The Smell of Bullshit, part 58: Calm Down, Dear

Email from an employee, informing me that Mark Constantine closed a manager’s meeting with “People say we’re an ethical company. I don’t think we are when it comes to management. I’m not sure how you’re gonna take this, but I want to discuss hormones.” Then he talked about an argument between him and a female staff member where they screamed at each other and it finished with her shouting “you can’t fire me because I quit.” Having spent some time thinking about it, his suggestions for managing conflict with female staff were “That’s why she’s acting the way she is: it’s a full moon. It’s down to the managers to learn to control their hormones: when they’re on their periods, it’s up to managers to curb the way you’re dealing with staff when they’re on or curb the way you’re speaking to people when you’re on.”

I don’t think I need to comment here. It speaks for itself.

7 thoughts on “The Smell of Bullshit, part 58: Calm Down, Dear

  1. My jaw actually dropped, not for thinking the sainted Mr Constantine’s halo has slipped (standing a few inches in front of me with his back to me throughout a meet after a cursory nod, several years ago was enough for me frankly) but that anyone actually thinks these things and says them out loud in a work environment, thinking this is a good thing to say. It happened to me in the 90s in a job once and never again after getting the response “no it’s not ‘that time of the month’ unless you mean it’s your time of the month for being a dick.” I waited for personnel to call but instead it seems the chaps passed it around that the dragon lady shouldn’t be taunted with menstrual comments.

  2. It is my opinion that Constantine is a despicable man. I feel confident in my opinion because I used to work at Lush for quite some time. Many years, in fact.

    I always believed that he fancied himself as an amateur psychiatrist. He seemed to have a penchant for diagnosing people that were no longer ‘in favour’ with various mental illnesses or issues – from depression, to manic depression, to obsessive compulsive disorder to anything else you can think of. He always liked to throw menstruation into the mix too, just for shock factor. A typical Lush trait.

    I’ve heard him say some wicked things about perfectly decent, hard working people. If there was ever someone who was found to be more popular or even have a little more authority than him, they would suddenly (publicly) be diagnosed by Constantine. You can bet his portly, pallid side-kick, Miss Jones, would also chime in from time to time too. I always thought she was in love with him, the way she used to stare at him in meetings and seem to bay for his attention, the way that schoolgirls would flick elastic bands at boys they secretly liked. I used to be fascinated watching her screw up her pasty vegan face in a petulant manner in an attempt to solicit his attention.

    I remember one particularly nasty meeting (a managers’ meeting) where he publicly laid into the totally ineffectual ‘Retail Support’ department. He actually asked store managers to stand up and say what their issues with the department were – in public, in front of the two retail support employees. The Retail Support department wasn’t great; it consisted of just two women (one very decent and perfectly lovely, one an attention seeking twerp – the kind that Mark loves) but the issue was mainly because two people can’t possibly look after that many shops from a London office. Anyway, it all got a bit upsetting and rows were had. He had the audacity – the man who got his sh1t stick out and started stirring – to blame the ‘full moon’ and menstrual cycles. What a pillock. And that’s an insult to pillocks everywhere.

    • Professor, I’m happy for people to raise issues about Lush’s business practices and behaviour towards employees and customers, but I don’t think remarks about people’s appearance are relevant or necessary.

      • Perhaps not relevant or necessary but just an observation, not a criticism. It was merely an attempt to paint the fuller technicolour picture, the same way Orwell did when he described the pigs in Animal Farm, but without his literary panache.

    • Funny how the lovely decent member got out of lush and the attention seeking twerp is still working there along with many other attention seeking twerps. This benefits the ‘Lush culture’ although they don’t do a lot, they just hang round watching other people work, getting paid loads for being creative but not actually creating anything apart from the idea that Lush head office is a good place to be. It’s not.

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