Monday, April 4, 2011

Employee Abuse at Herbal Pharm Singapore

Herbal Pharm is a company whose administrative office is situated at 433 Race Course Road, Singapore 218679. Herbal Pharm has an office which is ripe with so much employee abuse that the turnover of the company is high (which means people join and quit jobs in the company very frequently). It has a non-conducive unhealthy work environment which not only allows abusive practices, but also encourages them.

My friend experienced it first-hand and in the last few months of her employment in Herbal Pharm, the abuse inflicted on her escalated so much that it made her depressive and suicidal. On many occasions after work, she'd come home crying over the abuse she suffered silently everyday at work. The abuse mostly came from the new HR Manager, and sometimes from the General Manager, both of whom are ladies. The HR Manager attempted to micro-manage her instead of treating her like an adult. If your manager treats you like an adult, he or she will assign tasks and deadlines for you, but after that he will mind his own business. He doesn't stay around you peering over your shoulder to check on you like a parent checks on a child doing homework. You as an adult must have the responsibility to complete the given tasks on time without having a watchful eye above you. And your manager must respect your adulthood and sense of responsibility. As you guessed, the HR Manager treated my friend like a child, checking up on her constantly.

The HR Manager also kept looking for any kind of apparent fault in my friend's work activities. She constantly kept scolding and nagging over the smallest of things, for the lamest of reasons simply because of her intense desire to abuse her new-found power over my friend. She had also set completely unreasonable restrictions on my friend about whom she should socialize with and whom she shouldn't, and these restrictions were intentionally created to be in direct contradiction to my friend's preferences of whom to socialize with. The General Manager had been showing bias against my friend by listening to all the lies of the HR Manager, believing them letter for letter, and exaggerating them further. Last week, she issued a "First Warning Letter" (see it here) with some truth but mostly full of lies perpetrated about my friend by the HR Manager and exaggerated by the GM. And last Saturday the General Manager called my friend on the phone and literally told her to "fuck off" if she doesn't like working there. You must be wondering in which company does a GM say "fuck off." Wonder no more, it's Herbal Pharm.

The top-level management in Herbal Pharm either does not take responsibility in curbing abusive practices, or are perpetrators of abuse themselves. They do not set any anti-abuse policies for their subordinates. Because of this lack, subordinates who are abused feel helpless and victimized. The Director of Herbal Pharm takes pride in the fact that he has seen many employees join and leave the company. It seems like he keeps the number of such employees in some sort of score card, the same way single guys keep scores of how many girls they slept with. The more employees join and quit (because they can't tolerate the abuse that starts from Day 1) the higher his scores go. Wow, must be some score! He is also a very rude person who does not know how to behave like a Director should. His rudeness with a concerned partner of my friend over the phone shows his vacuous pride and his complete lack of humility. He also does not care about the physical or mental health of his employees, despite the company's tagline "your health is our business" that's dripping with such heavy irony.

If you're working in Herbal Pharm and experiencing abuse from your senior managers, you're not the first one or the only one. There were many before you including my friend who left the company because of the same kind of abuse. My advice to you is to resign from your job as soon as possible with a resignation letter based on this example. If you're researching about Herbal Pharm for an upcoming interview, I'd reckon you to reconsider taking the job and subjecting yourself to the risk of employee abuse. Also by joining or working for this company, you are only encouraging the growth of a company with an unhealthy work environment and abusive employers, so it's of utmost importance that you do not allow such a company to prosper.

I also expect customers or potential customers of Herbal Pharm to arrive here. It's my humble request that if you value the psychological and emotional welfare of yourself and working people, you should please refrain from supporting this company and avoid purchasing its nutritional products. If you are a regular customer, next time a Herbal Pharm salesperson calls you, decline their offer by clearly stating that you don't wish to support a company which encourages employee abuse.

Some of you may say that every office has some sort of office politics, but to pass employee abuse as "office politics" is barely acceptable, if not a career suicide. It's the infringement of basic human rights and must be in the same category as parental abuse, marital abuse and every other kind of abuse. It must be dealt with and its perpetrators must be punished severely as the perpetrators of any other abuse will be punished. Sadly and unfortunately, I found absolutely no information regarding employee abuse in Singapore's Ministry of Manpower website, or in its sister website FairEmployment.sg. The closest I came to it is the information regarding employee discrimination, but it's a completely different issue altogether. It's obvious that Singapore's legal system does not automatically recognise employee abuse or worker abuse as a valid form of abuse (another reason why companies like Herbal Pharm can perpetrate abuse and get away with it) and so employees who are abused in their workplace feel helpless with no legal protection or legal avenue for easily suing the company for the abuse.

Even without legal protection against employee abuse, we can still push employers to learn the importance of treating employees with respect. For this we need to destroy companies that form the bad image about employment in Singapore. Let us work together in ensuring justice and fair treatment of employees by bringing down companies like Herbal Pharm where employees are not taken care of and are severely abused.

Further reading (much of the text in these links have been found to confirm that my friend and others in Herbal Pharm have been subjected to employee abuse):