On the first day I showed up for work at the cult, I was given a homework assignment.
“We require everyone who works here to read this Dave Ramsey book. Financial independence is very important to us,” the HR person said as he handed me the book. “There will be a quiz,” he added.
Now there’s nothing wrong with Dave Ramsey and I know a lot of people love him, but this immediately turned me off from anything DR. I skimmed the book, got the highlights and moved on. Little did I know just how much lecturing I was going to hear about finances in the next six months.
It wasn’t just important to the cult that we were debt free, it was pretty much a requirement for working there.
People would make announcements during the morning huddle about how they paid off a credit card or a student loan. The company was then told to give them a fierce round of applause. I don’t know about you, but I only tend to share that stuff with my family and friends.
It’s not that I don’t think people should live debt free, but it’s not the business of my job to dictate my finances. In the cult, the only debt that was considered good was mortgage. Everything else counted toward your overhead, and it should be eliminated as quickly as possible. One more than one occasion the CEO would give financial speeches to us in a large group.
“It really warms my heart to walk outside and see all these older, beat up cars in the parking lot. That means you are making smart decisions with your money, and buying your cars with cash instead of financing something nice!”
No, actually it means you don’t pay us enough.
The car statement got to be really ironic when aforementioned CEO started driving uber luxury cars at the same time the company was doing layoffs.
Really the worst part of this drive for financial freedom was the fact that when everyone was hired, we were explicitly told how safe our job was.
“Financial security is of utmost importance to us. We have enough money in the bank to cover everyone’s salaries for two years, so even if sales are slow no one’s job is at stake.”
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had a job tell me that and likely never will hear it again. Sounds great in practice right? Too bad they conveniently forgot that fact and did massive rounds of layoffs in recent years (so I hear… I obviously don’t work there). It’s not a company’s responsibility to keep employees on when there is nothing coming in, but don’t lead someone to believe they’re in a safe haven when it’s just the opposite.
I’m afraid I’m winding down for some of my crazy cult stories. I’ve covered a lot of them already, but soon I’ll have to tell you how I finally came to leave this place.