Man who is on same level as me is a complete and utter liar....what to do

(19 Posts)
Tulipgloss Thu 22-Oct-20 09:12:22

I have namechanged for this.

I work directly for the CEO as does this man (let's call him Ben) and I report directly to the board (which I also sit on).

Ben was hired 2 years ago to run a part of the company. The output of his part feeds into my department and I use that output to make decisions and I also use this output with external parties.

It has taken me a bit of time to work it out but I have now realised that Ben is a complete fraud. He lies continually. I was on a call with him yesterday with the CEO when he insisted someone in my team had worked with him to produce something and I double checked (while on the call) with the guy in my team who said it was nonsense. I disputed it and refused to move on till he acknowledged what he said was a lie. He refused and said he had used an excel sheet this guy in my team had produced. I said that's not the same as being involved. He still refused to acknowledge the lie.

The then produced a number on an excel sheet that I knew was not right. He shared the sheet on a teams call. I said that number is completely wrong. I said that number should be around 5 and you have it as 55. He then claimed his excel had fallen over and he couldn't share. He did this huge song and dance about how his excel falls over all the time. I could hear him frantically typing in the background and I knew he was trying to amend the sheet to make it right. Then miraculously he reshares the sheet and it says 5 instead of 55 and he says 'err no Tulip, you are wrong, see it says 5'. I said yes because you amended it when your excel failed because 2 mins ago it said 55. 'No it didn't he says'.

I can't work with this guy. But he is a brown nosing yes man so no one will fire him. The CEO and owner of the company acknowledge he 'has his faults' but won't sack him because they say he 'gets things done'. Except I am responsible for the stuff he's producing as I use it in my department and most of the time it is a pile of shit and I'm taking the flack for it.

I can't move jobs because of the economy otherwise I would just resign and walk away but we really need the money as dp's job is events/hospitality so is totally fucked.

Any ideas?

OP’s posts: |
Tulipgloss Thu 22-Oct-20 09:25:56

oops sorry that was a bit long! can you tell I'm frustrated!

OP’s posts: |
Clymene Thu 22-Oct-20 09:28:56

Is he also on the board?

Tulipgloss Thu 22-Oct-20 09:43:56

no but all the other execs are and they back him

OP’s posts: |
Florencex Thu 22-Oct-20 14:27:12

I think you need to take a different approach as you could be coming across as you are trying to score points over him in front other people, I mean really, you want someone to admit they lied on a teams call? If there are issues that need to be discussed, take it offline and deal with it privately, either one to one or raise with the CEO.

Hardbackwriter Thu 22-Oct-20 14:33:12

I think the way you're handling this is likely to mean it's you, not him, who face any consequences - to any outsider it's going to look like you're setting out to humiliate him and to score points over what sounds like very petty things and mistakes. The argument over excel must have been embarrassing for everyone else to witness - the mistake was corrected, why did you need him to publicly admit it? Maybe the thing about collaborating with someone in your team had wider ramifications - was it that the thing had failed and he wanted to pass the buck? - but if so the way to deal with that is outside a meeting, directly with the CEO. Again, doing it so publicly and insisting on checking then and there will have made you look petty. It could even look like something approaching bullying.

I'm not saying you are in the wrong, but the way you're going about this is going to make it look like you are.

TulipGloss Thu 22-Oct-20 14:53:16

I have done that. I've gone to the CEO privately. I've tried to deal with it in a sensible way.

The issue is that information he's provided has been used by me in really important external (public) things and he's completely unapologetic. He doesn't give a shit. In fact the first time he did it, he just said it's your problem not mine and laughed in my face. I spoke to my boss about it and he approached B directly and he denied it and said we had provided the info. I then find out he went to the chairman of the board and slagged me off for producing this information when it wasn't me! He did this to cover his arse as he knew he was in the wrong.

The reason I'm trying to expose him on the call is to show that he is producing the information incorrectly as he's wriggling out of everything then going behind my back to make me look a fool!

Clymene Thu 22-Oct-20 15:58:46

What did your boss say? Are you the only woman on the board? I wonder if they are just doing that closing ranks thing that men do sometimes.

What is it that he gets done? I wonder if there is some way you could expose his ineptitude without dropping your team in it

TulipGloss Thu 22-Oct-20 17:31:59

yes you're very astute, I'm the only woman senior exec.

boss thinks he has 'his faults' but that's it. B came in and sacked virtually his whole team and then hired people who only say yes to him. So he has no support from the lower ranking people in the company outside of his team.

it's proving hard to expose him without him making me look like a mad woman

Clymene Thu 22-Oct-20 17:45:26

Hmm ... I'm not surprised but that is super tricky. Will have a ponder!

