World's most clingy boss



  • This is a story from a job I had a few years ago. It was one of the most bizarre experiences I've had in the world of work, although unfortunately at the time I was too inexperienced to realise that most jobs weren't like this and my boss' behaviour wasn't exactly typical. 

    It seemed like a decent job, working as a web developer and general tech dogsbody for a local company. The company was pretty small, maybe twenty people in total. I was interviewed by my boss who seemed a nice sort of guy, if a little lacking in social skills. My first day passed uneventfully, and I was checking my email on my phone on my way home when I received an email from my boss, asking me how everything was "coming along". I was a bit confused about what he was referring to, but I replied that everything was OK and I'd update him when I got into work the following morning. 

    A long stream of emails between him and myself followed. He quizzed me on almost every aspect of my day, from how many breaks I'd taken, to what I'd done with my time, to what I thought of the current codebase and whether I'd thought of a solution for bug X, to a request to install some software on his PC for him in the morning. I must sent about fourty replies to him that evening. I stopped replying at around 8:00PM, having sent him an email that I was going out with my family for dinner. I was pretty freaked out by the barrage of emails that I had received and the fact that my boss seemed to think that my work day didn't finish when I left for home. 

     When I was leaving for work the next morning I opened my email on my phone and found twelve new messages in my inbox from my boss. The first one was another question, and all the emails after that were him progressively getting more frantically unbalanced as he asked me whether I was "there", why I wasn't replying, what was I doooing, why haven't I finished lunch yet, crescendoing with an, "Have you run away? If you are going to continue being this uncommunicative we will have to find another developer". I was halfway to work when I got a phone call from my boss. "Where have you been?!", says he, "I was up all night fretting! You can't just disappear like that!" I was pretty disturbed by this point, and also pretty scared that I was going to lose my first "real" job. I tried explaining that, you know, I'd gone out, and then I'd come home and gone to bed, and it's unreasonable to expect me to reply to emails all night. He tells me that they "value communication" in their company and that I need to "restructure" my home time to accomodate the "needs" of the company. In the future, he said, I was to "check out" with him when I was going to bed for the night, and to "check in" when I got up in the morning. 

    Needless to say, I only stuck it out there for a few months. There's a lot more bizarre stuff that followed, and I'm pretty sure my boss had some kind of paranoia-inducing disorder, as he freaked out whenever I left for my lunch and demanded updates on what I was doing every twenty minutes or so. In the few months that I worked there he spent more time at my desk 'checking up' on me than he did at his own doing work. The most weird part is that he didn't do it in an assholeish "I am your boss and you must report to me on everything!!!" sort of way, he did it in a sort of "scared you're going to 'run away'" sort of way. He actually asked me quite a few times if I was planning to run away. Bizzare. (apologies that this bit is in bold, I accidentally pressed something to turn it on and for some reason when I click the B button the bold doesn't turn off. A WTF in itself.)

     



  • Thanks for the post; it was very entertaining and well-written.  Did he treat other employees this way, or just you?  Very bizzare indeed! 

    If you have more anecdotes from this experience, please pass them along!

    The boss reminds a bit of "Michael Scott" from the Office, only a bit more insane and clingy.



  • I've worked for control freaks too. Believe me, you did the right thing in walking away.

    I too, would like to hear more stories...



  • @Jeff S said:

    Thanks for the post; it was very entertaining and well-written.  Did he treat other employees this way, or just you?  Very bizzare indeed! 

    If you have more anecdotes from this experience, please pass them along!

    The boss reminds a bit of "Michael Scott" from the Office, only a bit more insane and clingy.

     

     It's been a few hours now. I'm concerned that he hasn't replied. I hope he's OK.



  •  I wouldn't be surprised if he was stuckfrom some sort of recursive loop. The last employee he had he was scared of losing, so he maintained a fairly heavy eye on. The burden causes the employee to quit, further reinforcing the boss's fear of employee leaving, therefore he must be on top of it even more. Now you went and fulfilled his fears again. 

    TRWTF here is how bad your successor is going to have it.



  • @PileOfMush said:

    @Jeff S said:

    Thanks for the post; it was very entertaining and well-written.  Did he treat other employees this way, or just you?  Very bizzare indeed! 

    If you have more anecdotes from this experience, please pass them along!

    The boss reminds a bit of "Michael Scott" from the Office, only a bit more insane and clingy.

     

     It's been a few hours now. I'm concerned that he hasn't replied. I hope he's OK.

     

     

    At this point it's been over 3 hours. Who wouldn't come back to check on their posts and leave a reply? Is he thinking of leaving TDWTF forums?



  • My schedule:

    M-F:  Sleep 5 pm - 9 am

    SS:  Sleep 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

     When asked why:  Sleep apnea.

    When asked how I get to work while sleeping:  The bus/taxi/I'm driven in by a cow-orker.

    When asked how I get on the bus, etc while sleeping:  Sleepwalking issues.



  • @shepd said:

    The bus/taxi/I'm driven in by a cow-orker.

    Cows can't drive.  Stop with the fanciful delusions, you ridiculous man.

     

    @shepd said:

    When asked how I get on the bus, etc while sleeping:  Sleepwalking issues.

    Now I'm worried that you will sleepwalk away....



  • He still hasn't replied. I think he's gone missing. Someone should call the police.



