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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:10 PM
Original message
Have you ever worked or lived with a sociopath?
I'm taking early retirement in 2 months, in part because this last year I have worked under a sociopathic supervisor. I've never been closely involved with one before and I can tell you that it is total HELL. I'm wondering how others have dealt with this, cause right now I'm going :crazy:. I've got to last through the next 2 months, but it will be very hard. :cry:
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sociopath no, narcissist yes
Unfortunately there are a lot of managers out there with personality disorders. Its not something you can change and its very hard to live with. Good luck making it through the next 2 months. Count the days and it will give you a sense of progress.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
2. I am a special ed teacher
I have taught several.
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. No, but I have a pResident who is one. n/t
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blue cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:15 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yes
Best of luck to you. Hang in there.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. Unfortunately, I raised one.
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iconoclastic cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
43. Say what?
Please explain. Hyperbole?
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #43
66. No, my youngest is a sociopath
Edited on Sat Apr-01-06 06:59 AM by China_cat
diagnosed at about age 13. We noticed starting at about 7 that consequences didn't mean anything to him...that if he wanted something or to do something, being told no wasn't going to stop him. Punishments weren't going to stop him. (And I'm not talking physical punishment although I do have to admit there were days when I would have liked to take a strap to him)He broke into other kids homes just because they had toys he wanted and then justified it by saying 'well, HE didn't deserve them'.

We went through counselors, therapists and even in-patient therapy. We just finished paying off all the medical and legal bills about 3 years ago (and he's 34 now)

He lied...sorry, lies...steals, takes and takes and takes and gives nothing back. He has no conscience. He's extremely manipulative. Outwardly he's good-looking, charming and tells wonderful stories about his life. Sad stories from the death of his parents to how his mother (me) refused to let him go to his brother's funeral when he was shot (never happened) to (the worst) having lost his wife and 2 daughters in a car accident. (The ex-wife is as bad as he is and they've had 3 children taken away, their parental rights severed, and the children put up for adoption for severe neglect...they never contested the severance).

Yes, I raised him. And now I won't have him in my home or anywhere around me. His brothers won't have anything to do with him. I have to admit that life has been a lot less stressful since we finally cut him loose and stopped letting him manipulate OUR lives.

Edited to add that he has also been kicked out of the Army AND the Reserve because of this.
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #66
95. Wow that is terrible.
My brother is a sociopath too.

He isn't quite as bad as your son, but I've gone years without talking to my brother.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-02-06 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #66
106. I feel for you. My younger sister is a sociopath too
same symptoms. My father (an abusive alcoholic according to her-sorry, but that was never so) and I ended our relationships with her more than a decade ago, and I have to say that our lives are very much improved for it. The lies,manipulation, and dealing with her shoplifting and drug use had gotten to be too much. Of course she doesn't much care (except that we aren't helping her out financially anymore). The good news for her is that she has, at last, found a job that she can keep after working everywhere for six months at a time or less (from Montana to east Africa). She just had her second child out of wedlock (by a different guy), so it's good that she can support herself at 36. She also has a small band of fellow sociopaths that she found years ago that she's remained close to for many years. The stories about their lives that they tell are truly fantastic (and ever changing); none has managed to maintain any other relationships throughout their lives despite their charismatic personalities, but they have each other!
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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. yup
and get out of there ASAP dear.
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
7. Worked for one.
I had to go to HR and ask them to please find me a different spot in the company, because I didn't want to leave - and they didn't want to lose me (I brought copies of all my prior reviews) but she was close to giving me PTSD.

:scared: They did, and she's gone thru 3 more 'one and done' research assistants since me (one a year).
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. I KNOW I have PTSD now.
I will probably never work again because of this. Like I said I'm lucky because I can take retirement. I'm just freaked about how I'll get through the next 2 months. :cry: I'll do it. I know I will.
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. You will, but do get help ...
... I realize now, 3 years after I left her department, how mind-fucked I was by her, and it's taken me this long to feel like I can function. It would have helped me immensely to be able to talk with someone who understood her type of 'management behavior' so I didn't internalize and carry it forward.

If you have access to any kind of counseling or even an informal group, please do go at least once, just to see that it's not you that's got the problem?

