It’s interesting, since I left my job last month I can’t stop thinking about how much I dislike my former boss. It pains me when I wake up sometimes, and I know that I’m not doing myself any favors by thinking about him, but he really is an asshole.
I guess the first indication would have been that his name is Dick Johnson. His full first name is indeed Richard, but it takes a particular type of asshole to want to be called “Dick” in this circumstance.
I met him on my first job interview. He was a little bit intimidating, but seemed nice underneath. I was eventually hired; when I was informed about my compensation, it included, “one paid week off after the first year and every year thereafter, and you become part of the family”. This seemed like a nice idea.
The “family” he was referring to was himself and his stepdaughter. It turns out that he bought her a restaurant even though he knew nothing about the hospitality business (or running one on a college campus) even though he owned 92% of the business. A mere 2% went to the third owner, the chef, who really wanted nothing to do with our property. The three owners were too concerned with our flagship restaurant 40 miles away in a small town that nobody gives a shit about except the people that live in it.
Dick went on to become the mayor of this shitty town, thus completely checked out from our properties. He would get mad about how the business was run, get an idea in his head about what the problem was, and look for everything he could to confirm his uninformed opinion, to the detriment of his managers, like myself. We were making money, but I know he was hiding cash off record.
His tactics included shutting you out, both in person and by email. He wouldn’t look you in the eye. On the surface this seems mild, but when you work in an organization that has six people making up ownership and management, being ignored and reduced to nothing in the proprietor’s eyes in heartbreaking, especially when you care about your job. His standoffish behavior would go on until his stepdaughter would intervene. Then he’d take me out for pizza and I was suppose to forget about what he did, until it happened again in a few months.
This pattern lasted for five years. Knowing that I was leaving soon to go to grad school in my final year there, I tried to separate my emotions from my job. I loved our restaurant because I ran it like it was mine. I did everything for that place, and saying goodbye gradually was part of the mourning process.
In the last six months of my employment, I was asked to undergo a large project that entailed finding out why one of our campus properties had a loss in sales and to propose a way to increase revenue. After three months of work I finally presented it to Dick and his stepdaughter. Once it was over, and they understood my ideas and knew that I had the support of all of the other working managers, Dick basically said that he hated my ideas, didn’t have any of his own, and well, that was it. I asked what they wanted to do if they didn’t use my plan, and mentioned that no one else brought anything to the table. You could see his face swell up in anger as he left the meeting without saying a word.
One week later I received an email from him, two days before my five day vacation, asking me who the hell I think I am talking to him like that. He called me a “petulant two-year-old”, and implied that he wanted to meet with me the following week to fire me. This ruined my vacation, and left me a wreck. When it came time to meet, he didn’t show up.
I only ended up on speaking terms with him in the end because I had first hand knowledge of another manager looking to cause trouble in the company with a sexual harassment suit and I did the right thing by informing him right away.
His parting gift to me was my laptop, the one I am typing on right now. He acted like it was a gift from God, and that I should be so lucky to keep the two-year-old machine that allowed me to do countless work for his company on my own time from home for many years.
As of today, he is requesting “data files that are on the laptop I am in possession of” and that “all data relating to work is his property and he wants it”, even though nothing on this machine is very relevant. Here’s a thought: maybe an email or a phone call to the tune of, “Hey, can you send us the work files on your laptop? Thanks!” An inconceivable tactic for such a flaming asshole.
He lives in a community that thinks he is the greatest man in the world. He does nothing but grandstand and appreciate those that put him on a pedestal. He doesn’t actually appreciate people who “tell it like it is, and aren’t afraid to say what they think”, a trait that he claims to prize.
Thanks for reading this; I’m sure that writing this was better than reporting him for having illegal aliens working in his kitchens, or complaining about all of the illegal overtime pay he made me enforce over the years, or even bringing up the emotional harassment he put me through.
Life will go on. Hey Dick, thanks for teaching me about the type of person I DON’T want to be.