History Sucks Customer Reviews and Feedback
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Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"I worked at History Associates full-time for more than a year Cons: Low morale, poor pay, horrible management, and absolutely no incentive to work hard. Every idea was met with no enthusiasm or initial enthusiasm followed by total inaction. Some management was ok, and they tried their hardest, but at the end of the day, the chaos that was History Associates meant their good work was for nothing. Internal chaos led to mediocre work performance. Some of the worst quality work I have ever done in my life. The most existential dread I have ever felt in a job. I was actually sad it was permanent. Also, the kitchen was disgusting."
Former Employee - Archivist says"I worked at History Associates full-time for more than 3 years Cons: Really bad pay Upper management rude and disrespectful Random layoffs due to poor planning Very poor longterm planning and poor management"
says"I worked at History Associates Cons: This company seems to specialize in drafting policies that discourage (at worst destroy) any sense of professional development, morale, and fulfillment in its employees. The upper management is made of men better suited for a classroom than a board room. They’re fine historians but have little to no training on best business practices. As much as this company thrives on teamwork, the upper management relishes in keeping to their elite, misguided boys club. The pay is low. Really, really low. The company says that their salary is on par with the professional and regional average. But, the company says a lot of things. Like how standing will kill you, and that’s how the air should smell… In reality, the cost of living in the DC-area gets more expensive each year and the company refuses to catch up. They’ll ignore any reports on the rising costs of living as blatantly as they do health warnings about cigarettes and diet soda. Negotiating any sort of raise or promotion is almost a non-starter. Management is convinced that you’re trying to get something for nothing, so these conversations play out less like a conversation about your professional trajectory and company contributions and more like an interrogation of why you should even be there in the first place. I could go on, but there’s not much to say other than what I and other former employees have already written. The company has created high stress environment with very little pay off. Everyone, from the newest employee to the most seasoned historian, complains about the abuse they’ve endured--it’s a wonder how anyone stays."
Former Employee - Research Historian says"I worked at History Associates full-time for more than a year Cons: There are so many things wrong with this company. The Research Historian pay is insulting to the employees and clients. Entry-level salary is $35,000, which at an hourly rate is a little less than $17 an hour. The company charges clients $78 an hour for the Research Historian, five times more than the salary . Not only are Research Historians paid $10,000 below the national average, there is little promotional opportunity, even for employees who have worked there for 5 to 10 years. Another major issue is management. They are unorganized, unprofessional, and have little to no education in office management, employee training, and ethical working behavior. Entry level employees are trained poorly for one day and then are left at their extremely busy project managers' mercy to learn the company's standards for formatting, note taking, filling out expense reports, etc.. Communication between management and project managers is inadequate. A typical office day consisted of asking project managers for work to do and being told that there was no work and that you should ask a different project manager. After speaking to five different managers who did not have work, the Research Historians would sit at their cubicle and wait until work did come up. When a project manager finally had work, it was photo copying. Morale is extremely low and work is stressful. New and old employees are aware of these conditions; complaints and feedback has been provided to the management, but employee concerns are ignored. 60% of lunch conversation was painfully joking about the salary, working conditions, and inappropriate manager behavior. I once heard an employee say that working for History Associates was like being an abused household wife: you are abused for so long and once you work up the courage to leave, the company offers a small incentive to get you to stay."
Former Employee - Archivist says"I worked at History Associates full-time for more than a year Cons: Terrible pay for the worker bees; senior management probably a different story. Very old-fashioned, top-down, hierarchical office; this place is run by old-school history grads and it pervades the office experience. You will not be exposed to current best practices (at least that's how it was in the Information and Records Managment section; there's a new supervisor who specializes in digital archives, so things may have changed but as a general rule, due to the inadequate compensation, this place tends not to get the best and brightest in the field. Ergo, it's hard to justify the low pay in terms of a trade off for work experience because you're unlikely to learn anything that will propel you towards a better position. They encourage professional development so that they can tout their employees have "x" affiliations or certifications, but don't expect any compensation for it (you do get one or two paid "professional development days/year that you can use to attend a conference, but no money toward conference registration/travel or any classes. It is out in Rockville, an utterly soulless suburb,and not even in Rockville center. It's on a stretch of road with a bunch of car repair shops and private homes. No place to escape for coffee or lunch. Unless you love working there, it can add to the general feeling of isolation."
Former Employee - Archivist says"I worked at History Associates full-time for more than a year Cons: Poor pay, poor management, very little support. I felt as though I was viewed as nothing more than an easily disposable worker bee. The management seemed to arbitrarily pick favorites without regard to actual job performance or skills. Personally experienced senior manager spreading gossip about myself beyond the company."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"I worked at History Associates full-time for less than a year Cons: As others have said: insulting pay; inane meetings; inflated "Senior Management". Plan to get out as quickly as possible."
Former Employee - Archivist says"I worked at History Associates full-time Cons: Too many to include a complete list, but on top of the low salaries, there are practically no opportunities for real advancement and few opportunities to learn skills necessary to advance elsewhere (such as using current collection management software like ArchivesSpace or any digital asset management skills other than perhaps basic scanning and recording info in a basic database). I would also agree with the reviewer who described the senior management (at least some of them) as incompetent and unprofessional and the rampant gossip and favoritism."
Former Employee - Research Historian says"I worked at History Associates full-time for less than a year Cons: Quite frankly, the salary is downright insulting. It is nearly impossible to live in DC with such low pay and, despite palpable discontentment among employees, the upper management NEVER addresses the problem. They are completely unsympathetic to the struggles of young, recent graduates living in a large and very expensive metropolitan area. Even for those who have spent 5+ years at the company, promotions and raises are pretty much unheard of. Worse than being underpaid is the stifling, juvenile office environment. I found the upper management to be extremely incompetent and unprofessional. Management socializes & gossips shamelessly with employees. As a result, favoritism is rampant. It is honestly worse than being in high school."
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee says"I worked at History Associates full-time Cons: Negative culture, lots of complaining around the office. Very low compensation. Very few opportunities to grow and rise up in the organization."
Caregiver, HR, Scheduler (Former Employee) says"caregiving agencies are well known and in high demand on the west coast. Working in the business office is very fast paced and so much information coming through makes it hard to keep up with all job duties. If you like a hard challenge this company is for you. Cons: Too many hours and high stress situations that have to be handled quickly"