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The Narcissistic Personality

Until I learned about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I had crazy, tyranical boss I could never understand. He was cruel; hypersensitive about his 'image,' impossible to please, craved affiliation with people of power and was totally devoid of compassion.

This man was a partner in a real estate asset management firm when I was hired to run the office. Several people with whom I worked, had been confidently hired by this man and his other partner-- then systematically criticized, browbeaten and bullied until they quit.

I started happily enough, and took over office management duties and partnership administration. I prepared multi-million dollar loan packages and prospectuses. But soon I began to notice that, one by one, each of his employees fell out of favor with this man for various strange or fabricated reasons.

One property manager who worked especially hard for him and who had a successful track record, began to be referred to as a "fat cow." When she went on vacation for a week, he had her office space reduced in size and moved general office furniture and files into her area in order to upset her. She quit soon after.

When he began to tire of me, he started giving me tasks that were subservient. Once, I bought him a sandwich for lunch and when he saw the sandwich was on a croissant, he freaked and refused to eat it. Another time, although I specifically asked the deli clerk to make his sandwich without onions, onions were used anyway and my boss picked up the sandwich to hurl it at my head. Our receptionist, an elderly but super-efficient lady, made the mistake of telling one of my boss's associates that he was having trouble with his new Jaguar X16. When his friend teased him about it, my boss stormed up to the receptionist and, with absolute murder in his eyes, informed her that she would NEVER again discuss anything about his personal business with others. She got tears in her eyes and left the office shaken and pale.

After working feverishly one week to complete a $12 million dollar loan package, my boss (an avid gambler) returned from Lake Tahoe and called me into his office. Thinking I was going to be acknowledged for the exceptional job I did on the loan package, I was horrified when he began screaming at me for not dusting his office while he was gone.

Because I was a single parent, I couldn't easily quit the job and this man began to become more and more irritated that I was staying in spite of his nastiness. He drafted a list of complaints about me and gave it to his CFO to read and request my resignation. One thing on the list was "appears lazy." I left that day after negotiating a small severance which infuriated him, but I swear I'll hate the man for the rest of my life!! (Oh, it seems that the company is now out of business. I'm not surprised.)

 


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