  • I'm disappointed you didn't stick around and exploit his weakness for your own amusement and profit.  You'd have little trouble convincing him that you were constantly being kidnapped by the Mafia and that he had to pay a ransom to get you back, which you could then pocket.  If he had any family or loved ones, you could send him your "signing off" email and casually mention that you thought his wife was supposed to be on a business trip but you saw her car in a motel parking lot.  He'd be up all night driving across town looking for her.  Neurotic, insecure people are very easy to take advantage of and with a little elbow grease you can turn the chemical imbalances in their brain into a printing press for money.  You know, not literally, although it would probably be pretty easy to convince him his brain chemicals were being stolen by the Treasury to print currency. 



  • @lolwtf said:

    He still hasn't replied. I think he's gone missing. Someone should call the police.

    I've already emailed them over a dozen times in the last hour and they just stopped responding! 



  • I've never had a boss that clingy but man did you bring back memories of my ex-g/f. I think he and her would get along wonderfully! I mean, just to put things into perspective, she was so needy and clingy she couldn't even go take a shit in the bathroom by herself. No, I'm not kidding or exaggerating. I've never in my life been happier about leaving a releationship than I was about that one.

     



  • Maybe we should ask him to "check in" with us after he logs into TDWTF and "checks out" when he logs out? We do value communication around here.



  •  If there ever was an appropriate post for these forums

    I really want to know what happened when you announced that you were quitting.

    <obligatory>I've been waiting for 5 minutes and still no reply. Where's cablecar???</obligatory>



  •  @donniel said:

    Maybe we should ask him to "check in" with us after he logs into TDWTF and "checks out" when he logs out? We do value communication around here.

    I'm getting more and more paranoid. You guys watching me over all the time? Good golly! Can't I take a shit on my own? I think I give my two weeks notice to TDWTF forums.



  • @Kermos said:

    she was so needy and clingy she couldn't even go take a shit in the bathroom by herself
    <font size="5">!</font>

     

    You should stop dating minors.



  • Wow... that's.... extremely scary.  Like thriller/horror movie type scary.  I sure hope he didn't know where you live.

    Of course, I would have told him to fuck off the second he said I would have to restructure my family time to accomodate work.  No, jackass:  It works the other way around.  Your shitty job is there to let me live my life, my life does not exist to work for you.

    The Real WTF™ is that there are a lot of bosses who think that way.  They clearly aren't as insane as Mr. Psychopath here, but they seem to think that your only reason for living is to work for them and their company, and your personal life should be secondary to that.



  • @ObiWayneKenobi said:

    The Real WTF™ is that there are a lot of bosses who think that way.  They clearly aren't as insane as Mr. Psychopath here, but they seem to think that your only reason for living is to work for them and their company, and your personal life should be secondary to that.
    Nearly every year the company I work for takes part in an expo to advertise retail products (mostly antivirus products). I'm supposed to drive over there (about an hour away) and spend my weekend working as a salesman (I'm a developer) for zero pay. Last time, about a year ago I skipped out entirely. The boss is still holding it over me because "I'm not a team player". On the bright side I'm on my way out so it wont be an issue any more.



  • Are you planning to run away? Was it something I said?



  • @Jeff S said:

    Thanks for the post; it was very entertaining and well-written.  Did he treat other employees this way, or just you?  Very bizzare indeed! 

    If you have more anecdotes from this experience, please pass them along!

     

    Please tell me you're not going to make a habit of responding to anecdotes as if they were homework assignments.



  • @Zylon said:

    Please tell me you're not going to make a habit of responding to anecdotes as if they were homework assignments.

     

    I would like to apologize for offending you.  Don't know what I was thinking.



  •  I don't think you were offending him. I think it was more of a "please let me know in advance so that I can prepare for this annoying bullshit"



  • Ah, right, of course.

    Yes, I intend to complement people if they write a nice sidebar WTF that I enjoy.  Consider yourself warned and prepare yourself as necessary. Apologies in advance to everyone.



  • @Jeff S said:

    Consider yourself warned and prepare yourself as necessary. Apologies in advance to everyone.

    Could you maybe make a "check in" post before you do it and a "check out" post when you are done?  I really think you should accomodate the needs of the community.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Could you maybe make a "check in" post before you do it and a "check out" post when you are done?  I really think you should accomodate the needs of the community.

     

    I like that!  Or i can do the "invisible ink" thing where I write it in white and you must highlight it to read it.  I wouldn't want to chance upsetting some of our more sensitive members.



  •  Maybe the boss just wanted to make sure that the OP was one of the type that can be called all day, all night. Obviously, calling/emailing him outside work times just to ask "how was your day" is pretty absurd, but once the developer get used to it, he'll be on hotline duty 24/7. It's not uncommon that (rather small) companies sell service agreements without having the necessary staff to cover the guaranteed service times.



  • @ammoQ said:

    It's not uncommon that (rather small) companies sell service agreements without having the necessary staff to cover the guaranteed service times.
    Isn't that like selling something you don't have?



  • @Lingerance said:

    Isn't that like selling something you don't have?
     

    It's rather a bet. In many cases, the customer doesn't really need the full coverage all the time, normal working hours is enough. Or the staff is obedient enough to just answer the calls on their mobile outside working hours, though there is no formal procedure to make sure that someone is available.



  • @Jeff S said:

    Yes, I intend to complement people if they write a nice sidebar WTF that I enjoy
    You will complete them, and make them whole?



  • @Zecc said:

    @Jeff S said:

    Yes, I intend to complement people if they write a nice sidebar WTF that I enjoy
    You will complete them, and make them whole?

     

    Sure! Haven't you seen Jerry McGuire? :)



  • Needless to say, I only stuck it out there for a few months.

     

     

    TRWTF. Right there. The only correct way to end that sentence: "Needless to say,  [b]I left immediately[/b]"


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