You are on page 1of 8


Line Sletvold, Team-leader, MSPA, Arvato Services.

Sarah Rushby, HR, Arvato Services.

Ian Carrel, Managing Director, Arvato Services.

Erik Ribsskog, Contact Center Representative, MSPA, Arvato Services.

About four hours before the meeting, I had sent an e-mail to Managing Directot Ian
Carrel regarding a serious harassment-incident and other very serious problems that
had been going on in the company.

I also sent him a copy of the summary from the meeting with Line Sletvold 26/11/06,
where I discribed the problems with the harassment-incidents involving Team-leader
at the Bon Prix campaign Chris Baines.

I also sent a copy of the the summary from the meeting with Senior Team-leader
Aidan Tippins from 28/11/06, where Mr. Tippins is clearly lying.

I also descibed in the e-mail how Sarah Rushby (HR), Aidan Tippins (STL Arvato),
and Chris Baines, clearly co-operated in covering the harassment episodes up
in the other meeting regarding this on 28/11/06.

These episodes were only the tip of the iceberg, and from all the other things that
were going on in the company, it was clear to me, that most or all of these
harassment-problems and other problems were organised.

After the meetings on 28/11/06, I contacted the police again regarding these
problems, and I got telephone-call back later from the police. The police sounded
concerned, and because of the nature of the problems Id been having with these
persons, the police adviced me to report to higher management about these

And because of the seriousity regarding the problems in the company, I found that
it was important to act fast regarding this, and I decided I also contact the owner-
company Bertelsmann, and some newspapers etc.

I thought that this was the only resposible thing to do.

So Mr Carrol said he had got some phone-calls from Bertelsmann head of PR, and
a newspaper regarding this.

I insisted that I had only done what I though was the only thing responsible.

Sarah Rushby said that she admited to having interupted me a couple of times in
the meeting the day before, an apologised for this.

I said that I had been thinking more about what happened on the meeting the day
before, and said that she was also talking very fast and not taking any concern
to me not having English as my first language.

She said that she had never heard this being said before [that she talked very fast],
and asked me about an example on how they had been taking things out of context,
like I had mentioned that they did in the e-mail to Ian Carrol.

I explained that I hadnt prepared that much for this meeting, (because the reason I
was working that day, was that I was working on writing on the finished version on
the summary from the meeting with Line Sletvold 30/10/06 and 11/11/06).

But I remembered an example of this in my head: Mr. Baines appoligesed in the

meeting 28/11/06 about him not saying bye in an earlier incident.

Mr. Tippins said (in the second meeting 28/11/06), that I shouldnt have needed to
be concerned about this (Mr. Baines acting impolite/ignoring me in that earlier incident).

Mr Tippins said that I shouldnt have needed to be concerned about this (have this in the
back on my head) on 25/11/06, since Mr. Baines had appologised about this earlier
in the meeting on 28/11/06.

Rushby said that I hadnt given Mr. Tippins any chance to explain [about the lying-
episode in the first meeting 28/11/06].

I said that I normally would have done this, but that this situation was so serious,
that the only thing responisble would be to act fast.

Rushby said that the acusaitons [in the e-mail to Ian Carrol] didnt have any substance.

I said that I could document most of what I had been saying in the e-mail and more.

I continued to read from the e-mail, where I explained why I had acted like I did:

'The harassment cases, the lies, the covering up and breaching of agreements, are so
serious, that the only thing responsible, would be to have a meeting about this
as soon as possible.'

Mr. Carrol said that I should have waited for his reply before I contacted the newspaper.

I said that it would have been irresponsible.

It was clear to me that it was important to act as fart as possible in this matter.

Mr. Carrol said that contacting the newspaper was breach of company policy.

I said that in any other case, I would never have done it like this, but that this situation
was so serious, that it would have been irresponsible not to do it.

I explained that I had contacted him about this, before I contacted anyone else
about this. [Even if this was only a technicalty].

It seemed clear to me that this was organised.

Mr. Carrol wondered what I wanted from the investigation.

I explained that i wasnt an expert on this, an that the way I normally would have tried
to deal with problems that I didnt have any competence in myself, would be to contact
people that have competence in dealing with these kinds of problems.

Mr. Carrol said that I should have escalated this earlier.

I said that in the meeting with Line Sletvold 26/11/06, I said that we had to inform the
people responsible for security and operations in the company about the situation.

