toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

August 29, 2012

potatoes in red jackets

Kelly, 28, has worked herself up the ranks to a managerial position, but she is not just any manager. She’s a Potato Manager and has recently changed the color of the company jackets to red -- her favorite color.

"No, I don’t work on a potato farm," laughs Kelly, "I work for a company using the potato management style."

"It’s a style of management that regularly peels, slices, fries, mashes or roasts employees," laughs Kelly. "It also sacks them rather than fires them and requires them to wear jackets."

"As a result of this, employees develop eyes in the back of their heads and carry huge chips on their shoulders."

Kelly claims to have the typical Potato Manager divide and conquer mentality.

"Companies using the potato management style detest and fear unionism in any shape or form," says Kelly, "and I achieve mastery over my staff by setting employee against employee."

"There is a very clear 'them and us' divide between myself and the people I manage," says Kelly, "and I would never deign to socialize with any of them."

Kelly lives in a flashy apartment with her sister, nicknamed Machiavelli, and they are quite a pair!

Kelly has set up a system or favoritism at work whereby those employees willing to spy on their co-workers are given extra pay and privileges.

Kelly’s brown-nosed spuds watch and listen in the workplace and report back to her on everything they saw and heard.

"The ordinary spuds, knowing of the existence of the spies - but not knowing who they are - develop eyes in the back of their heads in order to detect whenever someone is watching them, " laughs Kelly.

"They need this uncanny ability because their jobs are on the line."

"Should they be heard saying anything nasty about me or the company, " says Kelly, "or should they be discovered doing anything not strictly according to the company's Potato Manual, they will be sliced from their team or sacked."

"Basically," says Kelly, "the potato management style treats all workers as expendable and it is quite common in my workplace to mash the whole team when one of the spuds is deemed a threat."

"When sackings occur, they are always full sacks, " laughs Kelly, "and there are always plenty of other spuds willing to replace the ones that got mashed. They're a dime a dozen!"

"Naturally, in this sort of environment, the workers develop huge chips on their shoulders, " says Kelly. "They do not know who to trust and it is very rare for co-workers to befriend each other."

"Illness is quite rife and many employees in a potato management style company develop a green tinge after a while," says Kelly, "and absenteeism due to illness is higher in my workplace than most others."

"If people are chronically sick I find a way to get rid of them," says Kelly. "A sick spud infects the others and we can't have that."

Another weird requirement of the potato management style is for all employees to wear jackets. Many of Kelly’s workers have complained about feeling fried or roasted when they are forced to wear jackets on a hot summer's day, but to no avail.

"If you work for a company run strictly in accordance with the potato management style," says Kelly, "you are expected to look like a potato and that means wearing a jacket - preferably brown or red - although the 'brushed' look jacket looks like it is slowly becoming acceptable."

Kelly changed the company uniform from brown to red recently, and many workers are complaining about that, too. Red is not a color that becomes everyone, but, of course, it becomes Kelly. She looks stunning in red.

While Kelly earns a six-figure salary, the people she manages earn the ridicule of their children not just for their low incomes.

"Stick a little hat on their heads and a pipe in their mouths," laughs Kelly," and they do look very similar to Mr or Ms Potato Head, don't they?"

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