Hot on the heals of a recent survey revealing that almost six out of 10 employees in the telecoms sector have experienced symptoms of over-work or burnout in the last six months, it seems that UK mobile telecoms company, O2, is doing its best to prove the grim findings right.
According to the Guardian, the company seems to have got itself into hot water with staff and shareholders alike after awarding its bosses big bonuses while freezing the pay of many of its other staff.
During the fractious two-and-a-half-hour meeting in Reading, Berkshire, O 2 board members were barracked by employee shareholders and union members furious at plans to freeze salaries for some of its 9,000 British staff while paying themselves bonuses.
"I honestly look at you guys and I think you look like pimps. You are prostituting us, the workers," said one employee shareholder, who said she had been with the business 14 years.
Another, Emma Forrest, painted a grim picture of life within the company's call centre in Bury, Greater Manchester, with bullying managers and staff made to work long, often unsociable hours.
"O 2 is not the great place to work that the board would make out," she said. "We cannot and will not put up with the way you treat us."
Throughout the meeting, the most combative seen in the telecoms sector for years, there were shouts of "you're fat cats" and "liars" from an increasingly angry crowd. On several occasions the chairman, Sir David Arculus, had to stand up and shout to be heard.
"We are serious about our commitment to be one of the best employers in our field in Europe," the firms claims on its website.
"We are investing heavily...in developing our people so that they can lead the way during this communication revolution."
And most ironically: "Life in O2 Call Centres is not what some people might expect."
Does anybody still actually believe anything that firms put on their careers websites these days?