Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Beware of the psychopats

99% of the IT managers are reasonable people. Don't do anything extreme - like coming to office with naked feet, or vent too openly your opinions on 9/11 - and as long as you deliver your stuff they will get along with you.

But occasionally there is a black swan of some real weirdo Project Manager.

I met one of the in Germany, 11 years ago. He was from some Middle East country, just arrived from USA. Although he could speak fluent German, he hated Germany and was outspoken about it. Chronically depressed, chain smoker, he had that typical hallucinated look in the eye that makes you feel you are going to have trouble from him. My colleagues told me that they were all avoiding his company and he was always having lunch alone.

Needless to say, the project was very late and the customer very angry.

I was very happy working with my team, really excellent people, in a separate city from the weirdo, until one day he came for a meeting with the customer. He arrived several hours late, and under a driving rain, and he called me to bring him urgently a power adapter since he forgot his. I run like crazy under a driving rain to bring him the adapter.

A few day later the agency calls me asking me not to show up at office the day after, since I dared to appear in a messy attire in front of the weirdo. I tried to explain that I was messy because of the rain, but the weirdo was adamant about kicking me out

It was a huge shock for me, it took me months to recover.

I even sent an email to all my very friendly colleagues, and when the weirdo came to know, he was again very angry at me because I was still in touch with my former colleagues.

The message is: if someone looks hallucinated and miserable, be VERY careful, trouble is around the corner.

Luckily this was the only such episode in my 27 years professional career. But I occasionally tell this episode to friends and colleague.

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