Would you call out your boss/superior for lying/being a pathological liar?

doctorlexusdoctorlexus Member Posts: 217
This is not immediately relevant to me, but I was thinking about an employment situation I had some years ago. The person put in charge of training me and showing me the ropes made some claims that were obviously false. I kept my mouth shut and pretended that I wasn't aware he was full of s88t. Eventually, he found out I used to work in the area he was pretending to know about. After that, his sensational claims ceased and he was more tight lipped about things. At that point, I thought he might try to get me fired for fear that he was found out. As it so happened, I ended up leaving that job within a matter of weeks because I had to move, so nothing really came of the whole situation. But I often reflect on it, and how the best way to handle it is.

Would anyone here directly and bluntly call out a superior? Like, "Hey, you're full of s88t. Stop pretending to know about things you have no clue about." On a visceral level, I feel like that's the way people should be. In essence, I feel society would be more productive and well-oiled if people were brutally honest all the time. But personal experience from confronting pathological liars has only shown me they'll continue to lie. Literally nothing will stop them from lying their way out of anything, especially their lies. And if one is your superior, chances are you're going to get canned. So would you be willing to get canned for your ideals? If not, how would you deal with the situation?

Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I'd definitely call them out, but certainly not in the aggressive way you're talking about. I'd make sure it's in a professional manner.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • doctorlexusdoctorlexus Member Posts: 217
    I'd make sure it's in a professional manner.
    Is there really a professional way to deal with a pathological liar? I've never been good at what one might call diplomacy (if that's the right term).

    I think perhaps my fear in these situations is I won't get a second chance to say how I really feel. I picture myself being calm, delicate, whatever, and then before I know it, I'm fired and escorted out of the building. And at the point, I feel like I'd really regret not telling the person they're completely full of s88t.
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I was in this situation before.......

    I had a manager who said "I have all the certs that are offered... when something new comes out... I get the cert. If you look on my wall its a plathora of certs". He was the type that boasted about his paper certs, but really did not know much. He also did not keep his word and when I started there all of my co workers told me to avoid him at all costs. He lied as well saying he knew this and that but really was a CCNA, Sec+ on paper..... the stories I heard about him when I started were shocking.

    The best thing to do in that situation is to move on ASAP. Sometimes companies know their managers are full of it, but they may or may not do anything about it. Its not our job/responsibility to police managers.... the whole reason they are there is to make sure we are doing our jobs.... and getting things done. I have learned that its better to keep to myself and always have one foot out of the door. Also you never know when/if you will see that manager again later on in your career in IT.... So its best to just let him set himself up for his own demise......

    How I dealt with the manager........ I got another position at a better company. I used his lack of management to improve myself. I studied him and watched him.... everything he did I told myself not to do. Ignorance is bliss but its better to let someone make their own bed instead of trying to call them out on it. When you try to call them out it makes everything hostile and then people get fired. I learned to leave people to their own devices..... because when you walk around in a mine field its only a matter of time before you step on a live mine.

    My Ideals are just that..... MY ideals. Not everyone thinks the way I think, or lives the way I live.... or has the same morals that I have. I have to remind myself of that daily sometimes..... What I learned through that ordeal is "People are going to do what they want to do regardless of what is said or done". AND " you can put a suit on a pig, but even with the suit..... its still a pig"..... It is better to police yourself, mind your Ps and Qs then to confront a liar...... because a person that lies to others, lies to themselves..... when you lie to yourself so much that you believe your own lies....... then there is really nothing you can do but let it be and move to something bigger and better.....
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I will say when I worked in retail I did have a boss that was a liar/hypocryte etc.... When I was younger (I also disliked the job) On the day I decided to quit and walk out during my shift (I was the only one working)..... I told the manager about themselves in a way they would get the point, then said "I quit" and left......... The Manager just stood there and was stunned................:D

    I have matured since then.
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Take the wisdom from Eli the Computer Guy - Being 100% Right, And 100% Fired

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDO24U3hMkU

    Personally I have been lucky, I had two Jobs so far and have / had good bosses.
    Also, I have 100% control over what I should and should not say, he is the boss, he is responsible for the performance of the department so why should I care if he is an idiot, just do your job.
  • doctorlexusdoctorlexus Member Posts: 217
    Good video. I've heard of Eli the Computer Guy, but never actually seen anything of his until this.
  • doctorlexusdoctorlexus Member Posts: 217
    @ITSpectre, I agree with you that the rage quit isn't a good move. But in some of my past jobs, I do regret not speaking my mind more, even if it would have got me fired.

    Being polite, being professional, which to me in essence simply means not saying what's on your mind, is definitely good for your financial prosperity. No argument there. But is it really best for you as a human being? I mean, if money is all that matters, then I suppose it is.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    This can be very tricky to deal with. The problem is that the pathological type doesn't play by the normal rules, so will quite happily make up some lies about you if they feel threatened.

    At an individual level the smartest thing is probably to just find another job and move on. But that doesn't do much for the other people who have to live with this liar, the next person who gets the job, or the person who can't easily find another job. We would be better off if people like this were held accountable.

    So if you do decide that you want them held accountable, then you need to get lots of concrete evidence. Record conversations (if that is legal where you live), get things in writing, or if they won't put it in writing, then you put it in writing eg with an email "Per our last conversation, where you requested x, I am doing x" or something. The more paper trail there is, the harder it will be for them to claim "Oh, I didn't say that, I said this". If you do have meetings with them, try to get a third party in there who can back you up (can be tricky if the liar has power). You have to play very defensively and be ready to refute any lies with proof.

