A former boss put it like this, "Sure we have flex time! You can arrive any time before 8 and leave any time after 6."
(I like severity as a sorting mechanism too, which is 3 dimensions of data then)
Doing my exit interview I stated that the reason I was leaving was because management had this goofy view of the world and it was the reason why we struggled finding talent. They felt that because there was no physical competition in the area they could pay a fraction of what their competitors in the field pay and still retain talent. They also felt that it was appropriate to create a convoluted scheme where you could never really get a promotion, just be given more responsibility w/ almost no increase in pay. (You can only move up a level if you have 1 or fewer "needs improvements" while the managers were told that all employees should have no less than 2 "needs improvements" as they should have things to work on over the coming year).
Most people I talked to about that whole situation would offer the "well why didn't you just move" advice not understanding that the pay was just enough to pay for room and board, college loans, and then choose to put the last few dollars into a 401k or into savings to escape that job. I opted for the former hoping I would work my way up to not have this problem. I made the wrong choice.
This is a really interesting comment, thanks for sharing.
And after spending years doing embedded systems, industrial control, communications...I was pretty much the opposite of a Web/Mobile developer. Trying to get a remote gig while having none of those skills was difficult (yes there are other industries that can do remote too, but what I was "good at" was not remote friendly tech). I had to create a side job, make a real world project and go around showing that I knew the tech just to get my foot in the door to places that would allow remote work.
I had close to $30K of devices and ancillary equipment in my home office.
In the first case, the boss was quite explicit about abusing the scarcity of office jobs in the area (a cluster of small villages and towns). Forced overtime, late paychecks, bad working conditions and verbal abuse were all maintained by a simple threat - "where else will you go?".
In the second case, the job had decent working conditions, but the management had constant troubles finding wood workers (leading them to shutting down a promising department, in which my wife was doing design work), mostly because they tried to low-ball salaries - thinking that in this part of the country, there are lower costs of living and few other jobs for this kind of production, so they can offer below-market pay.
Both businesses are still thriving to this day, and still have mentioned problems.
I keep telling her to quit, we can live on my salary indefinitely while she finds another job but she won’t.
What makes it doubly annoying is that she is conscientious and has a work ethic.
I fucking hate it to be honest, you’d think by now large companies would have figured out the trickle down effects of bad management and have better systems in place to weed it out.
The first thing I’d look at as the boss of a large company is a) department sickness rates, b) department turnover rates
It takes 2 to make an employment relationship. The employee has just as much if not more power than employer.
Personally, I can't put up with a sliver of bullshit from anyone without going postal on them. This is the reason I stay in consulting, setting my own rules.
I used to think that I could encourage and/or browbeat people into taking charge of their own destinies, but after years of a good 99.9% failure rate I'm not so sure any more. (For every 1000 downvotes/insults I eat on Reddit or elsewhere when I tell people to stop putting up with HR's BS, I get about 1-2 people who heed my advice and actually find a new job)
I think regular people just naturally can't fend for themselves, and maybe they need some form of protection..
Oh they can, but for regular people, a job is a privilege. It's not easy to find one, and a lot of people don't have enough financial reserves to afford a long search. The risk/reward analysis ends up leaning heavily towards staying.
> The first thing I’d look at as the boss of a large company is a) department sickness rates, b) department turnover rates
Oh, yes. If one of her bosses did that, he might discover that there's a high turnover rate + pretty negative opinion of the workplace in the region now, caused by one particular manager that's verbally abusive. But employees don't dare complain, because he and the boss are family. They just transfer or quit.
Had a medical issue at work, asked work for temporary and minor adjustments while I recovered and was told "if you don't like it then leave". Things got worse, and worse.
Ended up having a full-on anxiety attack, doctor said there was nothing they could do to help. "The best thing you can do is look for a new job".
I put it off for a bit more, then the boss started making a HR complaint every week. They were always dismissed as baseless "but we have to investigate every one". Imagine what spending two out of five days a week responding to HR complaints did to my work performance.
Went from "Exceeds expectations" to "Consider whether this team member is a good fit for the company" in the space of four months.
In cases like this, leaving is literally the best thing you can do. Take some vacation days to interview elsewhere, then hand them a resignation with the minimum notice period you can. Don't negotiate. Whatever offer or promises they make, stand your ground. Minimum contracted notice period, do a staged handover, leave.
My only regret is that I spent 2 months over my base notice period helping them do a managed hand-over. Didn't want to burn bridges but in hindsight, they'd already burned to ash anyway. I was just too far away to see that.
I wish you and your wife all the best, hopefully either her boss will see sense or she'll find something better.
It's not quitting. It's taking care of yourself.
