How to work with my boss's idiot son?
May 9, 2013 11:58 AM   Subscribe

My boss has hired her unqualified problem child son to work in my workplace. I have no idea how to deal with him.

Background: he is in his mid 20s and the only professional experience he has had so far have been a food services job which was predicated on him finishing a course he could not complete, and a phone-answering job which he quit because it was beyond his capabilities to multitask between answering the phone and dealing with the occasional live customer. From what I have heard, he has spent the time since bouncing between his parents respective homes until finally his mother, my boss, told him he couldn't stay there anymore unless he worked for his board. So now, here he is.

For me, the issue is less about his lack of training or qualifications but more about his lack of workplace etiquette. For example, he'll be assigned to come and 'help' someone and then he will loudly complain that a task is boring when it is assigned to him. On one occasion, he was sent to receive me of some overtime I would otherwise have had to stay for, and when I explained to him what it entailed. He said 'oh, we'll, I don't want to do it then' and just walked away. Us real employees could never get away with that!

Yesterday, I was in the middle of a presentation when a small issue came up which we in the presentation were dealing with, and he barreled in to start asking me about it because he overheard someone else talking about it. I tried to dismiss him (because it was already being handled and because I was in the middle of a presentation) and he loudly argued with me that he needs to be told if something is going on. I dismissed him again by telling him we were handling it, and a coworker later told me that shortly after, he was huffing around the staff area complaining about how rude I was.

I am at a loss as to how to deal with this. My other 15 co-workers have had dealings with him too, but nobody has been brave enough to go to the boss about her kid. I have worked very hard to cultivate a reputation as a diligent, obedient and trouble-free employee. I do my job well. I never complain about overtime and extra responsibilities. When I am given feedback, I implement the suggestions. I don't want the boss's kid complaining to his mother about me. I especially don't want it when the reasons he is complaining are due to his own bad manners (if he truly wanted to talk to me about the incident, he should have waited for a more suitable time than the middle of my presentation, in front of everyone). I also don't want to sacrifice my hard-earned reputation with the boss by going to her to complain about her kid.

What should I do? Should I try and talk to her son again, to make sure he and I are, in his mind at least, okay? Should I approach my boss somehow? How can I deal with this situation in the best way? Assume quitting is not an option, and assume we are stuck with him at least for a little while.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (32 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I'd make a list of the incidents, calendar a private 1:1 with your boss, and ask her how she'd like you to deal with these precise situations. Not "your son is awful" but just more like "I want to be sure we're on the same page on how I should be integrating Bobby into the workflow, there have been some challenges, and I need your guidance on these specific situations which have already arisen."
posted by fingersandtoes at 12:04 PM on May 9, 2013 [37 favorites]

Is this a family-owned business where the mom is the dictator?

Initial reactions are to just stay out of his way, he will flame out in short order. Leave him alone, he will implode on his own.
posted by Fairchild at 12:05 PM on May 9, 2013 [6 favorites]

First, if your boss is worth her weight in anything, she already knows how [negative words] her son is, and second...I would not go to the boss to complain about her child.
That will only make you look bad. If at all possible let every mistake, undone thing he does just lay there with his name on it, so when she wonders why or how something isn't right, it's got his name all over it. Other than that, the best I found to deal with this is hoping that the child gets another job somewhere else.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 12:07 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I definitely hear where you are coming from, but one thing to be better about is maybe not "dismiss him" as you say you did when he comes barreling through/over you. That is a surefire way to rankle someone who already is angling for a conflict. Plus, it just kinda looks bad on you (even if surely everyone knows he is being a jerk).

Instead, my suggestion is when something like that happens, just stop. Be. Dead. Silent. And give him a look, slowly ask him to clarify what it is he wants to know. At this point, everyone in the room will be looking at him too and will pretty much get the picture without you having to overtly dismiss him. Answer him politely and kindly, take a deep breath, then get back to what you were focused on. This will really make you look more in control, on top of your game, and all over cool-headed--giving him less to complain about and no one to side with him.
posted by ejazen at 12:07 PM on May 9, 2013 [36 favorites]

I like fingersandtoes script, but even that carries a risk.

