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It's no secret that businesses will cut corners to increase profitability however, there is a line-a big red line that should not be crossed. When it comes to safety or ethics cutting costs should not come first. Almost everyone has had on-the-job experiences where bosses have asked them to do something that didn't sit right with them.


One job I left after being pressured to break my own morals was *surprise* working retail. It was a mall jeweler and we were closely tracked on how many credit card apps we sell in a day and they wanted us to sell a minimum of several hundred dollars to customers per visit. We were given guidance on how to sign people up for the credit cards without actually telling them it was a credit card. It went beyond sales tactics into straight-up dishonesty, we were also encouraged to take advantage of people who may not understand what we were doing and to put pressure on the vulnerable.

Grandma comes in looking around? Tell her you just want to help her save by making her a "member" and need some info, get her into a credit card and then max it out by guilting her into buying hundreds in things she doesn't need because her family will love her so much more for the gifts. It just felt gross.

Right before I left there was a region-wide legal issue that was being investigated. Turns out employees-encouraged by their managers-had been opening credit accounts under customers' names and charging expensive jewelry to them without their knowledge just to reach sales goals and the commission. We weren't supposed to talk about it but it was a company-wide issue not a unique experience.

Bad as it was it was still minor compared to some of the stories below that are outright dangerous.

Redditor Inner-Housing1927 asked:

What's that one blatantly illegal or unethical thing management forced you to do at work??"

The responses confirmed what we already expected...bare bottom morals.

"The building itself was also a literal death trap.”

Worked at a little drive through coffee stand. Boss was incredibly cheap. Wanted me to use about half the grounds necessary to pull a good shot. If a cup fell on the floor I was supposed to rinse it and use it anyway (I did not). That kinda thing.”

“The building itself was also a literal death trap. The fire marshal came out for an inspection one day and straight up said they hoped I wasn't inside when it caught fire.”

“The electrical system was overloaded, and the appliances were all situated between the main workspace and the door, thankfully the drive up window wasn't too high so I probably could have jumped if need be. The nail in the coffin though was that they wanted to bring by stock at the very end of my shift and expected me to clock out before putting it away if they were late.”

“I refused so I'd constantly be harassed about how they were poor small business owners and I needed to understand (they weren't poor by any means). I eventually found a better job and quit but they told all my former coworkers they'd fired me for stealing.” caffeineandsarcasm

Dangerous infrastructure...

Pass a concrete strength test that failed two of the three data points, but the third was high enough that the average was fine. The very small footbridge broke. They got sued, I quit.”​ sandh035

Good advice: “Take notes of the bad things they do and keep dates.”

​“I worked maintenance a plastic molding company. We had a grinder that would destroy plastic chunks turning them into tiny pieces. Well the hopper where the plastic is added has a huge sign on it saying ‘don't lean in’ right on the front near the opening.”

“There was a request from a worker asking for padding because he would hurt his stomach when he leaned in. When I told him I was not going to do it, he glared at me telling me, ‘sometimes you just have to get over yourself and do what you're told.’”

“When I put my two weeks in, the plant manager asked my reasons, I mentioned that as one of them. PM told me he and the safety manager told the maintenance manager that was not to be done. The MM was fired in the middle of my two weeks.”

“On a positive note, I was asked to list off the reasons why I quit in the legal hearing when the MM sued the plastics company for wrongful termination. Advice for everyone. Take notes of the bad things they do and keep dates.” yankstraveler

notifying them that what they were doing was extortion...”

“Fortunately I wasn't dumb, so I refused. But I had worked for a bakery for five years before receiving a better offer at competing bake shop. I was polite and gave them two weeks notice, they turned around and told me I wouldn't receive my last two paychecks until I signed a NDA.”

“I didn't say a word in return, just calmly walked out and went straight to the department of labor. Sent them an official form notifying them that what they were doing was extortion, it was a class four felony, and they had two weeks to send me my paychecks or I would see them in court. They complied within three days.” Inomsbacon

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Some fishy business practices...

My first ever job as a teen was at a small fish and chip shop. There was a bit of cod that was getting a bit smelly, so my boss threw it in the bin. A couple of hours later after the evening rush, I was washing up at the sink next to said bin.“

“My boss came out, reached in the bin and dug out the cod. He rinsed it very sparingly under the tap I had running, before going out and dipping it in batter and serving it to a customer.”