I seem to be able to get $250k+ in Silicon Valley and ~$200k in Seattle (which is almost the same after cost of living and state tax), but last time I looked in Tokyo I couldn't get any offers for over 15M JPY/year and even that was a stretch (150k USD at a 100-1 exchange rate, but more like 130k USD at the time)
Likewise, I haven't been able to rustle up any remote job offers for over $150k. I'd LOVE to work from home on a giant ranch out in Flyover, USA for the same mortgage cost as a grungy condo in San Jose, but not if it's going to set back my retirement plans by 10 years
And I've got a news flash for you remote-friendly entrepreneurs: You're competing with people paying $250k/year in the bay area whether you like it or not. Sooner or later some top-paying behemoth is going to put an elite 5 man team on it and make a product that puts your 50 person company out of business. By all means, try to lowball people into $120-$150k/year offers if you can, but if they're not having it, you should consider ponying up.
On the other hand, there are lots of less-productive companies out there that don’t generate billions of dollars through carefully-tuned funnels, but who still need to employ software engineers. They can’t afford to pay $300k+ to thousands of people like the top companies do. But if they can find some solid talent who happen to have attachments to a lower cost of living area, or maybe are worse at interviewing, etc. they can get away with paying a lot less.
they got you for 15yrs on half the pay!
sadly the world is run by bean counters :(
If the pay was half, we might expect the cost of living to be a third. Was it? (that is: by moving you doubled your salary and tripled your costs)
At my second to last job I put up with a manager that had severe anger management issues and would swear at employees and throw things at staff. I left over 2 years ago. Since then he's been promoted. The company had also won several "Best place to work" awards in the past.
As someone who has done, and still does, a lot of recruitment over the years I think people maybe worry about this too much.
What I mean is perhaps best illustrated with some examples:
- When you're fresh out of college/uni, it can be hard to find a job you really like, so in your first few years you might change job several times. No big deal.
- You leave a job you've been in for several years where you may have been happy and productive for quite a long time, but perhaps you're getting bored, need a new challenge, have been enticed away, or whatever. But then your next job turns out to be not so awesome, and neither is the one after that, so again you change jobs two or three times in a short period. Again, no big deal.
- The company your with restructures/gets taken over/relocates/makes redundancies and, without necessarily wanting to, you find yourself in a position where you need to find work fast. Again, you might not find a job you really like out of the gate and, again, no big deal.
These things don't bother me as a recruiter. What does bother me is a 20 year career where I can see you've changed jobs every year or two. It bothers me even more for management and leadership hires: I start to wonder if you're actually any good at anything, or whether your main talent is schmoozing and jumping ship just before the shit hits the fan (or just in time to take all the credit).
I want some evidence of periods of stability in your employment history, because this shows me that you're capable of committing to something for the longer term, which is when you can really make a positive impact. You're expensive to hire, and when I have hired you, I'm going to invest in your development and success (whatever that means for you), so I'd like to see some return on that investment.
DISCLAIMER: I'm fortunate to work in a tech hub that, whilst not large as a place, certainly has a lot of options in terms of companies to work for (Cambridge, UK).
Because choices go down, companies choose to engage in substandard behavior because of captive populace. And those that can leave, do, thus slowly sapping the area of money and population.
I've seen a few places in the Midwest that did have potent industry. But through similar reasons, most of the people who positively contributed to their community are now gone.
I am guessing you don't work in tech in the US though? I was a bit worried about doing a third "three and out" while looking, and 10 years prior in finance, it may have been an issue, when I was looking at tech companies, no one even batted an eyelash. One HR recruiter even quipped that these would be relatively long tenures in the startup world.
But in your case I wouldn't even put all those jobs on a resume' -- it's too far back.
That does look not so good to me tbh. 2 jobs in 2 years would look ok to me. But I guess it depends.
In a year at that place no one finished anything.
Literally, they had 18mths on a project with less than a 1000 useable lines of code and a team of five.
I wrote a similar system on my own in 3mths doing it after work and weekends for a customer as a side gig.
I think you might be my new hero: that's a fantastic response to a dick move. I just don't get people who treat employees like crap: it's no road to long-term success or satisfaction. Hope you managed to find something better afterwards.
My experience of being a manager and leader is that these roles, if anything, expose your own human fallibility like nothing else so there's no mileage at all in acting like a smartass to the people who work for you. A little humility goes a long way.
Also, thanks for making me laugh.
With the hope that he/she will see their mistake and not treat the remaining employees that way.
The problem with this strategy is you can never go back.
Reading all these stories about bad managers and stuff, do managers and employees take things personal in the US?
So if you leave for a better deal you actually will make personal problems between employer end employee?
Whenever someone under me quits for a better deal or another job that I can't match I tell them "good luck and thanks for the time you shared with us, if you change your mind, welcome back".
