updates: the complaint about a new hire, the colleague who doesn’t do any work, and more

Here are three updates from past letter-writers.

1. We got a complaint call about a new hire before she started

Thanks so much for the reassurance that we’ve done our due diligence on the ED hire.

Our board president and I had a Zoom call with the new ED and let them know of the call we had received. The new ED was dismayed, but not surprised (and appreciative that we were having the conversation). The new ED explained the history of this woman’s tenure and behavior, and it ultimately sounds like unfortunately there are some very serious unaddressed health problems at play.

Just to check a final box in case we need to defend ourselves, I called the president of the board of the other organization, and she confirmed everything our new ED said, including some other additional details: the org hired an outside law firm to investigate everything, which found no merit to the claims; when this caller was terminated, she asked for help from the union and the union declined; and she filed an EEOC complaint, which was dismissed.

We’re hopeful that this woman goes away now and we never have to deal with her again, but if she doesn’t, we’re fully prepared to send a cease and desist, file defamation suits, or anything else that is applicable.

2. Can I do anything about a senior-level colleague who doesn’t do any work?

I have an update on this already! Andy told Jane that I was not to make any more updates in our system unless Andy knows about them first. This is in response to a couple of changes I rolled out at staff meeting that were requested by other departments.

Andy is not our manager and is not in charge of the system nor the updates I make in it. Nor should Andy be dictating what changes I do or do not make on request of other departments. My manager, Jane, is adamant about this.

Jane called me, furious that Andy has made this pronouncement. Then, just for fun, we looked in the system to see what tasks Andy has been recording (nothing since last Nov, in case you’re wondering) and noticed that Andy received two emails from both members of a couple asking us to cancel their monthly donation. One was received in mid-Jan and the other last week. SOP is for Andy to forward me these requests and I have heard nothing about them.

I did not get into this in my letter because it was too long already, but in early Feb Andy said they’d received an email from a monthly donor asking to lower the amount of their donation. The saddest thing, though, was that another staff member had informed me just the day before that the donor had passed away the previous week. Turns out, Andy had gotten the email from the donor three weeks prior and had sat on it all that time.

I’m probably way too hung up on this on a personal level so I’m going to just put my head down for now and get my work done. Thanks again!

3. Can I put a job I haven’t started yet on my resume? (#5 at the link)

I got a job! Not the job I was applying for in my original question, but one that is directly in my field, in the intersection of subjects (political data) I’ve been studying my entire college career. I know that there are no dream jobs, but it’s in the field I want, using skills I enjoy, doing work that I’m really excited about.

I just wanted to send a huge thank you to you and your site for all of the advice. It is because of your site that I applied to a job that I wasn’t 100% qualified for, wrote a pretty good cover letter that got me an interview invite even though they already had other candidates at the final stage, and managed to get a salary I’m happy about!

{ 99 comments… read them below }

  1. CityMouse*

    Having been on the receiving end of something like that I feel so, so sorry for the ED. Thank you for being willing to stand up for them if this person doesn’t stop.

    1. Generic Name*

      Same. It’s really unfortunate that the way the court system is set up almost encourages these types of people. It’s relatively easy to file stuff with the court, and the other person doesn’t have the luxury of just ignoring it like you would if someone was just yelling at you on the street. If a case has no legal merit, it will be thrown out, and often the person bringing it will have to pay the other person’s legal fees, but there’s no guarantee you will get paid. My ex owes me thousands in legal fees, and I would have to go through a lengthy collections process (involving paying even more to lawyers) to get what is owed to me, when all I really wanted was to move on with my life. So, solidarity with the new ED. It’s nice to know that people are in your corner when you are being attacked.

      1. Pierrot*

        I work in the legal field and have come across frivolous and absurd lawsuits by self represented litigants that have some how not been immediately dismissed by the judge. It’s pretty scary. That said, I also know someone who was sued by a litigious person over total nonsense and the plaintiff didn’t even show up to the hearing, which is not uncommon. The intention in those cases is to harass and intimidate someone- they know on some level that their case will not get anywhere.

    2. learnedthehardway*

      I figured this was likely the case – glad that the organization handled it very well, and has the ED’s back, in case the individual who made the complaint tries anything else.

  2. FricketyFrack*

    Sooo basically Andy still sucks and is getting away with it. I’d probably take the same route as the LW, but man that’s infuriating.

