Travis Kalanick, Head Douche.

Did all y’all read this Susan Fowler lady’s blogpost about her year working as an engineer for Uber, and how executives there were like “come let me rub my junk on you,” and she talked to the other women and they all said “he asked to rub his junk on me too,” and when they bitched to HR about it, HR lied and said nobody had ever complained about dude before, and then HR told her SHE was the problem?

We don’t want to cannibalizeall of it, but it was DAMN something else! Here’s just a few of the HOLY SHITS!

In the background, there was a game-of-thrones political war raging within the ranks of upper management in the infrastructure engineering organization. It seemed like every manager was fighting their peers and attempting to undermine their direct supervisor so that they could have their direct supervisor’s job. No attempts were made by these managers to hide what they were doing: they boasted about it in meetings, told their direct reports about it, and the like. I remember countless meetings with my managers and skip-levels where I would sit there, not saying anything, and the manager would be boasting about finding favor with their skip-level and that I should expect them to have their manager’s job within a quarter or two. I also remember a very disturbing team meeting in which one of the directors boasted to our team that he had withheld business-critical information from one of the executives so that he could curry favor with one of the other executives (and, he told us with a smile on his face, it worked!).

OK, that part isn’t “holy shit,” it’s just funny because it’s such total TRUMPLAND. Let’s try again.

Every time something ridiculous happened, every time a sexist email was sent, I’d sent a short report to HR just to keep a record going. Things came to a head with one particular email chain from the director of our engineering organization concerning leather jackets that had been ordered for all of the SREs. See, earlier in the year, the organization had promised leather jackets for everyone in organization, and had taken all of our sizes; we all tried them on and found our sizes, and placed our orders. One day, all of the women (there were, I believe, six of us left in the org) received an email saying that no leather jackets were being ordered for the women because there were not enough women in the organization to justify placing an order. I replied and said that I was sure Uber SRE could find room in their budget to buy leather jackets for the, what, six women if it could afford to buy them for over a hundred and twenty men. The director replied back, saying that if we women really wanted equality, then we should realize we were getting equality by not getting the leather jackets. He said that because there were so many men in the org, they had gotten a significant discount on the men’s jackets but not on the women’s jackets, and it wouldn’t be equal or fair, he argued, to give the women leather jackets that cost a little more than the men’s jackets. We were told that if we wanted leather jackets, we women needed to find jackets that were the same price as the bulk-order price of the men’s jackets.

LOL that’s just fucking RUDE. But back to HR!

I forwarded this absurd chain of emails to HR, and they requested to meet with me shortly after. I don’t know what I expected after all of my earlier encounters with them, but this one was more ridiculous than I could have ever imagined. The HR rep began the meeting by asking me if I had noticed that *I* was the common theme in all of the reports I had been making, and that if I had ever considered that I might be the problem. I pointed out that everything I had reported came with extensive documentation and I clearly wasn’t the instigator (or even a main character) in the majority of them – she countered by saying that there was absolutely no record in HR of any of the incidents I was claiming I had reported (which, of course, was a lie, and I reminded her I had email and chat records to prove it was a lie). She then asked me if women engineers at Uber were friends and talked a lot, and then asked me how often we communicated, what we talked about, what email addresses we used to communicate, which chat rooms we frequented, etc. – an absurd and insulting request that I refused to comply with. When I pointed out how few women were in SRE, she recounted with a story about how sometimes certain people of certain genders and ethnic backgrounds were better suited for some jobs than others, so I shouldn’t be surprised by the gender ratios in engineering. Our meeting ended with her berating me about keeping email records of things, and told me it was unprofessional to report things via email to HR.

You will never guess what happened next, and that was “Susan Fowler was threatened with firing for reporting her boss to HR.”

Less than a week after this absurd meeting, my manager scheduled a 1:1 with me, and told me we needed to have a difficult conversation. He told me I was on very thin ice for reporting his manager to HR. California is an at-will employment state, he said, which means we can fire you if you ever do this again. I told him that was illegal, and he replied that he had been a manager for a long time, he knew what was illegal, and threatening to fire me for reporting things to HR was not illegal. I reported his threat immediately after the meeting to both HR and to the CTO: they both admitted that this was illegal, but none of them did anything. (I was told much later that they didn’t do anything because the manager who threatened me “was a high performer”).

OK, so that is pretty much all we need as “background” — LONG BACKGROUND! — but do go and read it all yourself, it’s a real corker!

This is when we get to the part about “Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is so sorry that he is crying.”

Alongside board member Arianna Huffington and Uber’s head of human resources, Kalanick spoke at his ride-hailing company’s San Francisco headquarters in a meeting that lasted for more than a hour, according to people who watched the event. Uber’s chief executive officer, at times with tears in his eyes, apologized for a lack of diversity in the company’s workforce and for not properly responding to employee complaints, while those in attendance lobbed tough, pointed questions, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. After a rough start to the year, employee morale is bleak, one of the people said.

Blah blah blah, Kalanick once called it “Boober” because he is knee-deep in pussy now, and also they had a seriously lame ad campaign in France suggesting you could fuck your hot Uber drivin’ lady. Also this:

Uber showed that it could track its users locations in “God View.” The next month, Uber’s general manager in New York City told a reporter that he had been tracking her location on his phone. That same month, Uber executive Emil Michael suggested that the company could hire opposition researchers to look into critical reporters. Both remain at the company, and Michael is one of Kalanick’s top lieutenants.

Travis Kalanick is so sorry that his company is run on what sounds like a perpetual cocaine bender! He is weeping tears of sorriness! He is sorry about the “lack of diversity” that happens when all the women leave because HR won’t do anything about their “high performers” trying to put their dicks in the women’s mouths all the time, over and over, and then HR tells the women there are no women left because “sometimes certain people of certain genders and ethnic backgrounds were better suited for some jobs than others, so [you] shouldn’t be surprised by the gender ratios in engineering” and it definitely has nothing to do with the dicks AT ALL!

