Author Topic: New boss is toxic - is this common?  (Read 3543 times)

sjc0816

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New boss is toxic - is this common?
« on: May 01, 2017, 10:12:06 AM »
My husband just went through probably the most stressful two weeks of his life. I'll give you the short version of the story. He's an upper level IT Architect...last 9 years at a Fortune 100 Company. The job was stable and good but he was getting bored. New opportunity presents itself with a small consulting firm. Growing company, lots of opportunity. He takes it. First few days in, he realizes that they needed him to come up to speed on a new technology "quickly". Okay, he throws himself into learning the technology. Day 5, conference call with the CEO - DH realizes that CEO expects him to have already picked up the technology (CEO is not happy that he's not "there" yet). He's about 60% there. Keeps learning - 14 hour days pouring into new technology. Day 7 - DH is about 95% there....CEO calls and spends basically 2 hours ripping DH's ass that he didn't know this small customization/programming piece yet. Essentially calls him a liar...that he hasn't been working on it. On and on...yelling and berating him on the phone.

Day 10 - DH resigns and goes back to his old job (they were thrilled to have him back).

Is this absolutely insane? In my DH's 20 year career, he has learned more new technologies than I can even count. He steps up every time his company needs him and has always gone above and beyond. This joker CEO gives him ONE WEEK to become an expert in a very difficult technology that DH has never even seen before (they knew this when they hired him - they hired him for his expertise in other technologies for a client that apparently did not re-up their contract)....and then proceeds to completely lose his temper and yell at DH for 2 hours.

This job wasn't even much of a pay increase. My DH took it for the longer term opportunity. DH has been in many pressure cooker situations in his career but has NEVER been treated the way this CEO treated him....and in the first 2 weeks no less. We were both just at a loss for words.

I guess my questions is....do people actually work under these conditions willingly?

sjc0816

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 10:12:53 AM »
Sorry for the double post.

SwordGuy

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 10:29:31 AM »
There are plenty of people promoted into management who are not really up to doing a great job.

Most of the problem ones can be helped by their staff into doing a good job.

Then there are the toxic ones.

They aren't super common but you should never be surprised to get one.

kenaces

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2017, 10:38:08 AM »
Some % of people are just total A-holes. Awesome that your husband was able to get old job back right away!

desk_jockey

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2017, 10:59:46 AM »
DH has been in many pressure cooker situations in his career but has NEVER been treated the way this CEO treated him....and in the first 2 weeks no less.

This is why we have FU money.  This why we seek FI even if we plan to keep working.  By not being under financial pressures you don't have to allow the situation to continue for 2 hours just because of someone's title. You can calmly explain that "I've never been treated like this by an employer or customer and I'm not going to let it start now.  You can call me back when you are ready to have a constructive conversation." 

BrokeNoMo

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2017, 11:40:43 AM »


 (they knew this when they hired him - they hired him for his expertise in other technologies for a client that apparently did not re-up their contract)....and then proceeds to completely lose his temper and yell at DH for 2 hours.


My guess is the CEO saw that without the client renewing on this contract your DH was no longer needed. Instead of being professional he went full jerkmode to run him off.  I'm sure he sees it as purely a business move; and apparently it worked just as he had hoped.

mistershankly

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2017, 01:15:19 PM »
My guess is the CEO saw that without the client renewing on this contract your DH was no longer needed. Instead of being professional he went full jerkmode to run him off.  I'm sure he sees it as purely a business move; and apparently it worked just as he had hoped.

+1

I think this or something like this is the case behind the CEO's reaction.  I would even venture to guess that your husband was chosen over the CEO's preferred appointment, and the CEO's building of a case against your husband was a part of this stupid chain of events.  In any case, be glad that your husband dodged a bullet and is no longer working for someone as delusional and toxic as that CEO.

nobody123

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2017, 01:18:09 PM »
My guess is the CEO saw that without the client renewing on this contract your DH was no longer needed. Instead of being professional he went full jerkmode to run him off.  I'm sure he sees it as purely a business move; and apparently it worked just as he had hoped.

+1

I think this or something like this is the case behind the CEO's reaction.  I would even venture to guess that your husband was chosen over the CEO's preferred appointment, and the CEO's building of a case against your husband was a part of this stupid chain of events.  In any case, be glad that your husband dodged a bullet and is no longer working for someone as delusional and toxic as that CEO.

It smells like this to me, since OP said hubby's skillset really were for a client they lost.  Small company doesn't want to pay severance, so they get you to quit instead.

jeromedawg

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2017, 01:35:18 PM »
Haven't had a moron boss like that but have worked with maybe one or two coworkers that sound just like him. Probably the worst coworker I've ever had is the one I have to work with at the current place, and everyone else on the team agrees. We don't understand how he got into the lead position he's in now other than by 'tenure' since he was one of the original guys on the team. The VP of the group was the manager who directly managed him back then and he's pulled the wool over her eyes because she's the only one who vouches for him when he screws up.

He's a bad combination of:
A) a 'lead' developer who talks out his rear and uses fancy-pants terms that make him sound smart but his comments typically either hold no actual weight or are irrelevant

B) he thinks he knows everything about everything and will speak condescendingly to anyone and everyone else because he's better. Even though he's more mid-level, he acts like he's some sort of manager and also will talk down to end users and PMs (who are usually senior) about how there's nothing wrong with the app (zero bugs) and the problem is they don't know how to use it right LOL

C) he won't hesitate to throw you under the bus at any given chance. this has become harder for him to do because, literally, the moment he points one finger at someone he has 10 pointing back at him.

