The Smell of Bullshit, part 38: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

In this post, I talked about how Mark Constantine said Lush wanted to make things better on their international forum.

So, what’s happened since then? Many people on the forum took him at his word and said where they felt things had gone wrong and made constructive suggestions for how things could be improved. Forumite A posted about her experience. After several days, she received an email from a Lush employee, to which she replied. She’s had no further contact from anyone at Lush. Lush employees set up threads on the forum listing the complaints, and then ignored the complaints. Then Lush announced that none of their staff would use the forum because it was too horrible, and that from then onwards, the forum would be moderated – in complete contrast to numerous posts from Lush big cheese Hilary who had said time after time after time, year after year after year, that the forum should not and would not be moderated. People were very annoyed about that. Then a couple of moderators were appointed who spend several days going through the forum removing swear words, falsely accusing people of insulting them, and refusing to apologise. Meanwhile, not of the legitimate questions people asked have been answered. And now people who contact Lush customer service are told that the forum is going to be shut down.

Well done, Lush. Well done, Mark. You had a fantastic loyal fan base, a fantastic sounding-board, a fantastic source of feedback. You used it when it suited you, you flattered it when it suited you to, and through your own greed, selfishness, stubbornness and stupidity, you destroyed it. The community will find another home – bonds that strong can’t be broken by anything as weak as you. You’re the loser.


6 thoughts on “The Smell of Bullshit, part 38: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  1. So, what will the company powers that be do when one of the moderators no longer works for Lush since they’ve already given notice? Wonder how well that’s going to go over…..

    • They’ll just get another one. Moderators are ten a penny at Head Office. You just pick one brainwashed member of staff who is blinded by love for Lush and can’t see any wrong in anything they do, who thinks that the forumites are a bunch of crazies and trouble makers who need stamping on and moderating in case they say anything that offends anyone that works for Lush and there you go, a new moderator is created. Probably got a choice of hundreds. And if they won’t do it they will say the usual. “We don’t think you’re happy here and it’s time you moved on”. And moved on they will be.

      • That bit made me chuckle: “We don’t think you’re happy here and it’s time you moved on”. I don’t know how many times I heard it….

  2. It’s now a year since my dear friend had the ‘we don’t think you’re happy here’ bullshit. My friend was perfectly happy, of course, but the company weren’t happy for whatever reason so wanted them out. Why they weren’t happy with a highly intelligent, articulate, hardworking, modest and brilliant employee like my friend was, I will never know. My friend even had an alternative career path suggested for them which was interesting to say the least. They knew what was going on, of course, and got prepared for what was to come.

    Naturally they resigned and left the company quietly, without saying goodbye to anyone, and just vanished as an employee, which I feel was the desired outcome. I do not know the details as they never spoke of them. In fact, my friend has remained utterly silent on that matter and has moved on. I am still disgusted about what happened.

    It’s odd really, my friend doesn’t appear to hate them for the inhumane manner in which they were treated. In a way, they seemed to expect it and just plough on as if it was normal business until the matter was concluded. I hate them though and I will tell you why; I watched my friend work such long hours, on so little money, with little to no recognition, no career progression, and barely ever a ‘well done’ or a ‘thank you’. They worked until they were quite ill at times (but took no time off work) convinced they would be recognised and not let down. Their faith and hope in the company were commendable, they always thought that their hard work would be recognised. My eyes are welling up thinking about it, seriously. I would watch them and feel such pain in my heart, knowing how much they wanted to succeed and seeing it slip away from them. I could cry when I think of it, I really could. Naturally, I think the company made a huge mistake in ignoring one of the truly brilliant people working amongst them. They should have felt honoured to have had that employee in their midst and they threw it all away. And I am glad they did, not for the pain it inflicted but for what has happened since.

    Now my friend is free, I have witnessed them blossom this year! They are now making the most of their talents, gaining job satisfaction and true recognition. I am pleased my friend has made it out of the underworld – the nasty little compound inhabited to my mind by spin doctors, sycophants, egos and narcissistic psychopaths.