Travis Kalanick is sorry all the way to the bank that has his $6.3 billion in it.

[SusanFowler / Bloomberg]

You know who would like either $6.3 billion or like “a salary that is more than $43,000 between my husband and me for a combined 90-ish hour workweek”? ME! Give me money, thank you and please.

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  • Manders

    When all of my friends were deleting their Uber accounts because of 45 a few weeks ago, I was like, “I stopped using that app about a month after I downloaded it.” And this is why.

    • YoBunnyBunny

      I never downloaded the Uber app!!!!! Bwahahahahahahah!!

      Okay, that’s all for my 15-secs off holier-than-thou childishness. I dunno, I always smelled a distinct whiff of skeeviness from their business-model.

      • Jennaratrix

        I also never downloaded Uber; but I don’t get to really claim the high road, since I don’t take taxis, either. I am my own rideshare.

        • SpideySenser

          Me, either. But I’m in the ‘burbs where you can’t go anywhere unless you own a car.

          • Jennaratrix

            Pretty much this.

      • Susan Szews

        I never downloaded it either, because I am in tech, and read Hacker News daily and knew from the getgo that Travis Kalalalalalalalanick was a grade A turd. But I also live in Chicago where cabs are plentiful so it was never a problem. It became a problem when my husband and I took an Amtrak adventure out west to Seattle / Portland / San Diego and lawd do you folks not believe in actual cabs out there or what?!!?

        “Oh, just take an Uber” I heard over and over. Ugh, trying to explain to hotel people my PERSONAL BELIEFS about Uber got real old real fast while I was googling up an actual cab. That refused to take credit cards, so I always had to have (ick) cash. SO WEIRD.

  • Chyron HR

    The NYT style guide recommends either “Ubermensch” or “Superman”, but not a mixture of the two.

  • ArgieBarfie

    Again, it’s called “Über” for a reason.

  • ImPEECH!

    Still easier to pronounce than “AirBn’B.”

    • Oblios_Cap

      Well, duh. That name is Arabic.

  • bookish

    Middle-aged Americans already face the highest premiums in the health care markets for individuals who don’t get coverage from their workplace or the government. Plans are permitted to charge three times as much for a 64-year-old as for a 21-year-old. Last year 3.3 million consumers ages 55 through 64 bought insurance on the marketplaces. That was a quarter of all those covered, more than any other age group tracked by the federal government, data show.

    The GOP has not unified behind a single plan, but one proposal last year by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would let insurers make older people pay five times more than young adults. Another plan offered by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price when he was a Georgia congressman would do away entirely with age restrictions and instead give tax credits that increase by age. House Republican leaders embraced a similar concept of tax credits this month.

    • Oblios_Cap

      Wow! Tax credits! Those suck.

    • Jamoche

      How do tax credits work when you retire and pay less taxes? Or ride out a Dot Com Bust on savings?

  • Bill D. Burger

    Just when the expansion seemed über alles in der Welt!

  • TJ Barke

    Scabs on wheels?

  • snigsy

    It’s so hard being a wealthy white male.

    • TJ Barke

      If they won’t let you be as ruthlessly exploitative as possible it’s exactly like communism!

      • snigsy

        Why, it’s unAmerican.

    • BadKitty904

      Self-martyrdom is a bitch.

  • BadKitty904

    Reich-wing exec behaves like a vile dickhead.
    Reich-wing exec is caught behaving like a vile dickhead.
    Reich-wing exec is publicly accused of behaving like a vile dickhead.
    Reich-wing exec whines about being publicly and deservedly accused of behaving like a vile dickhead.

  • LarryHoudini

    Hmm, maybe THAT’s why women don’t want to be engineers.

  • Michael Smith

    I guess its back to the drawing board for the world’s entrepreneurs, constantly searching for that one great idea that will give them permanent license to rape.

    • TheBoatDude

      Sometimes life isn’t fair….

  • bookish

    While 73 percent of Republicans under 30 have a positive view of Russia’s relationship with the United States, just 31 percent of Republicans 65 and older say Russia is friendly or an ally. Of course, the age divide could be due in part to older Americans’ experience with the Cold War.

    The NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll was conducted online from Feb. 13 through Feb. 19, 2017, among a national sample of 11,512 adults. Respondents for this non-probability survey were selected from the nearly 3 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 1.4 percentage points. For full results and methodology, click here.

    • Toomush_Inferesistance

      Putin is a pitbull…

      • TJ Barke

        Pitbull libel!

    • Villago Delenda Est

      73 percent of Republicans under 30 are obviously cretinous dogshit.

  • Villago Delenda Est

    Cripes, what is it? Do they remove every ethical bone from an MBA candidate’s body before they grant the degree?

    • TJ Barke

      Just attracts the amoral.

    • memzilla Ω

      Why do you think Columbia University Business School is so close to Columbia University Medical Center?

    • Alan

      I’m not sure he ever graduated. Definitely wasn’t a business major.

    • Kitty Smith

      It’s basic mediocrity. You don’t need that much.

      • Oblios_Cap

        Hey! I’m an MBA. A poor one, granted.

    • yyyaz

      Comes as a free bonus with the requisite lobotomy.

  • canes_pugnaces

    Did you notice that the Wonkette, and LoLing at the tragi-abusdity of living in the season of the Trump, is the common theme here? I am left to assume that you’re responsible. You should be ashamed and stop putting your blog over the Internets.

    • Oblios_Cap

      A moral scold! How tedious.

      • timpundit

        I don’t think he’s serious. He’s been making fun of Infowar-tards on their site, and I for one, appreciate that.

        • Oblios_Cap

          I wasn’t too worked up one way or the other.

      • rebecca

        but … he wasn’t? Oblios, go read again, you are being silly.

        • Oblios_Cap

          I misunderestimated what he was trying to say, I guess. like I said, not worked up :).

