A company in Zhengzhou, China’s Henan Province, has caused outrage online after some of its employees were spotted crawling on their hand and knees around a local lake because they couldn’t meet their sales targets!
The shocking corporal punishment was publicised by various local media outlets. According to the reports, at least a dozen people were seen dragging themselves on all fours on a wooden path along the lake. Their clothes were worn out and some of them were bleeding with bruises and scrapes.
When questioned about their unusual behavior, one of them told the reporter that they were being punished by their employer for their poor performance at work. One member of staff was stationed at the lake to make sure everyone finished their prescribed number of laps.
The incident took place last Friday, and photographs of the crawling sales staff were soon posted on Weibo, China’s largest social media website. Thousands of users spoke out against the inhumane treatment of the poor employees. “How can this company ever get stronger with such kind of a policy?” one user questioned. “For starters, the employees wouldn’t follow it with their whole hearts.”
“Where’s the trade union? Where’s the dignity and where’s the bottom line?” another asked.
Many found it strange that the employees complied with the management’s orders instead of refusing to crawl. “The punishment is total humiliation. But I don’t understand these employees. Why crawl just because someone else told you to do so?” a user wrote.
“I think these people can only do what their bosses order them to, because they are afraid of losing their jobs,” another reasoned. “Hope there is a proper solution for them to enjoy some dignity, while not costing them their jobs.”
Ordering employees to crawl on all fours in public is not exactly unheard of in China. Two years ago,the boss of a cosmetics company from Chongqing had his staff crawl in a busy square to test their resistance to pressure.