Fab.com CEO Says Employee Horror Stories Are Just "Jokes"S

Yesterday, Bloomberg provided the world with one of the first peeks behind design bauble repository Fab's billion dollar curtains. It looked like, for the people quoted, an occasionally miserable place to work? Now Fab's co-founder has taken to his blog to set things right: he's not a scary boss, just a joker!

One by one, Jason Goldberg goes through Bloomberg's charges:

Claim. Fab employees are not allowed to put their jackets on the back of their chairs.

Fact. We have some basic expectations around our office environment. The Fab office is a show-space. Every day we have designers and makers visit Fab. To that end, we strive to keep our office looking as crisp and clean and compelling as our website and apps.

So, the claim is basically correct, even if it's not "policed," as Goldberg says.

Claim. A message on Feb. 4 carried the subject header “Do you like getting paid?” Goldberg told employees they were required to have a photo uploaded to the “team” page on Fab.com “in order to be eligible for the next company pay period. No exceptions.”

Fact. We pride ourselves on humor and transparency at Fab. As part of our major relaunch relaunch of our employee pages on Feb 5 we required every employee to be listed publicly. The bit about holding out pay was a joke to get everyone’s attention. It worked.

I'm sure it did work! Jokes about getting fired, love that!

Claim. An e-mail on Oct. 11 from Shellhammer, who serves as chief design officer, forbids people from modeling Fab’s products. Employees had been inserting themselves into shots of the company’s wares posted on its website. “If you have time to model, you have time to get fired,” Shellhammer wrote.

Fact. It was a joke. We have about a thousand jokes just like it. “If you have time to xyz, you have time to get fired.” It’s a joke about staying focused and not getting distracted.

Emphasis added. They have a thousand jokes about getting fired. It might actually be more unnerving to have the owners of your company constantly joking about your termination than to actually be threatened with it when warranted. The We're just joking! defense isn't really funny when you're getting a menacing email about the fact that your coat is on the back of your chair.

One last message from Fab:

Oh, and we’re hiring. If you’re smart, ambitious, and ready to live the Fab values, please apply.

Be sure you can take a joke.

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty