Bosses behaving badly
Business 2.0's 101 Dumbest Moments is chock full of instances where employers, like Northwest Airlines and National Semiconductor, treated laid-off workers badly. And there are plenty of instances of executive misbehaving, in the conference room and the motel room. Tell us which Dumbest Moment shocked you the most, and what you've seen on the job.
Posted by Krysten Crawford 1/23/2007 08:12:00 PM 24 Comments comment | Add a Comment

I once worked for a company that was laying off employees all day long. You got a phone call, went to the new HR boss's office and got the ax.
By 4:30pm they were running out of time
and so they started doing it two employees at a time.
I will never forget that other worker
that I got fired with.
Posted By cathy evan, cleveland, OH : Wed Jan 24, 08:53:54 AM  

Come on!!! This is the dumbest thing I have heard in a while..... They weren't fired, they were laid off. How much is an ipod worth? Who is in charge of this demanding back of the "company equipment"? They should be fired.
Posted By Elissa Charlotte, NC : Wed Jan 24, 09:41:02 AM  

After living in MN all of my life, and having Northwest as a neighbor. It still never surprises me what stupid ideas this company comes up with. Of course, the mgmt has always taken excellent care of themselves, with bonuses, company paid trips,while in Chapter 11.
Posted By Lilly, Richfield, MN : Wed Jan 24, 10:04:47 AM  

I knew an MBA candidate who hired a guy to write two of her final exams. She was busy travelling in Australia at the time and dreaming of returning to Houston to work for Enron!
Posted By Drew Peerless, Houston TX : Wed Jan 24, 10:05:09 AM  

I think the Bank of America should have been the TOP 1 "dumbest moments in business
Posted By Andre, EL Paso, TX : Wed Jan 24, 10:40:46 AM  

...and we're busy blaming welfare moms for the financial problems of this country!
Posted By Blakenwite, Kayenta Arizona : Wed Jan 24, 10:52:46 AM  

Not surprised Northwest is going down the tubes. Spent a lot of money to fly with them only to be treated badly. Flight attendants mostly do not have a very good attitude.
As one told me "We have power now and can do whatever we like and you just have to take it." No problem, I took my business elsewhere.
Posted By A. Miller, Raleigh, NC : Wed Jan 24, 10:58:39 AM  

Another dumb part of the old HP board were having two directors leaking company secrets to the press. They deserved to be fired. Their behavior was disgraceful.
Posted By Paul Williams, Dallas, TX : Wed Jan 24, 10:59:26 AM  

If the Ipod actually had the words "Property of...." then it would go without saying that they had to give it back. Otherwise, it should be considered a gift.
Posted By Cindie, Holt, Michigan : Wed Jan 24, 11:10:08 AM  

A gift is a gift. National should show some class and wish their terminated employees well. Very crude behavior!
Posted By C. Bivens, OKC, OK : Wed Jan 24, 11:21:33 AM  

I think this shows a very poor side of national semiconducter. What a chinzy way to do business. It certainly will lower the morale of all employees.
Posted By James Bigley - Florida : Wed Jan 24, 11:22:36 AM  

As a Home Depot employee I find this very aggravating. The shareholders and employees are the backbone of any company and for the execs. and board members to give this much money that we earned to an individual that obviously failed his job is absolutely ridiculous!
Posted By Ben, St. Charles,MO : Wed Jan 24, 11:30:06 AM  

That's absolutely ridiculous of the owners. You laid off your employees, the least you could do was let them keep the ipods. Get over it, you aren't getting them back.
Posted By Katelyn San Antonio, TX : Wed Jan 24, 11:35:14 AM  

I am gritting my teeth as I finish the top 18 sequence of events. Corporate greed is second only to Congressional privilege. Come to think of it, I suppose the two work hand-in-hand to fleece the American public. When will we actually pass a bill that handcuffs lobbyists and which keeps corporate America from screwing the public? Shareholders must demand executive accountibility which includes a fair distribution of profits to all employees - not just the CEO. White collar crime has as great an impact as any other crime, and it usually affects hundreds of families at a minimum. I wish some savvy young attorney would draft a ballot initiative. I'd be delighted to sign the petition.
Posted By Mischelle Martin, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky : Wed Jan 24, 12:29:02 PM  