    • Jennaratrix

      You seem nice.

      • canes_pugnaces

        Seeming nice, seems like a compliment… or it seems like not one. I can’t tell.

        • Jennaratrix

          Mission accomplished. It’s what I say when I can’t suss out snark or troll. Now that a few people have weighed in, it would seem snark wins.

    • Alan

      I don’t even know what that means.

      • An Outhouse for the Resistance

        Go read the article agian.

        • Alan

          Doesn’t help. Maybe it’s just me missing snark.

    • yyyaz

      *redacted* for failure to have woke brain.

    • snigsy

      As a polite Canadian, I’ll assume you’re trying to be snarky.

    • rebecca

      lol you tricked them all! BAD WONKERS, RECALIBRATE YOUR THINGIES.

      • Historicat


  • memzilla Ω

    In the background, there was a game-of-thrones political war raging
    within the ranks of upper management in the infrastructure engineering

    I guar-an-double-cheese-dipped-TEE that Kalanick is an acolyte of Ayn (“rhymes with ‘swine'”) Rand. This corporate bullshit is EXACTLY what has ruined Sears/Kmart. When Eddie Lampert bought them, this is what he did:

    “At Sears, Lampert set out to create the Ayn Rand model of a giant firm… First, Lampert broke the company into over 30 individual units, each with its own management, and each measured separately for profit and loss. Acting in their individual self-interest, they would be forced to compete with each other and thereby generate higher profits.

    “What actually happened is that units began to behave something like the cutthroat city-states of Italy around the time Machiavelli was penning his guide to rule-by-selfishness. As Mina Kimes has reported in Bloomberg Businessweek, they went to war with each other.”

    tl;dr: Kalanick, you and your fucking “gig economy” business model can fuck off and die.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      If you tried to run a military like this, you’d get first prize in losing wars.

    • TJ Barke

      Who could have seen that coming? You know, besides anyone with half a brain…

    • Thiazin Red

      That does not seem like a good idea. Granted I don’t have an MBA, but it seems like a company is a unit that should be working together, and having them fight would be damaging.

      • Jamoche

        It was so screwed up that employees would send customers to other stores rather than other divisions inside Sears, because helping another division hurt yours that much.

  • MynameisBlarney

    Call me old fashioned, but I prefer using the services of a Taxi-Cab company with union drivers.

    • snigsy

      And where I live, many of the drivers came here as refugees from Ethiopia and Somalia.

      • MynameisBlarney

        Funniest cabby I ever had was a Pakistani man.

        • Oblios_Cap

          It must have been the one that David Brooks is always talking to.

  • Anna Rompage

    I know Uber and Lyft are all the craze, but I refuse to use any “ride share” serivec, first off because it’s not ride share, and secondly, they’re cutting into the Taxi market which is a business environment where people can actually eek out a living wage…

    • Villago Delenda Est

      That, and it’s regulated to impose some safety standards to protect the customer.

      • Oblios_Cap

        Some of my coworkers drive for Uber. When they got their 1099s, they weren’t as enthusiastic when they realized no taxed has been withheld and they have to come up with some cash right quick.

        • Villago Delenda Est

          Why do I strongly suspect that the employer side didn’t bother to pay any taxes at all?

    • Lance Thrustwell

      I thought the Oober people got more $, but I dunno. Btw, I am a spelling Nazi jerkwad so forgive me, but it’s “eke”. Actually though, I kinda like that – it’s the sound I make when I look at my own paycheck: “eek! It’s so tiny!”

      • CogitoErgoBibo

        “Oober” just makes me think Gilmore Girls. Good times.

      • FlownOver

        “eek! It’s so tiny!”

        That’s what Melon said!

    • Thiazin Red

      That bugs me too, its not a “sharing” economy if you’re paying for it. Its just paying unvetted randos who may not have a safe vehicle and having an app that lets said randos know your every move.

    • georgiaburning

      It’s sort of like the old sharecropping model, especially when they finance cars for the drivers.

    • SweetDeeKat

      I avoid it because it seems kind of rapey.

  • AnnieGetYerFun

    Sounds like they hired extensively from Microsoft’s engineering groups.

  • CogitoErgoBibo

    Is it wrong that I want to punch the lying, horrible HR lady with a shit-ton of votes? That’s another person in this story who could use to spend a lot of quality time with her family.

    • snigsy

      I’m sure there are plenty of very nice HR people, but every head of HR I’ve encountered was a weasel.

      • Oblios_Cap

        They just know you’re stealing from the company in 5-minute intervals.

        • CindyinEncinitas

          Their strong suit is usually keeping normal, hard-working people under constant surveillance.

    • YoBunnyBunny

      Punch? Chilllllllld, no lie, when I was reading this, I wanted to kick her in her muff* with a boot full of votes.

      *I’m a bad liberal feminist. I am a bad liberal feminist. I am a bad liberal feminist… infinity

  • schmannity

    Kalanick denied wrongdoing: Uber, I hardly knew her.

  • memzilla Ω
    • wait! what?

      This should have been the opening for Kylie Minogue’s “Get out of my way.”

      • Freeway

        How do you know that song? It was a minor hit in America. I thought I was the only person in this country who knew it lol

        • wait! what?

          I’ve been a Kylie fan since this:

          • Iron Monkey

            When she redid “Locomotion” we couldn’t figure out what the hell she was doing–some white girl singer (who we had never heard of) covering a Little Eva hit. 1987.



          • I remember her when she was a minor Australian soap opera star.

          • Iron Monkey

            “Neighbors”. Is there anyone with an Actors Equity Australia who hasn’t appeared on that show?

          • Freeway

            Actually, the “7th Heaven” remix of “Get Out Of My Way” was played on Sirius/XM dance stations and that’s how I know it. Apparently it was a big club hit here.

  • Oblios_Cap

    Kalanick is just biding his time until all the cars become self-driving and he can fire all the labor.

