When Employers Are Truly Incompetent…
Justin worked as an IT manager at a small medical supply company several years ago. The company’s business started going south, and the IT department had to downsize so much that Justin became the sole person working there. Around that time, they brought in a new CFO, named Pam, whom Justin had to report to. Now, Pam had absolutely no knowledge of IT and how things worked. Her motto was “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Justin went from having an annual budget to an actual “wish list” which Pam would constantly deny.
The couple that owned the company were horrible people. During one of their quarterly meetings, when other employees were curious about how secure their jobs were, this is what the owners did:
“The owners said that nobody was getting laid off and that our jobs were all secure. This was at 5:00 pm on a Wednesday. The very next morning at 9:00 am they laid off 6 people. At noon one of the owners showed up to show off the Escalade that he had just purchased that morning. During the first six months that Pam was there, she started firing everyone that worked for the old CFO and replaced them with her friends and family. Three of her bridesmaids from her wedding a few years prior got hired to replace those that she fired.”
His Days Were Now Numbered
Pam had been there for 9 months, and out of the dozen people that worked for the old CFO, Justin was the only one left. He knew his time would soon be up. He had been desperately looking for work but this was around the time of the 2009 crash, and the job market in his area went south quickly.
As Justin had predicted, Pam called her into HR one day and blindsided him with an entirely trumped-up charge that she claimed had occurred the day before. Justin was taken aback. He had worked with the VP of sales on a project the entire day, so he had a witness. He asked to bring him in since his boss was clearly lying but was told, “This is not about him. This is about you.”
Of course. HR is only there to protect the business, not do what is right or legal in most cases. Justin knew his days were numbered.
A Surprise Was Waiting For Him The Next Day
The next day he was introduced to an ‘IT expert’ who just happened to be Pam’s 21-year-old nephew…
“He was to shadow me and evaluate everything that I did to see if we could streamline any processes. In other words, they wanted me to train him to do my job. I quickly learned that this kid had absolutely no knowledge of IT. He’s the kid people think is an IT expert because he can hook up a play station to a TV. He didn’t even know how to join a PC to a domain.”
With that conclusion, he knew what had to be done. The inventory, billing and shipping and receiving were all run by scripts that Justin had created on the server. They were all run using the domain admin account.
Justin raised quite a fuss about giving the nephew the domain admin account in front of Pam and him. He then loudly proclaimed that he was going to change the password since people who don’t work for the company aren’t supposed to have admin access to their network.
He was finally overruled and was told to give the password to the nephew. Justin complied but also showed him multiple times how to change passwords on the domain. He even had him write it down to make sure that he knew how to do it. More than once, Justin stressed the importance of changing the admin password and deleting his local account the second he is no longer “consulting” with them. He tried to show the nephew a few more things that day, but there wasn’t enough time in a year to bring this kid up to speed on how to run that place (due to his complete lack of knowledge of IT).
When They Realized They Were Dealing With An Unqualified Person
Justin came into work the next day and was let go because Pam’s nephew had found his skills “lacking in many areas.” He got his last paycheck and headed home. The day after, Justin received a call from the CFO and owners. Turns out, Pam’s nephew wasn’t up to speed on everything they did there. So this is what they offered Justin:
“They graciously offered to pay me my regular salary to come in as a consultant and get her nephew up to speed on the IT infrastructure. I told her that I was now an independent contractor and if she wanted my services I was going to charge her $200 per hour with a 250-hour minimum.” At that point, Pam told him that she was going to call the police and have him arrested if he didn’t come in and fix everything.
This was Justin’s response:
“Just so we’re clear, you fired me, replaced me with a completely unqualified idiot and now you’re threatening to call the cops on me if I don’t come in and fix what he did? I’ll hold, please call the police and let me know what they said.”
Pam then started cursing at him and hung up the phone.
Turns out her nephew did actually learn something from Justin. He changed the admin password after he had left. The one that ran all the scripts for inventory, billing, shipping, and orders. According to some of Justin’s past coworkers, the place was dead in the water for several days until they could get a real consultant in to go through the documentation that he had created to fix the issue. The nephew was immediately fired and Pam was gone within a month.