Thursday, January 19, 2012


Depends What You Mean by "Best"

Fortune's "100 Best Companies to Work For" list just came out and there aren't too many surprises except for in their little descriptions of what is so awesome about working at each place. Sure, Starbucks gives part-time employees health insurance, but did you know about the amazing rewards at CarMax? If your lot does particularly well the CEO comes and makes you a steak dinner. At Southern Ohio Medical Center, housekeepers are allowed to ask patients how they are doing! And, at PricewaterhouseCoopers, they have a "reverse mentoring program" where youngs — on top of doing their actual jobs — get to (have to?) tell olds how great being young is, or something. Did you give notice yet?

We apologize, but due to the holiday, Mean-Spirited Wednesday was pushed to Thursday this week.

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I work for one of the companies listed, & once was asked to submit the questionnaire required for this listing. I did not have very favorable things to say & was never asked to submit my comments again. This list is for the birds.

Tits McGee is on Vacation

@jace Yes but those questionnaires are sent out to a random selection of employees... in the past 8 years I've gotten 1 while I know others who've answered 3-4. It's still a silly list.


@Tits McGee is on Vacation Yeah, I did one once for a previous employer, I was never chosen to do it again. I also suspect my answers were not submitted, my then manager took all the surveys home (!!) before she submitted them. She actually had the audacity to off-handedly mention one of the major issues I brought up as a, "Oh, this is no big deal, people ought to get over it" sort of thing and strongly suggested I ought to agree with her. Then my hours were slashed to half and I was encouraged to cut even more. That was a special kind of place.


@jace I used to work for one of these companies and I will tell you a lot of the policies that get a company on this list are never used. "Flexible working", that kind of nonsense: never happens. "But we have a policy!" It's a joke.


best thing ever.@t


To no one's surprise, my company isn't on this list.


This doesn't have to turn into a major griping thread, but can I just say that if you have a loud voice, having your door closed is not going to cut it. I just overheard my director tell my supervisor that she doesn't really want to promote me, but I couldn't hear the reasons and I couldn't stop listening because it was my job to be in the chair I was sitting in. /seething

Jane Marie

@mackymoo EEK!


@mackymoo Oh, that's awful. Internet hugs?


@Craftastrophies @Jane Marie @OhShesArsty Thank you for your sympathies nice Hairpinners! The funny thing is, in six months, we'll be moving to a new space with even less privacy!! Open floorplans ftw.


The part about some Nordstrom sales associates topping $200k a year with commission? What am I doing in graduate school? I could be selling beautiful shoes and buying said beautiful shoes with my generous store discount, instead of writing my Goddamn Fucking Bastard Thesis*. And make more money than I would currently know what to do with (Step 1: Buy more shoes).

*TM commenter BadWolf


"No, no, NO! Right click, RIGHT CLICK! Now, just hover over your selection. What do you mean 'what is hover?' Oh, for fuck's sake, just let me do it. Give it here. Jesus!"

Reginal T. Squirge

@ejcsanfran By the way... YOU'RE WELCOME!


@ejcsanfran In fairness, Domino's online ordering system isn't exactly intuitive.


@ejcsanfran No, double click. No, double... that means click twice. No, twice really fast. No, like... twice in a row. Tw... here, let me show, oh, you can do it yourself? Ok, then. Good. Excellent.

No. Twice. Click. Twice.

fondue with cheddar

@ejcsanfran This was the worst part of my old job (web designer for a university). I had to teach teachers and administrators to maintain web sites. It was horrible.

Reginal T. Squirge

As someone working in the field, let me say once and for all, fuck public accounting.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter Amen, sister.


No company in my entire indursty is on this list and it is fitting.

If we are griping about our jobs, last week during a phone call with my boss he was telling me about job openings with other companies! As in, he thought I might be interested... What?


@Xaxa Uh-oh. I would worry about getting the chopping block after that one. :s

Lauren Booth @twitter

Gotta love Autodesk's unusual perk: girls night out. Great if you're me, but what about if you're not? What if you have a penis?

Also, @Jayce - what does "this is a list for the birds" mean? I've never heard that one before.


@Lauren Booth @twitter
If something is "for the birds," that means it's useless, worthless, or silly.


