IT Employment

Corporate policies: The best and the worst


Liz Ryan, in her column for BusinessWeek, keeps a list of the best and worst corporate policies that she has encountered while being a consultant. This month, she added referral bonus programs to her list of Best Corporate Policies and anti-moonlighting policies to her list of Worst Corporate Policies.


We've all seen some bad policies in action -- like ultra-strict dress codes -- and some policies, like non-competes, that could be construed as bad. I've encountered policies so obscure and random that they read like some of those old state laws that have been on the books for decades. Take, for example, this one from my beloved home state: It is illegal for a woman to appear in a bathing suit on a highway unless she is a) escorted by at least two police officers, b) armed with a club, or c) lighter than 90 pounds or more than 200 pounds. Makes you wonder what the precedent for THAT one was.

One company I worked for boasted a casual dress policy until some woman stepped over the line and wore a top that bared her shoulders. Not quite a tube top, but frighteningly close enough. I am serious. At that point, the policy had to get much more specific, and much more weird.

Let's have some fun here. What is the worst corporate policy you've ever been exposed to?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

209 comments
Freedom77
Freedom77

Toni, Here's a bad corporate policy from Michaels craft store and a lesson on how to drive away your customers. If you make a cash purchase from Michaels and then have to return it with the receipt to get a refund, you will have to present your drivers license, passport or military ID (I'm not sure about this 3rd ID alternative) before they will return your cash. I encountered such a situation a few days ago and since I have been the victim of identify theft on two occassions, I don't supply my private information unless it is absolutely necessary. I've been told by several Michael's staff that they have a Corporate Policy that all returns will require the above information. Even when the original purchase was done in cash and you have the receipt. So, if you purchase something from Michaels with cash and that item is defective and they don't have another item in stock when you try to return it (with the receipt) and you are unwilling to divulge private information, you are just stuck. In that case you will be out the cash you spent at Michaels and have nothing in value for your expenditure. I've tried to resolve an issue like the above both with the local store manager and with their Customer Care Team and it was all to no avail. Unfortunately, that Policy prohibits them from returning the cash purchase price to a customer that wants to prevent further exposure to identity theft. Although I don't believe they intend to actually steal from their customers, that is the effect of that policy. They took my money for what turned out to be a defective product and refused to provide a cash refund without my presenting them with information they have no legitimate right to (or even need). After all, they didn't require my private information before they were willing to take my cash when I made the purchase. On a positive note, they always have an awesome collection of everything needed for craft projects. And their staff are always helpful. It's a shame a misguided Corporate Policy would alienate customers this way. So buyer beware if you're sensitive about giving out your private information. You could lose your cash and have nothing of value to show for it when purchasing at Michaels.

reisen55
reisen55

Of all the crimes business can commit in regard to employee morale and specifically our area of expertise, the mania to outsource talented staff out of the company ( reduction in force ) to be replaced by (usually ) staff half a world away (i.e. Bangalore) is madness. Back office operations are not exempt either: accounting, payroll, etc. When these critical centers are hit - then the entire firm is affected in an adverse way. When will we stop this madness to be cheap?

raybailey
raybailey

Owner of private company brings his dog to work: a nice spaniel. He roams from cube to cube looking for handouts. We all enjoyed until until he needed to go out and nobody paid any attention. He would dump on the carpet and the whole area smelled like S***. The employees closest to the mess ended up cleaning up because they could'nt wait for the maintenance crew to get there. The owner liked dogs so much, he started inviting people to bring their own dogs on Fridays! Now we had dog fights in the hallways, great Danes looking over your shoulder, little pip-squeaks underfoot, hair, piss and shit on the carpets, and barking outside meeting rooms where you were trying to talk to vendors or customers! I have since left the company, but wonder if that nonsense is still going on. Oh to work in a private company with an eccentric owner!

raybailey
raybailey

Company policy was if somebody was laid-off, HR got them and walked them to the door. No notice to boss or otherwise. I arrived back at my desk and found one of my techs had been laid off, walked to the door and gone! He had been repairing a critical production database. Now the database is useless, I have no idea what he was doing, and production manager is screaming! The final result was I called my boss, who called his boss, then I tracked down the tech, hiring him back for a week at 3X his normal rate, just to finish out the repair job. End result: Cost the company about $80,000 in lost production time. Owner of the company reamed out the HR people and set new policy that made sure supervisors and managers got a heads up first!

adrian
adrian

I used to work at a place (as a full time employee not contract) that had scheduled breaks. You were expected to only visit the restroom during your scheduled breaks. If you "had" to take an unscheduled restroom break you were suppossed to get it pre-approved by a supervisor (if you could find one), if you did not get it approved and and went to the restroom anyways (and were caught) it would be recorded as tardy/late in the attendance records for that day. They had other stupid policies, but that was my favorite.

