Most unethical business you've worked for?

I wanna hear some stories about businesses doing fucked up things to their customers and/or employees.

I’ve posted that my last employer wanted us to run through stop signs. Well, that was a drop in the bucket compared to what went on my job before that one. This company dealt with carnival vendors. They would send out vendors in areas where permits were expired, because they didn’t want to pay. Many innocent vendors got in trouble with the cops. Don’t get me started on the rides! Some of them were in really bad shape. I just spoke to a old co-worker and she said a “car” fell right out of the socket when she ran a test. Think of those spin rides. Wow!

I was a stockbroker in a boiler room setup, working for F.N. Wolf:

Yeah - that was me.

I once briefly worked at a small beer/wine/deli. The owner wasn’t unethical so much as he had no clue what he was doing. He was reselling sodas and other food bought retail from the supermarket, buying individual bottles of wine from another wine store and putting them in his racks, paying his two employees cash under the table, fleecing vendors, keeping and selling kegs of skunky beer, charging outrageous prices for sandwiches which basically amounted to cold cuts on white toast, lots of shady accounting practices, and was extremely volatile behavior/mood/personality-wise. The place was hemorrhaging money and he had no idea what he was doing wrong (everything!).

I actually wrote up a proposal that, I’m convinced, would have turned the place around (it really wasn’t that hard to figure out), but the day I was going to give him my plan, he fired me for basically no reason. He thought I had been stealing from him, but, as I showed him, it was just his shoddy bookkeeping. He started to apologize but I told him to fuck off and left. He went out of business within a month of that.

I worked for a timeshare sales organization :frowning:

What did you get in return for your soul?


I worked at a manufacting pland that had us sandblast off makings from parts made overseas and stamp them “Made in America”.
They had employees using washcloths soaked in dangerous chemicals to degrease parts withont any protection what so ever.
Many people were injured, a few died.
As far as I know the owner is still in a federal prison.

Not much. They rip off their employees as much or more than their customers.

I worked for a company where the 26-year-old alcoholic frat boy CEO used investor money to lease sports cars and throw wild parties. Eventually he was ousted amid talk of an investor lawsuit, and that day he physically threatened one of the secretaries while he was being escorted out. The day before an industrial shredding truck had come to the head office and “handled” most of the financial records of the company.

I worked for a large company <rhymes with ‘Aitch Pee’> and did printer tech support. There was one printer that had immediate problems out of the gate, but we weren’t allowed to let people return them. We had them do all kinds of software switching, would eventually get to the point it would work for a while…and then it’d fail again. A genuine lemon. It’s been a while, so I can’t remember the name of the specific part that was the failure, but it’s basically the software engine of the whole printer, and when that’s messed up, everything else is messed up. Definitely a manufacture defect.

After months and months of supporting these ridiculous things, we heard they were going to stop production, and ramp up production on a follow-up model to replace it. By this point lots of people were just wanting to quit, because it was just that bad trying to support these PsOS. So, when spring came around and the new printer was released, we were relieved…until we learned it was THE EXACT SAME MODEL, just a different cover and different name.

I went to lunch the day I found that out, and just didn’t come back.

I’d worked for AitchPee before, as well, doing support for home computers. There was a policy not to allow people to request a service call until you’d gotten them into the computer themselves, while on the phone, and tried to get them to fix it themselves.

On the one hand, this produced my favorite call ever, during which I got an 80-year old lady actually into her case, and she fixed the problem, and I didn’t even have a model to look at to tell her exactly which screws to remove, etc. So I was very proud of that call, and very proud of the lady for being so gung-ho about it.

But the fact that we were required to get people into their cases to fix a faulty gasket that came from the factory already screwed up, rather than send service folk out there…yeah.

My walking out of the printer support job was just a culmination of 3 years of fed-up-eddness.
(BTW, this was ALL after one of the founders died; after that, it seemed EVERYTHING went to crap. I just know I will never buy one of their products.)

I work for the US federal government. Do I win?

In seriousness, my agency isn’t bad at all (at least in my experience.) The least ethical place I’ve ever worked was probably a tiny greasy spoon diner where I worded for one day before being fired without explanation. After I was gone, it took them over a month and a half to get me my one day’s worth of pay because the owner kept “forgetting” in spite of repeated phone calls. Not bad in the grand scheme of things (especially given the restaurant horror stories I’ve heard), but still my personal worst.

Two weeks at this fantastic location, or you can try to trade for two weeks somewhere else equally nice!

As an aside, can I send you a research report on Timeshares, Inc? They are traded on the Pacific Stock Exchange, and I think you will be interested in the potential for this. I am not trying to sell you, I just wanted to provide some information for as part of building our relationship.

Great talking to you Shodan! Say hello to the kids, and I will talk to you next week after you get the report.


Gee, and the worst I ever did was selling home security systems. One summer of scaring the shit out of little old ladies for a very lousy commission.

I should have guessed as much.


For me it was also a one-day deal, and involved 2 companies colluding. I went to an employment agency looking for anything I could find (retail most likely)-you would only pay when you actually got an actual job. They hooked me up with a rent-to-own (which should have been my first clue-only later during a 60 Minutes expose did I find out just how shady such places are), but all I did was stand around for a few hours as they gave me absolutely nothing to do. At the end of that time period the manager (a young punk) basically just let me go, saying that he’d give me a “good rec” for my next job. Of course the employment agency at that point demanded their pound of flesh, as per the contract I signed with them. :smack: :mad:

[Off topic]That’s so sad. And I know that the Feds can’t be compared to small gov. At least not the county gov I work in. We really have great customer service. Sort of a ‘The buck stops here’ policy. People are really surprised that when they send a email asking a question, they get a reply the same day. And often in the case of my department, within 5 minutes provided it’s working hours.[/ot]

I worked for a shady lawyer. I have recurring nightmares about working for her again.

But I went from her to working for lawyers who were absolute paragons, role models not just as attorneys but as human beings . Funny that I don’t dream about them!

I managed a bar, for a guy who had roid rage issues, he went to Thailand for three months(Yeah) and when he came back this conversation happened

“Capt you must go to Thailand”
“Well Roid Rage, I have always wanted to go to SE Asia(insert list of beautiful and different things one might like to see/do)”
“No Capt you don’t want to do that, because in Thailand you can fuck them as young as you want”

Effing scumbag

And the Capt starts looking for the exit

I worked as a receptionist for a chiropractor once. I quit when he wanted me to start taking x-rays of the patients.

I sold used cars. What do I win?