    1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

      Actually no, Andy’s not getting away with their shenanigans! I have even further updates since I sent that update in, and right now I’m just biding my time as Andy digs their own grave. It’s becoming more and more obvious that Andy has no idea what they’re doing (as evidenced by a meeting last week about our fundraising events where Andy suggested that we make sure we have a policy on what to do if someone donates cash on the day of the event; gee, Andy, wow, thank you, none of us ever thought of that before, you’re so amazing coming up with that idea, no wonder you’re our chief development officer!) (of *course* we already have a policy on that, we’re not newbs) and Andy’s boss has been clued in (both by Jane and by a different c-level exec). Apparently Andy’s boss didn’t know that we have been waiting on updated documents from Andy since January and that Andy hadn’t forwarded important emails that they’d received from monthly donors asking us to modify their donations. Andy’s boss told Andy to stop focusing on my and Jane’s areas of expertise and to start focusing on doing the job we hired Andy for.

      And in the meantime I’ve been…well, enjoying isn’t quite the right word…gaining strength, maybe?…by asking Andy to explain what they mean whenever they start spouting their usual fluff. It’s been enjoyable watching Andy squirm. And also, I really know my stuff and I have been very thorough in examining whatever issues Andy brings to light about what I am or am not doing so that I’m always three steps ahead of Andy. It’s been exhausting and I’m tired of my adrenaline levels being higher than usual, but at least I feel like I’m winning. It certainly helps that Jane and I are on the same page about this.

      1. Ama*

        I am becoming increasingly convinced Andy worked for my org a few years back, at least I sure hope there aren’t two of them. (Ours lasted 18 months, and we found out after he was gone that he came so “highly recommended” because he was personal friends with the person conducting our search at the recruiting firm we were using, who helped push any red flags about his past work under the rug.)

      2. a giant ant*

        This whole saga is giving me hard flashbacks to my time in Prospect Management/Research — is it just me or is the Development space just FULL of Andys? It sounds like the folks in power are onto him, so hopefully they’ll keep him out of your hair and yeet him out of that org sooner rather than later. I’m so happy to see that you are calling him on his nonsense and making him squirm.

        1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

          I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how development at nonprofits can take a year sometimes to really get going and suspicious me has started to think that that figure is just an excuse the development Andys of the world use as a smokescreen for their not actually doing any work.

          Andy’s boss actually said that when Jane had the discussion with him about Andy, that the ROI on development can take a long time. Ok, sure, I said, that may very well be true that it can take a long time to get any R from your I, but Andy does not appear to be putting in any I and that is what is so alarming.

          1. Greengirl*

            Dev professional here: it can take a long-time for fundraising relationships to pay off. It takes twenty years for a million dollar gift to come in. HOWEVER, there’s a lot of work that goes into that year such as meetings with donors, getting to know the organization, etc.

            And yes I definitely think there are people who schmooze their way into development jobs because the people hiring don’t understand that effective fundraisers aren’t usually talkers, they’re listeners.

            1. Imtheone*

              That’s interesting. My father was a fundraiser who did very well, but some of the people on the nonprofit board were suspicious because he was a very quiet person.

              He always said that people who are fundraisers get better as time goes on because of the relationships they build. His board thought a younger and newer person would be more of a go-getter. But they were convinced to keep him on until he was 70.

          2. Not A Raccoon Keeper*

            I used to work in/adjacent to fundraising in higher ed, and our new fundraisers are told not to expect big returns for the first year. However, they’re still expected to do their other work in the meantime, like completing documents, and not telling other units how to do their jobs! Andy sounds like a bust for sure.

            1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

              Yes, this! Let’s see some actual evidence of you doing your job, Andy! As I have been telling some folks, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. So, I have no evidence that Andy *hasn’t* been meeting with donors, but I also don’t know for sure that Andy hasn’t been meeting with them. Just because there are no records in the database of emails sent, calls made, or meetings held, and just because Jane hasn’t processed a single travel expense report from Andy for any in-person donor meetings doesn’t mean they aren’t happening….

              But, you know, Andy just held a meeting last week in which they told everyone that they need to record interactions with donors in the database. They certainly haven’t been leading by example, though, have they?

        2. Artemesia*

          The weird thing is that there is no job more easily measured for outcomes than development officer.

          1. Artemesia*

            And that includes the steps they take to build relationships before donations come in.

        3. Reluctant Mezzo*

          My husband’s school ended up with a principal highly recommended by his former school. We found out why less than a year later–they wanted him to move on. It’s been suggested that the school board check schools prior to the immediate one and maybe learn just a little bit more. It is normal for principals to move around, but apparently there were several schools practicing Greyhound Therapy with this guy.

        4. Birdie*

          I don’t want to disparage all major gift officers, but so many are like Andy. And because they bring in big dollars, they’re the ones who rise through the ranks. Frustrating for everyone else who works in development.