SkatingZebra
SkatingZebra

I worked for a boss who had a "random acts of kindness" thing that he liked to do. He would walk in on a Friday just before noon and take us all out to lunch, then give us the rest of the day off, things like that. After several weeks of working evenings and weekends to get a project finished he got senior management to add an extra two weeks of vacation time to all of our accounts. There were several major network outages and equipment failures no one outside of our department ever heard or knew about because we were all very conscientious (sp?) about our jobs due to this particular manager's attitude. We wanted to protect him as much as possible, so we made sure everything was working all the time. If there was ever a problem (such as the aformentioned outages) we'd all jump in as a team and fix the issue as quickly as possible.

beechC23
beechC23

Here was my personal favourite. I was in middle management. I had signed off a time sheet for an employee (good old days of paper, but not so long ago, maybe 10 years). She was pregnant and had been absent for an OB appointment. I put the wrong absence code on the time sheet, and HR raked me over the coals for it. They said "in the policy manual, it says you must use this code not the one you used...". I had been in MM for several years and this was the first I heard of the policy manual. I mentioned that I thought maybe they forgot to give me a copy, so I asked for one. They replied "oh we don't hand out policy manuals at your level of management...you have to ask your boss (technical director) when you have a policy question". Umm, let's see...I am to follow a policy...but I'm not allowed to look it up for myself. My boss was a pretty cool guy and agreed he didn't necessarily want to be called each time an obscure policy question came up. So after much fighting and gnashing of teeth, department managers like this writer, were equipped with policy manuals. So the policy of not divulging the policies was finally abolished. It was a very dilbertian moment...but sanity finally prevailed.

Tell It Like I See It
Tell It Like I See It

I worked at a company that ran software in a service bureau (mainframe) type environment. They'd put software patches and upgrades in place every month. They referred to this as a "crossover". At one point management came up with the brilliant idea that nobody would be allowed to take vacation time during the two weeks leading up to a crossover nor for the two weeks after a crossover. So, just exactly WHEN were people supposed to take vacation????

dean.owen
dean.owen

In some organizations there seems to be two policies - one for the staff and another for senior execs. What about: leadership by example?

rbull11
rbull11

Many years ago, I worked for a large aerospace company that put on a big enforcement campaign for salaried employees, reminding them that office hours were 8:00 AM to 4:42 PM, less lunch time (the result of some union contract, I guess). As an overworked systems programmer, I usually left around 6PM (unpaid overtime included frequent troubleshooting hours in the middle of the night), so didn't feel bad about coming in anywhere from 8:00 to 8:15. When my pointy-haired boss lectured me about the necessity for all staff to keep the standard office hours, I got down on my knees and begged "Please?". He thought about it a bit, then said "You're exempt".

rbull11
rbull11

Some years ago, one of my lady friends worked for a small software house in la-la-land for a while. They had a very strict dress code on visitor's day, once a week: shoes and clean T-shirts required!

rbarker
rbarker

I worked in an office where someone had burned popcorn in the microwave. On my first day I was presented with a "No microwave popcorn allowed" policy.

