it because HE is the one who approves her expenses.
 

mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
4,436
Quail Valley, CA
my wife works for a regional hmo/health insurance provider...she worked for 2 years to land a huge contract (added 220,000 members) and they forcasted a loss of $4,000,000 the first year when the contract was signed. They actually lost $9,000,000 that year, stilled paid out 6 figure commissions to at least 6 people involved in the sale. The next year they were trying to sell a state college with a built in loss of $2,000,000 in it? They reported they lost 2.2 Billion over a 4 year period, yet they still maintained sky boxes in NYC to the tune of $2.4 mill + cost of food/beverage for each event (anywhere from $1500 - $3k per)
I know a company that generated a contract with a small store. The small store negotiated discounts based on a volume amount that the company estimated were impossible to ever achieve since the store would have to increase in size and or sales by a factor of 50 times or so. The volume discounts net a zero profit with a loss of around 10% or so. The store bought out another small local store, bought a few more in the area, bought some in the next state, got the internet thing going, bought a few more and the original impossible sales numbers are now monthly.

They lose money with every sale, the store uses its discount to beat up other authorized dealers, and it is generally cheaper to buy from the store than the company even though you are set up direct. Be careful what you wish for.
 
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tworley

TJ Addict
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Ride of the Month Winner
May 23, 2018
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Morrison, CO
We buy regular cab, 2wd pickups. My time in the field is just that, out in the field. I can find myself in very remote areas. I use my jeep as much as I can, but the gov't rate on mileage I basically break even when using my own rig. Other times I try to rent a 4x4. Another mild compliant are our "Client Development" strategies. They tend to use the term "business development blitz", which is exactly how it sounds. There are times where we will have 6 members from a department go on a lunch with a client. 6 on 1 doesnt sound fun in my opinion, there are also a lot of cold calls happening trying to drum up work. Ive found that method does not work for me.

I do get to explore some neat country though...

76411

76412
76413
76414
 

Mike_H

Rust Belt Heavyweight
Supporting Member
Feb 28, 2017
4,129
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
I know a company that generated a contract with a small store. The small store negotiated discounts based on a volume amount that the company estimated were impossible to ever achieve since the store would have to increase in size and or sales by a factor of 50 times or so. The volume discounts net a zero profit with a loss of around 10% or so. The store bought out another small local store, bought a few more in the area, bought some in the next state, got the internet thing going, bought a few more and the original impossible sales numbers are now monthly.

They lose money with every sale, the store uses its discount to beat up other authorized dealers, and it is generally cheaper to buy from the store than the company even though you are set up direct. Be careful what you wish for.
We do some volume based discounts, but they are always in the form of rebates...I.E. if you hit this much in revenue with us, we'll send you back a check for XXX. That way, we don't lose on the front side, we don't pay as much in taxes (the rebate comes out of profit) and the customer gets the price they are after.

I'd like to say that is a result of savvy business sense, but unfortunately, we were burned similar to the vendor in your example. We quoted a price based on volumes...customer agreed to highest volume and lowest price, then never actually purchased to that level but we were selling at that lowest price by contract. The management here at the time (10+ years ago) didn't write or read that contract properly either...
 
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Daveh370

Member
May 25, 2017
46
Manchester, CT
I find it sad (and amusing) the statement "good enough for government work" meant very high standards when the phrase was coined in the WW2 era. I wish it meant that now.
I frequently remind co-workers, especially when getting on the elevators, that the government now gets everything from the lowest bidder.
 
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cliffish

TJ Addict
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Oct 22, 2017
2,597
St James, NY, United States
I frequently remind co-workers, especially when getting on the elevators, that the government now gets everything from the lowest bidder.
I see that all the time when I bid on school district printing, they bitch and complain about the last guy missing the deadline, bad color, wrong paper stock then they say my price is too high!
 

zebra12

2005 Unlimited Rubicon auto
Supporting Member
Apr 9, 2018
680
Corvallis, OR, USA
I frequently remind co-workers, especially when getting on the elevators, that the government now gets everything from the lowest bidder.
Once I was in an elevator in the federal building in San Francisco, and it slipped/fell one floor. That left a mark - in my shorts.
 

Rob5589

Certified video trained differential rebuilder
Supporting Member
Aug 29, 2016
6,183
W Sacramento, Kalifornia
The ambulance company I work for "browns out" (Does not staff) several units a day in order to save money. So the rest of us get run into the ground and people wait 20+ minutes for an ambulance that is contractually obligated to be there in 11 minutes or less. Last week there were response times in the 30 to 60 minutes range. But they say money isn't a driving factor, patient care is :unsure:
 
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mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
4,436
Quail Valley, CA
The ambulance company I work for "browns out" (Does not staff) several units a day in order to save money. So the rest of us get run into the ground and people wait 20+ minutes for an ambulance that is contractually obligated to be there in 11 minutes or less. Last week there were response times in the 30 to 60 minutes range. But they say money isn't a driving factor, patient care is :unsure:
Most of the desirable areas to contract for in SoCal are put out to a RFP process and the number one criteria used to select a company is response times. Since the prices are fixed for all levels of transport, you can't get a city by undercutting price, you have to up equipment levels, show good average response times and then find other ways to show you are the better company including what locations will be staffed and when. The nuts and bolts of the contract are binding and everyone sues everyone for any breach. Note the use of the word desirable. Many cities like Santa Ana, areas in the Inland Empire and others have a customer bill collection rate that is very low so no one responds to RFPs in those areas and they wind up with city supplied services.
 

mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
4,436
Quail Valley, CA
That is interesting, in New York City the Fire/EMS are all city employees but out here on Long Island it is all volunteer, each town having their own fire/ems.
Our ambulance services are basically gloried taxis. They meet the Paramedics from the various fire departments on scene and then they ride in the back with the patient. The EMT's on the unit assist with loading and unloading the patient and drive. Everything else for the most part is handled by the Paramedics.
 

Rob5589

Certified video trained differential rebuilder
Supporting Member
Aug 29, 2016
6,183
W Sacramento, Kalifornia
That is interesting, in New York City the Fire/EMS are all city employees but out here on Long Island it is all volunteer, each town having their own fire/ems.
Our ambulance services are basically gloried taxis. They meet the Paramedics from the various fire departments on scene and then they ride in the back with the patient. The EMT's on the unit assist with loading and unloading the patient and drive. Everything else for the most part is handled by the Paramedics.
Depends on the system in place. Our 911 system is run by a private company, the fire dept has paramedics on the engines/trucks but they rarely ride in the ambulance. Where I am at, we do all the transporting and I am in back with every patient.
 

zebra12

2005 Unlimited Rubicon auto
Supporting Member
Apr 9, 2018
680
Corvallis, OR, USA
I see that all the time when I bid on school district printing, they bitch and complain about the last guy missing the deadline, bad color, wrong paper stock then they say my price is too high!
Once we bought lowest bidder paper that was so cheap you could not use it for photocopying.