Douche-Baggery at Work: How do we protect ourselves from future slander?
February 22, 2008 5:51 PM Subscribe
There's some serious douche-baggery going on at my job that cost one of my colleagues his job today. How do I protect myself?
posted by anonymous to work & money (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I teach at a University somewhere in America. At the beginning of this year, I took this job, and at the same time that they hired a new director. The director brought a couple of people with him (lower level staff members) who interact with students, and are generally bad medicine. Today, one of my colleagues got fired by the Provost because of lies and scandal that the Director of the program started about my colleague. He's lawyering up, and has been given until the end of today to either quit or be fired. He's obviously going to fight - but if he wins and gets to keep his job, he doesn't really "win," you know, without the support of the administration.
The level of scandal here goes deep. He's got budgets screwed up, our division is in shambles, and he shows favoritism and negative empowerment to both students and staff that are "on his side." Most of us have never been disrespected as badly as we have by this man and the people who he has wrangled up. He preys on the weak, undecided students and faculty/staff by giving them very positive praise and rewards, and then putting them together in situations where they are empowered to slander and trash-talk the rest of the people involved. It's a "Divide-and-Conquer" situation that is unacceptable in this environment, and especially in the educational arena.
Several of us have caught the Director in lies. He's very good at treating people below him like shit, and lying to upper administration to make himself look like the champ. Around Christmas of 2007, several of us were slandered by this guy at a public venue in front of students, staff, and other faculty - he has even gone so far as to scream "FUCK 'so-and-so'" in a crowded venue in an argument in front of students' parents and other patrons at an event. Our work environment has gotten very very bad, and it looks as though this guy might get to keep his job due to his manipulation of upper-level administrators, including the VP.
The major downfall of this situation is that this director is also a "professional" in the same line of business that many of us also work in. He's in the same professional union as some of us, so perhaps there is an avenue for protection there as well. The major problem is that, since this guy is a pathological liar and manipulator, he's gonna talk some shit to people we might both know, and spread more bullshit and lies about our work and our personalities. None of us are terribly worried about the damage that he's gonna try to perform, but it is a major pain in the ass (and potentially harmful to future contracts and work) if we have to explain the situation about this guy to people all of the time. He is an expert manipulator - and our colleagues, the heads of our division, and many other people directly and indirectly involved are shocked and awed at how successful he has been at getting what he wants via lies, slander, and manipulative tactics.
I have resigned my position, effective at the end of this school term. My question is about preemptive legal attack; does the Hive Mind see it beneficial for us, one by one, to contact our lawyers and have some kind of "If-I-Hear-That-You-Said-Shit-About-Me, I'll-Sue-Your-Ass-For-Slander" letters drafted? Is there such a thing, and are they effective? Is there anything else we can do to make sure that this guy keeps his lying mouth shut?
There's a chance that he will ALSO be terminated, but at this point, all bets are off. We never expected this guy's lies and manipulation of students to actually trick an administrator into firing one of the best and most influential professors/recruiters the division has ever seen. As you can imagine, this bullshit is all very, very political.
My spoof email for this question is email@example.com. Please drop me a line and post here if you have something that might help. Every day is another wonderfully effed up adventure.