Psychopathic Boss and Questionable Business Practices


Old 01-07-09, 01:32 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Psychopathic Boss and Questionable Business Practices

I worked for a children's science museum for over 10 years. My supervisor was jealous of my abilities. The main problem started on a high profile project that he wanted to do without my help, which was OK by me. I did not interfere. $80,000 later resulted in a product that did not work. I was called in to fix it, which I accomplished, and in the process devised a means to improve the project while saving $50,000 in development costs. All I got for my efforts was resentment. Then things started to get weird.

From then on his main criteria for making decisions was to do anything contrary to my suggestions which in his mind satisfied his fanatical obsession with proving me wrong.

He constantly accused me of everything under the sun without substantiating the accusations with any facts. They were more in the form of inferences than specific things. It also came to my attention that he was abusing the use of personal employment information to monitor my bank account and detailed purchases from my personal credit card.

Several times he tried to force me to sign documents without letting me read them. Literally he said, "Don't read these just sign them". I did not comply since in light of his overall behavior I'm sure these documents incriminated me in who knows what.

The best was when he called a meeting of all museum directors were we were to be recruited into a Cabal of inner secrecy. We were forbidden to know what the secret was but as a reward for our participation we were given a secret of our own to keep. Our secret was some meaningless gibberish that I couldn't explain to someone even if I wanted to. He then faced us directly, each in turn and asked in a menacing tone, "Do you Understand". Everyone else simply answered "Yes" but I found this entire meeting so repugnant I just couldn't bring myself to comply. This behavior was more what I would associate with criminals rather than responsible museum professionals.

I have many more stories to tell but I think you get the idea.

My continued employment was becoming detrimental to my mental health and career so I finally decided to resign my position to pursue self-employment.

I did not leave in a huff. I did my best to ensure my leaving would not negatively impact the museum financially. I came back several times free of charge to help with some unfinished projects. I also agreed to produce a project on a contract basis which I successfully completed at minimal cost.

Months after completing this project the psychopath called and accused me of stealing an expensive piece of equipment. I had to remind him the equipment in question was with one of the museum's suppliers, and that it was he who personally arranged the transaction and even had them sign papers to the effect.

Finally he called and demanded resource materials pertaining to the contracted project. These materials were clearly my intellectual property, but he kept threatening me with unspecified repercussions if I did not surrender them. Not that I cared that much about the materials but I know had I surrendered them it would be an invitation for further demands, and threats and intimidations if I did not comply.

Unfortunately my self-employment efforts have not gleaned the financial rewards I was hoping for so I am currently seeking employment. I have sent a number resumes to posted job opportunities for which I am highly qualified but have only received impersonal negative replies. I have no doubt my former boss is making good his threats and doing his best to ensure I will never be employed again.

My financial situation has become dire and I'm not sure how to proceed. Any suggestions would be helpful.
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Old 01-07-09, 05:31 AM
mango man's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
if you know anyone with a business ask them to check your refrneces with your former employer

or do it yourself with a "dummy business"
Old 01-09-09, 10:09 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
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I have thought about that. It would be to much to hope he would be stupid enough to say something legaly actionable.

Assuming not, what could I do with the information?

I have thought about explaining the situation in any cover letter I sent along with my resume but it seems that would still raise a red flag with a prospective employer.
Old 01-12-09, 01:43 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
With the state of the economy and the high rate of unemployment, this is not a good time to be quitting a job or to be looking for one. It is doubtful that former supervisor is the reason you have not received a phone call.

The hiring process typically entails a review of the resumes. If yours looks promising, then you will receive a call. If the interview went well and you look like a potential candidate, the new employer will call for references. Often, there is the second interview, and then they call for references.

Should you get called for an interview, do not mention why you quit. Wait for them to ask you, why did you leave the XYZ museum. Don't go on about the ex-supervisor like you have done here. Your response should be professional. Keep it short without getting into details. Something simple like, "My supervisor was very competitive and took credit for my work. I finally decided that I needed to seek employment elsewhere where I get credit and recognition for my work."

Do NOT refer to your ex-supervisor as a 'psychopathic boss.' Do NOT share any of your stories about him. Do NOT share that the situation was detrimental to your health.

DO share: "I did my best to ensure my leaving would not negatively impact the museum financially. I came back several times free of charge to help with some unfinished projects. I also agreed to produce a project on a contract basis which I successfully completed at minimal cost." Share the good things!

Make sure your resume looks great. Include some of the awesome projects you accomplished. For instance, Dinosaurs 2007 (300,000 visitors)! Put together a portfolio that includes photos, brochures, of all your work. You can take this with you to interviews whether or not it is for the same type of job. Most towns are lucky if they have one science museum. But, there are art, history, and other museums if you prefer museum environment.

It's your ability to sell yourself, your ability to organize and see an assignment through. You have made many contacts in the community over the years, and these contacts may prove valuable to your new employer.

You need to show that you have demonstrated creativity and excellent problem-solving skills in translating concepts and ideas into visitor experiences. Proven ability to provide inspiration and leadership for projects.

If seeking a higher position within a cultural museum, then greater skills are likely required. Excellent oral and written communication skills, with an ability to work comfortably and professionally with off-site organizations and corporations. Ability to work effectively with a wide range of personalities. Ability to handle professional and confidential materials in an appropriate manner. High level of organization and very detail-oriented. Must appreciate and be interested in providing the myriad of support services needed by a network of creative individuals. Self-directed; able to work independently to finish assignments and flexible enough to take care of unrelated concerns as they come up. Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word software programs. Knowledge of general office practices. Knowledge of accounting functions. Consistent high level of accuracy with numbers.

Keep in mind that these skills are those that are desired by many companies. Not just museums. If you get called for an interview, familiarize yourself with the programs offered by the museum or what the company does. You will want to be prepared to answer the question, "What do you feel that you can do for us?"

With all that in mind, you have more to worry about than your former supervisor. Consider this an opportunity to spread your wings. As they say, when one door closes, another opens. And, if you live in or near a city where there are several museums, your chances of finding a new job in another museum are even greater. Again, there are many corporations who have a need for a person with your skills.

Last edited by twelvepole; 01-12-09 at 02:00 AM.
Old 01-12-09, 07:04 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Thank You Twelvepole. That is very helpful and much appreciated. Sounds like you have some experience in the field.

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