Same with salary negotiations, I usually ask them to give me "ammunition" that I can use against the higher-ups to get them raises, that is job offers at other companies, lists of stuff they have done and statements from other departments. Usually I manage to get them 5-10% raise but sometimes even more.
People work so much better if they are happy about their situation from what I can tell.
If you joined, people on the team are helping get you up to speed on new tech, and you quit within two months before we even had a chance at a payoff for the work the team put in, that's off-putting because it's inconsiderate.
It's not illegal, and you have a right to it. But my team likewise has a right to work with people who are considerate of their time. And the business likewise has a right to ask me for positive value from hiring. So I'm going to pass on rehiring that guy.
Now, insta-quitting on being told that you're getting "a kick in the ass" instead of a raise is easily justified and if someone were mismanaged so egregiously previously I'd have no problem rehiring them. To be honest, no software engineer in their right mind would ever go back to a company where that was said unless it was for "fuck you money" so the situation just never arises.
Leaving for more money or a different kind of job is not a big deal. That's life and I'd expect a decent transition with work hand-offs and whatnot. No one will be upset about that.
When we hire someone there is a six months probation period where both parties can terminate the contract without any questions or obligations. This is mainly to make sure that the new members are compatible with the rest.
So when I hire I do so with the knowledge that it might not work out but they won't be blacklisted by the whole company for that reason.
If course if someone would scream at me and curse and storm out I'd likely not want to hire them again, but luckily that's never happened :)
Admittedly, it may take me longer to find a full time salaried job making what I make now, but I’m sure I could find a W2 contract job that pays sufficiently in a month by calling a few local recruiters that I’ve worked with.
I’m no special snowflake. Jobs are plentiful for software developers who have kept their skills in line with the local market in most major metropolitan areas.
You: "The boss?"
HR: "No, you."
New Boss: "So, what time will you be here every day?"
Me: "I thought we had discussed that being flexible as traffic can be unpredictable?"
New Boss: "We are flexible on the time, but you have to be here by that time every day."
I made it 6 weeks.
Edit: Some companies misrepresent their cultures because they know their actual behavior is unattractive to workers. Bolstering Glassdoor reviews by encouraging unusually satisfied (or otherwise motivated) employees is just another form of this. The strategy is successful at tricking employees into accepting poor working conditions while also demonstrating that the employer isn't worth trusting.
The way the place was run I was expecting one of them to suggest I just skip lunch.
Everything that meetings at the places I've worked at, my entire life, should have been sent out in advance in /some/ format (today it'd be email) for review.
When you do that, you can also have a deadline for rounds of comments... 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc, up to a decision deadline where whomever's allowed to make the decision can make their choice with all the views and objections/opinions laid out.
There's literally no reason to ever /actually/ have a meeting of the kind that I've been a part of.
Catbert: "Alice, the experts say you need to balance work and home life. You worked 80 hours last week... that's less than half of the hours in a week. Give us some balance, you selfish hag."
Alice: "This conversation took a nasty turn."
I've started steering very clear of any company that talks about how important loyalty is, or how the employees are all 'like a family'. Biggest red flags for toxic management imo.
There's lots of other imbalances as well like how you have to tolerate being mistreated so you can get a good reference, and you have to actively avoid mentioning negative reasons you left a company in job interviews to avoid being labelled a trouble maker.
Glassdoor was suppose to help with the above I guess.
I've just been giving out former coworkers' contact info instead, and usually they don't even get called. I'm guessing they call the former employer just to verify I actually worked there, but that's it
Steve (manager/owner): "I gave you a break when I hired you!"
Has stuck with me lo these 30+ years...
If you’re meeting your expectations, taking a 10 minute break to take a shit at work doesn’t mean you need to work 10 minutes at home.
"Work is a vacation. From poverty"
You don't even need to pay Glassdoor. At $PREVIOUS_EMPLOYER I managed to get a negative review by an employee who we'd let go removed just by asking them.
Don't be too horrified yet because it gets worse: I stand by asking them to remove it. The review was extremely negative and posted by somebody who, in the less than 3 months they worked for us, had been nothing but trouble: lazy, arrogant, obnoxious, demanding, complaining, entitled. Nothing was ever good enough for this person, and they absolutely slagged us off in the review as a result.
No company is perfect but the criticism was entirely unfair, so I asked Glassdoor to remove it, explaining why in reasonable detail. They could have refused and there would have been nothing I could do, but within a few days it was gone. Funny thing was that I wasn't even in love with $PREVIOUS_EMPLOYER myself at the time, but the review was so out of order that it simply pissed me off.
Your situation sounds quite different, with objective grounds for grievance, so I can certainly understand the frustration.
 This is something of an understatement: I was by this point hugely disillusioned, but the review still offended my sense of fair play.
