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A Cesspool of Toxic Masculinity
The office is run in Mad Men-esque style, with back slaps and perks for the few men who occupy glass offices, and unwelcome compliments and ?buy your self something nice? $100-bills slipped into the hands of the women. The CEO is a slick-haired pin-striped combination of the chauvinism of Donald Trump, the vanity of Jack Donaghy, and the hubris of Oedipus, and his poor leadership and lack of business ethics is the primary reason I chose to leave. Travel opportunities are rare, although it is a major reason you may be enticed to work there. You'll also find there is no clear system in place for how trips are assigned - either frequency or desirability of location. Employees have no say and it's very clearly a popularity contest, with obviously the men getting the bulk of the perks. Operations juggle too many trips per person, Client Services are understaffed with weak support, and the communications department is showing its age and is given no help or training to develop new skills or evolve. I mean...just look at the website. There is no opportunity for motility, there is little to no structure for raises, promotions, or career growth. Unless you?re a man. Women succeed here by being nodding sycophants. The CEO has a well-known history of treating clients, staff, and travelers with disrespect in addition to resorting to intimidation tactics. Staff meetings often feel like opportunities for the CEO to exercise power and ?teach lessons.? I have a number of stories collected from previous employees going back years of inappropriate actions and comments made by upper management, but in order to protect those individuals to whom the comments were directed and the witnesses to these acts, I have decided not to share them here. The company history and the work are actually interesting, which means the company attracts highly educated, eager and enthusiastic employees. AAA was started by the mother of the current CEO, who leveraged her sophistication against her charm and made a company based on connections at a time when women weren?t supposed to do much of anything. This woman is now banned from the office, employees barred from speaking to her, and was rumored to be sued by the company. She took her lucrative business with an esteemed lecturer/scholar to another company - a move which had financial repercussions for one of AAA?s largest clients. Clients should be concerned about the motivation for these decisions. Fear of repercussion is strong when your boss will scour a Christmas card from another company looking to see if any former employees took a job there, or constantly check former employee?s LinkedIn pages to see if they updated where they went to once they finally get the gall to quit. Most people who try to quit are also harassed about the decision, in an attempt to strong arm employees to stay. Most employees choose not to disclose where their new jobs are, for fear of some sort of retaliation. The CEO seems to be deeply wounded by what he perceives as disloyalty and rejection, and made it well known what he thought of other negative Glassdoor posters. Bolstered by the kind of impervious bravado which characterizes our society of toxic masculinity, he is emboldened to lash out when he feels mischaracterized and proclaim injustice. For this I apologize to those still working there, for what affect this review may have on your day. In a company staffed by around 30 people, the majority of which are women, there is no HR, or even a semblance of one, to report issues to. Male employees earn more than the women, even more than their female supervisors. Staff are underpaid by industry standards and severely underpaid by NYC standards. Entry salaries average 35k-38k. AAA uses a carrot of yearly bonuses to make up for it, which depends on the company?s profits that year and aren?t guaranteed - you can?t even guess how much it might be. It all depends on the benevolenve of upper management and how much of a ?team player? you present yourself to be. Formal reviews are veiled opportunities for you to express thanks and gratitude for the gift of your bonus. The poor working environment translates into a high turnover rate for a company of less than 30 people. In an eleven-month period, 11 people left. In 3 years, we estimate ~37 people left. Constant turnover means a lot of work. Some employees have been known to work after hours into the late evening and do not receive overtime compensation, some have even come in on weekends to handle the high workload. AAA severely undervalues the good people they have working for them. Correction - the CEO severely undervalues the AMAZING WOMEN who endure working for the company. Many love the actual work they do, and would do it much longer if they didn't sit in a toxic environment all day.This company moves forward because of the women who are doing the work to keep it running in spite of the archaic and chauvinistic tendencies of leadership. AAA doesn?t deserve them. The work itself and the opportunity to interact with some very high profile institutions, vendors, and esteemed travelers and lecturers are all fascinating. But employees deserve better, and the sponsoring institutions of the trips deserve better than Arrangements Abroad. Those trips are built and operated at great, unnecessary pains to the employees. I am beyond hoping for introspection and personal growth from management - the problem is deeply engrained white male priviledge and this review can?t fix that. What I can do is give you, a potential candidate, my most earnest warning that if you are a good person, accepting a job at this business will cost a piece of your goodness, and you will leave more pessimistic about the world than when you first entered the doors of AAA.
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