Welcome to Asshole Boss Digest, where we regale you Deadspin folk with stories of the meanest, cruelest, most batshit insane bosses, coaches, and teachers you ever had. Email me your asshole boss story here.
Pfft. Surely Someone Evacuating A collapsing Building Can Take Our Call
I hate being an attorney. I hate being an attorney in part, because so many attorneys are heartless, misogynist, giant blow-hard d-bags. I once worked for one of the worst in New Jersey, which would put him in the running for worst in the world. We were a small firm of about six attorneys (more or less depending on who quit or was fired in any particular month). The managing partner was referred to by my fellow associate attorneys and I simply as "the King."
The King ruled with an iron fist, but not like a "sane" dictator who wields power to get what he wants, but in a psychotic irrational fashion that generally causes disasters – like a Pol Pot. One example of his madness occurred on 9/11. Yeah, the real 9/11.
We were a firm which specialized in employment discrimination and as such, did a lot of work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission which was formerly located in 7 World Trade Center (which was directly next door to the towers). The King had been demanding from the EEOC a certain document so he could bring one of his dog shit cases out of the EEOC and into federal court. On the morning of 9/11, he demanded that we start calling the EEOC to get that letter by the close of business. After leaving a message at the EEOC's office at 7 WTC, the two towers were hit. Of course, we were glued to the TV and radio following the events all morning. And at the time, there were all sorts of wild reports including that the State Department had been bombed and the White House was one fire. Seemingly, calling the EEOC so we can file a lawsuit for some jerk-off who got fired for stealing bird seed off a truck seemed unimportant at the time.
Well, the fact that 10,000 people could be burning alive in the towers adjacent to the EEOC's offices did not stop the King from screaming at us to get someone on the horn. In fact, even when the towers came down, the King got even angrier when his retort to use was, "well, 7 WTC is not the towers, they should be there, get calling." At 5:21 p.m, we were able to inform the King that 7 WTC no longer existed as it had collapsed as well. It was our only respite from the constant calls to the EEOC that day.
In the weeks after 9/11, we would wonder if some rescue worker digging in the "pile," as it became known, would find a blinking answering machine with our calls that day. A memorial of sorts. A record of one asshole boss and what he made us to on the worst day I had ever witnessed.
I never thought about going to a cemetery to piss on another's grave, but when the King dies, I going to piss on his. A steamy smelly bacon and asparagus piss. It's the most un-kosher tribute I could think of.
More 9/11 heartwarmers
On September 10th 2001, I flew to Kansas City for a meeting in Wichita Kansas. Everyone remembers where they were the morning of September 11th 2001. I remember getting a call from my boss telling me "nothing's wrong, everyone is working get your ass to your meeting". Being employed meant a lot to me and my family, so I didn't argue and proceeded to my first meeting of the morning to find out the office had been closed for the day. He finally gets the idea that no business would be conducted for the next few days and tells me to come home. Well, I had no way to get home as most flights had been grounded and appeared they would be for the next few days. Luckily, I had a friend who happened to be doing business in Kansas City, had a car and was willing to pick me up and drive me home. He was not happy I was not using my airline ticket.
Two weeks later, I was leaving for another meeting. As I was leaving the office for the airport, jack ass tells me: "and I expect you to use the ticket the company bought for you this time. No more shenanigans like having your friends drive you home". He had no compassion. Thank God I was able to quit a short time later. A few years ago he actually topped that story though. Apparently one of his new employees had a heart attack and collapsed in his office. As the ambulance drove him away, he turned to an employee and asked: "Did he clock out?". Donald I hope that you fucking die with a flaming cucumber sticking out of your ass!!!!!!!!!
And he never kept Josh Hamilton sober!
Man, I feel like this series was created specifically for my ex-boss at the Texas Rangers (the baseball team).
This guy's name is 'Chip'. Anyways, he was somehow put in charge of a group of Inside Sales people...people who were really just willing to do ANYTHING to get a job with a professional sports team. So I guess he used that to his advantage because he would torture people and then tell them that he had 'a hundred other people willing to run through a brick wall to be in your position'.
One incident that comes to mind was when he dressed down one of the better sales guys in front of the room. I guess he didn't like the way he was leaving messages for people, so he storms out of his office and walks back to this guys cubicle and goes 'Hey, have you heard how stupid you sound on the phone? It's fucking pathetic.' With that he turns and starts to walk away, but then decides he's not done and comes back 'Do me a favor...I want you to call your phone and leave yourself a message, so that way you can hear what a robot you sound like. I mean, you should be embarrassed'. Of course, this guy is a huge pussy and is falling all over himself to comply. I'm just shaking my head because I actually feel weird having to witness this. But, the guy calls himself (I'll protect his name) 'Hi Nick Meyer, this is Nick Meyer....' you get the idea. 'Nick' promptly jumps up after the call and makes a beeline to Chip's office to thank him for the activity, to which he just laughs and tells him to get back to work.
There was also the time that he stormed into the office and notified everyone that the team was installing web monitoring software and that we were forewarned so we better not be screwing around anymore. He also added the strange line of 'and deleting your cookies won't help, either'. Uh, ok. Come to find out a few months later that he had been watching porn on his work computer and he got busted for it...thus the web monitoring software.