I've also noticed that people tend to measure whether someone looks busy, not whether they're producing results. Some people will just start writing code, and they get called "productive". Others nip off for 2 hours to think it over and sketch out architectural diagrams, and then finish the whole task in half the time - but they're the ones that get called lazy because they weren't at their desk.
For sure, but that's not what I'm talking about here: every now and again one makes a bad hire. It happened very rarely, particularly in product development where this individual was, but that's what this individual was - just a bad hire.
Now there were reasons why they were a bad hire that I think were perhaps not their "fault" (although fault/blame isn't a helpful concept here), which I'm not going into the specifics of due to #reasons, but the fact remains they chose to deal with that by acting out and introducing toxicity into their team.
Not to say we didn't do a retro to see if there were improvements that could be made, but you're never going to be perfect at hiring.
What you do need is robust processes, and the appropriate culture to support them, to deal with the situation quickly on the rare occasions when you do hire someone you shouldn't have.
(Btw, bad hires are extremely costly, even at entry level, not just in terms of hiring costs or productivity, but in terms of the effect they have on people around them: they can be a serious morale drain and, whilst their departure often leads to a bump in morale, the effects can be quite long-lasting. A bad hire in a leadership role is positively dangerous, because you multiply all of the above - and actually it becomes likely you'll lose people who work for them - and on top of this you risk serious erosion of trust in those more senior leaders who hired the person in the first place, which leads to further problems with retention.)
> the business owners pled insufficient facts to make out a plausible claim that Yelp authored negative reviews of their businesses
(I interned at Yelp in 2009.)
Edit: This is what Yelp says about it: https://www.yelp.com/advertiser_faq
Looking now at the web UI, can you offer any insight into how "Yelp sort" -- the default -- decides which reviews to push out the back pages?
I had some other reasons for believing it was impossible for sales reps to manipulate review scores, but my memory is very foggy since this was ~9 years ago. Sorry if I made it sound like I had more insider knowledge; I edited that out of my comment.
> The SAC purports to document fluctuations in plaintiffs’ overall star ratings that apparently correlate with their advertising decisions, but it in actuality only provides select snapshots of plaintiffs’ overall star ratings. [...] Chan’s mixture of positive and negative reviews fluctuated over time irrespective of the activities complained of in the SAC, and in the absence of a more complete picture of Chan’s reviews, the court cannot equate a few drops in overall star ratings to an implied threat of harm from Yelp. These fluctuations could just as easily be the result of planted ads by plaintiffs, the functioning of Yelp’s automated filter, or negative attacks from competitors or former employees.
Having completely destroyed the value of their brand Yelp still gets traffic at least until the next briefly honest startup shows up.
There was a New York Times article a few years ago saying otherwise.
I tried to Google it, but... Google. Perhaps someone else will have better luck.
You’re going to eat another meal in 6-24 hours. Glassdoor is affecting people’s lives and livelihoods.
Introduce software or automated agents to Glassdoor, or access Glassdoor so as to produce multiple accounts, generate automated messages, or to scrape, strip or mine data from Glassdoor without our express written permission;
Copy, modify or create derivative works of Glassdoor or any Content (excluding Your Content) without our express written permission);
Copy or use the information, Content (excluding Your Content), or data on Glassdoor in connection with a competitive service, as determined by Glassdoor;
Interfere with, disrupt, or create an undue burden on Glassdoor or the networks or services connected to Glassdoor;
Now, since reviews are public information and not hidden behind an authentication wall (i.e. no account signup required), there is a compelling argument that you can scrape the website without having technically agreed to those terms and conditions. In particular, the robots.txt  for Glassdoor does not disallow automated crawling of the /Reviews/ endpoint. But this would still likely result in a protracted lawsuit, even if you ultimately win.
Also, you can probably just set up the scraper and webpage in another country or something.
often yes, but you actually have to win the case first. the idea is that you run out of money and give up before you get there.
"Your trust is our top concern, so companies can't alter or remove reviews."
But, I noticed from a past review that there is some kind of 'approval' required. So, yes it seems they can remove reviews by not approving. Sigh.
Not only is it good karma but it's good business.
Loyal employees are awesome. Any bump in the road and they have your back.
Maybe when you're some massive megacorp it makes sense but I hope I'm never to the point where I have to run a mathematical calculation on whether it makes sense to treat people with respect.
Edit: having gone through the article: none of the companies here are close to "megacorp". The biggest one seems to be SAP.
"Thank you for flagging the post titled “survey taker” for additional review. We take our Community Guidelines very seriously. Before any reviews are posted on Glassdoor, our moderators review them to ensure they meet our Guidelines.
A manager has reviewed the post you flagged and decided it does meet our guidelines. Therefore, the post will remain on the site."