R3D
R3D

For a short stint, CCMail wokers moved into a wing of the IBM Global Services building in Mountain View, (this site no longer exists currently). IBM-GS was a small off-shoot of the San Jose Campus and had their own autonomy, per se. Needless to say, the IBMers were staunch and required appropriate dress code for the site as they had high profile clients visit from time to time. I couldn't even wear shorts on a hot day, unless it was Friday, and asked in advance. Nor could I wear jeans until I finally told them I would not subject my slacks to the wear and tear of crawling under desks, unless they financed, in part, their replacement. So, you now have an idea of what IBM-GS is like, the other side of the fence was CCMail, and it's employees at the time. These guys were cool, wore sandals, shorts, pooka shells (hippy-ish? heheh), sunglasses, brought in thier children from time to time, played music that could easily be heard from the hallways, and generally had a good time at work. One time I stopped by the office sliver window before I entered, as I had systems to repair in that particular office, and noticed a woman breastfeeding her baby. She made no effort to cover herself, and when I knocked, she said, "come in", and still had not covered herself. I was only mildly embarassed, but the situation was made more complex by one of my managers choosing that particular time to confront me just inside the office regarding an earlier issue. As he was trying to tell me the importance of his issue, he noticed the woman, stopped mid-sentence and replied, (to no one in particular), "you gotta be ****ing kidding me...", put his hand to his head and silently shook it while walking away. The woman heard him and asked what the big deal was, I tried to explain their position on dress code and conduct, gave up, and just said I would return later to fix the system. I was not really embarassed about the woman breast feeding, but knowing the culture of IBM, I felt embarassed for my manager as he had to report and deal with the issue, as well as take it up with the managers of the CCMail group. We had a laugh about it later though... My manager seemed much more lenient regarding minor issues of dress code from then on. I guess he felt IBM-GS could never be as oblivious to the dress code as CCMail employees seemed to be, at the time. I still envied CCMailers a little, lol... Note: The MV,CA site is gone and integrated with San Jose plant site. CCMail was dissolved afaik, and neither are around today. Besides, no names were mentioned, nor will I mention names aside from my own.

rbull11
rbull11

Scott Adams has spent many years chronicling the absurdities of office life, (Scott used to work in IT for a large, long since bought out telephone company on the West Coast). Of course, a number of companies banned the posting of Dilbert comic strips in the office as subversive, or disruptive, or . . .

sbmknight
sbmknight

years ago, I worked at a large insurance company with home offices around the country. Apparently, an employee in the group life division was embezzling funds, and got away with it for who knows how long by never taking more than 1 day off at a time, so no one ever had to cover for him and discover what he was doing. When the company found out, they instituted a policy mandating that all employees must use 5 of their 10 annual vacation days all in one week, even those whose jobs wouldn't give them an opportunity to embezzle. The policy was both punitive to the rest of the employees and disruptive of my department's work process. ...and don't even get me started about their ridiculous dress code.

djj55
djj55

We have so many polilcies covering every thing from attendance to cell phones that you have a week of orientation to learn most of it.

RTSS
RTSS

When I read the article and began to read some of the comments here I was ready to post my opinions of dastardly company policies I've had to put up with! Problem is when I read all the comments I realized....wow....maybe our company policies aren't really that unreasonable or stupid. I guess stupidity like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Come to think of it....my company execs aren't always top heavy on beauty.....

mvinquist
mvinquist

My huge employer had a zero-tolerance policy on personal email. A NYC network troubleshooter got sent to the Arizona office for a one-day project. His return flight was cancelled, and he sent an email to his wife saying he would be on another one. They fired him.

ismith
ismith

I worked for a company about ten years ago that re-decorated the office with new cubicles. First of all, the new cubes were specifically created to be high enough so we couldn't converse over them. The old setup had walls between the cubes that were low enough so that anybody but an extremely height-challenged individual could stand up and talk to his neighbor. Why they wanted to stop that, I can't understand because 90% of the conversations were about the code we were working on. We were told exactly what we could and couldn't have on our desks. We were no longer allowed to take meals at our desks, etc. The last straw came when they sent around a memo stating that push pins used to post things on our bulletin boards were to be only certain colors. It's been a long time, but I believe the colors were pink, pale green, and gray. Why? So the colors would coordinate with the partitions. Of course, this was also a place where the manager had a habit of sneaking up and down the aisle outside the cubicles and trying to eavesdrop on the programmers' conversations or peek into the cubicle and catch the person on the Internet during business hours. Talk about paranoid!

bvolpone
bvolpone

I work for a company that owns a nursing home. The home was having a Hawaiian theme activity once. On the instructions for the employees, it was specifically stated "No coconut bras". Wouldn't that be painful anyway?

dokai
dokai

I was working as a first level manager at a large IT corporation. Security decided that we could no longer have pictures of our children/family on our desks because someone might decide to kidnap a member of our family and use them to coerce us to betray company secrets. (And this was before the days of "24", so they couldn't have been confusing themselves with Jack Bauer. It wasn't even in the government or military side of the corporation. We were building websites.) Managers had offices that could be locked, and were therefore exempt as long as the door was kept locked and the pictures weren't visible from the office's floor-to-ceiling interior glass wall. Security personnel were witnessed lying on the floor in the hallway to see if they could spot anything illegal from that angle. One of my colleagues printed a large poster stating "F*** YOU SECURITY!" and taped it to the underside of a table that was against his glass wall. I understand that most of the security people thought it was funny, as they realized that it was a stupid policy even though they had to enforce it. What idiot thought THAT policy was a good idea?

