toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

August 27, 2012

vegetables and gardeners

Winona and her friend Alexandra work for a global corporation that is grooming them for top management positions by paying for their post-graduate management qualifications at a very unusual institution - one that is guaranteed to promote very toxic work environments.

"The graduate management course is a lot different from undergraduate studies," laughs Winona, "and everything they say about mushroom management is not only true but only the half of it!"

"Before accepting that new job, new graduates should ask what sort of vegetable business management style the company has adopted," laughs Winona.

"I'm deadly serious here," says Winona. "Most of us know that the best way to train a husband - or wife, even - is to use a dog training manual, but very few of us know that most business management schools around the world are based on precepts propagated by a little-known institution called Vegetable University."

"You don't believe me?" asks Winona. "Well you'll blush like a beetroot when you recognize your company's real management style."

Everyone is familiar with the mushroom management style, but that is merely the most popular of the many vegetable management styles propagated by Vegetable University.

Winona and Alexandra have conducted extensive research at Vegetable University - incognito of course, disguised as artichokes - and have so far unearthed faculties dealing with the onion management style, the potato management style and the lettuce management style.

"I'm sure there's a carrot faculty somewhere," laughs Winona, "it makes sense that some managers are going to use carrots to get their donkeys moving!"

Vegetable University really is a hothouse of innovation. They have never seen an educational institution quite like it before. The actual buildings are glasshouses and that, believe it or not, is where they say the term 'glass ceiling' came into being.

"You see," explains Winona, "the lecturers at Vegetable University - or Head Gardeners as they prefer to be called - are all men. Naturally, sexism is rampant and while female students are accepted at Vegetable University they rarely achieve honors and bloom into full-scale gardeners. They are often derogatorily referred to as 'thrips'."

It is one of the given laws at Vegetable University that the best managers - like the best gardeners and cooks, if it comes to that - are male. So, in order for a female student to excel in one or other of the vegetable management styles she must necessarily be a bit of a hybrid.

So where is this Vegetable University?

Unfortunately, Winona cannot divulge that information right now. She is already risking being turned into a tossed salad by passing on all of this secret information, and she wants to gain as much information and evidence as she can before fully exposing the place.

What Winona can tell the world is that the place has a pungent odor and that there is a lot of graft going on there.

"Our employer expended a small fortune getting us into Vegetable University," says Winona, "but every juicy snippet of information we've picked up has required greasing the calloused palm of one of the Faculty Gardeners."

The purpose of Vegetable University is, of course, to turn out great gardeners or vegetable managers.

The basic precept of Vegetable University, according to Winona, is that there are two types of people. Gardeners and vegetables. Managers and workers

"There are as many varieties of vegetables as there are gardeners," explains Winona. "Vegetable University assesses what type of gardener you are, and places you in the appropriate faculty where you learn how to perfect your management skills."

Winona was placed in the Onion Faculty and Alexandra ended up with the potatoes.

Graduates of Vegetable University gain exclusive management positions immediately they hit the corporate world, or they become academics at one of the various business management schools around the world and thereby propagate the precepts they learned at Vegetable University.

Winona is very concerned about the way graduate management students are taught to manage people, but since every company is run on a certain type of vegetable management style she sees it as in our best interests to be hired by one that suits us.

"And, if you don't fancy being treated like a vegetable," laughs Winona. "then look at your thumbs. Are they green enough for you to become a Gardener?"

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