I was offered a meeting with the two Senior team-leaders for the two campaigns
involved, the team-leader involved, my line-manager and myself.

I agreed to this, because I thought it was important that we came to an agreement

about how we should deal with the problems.

I thought it was important to get my line-managers support in this. And I thought

that I could escalate it later, if I didnt think the problems were taken seriously
enough. [This was before I found out about my Senior team-leader lying, and the
cover-up and the lyes in the scheduled meeting 28/11/06].

[Line sent me an e-mail, it must have been on 27/11/06, where she asked me
if it was ok that also HR participated on the meeting 28/11/06.

(For some reason the Senior team-leader for the Bon Prix-campaign, wasnt
going to participate in the meeting, and neighter would my line-manager.

She said, when I talked to her about this, I think on the same day, that she had
a rest-day on 28/11/06, and wouldnt participate because of this.

I thought she looked afraid when we spoke about this, so I didnt insist that she
should participate on the meeting.)

In my answer on her e-mail, I wrote that it was ok that HR participated on the


I also reminded her about what I had said in the meeting with her on 26/11/06,
that I thought that this was so serious, that I thought that it was important that
also the people responsible for security and operations in the company was

I continued to ask if there was a department responsible for securtiy in the company,
and Mr. Carrol said that there wasnt.

I asked if Bertelsmann in Germany had got a department like this.

Mr. Carrol said that they had an anti-fraud department there.

I explained that when I worked in one of Norways biggest companies, a grocery-

store chain called Ica-gruppen (former Hakon-gruppen/Rimi).

Ica-gruppen (Rimi) had their own security-department [who worked with clearing
up cases with robberies, dishonest employees etc. etc]. They were a kind of
Rimi-police, you could call them.

So I wondered if Bertelsmann could have a similar department like this, and if

then I thought they should be informed.

Because then I thought they would be able to give advice in how to deal with
the situation. Eg. advice on how to conduct the investigation etc.

I wanted to make sure that Mr. Carrol understood how important I thougt it was
that this was dealt with as professional as possible, so I went on with explaining
something from the sheduled meeting 28/11/06.

I told him that in the beginning of the meeting on 28/11/06, I had handed out a
summary from the meeting with Line Sletvold on 26/11/06, where I explained
about the harassment-incidents.

I told everyone on the sheduled meeting 28/11/06 (Rushby, Tippins, Baines), that
if everyone could read through the summary, then everyone would have the
details from the incidents fresh in their head.

And I said that I though everyone on that meeting had also been sent the summary
from the meeting 26/11/06, well in front of the meeting on 28/11/06.

Line confirmed that Rushby and Tippins had been sent an email with the summary
from the meeting between Line and me on 26/11/06 (where I explaied about the
harassment-incidents), but Baines hadnt.

I continued to say that Baines at least read it at the beginning of the meeting

My point was, that what was said in that summary, and would have made me
myself very much raise my eyebrows if it was me who read the summary
under similar circomstances was this:

On page 6 in the summary (from the meeting between Line Sletvold and myself
on Sunday 26/11/06), that was handed out on the meeting on 28/11/06, it says:

'And because I found this behaviour very uncomfortalbe, and because Ive earlier
had problems with organised criminals in Oslo and Liverpool (problems which
I have reported to the police in Norway and England), I decided to take a taxi
to the police-station to report this.'

Neighter my senior team-leader Aidan Tippins (who said he didnt need to read
this document at the meeting, since he had recieved it on email and read it
before), or Sarah Rushby, from HR (who recieved the document on email, and
also read it at meeting), reacted in any way to this information.

None of them mentioned this at all.

How could this be?

I would have found information like this very unusual, yet no-one asked about
this or seemed scared [or concerned], about this.
They seemed to be comfortable and relaxed.

I explained this to Ian Carrol.

Sarah Rushby didnt comment on this.

I continued to say to Ian Carrol, that since hed asked what I wanted that should
be done regarding this.

I continued to explain that I hadnt done anything wrong, and that I had reported
about these problems to the police in Norway and England.

But that I hadnt managed to get any help, or even advice, from the police about
regarding how to deal with this.

So when you (Ian Carrol) ask what I want the company to do about this, then
I wonder if it maybe is possible to get help, with advice on how to deal with this.

Mr. Carrol said that the company could only help with advice on how to deal
with organised crime, if it was within the company.

