He “Gave one for the Team.” – An Appropriate Remark for a Real Jackass!

In my book, “160 Degrees of Deviation: The Case for the Corporate Cynic,” I wrote about a bunch of characters (and I do mean characters) that I have encountered during my working career. Somehow, I missed this jerk but was nudged into writing this piece after reminiscing with a former coworker from a previous employer.

It’s always amazing when a bunch of middle managers and staff employees get cut but a new Vice President suddenly arrives on the scene. That was the case with Roy.

The board of directors had just elected a new chairman from outside of our company. This clown sat on the boards of several corporations and had just been canned (Oh so sorry, Golden Parachuted) from another company where he had been the president and CEO. Talk about a “good ole boys” network! To soothe the blow to his giant ego, our new chairman decided that he would become directly involved with the day to day operations of our company. What better way to do this than to bring in one of his minions who had also been canned from the same firm.

Roy’s entrance into our fold was rather innocuous. He just appeared one day. There was no announcement. Initially, Roy had no title other than “Vice President.” Of course, he needed that title to support the six figure salary he was drawing. I had heard through the grapevine that he was a “Jack of all Trades” and therefore, they’d find something important for him to do. At the time, we needed a great deal of help getting our new purchasing/materials system up and running. We were quite shorthanded due to downsizing. When I heard that Roy had extensive experience in that field, I suggested to my boss that Roy might be perfect to undertake the implementation. My boss was very hesitant to even discuss this suggestion. The implementation needed a lot of “hands on” work and, according to my boss; Roy was more of a “big picture” guy. Uh-huh!

Roy had a great gig going. He lived a few hundred miles away in the city where his old company was located. He had no intention of relocating. Top management had decided that Roy could commute to our office on Mondays, stay in a local hotel and then commute back home on Fridays. Of course, we picked up the hotel tab and reimbursed him for his mileage. Every third or fourth week, he could just work from home. Wow! The only thing that Roy had to pay for was his meals (Note: The hotel had a free breakfast and Roy managed to glom onto every freebie meal he could finagle out of the staff) He was set up in an office and, I suppose, began his “big picturizing.”

Having a leech like that on board, during a business downturn was quite demoralizing but Roy was pretty harmless at first. We’d walk past his office and hear the sports radio channel he listened to incessantly, watched him send E-mails and talk on the phone to his friends, etc.  Oh, he participated in meetings and such and even got involved in a few purchasing issues but we were always wary of him because of his “connections.” If he had just kept a low profile, we could have tolerated him. But no, he had to go and do it.

It was bad enough that on certain Friday mornings he would strut around the office telling everyone that, “If anyone is looking for me next week, I’ll be working from home.” He always make a point of making sure that he was overheard by as many people as possible. Since most of the employees didn’t even know who he was, no one really cared. The corker came one day when one of the other managers came into my office and related that he had just come from customer service where Roy was lecturing one of the young CS specialists about how HE had negotiated his sweetheart deal with the company. The manager had stopped to listen to the sermon and now knew all of the details. By the end of the day, it was all over the company. Roy had even told the employee that HE had no intentions of working long hours or taking on any tedious projects. According to the manager, to listen to Roy, you’d think that he owned the place. Why would anyone be so arrogant? What could this young employee have thought? What a jerk!

A few weeks later, the company president sent Roy on an errand out of town. This created a problem for Roy because he could not return home until very late on Friday night. On Monday afternoon, when he finally showed up for work, he made his usual rounds. This time complaining aloud about the trip and his late Friday night but also crowing about how he had, “Given one for the team.”

An appropriate remark from a real jackass!

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2 Responses to “He “Gave one for the Team.” – An Appropriate Remark for a Real Jackass!”

  1. Marti Says:

    It truly amazes me just how worthless managers don’t seem to get fired. It’s no wonder we are losing the battle here in the USA against foreign competition.

  2. thecorporatecynic Says:

    One would almost think that there is a “class” or “caste” system in corporate America. I have seen many so-called executives and managers simply ride the coat-tails of former bosses as they hop from one company to the next wreaking havoc along the way.

    Do these toadies “add value” as they invade companies at the behest of their mentors? Questionable.

    I enjoy your comments. You’ve sparked an idea for a future post!

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