Metamorphing Machine I rather be this walking metamorphosis
than having that old formed opinion about everything!

Elijah

I do not want to give you the impression that Roderick Marmelade was the only bad manager at my previous job.
He was one of many.
There was this manager that kept ignoring my requests to schedule my vacations for months until the project I was in ended, and I was no longer his problem.
There was another one that approved my OT. When I was not paid and asked what happened, he said he approved my OT as comp time which, by the way, did not need approval.
There was this guy that asked me to lie in my time report, so he could bill the client for non-worked hours. I didn't lie. He was fired.
And then, there was Elijah (not his real name.)

I first met him in a job I was in for just 11 months. He left before me, then invited me to an interview to join him at his new job.
I was approved and worked there for several years.

I have mixed feelings about Elijah. On the one hand, he was the only person in my whole professional life that promoted me.
On the other hand, he was a troll. He even looks like a troll.

To give you an idea of how it was to work under him, it was customary for him to pick up his ringing cellphone, talk to his wife or his father,
and start cussing at them several times while in the middle of a room full of people during work-time.
What can we expect from someone who treats his own family like that?

He was my manager, and he promoted me to a manager place. So, our project had two managers.
That was weird to the higher-ups, and they didn't like how much they were spending on management.
Everyone in our team - except for me - thought that Elijah would cease his place to me and pursue better ones.
He didn't. When the time came, he kept his place and let me go of the project.

I have been assured he changed his manners, but I'm skeptical about it.

Anyway, the incident I want to share has to do with him being two-faced.
See, we had two kinds of timesheets.
The first one would have clock in, lunch break, and clock out times.
The second one had our overtime.
If my scheduled time was 5 p.m. but I worked until 7 p.m., I would mark 7:00 as clock out time in the first timesheet and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the second one.
Those time sheets were mandated by corporate.

Then, one day, our client said he needed his own report from us. He thought he was paying us too much and would like to keep tabs on it.
So, our new timesheet would have the time we started a task, the time we finished it, and what was the ticket number for that task.
Every task should have a ticket number.

When relaying this information to the team, Elijah said "Put whatever ticket number there. They won't check it."
Knowing him and our client, I didn't take his advice. Alas, my teammates did.

Fast-forward one month, the team is working in an open space floor. We see Elijah coming from the client's desk. He's fuming.
He scolded us right there, at the client's hearing distance. Not that anyone needed much proximity. Elijah was screaming at us.
"Why your tasks do not match your ticket numbers?
We were checking one by one, and the only one that did it right was Andrej.
What do I do now? Our client does not want to pay us! What do I say to corporate? They will not pay you!"
(Spoilers: They did.)

He kept this going for a good 5 minutes, then left. No one said a word. They just did what they were instructed to do, and got ripped a new one because of that.
Nothing really came out of it. It was just a little scene he did to throw us under the bus and save face with the client.

Should I have warned my colleagues? Maybe. Would they believe me? Not likely. Have they learned a lesson? Definitely.

By the way, Elijah was the only person who checked on me when I was fired made redundant, from a company I worked for almost 100 months.
Maybe he did change his ways.

Next week, I'll offer a view about the other side of a technical interview.

Andrej Biasic
2021-11-10