Abusive business partner: should I walk?
October 5, 2007 6:04 PM Subscribe
Should I stay with my company and see it through to success, dealing with an abusive partner along the way, or, walk and see it likely fail?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm one of four principles in a small tech startup. I do most of the technical work; the others handle support and business-related things.
Problem is, one of my partners is intensely abusive. The other partners are nothing like this guy, but have been friends with him for 20+ years.
He has a complete lack of consideration for anybody's personal circumstances. I live alone, take care of myself, and that takes time, but is all completely disregarded. If I'm in the bathroom or otherwise occupied, I can expect five or six phone calls, 5 minutes apart, each with vituperative voicemails of increasing severity.
IM's from him are never short on personal attacks ("you are a dabbler, you know nothing", "you take no pride in your work", "you're weak", and on and on, with plenty of curses interspersed). This happens only if I don't do something immediately, otherwise I am a "gifted person with incomparable skills".
He claims some credit for every piece of work I do, either as 'inspiration' or for 'forcing me' to do it.
Some arguments might quickly escalate to threats of violence or career sabotage.
And this behavior isn't exactly restricted to our company, or work generally. He seems to live life a few rungs shy of civil society -- like he's taken inspiration from the dominant male in a pride of lions.
I would've walked a long time ago if not for the fact that I do do all the technical work, and if I left, the company would be severely affected, growth delayed or halted, and, possibly, outright failure. I don't want that to happen after all I've personally invested (not financially, I can afford the loss on that).
The company doesn't have the cash flow to pay for someone to pick up my work. The other partners are already stretched for time and energy between their day jobs, family stresses, and the company itself, so despite their pronouncements I have no faith in their ability to take on the load.