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The manager and selfperceived omnipotent cult leader was the worst kind of businessman. Slimey and trecherous, zero sense of ethics, but felt holier than the pope because he "helped" his weakling herd of piteous employees.

These employees were smart kids, most of them in their late teens. All of them legally disabled. There was this kid who gobbled up ritalin like candy, a boy who had received his measles shots and turned socially awkward (/s), a chubby girl who could name all the hex colors of her chocolate stained shirt... you know, what we call skilled developers in the industry.

Fiftyfive of them.

They were awesome, awkward highschool dropouts, like I had been a decade earlier. They worked 50h a week. They had great humor, were passionate, devoured information about new technologies, and they built custom websites from scratch in no time. I had to lead this flock, and felt honored to work with them.

Then things started to smell funny.

I discovered all 55 of their workstations ran pirated software, from Windows to Adobe CS. I'm not without sin in that regard, but as a company it's just plain stupid.

Clients were treated like shit. I mean, we all feel like punching a client in the face sometimes, but I'm taking about unjustified debt collections paired with death threats.

Then I found out these kids were often disappearing for a few months, only to return months later.

I started digging, and discovered they were all working reintegration internships (because they were on below minimum wage disability payments), at almost zero cost to my employer.

After 6 months, my boss gave them a negative recommendation, they were all too "sick" to function in normal jobs.

Then they were rotated to a shadow company, doing the same work for another 6 months, and so on to a third company.

He broke these kids, talked them down, made them feel worthless. He threatened the ones who understood what was happening.

I ended up bringing the company down, with the CEO and two government officials jailed for fraud and corruption.

Some employees were quite mad about it, at least at first — I was the shepherd who abandoned his sheep. Luckily, most found better paid positions in no time.

Truly one of the most fucked up and difficult situations I've been in.

Comments
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  • 2
    Damm :/
  • 2
    What did you do? Can you elaborate more? I am genuinely interested.
  • 1
    You my friend are a hero to this kids, even tho some of them will figure that out latter in their lives.
  • 4
    @psone I gathered evidence, and reported them to an anti corruption agency.

    Reintegration jobs are funded with tax money, and last a maximum of six months, during which the employer pays very little, but must offer training and evaluate the employee and report back to the welfare department.

    After that time, the employer needs to offer a contract, or give a negative recommendation — in which case a doctor and the welfare department need to judge the best course of action.

    In this case, government officials were bribed to ignore the fact that the employees were used as free labor, cycled between multiple companies. The mandatory doctor reviews turned out to be falsified, which I discovered by calling the doctor — he had never heard of our company.
  • 1
    @bittersweet Thanks for doing as much as within your reach. I know bribery sucks as where I am from bribery is just a part of daily life. Some people's moral compass are just fucked up.
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