I think this guy knows that he wouldn't survive anywhere else, so he's clinging to this life raft of a job... it's full WFH for most employees which is another huge thing he probably doesn't want to lose (I can't find work and I especially can't find work from home!!!) The guy is a complete narcissist; coupled with a mid-level development skillset in what is supposed to be a lead position, it's just a train wreck. I feel sorry for my immediate manager - the dude is a complete PITA. Fortunately, we don't have to work with him *too* often, and my cohort and I have sort of set it up that way intentionally (if he wants to tell us how to do something, try telling it to our manager first... usually nothing comes of his tantrums).
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 01:39:17 PM by jeromedawg »

caracarn

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2017, 01:50:19 PM »
To your original question, no I do not think anyone does this willingly.  I spent the better part of a year looking for work to get away from a toxic senior manager.  Many others were driven off or fired as the run off from his drivel.  Company has since been sold and while he felt he was critical to the corporation the truth was shown when they did not retain him after the sale and let him be sold off with the company.  I've not seen anyone willingly deal with being belittled, insulted and overly rude to. 

There could be some relevance to what people said about wanting to get your husband to quit, but severance is not mandatory, so the whole "small companies do not want to pay severance" is a bit of a stretch.  Severance avoids a lawsuit, as most agreements require you to agree to not sue the company as part of the severance agreement.  You could not sue a company for not paying you severance.  They are not required to do so.  I just think it's a bit of a stretch to think a normal person would go on a two hour rant as a "business move" to get your husband to quit.  That behavior is part of their normal repertoire.  Also I think it is unlikely that at a small company the CEO would be overridden on a hiring decision.  By who? 

sjc0816

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2017, 02:19:35 PM »
My guess is the CEO saw that without the client renewing on this contract your DH was no longer needed. Instead of being professional he went full jerkmode to run him off.  I'm sure he sees it as purely a business move; and apparently it worked just as he had hoped.

+1

I think this or something like this is the case behind the CEO's reaction.  I would even venture to guess that your husband was chosen over the CEO's preferred appointment, and the CEO's building of a case against your husband was a part of this stupid chain of events.  In any case, be glad that your husband dodged a bullet and is no longer working for someone as delusional and toxic as that CEO.


The CEO is the one who interviewed and hired him. They were also VERY surprised when he resigned after only 2 weeks so I don't get the feeling that they were chasing him out. Not saying it's not possible, though. My DH got the feeling that he was incredibly hot headed in general...and that anything could set him off. Either way, it was a really stressful situation and we are glad to be out of it.

Goldielocks

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2017, 12:26:21 AM »
Regardless of anything else, complaining at someone for 2 hours about a rather straightforward complaint (you are not up to speed yet and I need you to be)  is just insane.

Good riddance.

chasesfish

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2017, 05:53:02 AM »
Leadership...

I'm at the point of my career where the leader I work for ranks near the top of my list of importance.   Having FI money gives me a shorter tolerance for both jerks and people with competency issues.   Surprisingly I *really* enjoy working for top leaders.   I had the good fortune of spending 4.5 years (and 18 months of those very close) to a future CEO of a Fortune 500 company.   Learned more from him about leading people than I could have ever imagined.

I don't know how common a toxic boss is, but I've had one.  Life is miserable when you do.

I think there's two types of toxic bosses:

1) Individuals that just aren't good people - just shitty individuals
2) People promoted above their competency level
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 05:57:13 AM by chasesfish »

jeromedawg

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2017, 09:12:15 AM »
Leadership...

I'm at the point of my career where the leader I work for ranks near the top of my list of importance.   Having FI money gives me a shorter tolerance for both jerks and people with competency issues.   Surprisingly I *really* enjoy working for top leaders.   I had the good fortune of spending 4.5 years (and 18 months of those very close) to a future CEO of a Fortune 500 company.   Learned more from him about leading people than I could have ever imagined.

I don't know how common a toxic boss is, but I've had one.  Life is miserable when you do.

I think there's two types of toxic bosses:

1) Individuals that just aren't good people - just shitty individuals
2) People promoted above their competency level

Agreed. The *rare* gems are the ones that embody both 1 and 2 - I happen to work with a guy like this (as I briefly described above). Fortunately, he's not *my* boss (though he does try to boss my cohorts and I around) but he's a lead and there are a couple under him. The churn in his group is high too, which isn't surprising. He's gone through 2-3 contractors/FTEs in less than 2-3 years. Super incompetent and piss-poor attitude.

Bicycle_B

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Re: New boss is toxic - is this common?
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2017, 09:33:49 AM »
Leadership...

I'm at the point of my career where the leader I work for ranks near the top of my list of importance.   Having FI money gives me a shorter tolerance for both jerks and people with competency issues.   Surprisingly I *really* enjoy working for top leaders.   I had the good fortune of spending 4.5 years (and 18 months of those very close) to a future CEO of a Fortune 500 company.   Learned more from him about leading people than I could have ever imagined.

I don't know how common a toxic boss is, but I've had one.  Life is miserable when you do.

I think there's two types of toxic bosses:

1) Individuals that just aren't good people - just shitty individuals
2) People promoted above their competency level

Absolute gem of a comment.

OP, bosses that bad are a minority but they exist by the thousands anyway.  Get away ASAP is the rule - your husband is so lucky that he could.  Except that ya'll are saving $ so that he'll always be able to walk away; more power to you both!

I once temped in a real estate office that did big deals.  The boss would sometimes come in and scream at everyone, including me.  I needed the job back then and didn't care what he said since he didn't fire me, but left after a month.   One of the salesmen told me privately that the boss's wife beat him up physically at home sometimes and that's why he yelled.  Sure enough, he did sport a black eye sometimes. 

FU money is a great thing for anyone.  So are former employers who want you back.