          Worse, I was at one nonprofit that really didn’t take fundraising seriously–the ED had a handful of very generous donors that kept the org afloat. The development director had previously been the communications manager. They promoted her because she was nice, never said no, and had wealthy friends. But she had no idea how to fundraise (or manage). When that ED left, and I came on in a development role shortly after, everything was falling apart. They never had anyone who truly knew fundraising. They weren’t even aware of basic things like deducting fair market value for goods and services, not sending tax receipts to donors who made gifts via donor advised funds, etc. I have so many stories.

          I was three for 3 years, fixed so many things, steered us successfully through covid, was interim director for 6 months while my boss was out on leave, but she constantly took credit for my work and never had my back. I didn’t even get a thank you when she returned from leave. Then she acted shocked when I quit. I got the last laugh, though. Fundraising tanked so badly after I left she was fired 4 months later.

          1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

            Wow, how incredibly frustrating! Great that the org finally figured out that she wasn’t doing anything but it’s ridiculous how long it took for them to notice. We just hired a new dev dir (exceptionally qualified and someone who has been involved with the org for a few years so we know her) who will be working under Andy and I shudder to think that that poor person will be doing all the work and Andy will be taking all the credit. Luckily new person doesn’t start for another month so who knows what’ll happen by then.

      3. An invested reader*

        When (not if) Andy gets fired, can you provide another update? I’m really curious what will be the final straw.

        1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

          Absolutely!!!! I had emailed this follow-up to AAM the day after my original letter was posted and a lot has happened in the meantime. It’s unfortunate that Andy has been here getting away with doing nothing as long as they have and I’m trying to be patient now that Andy’s boss has an inkling as to what is going on, but the longer Andy is here the lower my opinion of Andy’s boss (who is our org head) gets. It wasn’t terribly high to begin with, tbh, but we regular AAM readers know that if a manager isn’t managing a problem coworker, what you have is a manager problem, not a coworker problem. At least the manager here is doing some damage control.

          I honestly cannot WAIT to email AAM to report on what the final straw is. The hard part will be keeping the letter from becoming way too long and detailed.

          1. 2 Cents*

            Tbh, if Andy isn’t producing anything, what smoke is he shooting up his manager’s rump in meetings, which I assume they’re having? I still think there’s a manager problem here. Then again, I am also conscientious and recognize I’d make a terrible manager overall.

            1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

              Yeah, unfortunately there is definitely a manager problem. It seems likely that our CEO probably hasn’t asked Andy the specifics of what Andy has been up to these last few months, or if the CEO has asked, that CEO has been buying whatever smoke Andy’s been saying about it. CEO runs very frustrating (and boring) all-staff meetings wherein they spend a lot of time pontificating and not a lot of time getting into important matters and I think the CEO loves that Andy is very similar.

              (Why yes, I am looking for a new job, why do you ask? I’m really tired of our useless all-staff meetings but this Andy situation is just the kick in the pants I needed to move my way out the door.)

          2. Sharpie*

            Long and detailed is fine. One of the best updates was the blow-by-blow update from the person who had been doing a coworker’s work and it turned out that she’d palmed off so much of her work to colleagues that there wasn’t much of a case for keeping her on in a role that was effectively eliminated. And what little she was doing was blocking the OP from being able to do his job effectively which was why he wrote in in the first place.

            I hope Andy finally gets his when it comes out what he (hasn’t) been doing that he’s being paid for.

              1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

                Ohhhhh, wow, I’d totally forgotten about that one, what a wild ride! And the updates from the OP’s comments on the original post are just gold. Thanks for sharing. I’m hoping soooo hard that this is the same thing that will happen to Andy. Couldn’t happen to a better person, the other post’s Jane or my Andy. When the time comes (and boy, I hope it’s soon), I will try to compile a more thorough update as to what happens.

                Side note: I hope that OP managed to have a wonderful wedding and honeymoon despite the pandemic. And maybe also found a great new job too.

      4. College Career Counselor*

        Andy sure sounds like a prime example of what a colleague of mine (in development, to boot!) used to call “all hat and no cattle.” Glad to hear that your organization’s leadership is wise to his shenanigans.

        1. Sarah*

          “all hat and no cattle” I love that!! The UK equivalent is “fur coat and no knickers”

        2. learnedthehardway*

          We call it “all sizzle and no steak” – interviewed someone like that the other day, and the phrase just kept running through my mind. On the surface, they sounded amazing. But the more I probed, the more I realized there was nothing underneath.

      5. FricketyFrack*

        Oh good! That update makes me feel so much better. Guess they’ll either figure out the job (seems unlikely) or get the boot eventually. It’s so exhausting dealing with people like that and it’s 100x worse when they’re at a high enough level that most employees are limited in what they can do about it.