Frankly though, I'd be looking for a new gig so fast it would make your head spin. This is the ultimate no-win situation. Also, your boss can't be all that bright if she's willing to alienate a good staff for this boomerang, looser kid of hers.

Have you tried firmly discussing your issues with the kid directly?

"Ian, I understand that you have questions about this issue, and I'll be happy to take them off line with you after the presentation."

"Ian, I'm sorry you don't want to work the overtime, but I was already promised that you would work it, so I'm leaving. Good night."

"Ian, you seem to have an issue with X, what do you want to have happen here?"

Leaving is ALWAYS an option, so start looking, because this may get better, but if this is happening, it won't get better quickly.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:08 PM on May 9, 2013 [9 favorites]

Personally I would document everything and not do anything with that information until either I was forced to for some reason or until I felt that it had gotten so bad that it was worth possibly sabotaging myself by bringing it up to the boss.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:08 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I've dealt with Protected Idiots a couple of different ways: by containing them and their idiocy as much as possible (even to the extent of transferring them to a different department), any by simply allowing them to be themselves. That is, giving them enough rope to hang themselves. You may not have the juice to get him transferred, but you could contain him by making sure he's involved in Special Projects somehow. As for option 2, time is usually your ally.
posted by jquinby at 12:09 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't want the boss's kid complaining to his mother about me.

On this point, I think that she knows by now to take her kid's complaining with a grain of salt.
posted by Melismata at 12:19 PM on May 9, 2013 [6 favorites]

I worked for my dad during university. My dad had a foreman. If I screwed up, the foreman yelled at me. My dad was happy with that arrangement.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:28 PM on May 9, 2013 [12 favorites]

Based on what you said about this fellow's work history, I think the guy's mom (your boss) probably would prefer that there was a little drama as possible in the workplace. It sort of sucks that you have to work with this person and that your boss put you in this predicament, but I think if you react politely and communicate well (and don't lose your cool), you should be able to survive what is likely a temporary situation.

There's also the idea of "negative reinforcement", that is, reacting to unacceptable behaviour, rather than ignoring something obviously totally out of line. In other words, don't make mountains out of molehills.

In terms of office politics, it's not like he has any sort of influence. He will complain to mom, who will be exasperated, but if you do something that can be interpreted as out of line (blowing your cool) then you also become a problem for mom, which would not be good at all.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:49 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't think you should do anything, actually. It sounds like your complaint is with his workplace etiquette and lack of manners (which his mother likely doesn't care about, unless it disrupts production), and not about his actual work performance. Going to your boss with this likely would undermine you more than him.
posted by sm1tten at 1:06 PM on May 9, 2013

I too have been in this situation, with a boss's daughter who was given the title "Creative Director" immediately upon graduating school. I had to get another job. (The boss was also batshit insanity, so there was nothing salvageable with that position.)

I'm seconding the ideas of:

* Documenting everything for whatever eventual use you'll have, no matter how small.
* Dead Silence upon weird demands, intrusions, outbreaks, etc.
* Breathing techniques to help you calm down and proceed with your usual tasks. Now is your chance to become Ultimate Zen Master.
* Not approaching your boss with "suggestions," "solutions," etc. He's not a regular employee no matter how much he or she or anyone else at your office would like to pretend otherwise. You'll have to deal with this one on your own.

Also recommend depending on him as little as you can possibly get away with. Anything he is assigned to, assume it will never get done. It's a headache and definitely an extra workload, but this is what happens.


As for him complaining about you, assume this is also unavoidable. This kid, and kids like him, do not hold back when they are being "picked on" and mommy/daddy is right there to listen. Your boss may be tired of his shit by now, but that doesn't mean she won't get an earful about whoever wronged him that day.

It sucks and I'm terribly sorry and I don't want to wish this on anyone, because this shit becomes toxic fast. So practice a cool and calm demeanor, and seriously consider looking for an out.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 1:06 PM on May 9, 2013 [5 favorites]

Who is assigning him tasks? You? Another supervisor? Mom?

If you can stop assigning tasks, or assign meaningless tasks that don't need to get done, then do that.

If mom or another supervisor is assigning tasks to just him, then it's on him. If he screws up or doesn't do it then it's not your fault. This won't work, however, if it's a group assignment. Then you will unfortunately need to pick up his slack.