:hug:
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Thanks!
:cry: :hug:
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Rainscents Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. I actually lived with R-Wing sociopath.
He was way out there and very mean.
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etherealtruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. I suspect that I was married to one ....
... as an aside, he is EXTREMELY successful in business.

Good luck!
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. Beware and watch the drama esp. the closer you get to leaving
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
11. yes. get a calendar and mark it backwards with today being day
60 and the last day being day zero. cross off each day as they pass. it will help. i had one and ended a career of 27 years rather than tolerate their insanity one day further. hang in there, honey. your freedom awaits.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #11
30. I have marked my calendar with countdown days.
Everyday it feels better. I didn't think it would be so bad, but today reached an all time low. I so appreciate my DU friends. Thanks, :hug:
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Mind_your_head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. No, but my brother worked for the "prosac poster-boy"
He survived, barely. I guess the benefit was that, he said after working for THAT guy, he knew he could work with/put up with ANYTHING.

Hang in there :grouphug:

apologies to any prosac users out there, no offense meant.
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
13. You worked with one?
Heck, I was married to one!
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Jane Austin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
14. Do you have any sick leave left
that you could take now?

Otherwise, try to get lots of sleep so you are rested when you arrive every day.
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Daphne08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:34 PM
Response to Original message
15. I've worked for two of them!
It WAS Hell.

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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. How did you cope?
I need help!
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northofdenali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Visualize the wonderful days you'll have when you retire.
and remember that we are all here for you, any time. :hug: :grouphug: :hug:
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. Thank you!
:cry: I will have a wonderful life in 2 short months. I love you all.
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Daphne08 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:48 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. I was on antidepressants for several years.
Edited on Fri Mar-31-06 06:50 PM by Daphne08
I now regret that I had to take them for so long, but... had I not, I would have had a nervous breakdown. I also went into counseling for over a year.

Eventually I quit (and lost much in doing so), but at the time, it was the only answer.

I wish you good luck. :hug:



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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
36. I would have to go on them if I were dealing with more than 2 months.
But I'm on Lipitor and I worry about the side effects of taking both meds.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
16. Thank you all so much for the replies!
I talked with my mom for a long time tonight. She helped me so much :loveya:mom. My hubby is on a business dinner, so I couldn't unload on him. Today was really HORRIBLE. I needed some support. Love you gals and guys so much. :cry: :grouphug:
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Darth_Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #16
33. You are not alone.....
these problem people are everywhere unfortunately.

Please check out this site:

http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully /

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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:31 AM
Response to Reply #33
63. That website is sooo helpful.
It's good to know this is not just my problem. I'm not saying I've never had any job conflicts (after 25 years working who hasn't), but this is WAY outside the norm. The bullies they describe are exactly like her. Eerie.
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ourbluenation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
19. Yes - Your situation sounds exactly like mine. I ended up leaving
after demanding a severance from the board even though I was at will. The guy was so crazy the board gave me whatever I wanted.

I went out the next day and bought a hot tub just to decompress.
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
22. most successful businesspeople could be described as one
Edited on Fri Mar-31-06 07:01 PM by TheBaldyMan
and even more unsuccessful ones. They are dimwits who cause nothing but bad feeling in the workplace and somehow manage to piss off everbody.

on edit: I'm a bit of a hothead and would rather tell them to stuff the job and walk than wait. Sorry if you have to suffer for the next two months. One way of dealing with a bully is not to be intimidated by them - this usually drives them nuts, just ignore them. It is not what they're expecting and totally confuses them.

For instance your boss comes flying in in a rage act like nothing unusual is happening and let them scream themselves hoarse. When the boss finishes you can say something like 'Yes?' as if they haven't been raving like a lunatic for 5 minutes and you've just noticed them.

You've got two months left you might as well have some fun at their expense ;)
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:26 AM
Response to Reply #22
61. Lol! That would definitely get her goat!
And I really have nothing to lose. I'm retiring. Let her do her best to get me down, and it won't change the fact that I'll be 1000 times happier than she could ever dream of being, once I'm out of her evil sphere of influence. Sick sack of shit.
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TheBaldyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #61
77. It's worth a try and you might earn her grudging respect by the
time you leave. Good luck and stay strong.
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
23. yup, worked w/one - you'll make it!
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Virginia Dare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
26. I'm related to one..
recognizing it is half the battle. I wish you peace and good luck.

