19 cult jobs people couldn’t wait to quit


“I worked at a lead generation marketing company in a Midwestern city for almost three years, and there were SO many cult things. Their only focus was ‘growth’ (generating more money for customers and the company itself).

“We even had to chant the company name at the end of an impromptu company meeting which was called because a young employee had committed suicide. The CEO said we may not have didn’t want to sing, but we had to do it for the late employee.

They also asked graphic designers to design “swag” (t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, etc.) and then encouraged us to buy as much swag as possible. They would take the money out of our next paycheck.

More importantly, they treated the departure as a sign of betrayal. I had a wonderful manager who found a new job where she would give her great maternity leave and cover her and her spouse’s health insurance. (Our company didn’t have real maternity leave at the time; people had to apply for short-term disability and hope HR would approve it, which they didn’t for my manager. .) When she took two weeks, they forced her to leave a week earlier. A little over a year later, a co-worker gave her two weeks’ notice and superiors forced her to leave THAT DAY. We couldn’t even say goodbye to him.

As you can imagine, skilled workers continued to leave after a few years. And this company was obsessed with promoting people, so it focused on promoting people who drank their Kool-Aid and believed in everything the company did. This meant that the leaders were very zealous in enforcing company policies, but they weren’t very capable.

The CEO was from a small town in Iowa and he seemed to want to run the place like it was a small town high school. It made the company culture really toxic and bigoted because we were supposed to have all this school-type pride in our company, but we had extremely heavy workloads and not-so-great benefits and pay.”


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