Either way, look for a new job. If he screws up enough he may be put on other assignments that you don't have to deal with. If he stays there and causes a fuss, I guarantee you won't be the only one leaving because of it, so it wil be mom's fault for keeping her son over her employees.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:34 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ignore him. Don't respond to his outbursts. Engage him as little as possible. Think of it as trying to rationalize with a toddler. Not worth your time or energy. If things don't improve and it becomes evident that his mother is unwilling to intervene, quit. Honestly? From what you've written above, it sounds like his mother knows he's a fuckup anyway. He's tying his own noose here.
posted by futureisunwritten at 1:34 PM on May 9, 2013

If at all possible let every mistake, undone thing he does just lay there with his name on it, so when she wonders why or how something isn't right, it's got his name all over it.


The problem here is that you need verifiable documentation that the person in question was assigned and was working on this task/project, and that it didn't get hot potatoed to someone else before it was put on the shelf either incomplete or improperly complete in some way.

This kid will have a different excuse every time. If they're any good at being a lazy fuck up, it will be a decent plausible excuse if the judge of the excuse was already biased towards this person at all.

Anyone else even barely tertiarily involved will take the fire for this not necessarily every time, but definitely the first time it's a large or mission critical fuckup.

I'm also not totally comfortable with leaving things that could effect other people getting shit done, or customer facing stuff/the business in general to boil over just to prove this guy is useless. That, as well can reflect really poorly on other people involved.

If the answer to "why didn't you deal with this when you saw it wasn't being handled?" Is any variation of "you assigned it to X" the next question will be some variation of "and you saw he wasn't capable of dealing with it, why didn't you deal with it/help him?" Then you've been painted in to a corner where almost any answer makes it sound like "I care more about proving a point, or the theoretical rules than being a team player and getting the job done" and reflects really poorly on you as someone who's basically doing a grade school "I didn't spill the paint!" Type thing.

There's also the catch 22 of "if you were there to document this failure, why didn't you correct it before it caused XYZ problems elsewhere?"(ship dates to slip, people not being able to work on the next stage of this task sitting idle or moving on to other projects, etc as examples). This is a hard fucking question to answer. You're going to be thinking, in a loop, "because I wanted to show that X can't get anything done!" Or some variation therein. What can you actually say that isn't political suicide and has deniability? Being a witness of their failure may preclude you from having deniability of not getting involved.

Now this depends a lot what type of workplace this is, and what you're both doing. But it sounds like you're both involved in the same type of stuff in an office.

And my point is that whether or not it's technically right to let him fail, it could come back on you badly as being irresponsible and the person who let the pot boil over while they were sitting right next to it just because it was assigned to someone else. It's frustrating, but it can come off as a bit snarky + that "just following orders" type of logic to not deal with it.

I've been in similar situations to this, and I'm just overly afraid that you'll get caned for not pulling the emergency brake when you could, even if he's the one who crashes into the wall and he was driving. You get what I'm saying here?

In all seriousness though, find a new job. I'd say get reassigned under a different manager uninvolved in this but the place sounds too small for that. It sounds like you didn't like the boss anyways...

If you really really want to stay, put a huge distance between this guy and yourself. Don't work directly with him on anything you can avoid. I can almost guarantee you some of the blast damage from his failures, if not a massive portion of it, will end up on people around him who went "eh, I didn't fuck it up" in hopes of him digging his own grave. Because he's digging one of those Warner bros holes where you don't fall till you look down, and pretty soon you guys are gonna look down and fall with him if you aren't careful.
posted by emptythought at 1:37 PM on May 9, 2013 [6 favorites]

I missed an important line, since I'm blasting this out on my phone. It was:

If you really want to document something of this guy being useless, do it like "had to assist/relieve X on project ABC for X amount of time. I had to stop working on important project Y for time number of hours." Get other people in on this. Show how much he's actually slowing the place down and wasting time and money, but keep getting the work done.

This could also backfire, but it doesn't look like letting the pot boil over to prove a point. It also only works if you can shelve your contempt and do someone else's work.

And honestly, I don't know if I could. I'd probably be right up there letting him fail and writing it down, but I'd know that I was dropping a nuke that I might not be going fast enough to get far enough away to clear the blast.
posted by emptythought at 1:41 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

The only way to win in this situation is if son storms out in a snit or gets arrested for doing something stupid and is out of your hair.