@Lauren Booth @twitter I always thought saying something was "for the birds" was related to it being worthless to the extent that it should be used to line birdcages, but google tells me it actually comes from commentary on birds pecking at the seeds in horseshit back in the day. Which led to "That's shit for the birds" which led to the de-vulgarized "That's for the birds." The More You Know!


@Lauren Booth @twitter Stop eating people's old french fries, pigeon, have some self respect! Don't you know you can fly?


I think the internet has reached its quota on articles about how much fun it is to work at Google. It is basically Candyland, true, but everyone I know who works there is also a raging workaholic. There's a reason they feed them all the food and take care of all the life things, and it's not really for their benefit.


@Alixana Perfect comment.


@Alixana Having lived with a programmer for many years, it is for their benefit, because they are not very good at doing life things themselves.


@Megan Patterson@facebook Agreed. I am a girl programmer, and I maintain that I CANNOT be a workaholic, because someone has to remember to put gas in the car, feed the child and talk to his teacher, and make sure there is food in the fridge. Life and programming do not co-exist comfortably.


@Dusk I know a two-Googler couple with a child, and I think all three of them eat all their meals at the 'Plex (on-campus daycare, obviously). I would not be surprised if parent-teacher communication takes place using some Google product or service, too.


I just want to warn all you impressionable youngs out there that all the partners at PricewaterhouseCoopers are werewolves, and after you "reverse mentor" them, they kill and devour you, leaving a messy pile of entrails in their offices as symbols of their dominance.

(I work for one of PwC's top competitors, so I'm contractually obligated to let you know about this barbaric practice.)

Reginal T. Squirge

@Bittersweet Real talk. Although that means you're either at KPMG, Deloitte or Ernst. And those folks aren't exactly selfless.


@ReginalTSquirge@twitter: They're partners, so they show up next to "selfless" in the dictionary...in the Ant. section.

Reginal T. Squirge

@Bittersweet Haha. Yeah, death to partners. I'm glad we have the accounting thing in common, though. It helps me attach a general sense of dread to the postings.


@Reginald: It could be worse - we could be working for i-bankers or hedge fund managers...


I'm sure the morale has greatly improved at one of the listed companies since their shitty, rude and mean (can't disclose exact position) left and came to my firm :(


Teach for America is on this list?! Every teacher I know steers potential teachers away from joining. Does being utterly broke working in crappy schools with little support really the road to happiness?

@parallel-lines I was appalled by this. There's NO WAY TFA should be on that list.


@S. Elizabeth I know so many people who have dropped out of it! And the people who stuck with it wish they dropped out! This list smells fishy.

@travelmugs Maybe it's just awesome to work as a recruiter or in the main office?


@S. Elizabeth I do know people that became totally obsessed and then went to work for the corporate office after their two years were up. I would guess that most of the surveys went to the obsessed folks in that main office, as most of the teaching corps are probably too busy/poor to take time out of their busy writing-an-entire-curriculum/too poor to afford a laptop schedule to respond to the survey.


@parallel-lines Hey folks! As a TFA alum and a former part-time employee of theirs, there's actually a big distinction between working FOR TFA and being a corps member. Corps members are the people who teach in the schools and are technically employed by whatever district they work for; Teach For America serves as a conduit through which they get their teaching jobs, but doesn't pay them (that's the district). Actual Teach For America employees are the full-time workers hired to recruit new members, direct the program, support new teachers, write training curriculum, raise funding, etc. They work all over the the country and often as many hours as the corps members they support.

Being a corps member was miserable/rewarding, but I blamed that on the district I worked for, not TFA. From what I understand, being a full-time employee of TFA definitely has big perks compared to other non-profit positions - it's relatively higher paid with great benefits, they get a decent amount of vacation time, room for flexibility in hours and location, and it's hyper-organized. I think the one criticism that my TFA-employee friends have is that it's hard to sustain the amount of energy needed to complete their jobs at an excellent level, but that's true of teaching as well, I guess.



Porn Peddler



@Vicky Johnson and @Third Wave Housewife YES! Wegmans for life! It's one of the main reasons I want to move back home to Canandaigua.


@Vicky Johnson Yessss Wegmans. One of the few good things about living in upstate NY/the frozen wasteland/I am totally here against my will.


@Third Wave Housewife I'm in Rochester! And I grew up in Syracuse going to Wegmans all the time so it actually came as a shock to me when I moved here for college and everyone from sad non-Wegmans-having places wouldn't stop talking about how great it was, because to me it is just "the store". But now that I know how terrible other stores are I can never move out of the Wegmans region.


