Every company has their dirty little secrets but some are just incredible and might make you think twice about how much business you do with them! Check out these crazy corporate secrets from those on the inside! (Content has been edited for clarity)
Hope The Next Call Isn’t An Emergency
“AMR – America’s largest private ambulance company.
Contracts with counties will specify response times that they need to meet in order to remain in compliance. Typical response windows are about 10 minutes in heavily populated areas and 14 minutes or more in more rural areas. This compliance usually needs to be maintained to 90% or higher for all 911 calls generated.
Several times this year, we’ve been ‘too good’ and been running compliance up at 98-99% for the month. AMR’s response is to cut staffing hours to save labor/diesel costs. They are willing to be late at the end of a month because they know they’ll still hit their monthly compliance requirement.
I personally think that’s despicable. Even though MOST 911 calls are BS and not a medical emergency, somebody that needs a defibrillator RIGHT NOW could have a reduced chance at survival in the name of pleasing ‘corporate’ and ultimately the shareholders.”
One Place You Really Don’t Want To Be A Customer
“I used to work at a Disney store. If you ever hear them mention a customer as a ‘customer’ and not a ‘guest,’ it means they are suspected of shoplifting or something else bad.”
The Secret About Hotels
“I worked at a Hilton hotel where I had to stand for 8 hours straight and was given breaks only if the front desk wasn’t busy. There always had to be one person at the front desk at all times. Florida law doesn’t require breaks, but most companies do. Hilton does not.
If you book a hotel room on one of those travel websites (Expedia, Travelocity, etc.), you are guaranteed to get the worst rooms available. Sure, if the hotel is completely empty, you’ll get a fine room. But if the hotel is half full, you’ll be getting the crappy rooms because you paid the lowest price. None of those websites can guarantee room type or accommodations and I’ve ticked people off MANY times because we didn’t have the type of room they thought they booked.
Also, shady stuff happens in hotels. Employees have ‘quickies’ in vacant rooms, employees sleep in vacant rooms without telling housekeeping so they don’t get in trouble (and it never gets cleaned).
Pro Tip: Be extra sweet and nice to the front desk people. They don’t get paid enough to hear people complaining at them for other employee’s mistakes. Also, it’ll get you special treatment if you’re having a problem.”
All The Secrets Of Pet Stores
“As a former Petland employee ( for a franchise store), here are some of Petland’s deep dark secrets:
-We sign a paper at the beginning of employment basically saying we won’t talk about the store policies outside of the store. It’s just a paper, not a legal document, but they hire young kids so no one ever thinks to ask about it.
-You won’t believe the rate of parvo in the kennels. If you don’t know what parvovirus is, it’s a really awful disease that puppies can get that can lead to a very painful death. Dogs at Petland have died before because of it. When there is a parvo outbreak in the store, employees are told to tell customers, ‘The puppy you want to see is just feeling a bit under the weather, might have a stomach ache from eating too fast, so s/he can’t come out to play right now.’
-Think only puppies and kittens come from mills? Think again. All of the small animals and reptiles come from huge warehouses and mass breeding facilities.
-Veterinary care is only given to dogs and cats and the occasional rabbit and guinea pig. If a hamster or any reptile needs to see the vet, then too bad. The owners of this particular store did not want to pay for the veterinary care in any sense. We’re told to tell customers that all of our animals receive vet care from an in-store vet.
-Under no circumstances are we allowed to talk about the ‘breeders’ these dogs come from, apart from saying that they all come from ‘loving, responsible breeders that have been personally checked out by Petland managers.’ For the store I worked at, in particular, many of these ‘breeders’ never had a Petland representative step foot in their house.
-For the store I worked at, some of the puppies were purchased from the classifieds simply because they were cheap.
-A snake and a dog (separate occasions) were recently stolen, but the owner did not want to report it to any authority because s/he did not want any bad publicity. The dog could have been used for any number of horrible things (i.e. bait for fighting dogs) and the owner was much more concerned about bad publicity. I’m sure that’s not surprising.
Under no circumstances should anyone shop there (for live animals or products). This place is a hole. I can’t explain why I stayed there for more than five minutes as an employee, but I’ll do everything I can now to expose this horrible place.”
All Sorts Of Sneaky Activity
“I was at Kohl’s for five years, supervisor for three. Not sure if these are all true of all Kohls, but definitely were at mine.
We were encouraged to sign everyone up for a credit card, despite age, language barriers, etc. I absolutely hated signing people up for those cards, especially only because they wanted to see if they could get a discount. I would give them the discount regardless if they were approved or not, but if I didn’t sign enough people up, I would get warnings. The APR on them was 27%!
The jewelry cases were all opened with one key and were pretty flimsy even then. With a hard jerk, you could easily open them. Also, a lot of the diamonds that were under 1/4 carat were fake.
If you were returning something without a receipt and were getting a ‘corporate refund,’ that meant that you were, 95% of the time, returning stolen merchandise. We would tell them they’d get ‘a check in the mail.’ The other 5% was only if it was extremely old merchandise, like, 3+ years old. A few people got the hint, those that didn’t were in for a sore surprise when they would never get a check.