Barring that, I would start asking "How much do I like this job?" if only because your boss is showing a serious lack of judgement in inflicting idiot boy on her staff. If she wants him to grow up, she should kick his ass out, not give him a non-job screwing around at her office. Her not understanding this would lower my estimate of her intelligence, frankly.

If you have any chance at all of finding an equally good or better job, start looking.

If you are really stuck, for some reason, then as others have mentioned, work at putting distance between your work and whatever stuff son is supposed to be doing. Treat him politely but distantly and do your best to work around him.

Go ahead and document, but someone who hires their screwup son is not likely to be moved by documentation. Document in case you are threatened with firing or loss of a promotion due to his screwups, to protect yourself.
posted by emjaybee at 1:50 PM on May 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've had this situation, where the boss's son was on the autism spectrum, also in his 20s, and he was unable to find a job anywhere else due to many problems with social interaction, including an attitude similar to what you describe ("this is boring!").

What we had to do was go to the boss, and clarify with her what her expectations were of us. Do you want us to be his babysitter? Or expect him to actually do useful work? Are we allowed to yell at him? Can we hire a social worker or job coach whose job it is to integrate people with disabilities into the workplace? (I.e., something that needs to happen but we're not trained or qualified to do?) If he is expected to do useful work, what is the procedure if/when it doesn't happen?

For a while, the boss seemed to think that we should be able to make him do things (i.e. the work, behave properly, etc.) that she was unable to make him do at home. I think she was in denial about what his capabilities were (she refused to hire a coach when we suggested it, for example, and didn't give us any guidance at all on how to interact him when he was rude or, more commonly, refused to stop playing solitaire when we asked him to). We never really had a heated argument with her, but instead quietly refused to give him work that he was going to fail at, and gave him some simpler tasks instead. We also spent some time (again, something that a job coach should have done) working with him on how to be patient with certain tasks, and how to work more independently (reading the help manuals of the software and such).

Thankfully, his 3-month "internship" ended and we were off the hook. Hopefully, your boss will see the light and realize that he needs to be set up not to fail in the workplace. As his mother, she should do her best to teach him how to survive as an adult in this world.

If she tells you to make it work or else (which could have happened to us had the internship been longer), I don't know what else to say except give her a rational argument about why it won't work, and start looking for a new job.

But clarify, clarify, clarify, that's the way to start.
posted by sockerpup at 1:51 PM on May 9, 2013 [12 favorites]

As one who works with the (nice enough, but borderline incompetent) sister of one of the company's owners, I recommend that you be civil. Snipe all you want at home, but at the office, take the high road. This person may be an utter moron, but Mom may never ever fire him, no matter how much he fucks up. You may possibly be stuck with him as long as you're working there. So be nice. Do not attempt to undermine him or make him look bad.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 1:52 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

view from 10 miles up...

nepotism. the problem is not the son, it's the mother. if it's an option - leave. if not, suck it up.
posted by w.fugawe at 1:54 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

The advice here to quit seems bizarre to me. There are 15 people in this office and the OP isn't the only one with an issue with this guy. Should they all quit perfectly good jobs in this economy because of one idiot? I would follow fingersandtoes advice but I would preface it with, "this is very awkward and I don't really feel comfortable having this discussion with you but I think I have to anyway." Point out his most egregious behavior and don't nitpick on the small stuff. A good example is when he was supposed to take over for you and didn't. I would tell her, "I wasn't sure how to respond in that situation, how would you have liked me to handle that?"

The other suggestion to react with dead silence is a good idea too.
posted by shoesietart at 2:00 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

The advice here to quit seems bizarre to me. There are 15 people in this office and the OP isn't the only one with an issue with this guy. Should they all quit perfectly good jobs in this economy because of one idiot?

Not quit with no job, but find another job. The reason is not because the son is just a disaster, but the fact that the owner/mother brought him in shows a scary lack of judgment and insight.

If people bring their fuck-up relatives into the business, make it the other employees problem and refuse to see how disruptive this action is, then YES, everyone should leave, because it is no longer in their best interest to remain.