:hug:
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Buns_of_Fire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
28. Oh, yes. Just take it a day at a time.
Fortunately, you have a light at the end of your particular tunnel. Hang on to that. It helps, believe me.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
29. Detachment
You ignore everything they say, they are a crazy person. You write down your own goals, daily, weekly, monthly. To get it clear in your mind. Then when they start with their manipulative stuff, you tell yourself it's manipulative stuff from a crazy person, and then tell the crazy person what you are going to be doing that day, or where something fits into your agenda that you set. And then you walk away and go back to work. And say "I'm doing such, you will have to handle xxx."

Which is one reason I say we need to stop engaging with the nutty right wingers, it's just a distraction and most of it is intentional on their part. You get healthy by detaching and setting your own agenda. They either come along or go find somebody else to play their sick game.
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
31. Sometimes, I fear I am one:
I just stop feeling emotions... my mind can easily come up all these ways in which I could manipulate those around me, however I just keep telling myself not to; my (strange as it may sound) atheistic faith is enough to hold me. Then I work on feeling emotions again, and after a little while I'm better. I'm very proud to say I've not attempted manipulation of ANY sort for years.
Gets difficult sometimes though; it is so very easy to gain practically anything, if you are willing to work on it and don't care about what happens to other people... but now I've built caring for others into my entire belief system. These days I rarely feel like becoming uncaring... it's a much nicer world.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. Wow. I think it's wonderful you are aware and in control of that.
Do you think sociopathy is something chemical or inborn in people? Even before this experience I've wondered about this phenomenon.
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #34
41. Something inborn, definately, but the method
of 'delivery' as it were, it seems, is half the way you're brain is wired, half chemical. There are probably drugs that help control but in the end the person needs to beleive something that can affect their actions.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #34
67. With my son
I have often wondered if his premature birth didn't have something to do with it. He was 6 weeks early, severely Rh involved. And I've often wondered if maybe those last weeks of pregnancy are needed to finish off the proper 'wiring'.

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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #67
71. There has been a lot of research into sociopathy.
I wonder if that's ever been looked at? Maybe a correlational study could shed some insight.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #31
84. You may not like to hear this, my friend, but you worship the
Christian God, as He wishes to be worshipped by his children. Sorry about that....!
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Darth_Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
32. Actually a few believe it or not...
Some really seriously mixed up individuals. Out for themselves and only themselves. :(
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. And in business situations they seem to be power mad,
with a great desire to scapegoat and victimize underlings. :scared:
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Darth_Kitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #35
38. Very insecure individuals....
When people say that their lives/health have been affected by these individuals, I listen.
Been there, and I so understand. :hug:
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. They are insecure. Their MO is to project on others so they feel better
and superior. Maybe we should pity them. I'd like to forgive, but that will take time. So good to talk with others who have been there, done that. I know it can be endured. :hug:
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Random_Australian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #39
47. It's insecurity from bieng so unlike others.
It makes you feel...... left out, I suppose.

For why I talk of this in 1st person, see downthread.
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #38
51. Don't forget incompetent....
Some people make entire careers out of covering their asses and creating drama to avoid accomplishing anything.
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SeattleGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
37. Yep. Was involved personally with one for two years.
First year was heaven; second year was hell. If I ever saw this guy again, it would be too freakin' soon.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
40. there's a suspected one in our department ...
Edited on Fri Mar-31-06 08:16 PM by Lisa
She was hired several years ago, and at first things seemed to be okay ... but then things were restructured and she was given a lot more power, and almost immediately people began to experience problems. Luckily for me, she's not my boss, but I work with a number of staffers who do have to report to her. I've been here for more than a decade, and people who had never complained about anything before and who had acquired a reputation for being quite competent, suddenly had to cope with all kinds of micromanagement and disciplinary actions. I tend to be pretty happy with my job, and it almost came as a relief when we all compared notes, to learn that this stuff was not in our imaginations and that the misgivings I'd been having (rare for me, since I am at least on professional terms with the people I work with) had some basis after all.