You could easily let a friend know your associate number, go to Kohls, say you work at a different store, give the number, and get the associate discount, 15%.
If it was returned and wasn’t noticeably damaged, it went right back out on the floor, no matter how long the person had it.
Inventory was always off, probably by about +/-5 units per item.”
The Scams At Paycheck And Title Loan Companies
“I’ve worked at a few major Canadian ‘alternative financial’ businesses. One has a major parent company in the US with the same policies. So what I’m about to say applies to Money Mart, Cash Money, Speedy Cash, and Rapid Cash. And those are some pretty major companies, so I feel confident that this is industry-wide.
There is no authorization system. Absolutely none. We talk it up like we have to put all this information on the computer and send it all off to head office for an approval, but there is no such system. Every decision is made by a living breathing employee right there in the store you’re in. We talk about this system to protect ourselves, to keep the crazies away–those guys who will be ticked that we declined their check and wait outside to ambush us when our shift is over (which, by the way, all kinds of other security procedures in place for that, so don’t go to crazy town).
Handing me a check that looks like it was written in the same pen as your signature on the back? ‘My system is just asking me to verify this, I’ll be right back.’ No, it isn’t. I think you’re trying to hand me a stolen check.
Handing me a low-sequence check (e.g. check number 0003) from a numbered company? My first thought is it’s a fake business, unreliable, unestablished. I’m probably not going to cash it. ‘Oh, I’m really really sorry, but my authorization system is down right now. Can you come back tomorrow?’ So I can run a search to see when the company was registered, who it’s registered to, and so forth.
Do you want 70% of your net pay on your very first payday loan? ‘Hm, I mean, I’ll try, but my system only usually approves 30-40% on a first loan…Let me try…Hmm. Yeah, says I can only give you $200. I might be able to get you a little more if you have any references verifiable in the phone book, do you know anyone with a landline?’ Note: Money Mart is unique in that the system ACTUALLY caps you at a max of 20-30% on the first loan, but the rep at the window can still offer below that if they don’t trust you.
Sending $2,000 to Nigeria with some generic test question about what their favorite color is? ‘Sorry, my Western Union system is down.’ Lady, that thing never goes down. You’re just too stupid to realize it doesn’t make sense for a nice 2-bedroom apartment in downtown CityVille to be $300 a month with a huge deposit and a landlord in a foreign country who will call his buddy to let you look around just as soon as he gets your security deposit.
We blame the system because it protects us, because it keeps us safe, because it’s hard for you to argue or bicker with us when you don’t believe we have any say in it. But we do.
The only time the person you’re dealing with face-to-face isn’t the sole person making the decision is if they’re a newer employee and they haven’t been deemed able to be trusted with the amount of money you’re dealing with.”
The Best Way To Buy Seasonally
“I worked at a Lowe’s home improvement for a few months after college. Everything in the seasonal department has a huge profit margin and as soon as it’s slightly out of season, the price will drop and haggling becomes available. More time elapsed since next season’s stuff got in = more haggling off the sticker price.
The outdoor furniture sold during the summer is crazy overpriced. Wait until they start to roll out the fall selection. Your choices will be more limited, but my managers used to give away $200 tables for $50 or less because they just wanted the floor space back for new stuff. This is even more true for decorations, like Halloween inflatables, Christmas lights, and fake trees.
The same thing goes for the seasonal power equipment. Deals can be acquired on leftover snowblowers, depending on who you’re talking to. Also, Lowe’s almost always puts power equipment on sale right when they get it, usually 15-25%. For example, snowblower sale in October. Beware, this may not work as well on expensive, low-stock items such as a log-splitter.
Protip: When buying something big, like a mower or an appliance, ask the salesman if the manager can get you a better deal. When this happened to me, my manager would check the margin on that item and give them 10-15% off right on the spot. This happened almost every time someone asked.”
This Is Just Gross
“I worked at American Apparel for two years. During the time that I worked there, the company implemented a company-wide recruitment policy where any person applying for a position must be photographed (one headshot, one body shot). The actual resumes were thrown in the garbage. These photos were then sent to a company email address where someone would either give a thumbs up or down to the photographs. Staff were encouraged to recruit instore and on the street and were given a $100 bonus for every person they got approved.
Before this was implemented, all existing staff were photographed (again, one headshot and one body shot) Anyone deemed to be physically unworthy was let go from the company. Of course this wasn’t legal, however right before they started this process every employee had to sign a waiver form, that was pretty much a lot of legal gibberish, on the spot. I wanted to have a lawyer take a look at the form, however, I was told I had to sign it on the spot or I would be let go.
There was also a company intranet website which all employees where to check on a regular basis. This was (CEO) Dov (Charney)’s main line of communication to all staff. The site would have pictures of girls from the stores where he would rip them apart for having too thin eyebrows, for having ‘ugly make-up’ or bad tattoos and piercings. They were basically publicly shamed for not looking the way he wanted to. He would also post memos saying things like, ‘HIRE MORE ASIANS.’
Needless to say, I no longer work for the company and will never shop there again.”
