So, our main tech lead is a very knowledgeable guy who’s apparently been keeping the place afloat for years, but he’s quickly becoming my least favorite person. He just won’t stop speaking badly about LITERALLY all the people we work with. It’s become so routine that he regularly calls me to his office under the guise of work only to end up trash talking a coworker for half an hour for not knowing something he thinks is “basic”.
I’m fairly new and inexperienced so I’m sure he unloads on me just because he knows I don’t have the social capital to do or say anything about it. But he will regularly and openly mock two or three people he REALLY dislikes (one of which is actually my best friend). Obviously, if I try to defend anyone’s action he will get mad and attack them even worse.
Because of his track record the management team apparently trusts him a lot and even choose him as the guy to do everyone’s technical evaluations. With that kind of power and knowing how petty he is, I’m pretty worried about retaliation if I speak to the manager. So how could I proceed?