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I was working in an engineering department of a small family owned
machinery manufacturer. All well and good except I did electrical not
mechanical which of course made me less than human apparently. Still
all was fine as the engineering manager was a cool old dude (I was in
my 30’s at the time) Then he started having heath problems resulting
in his retirement and death soon afterward.

(this part sound familiar on this web site?) The new engineering
manager job was given to..lets call him Dan. While a very good
engineer, Dan was not a people person and tended to want to blow
people off when they came to him with issues that would take him away
from engineering and made him do managing. I just persisted and
didn’t let his blow offs work, I would just stand there till he was
forced to deal with me. His desk was in the middle of the department
which was all open, so every word said was heard by 10 other
engineers and designers.

One of my favorite encounters with him was when I went to him to say
that we needed to purchase a large stapler as we were sending out
stacks of drawings ½” thick or more on a regular basis. All we had
were regular desk staplers that were good for a dozen sheet max. I had
got the catalog out, found a good one that would do the job. $50 with
supplies. So I go up to him and tell him my thoughts and showed him
the ad. He just exploded yelling that it was a waste of money and I
was crazy to want a $50 stapler and continued to rant. So I just
walked back to my desk at the front of the room. 2 days later Dan is
working with a stack of drawings over a ½” thick. He has his
“little” desk stapler and is pounding it time after time trying
to punch enough holes in the paper for a staple to make it all the
way through. Drawing corner looked like a porcupine.

He is doing this 5 ft from me, so I pipe up and loud and clear voice,
“Dan, looks like you need a big stapler!”

His large fat head jerks up and looks at me with hate filled pig
eyes. I swear they glowed red. The guy across from me gags trying not
to laugh, while from the back of the room they mostly just howled out
loud. Dan never said a word.

Dan part two.
We were working on a large project with literally 100’s of large
drawings that had to be printed out with an old style pin plotter,
one at a time. One guy would tie up the printer for a week as each of
his drawings would take hours to print. (very complex) So my other
boss and the IT guy went out and got a laser printer that would do
the 24” x 36” drawings we used. It was sitting there in the room
when Dan showed up in the morning. “What’s that?” A large
format laser printer. “How much does it cost?” $20, 000.
(remember he freaked at $50 like it came out of his pocket) He was
about to go ballistic when the IT guy who despite being 5’6”,
150lb to Dan 6’, 350lbs (and didn’t take any shit off him) calmly
says we got it for month free. If we don’t like it we can send it
back. Well that shut him up. So we had the guy with the big project
send a drawing to the laser plotter. One that normally took 3hrs on
the old plotter rolled out in 6 seconds. Never used the pen plotter
again. And Dan treated the laser like it was his baby. 6 months later
he told me to get rid of the old printer. He wanted the room. I spent
10yrs there before bailing on all the insane bs. Best revenge was
that they advertised in the paper (this was 98, per internet days)
for my position listing all the stuff I did. They called like 6
people in for interviews. Mostly engineers with 20yrs plus
experience. In each interview, when they got to the point where what
the pay was all 6 got up and left. Then the owner of the company has
a big meeting where they called this outfit that he had been using to
help him set salaries. They described all the things I had been doing
for them, and they guy on the phone computes the numbers he figures
that my pay was like 20-30K low. I got told later that the owner said
“well no wonder he left”.

They ended up hiring 3 people take over individual parts of all the
things I did, one of which was a fresh new engineer out of school.
They all left within a couple of years also.

3 Comments to Dan

  1. Yep, Dan was a winner. It sounds like he wasn’t exactly a nightmare, and you kept working hard despite the problems, so a point for you. I hate the idea of, “My boss sucks, so I’m just going to slack off and be a lazy-ass ‘cuz I don’t care.” Unless a boss makes the job difficult or impossible or starts breaking rules or laws, keep working hard.

  2. Zephyr Skunk on November 26th, 2013
  3. Its official this site is dead.

  4. Chuck Escobar on December 4th, 2013
  5. So, is this site just done, then?

  6. Barbara on December 9th, 2013

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