    • CogitoErgoBibo

      In all likelihood, you’re spot on.

    • georgiaburning

      Watch their stock drop like a rock once they hit a few cyclists or buses in SF

  • goonemeritus

    Just because your fraternity brother did epic keg-stands it doesn’t necessarily qualify him to be head of corporate HR.

  • Crystalclear12

    Translation: the delete uber thing is working so I need to pretend to be less of a dick.

  • bookish

    Implementation of new deportation rules expected to begin today.

    • Anna Rompage

      Got a parking ticket? Back to Mexico for you!

      • Alternative Pony Ron

        ‘But I was born in Milwaukee!’

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Of course, what will happen very quickly is someone who “looks” Mezzikan but can trace their ancestry in say California or Texas back before the 13 colonies declared independence will be expelled as an “illegal” for not having a green card or other documentation.

      • Jamoche

        It’s “Born in East LA” all over again.

  • AnnieGetYerFun

    Reading Ms. Fowler’s blog post is like watching a horror movie. You keep shouting, “Don’t go the HR anymore! Get a lawyer! Noooooo, don’t open the door to the conference roooooooom!”

    • Villago Delenda Est

      Spot on.

    • CogitoErgoBibo

      Or go straight to the EEOC. Do a solid for all your co-workers, while laying that basis for the civil suit.

      • Anna Rompage

        Should have gone to the EEOC, before the PussyGrabber in Chief & the whole of the congressional GOP fund it with $1 per year…

  • Jeffocaster in the desert

    So we have this company, founded on the idea of skirting taxi regulations, and keeping the workforce in a limbo contractor/not employee status, and it “creates” market value of billions through a crummy phone app and we are surprised that the corporate culture is corrupt and immoral? Huge surprise! Trump Corporation of the Year award!

  • canes_pugnaces

    And as an aside, another common theme these days (when some new economy dick-wad is caught being, well, a dick-wad) is Arianna Huffington is on the board, then promises to fix it by bringing some other big-shot in for a fix-it pay day.

  • Cock Blockula

    Turns out that Uber Man is not an Uber Mensch.

    • Villago Delenda Est

      More like a “bottom of the barrel” Mensch.

  • ImPEECH!

    Funny how power and privilege among male establishment works. I mean, it wasn’t like Oprah checked her magnanimous offer with “You get a car… and YOU get a car – – oh, wait, are you one of the .005% of my audience that’s a MALE? Sorry, Charlie, you don’t get a car.”

  • Spotts1701, Resistance Pilot

    The HR rep began the meeting by asking me if I had noticed that *I* was the common theme in all of the reports I had been making, and that if I had ever considered that I might be the problem.

    Any HR person who said that is not in the right field of work. In fact, any HR person who asks that question isn’t even qualified to answer telephones.

    • MizzMazz

      HR isn’t there to protect the employees. It’s there to protect the company. More often the rule than the exception, unfortunately.

      • efoveks

        Luckily, HR themselves are rarely lawyers, although I’ve known a few who thought they were. This sounds like an especially toxic crew, and this gal should have been consulting a lawyer sooner than she did, assuming she is taking legal action.

        • CindyinEncinitas

          I have worked for EMPLOYMENT LAW FIRMS that violated wage and hour laws and allowed psycho people to terrorize the staff.

          • efoveks


  • Antonin Dvorak

    While you didn’t have enough reasons to hate these guys, here is how terrible it is to be a driver/passenger:

  • bookish

    What they perhaps don’t want to realize — but Bannon knows all too well — is that racism is a famously mobile form of hatred. Blacks and Jews, and Arabs and Jews, have often been collapsed together by white nationalists and their authoritarian leaders as different facets of the same “problem” to restrict or eliminate. And that once racist violence is unleashed, especially when encouraged by the state, it’s difficult to contain.

  • kareemachan

    Just another good reason I’ll never use Uber.

  • MynameisBlarney

    Oh for fucks sake!
    What a completely ignorant and ham-handed attempt at fear-mongering.

    STFU, Franks!

    • Anna Rompage

      So what, they can smuggle a nuke across in a bale of pot, but not in a truckload of avocados or tomatoes?

      BTW, there’s over 140 tunnels going from Mexico to the US in CA alone…. How is the wall going to stop the smuggling going on through those?

      • Oblios_Cap

        So he raised the idea 5 years ago and no terrorist has seized upon it? Why, it’s almost like it’s a fucking stupid idea.

      • MynameisBlarney

        I read an article a while back about how much more likely it is that a terrorist trying to sneak in with nukes, dirty bombs, etc…would have a better chance coming in from Canada.
        Because there’s sooooo much surveillance on the US-Mexico border.

        • Villago Delenda Est

          It’s really quite simple. Put it in a shipping container, and sail it right into any port on either coast. That way you’ve delivered your explosive directly to a target worth expending a nuke on.

          • MynameisBlarney

            Our IC has probably thought about that and took precautions, likely right after 9/11.

          • UncleTravelingMatt

            Bad guys always have much more elaborate plans than necessary. I learned that from a documentary about a guy who planned to break in to Fort Knox and detonate a nuclear device to contaminate the gold to raise gold prices.

        • Thiazin Red

          Right? You’ve got a massive border, a lot of it in remote areas with no people, or you could take things across one of the lakes.

          • MynameisBlarney

            I think they were talking about the uninhabited forested areas more than the lakes.

    • Because nuclear blasts stop right at a border wall. Atomic radiation and fallout respect boundaries.

      • Villago Delenda Est

        The stupid, it’s fucking radioactive.

    • Ricky Gay

      Couldn’t they just hide it in his next shipment of Viagra?

    • JustDon’tSayDieInJail

      So it’s, “Hide the thing in a thing which we also must hide”? Fucking idiot.

    • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

      Is there a central place I can go to make fun of this guy? That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve read since the Russian Puppet’s last tweet.

    • Zyxomma

      Oh, FFS.

