One of the hardest things I found in previous jobs is that, the manager or the CTO hired old college buddies, previous coworkers, or even girlfriend and girlfriend's brother in important roles.

They just knew that they had so much power and they could not be easily fired, and they started being arrogant and not responsive.

For example, if I wrote to them by email in 2, 3 sentences explaining the situation, they either do not reply, or reply with merely 2, 3 words.

Sometimes, they would not reply email and 2 days later, I talked to the person, and he said, "next time, come find me or IM (instant message) me!". Then a couple of weeks later, I looked for him in person, and he immediately cut me off with "send me email!"

And they also have an arrogant attitude, showing the feel that they are the royalty class, a group of high power. The CEO or the higher manager can be notified, but they will do the "wise thing" -- the CEO won't fire them because if some 35% of the company or the group leave the company, the company or group will be hit hard.

One of the manager's ex-coworker would even say, "The manager has to be a good manager because people follow him", and 2 minutes later, would say, "all the people who came because of the manager must be the best people, because the manager will only ask the best people to come over." So essentially, he was claiming openly that this royalty group was simply the best -- other people that is not this group might or might not be as good as them -- because the group had the best people.

Is there a proper way to deal with this situation?

  • How big is this company and are they all in important rolls either as your direct managers or managers you need to deal with constantly? Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 11:08
  • This has happened in a 35 people company that grew to 200 people, and in a big company but in a group with about 30 engineers. They can sometimes be just a senior software engineer, or sometimes become the head of "Advanced Technology" group in the company, or sometimes the head of software QA when the girlfriend's brother had no training in software QA at all. Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 11:10
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    I'm sorry, I sort of fail to understand what the exact problem is. Is the CTO arrogant or the people they hired? Do you want to deal with them not behaving nicely or with the situation that those frieds of the CTO have been hired in the first place?
    – CMW
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 11:28
  • The CTO as well as the people he hired were arrogant and not responsive Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 11:31
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    Get out. This sort of behaviour is not indicative of a healthy workplace, and if it stems from the CEO, then it isn't going to change anytime soon. Update your resume and start putting out feelers for other job opportunities.
    – David K
    Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 12:35

1 Answer 1


It is most likely the time for you to move on. So start working on that task: update your resume and look for opportunities. Take your time. You have a job, even if it's not a good one.

While you are doing that, put on your anthropologist's hat. Be a detached observer. Keep notes on these strange cultural customs, so you can learn as much as you can about how this workplace functions. You're not going to change this place: that's not the point. As you advance in your career you'll be able to do better than this in your future workplaces.

For example, When you see college-brother A behave dismissively to employee B, make a note of the behavior and the consequence. Here's the sort of thing I have in mind.

B asked A for information about topic Q.

A responded that B should already know that answer.

B followed up by asking how to make sure of the answer.

A said, "I don't have time for this" and walked away.

B, while doing his best with a task, first did it incorrectly due to missing information about Q.

This cost B three extra days of work time.

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    It's also worth noting this sort of documentation can be picked for examples when your asked "why are you leaving your current job" in the interview process. Honestly though this is a toxic work environment that will ultimately implode. You're best off just finding a better place to work. It's fine for someone to hire a friend, but if that person is going to have seniority they have to have the skills that merit a leadership role. Some company heath issues are worth taking the time to solve, others are not. This is easily in the "not worth your time" area. Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 14:56
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    I like the idea that "if it is toxic and it is not going to change, why stay at a toxic place?" Commented Mar 28, 2014 at 17:38

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