map-marker Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Negative Work Culture

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I worked at Orion Magazine and Orion Society several years ago. The owner Marion Gilliam tried to recruit me and other graduates in college. He was very persuasive and talked a good game. When I came to work there though, I found the atmosphere to be very different.

All the staff were fighting and competing with each other. There was an older guy with a family who was constantly afraid of losing his job and asked me every day about it, even though I was not his direct boss.

The pay was very low and they did not cover any other expenses. They would not let you get a second job other than waiting tables. Why would any intelligent capable college-educated graduate need to wait tables IN ADDITION to their job? How dare anyone suggest that or prevent applications to other places!

That is just a small taste of the negative atmosphere there.

There was a lot of work to be done and I got busy doing it. Most of the staff stood around gossiping and not doing any work apart from the main editor. They resented my hard work and were threatened by it. I heard stories of other people coming and quitting soon after because of the toxic environment.

I have never seen such a dysfunctional place in my life before or after! Some of the employees would lie that they were sick and take extended vacation trips. My direct boss was very unhappy when I finished work early as he had used it as an excuse to get a raise.

Many of the authors the organization invited to speak, would get very drunk at events and hit on the staff, and also use bad language. It was awful.

The owner Marion was very temperamental. He promoted staff based on how they looked, rather than any skill or work done. He would get very angry if anyone questioned him and always threatened to fire people.

There were other staff foo who were quite bad tempered and abusive. They were people that Marion had hired.

This organization should be held accountable, especially the owner.

Caring for the environment has nothing to do with Orion or the egos of the people running this place. They misrepresent themselves constantly.

I am shocked to see they receive government funding as they are quite critical about the government but are living off them?? They run at a loss.

In business school, they give you examples of what a dysfunctional organization looks like. Orion Society matches that to a tee. They should return the money to the government that they are always criticizing non-stop.

Before any such organization gets funding, they need to be vetted and audited while running so this never happens again.

View full review
  • Bad tempered owner
  • Negative work culture
  • Dysfunctional culture
Reason of review:
Work Experience or Job Application

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