A nest of vipers

August 27, 2007, 2:37 PM UTC
Fortune

A reader from the Northeast writes:

My politically connected maniacal boss was recently fired for spying on a co-worker who happened to be running for a county office for a political party that was not hers. Here is the background. This boss had previously used a key logger program to catch an internal threat to our network. The use of this program was approved by our administration, although I was kept in the dark by my manager and 2 other co-engineers when the threat was found. The decision to monitor this user and choice of logging program was also done without my knowledge or input.

I’m the lead of three computer engineer employed here. At this point I realized that I was no longer being trusted by my manager. You see, I had always spoken what I felt was right, not what I thought the manager wanted to hear. The other two engineers had no problem acting as her monkeys, doing whatever she wanted, saying whatever she wanted to hear. In meetings, the other two never backed me up if they sensed the manager was not being receptive to my suggestions, even if they previously agreed with me.

Well later this manager was fired for using this same key logging software on another co-worker mentioned above, an act which was NOT approved by administration. This boss was able to involve the two other engineers by having them install and monitor the unauthorized key logger program. Again I was not aware of this usage.

When the boss was finally escorted out by the police, I asked my two co-workers what was going on. They both implicated each other and this was backed up by other coworkers who saw then hovering round the guy’s office. I was very upset with them and found it very hard to trust them after being treated as I was by them during this and some other previous incidents.

Even though I asked for leniency for the 2 engineers when interviewed by the big bosses, citing the intimidation tactics employed by the fired boss, I still find that I cannot trust these two. After the interviews of all office employees, the fired boss was also charged with hostile workplace violations.

Later, one of the two engineers involved in this was given the bosses title and now thing are really bad. We were all interviewed by internal affairs and during the interview I mentioned that many of my coworkers saw both engineers in the victims office installing software and many wondered what they were doing there. I also mentioned the many closed door meetings that were conducted by the fired boss and these two engineers and how everyone would stop talking if I were to enter the office during one of these meetings. This interview concluded with the signing of paperwork stating that the information was not to be discussed.

As time went on, the internal affairs officer was spending a lot of time with the acting manager which at first seemed no big deal. But after a while thing started to change for me. First the new boss stopped talking to me. Then his secretary stopped acknowledging me too.

The internal affairs officer and the acting boss, I feel, were getting very close, yucking it up all the time and spending a lot of time together, meeting almost everyday, laughing behind closed doors. And this is one of the two guys who was seen installing this unauthorized software.

I now feel that this internal affairs officer compromised my testimony to this acting boss. I’m almost sure of it.

During this whole time I feel that I acted appropriately and I can look in the mirror without fear of seeing a snake looking back. I don’t know how these people can live with themselves but they seem to have no problem doing so.

Any ideas? I’ve been with this State job for 27 years and have been offered a job with another division.

What do you think? I know what I think! I think this fellow should take the job in the other division immediately. And then report that Internal Affairs guy! What a creep! In fact, what a BUNCH of creeps!