Devils come in all shapes and sizes. Some are easy to recognize. Some are not, at first. But they all show their true colors sooner or later.
In the case of this story, the devil showed his colors later in the relationship.
He was a boss. My boss. He owned his own company. It made him very aggressive, narcissistic, and mean. Very mean.
I will not mention his name, or the name of his company (altho if you really want to know, message me and I will tell you, as people should be aware to stay far away from him). I will say that he was in a very customer service type business. A landscape company.
He was very charming upfront, to get your business. All white smiles and silver haired charm. But as soon as you signed the dotted line, that all changed. He lied and cheated you every chance he got.
You were an asshole. Everyone was asshole, according to him. Especially his landscape/construction crews. They were F*ing Asshole Mexicans. He treated them like animals.
The first year I worked there was like the honeymoon. Praise, raises, Christmas trees, Christmas music, parties, bonuses. When I went there to interview, I was smitten. A very charming office in an old farmhouse, complete with two retrievers and a fireplace burning. It was a fairy tale. I could not believe how lucky I was to go to work every day, with nice people and surroundings, and a golden retriever to lay at my slippered feet at my desk.
But then. His true personality slowly leaked out. It turned into the War of the Roses. I had plenty of warning signs. He talked shit about previous employees all the time, they were all assholes, and he fired their asses. Every single one. Many of them. Especially the admin employees, who warmed their hands at the fireplace. They never lasted more than a few months or a year. No wonder they gave me such a nice one year anniversary party. I was one of their longest term employees! There was another one, who I became close with. He quickly brought me up to speed on the dealing of the devil. So I was careful. I watched, I listened. And most importantly, I never talked back or stated my opinion, because he was always right. The only other long term employee? My so-called assistant, who was his girlfriend. Actually more than his girlfriend. She had a million dollar stake in the company, her previous divorce payoff. If she didn’t like you, you were a goner. I digress.
But then. One day I just couldn’t do it anymore. He wanted me to agree with him on something. One of his f*cking asshole Mexicans, a long term employee, had asked for a 10 cent raise. TEN CENTS. Now, mind you, he worked these these poor people into the ground. 12-14 hour days in the hot sun of the summer, 24-48 hour days snowplowing non-stop in the winter, or shoveling driveways. Have you EVER shoveled driveways for 24 hours straight? They were lucky to get a half hour break. Most had no food or water with them, the crews were not allowed to stop and buy food. The Superindent, my friend, would swing by with nourishment and drink that he bought out of his own pocket for the crews.
Back to the poor guy who asked for a 10 cent raise. The boss fired his ass. On the spot. F*ck him, asking for a raise. He wanted me to agree with him. I just couldn’t. I struggled for a response. So I asked him the one question that had been burning in my mind for the past year….
Why do you own a landscape company if you hate Mexicans? (Doesn’t have to be Mexicans, you can substitute any other group of people). They are the backbone of the company! Without them, there is nothing.
Well. That was it. He started ranting and raving at me and throwing things around the office, while I cowered at my desk. He was so enraged he was spitting in my face. I thought (maybe prayed) he was going to have a heart attack or stroke in front of me. He did not stop until his girlfriend called him off, like a rabid dog. I just sat there like a statue. I was too frightened to move. I should have called 911, I should have left, I should have done a million things. I did nothing. I just sat there and took it
So then. The abuse continued. Ever. Single. Day. I would come in to find hate email, hate notes on my desk. Then his tirade, which would leave me sobbing, and then I would have to try and work the whole day with red swollen eyes and a huge headache like nothing was wrong.
The girlfriend turned on me pretty quick. She quit talking to me. She ignored me except to send me drunk text messages at night or on the weekends asking why I stayed there.
So then. No more praise. No more raises. No more fires in the fireplace. No more retriever at my feet, they were leased to the girlfriend’s desk. (I kid you not).
So then. At Christmas, there was no music, no tree. Nothing. So I brought in a small table top tree and plugged it in. The next morning the tree was moved. I found it and plugged it in again, this time in a different spot, with an extension cord. The next day, the extension cord was gone. I was so stupid that I did not realize what was going on at first. This man did NOT want any sign of Christmas in his office. So I took the tree and shoved it into the kitchen garbage to make sure he saw it.
So then. There was no year-end bonus. No Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. Nothing. Just an awfulness I cannot begin to describe. An evilness.
So then. He fired the Maintenance Manager. Because he had the nerve to drive in early every day and nap in the parking lot until one hour BEFORE his start time. F*cking Asshole, he should have been working the SECOND he arrived. Mind you, he was salaried, and already worked a 60 hour work week. And he was a new father. Hence the naps in the parking lot. But, he was a f*ucking asshole, he had to go. It was awful. I locked myself in the bathroom, crying, listening to him crying while packing up his desk. His wife had quit her job, they had no other source of income.
I should have quit. I was desperately seeking a new job, but I just should have quit and starved to death rather than work for this monster.
Eventually I did quit working for him. Wait, I’m sorry, I was fired. Because he came back from a hunting trip and I was leaving work 15 minutes “early” for a dentist appointment. He started shouting at me and verbally abusing me in the doorway. I was frightened. There was no one else there at work, I was the last one in the office, as always. So I ran. I ran away from him, into my car, with him chasing me and shouting at me. I sped away as quick as possible. My cell phone rang. I did not answer it. Minutes later he texted me, telling me I was fired and not allowed on the property. I cried all night. But then I was relieved. I did not have to look in his face, ever again, and see the evilness there. I still have nightmares every now and then.
And this, my friend, is how you know you are dancing with the devil.