RE: Working for a liar

Subject: RE: Working for a liar
From: "Dick Margulis" <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 100 10:41:53 EST

I repeat what I offered initially in this thread: Speaking truth to power is the only approach I've actually seen work.

However that does not mean finally confronting the lying SOB after eight months of suffering in silence. It means standing your ground on a daily basis, making it known from day one that you do not tolerate being lied to or lied about. It means confronting the liar with contradictory evidence _in the presence of neutral witnesses_ (that is, people the liar cannot fire). It means confronting the liar in the presence of his or her supervisor. It means availing yourself of the mechanisms the company has designed for the purpose if, in your judgment, those mechanisms afford you the necessary protection (and avoiding the use of those mechanisms if they do not afford you the necessary protection). If you are a contractor, it means keeping your agency informed of the situation.

I worked for such a person. He had been terrorizing subordinates for about twenty years in the same company. He started in on one of my coworkers (because I wouldn't let him start on me); and the victim, another coworker and I were able finally to expose his misbehavior at a high enough level in the company that he was then put in a position where he had no subordinates and no power. (The company was sufficiently leery of a lawsuit that they offered him a buyout rather than firing him.)

So these situations can be resolved. But my larger point is that he never started on me, because I dealt with him from the beginning by confronting him on his lying. Lying is a form of bullying, and the lesson of the schoolyard applies. If you cower in fear or run away, you're only encouraging the bastard. If you stand your ground, you take away his reward, and he'll find someone else to pick on.

My two cents.


Louis de Carteret wrote:

>I once worked for a boss who had a lot of the "qualities" that have been
>described in this thread. Several complaints were made about him to his
>superiors yet nothing was ever done. After eight months of extreme
>frustration I realised that my only option was to confront him about his
>behaviour personally. I did this and he blew his top shouting (amongst other
>things!) "HOW DARE YOU BE SO INSUBORDINATE!" I realised the guy had a screw
>loose at this point and resigned there and then. He insisted that I leave
>immediately (to avoid me being questioned by his peers) and stood over me
>while I cleared my desk. He personally escorted me out of the building.

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