AstroCreep
AstroCreep

I think I may have a winner. I work for a rather blue-collar company with a manufacturing plant. Due to frequent call-offs and late-starts, the HR department enacted a 'Point System'. This point system dictates the following: -if you call off and have no sick or vacation time to cover it, you get a full point -if you show up to work more than 10 minutes late, you get a point -if you show up late by 1-10 minutes, you get a half-point -If you amass 10 or more points, you're terminated So someone who may end up coming in about 5 minutes late fairly regularly (which I don't feel is a big deal), you're gonna be terminated when you hit 20 late starts. Suck.

lisa_busto
lisa_busto

I would love to work at a company that allows dogs at work, please divulge the name!

tuomo
tuomo

Yeah, these are the most stupid things the companies do. I used to work for a large hardware company which had a huge layout, in itself normal in this business. But I can't even count how many people in critical phases were let go! One of worst decision was, over two years work on new OS and the liaison person was one of them - less than month before release? Well - 10K customers had to wait that OS one more year because she was the only one who really knew all the peaces, schedules, test plans, documents, customer schedules, etc. They tried to hire her back and she refused. Shortly after this big company was taken over for other reasons but I think that the whole mess was part of it. Another - I was visiting a main vendor in CA and their front desk lady was very nice. I learned that she was fluent in 16 languages, well married but just did like that work. Unfortunately, one VP didn't like when she refused to leave the desk and bring him coffee so he got her fired or actually she left after being yelled by HR. Ouch - people calling all over the world from Japan, France, Dubai, China, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Spain, etc, used to talk their own language and now the company can't find anybody who could (or would?) Also in this case they tried to hire her back, sorry, no way, the fun of that job was gone. That was a big mess, really unhappy customers a long time and I did learn later some multi-million contracts were canceled when the customers learned what happened, customers talk to each other! Yeah - reality in office is often(?) stranger than fiction. And I don't know what happened to VP, probably got a promotion?

MadDogDBA
MadDogDBA

here here!!! We had one person, who consistently burnt his popcorn (for months) despite people actually developing a chart of microwave times for various brands and sizes. The smell was so nauseating to me that I physically threaten him with bodily harm if he burnt his popcorn just one more time. Everyone in the cubicles that heard me threatened him stood up and applauded.

fractalzoom
fractalzoom

I have to laugh at this one. I have for a long time secretly wanted to ban microwave popcorn in the office, not only because it sometimes gets burned, but also because the aroma is so pervasive. If one person makes popcorn, everyone in the area is having popcorn whether they want it or not. I realize that the idea is more the punchline to a joke than it is a reasonable, practical or enforceable policy, and would never actually implement such a policy. But a guy can dream... :-)

tony.moir
tony.moir

An HR person once told me that the reason that they banned the posting of Dilbert specifically was that sometimes it hit too close to home, and people would take it personally. I thought that absurd, like if somebody called up Scott Adams and asked him to put their specific situation into the strip, and then posted it. However, she said that in her company's case, what happened was that they would post the strips, and then label the pointy haired boss as their boss, themselves as Dilbert, and a co-worker as Wally, etc. She no longer works there, but she was there at the meeting where they created the policy and she said it was because of hurt feelings and complaints on the part of some of the employees. I suppose it made sense. Btw, I got her a Catbert for her birthday and she proudly sits it on top of her monitor on her desk.

fsinger
fsinger

It has been common practice at banks for employees to be forced to take two consecutive weeks vacation at least once a year. The theory is that any embezzlement will come to the surface in that time. But old Joe (nice guy) kept coming in during his vacation to "see how things are going". Turns out he had several fictitious loans he was tracking - making sure nobody called the fake phone numbers, etc. He finally slipped up and was off one day when one of his loans went delinquent and someone tried to call. After that it only took a short time for the house of cards to crumble around him. I think banking law requires employees who handle cash to take two weeks at a time.

gerberb58
gerberb58

Hell, I would have quit ON THE SPOT!

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

Only they can have such anal policies about personal email. I'd sue the company for everything it was worth on the grounds of wrongful termination. Their reason for termination borders on insanity if you ask me.

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

Please tell me the name of that company so that I will not make the mistake of ever doing business with them. Thanks.

porterbyte
porterbyte

That policy is hilarious. Although I don't appreciate the mass display of personal crap that I often have to move myself to work on a pc, I do believe that family photos are a nice reminder of life after work. And there's nothing like elementary art work!

