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Beautiful Teams by Jennifer Greene, Andrew Stellman

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Chapter 24. Bad Boss

Andrew Stellman

IT WAS THE MID-1990S. FLANNEL WAS IN STYLE, THE THEME FROM FRIENDS WAS A BILLBOARD HIT, and I was working as a programmer at a small suit-and-tie financial company on Wall Street. I joined as a junior programmer, and by this time I'd worked my way up to senior developer. I'd gained a reputation for being able to get big jobs done quickly. I also had a reputation for speaking my mind, even when it wasn't always the most tactful time to be running my mouth. My boss, Peter, once referred to me as a "loose cannon that he learned to point in the right direction." I had no problem with that.

The dot-com boom hadn't quite hit New York yet, and the company where I worked was somewhat traditional and a little stuffy. It was the sort of company where the title "manager" carried a lot of baggage. Only capital-M Managers got offices, and when someone was promoted to Manager it was a big deal. There was a lot of competition for one of those prized Manager slots. The company had a culture where people went out of their way to be more than a little obsequious to the boss, and there was a bit of a cult of personality around the CEO. I'd heard of someone who had been fired after his first day for referring to the CEO as "the old man" to a coworker, who promptly reported the gaffe to her boss.

I didn't mind. Despite the suits and ties and stuffiness, I felt that I'd really carved out a nice niche for myself. I got to work with a lot of new technology, and I was ...

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