    My friend will never ever speak about their experience and has locked it away, filed under ‘lessons to be learned’. I felt the need to post here because I have never seen anyone treated in such an appalling manner and whilst it’s now all history and swept under the carpet, and they have moved on, I am still upset. I watched a person I deeply love work until utter exhaustion and be thrown away like a piece of rubbish. I cannot forget it but I am glad that they can and have moved on.

    • Amen to that Arthur the Caterpillar, you could be talking about so many members of staff (myself included) who have been hung out to dry by Lush.

      Some ex members are too traumatised by working at Lush to speak of it ever again. And, unless it’s happened to you, that may seem like a totally over dramatic thing to say when you’re talking about a retail company selling soap but it’s absolutely true.

      I left Lush after being treated in a very similar way to your friend and having done nothing wrong except to work myself to near exhaustion, never having a day off sick in 7 years, doing 67 hour weeks through Christmas while only being paid for 40, never taking all my holiday entitlement because of making sure my staff were ok, supporting campaigns that alienate customers and put you and your staff at risk, bigging up products that were increasingly shoddy in quality, flying the Lush flag at all times. I honestly never put a foot wrong. But it still wasn’t enough for them.

      After leaving I went through a kind of grieving process, I just couldn’t talk about it. And I have to say, I still cannot talk about the circumstances that led to me and Lush parting company, even tho I have a lot to say on here about other stuff that went on that I have experienced first hand.

      This blog is pure catharsis for ex employees who never had a voice whilst working for Lush. When you work there you’re not listened to and you’re scared to talk to anyone about things that are going wrong because you just don’t know who you can trust. Nothing is confidential at Lush, gossip is rife especially in departments where confidentiality is crucial, so a casual word in the wrong direction can cost you your job.

      This blog is anonymous and, even tho longstanding members of staff can usually work out who people are, there is a confidentiality on here that there never was at Lush. It’s like a confession box (I don’t mean to be blasphemous), you can say what you like, be totally open and honest and know that people will listen without judging, people will empathise because they’ve been there too, people will learn about what it’s really like to work there, people will see Lush for what it really is. A fucking joke. Albeit an unfunny one.

      And even tho brainwashed ‘Lushies’ sometimes come on here and dispute what you say because they are too naive to realize what’s going on or too indoctrinated in ‘One Lush’ that they can’t see the wood for the trees, they are learning, they are joining unions, they are getting wise. Their eyes are gradually being opened thanks to these blogs. Hopefully more will listen and will realize what Lush are doing and if these comments help stop the Lush ‘treatment’ happening to others then it has succeeded.

      I know that your friend will find job satisfaction elsewhere and that they will regain their self respect and dignity. That future employers and work colleagues will treat them with respect and honesty and that they will never have to sell their souls for the sake of a greedy narcissistic man ever again. I can now hold my head up high and know that I am appreciated for the work I do and I am paid a living wage finally.

      I congratulate your friend on escaping the stinking ship that is Lush.

  3. Another ex employee here who can relate to ALL of what is being said in the replies here.

    My face did fit.
    I got to a good place in the lush ranks.

    I had to fire a manager.

    I had to fire several staff members.

    All, bar 1 who deserved it, should never have been fired. They did nothing wrong… I knew if I didn’t fire them and be on team lush I would go too.

    I knew I couldn’t breathe a word as I would be out of the door as people talk at lush.

    I have seen it time and time and time again.

    I kept quiet.

    I was unhappy about what I was doing to other people’s lives…

    I was unhappy with some (not all) but some of the campaigns.

    I was unhappy bigging up rubbish products on a hourly basis.

    I was sick of putting pressure on staff to sell sell sell.

    I was sick of working 60 hour weeks and getting paid for 40.

    I left.

    Another escapee right here.

    If you have an interview at lush… RUN!!

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