MadDogDBA
MadDogDBA

Really? Like this morning, my daughter and I had an 8 o'clock appointment, and the personnel in this particular section started wandering in at 8:10. The person whom we had an appointment came in at 8:15. Tardiness may be a bad habit that needs to be broken, but it is also a lack of respect for the job ans/or client. The 1-9 minutes should be a full point too.

SAPbrick
SAPbrick

Wal-Mart, and some other companies, actually penalize employees if they DON'T take their scheduled breaks. I know of a guy who's wife missed 3 of her breaks. If she misses one more she's gone.

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

Point system? What is this the friggin boy scout camp? Somebody in charge needs a major wakeup call!

michaellashinsky
michaellashinsky

I have worked with stupid people, lazy people, stupid and lazy people, incompetent people, and people that would not do anything extra if their lives depended on it. They are able to keep their jobs for years. They show up on time, every day, and do not make a spectacle of themselves. They are moderately successful.

don
don

I can see a reason for policies regarding getting to work on time, like an assembly line where it costs xxx dollars to run a machine and any downtime costs. But, for most jobs, 8 hours is 8 hours, come in late, leave late. Glad I work were I do, where my starting time is anywhere from 7am to 10am and my quitting time is anywhere from 3pm to , well midnight if needed, but usually 6. There are times when I have to be in, for meetings etc., but for normal day to day, coming in right at xx:00:00 and 0 msec is not critical.

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

Yes my Indian and Asian coworkers...I'm talking about you and how you stink up the office with your ethnic foods. You know who you are and how the rest of us have to wrinkle our noses in disgust at the odor coming from the pantry!

xwarzbek
xwarzbek

Jerome Kerviel, famous French trader. ?4.9 billion famous. "Never had time" for a real vacation. Learned from working in the back room operations supposedly before being sent to the Delta desk. I'd worry if a trader and someone in IT took identical time off with a lot of trades getting unwound just before they left. Managing around vacations is PM 101. A week off you can plan with, a "day here or there" kills your ability to know when things might finish. Unless your project is a "death March" anyway.

ismith
ismith

No, it's not in New York City but about 90 minutes northwest. However, I ran into a friend of mine who still works there and she said that things haven't changed. The only reason she's still there is that she works for the IT guy instead of in software development.

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

and even if you did work through lunch, you could not bill for a full 8 hour day. Talk about nickel and diming us consultants...geez! Such places scream "we are cheap bastards" and even want consultants to clock themselves in to make sure they are truly working a full 7 hour day (1 hour for unbilled lunch). This is rediculous..heaven forbid I leave 2 minutes early or start 30 seconds late. Also, who in the hell needs a whole hour to have lunch? I bring in a sandwich which at most takes me no more than 15 minutes to consume, not an entire hour. What am I consuming an entire side of beef that I need an hour for lunch? Also, what if I decide to not eat lunch and work through the entire 8 hour day? Sorry, their idiotic policy will only pay for 7 hours, yet expects one to be on the premises for 8 hours. Moral of the story, they are paying for a 35 hour work week, yet expect 40 hours of work to be put in.

NetSysCon
NetSysCon

After a meeting with particularly tough IT manager, our IT manager was heard to mutter that the ills of IT could all be solved with one well placed stick of dynomite. 4 people stood up and offered to place it!!. P.S. That manager put 4 people out the door in ambulances with nervous breakdowns... When the director finally had the guts to terminate him (pardon me eliminate his job), one of our tech people shouted HURAH at the top of his lungs, and did a cartwheel down the hall. (noone complained)

clifford007
clifford007

This same group of people will stampede you like hogs to the trough if you're walking by the front doors at 4:30. I am not an 8:00-on-the-button-er, pretty much ever. Luckily, my boss realizes that nobody seems to get all that upset when we spend our weekends at the office, on the road at a remote site, or eating our dinner over a terminal trying to fix a problem.

rdalton
rdalton

I worked in an office where management required everyone to "punch the time clock" at their PC. Of course, several people learned how to adjust the time on their PC. My department had road reps. We flatly refused to punch in, as we often stayed late to pack the vans for the next day in order to get an early start the next day (before the store opened). Management could not understand why we wouldn't use the time clock.

clifford007
clifford007

you prove you really have no idea what racism is.