  • And I find myself writing for the second day in a row, “Thank you for not killing us menfolk in our sleep, ladies.”

  • Martini Ambassador

    Jesus, these guys. As if this “sharing economy” worker exploitation isn’t just crappy business all on its own. I have been in one Uber once in my life, and that’s because somebody called it for me. Never, never again.

    I still don’t get why taxis aren’t a perfectly fine method of on-demand transporation. Too many “ethnics” driving them?

    • MynameisBlarney

      It’s those damn pesky unions!

    • Red Bird Resistance Engineer

      In some areas, the taxis drivers are racist and don’t stop for black customers.

      • ahughes798

        Chicago being one of them. There was a big crackdown on the taxi companies regarding this, but I doubt it worked. Chicago is still the most segregated large city in the US.

        • Red Bird Ω

          Didn’t know that.

    • Historicat

      The one thing Uber seems to have going for it is a useful mobile application. That’s the one thing Uber and Lyft have going for them.

  • boyblue122

    Uber’s front office, where backstabbing and internal fighting is the norm and women are marginalized.

    No wonder Drumpf initially picked Uber’s CEO to be part of their advisory board

    • Freeway

      Uber CEO is a bag of issues. Rumors fly about his mental state and even sexuality. Poor guy thought he was the king and now his unstable empire is being shook up scandal after scandal.

  • zanzibar_buckbuck_mcfate

    I don’t have skin in the Uber game because I live in rural Iowa, but I never use them when traveling for a variety of reasons… now I have another. Lyft ftw?

    • hendenburg2

      Lyft is just as bad. Just lower-key about it.

      kinda like how Target treats its employees just as bad as Walmart, but manages to avoid their name in the news

  • MynameisBlarney

    Meanwhilst, back at the Capitol.

    The short-fingered vulgarian is hard at work.

  • peteywheats

    You would not believe the amount of propaganda that Uber and Lyft laid on Austin before our vote to not allow Uber and Lyft to ignore city laws. We got 4-5 pieces of physical mail a day, all of if was to vote Yes to allow Uber and Lyft to avoid our laws, but the arguments on the fliers were trying to cover both sides of the issue.
    For example: Do you hate these huge companies coming to town to override local laws? Vote Yes on Prop 1. Do you love Uber and Lyft? Vote Yes on Prop 1. It was insane. Every commercial break had some ads, covering both sides, all telling you to vote yes. They spent $10 million dollars to sway Austin their way, more than has ever been spent on any local election. Proud that Austin still saw through all this and said, nope, you have to obey our laws to do business here. They threw a tantrum and left, on their own accord, to punish us. There was nothing that would have prevented them from continuing to do business for 10 more months, but they wanted to punish us.

    • QueerPunk

      In Denmark, they’re painting opponents of ride sharing apps as Luddites – “why do you hate technology?” (Really, that’s in the ads on facebook.)

      It’s blatantly transparent, but unfortunately, even good friends of mine are getting Ubers, though I keep telling them not to, as they are not licensed for commercial passenger transport and uninsured for that purpose. I usually shout the last bit.

  • Zonath

    You mean a company which has repeatedly shown its utter disregard for laws against things like unregulated taxis and unlicensed self-driving cars also casually disrespects laws mandating sex equality in the workplace and non-retaliation?

    No wonder the CEO was offered a seat on “President” Trump’s economic advisory council.

  • I think the “HR doesn’t do anything to [whatever group]” is kinda standard corporate policy. One of the managers here is abusive as shit to her direct reports, often leaving them in tears, she’s been reported to HR dozens of times, and the reply is “that’s just who she is”… She’s also good friends with the owners…

  • William Romanowski

    I was an UBER driver for two weeks. The first ride I’m sure was a man and woman that I’m sure was a date rape. She was coherent the first 5 minutes, and then totally was out of it. I was supposed to take them to her place, she couldn’t remember her address. Ended up taking them to his hotel. Just terrible. It felt like I was playing a video game called “Soul Sucking Drunk Hunter”. I stopped playing.

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))


  • chortlingdingo

    Ah, I see things haven’t magically gotten better during my vacation hiatus. (The Harry Potter parks were awesome, by the way, and I had a great time!)

  • SadDemInTex

    Has any Wonketeer had a GOOD experience with HR? Because no one I know has (and my sister who was in an equally male dominated field tells horror stories!).

    • wait! what?

      Yes, a few times in a 15 year career with a tech company. But, in general, a nightmarish organization that was run by the most oddly qualified people.

      • ahughes798

        As far as women in tech companies go, GamerGate type behaviour seems to be a feature, not a bug.

    • CindyinEncinitas

      I complained once about being sexually harassed and the manager got written up and he stopped doing it. He had asked me to dance at an after-work function and I said no and he started torturing me after that. I complained and women came out of the woodwork with stories about him commenting on their boobs every time he saw them, etc. It was really kind of great to shut him up.

    • Hither and Yawn

      Even as a manager it seemed like every interaction I had with HR was a battle. No one likes working with a non-performer, but even glaring issues like people sleeping at work or driving home to use the bathroom got a pass from HR.

      They’re completely up front (almost patronizing) about not being able to do other people’s jobs yet have somehow managed to give themselves a veto-wielding seat at the table.

      • SadDemInTex

        I know. Our head of HR has survived multiple coups and is going strong

    • The Librarian

      Yes, I did. Our old HR manager was wonderful. The new one is nice, but kinda young and inexperienced. However, it’s our new administrator who gets a thumbs down. She actually showed the managers a team building video that mentioned Jeebus. I almost threw up.

    • Historicat

      A good HR department will head off problems and keep the company from getting sued. Our profit above all approach to corporations puts the squeeze on HR, especially in companies which are not well-run to begin with.

      That being said, HR is never on the side of the employee. I would go to HR for help with, say, insurance or paperwork; I wouldn’t expect to get much support from HR against a top executive or anyone who is favored by a top executive.

