25 November 2010

Suing The Company

The Law Courts where Lawsuits are Heard
I read an article the other day about an Irish Mining executive who successfully sued his company for €10 million.On a business trip to Mozambique, he, it was alleged by a company press release, engaged in an act of somnambulism (sleepwalking) when naked and entered the room of the female Company Secretary who was also on the trip.

It seems that the guy was a known sleepwalker and whether his intentions were unconscious or not, I’ve no idea what possessed the company to issue a press release giving out this information. Anyway, he’s successfully sued them in the Irish courts who seem to be awarding excessive payouts in these sorts of cases.

It prompted me to think back about when I could have sued my employers for mega-bucks.

Rose Street Edinburgh - my client's favourite place
There were my early days in sales when my biggest and most influential client would grab me on a Friday (our offices were about 100 yards apart) and simply tell me to ‘phone your wife Tom, we’re off to Edinburgh for the weekend.’ And that was that. I suppose I could have refused but my management were quite happy with the amount of money the company spent with us and were even happier when signing off my expenses and saw how much money I’d lavished on the client.

I could have sued them for millions for actively encouraging me to spend weekends away from my family by promising me large bonuses!

There was the time in another of my employers (I really only worked for two companies so it’s easy to work out who they were) when my Director who was leaving to work for another organisation, insisted that I organise his ‘leaving party’ and that it should be a ‘tour of London’s lap-dancing clubs’.  I obliged of course and left nothing to chance by meticulously planning a trip round London’s best establishments. However, upon finding out that my Director had invited the female Head of HR along, I felt duty bound to warn her about the sort of places we would be going to. Undaunted, she came along and it was during the first dance in the first club when she turned to me and said, ‘Tom, this is shocking. I’m afraid it will be going on your file.’

Metropolis Club - London
I suppose I could have sued them for mega-bucks for insisting I did something which probably affected my career.

And what about the time HR told me I needed intensive counselling because I had the temerity to inform one of my employees that he “wasn’t cut out for sales and should consider another department”. Apparently, employee career development wasn’t supposed to be that honest or direct. The thought of me attending counselling sessions could have thrown me into shock and my career could have suffered. I could have sued them for millions.

And then there was the time when my management gave me two main accounts to work on, one a major bank and the other a large brewer. I used to have to spend time in each company on alternate days and the guy in the bank insisted we drank glasses of scotch when we did our reviews whilst, when I finally travelled up the M1 to get to the brewer and was dying for a coffee, all I was offered were cans of lager!

Maybe that’s why I like a drink or three - another reason to have sued them for millions. 

Unfortunately, I was never the unwilling recipient of any sexual harassment in the office so that avenue for a lawsuit wasn't an option! Oh yes I was - God I've just remembered!!!!! 

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