A few weeks back, we did a cartoon about management waterboarding employees.
According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, a Provo, Utah based motivational coaching business called Prosper Inc. actually did waterboard an employee to demonstrate that their salespeople should work as hard at sales as the unfortunate employee had worked to breathe.
The employee, a salesperson named Chad Hudgens is now suing the company. According to the Tribune article:
The suit claims that Hudgens’ team leader, Joshua Christopherson, asked for volunteers in May for "a new motivational exercise," which he did not describe. Hudgens, who was 26 at the time, volunteered in order to "prove his loyalty and determination," the suit claims. Christopherson led the sales team to the top of a hill near the office and told Hudgens to lie down with his head downhill, the suit claims. Christopherson then told the rest of the team to hold Hudgens by the arms and legs.
Christopherson poured water from a gallon jug over Hudgens’ mouth and nostrils – like the interrogation strategy known as "waterboarding" – and told the team members to hold Hudgens down as he struggled, the suit alleges. At the conclusion of his abusive demonstration, Christopherson told the team that he wanted them to work as hard on making sales as Chad had worked to breathe while he was being waterboarded.
Prosper president Dave Ellis disputes this version of events and claims that Hudgens had been told of the plan before he volunteered and that no one held him down by force.
Ellis characterized the whole incident as,"more along the lines of fun."
As for us, it’s tough enough trying to sell our cartoons without having some out-of-control "motivational" consultant steal our satiric thunder. Our hearts go out to Mr. Hudgens, but we sure hope he doesn’t sue us for giving the company the idea.