  • Red Bird Resistance Engineer

    I agree with Uber’s HR. Sometimes men are better at being assholes than women.

    • Sometimes? I can be a right bitchy asshole sometimes

      • Red Bird Resistance Engineer

        I know you’re making a joke but seriously, I’m beginning to believe that there is a genetic cause for the way men manage to think of themselves first in every situation. I still like you guys. But really?

        • New Year 1080p

          Testosterone can be pretty fucky sometimes (of course that doesn’t excuse shitty behavior).

          • Alternative Pony Ron

            Yup. What’s supposed to make us better is that we’re supposed to be able to OVERRIDE the urges of our hormones, not celebrate being in thrall to them.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      Well, ok. I’ve worked with both. A female workplace can be a different kind of awful.

  • Crank Tango

    Shocked that a company named Uber is assholes. What, was Mein Kar taken?

  • SterWonk

    On the other hand, he’s bringing in Eric Holder to lead the investigation, so that’s something.

    • CindyinEncinitas

      Isn’t he the guy who didn’t prosecute a single bank executive after the largest transfer of wealth in our country’s history happened?

      • SterWonk

        That’s … true. :-(

        But he did do a good job on the civil liberties front, which is what this is.

        • CindyinEncinitas

          Oh, all right. But I’m still pissed at him.

  • tegrat

    I’ve heard that Uber has yet to make any money. Is this true?

    • QueerPunk

      According to TechCrunch, they’re spending more than they’re making. So other than being creeps that don’t pay their employees properly, they also seem determined to re-stage Ye Ole Dot.Com Bust of yore.

      In related news, Uber is considered pirat taxiing in Denmark and will soon be forced to stop operating, as they’re not insured, trained or licensed for commercial passenger transport. Happy days, ‘cuz fuck those guys. And the rest of the red herring that is the sharing economy.

    • Freeway

      Uber is truly screwed. They lost almost $3 BILLION last year. The problem is that they are keeping fares low to gain and maintain market share while offering bonuses to keep drivers online. Their goal is to drive competitors out of business but it seems more companies keep going online (Juno in New York, Google expanding Waze rideshare, etc). So how long can fares stay low?

      Bottom line is Uber makes no profit and actually posts huge losses and over 50% of their drivers are unhappy. It is an unsustainable model. And a national roll out of self-driving cars is at least ten years away realistically speaking.

      • alpacapunchbowl

        I don’t want to sound completely unhinged, but I am convinced that Uber’s true core business is data mining and the rides biz is just the means to access said data.
        I know that sounds paranoid and nutty, but their business model and lack of profits make no sense to me whatsoever.

        • Freeway

          That could be true. Look at what Eddie Lampert did to once venerable Sears. He used their “Shop Your Way” Rewards program as a huge data mine and is making millions off of that while Sears goes under.

      • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

        It’s also about capital and share value. If people are dumb enough to invest, it doesn’t matter to the company if they’re profitable or not- until they run out of investors.

        • Freeway

          They supposedly have $11 billion in cash. They lost 3 billion last year. If they don’t increase fares considerably they will drain all their cash and start borrowing and investors will scram. But they don’t want to increase fares so they are taking a risk that I think is not well thought out. Lyft isn’t the only competitor. And wait until self-driving cars start hitting the road. Do you think Toyota, Ford, BMW are going to want a middle man like Uber? Or a threat to their 100+ year old companies existence. They will each start their own ride share services and reap the benefit of an already established dealer network to maintain their grid. Just a thought. I think people are holding Uber to too high of a standard but I’m skeptical it will come out on top in 10 years.

    • mailman27

      It’s making at least one guy plenty of money. (See $6.3B US)

    • Subliberal

      Uber is a high-tech scam

      “Uber Has Operating Losses of $2 Billion a Year, More Than Any Startup in History”

      “Tellingly, earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank turned down the “opportunity” to sell Uber shares to high-net-worth individuals. The reason? The taxi ride company provided 290 pages of verbiage, but would not provide its net income or even annual revenues.”


  • Bitter Scribe

    …asking me if I had noticed that *I* was the common theme in all of the reports I had been making…

    Isn’t it funny how that works? You make reports, which are written by you, personally, and one of the things they have in common, aka “themes,” is that they all have something to do with you. Who could have ever seen that coming?

    Seriously, did they go out and get the stupidest person they could find to run HR?

  • i’mjustaskingthequestion

    The manual is titled, “Human Resources: The Only Thing Human In It Is The Name”. It teaches how to completely fuck over “the resource”. I’m sure it exists.

  • Reddishrabbit

    My HR department once sent an email listing things that shouldn’t be talked about work. It included your family. So, I guess HR can go “no talking!” to “Say anything!”. Makes me wonder…

  • Freeway

    Uber is simply a terrible company.

  • DL

    It’s almost like when you start a company based solely on the idea of undercutting and fucking with the lives of a pre-existing, largely union-based industry comprised of people who have been doing the job for decades, the end result is basically just going to be a shit-show of awful people who ultimately don’t care about anything but themselves. It’s almost like people called this shit (especially cab drivers, wow who’da thunk?) years ago when Uber and Lyft were first becoming a thing.

    • mailman27

      Aaaaand a whole chunk of decent paying jobs disappears, replaced by people who complain of barely making minimum wage. And one guy walks away with $6.3 billion. The new Gilded Age.

  • Hither and Yawn

    There has to be a script for training evil HR people to say the exact same things across so many companies.

  • Alternative Pony Ron

    Never in my long and rather varies life could I have imagined that a multi-billion-dollar business could be run like a middle school playground.

    • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

      My theory ( and keep in mind that I have millennial kids) is that some of them were so affected by the time they spent in day care that they decided to make their workplaces look like Day care centers, dress like they were in day care, and act like little kids.