There's no recourse to leave a response to the Company's response, so they got the last word in the matter. It's always kind of bothered me that they got to set the facts like that.
I wish there was some sort of business model for an honest review site that protected against this sort of naked corruption. Does anyone have any ideas?
Review sites must be free for readers and reviewers. So, the revenue either has to somehow come from
1. end-users indirectly (like how HackerNews helps YCombinator attract quality investments)
2. a group that has users' best interests at heart, as well as a financial incentive (google's personalization helps readers find relevant searches as well as helping advertisers target... maybe not a 100% perfect example but you get the idea)
3. a diverse array of paying customers such that no one interest overpowers the others.
Any ideas in Glassdoor's context?
Tech magazines used to do reviews (of gadgets), and they ain't free to read? at least, not the trustworthy ones.
As far as I know Consumer Reports is the only one that does this still. Consumer Reports is a nonprofit, and they're run like a media company. Their staff research and write the content, pretty well!
I don't think this would work for user-generated content -- who would pay to be able to write an anonymous review?
I do think user-generated content is necessary for job reviews; you can't buy the experience of being an employee off the shelf and subject it to objective tests, like with technology products.
Consumer reports writes reviews by ordering products off the shelf and testing them with their own staff.
How could that work for reviewing the lived experience of other companies' staff?
User-generated content is the opposite of Consumer Reports.
And if wording or details were the issue, they could at the very least leave the review score, as a proof of their good faith. Nope.
I'm reminded of Burroughs...
“Thou shalt not be such a shit, you don't know you are one.”
In fact the experience was so bad in each of these that I really felt compelled to write a review in the hopes that others might avoid also wasting lots of time.
Both reviews were taken down within 24 hours of being posted.
Is there any proof of this? Source?
GlassDoor, in short, has become a textbook example of Goodhart's Law:
"When a measure becomes a target,
it ceases to be a good measure."[a]
"The more any quantitative social indicator is
used for social decision-making, the more subject
it will be to corruption pressures and the more
apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social
processes it is intended to monitor."[b]
Don't you think that's correlated with improving actual employee experiences, though? I agree they're not the same thing. But if they spend HR effort to improve the ratings, that means they're looking at the feedback, and presumably they will try to address some or part of it where possible.
Essentially, the fact that people optimize metrics doesn't mean that the whole process is hopeless. Anyone who has built metrics systems will agree that you can rarely measure the exact thing you're looking for -- the ideal is to get as close as you can.
No. In any control loop you have two ways of reducing error.
One is the arduous business of actuation. Doing things. Soul-searching. Working hard. Investigating. Listening. Making it better.
The other is to lie to the sensor. This is always easier.
From the controller's POV, it's indistinguishable.
The way you avoid this problem is to avoid creating the incentive to subvert the loop.
I am fairly confident that every metric, target, index, goal, KPI or score that has ever been connected to money, power or fame has been subverted. As far as that goes, yes, I see the world as black-and-white.
Glassdoor scores are tied to ability to hire. It's easier to game the scores than to not suck, especially since "horrible place to work" is going to correlate strongly with "dubious ethics".
I had never heard of Goodhart's Law by name until about 45 minutes ago, while listening to an episode of Planet Money that originally aired last November. And here it is again. This is one of the more striking examples of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon I've experienced in recent years.
where you discuss with one of the authors of the excellent paper "Towards Understanding Linear Analogies"
you are discussing ELMo and specifically word senses i.e. "leaves" which has multiple senses (departs, foliage, ...)
I recently stumbled on a paper from 2016 (modified 2018) which IMHO gives a lot of insight, but I had to read both the old and the new version (I recommend reading v1 first and then the newest)
They illustrate how for example the word "leave" in word embeddings, is in fact simply a linear combination (with coefficients on the order of 1) of the true positions of each individual sense i.e. "leave" = A"leave.1"+B"leave.2"+... with A,B, ... constants close to 1. Theres typically less than 10 for a single word.
These reside in the same vector space as the word embeddings, and they illustrate how these sense vectors can be retrieved from the shallow word embedding vectors by sparse coding!
The paper is at https://arxiv.org/abs/1601.03764
Again I recommend reading first v1 then v6
corpus -- word2vecOrGloVe--> word embeddings v_w in R^n
word embedding --sparsecoding--> sense embeddings v_s in same R^n
the sparse coding process gives the constants A_ws and senses where subscript w is a word index and s is a sense index, so that:
word vectors v_w = sum(A_ws v_s, s)
and for each word w most A_ws are zero except for a few s values
1) polysemy: a word w can have multiple senses, namely those sense vectors with index s where A_ws is nonzero
2) synonyms: a sense s can have multiple synonyms w, again those w where A_ws is nonzero
so the result of sparse coding gives for each word, a couple of indexes of the sense vectors, and for each sense the corresponding indexes of word vectors... and of course the sense vectors themselves.
so that to find say a synonym of "leaves", you just look at the sense indexes corresponding to that string, then you look at the different words indexes for that sense, and they will refer to the words "foliage" but also "leaves" of course and possibly others...
