Client is every kind of -ist. Boss isn't having it, gets one client fired, his replacement replaced.
This happened a few weeks ago, and I’m still in awe of my boss, who made it happen. I work as a private security officer for a small but well respected company. The higher-ups are masters at getting contracted for big-name clients and they treat us employees very well.
We had been subcontracted by a larger security firm to run event security for a certain tech company’s event during a certain famous film festival. Some serious money was being thrown around to make this event happen, I was told $75k per day just to rent out the venue, $6 Million worth of equipment, the list goes on. It was a big deal. Our client’s representative, who we’ll call Paulie, was a New York native with a thick Brooklyn accent and wouldn’t have been out of place on the set of The Sopranos. He’d been flown in from his base of operations just to oversee this event. It soon became clear that he was going to cause problems. First off, the agreement between my firm and our client was to provide asset protection, meaning we were to make sure that none of the expensive, yet highly portable electronic equipment went missing. Yet as soon as we got there, Paulie decided to ignore all that and had us working the doors as glorified bouncers. All our previous instructions were to be ignored and Paulie was God. This pissed us off a bit, as we had picked our people with unobtrusive asset protection in mind, but whatever, we’re professionals and we’ll roll with it. Second, Paulie was an a**hole. Everything we did was wrong somehow, even when we did exactly what he wanted us to, we were doing it wrong. He’d berate the poor officer right in front of everyone. He’d change our instructions on a whim and get mad at us for not complying with the new instructions before everyone had a chance to be informed. Third, and arguably worst, Paulie was an -ist of every type. Racist, ageist, sexist, he was the worst. We brought in female officers and he’d inevitably stick them in the most out-of-the-way posts he could to make sure they didn’t have to interact with the tech people. Same went for every officer Paulie thought was over 35. Since we were working 12 hour shifts, we tried to rotate everybody through every post, but he’d take over the rotation and stick the “old” and female officers out of sight. It got to the point where we were seriously considering quitting the contract and we NEVER do that.
Enter my boss. Let’s call him Rick. Rick is ex military and his thing is he Gets Shit Done. Rick, like several of us, is a licensed Private Investigator as well as a Security Officer. Rick is borderline OCD when it comes to keeping records. Rick has hidden cameras. Rick wore a wire and recorded a lot of Paulie’s shit. That shit then hit the fan when Rick passed off supervision of the site to me for the day and went to a meeting with the higher-ups from my company and a conference call with the higher-ups from Paulie’s company, let’s call them D*cks and A**holes Inc, or D&A. The next afternoon, the A in D&A showed up and took Paulie into one of the rooms the tech people had been using for demos earlier that day and spent over an hour yelling at him. One of our people, a female officer with 15 years of experience, who had worked security at the freaking PENTAGON, and who had been shoved in a corner nevertheless heard the whole thing go down, as she was posted outside the door. According to her, Paulie said several stupid things, but the one that stuck out was, “These guys are weak! They’re bringing in freaking GIRLS…!” before being told to shut the hell up. Paulie was fired right there and escorted off the property. The next day, those of us who hadn’t been there to see it were told the whole story and we reveled in the fact that we wouldn’t have to deal with Paulie anymore. Morale, which had been at historically low levels, shot through the roof.
This would be a good place to stop the story, but as the infomercials say, “Wait! There’s more!”
A took over. Remember him? The A**hole in D*cks & A**holes, Inc? He was worse, in different ways. He was just as bad as Paulie, but he was much, much more subtle about it. And, I can’t stress this enough, he was an A**HOLE.
He tried to get me fired for talking to the client, the tech company’s people. The event was winding down by this point, and I had asked the guy in charge of the tech people a question about continuing security needs. Turns out, the tech company was taking their stuff out of the demo rooms and therefore wouldn’t need those rooms secured anymore, so we didn’t need an officer for that post anymore. A was livid that I had spoken to the client without his say-so and that I had “cost us THOUSANDS!” by so doing, which was total bullshit. A went to Rick and yelled at him about it, too. Rick, however, had my back and just shrugged the whole thing off.
This is going long, so I’ll sum up. Rick was eventually forced to employ the same tactics he had used against Paulie and another conference call was made. Turns out, D&A had been bought out by another company, and since A was a founder, he didn’t get fired, but he did get sent home and yet another guy from the bigger company was flown out to oversee the last few days. That guy was pretty cool and we had no further problems.
The icing on the cake is that the tech company had seen all the bullshit my people had been put through and had been impressed with us. We’ve been asked to provide security services for their next event.