My old idiot boss left the business last week. It was announced he was leaving on Tuesday and he slipped quietly out of the building on Thursday. It was common knowledge that he was going weeks before that, of course because it's a well-known fact that one is able to keep something like that to themselves. He'd been with the business for almost exactly two years, and I think it's fair to say that he wasn't well liked.
He made my life miserable. Ironically, it was directly after I won an award at work that I was offered the opportunity to work in what was about to become his team. Even more ironically, it was my intervention a month or so after that that directly led to his recruitment as my boss. In my wisdom, I flagged to the IT Director that one of his major programmes of work was seriously lacking in leadership and was in desperate need of a senior, steadying hand if we were to have a chance of delivering anything. The good news is that they acted; the bad news is that they recruited this clown.
It's apparently obvious to everyone how much happier I am in my current job. I moved at the end of August, and almost immediately things began to get better for me after eighteen months of frustration and anger. I actually can't bring myself to read my posts on here from that time because I know that my frustration is writ large, prompting some of you kind souls to attempt an intervention: just leave. It's not worth it. Sometimes, it seems, you don't realise how poisonous the air you have been breathing is until you stop breathing it. For me, a change really was as good as a rest.
Idiot boss didn't leave my life entirely and was still nominally the IT lead on the project I was working on, but the reality is that he quickly became an irrelevancy to me. As my personal distance on him grew, I was able to gain a bit of perspective on my time working for him and to let a lot of that anger go. I was still angry, but mostly my anger was directed towards a department that was too weak and too stupid to do anything about him even though the feedback was coming in loud and clear from his team, his suppliers and his customers and the projects he was responsible for were leaking millions of pounds. His first manager didn't have the courage to face into it, and his second manager just worked around him and sidelined him. Pathetic. At one point, the worst manager I have ever had in my whole career was made responsible for talent management. I can remember sitting over a coffee explaining to one young girl who worked for him that no, it wasn't her fault and there probably wasn't more she could be doing and that she should not beat herself up or question her own competence. Sometimes you need to accept that your problem is not your own performance but that you have an idiot for a boss. It's still a problem, but it's an entirely different problem. I have the experience to realise that, and I was still angry and frustrated. Heaven knows how she must have felt.
Anyway. He's gone.
He's been a dead-man walking since Christmas: irrelevant and sidelined on all his projects. After an unopened Christmas card remained on his keyboard at one of his desks (he had two) for three months, I actually just moved his stuff and sat one of my new team there. He didn't notice until he came up to empty his desk drawers. It reflects poorly on the organisation, I think, that they allowed him to poison projects for a full two years before quietly getting rid. We'll be giving him a reference, obviously, and apparently we're paying him to the end of May.
Unexpectedly, when I saw him mooching around the building on Thursday last week, I actually had a flash of empathy. He's an incompetent idiot, but apparently he was told as early as February to hand in his notice, and he's been kept kicking around the business since then, apparently unable to just go on gardening leave or something like that. What would you do in similar circumstances? He's just moved to a much bigger house, and at the age of 52, he's got one child of one month old and another under two. He's obviously pitching the whole thing as his decision, but this is hardly an ideal time for such an upheaval. Apparently, before he left, he was even advertising for a lodger in the company classifieds to move in with his new family (monday to friday only, preferably female). He was a destructive, unsympathetic idiot, but apparently I'm not cruel enough not to feel for him a little.
Well, perhaps just a tiny amount.....
I was invited to his leaving drinks (he'd instructed someone else to organise them, of course). I declined. I also resisted the temptation to go and write "valar morghulis" in his leaving card. That's because I'm the BIGGER MAN.
Technology at a glacial pace Part 2
2 days ago