The New Aristrocracy?

One of the nicest things about the United States is the absence of an aristrocratic class of people. We are far removed from the days of dukes, duchesses, lords, ladies, counts, and countesses. Most people only have a vague knowlege of these words - much less any idea what the actually meant.

Nevertheless - there are those in our country who would re-establish an aristocracy. Not through titles like those above, but by positioning themselves in management positions in companies and using those positions - not to guide product development, but to control the lives of others. Otherwise solid contributors, who do not line up with the personality of these aristocratic managers - are dismissed on trumped up charges and outright lies. I have had the displeasure of working for such managers on a few occasions. Even complete documentation that the charges are false will do you no good. Highly visible efforts to improve will do you no good.

I will not use this forum to discuss my unpleasant experiences, but I will warn you that if one of these people gets in authority over you, get out fast. Do not stick around or you will be terminated by them. The trouble is - once they have pulled this stunt on you - the black mark on your record can haunt you for years. You better have good references - ex-supervisors and co-workers, whom you can use to submarine the black mark.

So - what can be done? Right now, nothing. You can try to get your documentation out of the company and take them to court, but the process will be endless, and rewards meager once legal fees are deducted. There are no guarantees of success, either. The manager may bring in several properly intimidated employees to back up his claims. For many years, I would have insisted what was needed was a strong, no nonsense union for engineers. I do not think this is the answer either. There is a Campaign Against Workplace Bullying that I encourage you to join. It may be that bad PR for companies who have bad managers may be the only tool that will work. There are enough people who have had the same experience as you that boycotts may be effective against companies with bad managers. When companies see that people are turning against their product or service because their managers mistreat people, they will get rid of the bad managers in a hurry.

Incidentally - if these aristocratic "wannbes" in my past really want to compare pedigrees - I have verifiable documentation that I am descended from William the Conquerer and Charlemagne - through multiple lines. And through them, most of the royal houses of Europe.

An astute company recognized my talents and hired me at a much higher salary than the ex-manager I described above. I am now a manager myself, and I was hired specifically because my employer values managers who know how to treat their employees with dignity and respect. Noble breeding will tell. My new employer is already impressed at the quality of my contributions and dedication. A solid record of accomplishment will tell. The stock at my former company is plummeting. I wonder why? Could it possibly be mismanagement?