If its external, it should be covered by the police.

Erik accepted this, and continued to say that he think that it is important that
these problems should be dealt with, and not hidden under the carpet.

Mr. Carrol said that I wouldnt find anything hidden at Arvato, here everything
is open.

Erik started to read again from the e-mail sent to Mr. Carrol earlier that day:

'It seems clear to me that most of, or all of, there harassment-cases and other
cases, are organised.'

Ian Carrol: 'If its organised crime within the company, then you should email me
me about it.'

Erik: 'I thought that was what I did this morning.'

Mr. Carrol doesnt answer.

Erik (reads from the email again): 'It seems clear to me that most of, or all of,
there harassment-cases and other cases, are organised.'

Erik: 'And its not organised by Arvato.'

Sarah Rushby: 'I think what Erik is trying to say is that this is organised crime,
that we all are criminals.'

Erik continues to say to Ian Carrol: 'I think its important that everyone act responisble
about this, and that expertise outside of the organisation should be contacted about

Erik: 'The police, you should contact St. Annes police-station about this.'

Mr. Carrol: 'Have you got a log-number.'

Erik: 'Yes.'

Mr. Carrol: 'Could you email me the log-number.'

Erik: 'Yes, of course.'

Sarah Rushby: 'Erik, here is a copy of the companys harassment-policy copied from
the employee-handbook.'

[I had read the harassment-policy earlier, and had also got the employee-manual at
home, but I didnt want to be inpolite.]

Erik: 'Ok, thank you very much.'

Erik (to Mr. Carrol): 'Have you got a piece of paper?'

Mr. Carrol: 'Yes'.

Erik: 'I think I have the log-number here somewhere.'

(I had the log-number written on a note in my wallet, I write the log-nr on the piece
of paper, and gives it to Mr. Carrol.)

(Meeting ended).


It was agreed that Erik should stay home, and write on writing summaries etc. while the
investigation continued.

Erik hadnt got to write all the summaries from the meetings, since there had been many
meetings the last days and weeks, and would have liked it, if he could go to work and
write the summaries at work, without being interupted by the phones.

Mr. Carrol said that because it was an harassment-case ('given the aligations' + 'duty
of care', was the words he used that i wrote down on the meeting).

Given this, Mr. Carrol said that he couldnt allow me to go to work during the investigation.


Rusby said: at the meeting [sheduled meeting 28/11/06], we agreed that the way we
would go forward with this, was that we would find out some information, and then
have a later meeting about this.

Yet you went to the police [after the sheduled meeting 28/11/06]. She wondered why.

Erik said that he started to think about the things that had happend on the meetings on
Tuesday 28/11/06, and the more I thought about it, it got clear to me that something was
seriously wrong. [the lies and the covering up etc.]

So I thought the only thing responsible would be to contact the police.

At the [sheduled] meeting 28/11/06, we were discussing how we were going to pursue
the case further.

I said that I would continue to seek advice from indipendent institutions/organisations,

to make sure that I dealt with the situation as responsible as possible.

I reminded Rushby that the police is an indipendent organisation, and that they can be

And that it therefore is ok to contact the police in situations like these.

[It looked like Mr. Carrol agreed with this.]

It was clear to me that this was the only responsible thing to do.

And then later, the police called (in the middle of the night), and seemed concerned.

They said that the problems Id been having with these persons should be taken seriously.

They seemed concerned, and continued to say that I should contact higher management
about the problems id been having with these persons.


Line: Erik has got his holidays coming up in not long.

Mr. Carrol: Ok, then he would try to have the investigation ready before my holiday started.

I said it was no need to hurry for my sake. I thought it was more important that one used the
necessarty time to make sure that the investigation was contucted in an apropriate manner.

I wouldnt mind using of my holidays, and instead get a lue-day etc.

I though that the most important thing was that the investigation was done properly.

Mr. Carrol wondered if I was staying home during my holidays.

I asked Line what 'sannsynligvis' was in English again.

Most likely, Line said.


It should be put light on this problem.

It should not be put under the carpet.

If it isnt dealt with, then the problem could grow bigger and bigger, until it gets to big to
be [easily] dealt with.

Thats why it is important to deal with problems like this as efficently, professional and
responsible as possible.

In the beginning of the meeting Mr. Carrel also said that Sarah Rushby, HR, would be
leading the investigation.

Related Interests