Boss/PM tosses heap of personal insults upon resignation

As some of you who have seen my previous posts know, I was looking for a new job after I realized that my current gig (small fund) wasn't working out. I finally found another job and tendered my resignation to my PM / boss this week. During our discussions, unsurprisingly, I was peppered with a slew of personal insults, which included the following:

  1. "you've used my firm as a stepping stone" to get to something better - which isn't true as I initially joined hoping to help him build a bigger biz over time, but unfortunately our dynamic didn't work out and I believed he was trying to sabotage my growth, so I had to leave.
  2. "you know nothing about investing and don't have any skills" - which is untrue and what I see is nothing more than a personal attack.
  3. "you will also find you that you have no investment sense wherever you go" - which is again a personal attack and basically a form of "wishing you back luck"
  4. "you should be thanking me for bringing you out of the shithole firm you were at before, is this how you repay me?"

I tried to reason as politely as I possibly could with him during our final discussion but he couldn't help lowering the tone to a slew of personal insults, disguised as "this isn't an insult, it's the truth" - like he would know what the truth is. His fund has underperformed since inception and he was taking his anger out on me.

I'm glad that I am out of this place, but how would you guys handle an unprofessional and petty boss like this one? Obviously I won't be asking him for any references in the future but just wondering if anyone has run into something like this? Over the past 1 year, half of his small team has quit because of the terrible, abrasive, and unprofessional way he has treated people.

One thing - I do have these conversations recorded on my phone, as I knew he would be particularly abrasive and I wanted to protect myself in case I would ever needed evidence of his abusive tactics in the future.

I don't want to burn bridges in this industry but seems like things like this are inevitable. You can read prior posts by me and see that I've literally done everything I have to leave in a graceful / professional manner, but the way he treated me as I headed out made my blood boil.

Has anyone ever dealt with something similar to this? Petty/abusive/angry/unprofessional boss upon resignation who tries to get a few more insults in to appease his fragile ego?

Comments (32)

Aug 18, 2019

Yup, have definitely been in your shoes before. It sucks dealing with stuff like this because it is utterly infuriating and the temptation to respond with harsh words is high because you've got both feet out the door, but remember - that's the point. You're leaving it all behind, so do your best to leave it all behind. Most likely, this dude's reputation precedes him everywhere he goes, so your best option is to be as graceful as possible in your exit, just like you planned.

Hang on to the recorded conversations, too, in case he tries to be a megadouche in some way or other as you mentioned.

Best of luck!

    • 3
Aug 18, 2019

Honestly, your boss has personally problems because realistically he knows intrinsically, you would stay with his firm. #1 You're not a stepping stone when you can take stone and flip it across the pond. #2 If you didn't have any skills, why your boss hire you in the first place. #3 The performance of your boss and his or her firm doesn't define performance of other firms.

Keep your head up, you don't your boss or previous firm anything. "Repay You", you personally worked for your boss, that is repayment enough. Be civil, calm and move on.

"It's okay, I'll see you on the other side"

    • 1
Aug 18, 2019

Congrats for getting out of there. Sorry you had to go through that. He is a miserable person. Not much you could have done in that situation. I think you handled it professionally and maturely.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2019

Congrats on finding a new opportunity. Yes my first analyst job resignation went along those lines. My VP was furious and his last words to me were literally "you're fucking me." I didn't talk to him for several years, but he actually was polite and acted like our conversation about my resignation never happened a few years down the line when we spoke again.

    • 1
Aug 18, 2019

Congrats on successfully getting out of there. Much like suggestions for a blacklist of firms that do "fake interviews" just for case study material, there should be a list of people like your boss to avoid when new analysts are looking for a job.

    • 1
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  • Vice President in Hedge Fund - Event Driven
Aug 19, 2019

Yes, I've dealt with this exact situation. I actually laughed because it felt like your account was me looking in a mirror.

