Checking CCAP to see if people I know are on there, is not something I normally do. Most people I know are normal, law-abiding citizens, and I have no interest in poking around in their divorce or parking ticket information. But now that I’m aware of this resource, there are people in my past with questionable characters whom I wonder about.
A while ago, I checked to see if my abusive and malignant narcissist ex-fiancé, Phil, had ever done anything that got the attention of the law. Turns out he did, back when he was married. There are no details, but there was some sort of disorderly conduct in 2003. There was a victim who gave an “impact statement.” He had to fulfill a deferred prosecution agreement, which then got the charges dismissed a year later.
Then I thought, You know, my former boss, an insurance agent, did have questionable character, and lately I’ve been thinking he was probably a narcissist. He wasn’t my main boss, but gave me supplemental income with 2-5 hours a week if I would do his changes and filing.
I considered him a friend, liked him, chatted with him sometimes, thought he was funny–but he could also be an ass at times. (No, there was no boss-secretary hanky panky going on; it was strictly platonic. But, as I told my main boss, he was my “favorite person” at the office.)
One day, the office secretary told me he was in the hospital. I was horrified, but it turned out to be something involving an ear infection that went bad. It was probably something like mastoiditis or malignant otitis, not your typical ear infection, very serious but the doctors got it under control.
The office secretary said they were not going to send him flowers or a card, so I got the information from her and sent him a get-well card. It included a little note about how boring the office was without him talking about nose hair etc. (referring to something he had recently said). It was sweet, and I later saw it in his office, which told me that it meant enough to him to bring with him as a keepsake.
I did my best to get his files in order, which was quite a feat because they were a huge mess before I started working for him. He had no secretary for a while, since his wife no longer wanted to do it for him, and he just threw papers into files without any regard for how home office wanted them organized, making it horrible to try to keep up with the policies properly.
I updated the computer, did his changes and applications, stamped and processed the mail from home office, even remembered to update his no contact list along with my main boss’s (the home office sent this list to all agents after the state No Contact List was established for telemarketers and business owners).
And I did all this in an office which was perpetually a disaster area, papers and things strewn all over the place. He was amazed at how well I fixed up the files, and he’d tell me and clients about our little “team,” “You’re the brains and I’m the face.”
One year, he gave me a little Christmas present, a Santa candy jar. I told him Santa “has a big ole’ butt,” and he laughed. I still use that candy jar, and my son likes it. When he was gone while I worked, I’d play Radio Free Abattoir, a Goth music webstream; when he was there, he’d assault my ears with blues or AC/DC played excessively loud, which annoyed the nearby secretaries as well.
But he also had a wacky sense of humor which nobody but me seemed to “get,” so I’d be chuckling while the other secretaries chided him (like when he complained about people with long nose hairs). He was always running late, so his friends (who were also clients) would tell us they always told him an earlier time than they actually wanted him to be there.
Sure he had a temper, which got on my nerves occasionally, but I thought he was harmless, just an unmotivated goof.
But on the other hand, he was difficult to deal with, rarely paid me on time, kept docking my hours, occasionally yelled at me for nothing, made me clean his office.
Because he kept docking my hours, I often had a backlog of filing to do along with all his changes, which often didn’t have enough information, so I’d have to call him on his cell because he’d gone off again. Because of the backlog in filing, the files themselves often did not have updated information.
But when I asked for more hours, he wouldn’t give them to me, saying they cost too much–even though he was only paying me $7/hour for two to five hours a week.
There were complaints from some of his clients about how they should’ve known better than to do business with a friend. He had so little business that the office secretaries wondered how he paid his bills, and wished he would work harder to get more clients. And he kept arguing with one of the underwriters, a lady who he felt had it in for him.
But it got even worse after he spent time in the hospital for an ear infection, and his temper seemed to turn foul, so that for months he was nothing like the fun-loving guy he’d been before. He complained of constant headaches. The ear infection was early in 2002.
I recall overhearing, probably in late 2002 or early 2003, sometimes while in his office and sometimes while out of his office, as he yelled and screamed on the phone at people in the home office. I recall as he screamed “Merry Christmas” at some guy.
One day (whether before or after the ear infection I can no longer remember), he was trying to deal with a credit card company, but because it was under his wife’s name and not his, they wouldn’t let him do anything. He actually asked me to impersonate his wife and talk to them.
I said NO.
He said, “Nyssa, come on, please!” and acted like I was being unreasonable.
Then he called up the card company again, and began speaking in a falsetto voice, impersonating his wife himself! And they bought it!
Also, after he’d been at war with an underwriter for weeks, in early 2003 she came to audit his files, and they weren’t complete because–even though I did my part and gave him all the information he needed to get his own work done, such as cost estimators and pictures of the various properties that were missing–he had not done his part.
I wasn’t there at the time, since I only worked a few hours a day and hadn’t come in yet. But I was told there was quite a blowup, with him raging all over the office and finally quitting in a huff.
I gave him a note to try to get him to change his mind, but it was made up. He was also in the doghouse with his wife over it, but one of the other secretaries told me that if he hadn’t quit, the office manager was going to fire him anyway because of things he’d been doing lately.
