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CEO Doesn't Understand What Departments Do, Karen Catastrophe Ensues

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    Text - r/MaliciousCompliance + Join u/ACFF • 1y CEO didn't understand what my department did apparently.... L Update at the bottom. Thanks so much for the up votes and silver, gold and platinum. I really didn't think this would take off like this. Some backstory; I was a general troubleshooter for my company. My job involved a lot of travelling to different clients we support. My area of work is Ontario, Canada (where I am based out of) and some of the nearby States in the United States (New Yor
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    Text - car since my schedule can change quite quickly and flying can become very expensive. I had one colleague who is technically my subordinate but we have a very good working relationship and would often handle calls independently of each other only checking in by phone once a week and in person once a month/ when necessary. A little over a year ago I get an email calling me to the head office in New York City for a meeting with the CEO and the board of directors regarding my job. I check wit
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    Text - When we go into the meeting the next day we are informed that the company is dividing our department between the US and Canada and that there would be a new person to deal with the US clients and we were to restrict ourselves to Canada. Both my colleague and I were a little shocked at this since neither of us has even heard this was being discussed. I asked who the new person for the US was and we then learned that it was a new hire that the CEO had taken a special interest in. Trying to
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    Text - CEO - Bob, New Hire - Karen, My Colleague - Jim. Bob: Welcome Karen, we have just informed OP and Jim about the change in structure and they are willing to give you the support you need to get yourself started. Karen and Bob both look at me. Me: Glad to have you aboard Karen, I think both Jim and I have a lot of experience to share with you and we are happy to do so, perhaps it would be better in a separate meeting so we don't take the board's time. Karen: Thank you all. I have a lot of i
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    Text - Me: Bob perhaps I misunderstood the new roles here. Would you please clarify? Bob: Sure, Karen is the new head of your department and both you and Jim will answer directly to her. Board member: That isn't what we discussed or approved as a board. We weren't fully convinced of dividing the department but this is completely against what we discussed. Karen: What did you discuss then? Board Member: That your department would be divided between the US and Canada. OP and Jim would remain north
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    Text - Karen: That's not what I was told but I can work with that. As long as these two stay out of my way. (Indicating me and Jim) Jim and I are both shocked and insulted to be spoken of in this manner. We are both very good at our jobs and before today have never seen this woman in our lives. Bob: That settles it, OP, effective immediately, you and Jim are to have nothing to do with Karen. Do not interfere with her work at all. You are both to restrict yourselves to working within Canada only.
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    Text - So after sending an email to all our US based clients advising them of the change and giving them the contact information of Karen, Jim and I made our way back to Toronto and reorganized ourselves for working within Ontario only. This meant much less travelling for us so it gave us more room to breathe. Within a week I was getting complaints from our US based clients that Karen was not answering emails and missing appointments. I forwarded these emails to Karen and copied the entire board
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    Text - By the end of that month I get a call from Bob asking if I will take over the entire department again. I politely tell him no since I didn't want to interfere with Karen and her role. For the next 3 months I'm getting emails and phone calls from US clients asking if they can have me back as their contact. This confirms an idea that had been in my head. Jim and I had actually grown our client base in Ontario since restricting ourselves here. So I had lunch with Jim one day and asked him if
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    Text - As soon as we were clear we both submitted our resignations with explanations of why. The next time clients contacted us we told them we no longer worked for the company. When they asked if we still worked in the field we told them we had established our own firm and what services we offered. A month later we had 60% of our US clients on board, and since the former company had no Canadian support at all, we had 80% of the Canadian clients. Within 2 months we had 80% of the US and 90% of t
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    Text - Because of interest expressed in the comments I made a phone call to one of the board members I remained on friendly terms with. Here are some answers to questions. How did Karen get the Job? Apparently Bob had set up a business school scholarship out of his own money which had put something like 6 or 7 students through business school. Karen was the latest graduate and Bob wanted to give her a start in the business world. Was Bob sleeping with Karen? No clear answer was given. But Bob's
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    Text - What happened to Bob? Last heard he was a regional director for a large hotel chain. Hopefully he also lands on his feet. Everyone deserves a chance to make a life for themselves. Some questioned why the board was there for this meeting. I honestly don't know and neither did the board member I spoke with. It was one of their regularly scheduled meetings and Bob added things to the agenda. Some questioned my use of non competes saying its not nice. Its a normal reality in the business worl
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    Text - Some inquired if we are still hiring. Unfortunately we are not. We are taking a pause from expansion right now as Jim's wife is dealing with cancer. I don't want Jim to worry about the office while taking care of his wife so we have decided to maintain our size (which I can do with minimal input from Jim) until his wife is in remission and he has a chance to rest and return his attention more fully to our company. Jim and I treat each other like family. So this is a natural step for us. T

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