Knowing when to pull the plug on something is the most important job skill someone can have.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:07 PM on May 9, 2013 [15 favorites]

You're not going to win this one. Take up his slack, do what you always do (trouble-free, etc), but document anything that he screws up so that it can't be blamed on your if it can't be fixed. She may already know that he's a screw-up... but she's his son - and you're not.
posted by brownrd at 2:09 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

shoesietart, I can only assume that the people suggesting the OP leave this job have been in this very situation, like me. We were also a small company (less than 15 people), and believe me - every single one of us left in the end. The last two people held on as long as they possibly could, but were driven out all the same. Nepotism in the office sucks, and it sucks doubleplus when it's such a clear mistake and your job is now babysitting a fuckup who can't get his shit together.

No one in their right mind "hires" their problem child in an otherwise perfectly functioning office. This is a red flag. Do not count on this job to get any better, OP.
posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 2:12 PM on May 9, 2013 [5 favorites]

Yeah, if the OP is in the US, quitting could be a huge issue with reference to health care. I agree with others who say that you should:

1) Document
2) Ask the boss how to handle things
3) Try to avoid the blast zone

Good luck!
posted by 3491again at 2:13 PM on May 9, 2013

I would not try to clear the air with Little Monster, definitely not. That's for mature adults. Avoid all unnecessary interactions with him.

If your boss is basically reasonable and not on the ragged edge herself, upon the next big event, I'd take fingersandtoes script, more or less. "This isn't that big of a deal, ha ha kids, I'm totally handling it, but I thought you should know."

If you think she might hold a grudge--she may be pretty stressed out right now--just stay cool and wait it out. Make sure you stay out of Little Monster's way for a while. You don't want to this to be a personal thing between you and him, it needs to be a him and everybody else thing.

If it gets intolerable before it falls to pieces, talk to your other co workers and request a group meeting with your boss.
posted by mattu at 4:39 PM on May 9, 2013

It depends on your work culture a lot — like, I've worked with kids of the owners before at jobs, and in one, the solution was to give the kid a rash of shit every time they fucked up since the problem was that, like yours, they just didn't get the idea of working hard to get things done. There, we could take the attitude of, "I do my job well, I don't have time for your bullshit. I don't care if you're drawing a useless salary; get the fuck out of my way."

At the other place, it was the owner's wife's kids and brothers that got hired, and it was just fucking toxic, but at least everyone there knew that they were fuck ups, so while they'd waste everyone's time, my other bosses knew that they were morons. The best advice — even though it's much easier said than done — is to get the fuck out of there so that their inevitable implosion doesn't fuck you over.
posted by klangklangston at 6:07 PM on May 9, 2013

Pump him up and let him lead an "important" really "important" project with lots of "visibility" which basically means something like a presentation to the CEO or someone above his mom. Let him fall flat on his face publiciy before his mom's seniors. Stay in the very background on this project but and make sure he gets all the "credit" I am sure he will
(this is presuming this is not his moms company/firm)
posted by pakora1 at 6:56 PM on May 9, 2013

I'd handle him the way I would handle the situation if he wasn't related to my boss. I'd take him aside, have a conversation with him about how his actions affect my work etc. Just basically be professional. If mom had problem with that, I'd have a professional conversation with her too and move forward with him as she advised. But I'd make sure she knew I was doing my job.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 7:56 PM on May 9, 2013

Pump him up and let him lead an "important" really "important" project with lots of "visibility" which basically means something like a presentation to the CEO or someone above his mom. Let him fall flat on his face publiciy before his mom's seniors. Stay in the very background on this project but and make sure he gets all the "credit" I am sure he will (this is presuming this is not his moms company/firm)

And when he points the finger back at you for setting him up, his mommy who thinks the world of her little pumpkin (she knows that he just needs some time and understanding - he's a good kid underneath), will not only be enraged at you for not only endangering the reputation of the firm/department, but also for hurting her baby's feelings.

Spoiler Alert: this does not go well for you.

The only thing to do is to start looking for another job if you think he's not going to fail upward out of your ambit sometime soon. This kind of thing is why I won't work in small privately-held companies. Nepotism is a disgusting and unavoidable practice everywhere you go, but at least in larger organizations sometimes they at least try to pretend that it's not acceptable.
posted by winna at 9:29 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Hi, I'm not clear if you're in management, if you report directly to the owner of the company, and if the son does of not. I recognize that it's a small company and things may be less structured or defined.