    The thing is you wouldn't do any of that stuff with a normal person, because normal people just want to get along, do their work, and feel bad if they don't live up to their word. So you'd only start doing it once you realise the person is not normal and needs special treatment.

    The really troubling thing is that being unscrupulous can get you into a position of power - normal people are held back by being decent, honourable, and ethical.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I will put it this way.....

    I learned quickly to always keep a paper trail. Save email messages between your boss and you in a folder and then always keep it.... When you get a better job then call the boss out. That way you have something else already so you are not worried about being fired. Then you can either speak to them 1 on 1.... or send them an email....
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Story.....

    I once had a manager who was very mean. Back when I worked retail I had a manager over me.... and a manager in the store I worked in. So the Manager in the store was not my manager at all and I did not even answer to him, but he treated me like crap and made me feel insignificant. I knew he was a liar and he treated all his team the same way. So what I did was go to his manager and explain the situation to him..... then we had a conference between me, his manager, and me. I thought we had worked it out, but the manager never changed....... as fate should have it they were doing layoffs and downsizing positions at the company and he was one of the ones who had to be let go....... I then (knowing that he was leaving) on his last day there I told him about himself......

    Made me feel all warm inside :D
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • TomkoTechTomkoTech Member Posts: 438
    It depends on what you are talking about. If they are just making up nonsensical bs stories just nod and smile.

    If they are stating things clearly false that are involved with the job at hand you can easily correct them without being a dick. "Well the way I learned to do this was such and such" or "Wouldn't it be easier/more efficient if we did this this way?"

    Soft skills are not that hard. Yes being polite to someone you feel is a complete asshat is difficult, but not impossible.
  • PJ_SneakersPJ_Sneakers CompTIA, EC-Council, ISACA, Microsoft USAMember Posts: 884 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Be careful, because if dude lies that much, he'll lie about you to other people too.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    SAVE. EVERY. EMAIL. I never bluntly called out management on their lies or "misrepresentations", but I believe in fully CYA. When I left one of my jobs in 2014, I had several PSTs with emails dating back to when I started in 2006. There were a couple of times I had to forward an email and be like "see, this is when you said x".
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  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Exactly!!!! Save every email. Even if its not from your manager. Anything from HR, etc save that too.... and back it up or fwd it to a personal email as well....

    Remember. A Manager is never going to look out for you, they look out for themselves and the interest of the company.

    I had a incident (back in my retail days) where a manager accused me of not cleaning the space in the store and leaving the store a mess. So what I did was take pictures with my phone when I got to the store, and before I left the store.... to show what it looked like before I cleaned and after I cleaned. I also took pictures of the store when I got there after the manager worked on his days he worked he left the store a mess.... so I caught him with pictures. So that way if he tried to say what I didn't do... I had evidence against you....

    Get in the habit of saving everything... take pics, make notes, etc.... you never know when you will need that info down the road. After you leave a job I would recommend keeping those emails for at least a year before deleting them.

    A good way to call out a boss is keeping documentation of every interaction, phone call, and message/email you send and receive
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■■□
    [h=2]Would you call out your boss/superior for lying/being a pathological liar?[/h]

    No, unless I want to end my career in the company rather abruptly. I would keep my mouth shut and just do things the right way, ignoring his advise.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    ITSpectre wrote: »
    Exactly!!!! Save every email. Even if its not from your manager. Anything from HR, etc save that too.... and back it up or fwd it to a personal email as well....
    In some places forwarding work related e-mails to your personal e-mail can lead to warnings, termination and even criminal charges, be careful when you do that.
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    wd40 wrote: »
    In some places forwarding work related e-mails to your personal e-mail can lead to warnings, termination and even criminal charges, be careful when you do that.

    Right.... if you work in a confidential area then yes.... it depends on what the email contains. And the policy. When in doubt don't do it.
    Another way is to have personal email exchanges between you and the supervisor if possible.... in retail its easy.... in IT everyone has outlook
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • blatiniblatini Member Posts: 285
    Sort of have this issue now. My boss is extremely old and is prone to forgetting things when he is used to having a pretty sharp memory. It has made for several contentious moments and is a big reason why I am moving on. Just always heed CYA and do not delete emails from people in your department, HR, or upper level management.
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,832 Mod
    To add another piece of advice, if there is anything borderline un-ethical or illegal, or that violates company policy, file a report with HR. That's another way to CYA. If you're ever put in a position where you're recommended or pushed to do anything that's unethical, illegal or violates company policy, you can refuse and you'll have recourse if you're retaliated against.
    Have: CISSP, CISM, CISA, CRISC, eJPT, GCIA, GSEC, CCSP, CCSK, AWS CSAA, AWS CCP, OCI Foundations Associate, ITIL-F, MS Cyber Security - USF, BSBA - UF, MSISA - WGU
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  • E Double UE Double U Member Posts: 2,087 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I treat others the way that I like to be treated and since I don't like being called out on my compulsive lying I wouldn't do it to someone else. :)
    Alphabet soup from (ISC)2, ISACA, GIAC, EC-Council, Microsoft, ITIL, Cisco, Scrum, CompTIA, etc.

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  • KrekenKreken Member Posts: 284
    The average person lies three times per a ten minute conversation. So we are all not without a sin.
  • ITSpectreITSpectre Member Posts: 1,040 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Kreken wrote: »
    The average person lies three times per a ten minute conversation. So we are all not without a sin.

    Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.... :D
    In the darkest hour, there is always a way out - Eve ME3 :cool:
    “The measure of an individual can be difficult to discern by actions alone.” – Thane Krios
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,426 Mod
    I honestly how I would act in a given situation (that's the truth).

    But ideally speaking, I wouldn't care enough to call them out. They lie? good, so does everyone else.
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

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