  • JMP

    “When I pointed out how few women were in SRE, she recounted with a story about how sometimes certain people of certain genders and ethnic backgrounds were better suited for some jobs than others,”

    How nice, it’s the very core of misogyny and racism, the completely idiotic and anti-scientific belief that hiring disparities come not from discrimination but from white men magically being naturally superior than everyone else. And of course people will in the same breath say that while declaring it’s so unfair to call them racist or sexist. What completely bigoted scum.

  • Iron Monkey

    I have dealt with people like those in a couple of different jobs. At one, where the harassment and disgusting behavior was a bit worse–but only be degree–one Friday afternoon execs from HR, the general counsel’s office and someone from an outside PR/damage control company showed up, fired the plant manager, a couple of foremen and a few other people. It got the attention of even the most misogynist Neanderthals, especially the new plant manager told a plant-wide meeting that he was ready to deal with anyone who didn’t understand what had happened and why. The term he used was they would be subject to discipline including termination for any violation of diversity/respect rules which were reiterated. Things ran a lot better after that.

    Another place I worked had similar problems which they let slide, didn’t deal with or tried to explain away. They were hit with sexual harassment lawsuits that spread to other parts of the company. It cost them a ton and reified that everyone hated everyone else.

  • alpacapunchbowl

    I sincerely mean no offense to anyone here who is in HR, but 98% of all HR people I’ve interacted with are THE. FUCKING. WORST. The shenanigans recounted here surprise me not one bit. There have been multiple times that with 20/20 hindsight I realized that I probably could have and should have sued.

    • HR is not there for the employees- they are there to protect the company.

      • alpacapunchbowl

        Oh absolutely. But considering what their job duties entail, it is mindboggling to me that so many HR “professionals” frequently pull shit that is just straight-up fucking illegal. But most people don’t do anything about it. Hell, I’m a goddam lawyer and I was a lawyer when the shit that I DEFINITELY should have sued over went down at the law firm where I was working. But I didn’t even consult an independent attorney to explore my options.

        • Vagenda of Rebel Scum

          My fiancé needed surgery for a workers comp issue and had to be out for several weeks (carpal tunnel). The boss called him at home to ask if he could come in to make phone calls or go to meetings. He said no, that he wasn’t feeling well, and hadn’t been released by the Dr.. boss then started threatening him.
          In California at least, this is illegal as hell, for several different reasons. The HR person was sitting right there with the boss. And this is a large corporation whose name you would recognize.

          • alpacapunchbowl

            I believe it. Mine was I got fired in large part as retaliation for the fact that I took a (legal and doctor-approved) month of short-term disability because I was having panic attacks. They tried to claim performance issues, which was weird since I had gotten a glowing performance review the very week before my SDL. Fuckers even rescinded my year-end merit bonus AFTER it had been direct deposited to my account. Then they tried to contest my unemployment claim, so I had to submit to an investigatory interview. When he heard my side of the story, the guy with the unemployment office actually laughed out loud and said “yeah, they can’t do that. You’re good, just make sure we have your correct bank info for your unemployment compensation”.
            Oh, and this was a big firm with offices all over the country and internationally. SHADY AS FUCK.

  • Fuck Uber.

  • alpacapunchbowl

    The French ad campaign is lame as shit, but I will say that a friend of mine has hooked up with multiple Uber drivin’ ladies. It’s usually just a hummer in the back seat, but a hummer’s not nothin’!

  • Resistance Fighter MausFeet

    He is just SO sorry when he gets caught and the public finds out about things, isn’t he? Oh, I disobeyed CA laws knowingly? I’m sorry. Oh, we might have hired rapists and criminals because we weren’t doing background checks? So sorry. Oh, we’re opportunistic fucks who support Trump because $ at the airports? So sorry. We treat women horribly, do illegal employment practices and have an HR who is an idiot? So sorry I’m crying.

    Maybe he’s just… a sorry human.

  • Nodrama4mama

    This is killing me since I am in Human Resources and I am also a very nice person. I will admit that during my harassment training, I do say, “If you could all just not be assholes to each other, I would really, really appreciate it, but I also know if you all behaved like adults with common sense I would probably be out of a job.”

    But these HR people make me ashamed to be in HR. I am experiencing a lot of shame this year, being a middle aged white woman, and now this.

    • Scrofula

      You sound sincere and I so want to believe you; but as we all know, HR is all knowing and all EVIL. (that’s snark; please don’t write me up)

    • Jukesgrrl

      HR people are not all bad. HR at a Fortune 100 company took my side once when a manager I reported to tried to get me fired on fake charges. I actually got a better job out of it.

  • Panika MCD

    if y’all could quit bitching about HR for a moment and remember that Travis Kalanick is an awful person (and libertarian) who hides his profits in Bermuda and dropped nearly $10 million on Austin to lose, that’d be great. I mean, considering how they handle complaints against their drivers, I’m not fucking surprised that this happened.

    for more on their customer complaints department:

    and here’s all the shit they shoved in my mailbox last April-May:

    and they also started texting anyone who had ever downloaded their platform (which, we checked, was not authorized by the use agreement anyone signed) and PMs to people where they harassed us. I continued to receive harassing PMs from pissed off pro-Prop 1 people up to 2 months after the vote.

  • Jukesgrrl

    All that and she doesn’t sue? Men will continue to behave like this as long as women let them get away with it. Make him PAY.

  • Weevie

    This is company that somehow gets a car from someplace to whomever wants one and in a crazy short amount of time. How can the operations part of Uber be anywhere near sane? It’s like the final lap of Daytona!
    The “engineering” part can’t be anything but a farce when so much focus is on nothing but now! now! now! faster! faster! faster!
    The remaining women should get a driver to take them all away and video the whole thing. Bye bye!!

    • dshwa

      The engineering department is in the race for creating driverless cars, in order to not have to pay drivers anymore.

