In my most recent recruiting work, I staffed for a company that shall remain nameless. Not because I'm afraid that they'll sue me, but because I'm embarrassed to have ever been a part of their company. Suffice to say, they made a ton of money being the middle men in a very specific area of sub-prime lending. Their original training was not only unethical, but borderline criminal. I was brought on as a contract recruiter for no more than six weeks, a tolerable length of time. But just like the Hotel California... you can never leave.
Until the FBI shows up.
We had a job opening that was open forever; VP of sales. It was our White Whale. Our in-house recruiting team was having a hard time finding anyone that was dumber than the CEO, but smart enough to do the job. (The CEO freaked out if anyone was smarter than him, so he was pretty freaked all the time.) He got so frustrated that he made our VP of HR hire an outside recruiter, a big hauty corporate guy that talked too loud and smelled a lot like a bar rail. So he brings in all the schmoozers, and they finally pick one that fit the Not-Too-Smart, Not-Too-Dumb part. He and the CEO really hit it off. Sure they did. They were both unethical and liked living off of other people's money.
At this point, I have to tell you that I stayed with this detestable company longer than I wanted to because I was getting pressure from my husband about our mortgage. I wanted to sell the house, but since I started working, I became his Goose and he wanted me to keep laying the Golden Eggs for a home I never saw. This was pretty much the beginning of the end.
Things were always a little weird with the new VP of Sales. He kept using the company credit card on "accident", then would give his assistant cash to go buy money orders to repay the company. He couldn't cash his own payroll checks, rather asked the CEO to cash it for him through his account, which he did, because as I mentioned before... not the sharpest tool in the shed. He would send emails out to his sales force that had obviously been cut and pasted from websites and newsletters as he had not bothered to unlink or make all the fonts the same sizes of color. And when I had to find him an assistant, he couldn't even answer simple questions about what the assistant would be tasked with on a daily basis. He kept saying, "Just get me someone good."
There were so many red flags, but he was smooth and looked sharp in his $2,000 suits.
As a recruiter, I know that you have to come out with all guns blazing to be noticed in the hiring process. As a candidate, I also know that you better be able to back up the B.S. once you get in. This guy could not deliver. Meeting after meeting, the other VPs kept saying, "he's a nice guy, but shouldn't he know more?" Finally, one guy (I liked to call him Mr. Angry) calls a detective friend and within an hour, finds out that this guy didn't even exist. Apparently, the bar rail smelling recruiter (who had long since spent his fee) hadn't bothered to do a background check.
Neither had my boss, the VP of HR. Otherwise known as Cold Heartless Witch.
So Dumb-E-O, Mr. Angry, and Cold Heartless Witch start to look into Mr. Smooth. Turns out he was wanted in Washington for bilking little old ladies out of all their money. Here's the story: After becoming a member of a congregation, he began telling folks that he was a Financial Planner. He made friends with the pastor and offered to give free financial advice seminars to his flock. Not only that, but he would donate a dollar amount per person for everyone that the Good Pastor could get in the door. And just like at the end of all financial planning workshops, there was a special offer. Mr. Smooth would handle all the congregants financial worries for less than the going rate. Beware a cheap deal dressed in expensive wool!! These trusting folks handed him everything. Deeds to their homes. 401ks. Life savings. In return for their trust, he liquidated everything and took off. A few years later, he was sitting in a corner office, over looking San Diego, telling me to get him someone good.
But just like all lies, they eventually come back to haunt you.
In Mr. Smooth's case, it was in the form of an arrest a few feet away from my cubicle. I wasn't actually IN my cubicle when it happened. They had asked the whole team to go in to a meeting room. Once we were there, they told us everything. I started laughing uncontrollably. Someone had finally scammed the scammers! Bahahaha!! The Cold Heartless Witch was caught with her hat down! Needless to say, my coworkers thought I had completely lost it.
We heard some loud talking and a little bit of foot stomping, and then we got to come out. I looked around and wondered how the hell I had ended up there. Surrounded by unethical liars. Talking people into working in an environment that rewarded questionable behavior. Working in gray cubicles in a gray building with gray faces all around. Within weeks, I ended my contract and told my husband I was done laying golden colored rotten eggs.
And then I started blogging.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because my good friend, Meeting Boy is having a little contest and YOU can enter. It's called "The Meety Awards" and is in no way related to the Oscars, so you don't have to go shopping for some hot outfit. However, if you have any Job From Hell stories, you can join in on all the fun. Go to his Tumblr page and throw your hat in the ring! Categories include:
- Pissiest Email
- Best Buck Passing
- Worst Team Building Exercise
- Best Adaptation (Stolen Idea)
- Most Pathetic Atta-Boy in Lieu of Pay Raise
Although I have stories for pretty much each one of the categories, I'm keeping it simple and entering this little beauty in the "Best Lie" category.