The strangest boss I ever had was an obsessive compulsive

The strangest boss I ever had I didn’t think would be that way.  He looked polished and professional.  But he was odd in so many ways:

  • He took his shoes off and walked round the office in his socks.  So we’d have a guy in a suit walking around in his stocking feet.  Like I wanted his foot oil and odor in my work place (bleh).
  • He fell asleep mid-conversation on the short drive back from a client visit.
  • He was always late, and we never knew where he was, but was obsessive about where other people were when he was there.
  • ALways worked from home, but didn’t like any of us working from home.
  • Threatened to fire someone for repeating a mistake in a team meeting.  (“You do that again, you’re fired.”).
  • Would obsessive about the little things – for example, there were a few small coffee stains on the carpet just outside the kitchen that honestly were difficult to even see, but he was always obsessing about them, asking who was spilling on the carpet, etc.  
  • Would tell stories about how he’d get up in the middle of the night to clean the kitchen sink because he’d remembered it wasn’t clean.
  • He ran a depressing office.  It was so quiet in there, and although everyone was nice I don’t think anyone was happy being there.

My most recent boss was also a little strange.  He was so friendly and forthright when he recruited me, and we had several wonderful conversations before I joined, but within a couple of months it was painful to have a conversation with him.  It was excruciating going to client meetings with him, since he had very little to say on the way there or back, and he was so nice but tended to make passive aggressive comments about people that indicated a deep source of frustration.  Ugh.  I feel it is very dishonest to portray yourself as one way when courting someone then being another way after the courting is over.  Be who you are so there are no unpleasant surprised for anyone later!

The strangest boss I ever had was an obsessive compulsive

Passively and unexpectedly interviewed with a competitor

Passively interviewed with a competitor.  In my defense, I didn’t start as an interview – I thought we were having coffee to share ideas and intelligence.  He asked if I’d meet with his teams, which I did.  Think I’m staying where I am, but it was a moral victory for me – as someone intensely focused on my job at hand, I’ve never been good at passively interviewing — I’m either all in or all out.  But it was valuable — I learned somethings and got some ideas, plus built some connections if my current situation heads south. What I observed:

They are doubling down on a large account in the area that other Suppliers are moving away from due to downward pricing pressure.

Their Sales VP reads Data/KPIs right to left – starts at quota and moves backward through the metrics from there.  I like that phrase — if a rep is at quota (the far right on most reports), you stop there; if they are short, you move to the next metric on the left.  I realize too I need to build a stronger wall that separates my team’s culture from the intense micromanagement culture of our HQ.

They hired several new VPs.  One is implementing a re-seller program, another is restructuring the sales team and a third is leading the sales efforts.  In the meantime, they have tenured VPs doing their normal things.  I can see the beginnings of a turf war, and don’t want to get in the middle of that.

Finally, they would have to fiture out a position for me, and the Sales VP asked me why I would take a step down (from DIrector to IC).  That was news to me, but more than anything else I’ve realized lately that although I love selling and being an IC, stepping down is a big move and should be with the right company and the right opporutnity.  That is, it’s not something to be taken lightly.

Passively and unexpectedly interviewed with a competitor