'S' is for Sincerity · Creativity & Innovation · Found in the Field

What CEOs can learn from bad reviews on Glassdoor

For a new project here at DK in Saigon, I am researching the web. I am learning about what potential employees at creative company would be interested in having, at an ideal job.

And I found this.

It is a review. It was posted a few years ago, on a website called Glassdoor. Glassdoor exists to help people who are considering working somewhere read what past employees have said about their honest, firsthand experiences. In other words, CEOs can be ‘reviewed.’

Sometimes your gut knows when to say, ‘No.’

Some people are ‘manipulative’ as is stated on that person’s company’s page along with the word ‘narcissistic.’ I think it’s scary to work for people like that and you lose yourself ?

Yet there are some who like abuse. Who want to ‘be creative’ as a way to work out their personal anxieties and tough pasts, especially in Vietnam. We have to work on that here. Be careful who you work for, Atelier S P A C E Director Dipika Kohli had told us. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

This is the review.


Work/Life Balance
Culture & Values
Career Opportunities
Compensation and Benefits
Senior Management
Former Employee

High Turnover Due to Poor Management

Apr 26, 2018 – Anonymous Employee


Vietcetera is a good website for culture in the city. It’s highly regarded and trusted by expats in Saigon. Vietnam needs english cultural publications to spread the country to the world. There was a good amount of creative freedom given to the creatives at the company, mostly due to a severe lack of structure and direction. This allows people to work on what they want to an extent, however without the structure it is almost impossible to know what kind of content the editors are looking for. The company has good connections in the city and can introduce you to big players in the creative world of Saigon.


Almost none of the owners or upper management of Vietcetera have any professional experience in journalism. This leads to a lack of direction in the company and their editorial standards. Most of the time it felt like the content was simply a business favor for the owners rather than something that our audience would like to read. Very little reflection on content or performance or growth of the company. One individual in upper management would make crude sexual jokes and advances towards the female employees regularly. At times yelling through the office when an attractive woman was walking on the street outside. The comments made to me about other employees and myself made me very uncomfortable. I couldn’t recommend women work here for this reason. Pay is extremely low for the work expected. There are alarming pay discrepancies between western employees and Vietnamese employees with similar qualifications and responsibilities. Turn over rate is astronomically high. Only one employee stayed at the company during the time I was working there. Employees are treated as disposable. It felt like the management would rather fire a person and hire another unpaid intern rather than invest in an employee and help them to fit in the position. Firings are always without notice and immediate, no two weeks notice, no pay till the end of the month. Very little regard or investment in the personal desires or goals of the employees.

Advice to Management

I’d like to see more of a responsibility taken for your employees. Hire somebody that you genuinely believe in and intend on training and working with for an extended period of time. Investing in a good employee and making them feel valued and secure at the company will help the company grow. Temporary workers and short turn overs cause a lack of identity and an uneasy foundation for new employees to build on. Establish a code of conduct within the office. The sexual comments and derogatory talk are inexcusable in a modern company. I was extremely uncomfortable working in that environment because of these comments and actions.


Question for CEOs: If you were in charge, what would you want them to say about you ?


A Philosophy of the Moment · Relational Aesthetics · Strange Geometries

Why I made Atelier S P A C E

Posted this at Design Kompany’s LinkedIn today. 


Learning new languages, at least enough to communicate in the day to day, and exchanging thoughts across nation-border divides has been the best part of hosting Atelier S P A C E meetups, for me.

Ask me how to space words out so you don’t have to really say much but. meaning gets communicated (kiitos, Finland!) or get your pronunciation sorted out because you have to say the right thing to get the right food (ngon!, I can say it now!, Vietnam).

Atelier S P A C E exists so that those who super-duper opt-in (applications, fees) get to have the chance to engage deeply in an experience. To meet, and interconnect with very new, and very different others. For high-quality and very real and very intercultural sorts of language and philosophical exchange. It’s like my 2017 Project Epicurus, but more focused to just a handful at a time. No more than four per session.

Pandemic-shifted popups are what I do now. But what stayed the same is the resistance to ‘group think’, ‘work is family’, and ‘cult’ culture that ruins creative thinking by pressuring people to throw away their individuality and conform (blech). Why lose your identity for any reason, why not celebrate it, and understand where you begin? What better way to do that than go somewhere you’ve never been before and see what you’ve never seen? Travel necessitates this. And so does Atelier S P A C E.

Cool. Thanks for reading all the way to the end. .

Next is my personal project, ‘Autumn Leaves.’ I’ll talk about it at DipikaKohli.com .

Crowdfunded!, at: https://lnkd.in/eDNuDzH



The image is by Atelier S P A C E Ho Chi Minh City 2021,