Employees who are unable to meet their sales goals can also choose to pay a fine of 500 yuan ($70) and treat the whole company for breakfast. However, there are many who are unable to afford this fine.
Trigger Warning: The story contains disturbing details.
In a revolting incident, one company in China forced its employees to eat live earthworms as punishment not achieving the set sales targets. The stomach-churning penalty that occurred at an interior design company in Bijie, Guizhou province of south-western China, was filmed last Monday and uploaded on social media by a self-proclaimed employee, reports Daily Mail. The clip shows a member of the staff holding a bug that is still wriggling in her palms. Next, she gives it to another employee, who gulped it down with water while covering her mouth in utter disgust.
Many employees of the company's sales team could be seen in the video, standing in a line during a staff meeting. One by one they are handed the severe penalty. In the due course of the video, one worried female employee can be heard asking, "Does it have parasites?" Responding to this, a member of the staff says, "It sometimes explodes in your mouth when you bite it." Speaking to local reporters, the whistle-blower explained that this was just one of many punishments that the employees had to face. Apparently, eating live pond loaches and cleaning toilets in the office were on the table too.
Worms are good for the soil and farming not as a punishment tool, let them be where they should be. Stop putting random things in the mouth.— Joe (@pumpkindropoff) June 1, 2020
The local media released a screenshot of a chart that listed the various kinds of punishment the company workers would be assigned and it was titled: The third stage penalty list. When a manager of the company was approached about this bizarre punishment, they said it was a part of the company's updated disciplinary policies. They also noted that every staff member had agreed to follow them. But police officers in the area told news outlets that the incident is being investigated at the moment.
Wtf. That’s abuse! The employer should eat them too..— bambiiiiiiiiiii (@Bambi1x) June 1, 2020
According to Guiyang Web, some of the employees thought that this new policy was only meant as a joke when it was first introduced. During an interview, one employee of the company said that employees were just asked to perform squats or eat raw eggs previously and that no one expected them to update their "punishment" scheme to eating raw worms. Employees who are unable to meet their sales goals can also choose to pay a fine of 500 yuan ($70) and treat the whole company for breakfast. However, there are many who are unable to afford this fine. So, they resort to gulping down the worms instead of paying a lump sum amount.
Expect no less from China under this régime. Lacks decency, character, morals and integrity and its companies merely take their cues.— Illawarra Flame (@IllawarraFlame) June 1, 2020
"Some of them swallowed and swallowed directly in paper. I didn’t swallow or eat. My legs were soft when I saw this because the doctor said that the animal (parasite) was already spreading. I'm really afraid of something," said one of the workers according to Guiyang Web. Defending its disciplinary actions, the manager continued, "To be honest, when you come to work in our company, we must have a performance, then I have set the task for you, and the reward has been set for you, right, you can’t say that you are finished As long as there is no reward, then there is no punishment, then it is plainly the extra money I gave. In fact, the company's money is not afloat, right? The course of things (this is the case), our company is now doing activities, and then we have set up some rewards and punishment system when set, no one said that they would not do it, unreasonable."
When the employee leaked this repulsive video and exposed the company's disciplinary ways, they began receiving threats from the company after the video went viral. That's why they had to seek assistance from local authorities who have now launched an investigation into the matter. "We're investigating the incident, but I have no details to disclose," said a spokesman for the Qixingguan District Bureau of Market Regulation while speaking to The Paper. "The results of the investigation will be published by the district government when it is concluded."