Toxic working environment. What to do?

Hi all, :grinning:

I am facing with a difficult situation at work…Maybe you could give some advise. Honestly I didn’t expect to live this kind of experience but please let me know if it’s a normal Taiwanese working culture or not.

After I had a new manager few months ago, all my daily activities have been carefully watched and reported which include: break time, lunch time, what I eat / don’t eat, my interaction with others, my outfit, my attitude, overtime hours, leave days…they keep spying my computer activities every single day and record audio. I had no idea they record my computer audio…Do they have right to do so ???

The manager keep talking behind my back to everyone but face to me it’s another story. Now I am isolated from others and become the clown of the show. Even I keep working hard every day it’s never enough because I am not the robot who can do bunch of tasks fast in a limited time. I keep hearing people gossiping about me because of this manager everyday. For me it’s moral harassment…I am tired mentally and physically. Now since this person…know I am not happy in this job and want to leave…he asked me publicly in front of others: What will you do without job ? Will you have to quit the country within 14 days?

After that I am expecting to get notice this month but I am not sure if I can get another visa to stay here…and find another job in emergency! What are my rights?

Thanks for your answer!


Welcome to the forum @Moonlight.
What industry are you in?
How many workers in the office?
Does the manager also own the firm?

Others will chime in with your rights, but if I were in your shoes, I would go to the labor department (of your city) and ask them for advice on the situation. Ask them, in a worst-case scenario, what would happen if you are fired for any unrelated reason. You have got to be proactive in this.
Government agencies are generally there to help you.

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Thanks for your feedback!!

It’s a local company. (I cannot say more)

Today I found out they record my computer in LIVE…
I’m thinking of they might want to push me to resign instead of fire me for not paying me anything back…

I will contact the labor office to know more. I’m not sure if in the case I quit by myself if I can get this 6 month visa.

You could make a call from your computer to the labor department?


I like this guy

Work from home is the mantra and mandate of 2020!

Things you may be able to do on your computer:

  1. Disable the microphone
  2. Disable the webcam
  3. Check for keyloggers
  4. Change your wallpaper to this:

If anyone can point us in the direction of where they sell microphone detector, much appreciated. We know they are there, using empirical methods we know. But actually pinpointing them is hard.

Allegedly, the law says you cannot be recorded without your consent. How much leeway this law has regarding the work space? I mean, if a boss puts up a camera to make sure you are working, how fair is that?

Local companies are paranoid. Manipulation by gossip is SOP. Very unhealthy work environment in general. That is why most Taiwanese envision owning their own coffee shop as maximum bliss.


光華商場 building and that whole neighborhood of shops just north of the MRT (northwest) exit at the corner of Chunghsiao and Hsinsheng.
Spend half a day walking around. Should find those CIA toys.

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In Taipei City, that’s Zhongxiao Xinsheng in modern parlance. : D



It’s OK he’s old school.

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Sounds like you’re working in a buxiban run by virtually unscrupulous people.
What I suggest you should do is apply for another job while you are still on this
job. But to keep this stress off of you, do not take your work home with you.

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it’s a vicious circle, local companies are paranoid since many cases of employees that stab you in the back. employees stab you in the back since they dislike the shitty and distrustful atmosphere your paranoia causes…


You haven’t seen what passes for Icon’s pinyin, haven’t ya?


I can be. Came here a few years after 1990. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


The surreptitious recording of employees is fairly common, they try to catch you bad-mouthing the boss, that kind of thing. Paranoia. Couldn’t believe it at first but I know one lady who ran a company who was recording staff without their knowledge. Another example of shitty local work environments.


Run away, fast and far. Try to find another job, if you have some savings, try to check your options to still stay here without a job until you get back on rails and find something else.

As soon as you find another job and are ready to leave, get very close to your microphone and say a beautiful: “FORK” YOU.

I worked in a local company where one of my big boss hates me, he not even looked at my face and often asked my colleagues what this “WHITE” is really doing here.

Until I got another job and resign, he wanted to talk with me before I left, I just ignored him as he did with me.

So, move on, sometimes difficult times put us in bumped roads, as soon as you pass that, the ride is good again.


This is Taiwan. Buy them bubble tea and they will love you long time. It seems as a furrier your only true defence from being singled out is if you buy them food.

If you have one colleague who gives you trouble you can do two things if found. One is you buy everyone something and leave them out. They will turn face and be nice since they don’t want to miss out. Or two you buy them something and give it to them front of everyone else. With this one also buy things for everyone as they will turn against you. You are just making a show for the idiot.

Why these work who knows.


You are right, it’s true!! Do you also have similar situation at your work ?

I don’t understand why they don’t communicate directly about what’s wrong and find common agreement. I want to believe not all Taiwanese companies are like this. I do hope there are better companies with more human management way. I am not sure they have the right to record voice and track by seconds all activities. if it’s illegal to record without consent then it’s better to prove it.


It’s illegal I think and you could sue them.