Sichuan salesmen run half-naked in cold after bad performance reviews

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2013, 11:22am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 February, 2013, 1:25pm

Sales representatives in Sichuan province ran half-naked for 10 kilometres in the cold because they failed to close enough deals, a newspaper reported.

More than 10 men were seen shirtless running on a highway in Chengdu, the capital city of China’s southwestern province, said Chengdu Business Daily on Tuesday. Accompanying them were several female colleagues who wore thin clothes.

Chen, an office administrator of a local food company who was identified only by her last name, said the employees were being punished for falling short on their performance objectives.

They worked in the marketing department, she said as she sat in a car being driven ahead of the runners. 

“We formed an agreement [with the employees] in the beginning of 2012. It stated that whoever fails to reach the goal must ‘streak’ on 3rd Ring Road,” she said.

Cheng said according to the agreement, women would run five kilometres, and men would run 10 wearing only shorts. 

More than 20 employees went out into cold on Monday, when temperatures were as low as 11 degrees.

“It was so cold that I had goosebumps at the beginning," said one unlucky salesman. "But I got warmed up after the run." 

No punishment of any sort from performance evaluations should infringe on employees' rights, lawyer Liaohua told the business daily. But he said he had never received complaints over such cases before.

Most of the employees said they accepted the penalty because they had agreed to it earlier.

“The only thing that made me uncomfortable was the weird looks from passersby. It was a little embarrassing,” another employee said.

Nevertheless, he also said the punishment motivates workers and was all in good fun.