  • WampusKat

    “it’s such total TRUMPLAND”… yes and yet you continue to miss the forest for the twig (how many times do we have to say it?). It’s LIBERTARIAN utopia in all its glory. Women-hating is a feature (not a bug) of Libertarianism; see Gamergate; see Milo the pedo; see Weev over at the Daily Stormer; see Ron Paul and his legion of tech-savy Paultards):

    I should also mention: the left repeatedly falls for every far right piece of propaganda because you continue to play kissy face with those freaks – they’ve historically been so fucking toxic that Republicans wouldn’t even touch them with a ten-foot pole. They now OWN the GOP )see “Tea Party”)and you dimwits keep inviting the vampires into your house: >

    Then you sit around and wonder how come fascists are running our government. You helped spread it. And NO, you can’t blame it on the Democrats. This shit has been going on for over a fucking decade and yet you assholes still haven’t learned that you’re spreading far right lunacy when you get in bed with these fucks (you become their shield):

  • WampusKat

    P.S. Dolts, Huffington is not now nor was she ever a liberal (no shocker that she’s onthe board of Libertarian-founded Uber). Her recovered history courtesy of Mark Ames, who now writes for Pando (he’s been trying for fucking years to explain Libertarianism to the left; as in, you will not use them; they will use you):

    And remember boys and girls, Huffington Post was co-founded by Breitbart to fleece you tools:

    What we have here is a bunch of far right shit stains who have managed to pass themselves off as “progressive” to idiots on the left. Congrats. They managed to elect fascists with your kind assistance.

  • WampusKat

    Last thing: RULE of THUMB: stay the fuck away form LIBERTARIANS – every thing they touch turns to shit because its the entirety of their ideology. See Peter Theil over at Libertarian propaganda tank Cato explaining “The Education of a Libertarian” (“we ain’t got no use for fucking women” – or Democracy – his words):

    I would also like to point out that so-called “progressives” at the behest of Libertarian shit stain, Glenn Greenwald (Intercept) and all the rest of then have allowed these Libertarian scumbags to infiltrate every progressive endeavor under the sun – which his how we end up with shit like “Just let Trump win” (Salon) and “The Progressive case for Donald Trump” (Think Porgess). Are we STUPID???????????????? >>>>>

    This is also how it came to be that we now have crypto-fascists recruiting from progressive circles (THANKS BUNCHES, BILL MAHER! FOR HUMPING MILO’S LEG, along with Ann Coulter’s): >

    • Fleurbleue

      The anti-Hillary thing in the black community? That’s not about Libertarians.
      It was before she won the nomination, they wanted Sanders, and it’s understandable why.
      AFTER she got it, black people overwhelmingly voted for her by well over 90 percent. So I don’t know what b.s. you’re trying to spread here by making black people or BLM (which is not a centralized organization the way you’re attempting to paint them) a scapegoat for Clinton’s loss or Libertarian crapola.

      Everything else you wrote I completely agree with.

  • Zyxomma

    I read the whole thing yesterday or the day before. When I get my job alerts emails every day (I’m still job hunting), some of them have (obviously paid) ads saying Uber driver is SUCH a great gig. I don’t even have a license; I’m a New Yorker and I let professionals do my driving. Susan Fowler’s story is both heartbreaking and typical.

  • WampusKat

    “sometimes certain people of certain genders and ethnic backgrounds were better suited for some jobs than others”

    That right there is THE DEFINITION of discrimination. It has it’s origins in eugenicist ideology (women and colored folk are just too stupid for white collar jobs – or blue collar – for that matter – it’s in their genes don’t ya know). Libertarians will hire women insofar as the women will go along with bullshit. Ladies, you’re tokens in their eyes.

    “disadvantaged groups are disadvantaged because, on average, they cannot
    compete with white men, who are intellectually, psychologically and
    morally superior. Murray advocates the total elimination of the welfare
    state, affirmative action and the Department of Education, arguing that
    public policy cannot overcome the innate deficiencies that cause unequal
    social and educational outcomes”

    BY THE WAY, look which Berniac cited eugenicist Charles Murray’s “research” at Mother Jones (do they fucking have editors????)

  • WampusKat

    Last question: how many of you nitwits have been using Uber??????????????????? I would guess all of you. You’re lining the pockets of LIBERTARIAN shit stains. Bernie Ducking Sanders should have MENTIONED the Libertarian party platform (and NO, it has NOT changed; the strategy – lying through their teeth to the left- has changed is all):

    So, here’s what I want to know: how are lefties claiming to promote worker’s rights, regulation of out of control corporatism, and equal rights while undermining it every time yo step into an Uber? Or rent place using AirBNB? Or shop on Amazon and thereby undermining every principle you claim to hold dear? Libertarians then turn around and donate their Billions to elect far right Christo-fascist teabaggers (who happen to be all up inside every Republican administration there ever was:

    “Independent and Principled? Behind the Cato Myth”

    Oh, and that Koch/Libertsrian-sponsored “criminal justice reform”? Also about privatization:

    Here’s Gary Johnson bragging on Joe Rogan’s show about how he privatized the prison system in New Mexico as governor (note: Joe Rogan is also a Libertarian):

    When I say that you fucks sold our country down the river in exchange for a bag of weed, I mean that literally. Though shalt NOT make common cause with the racist alt right (LIBERTARIANS) under any circumstances:

  • ginos_way

    <——-labor union thug for 22 years. Retired now. This horseshit did NOT last long on any site where I enforced a contract. Oh, yeah. Stupid fuck Americans hate unions and don't study any history in school and don't understand what unions are for. Equal time alert: Many unions are just as fucking stupid and sexist and misogynist as the companies that employ their members. Conclusion: Trumplandia/4chandia UBER alles.

    Masters of the Universe live and operate by one code: Laws are meant for strong people to break and for weak people to obey.

    • javadavis

      Thank you!

  • Alexander Stallwitz

    Uber: raised prices during Trump protests of his Muslim ban.

    Lyft: pledges to donate 1 million to the ACLU and hire refugees.

    Enough said

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