NOW LEFT TR
NOW LEFT TR

So I guess the person eating their peanuts in the office should be banned to - you know that peanut allergy which can do exactly what you describe. What about any other food sorts??? Different people will be allergic to different things and peanut allergy is quite common. Once again you come across as a comlete racist.

clifford007
clifford007

Shouldn't be too hard to get a local policy passed against strong-odored food away from the break room. One of our DBAs has bad bad bad allergies to anything with preservatives; we can't eat lunch at our desks, but we don't mind because we know it seriously affects her. How does the saying go...your freedoms stop where my freedoms start?

andrewb314
andrewb314

The discrimination complaint was tossed out, but only after a huge amount of resources were diverted to dealing with it. So, I guess the point is that this illustrates how a company comes to institute a "no food at your desk" rule that later posters to this blog can call stupid. :)

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

creating an uncomfortable work environment for the rest of us? I know of a few people who are allergic to curry and other spices like turmeric and the smell alone would cause their faces to swell up and break out in hives. Excuse me if I am "discriminating" against your ethnic dietary needs, but you are at risk of putting someone in the hospital with your food. Discrmination....Ha! They can take their politically correct nonsense and stick it where the sun don't shine, because when over 90% of the office has a problem with their food and smell, the majority wins.

andrewb314
andrewb314

I once told a co-worker their food stank, after they ate their curry laden lunch in our open concept office area. I wound up on the HR carpet when they lodged a discrimination complaint over it.

NOW LEFT TR
NOW LEFT TR

It was there in black & white (pun intended).

clifford007
clifford007

I love how you took perceived racism...emphasis on "perceived"...and replied with stereotypical prejudicial comments of your own. Very nice.

TheGooch1
TheGooch1

I am directly involved with offshore, but a friend of mine manages software development teams. He has a team in India and another in a European country. He told me that India is cheaper, but you can only send them projects with detailed, step by step instructions. The projects that require problem-solving/design skills are sent to the European team. On the flip side, another developer friend of mine just got laid off due to outsourcing. Where is this "shortage of qualified people" I keep hearing about? I think by "qualified" they mean "cheap" labor where people live 12 to an apartment to make ends meet. So much for raising the standard of living...

clifford007
clifford007

Right-wing racists..."white hood in your IT kit"... Nice post, big fella.

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

These fools defending the H1-B must not have been very long in this industry to see the disasters they have created and how bad of an image they are creating for the IT industry.

dr.phil
dr.phil

This tactic/attitude "I get repeat business because I get the job done and take no crap from anyone" is the way I go as well. The mobs of H1B's has screwed up everything. Whoever came up with the H1B program ought to be brought up on charges in a class action lawsuit. Not only does the program take our jobs but it is a huge money pit.

NOW LEFT TR
NOW LEFT TR

So I guess you can string words together in their respective language(s). No? Then you and your *cough* clients are no better than a bunch right wing racists. Do you keep a white hood in your IT kit? So you take no c*rap from anyone except the daily chin stroke & stare in the morning mirror - then you take it all. I see why you worry!

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

from anyone. Also, I don't subcontract to 3rd world cockroaches who can't put two words together to make a legitimate sentence or know the difference between formatting a hard drive from a hole in the wall. Also, if you must know, my clients explicitly tell me that they don't want Indians or other H1-Bs' to ever touch their systems again because they've spent enough time and money cleaning up the messes they left behind.

NOW LEFT TR
NOW LEFT TR

using your experiences and ideas as a guide how not to act as a contractor. God only knows how you get any repeat business or business at all!

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

I've gotten burned before by not getting reimbursed in a timely manner (read 8 months) for a business trip I took on behalf of a client. I don't mind travel, but I don't like to have to pay a lawyer and a collections agency to get my money 8 months after the fact. It puts a financial strain on me to have to divert funds from my personal savings to cover for the cost of airfare and lodging because I did not get reimbursed before I got the credit card bill. It took one incident like that to turn me into a hardass about travel. Unless the corporation prepays for everything, excluding meals which I can cover myself, I will absolutely refuse to do business with them. No more freebies at my expense...sorry.

dspeacock
dspeacock

This place gets upset if I start before 8:30 (I'm here at 8), don't take a lunch hour, leave 1 second before 5:30. No more that 40 hours per week (overtime has to be approved by C level for this contract). And the topper is that nothing was mentioned about travel before I started, but now I find that there's travel which they expected ME to pay for (and then expense). Told them if they wanted me to travel, then THEY provided tickets, hotels and rental cars up front. After a lot of groaning, they decided it was cheaper than finding a new auditor. (spelling edited)