There's a fratboy in the house of nerds
December 29, 2011 8:37 AM Subscribe
Please help me wrest an amazing company from the clutches of one overgrown frat boy.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (23 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I started working for a small company last summer. We do what I think is amazing work, we all get along really well, and we're becoming a large part of the development/UX scene in our region. But there's one nagging problem that we all (except for two of us) agree is holding us back and will until it's gone: this guy who has convinced everyone he's our "co-founder". We'll call him "Chad". I read this thread
and was following the story all day beforehand. That guy, his language, his bullying, and his abysmal typing are nearly identical to this guy. He's somehow ingratiated himself to our founder and claims to be a business development person. The deals he secures all either fall through, or end up being nightmares. A short list:
- He tries to insert himself into project management with disastrous results
- Calls clients and refers to them as "bro" (not kidding)
- At every company function or lunch, he's borderline abusive and flippant to wait staff. This is a big one because we do an inordinate amount of public facing stuff now, and there are eight of us who have to run damage control
- He worked night and day to fire a co-worker who's only real crime, while not necessarily being suited for this line of work, was that she was "ugly" and a "stupid bitch"
- Has on more than one occasion padded billing to the point that it was insanely obvious to the client
- Has on more than one occasion lied about project deliverables (editing out ones he thought would take too long) to try and maximize profits on a job. When the client started calling about the undelivered parts of the job (the parts we were never told about), he started repeating the phrase "out of scope" (which he picked up from us) and stopped taking their calls.
- Last week, he put me in some kind of wrestling headlock (WTF?) at the table where several of us were working. I had to punch him to get him to let me go, and it made everyone (especially me!) really uncomfortable. This isn't the first instance of that sort of frat house/horseplay bullshit
We've had several meetings about the company's future where we tried to talk about this. But our founder—who is the shy genius type—just doesn't want to hear about Chad and his bad behavior. For our founder Chad performs the important task of being in the public eye, which is something he's shown to be either unwilling or unable to do due to his painful shyness. I respect the hell out of our founder. He has built an amazing place for us all to work, and what's more he's bringing a fresh mentality to a city the desperately needs to learn entrepreneurship. Chad, for his part, probably thinks he's doing great. He finds himself in the local media as the mouthpiece of this movement, and it makes him feel vindicated. But the fact remains that he has zero acumen, zero understanding of the work we're doing, and zero skills as a PM or business development manager. His saving grace is his ability to blather on aimlessly at parties when our founder needs to go home and recharge his introvert batteries.
So, as I said we've tried to reason with our founder. I've tried talking to Chad about modifying his behavior. I've tried pointing out that he serves no real value, and that if the founder needs someone to talk to clients I'm happy to step in, as is any one else. But, no dice.
How do I handle this? I *really* don't want to leave this company. I've even had lots of fruitful offers, but I'm loyal to this place and what it's accomplishing. This job is also the result of a roundabout five year search (and three other shitty jobs), and has been like a family to me while I weather a divorce. For example, every person I work with called to make sure I had somewhere to be for Christmas and one even brought gifts. These are amazing people forced to work with a giant frat boy that we can't seem to shake.
Outside of driving him to the country and leaving him in a field full of Axe body spray and Heineken, what can we do to forge ahead?