Maybe Not So “High End”
“Ruth’s Chris Steak House here, home of expensive stuff. All our soups are brought in, in a frozen bag. We would just throw the bag into the steamer in a perforated pan until it thawed, then keep it warm until someone wanted a bowl. We would just dump frozen chunks of pre-cut lobster into the bowl on the line, the heat of the soup would thaw them out. Don’t remember how much it was, more than it was worth.”
Finding The Best Price On Electronics
“Best Buy’s discount is 5% above cost. If you are in a store and want to do a price check, find a register in computers or home theater, hit F4 then put the employee number 1(default that employees use to check prices) in and scan away. If an employee comes up just say you were checking a price, you won’t get in trouble and most won’t even care
This could be helpful if you want to see if the deal is good or not at Best Buy (is it close to cost). Typically if you find an item below cost online, it may be a gray market or have a really crappy return policy.
Some other things that are fairly obvious but may be worth knowing: No commission at Best Buy, but employees’ performance does require them to sell things. Best Buy credit cards save Best Buy merchant fees, which is the reason they push them.”
Some Makeup Tips That’ll Save A Pretty Penny
“For all you ladies… Estee Lauder owns MAC, and ever since they purchased MAC, they have been using MAC formulas across the board for their cosmetics. This would be awesome if they hadn’t immediately altered and ‘watered down’ the MAC formulas upon purchasing the company. Also…Sally Girl (the Sally Beauty Brand of Makeup), yes it looks super cheap and comes in small quantities…but it is all formulas of much more expensive brands. Especially the nail polish. MAC = Studio Gear (of ULTA) and they are made in the same production facility, some days they put it in MAC bottles, other days it is packaged as Studio Gear. Want to know the secret to finding a high-quality makeup brand? See if they offer makeup artist’s pro discounts for FREE with credentials…MAC charges makeup artists for a discount.”
Pet Stores Really Are The Worst
“I worked at a pet store once. It was probably the worst job I had. Animals were generally well taken care of in our store, but almost never touched or played with (unless the managers were gone). This pretty much made any animal we sold pretty hostile to its new owner or unmanageable. It also sucked because when stupid kids would come in and want to hold animals, we all would groan on the inside, knowing we were probably gonna get bit. The kid was definitely gonna get bitten, too. Probably would also drop it in surprise and make us run around trying to catch it again. If the management had let us handle them a bit more, we wouldn’t have had kids freaking out over being bitten by a gerbil, or a parakeet, or people bringing the animal back when it wasn’t instantly warm and receptive.”
Is It Racist?
“Six Flags theme parks have a problem with gangs. Management knows about this and will alter certain operations to deter crime on designated ‘gang days.’ Not sure if it was arranged by the park or by a third party, but there were designated ‘gang days.’ On these days, they would limit the amount of money you could keep in the register and they would stop serving drinks if the gangs got too crowded. They were everywhere and I would not look anyone in the eye when walking around. I know for sure one of the gang days was October 30 of that year, but I’m not sure if they go that day every year.”
It’s Not Just Corporations Either
“My mother, who was a school teacher in an inner-city middle school, was ‘strongly discouraged’ from failing any student for any reason. If you failed too many students, you would be sent to the worst school in the district. This policy actually broke about two years after she finished working there when a teacher’s final grades were changed by a principal who didn’t want to fail the students.
Similarly, an incident occurred where one of her co-workers was assaulted by a student and had to go to the hospital because the assault aggravated her heart condition. She was told that if she chose to press charges, or if she leaked the incident to the public, she would be transferred to the worst school in the district.
Welcome to American Public Schools.”
So Much For Charity
“I’ve actually wanted to get this out there cause it has really bothered me and its been a few years. I worked at Dollar Tree. The store had a charity drive for toys during Christmas. We would ask people at the end of their checkout if they wanted to donate a toy for active Military family’s kids. The incentive for the cashier was to sell the most and you would win like $100 or something; I got second place so I don’t remember. Anyway, we sold what had to be thousands (so we thought). It was easy since what’s one extra dollar right? Well, whenever the customers bought a toy, it went into a big bin at the front. However, after every day, this bin was unloaded and was recycled to be sold yet again, over and over. I guess they figured that we sold so many, that every local kid would buried in toys but I will never forget it. It makes me sad and reluctant to donate unless I know it’ll actually go somewhere. This wasn’t the only thing that was sketchy, either.”
Always Double Check Your Receipt!
“I used to work at Petco. They had this ‘spa upgrade’ added to their grooming package. It included special scented shampoo, conditioner, and teeth brushing. By order of corporate, each store had to sell a certain number of spa packages to meet the quota or they’d be written up.
The manager at my store added it on to every dog, even if the customer didn’t ask for it. Suddenly a dog whose haircut should cost $50 now cost $70. We had many complaints and lost a lot of customers.”
Mall Security Won’t Do Jack
“Someone close with me works at Forever 21. They cannot ask or accuse you of stealing. They cannot do anything. Even if they see you put it in their bag, they cant really do anything. Mall security won’t handle it, and they don’t do Loss Protection. They cannot contain you, or chase you, etc. They can just comment on that shirt that’s in your pants would go nicely with a bracelet.”