Time for survival mode
The next day I was helping one of the employees and found out a bit more. I had worked with her a few times already, so we knew each other somewhat. She told me her friend had gotten her the job a while back. Neither she nor her friend was related to the family who owned the business.
Anyway, she was telling me about what her friend did and why he wasn't working there anymore. The friend actually started one of the business units I had identified for automation potential. The unit was doing well, so her friend went to his boss -- who also happened to be Jim -- to ask for a raise. Not only did her friend not get a raise, he also got terminated.
From talking to her, it seemed that my boss was not only a cheapskate, but he liked to do things his way only and didn't appreciate it when recommendations or requests were made that he didn't agree with. Judging by what she said, it sounded like he mainly hired people to do what he wanted.
I thought maybe that was just one person's perspective, but I talked to more people (also not related to the family or friends of the family), all whom corroborated her story. Jim appeared to have issues with delegating tasks and trusting the people he hired to do their jobs in their area of expertise. Hmmm, I wondered if that was why he was reluctant to let me "mess" with his systems? My experience thus far meshed with what I was hearing.
I also found out Jim had never worked anywhere other than the family business -- he arrived directly after graduating from college. He had been promoted to the president position when his dad stepped down. I'd worked for bosses similar to this -- and stayed when I shouldn't have -- so decided to look for another job. After less than three months, I left.
To be fair, when I first transitioned to an IT manager role, it was somewhat difficult to be hands-off and let other techs do their jobs. But with some management classes and tips from other managers, I was able to slowly transition over. I don't know if Jim has honed his people management skills like I've had to over the years. My guess: probably not.
Anyway, I checked the company's website a year later. Jim was still the president, the IT manager position was still posted -- and I was glad to be done with it.
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This story, "The job is 'IT manager,' but in title only," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more crazy-but-true stories in the anonymous Off the Record blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.