The reason I mention this is that one of my friends had a particularly nasty time last week, with a disciplinary hearing. She ended up having to take a leave of absence due to illness. The stress has aggravated her health problems -- thank goodness for the union, because the rep uncovered the fact that the supervisor has been falsifying reports and even concealing memos, in order to trump up charges of incompetence. So I can totally sympathize with your situation. My friend, unfortunately, has another 3 years and 8 months (and you can bet she's counting the weeks and days!) before she can retire.

Hang in there! Having a lot of witnesses may help (bullies tend to tone things down if they know they're being watched, because they are often sensitive to opinion ... if only out of a sense of self-preservation). And keeping careful records of incidents (makes it harder for them to twist the truth ... another person I know was able to stand up to a capricious boss, because he was able to show a logbook detailing who said what to whom).
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. I can't imagine having 3+ years more of this shit.
I wish your co-worker the best. My sociopath supervisor was fired, then she was unfired due to political maneuvering. It's really bizarre, in ways I can't competently explain. I've only worked under her for a year, but others, who have been there as long or longer than her, have stories to curl your toes. She will go down, of this I'm sure. But she will take many others with her. Fortunately I'll be G-O-N-E before the final fire storm.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. some sociopaths seem to have an uncanny aptitude for the system
They seem to know exactly whom to cultivate, in order to "justify" what they are doing. I think you've exactly put your finger on the problem with the political maneuvering. I've heard of cases where they even manage to make it look as if they're the ones who are hard-done-by!

And they also like to go after vulnerable people, who aren't protected by law or have powerful cronies. My friend's main problem is that she will do almost anything to avoid conflict, and that supervisor pushed her into situations where she was afraid to make a fuss or protest. It got so she was taking home massive amounts of work for the weekend -- things which the supervisor herself had messed up and needed to be fixed before Monday -- and she wasn't paid for any of it. The union rep freaked out ("how long as this been going on?"). It's really sad -- a creative, happy-go-lucky person is now frightened and withdrawn.
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iconoclastic cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
45. Are people being hyperbolic with the term "sociopath"?
Without specific stories, I can't tell if the use of the term is hyperbolic or literal.

Via a random web page:
List of Common Sociopathic Traits:
Egocentricity; Callousness; Impulsivity; Conscience defect; Exaggerated sexuality; Excessive boasting; Risk taking; Inability to resist temptation; Antagonistic, deprecating attitude toward the opposite sex; Lack of interest in bonding with a mate

That sounds a bit broad. Hell, on a bad day, that's me! (except for the opposite sex thing...I am very protective of women.) Am I a sociopath on that day, but not every other day?
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #45
68. The key is all those things
consistently over time. And the funny part of it is that the majority of sociopaths WILL eventually grow a conscience...sometime after their 50th birthday.

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chookie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
46. Hang in there
I am very sorry you have this experience in your life. I was there for two years and it was excruciating. You've been given a lot of good advice in this thread, and I can't really add anything but the suggestion that you look into the phenomenon of managerial sociopathy and empower yourself with understanding and knowledge. Here's a site to get started with http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/bully.htm but google "bully workplace" or "sociopath workplace" and you will find a wealth of information.

May these remaining months fly painlessly for you!!!!!
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:01 AM
Response to Reply #46
56. What a great website!
It's really helpful, and so right-on about my personal little demonic bully. :mad: What's really disgusting is how these serial bullies target the competent, honest, and popular employees. Just the people management should be supporting! I'm not vulnerable like the usual targets, but I do hate conflict and work overtime to avoid it. Very weird that at the end of my career I have been forced to experience this nightmare. But I have learned a lot from it. Hopefully someday I'll be able to say it was a growth experience.
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
48. Hell, I've BEEN one. Try living with THAT.
Redstone
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
49. Fuck yes
It was a year of pure hell

I hated her guts.

