One year ago I had my most terrible career experience ever. This story was my inspiration to go remote and start freelancing. Today I got some time to summarize all points why you shall avoid payever GmbH company at any cost.
payever is an eCommerce startup in Hamburg, Germany. Founded in 2013 and marketed as a revolutionary platform it still struggles to function properly.
- Hi Arthur, I know you are reading this post right now. Just try to not shit your pants with anger, there is no Fake Post button on my website to hide this information from search engines. It's not a Glassdoor to scribble your fake reviews. You came to my place, so read the truth.
The main problem of the company is the CEO, Arthur Schlaht. In the evening in a mirror, he sees Steve Jobs in front of him. Before falling asleep he continuously brainstorms new approaches on how to copy Apple. Being unprofessional, abusive, unpolite, and egocentric helped him to succeed in failing several companies before Payever. I am sure the same fate awaits Payever. But to give him a credit, he can sell the shitty product and got Santander Bank as an investor. How? No idea, but it kind of makes it scary to trust money to banks who finance such or similar crap. Also, Arthur has a hobby to scatter fake reviews on the Net describing his new Google.
Viktor Butsch is the second founder of a company with some title. He is an admiring gamer of tic tac toe on his free Macbook Pro. Mostly silent, first may be seen as a nice guy. But being a partner of Arthur for so many years and building such a company say more than silence.
And the last person I want to mention in management is Rob the Project Manager. After failing his company in China he came to Hamburg to help two founders above repeat his previous experience. Despite being the most technical person in management he is blocked to use his skills. He will never say that given deadlines or tasks are impossible to achieve. Arthur says, he repeats and nodes. I think he is afraid to be fired so much that he never stood against any stupid technical decisions made. Under his management tasks are updated on the way and sometimes never applied after being finished. His planning is never wrong, in payever, it's always devs who are wrong, lazy, and full of shit. Explaining that a given task is unreasonable is nonsense.
So there is no surprise that from such management there is literally 0 respect for employees. With a mask of humor, the CEO can even insult you with his rough, openly racist jokes. Once we were filming 'payever People' featuring company employees and their stories. The video of a friend of mine was not posted on social media, because he is Muslim and had a bear. The only reason why they have an 'international team' in place is to feel superior since they are Germans in Germany. Also, immigrants or remote employees can not easily sue them for breaking working laws or not paying salaries. To be honest, I never expected to meet such a company in modern Germany.
Are you okay with such social interaction and planning?
Then next you get working hours from 9 AM to 8 PM. Founders think if they sit the whole day in the office for their dream company you need to do the same. You must be ready to work over weekends if you fail to finish during working days. You are not paid for overworking.
Can you imagine an office culture in such a place?
Of course not. It's a well-known fact that humans can't imagine something that doesn't exist. There is no culture. Being in a such company feels like a prison camp after some time.
Actually, in my previous post about freelancing, I described a story of forbidding smoking breaks. It was Arthur's idea. He didn't like that people have a break during the day. You must work 100% the whole day like him. Although there is no result of his hard work for the last 7 years to get inspiration from. First, he made a rule that smokers can use half-hour for smoking breaks out of 1-hour lunch break. But one smart guy stopped smoking during the day. Instead, he was leaving 30 minutes earlier. But you can't overplay the CEO of the next Apple fool! Smoking is forbidden at all, no leave out of office if it's not a lunch break.
There was even one guy called Francisco with strange extra responsibility on his shoulders. He monitored us in the office. When the Arthi and his pal were missing in the office he was reporting every step to them.
Arthur wasn't in the office on the 18th of April. Try to guess how he got this information. You are correct, Francisco is a good boy!
Such totalitarian management and corporate culture blocked any team development. There was no trust at all.
Just try to search how many people have an HR position at Payever. Why a company with less than 100 employees need so many of them? They can hire 7 people in a month and fire 5 after a month, and the remaining 2 after two. Don't be fooled by phrases like 'Top talent', 'We keep the best'.
Every developer can be easily kicked if he or she disagrees with the position of the management. For me, they even didn't warn me. One morning I came to work and after a few minutes, I was asked to follow HR to sign a leaving contract.
Totalitarian micromanagement and poisonous corporate culture made it an achievement to stay in a company for more than a year. Talent is being brought in from all over the world, only to be kicked out after a few months. No one sticks around for a long time so if you respect your expertise and time avoid this scam company. And never, ever mind relocating for them with a working contract. You will sign a slaving paper, where you can't leave even if you want. Since your VISA is tight and you can't interview others because of your schedule.
I want to have this post online for people who may get into the same trap as I did. Usually, I wouldn't spend time on such posts. At least to not recall the negative emotions I got there. But if I succeed to help even one person to avoid them it's already worth it.
From my lessons learned I also suggest to always:
Even after these two steps you get in such a toxic company leave it ASAP.
If you read until here, please share this post with your network and contacts. From my latest information, they are pretty aggressive regarding hiring now. A few months ago I got the information they use remote, freelancer recruiters to spam 100 men per 2$! Then you pass an easy interview, do 2 tasks which may be in their Jira, and without any feedback got rejected. Rob will carefully close his task.
P.S Arthi you realize that this post will get more views than all your videos together? Smart investment in video production you old blunt :)
To make this post available to the public I shared it on LinkedIn. It got some attention, I received comments and reactions. Some ex-employees said thanks to me in private messages. All was good until the evening of the same day when I noticed my post got Ghost Ban. The next morning it was all gone from my feed. You don't have to be a Sherlock to guess who reported on me and why. You can follow up on my second post before it gets reported here.
I opened a support ticket on this case and I will update this post depending on LinkedIn response.