If you have ever found in a new job that old enemies followed you there, read this story. You might be surprised how far corporate demons go to stalk and wreck careers. The main protagonists are two characters described in previous blogs: the achiever and the petty small boss.
The achiever was Systems and Release Manager is a department working on a product for a vertical industry at a software multinational. The petty small boss was a middle-manager given a small group working on a different vertical industry. He was given a staff of about seven people, he was also given a set of pre-built products to rebuild into an integrated product for his vertical industry.
Evidently, his plan was to babysit the products for a while. He had no intention to invest the time and effort to build a new integrated product. He played boss and gave the staff projects to work on. But there were no new version rollouts to speak of. Word was getting back to him about the new releases coming out of that other department with new sets of user manuals, primarily at the initiative of the Systems and Release Manager. From this the small petty boss became so jealous of the achiever that from this point on he stalked over a protracted timespan until he destroyed her career.
His plan was deadly, unimaginable in wickedness but very simpleminded: he was to widen the gap between her and him on the corporate ladder. This became a career-long obsession with which he continued to stalk her even after he got her out of the corporate world. When all this began his job title was that of Director. He became paranoid that her work on the new product releases was going to earn her a promotion and she too would have the job title of Director. The relentlessness and the evil he brought to haunt her about this show exceptional bigotry and arrogance. He could not tolerate that a Black, foreign and multilingual, young woman get to his level in the organization. In stalking her career he used all these attributes to get back at her: race, nationality, youth, career level. He was petty enough to add to the list her executive-style private office.
All of this was happening before the two ever met. She did not know him, was unaware of his hatred for her and the reasons to avoid him. He befriended staff in her department and caused them to be jealous that she might be promoted above them. With his help they calculated that with her work for them over the years the product was mature. They could make her job uncomfortable to force her to leave and replace her with a junior engineer who would pose no threat. They thought of a QA engineer to replace her the only one who did software engineering in a department staffed mostly with scientists with industry specialization. The petty small boss did their thinking for them. He would stalk the achiever with the role of QA from that point. His thought was that she belonged there and not at the Director level.
Her colleagues made the job unpleasant enough that she announced her departure. The petty boss used a friend to tell her of an opening in his department. Then they did meet. He must have used his witchcraft to convince her to take a small programming job under him, working from a cubicle in front of his office. He had it all planned, he knew she would not stay. From then on reference checks for her future employment would come to him. As he did this, he gave his job to someone else and appointed one of his engineers manager between her and his replacement. He left to get into marketing through corporate politics and begin his rise up the executive ladder. Already he was widening the gap between her and him.
The petty small boss used two channels to stalk and destroy her career to widen that gap. On the one hand he used headhunters, recruiters, and when it got that low staffing agencies, and Craigslist bait job advertisements. He baited her into an actual QA role with a Craigslist ad for a Technical Support role. He was unsuccessful getting her attention with QA ads. On the other hand he used reference checks and employment verifications. Former employers and their lackeys can do a lot of harm while avoiding lawsuits by smearing you with just the right wording after you are hired.
With all of these tactics that petty small boss took the achiever from the level of Project Manager, achieved after nearly a ten year career, at a salary level of $120,000 per year to a QA job at $15 an hour or about $28,000 per year, with brief stints at hourly jobs, one at about $8 an hour. Note that campaigns to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour might have been to bring minimum wage to the life of highly paid software engineers.
As he was bringing down the achiever to hourly entry level job, that petty small boss slacker got himself to Chief Marketing Officer. He could not stay there because of his mediocrity and settled for VP of Marketing at an about 50 person company. To achieve his goal of widening the gap on the corporate ladder he preyed on small software companies, in the field of Marketing where he could avoid accountability, or so he thought.
Accountability did catch up with him at least once. His venture into Marketing was a scam. He has technical credentials that he would not or could not use to achieve corporate greatness, and he has absolutely no marketing training or credentials. To show you how wicked he is, he caused the achiever to sit in a classroom for a semester-long marketing course while she was unemployed. He used her by proxy to siphon just that much marketing knowledge to scam his way through marketing job interviews. He got that knowledge on her dime and did not have to invest time or money to climb the executive ladder while lowering her below the first rung. To get her there he used the two channels mentioned before.
Through recruiters he steered her to small startups with low productivity where he could play games with her with likeminded small bosses. They exchanged ideas for playing her with reference checks and employment verification. This was until headhunters and recruiters thought it more profitable to help a small boss end her career that to earn a %30 commission on someone at her salary level. At which point they passed her along to the contract and temporary staffing companies.
At every level the tip-off that she was being stalked came in the choice of words in conversations with recruiters and prospective employers. Recruiters kept referring her to lower level jobs. Then at the job interviews the prospective employers kept asking about her management aspirations. One evening as she was at the 24-hr Walmart and unemployed he caused her to be thrown out of the store by ‘management’. He did arrange for her to get the job title Director at a dysfunctional startup, two years after she left his group. But this was just before he ended her career and was another indication of his issues.
To stalk her with his issues about her youth he kept using twenty-something recruiter ditzes to give her inane interviews about previous work, about her multilingual skills. They were channeling that petty small boss in ways to creep her out. One talked about giving her a new start in the mailroom. She once had a temp job at a telemarketing company where he used a twenty-something airhead secretary to fire her. She was only there three days when the so-called manager sent that ditz from the next cubicle to tell her she was no longer needed. The neanderthal boss at the company where she was lured into an entry-level QA job browbeat her one day to reveal her age. By then she was over forty.
Evil is so rampant now in corporate America that some employers and employees could be very careless and zealous in its service. The small startup that lured her into the QA job from Craigslist was designed for evil and seemed to have been founded by a friend of the petty small boss. They kept the number of staff low to avoid complying with employment regulation. They thought they could get away with violating equal pay laws and were careless about racism. The achiever was the first black person and the first woman they hired to abuse her for the petty small boss in as many ways as they could think of. Then the company president would stand within earshot to make racial comments.
This story evolved over 19 years. The small boss never relented. This makes you wonder if among the human race there aren’t hiding those that are a different species motivated by evil. Be aware that in this evil corporate world there are evil stalkers, zealous channelers, and cowardly enablers. Keep alert about the state of your career and devise strategies to go around evil mongers.
For the full story read God No Longer Welcome.