A supportive work culture is the foundation of a healthy environment.
In the world of business, stories often emerge that challenge our trust and reveal hidden truths. This is one such story, where an employee found himself entangled in a web of lies and deceit within a consulting company. From initial promises to shocking discoveries, this tale showcases the journey of an individual who faced adversity and ultimately triumphed over unethical practices. Scroll down for the full story.
OP used to work at a consulting company in Asia called “COG,” owned by a Babyboomer European guy named Duck, who had a background in the hospitality industry and specialized in a niche area, with the majority of employees being ex-pats.
OP is a specialist in capital market fundraising. He was approached by Duck with a promising plan to list a North American property in the stock market, offering OP a management position and a higher salary.
OP joined the company at a challenging time with the COVID pandemic impacting the hospitality sector, causing Duck to lose business deals and income streams.
Duck started revealing his true characteristics as he became stuck in the office seven days a week:
Amid the pandemic, OP’s role shifted from listing the company to selling assets for survival, requiring close collaboration with the CFO, “Fatty,” who made frequent mistakes with minimal criticism from Duck, while other employees faced harsh criticism for minor errors.
OP’s company had meetings with Real Estate Developer “Mackie” who showed interest in a $100 million investment but then disappeared. Later, a Private Equity firm named “Dummy” approached with an offer for COG shares:
While leading the deal and preparing documents, OP discovered several concerning histories about Duck and COG:
In Q4/2020, OP faced difficulty finding a new job amidst the pandemic. The breaking point came when, while preparing the financial model for valuation, Fatty provided inaccurate data resulting in mistakes, which Duck blamed OP for not verifying, causing immense frustration and the strong desire to quit.
The 3-month notice period clause became problematic as it was challenging for employees to find new employers who would wait, forcing them to either pay penalty fees or resign before securing a new job.
OP patiently waited until February 2021 when the job market improved and he received three job offers in the second week of the month. Confident in finding employment, OP submitted his resignation, effective in May.
Duck’s anger grew as he realized the significance of OP’s departure at a critical stage with Dummy. Instead, he initiated a counteroffer discussion:
OP didn’t accept the counteroffer and started intentionally making mistakes and shifted to a slow work pace. When Duck complained OP reminded him that he could fire him anytime, which would require him to pay the penalty fee.
In late April, HR from “Mackie” contacted OP after being impressed with his skills during previous interactions with senior executives. “Mackie” offered him a Vice President position, which OP accepted and commenced two weeks later.
Duck proposed his North American property to “Mackie” once again, leveraging his connections, the Chairman assigned OP’s team to review the property. OP, having extensive knowledge about the property, was given the responsibility of deciding whether to proceed with the deal.
To avoid directly criticizing Duck, OP focused on highlighting the loopholes in the business model and potential risks of being taken advantage of. OP’s new boss, inquired further about OP’s experience and OP shared some of Duck’s unethical behaviors.
Did Duck ever find out that OP was a part of the negotiation?
OP seems to be a smart man:
“Nobody deserves to work for Duck!”
This story teaches us to stand up against unethical practices and to seek a path where our skills and values align. We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
The dog tax:
“Little puppy so tired after the vet falls asleep with her head up”