In this article, I will tell the story of a senior engineer with over 20 years of experience who was fired and ended up in court.
The context of this story can inspire people to avoid getting into the same situation and possibly provide key takeaways.
Playing the Nice Guy
The interview process was very pleasant and the candidate seemed very excited for the role and motivated to deep dive into project and take the full responsibility. He answered the questions with a professional approach, leaving no doubt about his technical skills. His years of experience in programming were clearly evident.
Everyone was satisfied with the results, which ended up offering him a senior-level position with great remuneration.
Sudden Performance Drops
It is not expected for a new joiner to immediately contribute to a project. It takes some time to understand how things work, and the developer needs to feel confident enough to start making small contributions. However, the situation for him was different from usual onboarding developer. Everyone can feel if a person really tries to deep dive into project and tries to do something.
His ignorance of the company and project started to be noticed by the team and high level management made up meeting to understand what is the reason about it. He claimed that he didn’t mean to take ownership of any project, it makes him exhausted and just wants to be typical developer to do straightforward tasks.
He received a second chance and everyone agreed to keep him on, occasionally seeking his advice as a consultant on complex technical matters due to his greater experience.
After some time, there was absolutely zero contribution from his side. He was constantly giving the same update every day.
There were 1-2 small tasks done by him, but it turned out that someone else on the team had actually completed these tasks. He had forced them to assign the tasks to him.
The Madman Behind Mask
This is the worst part of the story, where things get nasty. The guy started blackmailing everyone in the company, using different contexts for each person.
Some of us received claims that the company had harmed him and left him without money, while others received threats of reputational damage if we didn't follow his requirements.
The blackmailing continued for a while, but it got worse every time, so legal action was taken against him to prevent him from disrupting the internal staff.
In conclusion, this story highlights the importance of thoroughly vetting candidates during the hiring process and being aware of warning signs such as a lack of interest or contribution. It also emphasizes the need for a proper onboarding process and setting clear expectations for new hires to avoid making the wrong decisions.