Issue November-26

Catholic Company encourages Cheating on Prize Trips

A southwest German company, with a large sales force, and headquarters in a staunch catholic area in the south west has been accused of actively supporting, or even encouraging cheating on their partners amongst its sales reps.

The company is very much sales oriented with a large number, probably most, of self employed reps. The self-employment construction allows their associates to avoid social security restrictions and payments whilst it also frees the company from obligations such as holidays and sick pay. Maybe more important is that it has the huge advantage that people who are not pulling their weight can be fired at the drop of a hat.

Reps are allocated small geographic sales areas and are given short deadlines to fulfil specific targets. Ex-associates on an employers review site complain that their income is heavily influenced by the areas they are allocated by the more senior area managers and that you will be quickly fired if you don't meet targets. Keeping in with the right people is essential to maintaining better income.

As a means of motivation the firm offers trips to the med or other places for their most successful sales reps. Officially the trips offer short holidays, where each successful rep can also take their spouses or partners with them. At least that is what is published on the company web-site.

However according to one very reliable source it has become tradition that the winners can opt to take anybody else, usually other representatives. How they explain this to their wives and husbands is a riddle.

One such trip in 2023 caused some embarrassment, which until now they have managed to keep the lid on.

A rep, married woman mid fifties, who was by no means one of the winners was offered the trip if she accompanied her area sales manager. His boss, the general manager, was also on the trip.
We have not been able to establish whether she joined in because of affection to one of them or whether it was to be able to have more influence on her future sales areas. It certainly was not due to her sales record.

She did tell her husband some weeks before that she was looking forward to a few days in the Med and that the company was paying it as a reward. But what then ensued was a dog's breakfast of complicated excuses.

Was she a winner? No she wasn't but she said it was team based. Strange the company web-site never stated anything about teams.

Anyways was she in the winning team? No not exactly but of the ten winners seven would be taking somebody from another team with them? Instead of their partners?

The other three would just take other people or whatever. It just went on from the sublime to the ridiculous.But real confusion occurred when her husband, who was overseas at the time of the trip, having only recently read the web page offering the trip to the ten best salesmen plus partners, mailed the firm asking if he could go along if he paid the extra expense of flying in from another country. His wife had obviously fibbed him off with this myriad of strange excuses as to why she, who as mentioned was by no means successful, was able to joint the party.

According to him, within minutes he received an official reply rom Mrs. Andrea P, that he could not join the prize trip and clearly stated that this was definitely not based on financial considerations.

WessexTimes has seen the mails. Asked if the company had contacted her immediately on receiving the mail she stated it was not necessary because it was already arranged what to do if spouses made a fuss.
In this case it looks very much as though possibly the general manager was pulling the strings.The wording and speed with which this happened had caused him to ask his, possibly cheating wife, what was going on, to which he rightly was told, the company had already been informed not to let you join us because I am travelling as the partner of my boss. He won me!

Obviously the firm knew exactly what was going on behind the scenes and based on the whole unusual story about swapping spouses and partners for any one who wants a jolly it would seem they actively encourage what is fairly obviously cheating. Call it adultery.

Unclear however is what will ensue. The woman now claims she had no choice but to go on the trip because she was dependent on being allocated good sales areas which her bosses managed and allocated to the individual salesmen. She was so hard up and desparate for money that she had even plundered her children's savings accounts.

For fear of losing her job she was still not prepared to risk telling the story as it really was.

German firms had a tradition of offering prize trips, and particularly overseas to keep them out of German jurisdiction. The most famous case is that of ERGO insurance who sent 40 reps to the famous spa in Budapest where prostitutes were already waiting to service the gentlemen. ERGO footed the bill of course.

According to the FAZ report, the "escorts" wore coloured armbands which indicated if they were reserved for more senior staff.
When Frankfurter Allgemein reported the orgy it was amazing how the German population reacted. Many even demanded insurance premiums back.
ERGO ended up having to fire 1800 sales reps because of the resulting loss of revenue.
Most decent firms stopped any type of prize trip even at home after the ERGO scandal but it seems not to have been wiped out entirely.

London 13. August 2023


German Version


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