One of my best friends has an absolute asshat of a boss – hell, his name is Patrick; I sure don’t care if he reads this. Patrick used to be one of my best friends when we were working together overseas. I was head of the department, and hired him literally off the street. We clicked, and he ended up being my right-hand man - hard worker, and really dedicated to putting out a good product. I moderately included him in the process when I was hiring new people, but his hiring priorities were so poor that I didn’t really take his opinion on board - his ‘best hire’ was someone with no ambition, no drive, and no chicks (in his very words: ‘I don’t want someone asking me for a raise, or wanting to be promoted, and I don’t want to work with a chick if I can’t be banging her’).
As a right-hand man, anyway he was great - very hard worker. He was so good that after a few years, after I had moved back to NY, I hired him again. I was in charge again, but for some reason the guy seemed to think that he was on ‘equal ground’. He started having prissy fits if he thought I wasn’t ‘consulting’ with him enough on projects, etc. Worse, he had gotten married and was really unhappy - and I think at some point he just decided to check out at work. He started doing the bare minimum. When I quit to run my own business, I told my boss and the Big Boys overseas that he wasn’t experienced enough to run the department (lack of industry experience, no network to tap, etc.).
But, there wasn’t really anyone else available to do the job, so he took over more by default than anything. In the past year he’s made so many bone-headed decisions that have left me just baffled - both at work and privately, to the point that I basically wrote him and told him to fuck off, because not only did I not consider him a friend anymore I was embarrassed to have introduced him to my field, and to have at one point called him a friend.
I could detail any number of episodes, but this most recent one just got me so mad I swear to Og I wanted to punch him in the face - and I am definitely non-violence (as Asimov said, ‘violence is the last refuge of the incompetent’).
My close friend was there, working as the section’s lone DTP operator. She basically said that she was overworked - Patrick tried to get her to cancel her vacation (her first days off in the year she had worked there) because he didn’t know how to cover for her. No matter that she had told him for five months that he needed to find a second person.
Even worse, he tried to get her to do the hiring because he didn’t want the responsibility! She’s like, ‘I’m an hourly employee. If you want me to do the hiring, fine, but make me a manager and give me a pay raise’. He finally made a hire - and hired a useless DTP operator who didn’t know Excel from PowerPoint, took two-hour lunches and would leave two hours early ‘for her dentist’s appointment’ at least once or twice a week - including her very first day on the job. Worse, she would tell my friend about 10 minutes prior that she was leaving for the day – so she would be stuck with four hours of work that needed to be done in two hours.
My friend complained once after a month or so, and was told by Patrick that she should ‘keep quiet, because firing someone so soon wouldn’t look good for her come bonus time’. To which my friend noted that, since she was an hourly employee she wasn’t eligible for a bonus – only he was. After another month of this, my friend finally complained again, and said she wanted a formal meeting with the new DTP person and Patrick so the three of them could resolve the problem. At which point the new DTP person suddenly started complaining that my friend was ‘creating a hostile working environment’. She asked for three days off – remember, she had only worked there for about two months, and was still on probation (i.e., no vacation days). She got the three days off (Wed-Fri). On Friday, Patrick calls her into a meeting with his boss – and someone from HR, basically writing her up for creating a ‘hostile working environment’! No investigation, no discussion with her or the other people in the department, nothing. My friend called me that afternoon crying her eyes out – and this is someone who I would have gone to my grave believing was incapable of crying. She felt betrayed by the complete ambush. I couldn’t believe it.
The next Monday that new DTP person called in to say that she was quitting.
I hired the first DTP person, and she was one of my best hires ever - new to the industry (like Patrick was; I liked bringing in new people), but a very fast learner and hard worker. She is very well liked and respected by the other DTP people around the system. To Patrick, everything is a competition; I swear he’d compete at peeing if someone got to the stall at the same time as him. I honestly think he was competing with me - remember, I no longer even worked there - because the person I hired turned out to be better than his hire. Which isn’t surprising given his hiring priorities.
I’ve had bosses who have only thought of themselves, their bonuses, their promotions, at the expense of everything and everyone around them, but I never thought he’d turn out like that. Bad enough I lost someone I had at one point thought of my best friend, he has also ruined an enjoyable job for my DTP friend.