        1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

          SO exhausting!! I’m trying to see it like I’m a character in a play, but it raises my adrenaline levels every time I interact with Andy and I’m tired of it. I’m also sick of Andy living rent-free in my head so I’m trying really hard to just do what Andy asks of me (not much) and what everyone else asks of me too (a lot more).

        2. goddessoftransitory*

          Reminds me of the Rifftrax of Terror By Night, where Bridget asks Mary Jo if she thinks the Watson character noticed something, and Mary Jo replies “I’m not sure Watson even knows he’s on a train.”

      6. Anne Shirley Blythe*

        Andy will, in all likelihood, Andy his way into another organization and continue Andying. But I am truly glad the jig is nearly up in this case. I look forward to another update!

        1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

          Thanks, Anne with an E. It’s really unfortunate you can’t rate coworkers on Glassdoor or something. That, of course, would be a bad idea because there would be no way to verify the truth of any of it, but if there were some way to warn the world of specific Andys, it sure would be nice for the rest of us.

          1. 2 Cents*

            I had a Wayne, who asked me in our first meeting if I had any training in my prime job function—which I’d been doing for 5 years (and yes, I am female, funny you should guess). He flitted around, pointing out obvious, 101-level fixes to things to make himself look helpful when all he was was a pain in the patootie.

            1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

              I learned late yesterday that early on in Andy’s tenure here they said something to our marketing director about how it doesn’t make sense that MD would be doing marketing when her last job was three years as an ESL teacher in a foreign country. Like…what do you know about that, Andy? Did you even bother to find out that MD also has eight years of experience in various writing jobs where marketing was a large part of what she does? No, you did not, you warthog-faced buffoon.

          2. Katie Impact*

            There used to be an app called Peeple that was based around the premise of leaving reviews of individuals that you had personal or professional relationships with. It turned out to be about as bad an idea as you would expect.

      7. Katherine*

        Please keep us posted. This sounds like it might go into popcorn territory, and I am always up for that.

  3. Pastor Petty Labelle*

    #2 — losing donors is a big deal. Not telling anyone about it is an even bigger deal. If the monthly donations are auto-debited this can get your org in trouble.

    I think its time to make clear to your boss that Andy really is putting the org in a bad position. I know you told her before, but now you have concrete evidence to point to.

    1. kiki*

      Yeah, he’s probably worried that losing the donations will make the org look bad, but continuing to charge donors after they’ve requested to stop is an even worse look.

      I don’t know if this is on LW, but if I were Jane, I’d be asking about this to Andy directly and potentially including other leadership.

      1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

        Yah, we’ve brought it up with Andy’s boss (see further updates in FrickityFrack’s comment thread above). I did also email Andy specifically about the donors who’d asked to cancel their donation. That was on Monday and I’m still waiting to hear back. I plan to ask Jane when we talk if I should CC Andy’s boss when I email about it again.

        Also, I did pause those donors’ monthly donation so they wouldn’t get charged again, but that was my idea; Andy hasn’t said anything about it to me at all.

        1. Greengirl*

          Dev professional here: That should absolutely be a no-brainer. Like you respond immediately when someone asks to cancel or pause their donation, thanking them for their many years of support.

          It happens.

        2. Observer*

          That was on Monday and I’m still waiting to hear back. I plan to ask Jane when we talk if I should CC Andy’s boss when I email about it again.

          Don’t *ask* tell her that you are going to do that. The only thing you should ask her is if she wants you to cc / bcc her as well.

          1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

            I did ask Jane if I should follow up on it and she said yes. I did not ask whether or not I should CC Andy’s boss but I did that too. Because he really needs to know that Andy is not taking care of our donors and that is Andy’s ENTIRE JOB.

    2. anon_sighing*

      Not honoring a cancellation is the #1 way for people to bad mouth your org and assure no one wants to give you their financial info. Pretty sure you could get some consumer agency involved as well. :\ Even if they don’t want to fire Andy, I’d at least sit him in the corner where you can’t destroy anything.

    3. Coverage Associate*

      I test charitable organizations by making initial small contributions. (Not like $1, which costs the org more to process than the amount of the donation, but much less than I donate to organizations I like) If they can handle that right, I try to donate more. The worst that has happened has been being asked for more money before the initial donation is acknowledged, and receiving no or very late acknowledgment.

      For organizations I trust, I have been known to reach out when automatic contributions stop or checks aren’t cashed.

      I can’t imagine how upset I would be if I saw an automatic contribution I hadn’t authorized.