@Third Wave Housewife I grew up in suburban Buffalo, totally spoiled by Wegmans as a regular supermarket. When I first moved to DC the only supermarket within walking distance was a Safeway that would have eggs OR butter (never both). It was...something.


@Renleigh In college, the other girls on my floor were flipping their shit about a Starmarket down the street from our dorm. When I finally went, I was appalled and saddened. I have not recovered.


@Vicky Johnson: There are now Wegmans in the DC and Boston 'burbs. I only live 30-40 min. from the new Boston-area store, and should head down there already.


@lobsterhug: Star Market is the WORST. The worst, I say.


@Bittersweet Oh yeah, we go whenever we can, but as a non-driver I can't go at a whim and also the ones down here don't have beef on weck in the cafe area.


@Bittersweet I've been meaning to go to the new one outside Boston too! My fiance does not see it as the priority that I do and unfortunately he holds the Zipcar.

Star Market is so bad. I don't care if they are all called Shaw's now. You can tell the difference.


@lobsterhug Show your fiance this thread: http://ask.metafilter.com/204373/Tomorrow-to-Wegmans-I-go I bet something on there will convince him.

fondue with cheddar

@Vicky Johnson I cannot thumbs-up Wegmans enough. I've never worked there, but I love shopping there! My ex father-in-law worked there and he was really happy.


Better to Eat You With

Men's Wearhouse? Really? Also, I worked for a Darden Restaurant for a day when I was in college. The orientation was so nightmarish I never went back.


Whooo REI! If only they would hire me again.


Every time I hear or read the word 'millennials' I want to smash someone in the face with a keyboard. Multiple times.

*or 'digital native' or 'post structuralism'.

ms. alex

@Craftastrophies I love you.


@Craftastrophies I also love you. Can we add "postmodern"?


@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher <3 you all.

Every time someone says 'post modern', a kitten dies.


Goldman Sachs...no way do I want to work there. Read the twitter @GSelevator for about an hour.

Also Carmax employees do seem really happy. I sold my car to them and the process was so easy and enjoyable.


@ImASadGiraffe: A good friend of mine worked for GS for a year right out of college. She gained 20 lbs, developed numerous health conditions, and could count the number of times she left the office before 10 PM on one hand. No bonus is worth that shit.


Southern Ohio Medical Center is in my hometown. My mother, sister, stepdad, and about 1/3 of my graduating class works there. That is only because the town is a festering pit of dying dreams where the only alternative is drug dealing or working at Walmart. Terrible, sad place.


Grumble grumble, I have been waiting almost a month to hear back from an interview with Starbucks; two managers at different branches both need to figure out which person wants me, if they want me at all, and it is driving me nuts because I want their health insurance and tuition reimbursement so bad


My boyfriend is an engineer at one of the companies on this list, and when they made the list last year they threw a big party - at which Smash Mouth played. It was bizarre. It actually is a pretty good company to work for though, in a fairly standard way. They pay fairly well, the insurance is great, and the people are smart. They also have a part-time psychologist on staff who sees me for free just because I live with my boyfriend who works there.


I worked at two of the law firms in the top 40, and it is a running joke at both places that no one knows anyone who has ever been asked to fill these surveys out. I will say that both firms were no more decent or less decent than any other law firm i know of, but it was just weird that they constantly do well in that survey and no one knew anyone who responded to the survey.


I am all about the Working Mother List because:
a) work stuff that is good for moms is generally actually good for everybody;
b) they keep listing my employer, and it actually is a pretty good place to work! I am a couple of years out of college and when my friends talk about their "good" amount of time off I keep quiet out of pityguilt.


I also work at one of these companies, and the perks they describe take place in the main office, not at our branch. BOOSERS. But I guess I'm sitting here reading Hairpin, so it's not like it's a police state here.


I have friends who work at many of the companies on this list and granted they are just one person out of 1000+, but they have all said they'd like to see their company burn to the ground. Google is the only company where my friends who work there say repeatedly how awesome it is.


I actually did work for Edward Jones for about a year as a financial advisor. I sincerely believe that it should be nowhere near the top ten companies to work for, unless you are maybe part of the headquarters support team, or have a penis. Either.

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