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I was recently in a situation where I was offered an unpaid but otherwise attractive opportunity for a traveling position. All expenses were to be paid, and I would get to travel all over the world. It ended up that both my husband and I were able to take part, along with 'The Boss' and his girlfriend.

At the beginning it went fairly smoothly, but slowly it turned more and more into a total nightmare, ending with my husband and I rage quitting a day before we were supposed to fly to Europe.

Since then, he has had two other teammates quit and is now with yet ANOTHER two teammates. There were also many before us. This confirms to me that it wasn't just us who didn't get along, and in fact The Boss specifically is just a horrible person in general and no one can deal with him.

How can I help future employees avoid making the same mistake I did?If I were to reach out to some blogs or write my own, could I be in legal trouble if I would write an expose? Is it bad to reach out to the brand new current members and give them a warning for what they could be in for?

I should mention this guy is super sue-happy and threatens everyone who doesn't do what he wants with a law suit. If I understand correctly the two members after us are currently being sued (they had a contract, probably to prevent them from rage quitting like we did).

  • Standard reminder: Managers and co-workers read the net too. Second the recommendation of anonymity before doing anything that might make people think about your tactfulness. – keshlam Apr 3 '16 at 13:25
  • @Joe Strazzere Glassdoor would be awesome but the questions the ask make it too obvious it was me. I could of course lie about when I was there, but still – user48249 Apr 3 '16 at 16:00
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    Off topic, but I'm extremely puzzled at how an unpaid position that requires travelling all over the world could be described as attractive. – jamesqf Apr 3 '16 at 18:25
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    @jamesqf some people like traveling. Its like work and travel - you don't earn any money per-say, but you get to travel for free which a lot of people like. – Magisch Apr 4 '16 at 6:05
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You cannot help future employees. It's their choice to take the employment and their choice to stay or leave.

You state that your former employer is litigious ("super sue-happy"), any criticism in a public (and even private) setting could lead you to being litigated against.

Put it behind you as a lesson learnt and stop enquiring into the fates and fortunes of any of his employees as all it appears to do is to make you want to do is continue some form of involvement, which by the sounds of what you've said, won't do you any good.

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    You don't feel there are any anonymous ways getting the word out like glassdoor? – user8365 Apr 4 '16 at 21:24
  • @JeffO With so few employees, it may be obvious that it was me. – user48249 Apr 5 '16 at 19:16
  • @deannakov I'm sort of in a similar situation, my previous employer a nice, kind, fluffy (pseudo) geek, "lost" (as in just walked) the guy I replaced, the work I inherited was a mess and I though it was down to the previous fella. Not long into the job I discovered the employer was a nightmare (still hasn't paid me two invoices), I'm tempted to contact the previous guy just to find out his "truth" and yes I'd like to warn future people not to touch the place with a bargepole. So here I'm eating my own dogfood and I do understand how you feel, but it onwards and upwards, put it behind you. – Ourjamie Apr 6 '16 at 8:50
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Upsides

  • You would get the emotional satisfaction of ranting about your former boss.

  • Someone who is considering working for the guy might read it.

Downsides

  • It is improbable that it will have the impact you want. Will anyone considering working for him will actually read it (it's a big internet)? You would have to make it highly specific (naming names) in order for anyone to connect the dots and avoid this guy, and even then, who knows?

  • It makes you look bad and could get you blackballed. To be perfectly honest: if I was was considering hiring you, and I googled your name and found your "expose" (rant) about your former boss online, there is no way in the world that I would hire you. No way. When making hiring decisions, you have to form a picture of a person very quickly based on very limited information. And your one-sided "expose" (rant) would be a big red flag. I would worry that you are a complainer with questionable judgement (who has demonstrated a willingness to write "exposes" (rants) about former bosses online. Would I be next?).

  • It will possibly get you sued for libel / defamation, and damages. You mentioned that the guy is sue happy. Even if he is wrong and you are right, and even if you win in the end, he can ruin your year with an expensive lawsuit.

Conclusion

In my opinion, the possible benefits do not outweigh the probable consequences. Yes the guy sounds awful. Flood your (offline) diary with rants about your bad experience, and tell friends about your lousy former boss over some dinner and wine. But I would recommend against writing any exposes or open letters or warnings online. The Internet has a long memory, and the consequences can be very real.

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You mention that other people have quit the job - people resign from a job for a multitude of reasons. How can you be sure that it was due to your bosses personality?

Also you mention that he (I am assuming that the boss is a he) likes the law courts. When open up that Pandora box?

Why not put it down to a clash of personalities. This happens from time to time. Just move on and look to the future. What is the point of trying to interfere with other peoples judgements?

  • I've been in contact with the former employees who confirm basically everything. This person lied about 80% of the job before we started and like I said, total nightmare situation. Just wish I could help someone from making that decision. – user48249 Apr 3 '16 at 15:53
  • As for the suing thing, I guess I was looking a little for suggestions on things that wouldn't get me sued. – user48249 Apr 3 '16 at 15:55
  • Keeping quite seems to be the best bet when not wanting to have a trip to the courts. Also perhaps the person in question has learned from his mistakes and the next time around for another person would be beneficial to both parties concerned. You are out of the situation. Just get on with life – Ed Heal Apr 3 '16 at 15:57
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There are sites like Glassdoor.com, if you really feel pressed to get the word out. It has employer reputations. I looked up a potential employer and what I learned there matched 100% with my interview afterward.

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