Revenge on gay sexual harasser!
I was a resident advisor at the University of Kentucky at an all-male dorm. The place smelled like shit, but I worked with some awesome guys I still keep in touch with after we all graduated. Our hall director, Jethro, was a backwoods hillbilly from Harlan County, Kentucky where people butt-fuck their cousins and siblings.
Jethro was a disgustingly ugly person. He refused to have the hair trimmed off the back of his neck. Most of the staff joked that he needed a belly warmer because every shirt he owned didn't cover his large, protruding belly below the navel. This combined with a his thick, backwoods accent was already enough to destroy his chances of connecting with the staff and ANY woman. On top of his physical shortcomings, the man was a compulsive liar and we caught him on many of his ridiculous lies. Here is a list of the things he told his staff:
(1) He had not one, but two special made motorcycles from OC Choppers he like to ride around in the morning but kept them in a storage unit somewhere off campus and that's the reason we never saw them parked beside the building,
(2) He had a fiancee in Washington D.C. who was a high-powered lawyer, but surprisingly enough didn't have any photos of her,
(3) He had a personal helicopter that he used to see said fiancee on most weekends,
(4) He had a vacation house down in Florida,
(5) He received a large amount of money from a legal settlement that resulted in sporadic back pains,
(6) He had Alzheimer's (conveniently used to explain why he sometimes slurred his speech at staff meetings),
(7) He had a then brand new Ford Mustang that he also kept off campus because the residents always vandalized his cars, and
(8) He was in fact, straight.
This guy was a 35-year-old graduate student at UK, who lived in an all male dorm, for God's sake. Did he really think we believed him? I wish I could remember more of his lies, but these were the best, and most memorable ones.
We had heard Jethro was gay and that he solicited sex from residents as well as resident advisors. There was a physical copy of an instant messaging conversation where he tried to lure an RA to his room for butt-sex. I saw it and it was disgusting. There were two guys on our staff that particularly caught Jethro's eye. Gary, received constant shoulder rubs from Jethro, and one time Jethro gave Gary a large amount of condoms, while verbally reassuring Gary he would "need them soon" with an extremely creepy look that made Gary (and everyone that saw it) uncomfortable. There was another guy on our staff, Zelda, who hung out with Jethro a lot and helped us prove some of the stories Jethro told us were fabrications.
Anyway, the staff started to become really uncomfortable with Jethro's shoulder rubs, constant touching of his own penis, and sexual innuendos. There were certain individuals who wanted to take action against Jethro and informed Jethro's superiors of what was going on. Those individuals who decided to claim sexual harassment were, surprisingly, "let go" from their employment with the University and no actions were taken against Jethro. It was pretty fucked up to let these guys go just for being honest about what was going on.
I was a victim of the shoulder rubbing, but kept my mouth shut. The next year when I returned as an RA, the same touching and habits continued, except this year he left the returning staff alone. When members of this year's staff called these acts to the attention of Jethro's superiors, these staff members who did the right thing were once again terminated. This time, however, management decided to transfer Jethro to a different building. His new building would be a co-ed dorm. This should take care of the problem, right?
I returned for a third year and when the fall semester first started, I had heard from resident advisors in Jethro's new building that Jethro was up to his old tricks, except this time he was harassing girls as well as guys (one of whom was a very good friend of mine). I realized that Jethro had a few friends who were higher up in the Department of Residence Life. Anyone who tried to blow the whistle on Jethro was either fired immediately or let go at the end of the year. I decided one day in class that the only way to get Jethro fired, and not myself at the same time, was to get the media involved.
One night, I created an email account and contacted WLEX18 News in Lexington, Kentucky about Jethro and what he had been doing to his staff. They were very interested in airing the story but needed additional sources. I gave them the numbers of past staff but many of them were reluctant to tell their story (understandably so, as male-on-male sexual harassment is rather embarrassing). Only one former RA agreed to go on the record, and this former RA hated Jethro (and vice-versa). The reporter from WLEX18 emailed me back asking for me to come forward. Apparently WLEX18 couldn't run the story with only one person's testimony. I agreed under the condition I could provide a disguised video interview.
The story ran a couple weeks later on TV and was picked up by the student and city newspaper. It was truly epic. The Department of Residence Life went into damage control and reported to WLEX18 that Jethro was fired immediately, and I'm assuming this was a preemptive firing that Jethro knew nothing about until later that night. WLEX18 used a particularly creepy, yet humorously fitting, image from Jethro's facebook account to accompany the broadcast. No actions were ever taken against me. There was a campus out cry as to why Residence Life continued to let him supervise residence halls after there were 6 to 7 formal complaints and "disciplinary actions" taken against Jethro. I was surprised to learn it had been that many. (Link here.)
After the story aired some of the other staffers in other buildings that knew me came up to me and said they knew it was me that broke the story and gave the anonymous interview. Today, I consider this to be one of my greatest life accomplishments, even if it took me 2 years to come up with the idea and the nerve to do it. I still have newspaper clippings from where the story made the student and city's newspaper.
But do you want to know the sickest part of this whole story? Jethro was going to grad school to be a teacher. Elementary education. I saved like at least one poor kid from being molested, right?