Many years ago I worked for a company that rep’d another companies products. We were assigned a certain engineer at the company who was supposed to do all the engineering for the bids that we won.
This guy was absolutely useless. I would send in the project information, get the engineering back, correct all the mistakes, send it back to have the mistakes fixed and then get the corrected engineering back. I think it took me about a month before I just started doing the engineering myself and cc’ing the company so they would know what needed to be released when the customer was ready for the product.
About six months later I was chatting on the phone with one of the secretaries at this company and I finally found out the background on this dumb guy (DG). It seems the vice president of the company’s daughter was engaged to DG and she begged Daddy to give him a job. They started him out in sales but he kept screwing up. He has a degree in mechanical engineering so they transferred him into the engineering department (gee…thanks!).
After I had decided just to do the work myself and not deal with him anymore DG was assigned a large oversees project that he royally fucked up (big surprise). No one had caught his mistakes, wrong product had been shipped and installed, product was failing…basically about as bad as it can get.
The project manager (PM) started calling as soon as it became apparent that there was a problem but DG didn’t want to deal with it so he would tell the receptionist to tell the PM he was not in and to leave a message. He would then delete the message without returning the call. PM was across an ocean on another continent so it’s not like there was any danger of PM just dropping by the office.
This went on for almost a month with the PM calls coming more and more often as the magnitude of the problem started to become apparent. The receptionist was getting really pissed at DG because he was putting her in the awkward position of lying to PM about DG not being there plus she was aware of the fact that DG had screwed up and was basically sticking his head in the sand instead of trying to fix the problem.
It all came to a head one day when DG was standing in the reception area goofing off and PM called:
Receptionist: DG, PM is on the line. You really have to talk to her.
DG: Tell her I’m not in and have her leave a message.
Rec: She’s already left dozens of messages for you; you have to talk to her.
DG: Just TELL her I’m not here and let her leave a message!
Rec: (Picks up line) Hello PM. Yes. Yes. He’s standing right in front of my desk and he is asking me to tell you he isn’t in the building and to have you leave another message. Yes. Yes of course I can connect you to his superior.
I’m not sure if the receptionist got into any trouble but a month later the receptionist was still working there and DG had been fired. Guess nepotism only goes so far.