Nevada City, CA â€” After waiting over 5 minutes for his boss to respond to a pressing question over the his company’s instant messaging system, Banner Mountain work-from-home software engineer David L. Cook received a vague ‘OK’. According to Mr. Cook, he asked his boss to clarify a recent statement by their division Vice President.
“I was asking Seth [Seth Bedderford, Mr. Cook’s boss based in Denver, CO] to explain what the VP meant by, ‘row harder like a start-up,'” said a slightly confused Mr. Cook. “Then what followed was what I thought was typing by him. His chat window status kept saying ‘typing,’ so I assumed he was going to leave me a detailed explanation. Instead, all I got was an ‘OK.'”
According to Mr. Cook, he and his fellow workers were recently asked by Vitol division Vice President to increase productivity by thinking more like a new company. That to stay “lean and mean,” they need to “[r]ow harder and take risks like entrepreneurs; like in a start-up company.”
The Scooper reached out to Seth Bedderford for comment regarding the incident. When asked why he seemingly typed a great deal, but responded with a simple “OK,” he had this to say.
“This is the modern remote workplace,” said an inappropriately over-confident Mr. Bedderford, “you have to be careful about what you type because it’s typed! Long past are the days when you could make things up and then deny it when the auditors come knocking. Not that I know anything about that. It’s just a figure of speech. This is why I left Amway for Vitol. Please don’t quote me on that.”
Vitol has been under pressure to cut costs as revenues have plunged due to falling global energy prices. Many employees believe that this new start-up mentality is nothing more than the company’s attempt to make employees work longer hours.
Unsatisfied with his boss’s five-minute “OK” response, Mr. Cook exercised his engineering personality and tried a more direct approach.
“I asked him if this meant that I need to work longer hours and over the weekend now,” continued an agitated Mr. Cook. “This time his chat status changed to “Seth is Typing” for over ten minutes. And then when he answered, he said ‘Well, not always.’ I still don’t understand what any of this means, but you can bet it’s about working on Saturdays now.”
Vitol did not return the Scooper’s request for comment.