So you know at this point that Cthulhu is all over his team at all times. Most alarmingly, he calls people at night and on weekends to discuss any issues he could come up with at any time.
In my head, I think of him as a terrorist of sorts because you never knew when the next attack was coming.
He’d would frame the calls in the guise of “production support” because part of our role was to provide after-hours support for systems and services that needed to be available. But many of these conversations were not directly related to outages and seemed to serve only as a reminder that we were at his beck and call. As I’ve mentioned a dozen times already, Cthulhu was a micro manager, a control-freak, and a grade-A douche who hid his insecurity behind his overbearing and driven public persona.
God help his children.
The final straw came when I got a call on Sunday, December 23rd. We had an outage the previous day (Saturday) and I’d been involved in fixing it. My girlfriend (now wife) was helping me decorate a small, pathetic looking Christmas tree that made Charlie Brown’s look like the one in Rockefeller Center.
We were trying to put work behind us and enjoy one quiet day to ourselves, without any office nonsense, prior to the upcoming week, which was going to be full of family visits and travel. Just one goddamn quiet day, you know?
So I pick up the phone and he starts complaining about the work I did the previous day, Saturday. (Again, this is Saturday mind, you — work I put in on a non-standard day.)
WHEN YOU GET BACK INTO THE OFFICE FALL ON YOUR SWORD
Come again, Cthulhu?
ASSUME BLAME FOR THE PROBLEMS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY YOU MUST DO THIS
I feel the need to point out here that the problem wasn’t actually my fault but for some reason unbeknownst to mortal man he wanted me to take responsibility for it anyway.
I remind him it’s Sunday, and we’re coming up on Christmas, and ask if there’s any current problem that needs to be resolved. What I’m really asking here is: are any systems down? Is there any business impact behind this call or is this just the regular Sunday afternoon beating?
He says yes, the problem is we have too many outages and the perception of the team is negative. I tell him we should talk about this Thursday live instead of two days before Christmas and hang up the phone.
Understandably, my SO is furious. Hell, I’m furious. It’s no longer a nice quiet day. I make an effort to let my anger go over the holidays but the feeling sits in my stomach like a bowling ball. This is the last straw in a series of straws that have already come perilously close to breaking my back.
So Thursday after Christmas I get into the office and my manager immediately shows up in my office to talk about Visibility, Perception and Politics. I cut him off and say I’m leaving.
LEAVING WHY ARE YOU NOT FEELING WELL
No, I’m leaving the company.
He takes a step back. I’m sitting in my cube and he’s standing in front of me.
WHERE ARE YOU GOING
THAT IS FOOLISH YOU DO NOT HAVE ANOTHER JOB LINED UP
IS IT THE SALARY
IT IS ISN’T IT I COULD WORK WITH HR TO RAISE IT
No, it’s not. You know what it is.
At this point I’m staring at him with my arms across my chest. He gets it — I don’t like him — and the realization makes him clearly uncomfortable. I’m watching him kind of waver on his feet, his tentacles floating around without direction. On the other hand, I’m finally comfortable. In fact, it might be the first day of my career at FinancialCompany where I’m 100% completely relaxed and at peace with how my day is going. Because it’s going really, really well. I’m thinking: Today’s the last day I’m ever going to have to listen to your awful monotone voice, supernaturally altered by your space-age larynx. Or look at your soulless eyes. Or have to do anything you tell me to do.
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING. SOMEONE YOUR AGE SHOULDN’T LEAVE THEIR JOB.
I know exactly what I’m doing here. Don’t worry about me. Worry about replacing me, because you’ll need to.
Cthulhu walks away, tentacles spilling out from under his khaki cuffs, trailing over the carpet. It’s the last time I ever saw him.
FinancialCompany ended up escorting me out. It must have been apparent even to Cthulhu — a being who knew virtually nothing of human emotion — that I was upset. I’m guessing that he realized I had tons of passwords to critical systems and hey you never know what folks are going to do when they’re not mentally balanced.
One of the things I’m now fond of saying is that people usually don’t leave their jobs.
They leave their managers.