As for the note, it was an e-mail I sent to his work computer, but it had already been locked; he had no e-mail at home. So I printed up the e-mail and brought it to work. When he came back to pack up his office, I gave him the e-mail.
I’d have to dig it up to recall what all it said, but I remember something about considering him a friend and wishing he would reconsider quitting. From the way he acted, he seemed pleasantly surprised, had no idea I felt that way.
He thought it was sweet and said he would miss me, too, said I should be his secretary if he set up his own office. (I made sure when I wrote it that it was worded so his wife would not object to anything in it, in case she saw it. It was platonic.)
The office secretary did not like him at all. She claimed to be a good judge of character as she told another secretary why she did not like him. I thought she was too hard on him, while I was more willing to see him as a good person underneath his gruffness.
She was always arguing with him, and when he left, she wondered if he would violate the contract he had signed, which had something to do with not getting a job with a competitor.
But I did like him, and was so upset that I cried when he quit. I was so miserable that for months afterwards, I would see his empty office and sigh. I was also miserable because I had fun working for him (except when he was being an ass), and now all I could get to supplement my income was a couple of hours of just filing. No changes, no fixing files, because the other agent already had another secretary; just filing.
That whole period was very distressing, because a couple of months later, our church terminated the youth pastor position for financial reasons, the youth group disbanded, and my wonderful time being a helper in the youth group was suddenly over.
I did contact my former boss on occasion during the following year, but I didn’t hear anything from him after that. The first year, 2003, and maybe 2004, he and his wife sent us a Christmas card, as did my main boss and his wife.
But there was nothing after that, and I wondered if it was because, with the baby, I had gotten too busy to send Christmas cards, and you know how people will cut you off their list if you don’t send cards.
I wondered why he didn’t contact me, but I was too busy with my little boy to worry about such things too much. I had since moved on from the disappointment of his quitting in 2003–especially since I didn’t work there anymore, either, since my other boss retired and I was now a stay-at-home mother.
I did occasionally check social networking sites such as Facebook to see if he was there, like I do with all my old friends (including my other boss), but he wasn’t.
Now I find that in 2005, his wife complained of domestic abuse and harassment! filed a restraining order! divorced him! There’s a note that the court found him to be unemployed in 2006 because of his own conduct; I remember how he had trouble finding and keeping jobs after he quit. There was a psychological evaluation; there are suggestions of child abuse, because he could only see the kids with supervision.
During the long, drawn-out divorce, he got into even more trouble through some sort of violent domestic disturbance that involved spousal and, possibly, child abuse, even broken lights of a detention center, and damages to a car and his ex’s residence and, apparently, even the children’s school, leading to multiple charges, a few convictions, and jail time! So, of course, his ex got sole custody of the kids.
Some more searching in the archives of his hometown newspaper, revealed that one night, he left several threatening messages for his wife, who had recently filed for divorce and a restraining order because of domestic violence.
Then he drove the car into their house, causing extensive damage to the kitchen and totaling the car—
–the same car that he used to drive to work every day, the same car I’d look for in the parking lot to see if he was going to be there while I worked for him, the same car I think he used once or twice to give me a ride home on a stormy day because I walked to work.
Then he came to the door, and while his wife tried to call 911, he confronted her. Eventually, she was able to call 911 from a neighbor’s house. He resisted arrest; kicked one officer in the groin several times; had to be dragged to the squad car. He even broke lights at the detention center.
extensive damage to the kitchen area, including water running from broken pipes, kitchen cabinets strewn throughout the kitchen and dining room, water pouring into the basement and the front end of the car lodged in the siding of the house.
He faced extensive charges, $50,000 bail, even 22 years of jail time and thousands of dollars in fines if he’d been convicted on all counts, but as there often are, there were plea bargains and other deals which lessened the sentence.
The District Attorney said, “My biggest concern was the protection of the public. And there are a lot of incentives built in for him to get his behavior back to normal.” He said the purpose of the deferred prosecution agreement was “that I’ll have more control over him rather than if he had just pled to the felonies.”
My former boss was ordered to stay on his medication, take domestic violence and anger management counseling, and was even sentenced to nine months in jail and three years probation.
I didn’t really know his wife, only seeing her on occasion, such as at office Christmas parties. But she seemed like a nice person.
Neither of the wives of my bosses showed any sign of jealousy about their husbands’ secretary, and seemed like nice people. When I told this boss, a few months after he quit, that my husband and I were finally going to have a baby after trying for a while, he told his wife, and said, “She couldn’t believe it!” and how happy she was for us.
I know he had occasional issues with her, but they seemed like nothing more than normal marital tiffs. But I do recall saying to my husband on occasion, “I’m glad I’m not married to [my boss],” because of something he’d say (like, part of the whole point of going to a bachelor party was to not behave himself), or that I overheard him saying to a friend (complaining that women are great at spending too much money). So I can’t imagine her doing anything to deserve this kind of behavior from him.
The office secretary was right about him! And why do I keep liking people who turn out to be abusive narcissists?
Most of my friends are normal, but my ex Phil was an abusive narcissist, the guy Shawn whom I loved but used me, was probably a narcissist, my favorite boss was an abusive narcissist, and now my best friend of five years, Richard, turned out to be an abusive narcissist!
How do I keep attracting these people? And why do I find myself drawn to them?