The number 1. "You've used my firm as a stepping stone" was said to me, as was number 4. though in nicer words; "I gave you a shot on the buy-side and this is how you repay me?". I also got "You planned this", "I need a 3 months notice", "You took advantage of me", "You're selfish", and a whole slew of ridiculous comments that spanned me being unethical, to me being an "average" investment analyst (even though I generated our ~$50M fund ~$10M in profits).

Like yourself, I tried to be polite, but I ended up pushing back against the PM--and told him point blank that his remarks were unprofessional, inappropriate, and unwarranted. I explained to him that I need to do what's best for my career (I had previously asked him for a step up in compensation, but he declined), and that while I regret things playing out in the manner that they had, it is what it is. When he started to bitch again, I stepped up my tone to an even greater degree, and he backed down; I have limits to what I'm willing to tolerate, and at the end of the day, no one deserves to be spoken to in a demeaning manner.

Your PM is just pissed that he's losing a money-making asset, as was mine. In both cases, your PM and my former PM are children--and children will cry, pout, and throw tantrums. It's simply in their nature, so don't take it personally.

Your best bet is to just move on; you did what you could to end the relationship amicably. On my last day, my PM tried to save face and tell me how he wishes me luck, how he enjoyed working with me, and that we should stay in touch, but I saw right through this; my PM simply wants to stay in touch so that he can try to utilize me for investment ideas at my new fund. While I agreed to grabbing coffee at a later point, while playing it off like I'm completely naive, I have no incentive/intention of keeping in touch with my former PM given his attitude/behavior. I agree; the industry is small and it's always good not to burn bridges, but I don't think this rule is applicable to toxic people who have no positive impact/value-add on your life.

Karma often comes around full circle, and I think it will for your PM (and mine) in this case. Just let it be and enjoy your new time off.

    • 11
Aug 19, 2019

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and comments. It's just very infuriating and unfortunate to end up working for a person who has his own personal issues and is tremendously insecure, and chooses to unleash his negativity onto his employees. Over the past year, 3 people, including myself, have left the firm and he doesn't seem to want to reflect on his own way of treating people that's leading to these departures.

I have these recordings just in case he wants to try anything fancy with me. It's just unfortunate I wasted 1.5 years of my life working for a person like this who lacks even the most basic decency and class. People like this shouldn't be allowed to manage money for others (especially given his poor track record - haven't made money since inception).

    • 1
Aug 19, 2019

Some people are just delusional, completely unaware of how his people think of him as a leader (or lack of). Sadly, a lot of these aforementioned people are at their life stage that they are incapable of change.

    • 1
Aug 19, 2019

Congrats on a new and hopefully better role!

As others have said, there are many ways to react to this. I probably would have say there silently and then said "I'm sorry you feel that way " as I walked out and just let it go.

This business has all kinds of self deluded people who think they are gods and such behavior reflects much more on THEM and their circumstances and issues. It has nothing to do with your personally, as much as whatever such people say stings.

If anything, hopefully upon further reflection, this will act as a guide for you in how NOT to behave and treat others when you are more senior.

Good Luck

    • 1
Aug 19, 2019

It has always amazed me - for a profession where you're supposed to be this detached emotionless risk-taker, people can take things awful personally. For some reason, they don't register that when they first became a PM, they had to leave whichever PM they were working for and "betray" him just like they accuse their analysts of doing to them now. My best guess is they know they are in positions to hand out life-changing amounts of money, so they think they "made" their analysts and hence it feels like a slap in their face when we leave.

Aug 19, 2019

Yes, that is true - certainly in general, but one of the key reasons I left the firm was the boss has shown strong evidence of background discrimination based on different ethnicity of the analysts, and that I was drastically underpaid for the 2018 bonus cycle. I have actually done him a favor by staying so long into 2019.