Don't worry, I forgave the bitch
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
50. you know, maybe I have now that I think of it
it certainly would help explain the body parts in the refrigerator
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NMMNG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
52. I've worked/lived with individuals with myriad diagnoses,
but never a sociopath . I am thankful for that.
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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
53. Yes.
He owns this. The website has almost as many lies as he does, but without the homophobia or sexual harassment.
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Zomby Woof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:03 AM
Response to Original message
54. Mostly on DU
This place is rife with them.
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ScreamingMeemie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-02-06 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #54
107. Bingo!
:thumbsup: :loveya:
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 01:01 AM
Response to Original message
55. I worked at a company where fully a third of the managers were
sociopaths. Since I was a low level manager (supervisor) it made for some very weird times. I try not to talk about it because the stories start out funny and then they start getting stranger and stranger. Sales people and contractors used to visit the place and walk out shaking their heads. When I got laid off, it was almost a relief.
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Joe Chi Minh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #55
85. This is some thread, hedgehog! You know, the deeper the
subject, the greater the potential for humour. You reference to the stories starting out funny, and then getting stranger and stranger, and then the whole post after it, is itself, to me, very very funny.. in a kind of horror film kind of way. Much funnier, I'm sure than if you told us the stranger and stranger stories. You said so much in so few words. I think we tend to write best when it's unself-consciously from the heart.
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CanuckAmok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:08 AM
Response to Original message
57. I think my ex-wife was sociopathic.
I'm not being glib or bitter, here. Now that I've had some time to examine our marriage and her behaviour, in retropect and from afar, I think she had serious sociopathinc and narcissistic problems.
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:14 AM
Response to Original message
58. Is this a Gov't job, or a private sector job?
I only ask, because if it's private sector, you may have ways of getting the fucker fired. If it's Gov't, then that would probably be a little bit harder of a situation...
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:20 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. It's a school.
The person has seniority and is the principal. My administrators not going to transfer me so I'm outta there. She is a serial bullier. One other person in particular has been tormented for years. Several people refuse to work there, and others have quit abruptly in the middle of the year (very unusual as we are under contract) as a result of her meanness.
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file83 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 04:19 AM
Response to Reply #59
64. Does she treat the students the same way? There has to be someway
Edited on Sat Apr-01-06 04:21 AM by file83
to get all the teachers together and do something about it! Talk to the counselors and see if any of the students are complaining about psychological abuse from this principle - get that bitch fired! Hire a private investigator - anyone THAT off kilter has to have some weird shit going on in her personal life that could put her position in jeopardy.

Launch a jihad against this nut case. But, that's just me.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #64
65. There has been an organized attempt.
A great brouhaha ensued, and the person is being watched very carefully. BUT, many of the people who tried to get her sacked, were sacked themselves. Really, really scary. And, yes, she does sometimes cross the line with students and parents. I've heard some bad things. Still, the outcry just isn't enough, YET. Plus, there are some real toadies who cheerlead for her, believe it or not. For me, I just want out of that toxic environment.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #65
98. Another thought is to look for support from the PTA members.
Some of them have clout, and know how to wield it, and their job is not on the line.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #59
97. Principals are like the kings of their domains
Edited on Sat Apr-01-06 08:46 PM by kwassa
and I have heard of principals like yours. They are the greatest argument for teacher's unions.

I hope you don't have to quit your school district. Talk to your union reps about your rights, though.

and I had a sociopath boss once. The only time I quit a job without another one to go to, and it was the best decision I ever made.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-02-06 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #97
102. The thing is I really want to retire.
If I wanted or needed to keep working I'd have to strategize more. My only goal right now is surviving the next 2 months.

I don't think the battle is over though. I've heard other things are afoot regarding attempts to fire this woman.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-02-06 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #102
104. You can last through two months of anything.
it sounds like there is something going on to dump this woman.

As a teacher you must know that, like with students, the person you are having a problem with everyone else is, too. Talk to others about it.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-02-06 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #104
105. Oh yes. It's not just me. I've talked to some of her other victims.
Some of these are part of a group that almost succeeded in getting rid of her. I suspect the turnover will be huge next year. Higher ups are aware of the problem. Unfortunately this little sociopath has a lot of political clout in that ditsy small town community.

Very Repuke area, btw.

Surprise, surprise

:sarcasm:
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-02-06 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #105
109. Take comfort in not being alone in this
and if enough noise comes out on the side of those against her, and keeps coming out, her clout will be diminished or destroyed in this small town.

Everyone should be keeping records of conversations or anything on paper, such as memos, to build a file that covers their ass and builds a case.