    4. münchner kindl*

      Yes, that’s what I immediately thought of. Depending on the specific banking laws, the org. might get slapped with a fine for not fixing the withdrawal amount, or might be accused of fraud for trying to withdraw from a dead donor!

      Plus word will quickly spread about the shady practices of this org – which is how donors will see it – and both turn off potential donors, and drive away existing donors, because who wants to give to a shady organisation, when there are dozens of other org.s out there?

  4. AAM fan*

    I had an Andy at a job once. Very well paid, very senior level. Their single contribution to every meeting was to wait for everyone else to speak and then say, “But how can we innovate this process?” Once, in a moment of frustration, I said the question would be easier to answer if “Andy” could give an example of how they had innovated a similar process. Their response? A bunch of buzz words with no actual answer. Thankfully, “Andy” did not last long.

    1. Snow Globe*

      “Innovate this process” is such a weird phrase, I’d be tempted to reply “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

    2. Conscientious OP who does the things*

      Hahaha, I am also hoping that Andy won’t last much longer here. Our Andy’s contributions to every meeting is to tell us all that we should come up with procedures and policies for everything we do. Which…we already do? They ran a meeting a few weeks back about SOPs during which they proceeded to not only explain what the initials SOP mean (a bit odd, but I guess some ppl might not know) but also tell us all that standard operating procedures are procedures for us to follow when we have standard operations we perform. I wish I were kidding. Their action items for every meeting is to plan to make plans. I also wish I were kidding about this.

      In response to FrickityFrack’s comment above, I wrote that I have been having (a small amount of) fun asking Andy clarifying questions that I know they can’t answer. It’s been the one enjoyable aspect of any meeting with Andy…and “enjoyable” is definitely a stretch.

      1. VP of Monitoring Employees’ LinkedIn and Indeed Profiles*

        Yes, but is there an Official Policy and Procedure for developing policies and procedures? If not, then innovate them immediately!

          1. MigraineMonth*

            I told a project manager I was meeting with stakeholder A to put together an outline of a project proposal, and they told me I shouldn’t meet with them because a project hadn’t been approved for stakeholder A yet.

            1. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

              Heh, I’m familiar with that sort of bureaucracy. I’m leading a project at the moment but was told I can’t log any time to it (we have billable hours) because the project isn’t “approved”, but the time was being spent on creating costings, PowerPoint materials etc to present to the budget holder so that they could approve the project…

              1. Nightengale*

                my medical school (or perhaps it was the university, never got clear on that) had a Committee on Committees.

        1. Peanut Hamper*

          Wait…are you suggesting that there should be an OPP for a new SOP? But do we need to have an SOP for implementing an OPP?

      2. Greengirl*

        I’m so baffled at someone coming in for a chief development job and thinking that their main role is to weigh in on policies and procedures. Like yeah, if things were a mess beforehand, you gotta fix that, but actually your main job is strategy and meeting with major donors.

        1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

          They started claiming very early on in their tenure here that they thought they were being brought on to help organize our small nonprofit because they were of the understanding that we weren’t very organized. But…like…that’s not what they were brought in for at all, so where did they get that impressions? Note that I have no idea what Andy was told in their interview so I can’t speak to that, but whenever I hear that Andy has been spouting this nonsense I am certain that that’s just the excuse Andy has been using as to why they haven’t actually gotten anything done yet.

          Because we actually are quite organized. We didn’t have a specific development person, sure, but that’s why we brought in Andy, to be our development person and help create a development plan. Which…has not happened. Added to which, the small tasks that they are actually doing (kind of), they are doing wrong. Just got a list request from Andy that had the wrong criteria on it, despite Jane having *just* gone over the criteria with Andy a couple hours ago.

      3. Galentine*

        This reminds me of a past boss who spent most of his time creating flowcharts describing processes, in lieu of doing any actual processes.

        1. Seamyst*

          I will say that process mapping is an important first or early step, but yeah, it’s not the ONLY step.

        2. Artemesia*

          I was offered a job as a new PhD that sounded fabulous — amazing pert chart showing the stages of the project development, milestones, community partners, the scheduled roll outs, yadda yadda. My spidey tense was going nuts for no reason I could see, but I decided against it. A friend later took the gig directing this major project — and discovered the CEO had his hand in the till, the milestones on the chart had not actually been achieved, the community partners some of whom had quit their jobs in schools to work on the roll out of the project had been stiffed and let twisting in the wind — it was a nightmare. I have been dubious about fancy organizational charts ever since.

      4. goddessoftransitory*

        From what you’ve described I’m seriously wondering if Andy knows HOW to pause donations. Or send emails. Or…anything.