I also believe that once you have the sense vectors, in theory a second pass through the corpus should improve results if the context of each focus word is used to determine the closest sense vector compatible with the focus word... so that in effect word2vec or Glove extraction is run on the senses instead of the words
for the sparse coding they used SMALLbox, and I am still trying to better grasp how exactly the sparse coding works, and what prevents the A_ws and v_s to reduce to the trivial solution v_s = v_w and A_ww = 1 and A_wx = 0 for x differing from w...
> For anyone reading these reviews, take it from someone who has been at this company for over 10 years, some people just like to use these review sites as a sounding board for their own distorted views of a company where they obviously were let go for good and obvious reasons.
> [skipping forward a bit]
>The truth is that every company will inevitably come across a "sour grape" that was not meant to be part of that companies future. Its just a shame that instead of trying to improve themselves they waste time trying to justify their irrational beliefs and convince themselves that writing negative reviews will somehow fortify their distorted view of what actually happened during their time there.
>Former employees that sit in dark rooms and write negative reviews in between shifts at the local convenience store.
Then they separately put up some absurd propaganda reviews. This one was titled "Sunshine, Unicorns and GumDrops," if you can believe that:
> I have been with Snowbound for quite a long time(about 10 years) and I have been meaning to write a review.
I am inclined to agree with the "like a family and home away from home” reviews. At least on my side of the office it’s the land of Sunshine, Unicorns and Gumdrops. We like to work hard but also have a good time doing it.
Then they had another one titled "Like a family", here's an excerpt~
> You aren't just a number or a body behind a computer screen. If you're going through a personal issue, …
Yeah, like when I was fired and the CTO coldly told me "We can do better than you." This is the same guy who I watched stroke a waitress's hand as he passed her a tip during a company lunch outing and tell her "You have a smoking ass."
There's another review titled "home away from home," and another called "long time here and worth it," but you get the point.
Your review is very emotionally charged and with very few facts or examples, which makes it difficult to take seriously.
Since you were fired I can understand why you would write like this, but it is a bit ironic considering the article is about manipulating reviews.
Yours is scathing indeed, but not in an insightful way and just seems like an attempt to bash the company (1 star, all reds, only pros are low pressure environment and parking?). I can understand why the company would want to defend itself against this with actual facts (they state increased revenue, staff seniority, customer names).
Anyways take whatever you want from this comment, I'm just a neutral observer with limited information, but I don't think Snowbound's positive reviews show manipulation
> Your review is very emotionally charged and with very few facts or examples, which makes it difficult to take seriously.
I wrote the review more than a year after leaving the company. I wasn't feeling very emotional, I was just trying to be descriptively honest. I'm not sure what you're looking for. Transcripts of specific dialogues between employees? I explained the way things are there pretty truthfully, and five years later I still feel it's objectively accurate. The problem is the personalities and there isn't much more to it than that.
> just seems like an attempt to bash the company (1 star, all reds, only pros are low pressure environment and parking?)
If you had worked there this might stop seeming like an exaggeration.
> I don't think Snowbound's positive reviews show manipulation
If you can't see the manipulation going on there, it's hard for me to imagine a set of reviews that you would consider manipulation.
It's the context that is particularly damning. Whenever you see a heartfelt negative review surrounded by obviously fake or reactionary (do you really not see that?) positive reviews, that is a red flag. It is not uncommon.
I mean, "Political, negative work environment"? Every single group of humans since the beginning of time has a level of political interaction, so when I see comments about things being political I pretty much discount them unless there are some level of specifics. I've also seen folks make the "political" charge when what was really at issue is the person didn't communicate or work well with others, and it takes a level of emotional maturity to realize why this is important.
What facts can you really share though? This isn't a court situation, where evidence is scrutinized and held up to rigorous standards. So what are you really expecting? Transcripts of conversations? Financial documents? I don't really understand what kind of "facts" you would be looking for.
Reviews are all about "how was your subjective experience there." If the answer is "awful, the company treated me poorly," then that's a legitimate review. Why would you discount it?
But, A.) you don't know if these "facts" are true, so they shouldn't really add much weight, and B.) not all situations come down to something so specific and citable. Sometimes, people are just really obnoxious to be around, and they're rude and impatient and temperamental and it's a daily thing and that's all there is to it, and you can't really boil that down to such a nice clean sentence as in your example.
Annecdotal, not factual. And both should be treated with same level of scrutiny.
