Well, it started more than a year back when I joined a Bangalore based startup.
For more than a year I worked for them day and night. Starting work at 9 a.m. and returning home late to still continue work till 3 am.
I was loving the new work, I had ownership and was doing something interesting.
But it did not last long. A colleague of mine started getting ridiculed for not working long hours or for not working on weekends. I remember an instance when he had to go home to West Bengal and a day before in the night the manager told him to change certain aspects of the product. He changed the code and it got messed up a little. However when he got back from his trip he was openly ridiculed by our CTO in front of everyone.
The above continued till he finally quit because of the toxic environment.
Following which I wrote an article on medium about “How not to run your startup” ( https://medium.com/@vinikatyal/how-to-not-run-your-company-49b831d22098#.7h2gydako ) which became one of the discussion points in the organization. However, when I quit later I was never confronted directly by any of the members of the upper management regarding the article.
Two of my friends got fired the following month for not being a Cultural Fit after working at the startup for 6 months. In the meanwhile every month a person was fired for the same very reason.
In Jan of 2016, I was promoted at the very startup from a Software Dev to a Senior Dev and that is when all Saturday’s became working days because according to top management working extra led to higher productivity which sadly didn’t happen with most people.
The constant nagging of the higher management continued. Every employee had to work late and but then they got fired under pretext of Cultural fitness (I frankly don’t understand what this word means anymore).
It was enough for me and I quit and requested my manager to let me go within 1 month as my notice period was 2 months. They agreed after few weeks and I got a farewell.
This is when the deceit started. I got selected at Citrus payments and Citrus in my reference check called up the CTO who said I was not a Cultural Fit. He said I left before the notice period which came as a shocker for me as I had left with the consent of management. I worked my ass off for more than a year, got promoted but the management said i was not a cultural fit.
I asked them when I left before my notice period and they agreed to it.
I just have one thing to say stop abusing your employees for work, respect them, talk to them, not behind their back.
One of my friend’s brought this treatment up with the CTO when he quit. He mentioned that I was not technically sound. The management took one year and a promotion to figure it out !!
Employees have certain basic expectations from their management. Maltreatment is the last thing an employee would expect.
This experience screwed my head big time and compelled me to write this.
On the upside I got an incredible work atmosphere and colleagues at Citrus Payments who understood this and hired me. My faith in Startups is still intact because of them
Would encourage everyone to fight for what you feel is right and share your experiences as much as possible.
If you have any feedback please do leave it :)
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