    3. Dakota*

      We have an Andy right now. He and his team regularly entirely miss metrics and he’s been working on a plan for the past six months that I still haven’t seen. A big part of his job is training and relationships, so I regularly try to connect folks to him who then never get a response. We have a weekly meeting he misses without saying anything about 50% of the time.

      Meanwhile he still regularly passes my work off as his. Yesterday I had a meeting with someone who showed me “Andy’s tool” and sure enough, it was mine.

      Meanwhile this man is not my boss but tries to micromanage any project we work on together (not helpfully! just saying “well, I don’t know if this is the right path” and not offering an alternative.)

      He also said he spoke with our ED to resassign my department ‘s budget for a project to his department. I talked to my boss who then relayed that was not true.

      He also refuses to reimburse his team for meals despite that being policy and has hired 7 people in the last year – only 3 are still here and two started in the last two months. It really does make you feel more than a little insane.

      1. Le Sigh*

        I once worked with a higher-level dept director and for the life of me, I could not figure out what his qualifications were or what he did all day (his team seemed to do all the work, even his work, he just seemed to have a lot of opinions). I will never forget the maddeningly circular conversation I had with him when I needed him to review a project — he was days late turning it in and I came by to nudge him.

        Me: Hi! Just wanted to check on your feedback for the project. We’re trying to stay on schedule and I’ll need your input before we move forward.
        Useless dept director: Okay sounds great. Happy to do that. You just let me know what you need.
        Me: … I need you to review the document and give me your feedback (note — the email I sent originally also said this). We needed it two days ago, but tomorrow will work.
        UDD: Totally, I hear you. Just let me know what you need and my team will get it to you.
        Me: Their feedback is fine but I actually don’t need the whole team to review — I specifically need your feedback and sign off, by tomorrow.
        UDD: Great! Just let me know what you need.
        Me: *homer simpson gif backing into the bushes*

        I did a dance when he left.

        1. Dakota*

          This sounds like so much of my life, ah! I’ve been commiserating with another department lead I trust and he does the same thing to her…often! He’ll ask for things totally last minute, she’ll take care of it because she’s a star, and then he’ll ask “why didn’t you include XYZ?” when she repeatedly asked for feedback and never once did he mention it…

          It’s the worst. At this point it’s just about covering our asses and waiting for gravity to do the rest of the work.

      2. Conscientious OP who does the things*

        Ooof, yeah, Andy got another c-level exec to hire someone they’d worked with in a past job (who, honestly, is doing a fine job herself) and also got way too involved with that exec thinking about hiring another person Andy had recommended, to the point where that exec told Andy to back off. Andy also, instead of submitting an actual receipt for an expense report, merely submitted their credit card bill stub. You know, the thing on the paper bill that tells you how much you owe and where to send payment? Yeah, Jane had already told Andy that they need to submit their actual receipt, so then Jane’s boss had to call Andy to tell them, again, how expense reports work. This is for a c-level executive! Who is not new to the working world! At least, according to their resume, anyway….

        Dakota, if you think you can swing it, I highly recommend asking your Andy very specific questions about what they’re looking for when he says that he doesn’t think you’re on the right path, or asking him for suggestions for improvements or whatever. And didn’t someone on one of the recent Machiavellian posts say something about putting a watermark on all their work so that no one could pass it off as their own? Food for thought, anyway. Here’s hoping your Andy meets his fate soon. And grey rocking is your friend; try to remain as emotionless as possible when you talk to Andy and also when you talk to your boss about what’s going on. It’s really hard, but it’s also really effective.

        1. Dakota*

          Oh, I definitely do ask very specific questions haha. We usually land in the territory of doing the exact same thing I suggested at the start of the call, just phrased slightly differently. It’s…you know, when your department is on top of your work and doing your job, and another department that is neither of things thinks they should tell you how to do your job? Yeah. That! Instead of pointing out the dust in my house, why are you not worried about yours that’s actively burning down?

          I’m very friendly in interactions and keep my complaining minimal to other people (the only people who know my feelings on the matter in detail is another lateral team member I trust and who has noticed the same thing and like…my spouse who has to listen to me vent lol). You can’t really do much other than wait for things to keep escalating. Which sucks, because I also work at a nonprofit and I’m invested in things not failing (which is why I end up working more than I need to on projects that aren’t mine because Our Andy can’t be bothered).

          I watermarked all of my training materials way back in the day — funnily enough, he did actually use and repurpose some of those trainings word-for-word back when he was working with another org we have a relationship with. Just copy-pasted. And when we ran a program back in the day we’d asked this other org for help, Our Andy denied, and so we just did it ourselves. On a call with other leaders, Our Andy took credit for it until he was politely corrected by our previous ED.

