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I work for a small chess tutoring company. While I was on vacation for a few weeks, my boss (and owner of the company) interviewed and hired a new candidate. This individual starts next week.

When my boss excitedly showed me his resume, I instantly suspected it was fake. Also, this candidate claims to have been a computer programmer, and I checked with my buddy who is a programmer and confirmed that the technical details that he had were BS. To give you a sense, here are some qualities of the details he had in his resume:

  • Working on products that don't exist
  • Work experience that seems to make him overqualified for this type of work
  • Listed "software development experience" on his resume but his list of programming languages is about 400 languages and looks to be copypasted from Wikipedia
  • Copied cultural references (e.g. references to various board games and movies) and made those into resume items

So here is my dilemma. I told my boss why this is fake and just a joke resume, but my boss insists that it's legit. I decided that I didn't care that much, so just dropped the subject. But this morning, my boss told me that he intends me to report to this new hire. I'm really mad, since I've worked my ass off in the job, and now some random guy with a joke resume is going to be my boss.

Should I go back to trying to convince my boss that this resume is fake? Or would that come off as sounding too petty and resentful that this new hire will be my boss? What is the best way to convince him that this resume isn't real?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Kilisi
    Feb 14, 2022 at 22:44

3 Answers 3

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If your boss has made a formal offer of employment, trying to convince him at this point that the resume was fake is pointless. He is unlikely to retract a formal job offer after making it, just on the strength of your say-so. Indeed, he may feel like he would look like an idiot if he now had to admit he was fooled by a fake resume. It's also possible that you are missing something. A CV even close to as fake-sounding as you suggest would be obvious to anyone who glanced at it. There may be more to it.

Instead, you now have two considerations:

  • When this individual arrives, treat them courteously and respectfully. You might, after all, be wrong; and they will be, after all, your new boss. In the event that they are unable to do the job, or unable to perform as your boss, you have a right and a duty to feed that back to your current boss, giving clear, specific, and dispassionate examples of why you believe that to be the case. Or, if they turn out to be good at the job, then maybe their CV wasn't fake, or maybe it doesn't matter. Give them a fresh slate, and hold them to the same standard that you would anyone else.

  • Seek clarification of your role at the company. This should not be phrased as a comparative thing ("why am I not getting the deal this new person is?") but focused on you and your performance ("I've been working at this company for X years, where is my career going from here?"). You might choose to ask why someone else was hired in to a position that perhaps you might have filled yourself - but this part of the conversation is about you, not them.

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But this morning, my boss told me that he intends me to report to this new hire. I'm really mad, since I've worked my ass off in the job, and now some random guy with a joke resume is going to be my boss.

That's pretty standard. I would continue to do what you're told and do your work. If your new boss indeed turns out to be fake, then it'll show for itself. In the meantime, if you do your work and sit back, you'll be safe.

Should I go back to trying to convince my boss that this resume is fake?

I would drop it because at this point you must assume your boss hired a legit person who has been vetted through a background service. At this point you're basically a complainer and no one likes that at all.

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  • Plus, if the new guy really did work for the CIA, he probably could have you killed.
    – Jack Deeth
    Feb 14, 2022 at 19:50
  • And he knows 400 programming languages. That’s 390 more than me, so the boss should pay him 40 times my salary. (People working for the CIA don’t tell you).
    – gnasher729
    Feb 15, 2022 at 7:20
  • @gnasher729 would the person be paid to 40 times your salary for not programming in 390 of those languages?
    – ojs
    Feb 15, 2022 at 12:50
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So -- Your question is real, your examples are fake, the candidate is real, his resume is fake, the job is real, and now you have to pretend to work for someone who isn't who he says he is, because the boss doesn't care that he's a big fake.

I think you should go along with the joke. You can have a lot of fun with the right attitude. Carefully document what the new guy tells you to do, follow his instructions precisely, and watch the comedy ensue.

It's not like you have to have any real respect for the guy, you know. Just fake it.

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    Also, get a copy of the resume and have the new hire sign it. He is going to be famous (or notorious) some day and that document will bring a tidy sum at Sotheby's. Feb 15, 2022 at 0:14
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    I am not sure how serious any of this is, but keeping a resume beyond the time required for the employment process is a GDPR breach.
    – User65535
    Feb 16, 2022 at 11:52
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    @User65535: GDPR only covers personal information. Works of fiction are not protected. Feb 17, 2022 at 18:50
  • @A.I.Breveleri Thanks for the chuckle! A good one! :) Dec 6, 2022 at 14:09

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