“I was a very timid 16 year old at the time and I asked him why he would sell that, he just shrugged and said ‘we didn't have any other medium cod’. The shift after that I was making the pea fritter mix ready to be battered.”

“We used to use an ice cream scoop to get the mushy peas into a ball shape. I accidentally dropped a whole scoop on the sticky floor, and he told me to pick it up and squish it back into a ball. Um, no. I left the next week and went to work in a shop.​“ Comfortable_blanket

Heavy equipment with only three wheels...

“I was told to run a remote overhead crane with only 3 wheels. it carried large coils of rolled-up aluminum for Ladle Treatment. The aluminum would swing and cause the missing wheel area to bottom out, causing more swing and making it worse."

“This was moving over my coworker's heads. The foreman told me to keep doing it... i called the safety team and they came up and said 'hell no' another foreman came up and ordered me to run it but have everyone clear the area...ok that's sorta safe I guess but killed production."

The 2nd foreman later 'reminded' me that I hadn't filled out the daily safety inspection. Well, don't mind if I do. Red section 'if anything is checked in this area do not operate' let's see...missing wheel, check. mechanical problems, check. The first foreman sees what I'm doing and says 'the wheel is on order it's just not here yet.'"


"'OK what's that got to do with this liability checklist I was told to fill out?' Back to the checklist, oh look a write-in section. 'INOP crane ordered to be run by 3rd foreman' signed me 'Smartass Steelworker' the 3rd foreman was the 2nd guy it was 3rd shift."

"What he didn't know was he didn't comeback to my area for the rest of the night and the checklist was picked up by the General Foreman in the morning when I got off. I came in that night to a sh*tstorm."

"he safety team had lost its mind, that paper I filled out went directly to OSHA. That missing wheel showed up in record time and they had been down all day fixing it. I showed up and it had just been certified by the millwrights." BlueFalconPunch

Petty...

“I was asked to cut off a doctor from getting new clients in an effort to get them to quit, while at the same time lying to them about why they weren't getting new clients. I was asked to do this twice with two different doctors.”

“Before I left I told the doctor in question (the other one had already quit) what I had been told to do. It didn't go well for them. Seriously, just grow up and fire people you don't like. Don't do this.” Gigglekittens

he said he didn't care, it's how he made his profit...”

At all butchers I worked at, they had me re-label almost anything that had a short date. This was to give it a longer date. The worst one was the chicken, which would be frozen, defrosted for selling.”

“If it didn't sell, back in the freezer it went, then back out the next day to thaw and sell. Re-labelled. I confronted the owner about this, and he said he didn't care, it's how he made his profit. Safe to say I quit a month later.” CrysisRegrets

A dangerous combination...

“I was asked to sign off on a plan to immediately start receiving, storing, and using huge quantities of an extremely volatile chemical without any of the necessary infrastructure or procedures to do so even remotely safely. It would have almost literally been a ticking time bomb.”

“It was also all for a new product they wanted to get into the market ASAP which they'd skipped 95% of the design control process for and mostly bypassed both the Quality and Regulatory departments on.”

“When I was pulled into a meeting with upper management about it, I told them that if they were going to actually consider this then I needed to quit effective immediately to avoid implicating myself in what they were doing. Oddly they suddenly started taking my concerns very seriously after I said that.”

“Rather than overtly evil, they ended up simply being a terrifyingly dangerous combination of ignorant, eager, optimistic, and overconfident in their own knowledge.” Stylemys

Working in surgery with no medical experience!?

“I got hired as a secretary for a plastic surgery office. Was told I would be answering phones/scheduling and that's it. I had zero medical experience and told them this. On day 1 I was handed a pair of scrubs and told that I was also going to be a scrub tech as well."

“I was instructed to assist the doctor in surgery (basically I handed in tools, held tools that were attached to the patient, etc). I almost passed out on the first day from shock. I was assured over and over again that it was legal. Whether it was legal or not I'm not sure, but I lasted 3 months and quit as soon as I found another job." JustSuze_393

In the corporate world, one thing seems to trump all ethics and statutes--the dollar. However, when faced with these awful and potentially dangerous situations, it's always best to speak up if you're able.

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