Anecdotes are not the opposite to facts. They are only opposites to whole facts.
You don't say.
"Political" was my word to sum up part of a lengthy Glassdoor post made by someone else which does not use the word at all. Feel free to substitute whatever word is least prone to cause you a mental hemorrhoid flare-up.
I've found that it's relatively accurate for bigger companies, though, give the larger number of reviews. Individual reviews are simply 1 data point and worthless on their own. Good employers are often typically awarded in other ways, like local best places to work lists.
Much like on Amazon - more people look at the star rating vs the reviews as the indicator. Sadly these can be gamed, but for the most part I've found major companies to be represented correctly, in my experience.
I'll see a bunch of "good" reviews. They do me nothing.
Yet those bad reviews have a trend that the battery hatch clip keeps breaking off and they had to do hacks to make it work. ... Or the multiple Samsung refrigerator water filter were fakes and leaked all across the floor (0).
In a office setting, it's the similar thing. There will be a lot of good, but the details and consistency of the bad ones are the thing to watch.
Yes, I eventually left as well, but I left because there was a better offer from another company that my previous employer couldn't match. They were sad to see me go and it was hard to leave because they were a good group.
The reality is, we're not family. I don't have to be sensitive to my family. If I don't like them, I can say and do as I please. If they don't like me, the same. I don't have to care about their feelings, I don't have to accept their life choices. I don't have to see them every day. I don't have to accomplish tasks with them. I can quarrel with them, and eventually they may choose to forgive me because of kinship, or not. Point being, there are precisely zero commonalities between family and work peers. And there shouldn't be.
The contrarian jerk in me really wanted to yell an epithet during training and say something along the lines of "What, if we're a family, I'm the racist uncle that your dad keeps inviting to dinner despite his offensive tirades and uncomfortable leering at your sister. Deal with it."
(Personally as an adult who continues to deal with difficulties regarding abusive family, I would feel highly uncomfortable with "we're a family" rhetoric- this is the exact rhetoric abusers use when abusing their family!)
You're right to feel uncomfortable; this is not coincidental.
LOL. But in general I very much agree. Equating a workplace with a family is gross, and a bit cult-ish. I do think the workplace (and the world) would be a better place if we all tried to love each other like we do our own family, but there's a whole lot of other things family brings that would make the workplace a nightmare, the least of which is widespread manipulation, power struggles, mooching, and non-stop drama.
In the US this is like having relatives that worked with Al Capone
Don't those two usually come in pairs?
You should view such comments with the same eye that you would view a someone that is always saying 'I love my wife/husband'. Companies either walk the walk or they talk and won't shut up.
You can leave a company, or the company can lay you off, or re-org and divest your department. After a year, you will not go to the company picnic. Just won't happen. Not a family.
Just as a small anecdote: this can happen. I do go to occasional picnics and parties my previous company chooses to make open to former employees. I'm already looking forward to an upcoming office-warming party, as I expect to see a bunch of old colleagues I really enjoyed working with.
There was not a single asshole during my time there. I resigned (over a year ago) to get some fresh challenges, so no bad blood either.
Wow - that sounds amazingly petty and vindictive. These people must have been a pure mindfuck to work for.
Thank you for posting that, so that people looking for information about this company (Snowbound Software) can be adequately informed about what to expect in engaging in dealings of any kind with this shop.
That they hold a grudge when someone left is a _huge_ red flag.
So when I hear a rant from someone about their ex, their boss, etc., I nod sympathetically and think to myself "I wonder what that person would say about you."
That said, for what it's worth, I've worked at five companies now and 3 out of 5 were great. The fourth is the one discussed in this thread, and the fifth had 3 hours of meetings per day for every engineer.
Within a month, four more reviews, all 5-star reviews with "cons" sections like "none" or "I don't like this particular office snack" popped up for this company that had existed without reviews for years, all of which were very obviously in the unusual and quite-recognizable writing style of the head sales guy (who was constantly recruiting because of his habit of scapegoating his 3-or-4-person sales team when the company did poorly, and thus firing and replacing all of them), down to his particular mannerisms that I hadn't heard from anyone else (with the same wording appearing in multiple reviews).
I flagged these reviews as obviously by the same author, one who was an "executive" employee of the company, and that I was willing to provide samples to prove it. I've since re-flagged those reviews a few times before realizing that Glassdoor has no interest in responding.
Since then, it appears that the same guy has taken to requiring his new hires (of which he has many, due to his high churn rate from firing and replacing every single BDR/SDR regularly) to write at least one glowing review on Glassdoor, which has grossly inflated the company's score.
