Update – PODS Enterprises, LLC – Promoting Culture of Sexism?

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PODS Enterprises, LLC – Offers More than Just Bad Customer Reviews

By: Cristal M Clark

Several individuals wrote in to me asking if I knew what happened to the female employee, as in had she been promoted after all?

In rather unusual fashion for me, I did reach back out to the manager at PODS with whom I had originally been speaking with. The one thing that I find a bit perplexing is that this individual just opens up to me as if we have known one another our entire lives, so I was prepared for a lot of anger and angst.  

But, I must say that I found his response to me to be in very poor taste. He made himself out to be both a victim and a martyr by exploiting the personal hardships of some of his employees. This man described a story where one of his employees is suicidal quite often, and for a good reason I will add, however through telling me this twisted saga of a tale, he literally played both the part of martyr and the victim, not the employee who as I understand is facing quite a bit of mental trauma and who does in fact need help, but the manager went about telling me how badly knowing this makes him feel, he feels badly it is affecting him.

I get that, but would it not be more humane if not moral to get your employee some needed mental health assistance or am I still correct to believe as I have previously stated, that to your organization the employees are simply truly disposable, should this man actually commit suicide, so be it he is replaceable, no need to attempt to prevent such an act, the management is the actual victim after all.  

And, I still do not know if the woman I wrote about below was actually promoted he skipped around and mentioned something about it but his text was a bit garbled, perhaps he was drunk whilst writing it, I simply do not know.

What I can say is that I am truly and utterly disappointed in knowing that rather than help all of the people this man wrote to me about he twisted in such a manner that he made himself to be a victim. He made no attempt to acknowledge his rather shitty behavior and made it clear that while he “cares” he is not doing anything so as to help his suffering employees.

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Bravo good chap, you should get an award for the stellar performance here.

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It’s not uncommon to see a vast array of consumer complaints online about companies like phone service providers, cable and internet companies. These are typically viewed as faceless companies that provide us with a service we cannot really function day to day without.

They don’t need us to survive, we need them.

Along with that, you will see a proportionally equal amount of employee complaints because the companies really do very little to provide much in the way of employee satisfaction, boost morale or strive to train the employee to provide stellar customer service. The rate of customer satisfaction is directly tied the rate of employee satisfaction.

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When we deal with companies that depend on us to stay open, you see a completely different customer experience.

It’s pretty rare to see a company that we really don’t need to function on a daily basis have a satisfaction rating from it’s employees that is just as bad as it is from it’s customers. This is a company after all, that depends on its consumer to survive.

Occasionally, you will find an anomaly.

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Enter, PODS Enterprises, LLC.

PODS has some of the worst consumer reviews around, they also have some of the worst employee reviews around. The customer reviews are on par with the likes of cable, phone and internet providers. PODS ratings however have always struck me as odd until recently, when I met someone who is employed at PODS in the ranks of upper management.

The managers description of his job and of the atmosphere PODS gives is akin to how employees rate working for Amazon. Up front he informed me that he did not like his current role within the organization, did not think that he would be staying and despised the corporate culture. His description was that the work environment is fairly hostile and every time we spoke each and every word he had to say about his job was dripping with a certain hatred for his job. He did not respect the corporate culture, the team or his own employees.

He had been working just about 24/7, for months,  he described how managers work against one another rather than with one another, employees are disposable, in fact PODS has an unwritten policy of not dealing with problematic employees. According to the manager that I had been speaking with, PODS did not offer employees the opportunity to improve performance because PODS is too afraid to actually reprimand its employees.

When I asked why he did not train an assistant manager or warehouse lead to handle some of the job duties of the manager so that he was not working 24/7, he looked me right in the eye and said that he was not able to do that. I pushed to find out if that was because PODS would not allow it or if it was simply that he was not able to trust someone else to do it and he informed me that it was both. Apparently, managers are discouraged from training their own employees to handle things so managers can actually take time off.

While he recently saw success recently overseeing a major warehouse move from one town to another, he still does not feel that he will stay with PODS. In fact on the 21st, he stated that he may only be their for two more weeks.

PODS utilizes an outdated system for rating it’s teams and employees, anyone from the 90’s corporate world will remember this rating system. It’s not really actually used to measure the success of a team or employee. It’s true purpose just as it’s always been is that it will be used to help the organization meet its financial goals at some point down the road.

This manager that I had been speaking with had been instructed by his HR team on 1/21 to make some adjustments so as to manipulate some of the employee ratings because HR felt they had too many either at the top, middle or lower tier and they needed to adjust that. This manager did not seem to be very pleased with this directive, at all and stated outright that it was stupid, and that he knew that he would be asked to make adjustments because their system doesn’t work. His feeling was that this system was distorting the value or worth of employees and teams because it was being manipulated. 

Again, this type of system is traditionally used not to measure success but, rather it is used to make cuts in order to meet the financial goals of the organization and that, can be proven.

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On the 5th of this month we had been speaking at length about his job at a local establishment when he told me that he needed to hire another manager for one of the warehouses.

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We spoke a little about how difficult the recruiting process is these days with jobs being offered just about everywhere. He told me one of his female employees had applied, and while she was qualified, he chuckled and said; “I’m just not ready to pull that trigger just yet.’ I would like to talk to her husband to make sure she knows what she’s getting herself into, to make sure she understands the job, you know man to man.” He went on, yes he went on to explain to me that “you know I can’t just tell her that, because of the rules they have.”

I couldn’t tell you what went through my mind when I heard this, I was honestly pretty shocked as were the women who had been seated directly behind this womanizing jerk.

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I did meet with him on one last occasion, sadly that sexist side was all to clear, he let me know straight up and right out that women are to be subservient to men, we are the lower class, incapable of doing what used to be considered a man’s job.  

I provided PODS with all of this information and asked for an official response.

They drove in a circle over the ratings system, but did let me know up front that they do not and never have promoted a culture of sexism and fully intent to look into it. Honestly, I believe that.

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Yet, I also believe that the very reason sexism exists at PODS is because of the current corporate structure which tends to ignore these types of things, turning a blind eye to them instead, employees and managers are not valued or appreciated, and it’s clear to see why the employees are just as disgruntled as the customers of PODS.

It doesn’t matter what your written policy says, the reality is that you cannot ignore, turn a blind eye to or pretend away the issue with managers who take the view that women are weaker, or less than what a man is, therefore before promoting them you need to treat them differently or talk to a husband just to, you know make sure that we women really do understand what we are getting ourselves into by applying for certain jobs.

That frame of mind is completely infuriating and comes from total ineptitude.

The point is, someone or several someones may have missed out on potential promotions because of this particular manager as well as other managers who may be lurking under the carpet because the corporate culture over at PODS prefers to not deal with these things and ignores them or simply just refuses to see them, it is no surprise that it is happening right in front of them.

It seems that the bad customer experiences are truly right in line with the employee experiences within PODS, both are not good because of the corporate culture.

This is a corporate structure straight from the 90’s and it failed then for a multitude of organizations, it is a complete surprise to see this type of corporate culture making a comeback but then again PODS Enterprises, LLC corporate headquarters are in Florida, so…

Cristal M Clark

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