I work with videoconferencing (VC) technology at a large company, and since my arrival, I've helped increased our VC network and added an infrastructure. When I started, in contrast, there were only 30 endpoints, no existing infrastructure, and a very, very disgruntled employee who happened to be my trainer -- I'll call him Tony.
When I interviewed for the position -- one at the same level as Tony's -- the interviewer asked me if I would feel comfortable working with someone who was very much unhappy with his position. I replied that I was confident that I could work with anyone.
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I wasn't given any details about Tony other than the warning that he was disgruntled, which helped prepare me mentally, but it was certainly a challenging situation at first. I eventually became acclimated to his behaviors -- and learned some lessons on how to cope.
I came to find out that Tony was close to retirement and had a solid skill set for the job, but was very upset at the fact that he had not been able to be promoted to a supervisor position, although he was on the top of the list for the next level based on seniority. His plan was to retire at the higher level so that he could collect retirement payments at a higher rate than if he retired in his current one.
Part of the reason for Tony's displeasure was due to the fact that he had been promised a spot on the promotion list if he passed a series of exams. The first time he failed. The second time, he passed. When he failed the first time, a handful of people passed and were placed on the list. The second time around he was placed on the list but not as high up as he would have been had he passed it on the first try. He went to his supervisor's boss and complained but was then told that unfortunately there were others in front of him. He did not take this lightly and wallowed in his self-pity.
When I met Tony for the first time, he was facilitating a VC meeting, but the presenter was having issues getting the laptop displayed on the LCD projector connected to the VC equipment.