          When another team member said Our Andy “made this” I just put on a very benign confused face and said “huh, I actually made this one!” and when the co-worker also brought up a project that was stalled because Our Andy couldn’t be bothered to respond I just said “huh, I sent an email and a follow up about it about two weeks ago, and I know that person said they reached out to.” Benign confusion, don’t know why any of that could be!

          I cannot stand this man.

        2. goddessoftransitory*

          Are you sure Andy wasn’t recently released from a Skinner box? Where he was raised by Amish kittens?

    4. Sara without an H*

      I knew an Andy once — in charge of enrollment at Tiny University. Same combination of surface slickness and fundamental cluelessness. His other trick was to imply that someone else was to blame if anything appeared to be going wrong.

  5. Zombeyonce*

    Noting here for other commenters that Andy is referred to with “they/them” pronouns in both letters, not “he/him”.

    1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

      Thanks, Zombey. I was very careful to do so. I am of the opinion that if the gender of the person in question doesn’t matter WRT the situation, there’s no reason to specify. Unless you want to, of course.

  6. Captain dddd-cccc-ddWdd*

    OP2 (Andy doesn’t do any work) – this update clarifies about Andy that they are hired into a strategic role that they are out of their depth with, so they are focusing on more tactical and operational issues like operating procedures, database updates, etc. I expect Andy “talked a good talk” when they were hired (I also would not be surprised if there was a bit of resume embellishment) and has pulled the wool over the eyes of this org. This is pretty much what I expected from the first letter (many of the commenters were more generous in their thought process than I was, thinking that perhaps Andy’s contribution was more strategic but less visible to OP — no, it turns out Andy’s contribution doesn’t exist in any tangible way!).

    1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

      Resume embellishment – seems likely. I did a quick google search on them and discovered a 2016 newsletter for a small nonprofit welcoming Andy Lastname as their new executive director (with a photo so yes, I know it’s Andy). Funny thing, though, is that their resume and their LinkedIn profile lists them as having a different role at another company during that time. Now, as a regular AAM reader I know that one need not include every position they hold on their resume if it doesn’t make sense to do so, but to actively say you were working somewhere else at the time is…not completely honest.

      I did mention this to Jane but more in passing, since it’s not relevant to what we’re actually dealing with. But it did help cement my belief that Andy is a fraud, which puts into context everything we’re seeing Andy do here.

      What I’m quite honestly curious about is what Andy actually does all day. Are they just playing video games all day and ignoring their job or are they actively plotting against their coworkers? It’s quite fascinating, in a disturbing way.

  7. subaru outback driver*

    #2. I really think you are way too invested in this. I like your last sentence, just put your head down and get your work done. Andy is irrelevant in the end. Maybe he makes it or maybe he doesn’t… not your problem in the end.

    1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

      Not irrelevant at all, unfortunately. Andy has been trying to take over Jane’s and my department basically since they started, and once Andy really started coming after me and Jane (right after our long time c-level officer retired; coincidence? I think not), Jane was all action. “Absolutely not,” are words she has uttered to me more than once. Jane and I have a lot of clout,* so Andy’s boss did listen to Jane when Jane stated their concerns.

      *I may be two hierarchy levels below the executive team, but I am our database SME and have a lot of expertise that they need, so they know they need to keep me happy. Jane, similarly, wears a ton of hats here and it would be madness for the big boss to take Andy’s word over Jane’s. Honestly, Jane should be a c-level exec herself, given how much she does for everyone here.

      1. yeah*

        As a lot of people noted in the original letter, it seems like you are getting really worked up and obsessive about something that — while it does sound very frustrating — is ultimately out of your control. It seems like you’re aware of this based on the last paragraph of your update, but the multiple lengthy comments here and on the original post suggest you may be struggling with putting your intentions (to put your head down and focus on work) into practice.

        You can’t possibly want Andy to occupy this much space in your brain! It might not feel like you have a choice because he’s making all these decisions that annoy you, but I think you should actively and mindfully try to get some emotional distance from this situation for the sake of your own happiness and well-being.

        1. Conscientious OP who does the things*

          Yes, I’m truly getting tired of Andy living rent-free in my head. Hyperfocus is one of my superpowers and I try to use my superpowers for good. So if I can use my superpower, my technical expertise, and my political clout here to rid our nonprofit of Andy the grifter, I would like to do that. I keep thinking of Elizabeth Holmes and the Theranos scandal and how long she and her business partner deceived the world. Do I have a bit of a hero complex here? Maybe, but I don’t think so. It’s more that I don’t like when good people are deceived and I want to step up and do my part to stop it from happening to the folks I work with. (Hmm, maybe that is a hero complex after all.)