Ironically, when I resigned, he even went out of his way to ask me what was the ethnicity of my future boss - a question I thought was very inappropriate. The fact that he raised this issue, which is irrelevant in this scenario, shows that he knows that I have come to realize that I could not win in an office environment, regardless how hard I worked, if he could treat me in a manner not entirely consistent with my work quality, based on ethnicity differences. The guy literally thinks it's OK to discriminate people, and when you call him out on it, or choose to leave, insults you and tries to insinuate that you are leaving him b/c you are somehow discriminating him.

He also asked me if the bonus was a reason I was leaving, which again, shows that he knows deep down inside he underpaid me. I've been doing him a big favor staying on so long with a positive attitude.

What a true shit show man. So much negative energy. The past few days that I have left the office, I have realized how much toxic was being fed to me.

    • 2
Aug 19, 2019

I experienced similar entering the commercial real estate field. I am in my thirties, and I knew better. I stayed there one month, and I had my words. I couldn't control my mouth. And I know damn well that that was not a bridge. It was firewood. Let It Burn. Sweetie you are way too good for him, and there is better out there for you. You will beat him in life in every type of way. Don't worry

Aug 20, 2019

This discrimination part appears to be an incremental, new piece of information. Previously you mentioned about analysts going behind your back and PM pitting one against another. Why did you leave this piece of information out in the initial post?

Aug 19, 2019

Don't actively burn bridges, but its fine to let them crumble when they're useless anyways. This PM is obviously an idiot and while there's always a chance he'll be successful and could be useful to you one day, those chances aren't great with someone dumb enough to do something like this. Just let him disappear from your life.

    • 1
Aug 19, 2019

Some people are just miserable, class-less fucks. Brush it off and be glad you're away from that toxicity.

    • 1
Aug 19, 2019

I worked somewhere where my manager was a total a-hole and 1 yr later and I found out he got himself into deep sh*t. Things I didn't even know about.

When people act like that it's usually because you are the cherry on the cake of an already stressful situation for them (their fund tanking, etc.).

You do NOT deserve it, nor did I, but know sometimes there's no reasoning/making amends with people who WANT to be martyrs. They want to be victim of the bad things that are surrounding them such as a GREAT employee leaving, or their inability to execute a fund the way they wanted to.

I did not react totally professionally myself, and actually got pretty nasty, and while I was NOT in the wrong, it would have been better for everyone involved if I just brushed it off.

    • 1
Aug 19, 2019

Just out of curiosity, what are you doing now OP? Another fund? Different industry all together>?

Aug 19, 2019

I'm moving to another fund - a new role with a very smart PM with a great record and one that encourages his team via positive feedback and energy. I'm not going anywhere, staying in the same city and same industry - what else what I be doing? ha!

Aug 19, 2019

On my last day of an internship, the SVP on the team flung a paperclip at me, called me soft, and told me the way he treated me was for my own good.

At the time I thought he was right (because I didn't have any experience). Now I realize he was just a terrible leader.

Lessons Learned: Use people like this as examples of what not to become when you reach a leadership position.

Aug 20, 2019
Dolphins Are Cool:

Lessons Learned: Use people like this as examples of what not to become when you reach a leadership position.

amen to that

Aug 21, 2019

Best thing to do in that situation is first laugh (laughing in situations like this is an underrated response that is safe and also gives you the upper hand) and say, thanks for the feedback, best of luck. Then simply walk away.

Not every insult or person requires a real response. Sorry to hear this happened, sounds like you made a great move to leave.

Aug 23, 2019

Had a very similar situation this week when leaving my current fund for something bigger. I always knew there was a little bit of tension between me and my supervisor and once I told him I was leaving the following two weeks he made several similar comments.

In my situation I felt it was just a power trip and he was angry he wouldn't be able to step all over me anymore and it was his last chance to treat me poorly so he took advantage.

Congrats on the new gig and nothing else to really do in that situation unfortunately.

Aug 25, 2019

Wow this boss sounded horrible. Congrats on your move! I would say just forget about the old firm, never think of it again, and you'll probably feel better that way.

Aug 26, 2019

If he doesn't think you are valuable, why even bother to keep you lol

Aug 26, 2019
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Aug 30, 2019