I wouldn't quit, it sounds like other than this kid you like where you work and are happy with the workplace environment. A fifteen person company isn't big enough to hide someone indefinitely and it sounds like your boss has her kid working here less because she thinks he can do a job vs. domestic issues (this doesn't sound like classic nepotism where the kid is groomed for a job he's unqualified for. He's at your office because he is too old for kindergarten). It sucks that the workplace needs to deal with it, but if your boss values the company she will eventually need to let the kid to or find a place where he's useful or less damaging. This will happen after after a spike in employee turnover and/or change in morale associated if the feeling to this kid's presence is universal. If you quit, you will be one of the statistics that drive the kid to get fired. You say you've spent some time developing your equity at your workplace, if you leave you will need to redevelop your equity wherever you go and you don't know how many nephews and nieces are working at the next place. I'm not saying never ever leave your job because it's scary out there, but this doesn't seem like the right reason to leave. Not yet.

I asked above if you are considered management and if you report into someone other than the owner of the company. If you're a manager then you have more responsibility in terms of ensuring the workplace is well functioning, to flag issues and work toward resolution...all this meaning is it gives you "permission" to discuss personnel issues within the management team. If you're don't report into the owner, then bring your concerns to your immediate manager and they need to do the above. It will suck and it is uncomfortable because it is the boss's kid but the key will be in the framing.
Do not set the kid up to fail, do not embarrass him, or do anything else lousy or in bad faith. As valuable an employee you or your colleagues are, this person is your boss' son. And he will always be. Doing any of the above is an emotional action. You don't want this to be an emotional situation (or decision for the owner of the company) but totally fact based. Who does he report to? Does he have a workplan or task list? A 90 day performance review? The suggestions above of clarifying where he is supposed to help are good, and then track that performance. This assumes he reports into you. If her reports straight into his mom with a fuzzy list of duties then its more difficult but then someone needs to have this discussion with her if he really isn't doing anything positive. That someone relates to my earlier question of reporting structures and hierarchy in the workplace. And the conversation isn't your kid sucks for the following fifteen reasons but a balanced conversation (or as balanced as you can make it), of what needs to be true for jimmy to succeed. If you're having that conversation, then yes have everything on paper, one sheet. Something clear and you'd be comfortable her taking and reading and keeping. If other people are unhappy, be sure they will corroborate when asked and not say they're okay if put on the spot. The paper and conversation shouldn't be you need to fire your son (to repeat). That's her decision to make, but a performance review with some positive (he's got to be doing something right), and comment on areas where he can improve, and suggestions on what he should be working on. Stuff that can be tracked and measured so that everyone can objectively agree on performance. Maybe the owner will agree and say okay let's go do that but hopefully she will read between the lines and pull her kid out.

In the meantime, dealing with the kid on a day-to-day basis, you need to neutralize him in situations where he might otherwise be harmful. Let me give you an example, actually this is what prompted me to respond...when you wrote of trying to dismiss him from a meeting and it turned into a thing. Try to give him busywork instead. When I'm running a meeting, if there's a person being disruptive or argumentative or trying to dominate the conversation, I thank that person for their contributions and ask if they wouldn't mind coming up to capture their and other people's ideas on the whiteboard. Now they need to listen, can't talk, focus on writing and also feel like they're contributing very important work. Maybe he just needs very important work too.
posted by dismitree at 5:01 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

he will flame out in short order. Leave him alone, he will implode on his own

I worked at a family-owned company for a few years (and my relatives have worked there for many more years). One employee there is a son of the bosses, and he has been a disaster for the last, oh, fifteen years? He is lazy, alcoholic, and has an actually terrifying violent temper, on top of his general incompetence. No confrontations with him have gone well, but he is also there to stay. The long-standing employees have found ways to avoid him, work around him, and (since everyone understands what he is), make sure in reports, emails, and conversations, to flag his involvements with important clients/jobs, so that they can be managed/forestalled etc. (in a diplomatic way that won't make him mad. Fortunately, he is not bright enough to read into such comments). Best of luck dealing with the little prince.
posted by Edna Million at 10:25 AM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

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