          I admit that I do get a little obsessive with the commenting section here, that’s true, but the comments are really helping me hash out what’s going on and I do appreciate that. I haven’t had to deal with too many grifters in my life, thank goodness, so being sure I’m handling this situation professionally is taking up a lot of brain power. Being careful not to misstep or lose my temper requires me to put a lot more thought into the situation than I would like.

          1. yeah*

            “So if I can use my superpower, my technical expertise, and my political clout here to rid our nonprofit of Andy the grifter, I would like to do that.”

            This is the last I’ll say on this because I think your mind is made up, but I really think you should rethink this strategy and channel this energy into doing something more positive. If Andy is truly a grifter, it will become increasingly evident over time. And at that point senior leadership/the board will either take care of it or they won’t. They may already be making moves in the background that you’re unaware of. You’re operating with very incomplete information and the odds of this kind of attempted political machination backfiring on you are so high.

            1. Tea*

              “They may already be making moves in the background that you’re unaware of. You’re operating with very incomplete information and the odds of this kind of attempted political machination backfiring on you are so high.”

              I need to agree with Yeah on this. You’ve said (often) that Andy isn’t your boss but you’re also not their boss. Jane isn’t Andy’s boss either. And yes you both have opinions about how Andy may have snowed the higher ups but you don’t actually know what the higher ups think of Andy/their work, how this all fits into the overall health of the company, etc. Digging into Andy’s past to possibly catch them on “resume embellishments” via LinkedIn (…of all places. Really???? We’re trusting LinkedIn now???) is so not a part of your job description. Like, come on now.
              So yeah Andy may be annoying and not suited for their role but you’re not coming off that great either TBH and if any of that is bleeding over into work (and I’m sure it is), it’s going to backfire on you big time.

            2. EventPlannerGal*

              I agree. I was reading the first post and as I said then, I understand the element of venting/talking over the problem that comes from writing in here. But it really seems like you are working yourself up over time into a really, I don’t know – indignant? Heavily invested? state and are actively searching for issues in a way that really contradicts your “I’ll just keep my head down” line. It’s odd, and I think probably very obvious to those you work with.

            3. Velociraptor Attack*

              Agreed. I think you need to check yourself when you make comments about how someone is saying they were brought on to do x and while you have no idea what they were told, you definitely don’t think it’s x.

          2. Zarniwoop*

            The world is full of useless grifters. How about directing some of this ire at your your real problem, your useless CEO who hasn’t recognized and dealt with Andy.

    2. Awesome Possum*

      Conscientious, I disagree with all of the (8?) comments here. They all have thoughtful advice worth taking. But there seems to be a positive, not hopelessly consuming, attitude bleeding thru your posts. I get the feeling that you’re involved in this bcoz you have a community here, whom you know are enjoying the story.

      Maybe I’m wrong, bit I read your “obsession” as connected to the history of updates on AAM, & wanting to provide a good story here. And the vigilante discussion: maybe it’s a good point, or maybe you’re doing the just thing. I don’t know. Take their comments in stride & ponder them. But know I really appreciate the updates, & the feeling of community from reading them. Thank you!

  8. Elizabeth*

    Mini Update: I’m a neurodivergent person who wrote in before about the importance of knowing my limits and I just celebrated two years at my job. Still frustrating to have to work within my limitations (which makes being financially comfortable unlikely) but by taking my limits seriously I’m able to be successful though it forces me to work fewer hours.

    We get sold a bill of goods about how much we should be able to do which isn’t in alignment with what we can do…make sure you’re clear about what you can do.

  9. Elizabeth*

    Mini Update: I’m a neurodivergent person who wrote in before about the importance of knowing my limits and I celebrated two years at my job. Still frustrating to have to work within my limitations (which makes being financially comfortable unlikely) but by taking my limits seriously I’m able to be successful in my job though it forces me to work fewer hours.

    We get sold a bill of goods about how much we should be able to do which isn’t in alignment with what we can do…make sure you’re clear about what you can do.

  10. Anna*

    I didn’t remember #3 being asked until I read it again in this post, but between the time it was originally published and now, I’ve gotten into the same situation and was just wondering what I should do. This is such a great blog.

  11. Coyote River*

    LW2 I think it’s the right approach to just put your head down and focus on your role. Whether you’re right or wrong there’s not a lot you can do to change someone significantly higher up the totem pole, so reserve your energy for the things you can influence.

  12. Kenneth*

    LW#1 – Glad to see you didn’t just throw the new ED under the bus, something that seems all too common anymore.

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