Her karma will come back to visit her.
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mykpart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:23 AM
Response to Original message
60. Married one, worked for more than one.
But I'm in therapy now, and I'm better. Hang in there, you can do it. I'm sending positive vibes your way.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:27 AM
Response to Reply #60
62. ...
:hug:
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 07:19 AM
Response to Reply #62
69. Treat yourself to a massage.
It does wonders.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #69
70. That's my daughter's suggestion also.
She wants me to go to yoga classes with her too.

You know I've never had a massage in my life! I think it's time. :-)
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Mutley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 08:07 AM
Response to Original message
72. Just keep plugging away.
Edited on Sat Apr-01-06 08:13 AM by mutley_r_us
My Dad's last boss was pretty psycho, and he struggled to get through two years with her. But he made it, and he's happily retired now. You are very close. You can do it!

edit: :scared: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociopath This sure sounds like my ex.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #72
73. I really appreciate these stories of workplace survival.
It helps me put things in perspective, and recognize the light at the end of the tunnel. :hug:
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wildhorses Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
74. was married to one...
am slowly coming back to sanity...but it is not easy and I still have my moments
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
75. My boss is one -- and yes, I do mean that literally
I understand your pain, MyPetRock... and I can't retire for 20 years... and she won't eb for at least 10...
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #75
80. OMG, you've got 10 years to go?
You're stronger than I.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #80
91. I may start drinking at work...
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suegeo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
76. Yes. Get out. Leave.
As for dealing with it, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from the situation.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #76
79. I'm under contract until the end of the year.
It will be over soon, but this person is a sadist. She's capable of causing a lot of trouble between now and June. :scared:
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TrogL Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
78. I had a sociopathic boss

  • Threats
  • intimidation
  • paranoia
  • absolutely insane driving
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gardenista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
81. Yes, and all I can say is, "Time wounds all heels, and heals all wounds"
This was about 10 years ago, and I went from one to another, with a blissful little break in-between.

In each case, as time has gone on, their lies and horrible behavior have been exposed. One was finally fired from her job, even though she brought the general manager, who she was sleeping with, and who was protecting her, with her. In the second case, the bully was eventually forced out of her cushy government job and has failed miserably at everything she tried since. When I left, I told her that without the protection of layers of bureaucracy, she would not be able to pull her crap and she would fail (no, I had no illusions of a good recommendation). I was right. I hope my words ring in her head every time she suffers the consequences of not being able to control her desire to lie about others in order to make herself look good.

She honestly never accomplished anything in my time there, but spent all her time in committee meetings of one sort or another. She had a daily crisis which would somehow miraculously prevent her from getting her own work done, and she would drag as many people into it as possible. It was rather fun to watch once we all figured out the M.O. This was her excuse for absolutely zero productivity. That and never having enough money to do her job, which was bullshit. She simply had no idea how to marshall her resources.

After I left, my replacement called me in a panic to say that she thought her new boss was a psycho. I said, indeed, that she was, and there was no point in fighting, but to get out while she could. She didn't take my advice, tried to fight, and was royally screwed. I'm glad I just got out.

Anyhow, I learned a lot from that about now *not* to manage people. Now that the nightmares have stopped (10 years later), I could probably see her on the street and not feel nauseous.

You got some good advice on detaching. She'll ratchet up the harassment before you leave, to be sure. She'll try to make you look bad in public. You have to just detach and not do anything to confirm her lies.

Best of luck.

Then, when you're lying in the sun and enjoying your retirement, you can know that you really, really deserve to relax and recover. Take the time to do that. It's important.

Best of luck!
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #81
82. Hearing your story helps so much.
Except for many conversations with one of her other victims, and having the sympathy and support of family and some other co-workers, I have felt so alone.
:hug:
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #82
86. I worked for a sociopath/boss about 15 years ago
on the one had, a colleague who was suffering at her hands even more than I got me through it - in the sense that after work we would commisserate, try to find humour through the ironies of her increasing histronic and outrageous behavior. On the other hand, over time it was poisonous - our commisseration served us in the short term - but the bitterness of having to deal with this boss daily took a toll... after about six months, in conversation with my mother I was taken aback when she pointed out that the bitterness/cynicism was seeping into other areas of my conversations and my life... she was right. At that point I changed my work circumstance and was able to shift my position out from under her. A year later I was preparing to go grad school at the top program in my field - while she continued to go in circles. I heard that she tried to run for a political office (and failed) and am guessing that she is plying her poison elsewhere - but not moving forward at all. Meanwhile my life/career has only moved forward... exponentially.
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gardenista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #86
100. This is very similar to my experience
Now that I am out from under that toxic cloud, my career has taken off and expanded in ways that I never imagined possible.

