The career skill of accountability


A well known luggage manfacturer who sponsors many tech podcasts is in hot water for its treatment of employees. I’m sure they’re not the only ones exploiting people like this, but this report by Zoe Schiffer in The Verge is a believable, grim read.

The investigation from The Verge revealed how Korey has used Away’s core company values to push employees nearly to the breaking point. Last year, she told a group of customer experience managers that she was taking away their paid time off in order to support their career development. “In an effort to support you in developing your skills, I am going to help you learn the career skill of accountability. To hold you accountable…no more [paid time off] or [work from home] requests will be considered from the 6 of you,” she said (emphasis hers).

Pot, kettle, etc. But it was this comment that says all I need to know, right down to the cringey excited:

“I hope everyone in this group appreciates the thoughtfulness I’ve put into creating this career development opportunity and that you’re all excited to operate consistently with our core values.”

She released a public apology, but Zoe quoted a response from an employee:

“It’s not like this was the first time she’s needed reprimanding for her management and conduct”

Even if you’re the stereotypical sociopathic boss, I still fundamentally don’t understand how you think you can bring out the best work from people if you foster a toxic company culture. Can someone explain this to me?

I’ll ask my sister for permission to share some of her stories about the banks she’s worked at in the past; they were hair-raising. I’m extraordinarily lucky that I’ve only ever had, and continue to have, good bosses. Clients… well, that’s always another story.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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