MissMarplesGlove Thu 22-Oct-20 18:00:53

Except I am responsible for the stuff he's producing as I use it in my department and most of the time it is a pile of shit

Can you document & evidence this? And show the business [money]- related consequences?

TulipGloss Thu 22-Oct-20 20:10:25

the problem is, a bit like my first 2 posts, it's starting to come across as a vendetta. Which it really isn't but him not doing his job has massive direct impacts on mine. I pointed these out when it first started and the stuff we did with what was given to us just didn't work.

Now I'm being told I have to make allowances - i.e. I now have to be involved in his stuff to make sure it's not wrong so it's become my problem now so I'm basically doing my job and half of his.

As someone in my team said, when he does his job well, he gets the praise. When he does it badly, he doesn't suffer the consequences, we double our workload to fix it and get blamed for not making it right!

it's an extraordinary deal for him!

I am actively looking for another job but I can't move till I've found one given our income status

DeKraai Thu 22-Oct-20 20:28:46

This guy sounds like some kind of corporate psychopath - he doesn't care about colleagues, he doesn't care about adhering to "rules", he's a charmer, he can manipulate people's opinion about others (to his advantage) etc.

Point is that with these people you can't beat him at his own game. You need to play cleaner than clean. He's already got everybody on his side, and against you. The more you show him up, the more he'll badmouth you - in a way the other men don't notice him doing, but soak up the message.

You need to make a trail of your work and his mistakes. Don't let anybody know. At some point he's likely to do something to get you reprimanded (or even sacked) and the only thing you'll be able to use against him is that you're lily-white and any dismissal or reprimand could be countered/fought as unfair by you.

I'm sure someone will be along with more detailed ideas but the basic point is that you cannot win against him at his own game. Don't outwardly fight him - and don't make him look bad in public (unless it can't be traced to you..), because that will only make it worse for you.

Keep on looking for that other job....

lljkk Fri 23-Oct-20 15:33:13

Who is Ben's line manager?
Sounds like you need to discuss with his manager that you can't rely on his figures & outputs.

I am wondering about this strategy... Tell the manager that you're going to have to keep pointing out important errors when encountered but understand this is only for the best of the company and also to help Ben meet his targets. He seems to need a mentor.

Yeah we all can tell Ben is a Bullshitter but just focus on his outputs being accurate. If you come across as hardass then tell everyone that's because you know he can become more reliable and do better work so you want to work with him constructively; obviously you wouldn't waste your effort on a lost cause no hoper.

I would look for a low key way to constantly draw to Ben's attention the important errors he makes. Keep a good email trail of these incidents. And only the important errors. With luck, they may reduce.

CoRhona Fri 23-Oct-20 23:14:02

I've just posted this elsewhere.

The problem with working with a liar is that you never know what exactly they are going to lie about which makes any foresight difficult. So...

A) all communication to be in writing - if you have to have meetings follow up with an email about what was said / action points

B) if you can, always copy someone else in, even for the most spurious of reasons

C) join a union

Then at least you're covering your arse.


Alonelonelyloner Sat 24-Oct-20 04:53:06

As above, I've been in this situation and currently in it (only female exec) but am lucky due to having copies of discussion on email and other managers being in my office accidentally listening into a call, that I am believed. We all now just cc in where appropriate but there have more recently been situations where we've had to call out the bullshit in a conference video call. Like yours he doubles down on his bullshit but it doesn't get ignored.
Im sorry you are going through this. This dude sounds like an utter arsehole. I was at first shocked that you did this in a call but I do get it now.

Stanleyville Sat 24-Oct-20 08:24:29

Do you have sufficient resource in your team to work around him? I'd quietly do his work in my team, use that to produce your outputs and just massively reduce your interaction with him. Log his errors when he gives you his input. Don't point out the errors just say thank you. After a few months go to the big boss with evidence you needed to do the work to ensure accuracy and quality and make the case for a savings opportunity.

Rainbowqueeen Sat 24-Oct-20 08:37:25

Yep document everything.

If you really are consistently taking on his work can you have a meeting with hr plus your boss to clarify your role and ask for remuneration to reflect the additional work you are doing?
I don’t think there is anything to be gained by pointing out his mistakes in zoom calls although I can appreciate how frustrating it must be for you. Just do a follow up email confirming the changes made so it’s documented. Can you set up a folder with all docs and emails sent to him so it’s easy to track what you have sent him and what has changed?

NoProblem123 Sat 24-Oct-20 19:17:49

Why didn’t you get the ‘55’ spreadsheet off your team member and plaster it all over your shared screen, AND THEN call him out grin

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