Often these people choose victims who threaten them because of their innate talent. Rather than helping their employees develop, they seek to squelch and dominate them in order to maintain the dysfunctional status quo.

Talking about this here brings back those feelings of frustration and confusion- why me, why can't she just let me do my job, etc...

I'm so glad to have moved on from that, and also feel so fortunate that I knew when to get out.
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gardenista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #82
99. Remember that she feels more alone than you are.
That's one reason why she's like this.

:hug:

You will get through this.

(I got to the point where I had to recite the Prayer of St. Francis to myself over and over again when I was with her- "Where there is hatred, let me sow love." Um, it didn't work, I really did hate her for a while there.)

Hang in there.
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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
83. Never worked or lived with one, thank God
But we knew a sociopath for over thirty years until his death recently. To the end of his days, he believed he might be happy if only he had more stuff and if only other people didn't get in the way. After our experience with him (I'll spare you the gruesome details) I think sociopaths are profoundly unhappy people.

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Kathryn STone Donating Member (229 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 04:33 PM
Response to Original message
87. you just hang in there read my story below you'll feel better
with the W economy so bad I took a job at a place called Wizetrade they have infomercials and are a total TOTAL ripoff. It's just live data feed of trading stocks. But it's owned by this guy here in Dallas Marc Sparks he even has his own website to his glory (google it) but his older super dysfunctional brother Jim Sparks ran the books and I got "promoted" to work under him. First, he carried 2 concealed handguns at all times, I saw him leave one that looks like the one in Resevoir Dogs in the car before me, the other assistant and him went in a restaurant. He was insane (is? I guess he's still alive) paranoid, alcholic chain smoking crazy man! if he got pissed off about someting, he'd kick the walls.

Plus he was a total perv if the ass't and I needed to ask him something he's on speaker phone and he's say "why don't you come over here and give me a lap dance." you get the picture. I got fired I wanted to quit soooo bad. I went to EEOC about his sexual bs and they were like woo hoo let's get this guy.

I never went to court I just wanted to embarass him and the company. But in arbitration me and the attorney got about 25k.

So, if you'e gonna go down, go down swinging! best wishes.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #87
88. WooHoo...
great to read endings like these! Good for you and the lawyer!
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 05:03 PM
Response to Original message
89. Yeah, I worked for one. Then I quit as I knew it would never get
better there.
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twenty4blackbirds Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
90. I may have worked with a sociopath
Edited on Sat Apr-01-06 06:03 PM by twenty4blackbirds
Hi MyPetRock,
I work in administration in a University. Jill* my ex-boss may have been a sociopath. Everyone else who worked with Jill said she is. I got along with her okay though - one of a select group of people in the whole place.

Examples colleagues cited:
- Jill would come out of her office to shout/yell/tell off Amy the Receptionist*, then go back to her office and be laughing on the telephone while Amy is still upset in the reception office.
- Jill would say that Mary the part-time Accounts Assistant* wasn't doing a good job, when in fact Mary did 2/3 more than other departments.
- (our office gets into a disorganised state) periodically Jill came out of her office to the stationary area and throw the 'rubbish' from the shelves (empty boxes which contained envelopes, etc) onto the floor, say aloud that "this place needs to be cleaned up" then go back into her office. No, we didn't know who she expected to clean up the place.
- when Jill left, no-one actually knew what she did as a manager. We got along okay for the 5 weeks there wasn't a manager. ~