The lesson I learned from this experience was to skim positive reviews looking for dangerous euphemisms ("more than just a job" means "no work-life balance", "like a family" means "unprofessional (and often backstabbing) working relationships", "fast-paced" / "driven" / "high-performer" means again that no work-life balance exists) count the number of negative reviews as a health indicator, and read negative reviews looking for repeated themes to identify real problems.
For example, a smallish (50 or so people) company I considered in my last job hunt had several negative reviews that contained phrases like "CEO conducts a whisper campaign against employees he doesn't like", and "getting on the CEO's bad side is easy and damning", while positive reviews said things like "not everyone can adapt to our flat structure" or "it's not for everyone", or "if you can learn to fit in, it's great". That sent the clear signal: there is no real reporting chain, just the CEO's capriciousness, and the CEO plays favorites (or "unfavorites") arbitrarily and heavy-handedly. The verdict: avoid this company.
As with any source of user-submitted reviews online, you have to learn a certain degree of cynicism in order to arrive at an informed decision.
As a devil's advocate, how can a company expect to be viewed impartially if the only folks who review them have tempers raged enough to motivate them to leave a poor review in the first place? How can I, a potential employee, trust said-reviewer wasn't let go due to Silo'd mismanagement, personal issues or a company pivoting?
I'd rather a platform that lays out exactly what the working conditions would be for most folks. Time in/out of office, salary merit increases or profit-sharing, draconian work-attire policy, etc.
So it is not all ranting, and I'd say most companies have good (realistic) scores and reviews
> Also, if we feel strongly that your lawsuit is primarily intended to chill free speech, we may take extra steps to let the world know what you are up to.
If you're a cellular company, "may" means "will". "If you are in the higher tiers of data use, we may throttle your bandwidth".
If you're Glassdoor who sells reputation management and HR services to the very employers being reviewed, "may" means "we're paying lip service to our critics".
In other words, you can't rely on that throttling if you're, say, connecting to some cloud service that's charging you by the gigabyte to transfer data.
> Ask Your Employees to Leave More of Them. We encourage you to ask your employees to leave honest reviews on Glassdoor.
I personally see this as manipulating and watering down. It's not an ethical problem IMHO, but I'd rather hear from the people that were motivated enough by their love or hate to go out and leave a review. Also as an employee, I've had an employer ask me to leave an honest review, and there is no question in my mind what they really meant :-)
The selling point was that it would help make it easier to get quality coworkers. Kind of made sense, but it was still shady.
So I worked at Roostify and none of these engineers were fired. They all left for greener pastures. I think it is hilarious that Jenn can leave because of poor leadership, but when engineers leave and cite poor leadership it is because they suck.
During the on-site interviews I asked multiple employees about the situation. They had no response, but I got a call from the HR director shortly afterward wishing to clear the air about my questions.
Her explanation was that 1) the internal employees don't read Glassdoor so they weren't aware/able to answer my questions, and 2) it was one disgruntled employee that bombed the multiple bad reviews all over the site.
This all just raised more red flags, so I walked. I have no idea how they can fix this situation. But I agree - a slew of bad reviews signals some kind of problem, but now it's up to you to do the legwork and sort it out.
Unfortunately that's unreliable, because negative reviews are removed, so numbers are fake.
Right, but there is no one signal that is definitive (IMO). So looking at this is just one part of evaluating a prospective employer.
That said, I have seen negative reviews on Glasdoor, so we know they don't all get removed.
Unfortunately a similar service for glassdoor doesn't seem to exist.
They have had several rounds of layoffs and yet their reviews stayed positive. Only now I see a few negatives are creeping through the cracks as I'm sure the onslaught of negative reviews is much greater than what's posted.
Anyway, stay away from FigureEight, they have extremely shady employee practices and have to be one of the worst companies in SF I've experienced or witness. The only condolence I have is I see the entire C-team has been fired or left. It's a dumpster fire.
Anyway, yeah, Glassdoor is trash.
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Overall Canopy Tax was a good place to work (for someone that meshes better with the culture than I did). I have many friends still there that are very happy, but I did find that Glass Door manipulation to be pretty distasteful.
If anyone from Glass Door is reading, please go back to your roots! You were such a valuable resource for me in the past, and an important force to help balance the power differential scales.
I feel it's an extension of the old "innocent until proven guilty" thing. In the Western world, especially in the United States, we have this belief of trusting unless we are given a very high confidence level reason not to. It's this belief that is being taken advantage of via online review systems. We do not doubt them by default because it would be mean or rude to doubt the entity behind the review (entity meaning person or bot).
To claim that it was not manipulation, it seems to me that you'd have to argue that the reviews that were created under this encouragement would have all happened anyway, without the encouragement, which I find to be a dubious claim.
I wonder, if a product manufacturer were encouraging their employees (that were themselves users of said product) to go on Amazon and review the product, would you consider that manipulation of the Amazon reviews?