Wow, I wish I was one of their employees, because I would still be holding on to an IPod! I would like to see them try to take that back from me!! It was a gift. It was also apparent that there was no hand receipt or anything that required a signature for a so-called transaction. That was pretty bold!!!
Posted By Tiffany, Newport News, VA : Wed Jan 24, 12:34:31 PM  

National Semiconductor - I wonder if anyone downloaded "You can take this job and shove it". Perhaps Bank of America should have gotten involved to ensure "used Ipod" training for National Semiconductor execs.
Posted By Anthony Hemmelgarn, Knoxville Tn : Wed Jan 24, 01:44:32 PM  

Regarding the Northwest Airlines issue, you media folks are just as dumber, or dumber. The handout given to (not a thousand) but a few dozen employees being laid off never used the term "dumpster diving." That was fed to the media by one of Northwest's unions, who were never quoted as using the term. You folks are supposed to be journalists but you don't even check your facts or sources. Perhaps you should consider starting a list called "101 Dumbest Moments in Media."
Posted By Jake, Minneapolis, MN : Wed Jan 24, 01:51:37 PM  

So Jake, are you on Northwest's board or something? The line quoted did not include the term, but that quote sure translates to "dumpster diving".
Posted By Nick, Binghamton, NY : Wed Jan 24, 05:06:41 PM  

The day after a 10% lay-off (about 1000 people), my company held an "all hands" meeting via teleconferencing at which the president talked about the company's condition and prospects. Someone called in and asked whether the lay-offs for the quarter were over. The president answered, "As far as I know, no one's been laid off." (Again, this is the day after 1000 people got frog-marched out with their carton o' stuff.) The next day, we got an e-mail from the president that said something to the effect that 'of course I knew that people were laid off, but, as they are still receiving severance, I still think of them as employees in spirit.'
Posted By Maureen, Boston MA : Wed Jan 24, 07:37:17 PM  

I would love to train my replacment from India for the bank of america. I guarantee You that I would screw up the system so badly someone else would get replaced ( probably the Harvard grad who thought up this brillant idea). This is just ripe for sabatoge!
Posted By N. Jackson, Seoul, Korea : Wed Jan 24, 11:55:55 PM  

Bank of America, Typical of many corporate giants. Many or all jobs are leaving the US for cheap labor. Corporate America and its greed is tying its best to force US workers to work for $10 a day like workers in other countries. All the public has to do is not do business with companies that do this and watch those jobs come back. Fast!
Posted By Terrance Henderson, San Francisco, CA : Thu Jan 25, 01:03:14 AM  

The Home Depot story is amazing. Why the stock holders have not voted in a new board is beyond me!
Posted By JT Arlington Texas : Thu Jan 25, 01:55:23 AM  

In 30 years of working in the USA, I have had one decent boss. All of the others were either raging maniacs with foul tempers or complete fools with little knowledge of their intended duties.
On the other hand, I have been able to successfully operate my own businesses in the USA (for a short period) and overseas without much difficulty because I limit my employees to only myself. Who is there to yell at then?
Consequently, I will never work for another company again because of the sheer ineptitude of these so-called bosses with clearly inferior management skills.
Posted By Jon Atlanta, GA : Thu Jan 25, 04:07:15 AM  

Some companies love idiotic "team-building" exercises with childish crap like crawling on your belly like a reptile, climbing ladders and falling backwards into the hands of one's co-workers as a sign of "trust," sitting on the floor coloring sheets of paper like kindergarteners, and other idiocies brained out by "motivators." I have invariably refuse to take part in such childish activities. Luckily, in my position I can get away with refusing.
Posted By Harry Fisher, CA : Sat Jan 27, 06:06:01 PM  

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