Otoh:
- Amy the Receptionist isn't very good at the job and will ignore people when she feels like it; telephones go unanswered when she's talking to a friend over the counter; visitors are ignored if she is talking with a friend in the office; reception files have to be searched for; she makes personal calls on the main telephone line so then calls can't get through; she hasn't organised her office well and runs out of photocopied information; she gets flustered easily such as running out of photocopied information; she's our main contact person for the public (via telephone and walk-ins) and 1/3 of the time she is not in her office; she uses work time to write her hobby articles.
- Jill constantly had conflicting demands from Rachel her line manager* and David the Head of School*.
- David the Head of School is a procrastinator, and not good at time-management or prioritising (this makes administration of the School more difficult).
- David the Head of School has Scott the Associate Head of School*. David sometimes isn't in the office for stretches of time so Scott takes over. David and Scott sometimes have mis-communication.
- Jill had conflicting demands from David and Scott and Rachel.
- Jill has a caring personality outside of the office.
- Mary isn't practised at being assertive and so sometimes it is difficult to know the results she wants to achieve. And so she gets upset when the result isn't what she asked for.
- my assessment is that Jill didn't know how to communicate well with people at all levels, because Jill interpreted any evidence of Mary being upset with Jill as Mary hating Jill; Jill didn't know how to solve that issue.
- Rachel, David and Scott didn't trust Jill to do her work well.
- other people in other departments within the University didn't trust Jill to do her work well.
- it was later shown that Jill didn't do her work to the standard the University needed.

n.b.
*Names changed to protect people.
~I worked about 60hrs overtime though. and very much stressed to verge of nervous breakdown.


hmm. Is it possible to have a sociopathic workplace?
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
92. I think I lived with one. There's a challenge after you leave.
After you're away from the person, part of them may live on in your head, if that makes any sense to you. You'll still hear their rants and criticisms and judgments and etc...

So that's the second step -- first get them out of your space, then get them out of your head. THEN they'll be out of your life!

Meanwhile, distance yourself in both ways, as much as possible. Recognize it's not YOUR problem. Think of other things; think of the person as a comic character; write to others about it with humor...

And think of how free you can become in two months!! :hug:
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #92
93. How free I'll be....
oh, yeah. Thanks so much for the support. :hug:
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #93
94. Just make sure you get that person out of your HEAD, too, MPR.
Don't forget that. :hug:
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #94
96. It will take awhile. Right now I'm pretty obsessed, as everybody can tell
But normally I tend to be basically happy with my life, so I think this will just fade away. Thank God I haven't been in this situation longer than the last 8 months. How people survive such an environment for years I can't understand. Serious PTSD must occur many more times than we have been aware from workplace bullies and their helplessly trapped victims. :cry:
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Jade Fox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
101. It's amazing how many......
unbelievably awful people are put into management positions. People who respond to being given power by becoming monsters.

The worst boss I ever had was only abusive--not sociopath. The position I was hired for had had three people in it in three years. I quickly found out why. This woman was hateful. My first year-end review nearly came to blows. In retrospect, I'm amazed I didn't get fired, as I all but told her to go screw herself. But, I think she was a classic bully: she collapsed whenever someone stood up to her, and was fundamentally a coward. Thankfully, the department was re-organized shortly after my review and I was no longer her underling, and she retired a few months later. But it makes me really angry how much stress I was under that year and a half because of her viciousness.

I wish I could help you in some way. It helps me, when I have been around someone creepy, to meditate and visualize releasing that person's energy and sending it back to them. I know that sounds touchy-feely, but it seems to work.
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MoonRiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-02-06 07:52 AM
Response to Reply #101
103. I do like that visualization exercise.
I think a major issue when dealing with workplace bullies is internalizing their attacks. I tend to be extremely conscientious about my job. I'm not used to getting much criticism from supervisors, so it's been confusing and scary trying to understand WTF she wants. When I am criticized, however, I work like crazy to "do a better job". The problem is that she probably doesn't want me to do a good job. THAT is exactly what threatens her. :crazy: So the more I work to please her, the madder she actually becomes. :crazy: :crazy:

I'm understanding all this through a website linked to me on this thread.
http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/bully.htm
Thanks so much to those who gave me this link. It's really helped me see the big picture and know that I am not alone by a long shot. Once I'm through the next 2 months I'm going to post an extensive testimonial on the site. It will be a cathartic exercise for me, and hopefully will give hope to other victims of workplace bullies.
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bikebloke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-02-06 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
108. A former sibling.
And the thing is, the behavior was actually nurtured by my parents. Where I was disciplined and taught not to lie and steal, she was actually rewarded. I grew up with everyone asking me while she always lied. As an adult that one is the most corrupt being not locked up, which should have happened years ago.
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