If you’ve ever worked in an industry or for a company that has some pretty juicy trade secrets to keep, then you might have probably been asked to sign a NDA. You know, just in case.
Those things expire, though, for one reason or another, and people are able to share – so if you’re curious what sort of trade secrets companies are keen on keeping, read on!
I Mean, Some of this Sounds Ethical
A recently hired employee trapped a secretary in a bathroom at the company Christmas party and raped her. He was caught in the act, sentenced, and will serve a long jail term.
All the employees who knew about the details were forced to sign strong NDA and ordered not to talk to any other employees. No one was told why the guy didn’t show up for work ever again.
The victim was offered a generous payout and never came back to work. HR put out a story that she was taking time off for personal reasons and her coworkers were never told why. Everything was hushed up as much as it could be.
The company changed from open bar to drink tickets for all future company events.
Alls Well That Ends Well
Still bound, can’t say where it was.
Was terminated 3 times by the same company for a disability. Ended up getting a rather large cash settlement from them to avoid taking them to court. They’re bound not to say they terminated me (I gave them notice and the next day I got a letter saying I was fired…that’s not how that works) and I’m bound not to report disability discrimination or elder abuse that I witnessed.
Funny story – NDAs can’t prevent you from making a report as a mandatory reporter to a governing body in my state. I reported them anyway, they tried to claim I violated the NDA, and the governing body in my state went ballistic and slammed them with a 7 figure fine. The CEO, CFO, and CNO were all forced to quit.
The place is currently facing a multi million dollar lawsuit for multiple negligent wrongful deaths. I didn’t violate the NDA and kept the settlement.
Time Off Task
Amazon is probably here but I’m saying it anyway.
The reason why people piss in bottles is that they are fighting against TOT(time off task). If in a week you accumulate a combined total of 15 minutes of non working, not break away from your station you a reprimanded or more likely fired. So walking away to pee, TOT. Slightly late to station due to high foot traffic, ToT. Stop at you station for a breather because it’s hot, your tired or sick, TOT.
The above plus the strict metrics and constant oversight of the lead staff makes working there feel like you are a machine.
It reminds me of film representations from the twenties about the the sadness of the futures poor.
“Boring” Intelligence Work
Intelligence agency work is often tedious, boring, repetitive (honestly safe for the public to see), but sometimes we see and hear some really interesting stuff. I retired a long time ago, and a lot of my secrecy/NDA pacts have expired, so I can share some stuff albeit with the details changed.
Nearly 20 to 30 years ago, a couple analysts and myself were sent for a training program at an airbase in our country to promote inter-agency cooperation between the armed forces our agency. I should note that this airbase was also shared with a friendly western country’s armed forces, and they would often stage operations in the region off our base if required.
On the fourth day or so of the exchange, we were in the midst of a presentation when a couple of older-looking military officers barged into the room and ordered us to close the blinds and cover the windows with any kind of black sheeting if it did not have blinds. A bit out of the left field, but sure, we go ahead and do that.
As our presentation goes on, we hear a slight woosh outside out windows, then a squeal of tires before its silence. This is quite strange, because this sound was considerably softer than the roar of the jets from the base we had got used to. As we have not been given the green light yet to open our windows, we leave it shut. But my curiosity gets the better of me, and as I am sitting in the back right of the room, I take a quick glance out of the window.
On the tarmac, and taxing away from the runway while flanked on all sides by airport vehicles was a massive jet. It wasn’t exactly black, more of a darker shade of grey. It looked to be relatively long, I would guess about 30 metres, and maybe 20 or so metres wide. Instead of an aircraft, it looked more like a delta/triangle shape than the regular shape we see on planes with their distinct wings.
One thing that certainly stood out about the aircraft was that the back was perched way higher than the front, i.e. the front of the plane was much lower than the back. I do not know if this was by design or due to a nose gear collapse, but it was taxing on its own power. I did not get a good look at its engines or anything else, but I distinctly remember it moved into a massive hangar at the end of the runway and out of my sight.
Sometime later, when we were allowed to open our windows, that hangar was shut and had sentries posted around it. Whatever aircraft this was, it was definitely not from my country because we simply do not have the resources to build anything like this, so it has to be from the western country’s arsenal.
I have tried searching up the shape of the plane and anything like it, but have never exactly found it. It had no distinct marking, no sort of exposed weapon bay/pod, no livery, nothing. Maybe someday they will publicly release it because that thing definitely looked nothing like what we publicly have today.
Nope. Don’t Like That
I found pallets of candy in the top of the racks that was behind displays and furniture in my Wal-Mart, one pallet had been the home of a mother rat and her brood.
Did you know rats don’t like raisins but will eat the chocolate off and leave the raisins in a pile?
Management decided to put the unopened bags of candy on sale in the clearance aisle instead of disposing the rat infested pallet.
Cool Idea, Bro
Uber was planning to make their own Google Street view for use in the app to better help drivers find riders and to map the world for driverless car technology . But they were going to use Uber drivers to capture the images for the streetview.
The plan was to mail out inexpensive GoPro like devices that magnetically attached to the roof of the driver’s cars. Each would have SD cards that could be mailed back to Uber. Routes would be generated and the drivers could accept them in the app and get paid.
This plan fell through quickly and uber eventually sources this data from third parties and ultimately abandoned their in-house driverless car ambitions.
Also Microsoft developed a really cool backpack mounted camera that was going to be used for something like Google Street view. The plan was to take it into pedestrian only areas so you could get imagery indoors like malls and in walking spots.
The United States military snatched up the entire project for their own use and that product was never released or even announced to consumers.
Well That’s Terrifying
We fired an employee who had a nasty personality (imagine a toxic gamer working in a call center and that would be this guy).
He had been the son (or grandson) of one of the board members so he was untouchable. When his relative on the board got voted out, it was finally time for this little troll to be fired.
His supervisor took him to a conference room to let him know he was fired and he was escorted from the building by security. As the HR manager, I was tasked with clearing his desk and separating his property from company property.
That was when I found a heavily used 5″ X 8″ notepad on his desk that had a list of names. Next to each name was a mailing addresses and details about how this ex-employee planned to harm these people. I did some digging and found they were all current or former clients of the company and that they all had filed complaints against this monster.
It was a hit list.
I notified the board AFTER I notified the police. The shit was arrested on unrelated drug and assault charges. The prosecutor now had to consider charging this guy for his hit list. Since she couldn’t convince a judge there was a strong enough case, the prosecutor decided to empanel a grand jury.
Since I was the individual who found the notepad, I was subpoenaed to confirm its provenance. Considering any other employee could have walked by and deposited this list on this asshole’s desk, the grand jury decided to not move ahead to a trial. For the drug and assault charges, the former employee was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
As a witness, I wasn’t issued a gag order regarding the grand jury investigation. However, my work did order me to sign an NDA to “protect the clients who were on that hit list” (it was really just to cover up that they were in any danger). I signed and then quit as soon as I got a job offer with another company. Those bastards on the board cared more about their profit margin and public image than they did about people’s lives.
If they figure out I’m violating that NDA, there’s not much they can do. They know antagonizing me with a lawsuit would only lead to me telling the media, naming the company and ruining their public image.
Edit: For clarification, the reason I signed the NDA was because I needed access to my office computer so I could look up the most recent contact information the company had for the people targeted on the hit list. I then gave that contact information to the prosecutor and her investigators. They just tracked down the last person this year and everyone is safe and accounted for.
Well, this was definitely worth my time, and I wish there were more!
If you’ve got some great post-NDA gossip to share, our comments are open and we can’t wait to hear it!