The master manipulator part three

Picture this: a beautiful August night in a deep amidst the skyscrapers of a major Canadian city. Myself and a few delegates from across the country had just wrapped up one of the ‘booziest’ business meetings I’d ever sat through and the plan was to head back to the hotel, change and meet at the hotel restaurant for a nice dinner in one hour’s time.

Sounds great, right?

The meeting was the equivalent of five city blocks from the hotel.

Five city blocks isn’t far. All of these men had been drinking, a lot. (Oh the joys of working for a company that’s sponsored by a major international alcohol distributor) They’re just going to walk. Right? Right?

Wrong.

The thing about arrogance is that it leads people to believe they’re invincible. It leads people to believe they can do no wrong and that no harm will ever come to them for the choices they make. Even if that choice includes being five drinks deep and asking the valet to bring your car.

I don’t know why the valet didn’t stop them that night.

I tried to stop them that night. And, after being physically shoved into the front door of the building with great force, one of the building’s workers came over to check if I was alright. The master manipulator looked at me and told me, with some serious snark to her tone, that I should mind my own damn business and that if they were going to drive, they were going to drive.

The man who worked at the meeting space was very kind. He sat me down, calmed me down and asked me if I’d like the police called due to the physical altercation that had just taken place with one of the other delegates.

You want to know the definition of being between a rock and a hard place? When people you have to work with decide they’re going to get behind the wheel while drunk and your boss leads you to believe that your job could be at risk if you dare try to stop them. That’s an impossible situation that no person should ever have to be put in.

The man who worked there and saw that they were getting into their vehicles drunk ended up calling the police. Not because I told him to but because he knew these four were drunk and he didn’t want them hurting anyone. He asked me what hotel everyone was staying at to tell the police where they were headed. And I, I set off on my way… walking.

I walked particularly slow back to the hotel… on purpose. I’ll admit to that. After what had just happened, I didn’t want to get there in a hurry. I was upset, I was angry and I really didn’t want to be at dinner with any of these people after I’d been physically shoved into a door for trying to stop them from driving drunk.

As I approached the hotel I could see there were police cars at the front of the hotel with their lights flashing. I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on, but it had been more than 15 minutes since the man at the meeting space had told me he was going to call the police, so I presumed this was why.

Upon reaching the front door, I noticed that there was something amiss with the front of the hotel….

One of the vehicles I’d just watched the delegates leave in, it was parked under the covered area drop-off zone next to the front door and it was damaged. It had a giant dent in it. I’m talking GIANT dent. This was a rented Tahoe (basically the SUV equivalent of a tank) so seeing such major damage got me scared that these guys had hit someone, or something between the meeting space and our hotel. I ran closer to the door and I noticed there was a giant chunk missing out of the pillar at the edge of the covered drop-off area.

These fucking idiots had ran into the structural pillars that were holding up the covered car-port area at the front of the hotel. They’d hit it so hard that they wrecked the Tahoe and taken a giant chunk out of the pillar.

I walked into the building to see what was happening and they were lined up in the lobby talking to the police officers.

The master manipulator was there, of course. She always has a hand in everything.

I watched her blatantly outright lie to the police officers and tell them that no one had been drinking that afternoon. I watched her tell the police officers that it was an honest mistake, that none of them had ever driven a Tahoe before, or a vehicle quite so large, so they didn’t realize where the edge of the vehicle was. Then I watched her start to flirt with the police officers.

She actually tried to give two of the police officers her phone number. While they didn’t take it, you could tell that they were quite engaged with her and what she was ‘putting out’. Her fiancee wasn’t there at this point. I’m honestly not sure what he would have done had he been watching her manipulate these cops into not doing anything.

The cops asked the hotel manager if he wanted to press charges against them for destruction of property and almost instantaneously, the master manipulator turned around and started flirting with the hotel manager. Honestly, she was rubbing his back, patting him on the shoulder ensuring him this was just a big misunderstanding and that she’d write a cheque that would cover all of the damages. And the manager fell for it.

The manager told the cops that everything was fine. And the cops left. They fucking left. They left the scene of an incident where four individuals who’d been drinking drove two vehicles back to a hotel, one crashing into a pillar at the front door of the hotel. They’d been told by the man at the meeting space who called them that drinking was involved. And they left.

They left because the master manipulator is that fucking good at what she does.

She’s like a scorpion that poisons men with her manipulation tactics.

I skipped dinner that night. I didn’t feel like being around a bunch of wealthy men and the master manipulator after they’d talked their way out of any repercussions for drunk driving and destruction of hotel property. When I asked the master manipulator what she wanted to do about the rental, she said ‘That’s an issue for tomorrow. Just have the valet get it away from the front door’.

YEAH. They fucking wrecked a rental Tahoe and decided that it was a problem for tomorrow and they were going to go to the hotel restaurant and continue their drinking and laugh the night away over an expensive dinner being charged to the company.

I sat in my hotel room cooled down for about two hours and then I wrote a very thorough, poignant email to our CEO explaining what happened and how the master manipulator acted, as well as that there was a Tahoe seemingly parked under the hotel right now that was going to need to be explained to the rental company.

I wasn’t there the next day when the master manipulator had the Tahoe towed back to the rental place. I opted to go to the airport on an earlier shuttle. (Told her that I wanted to use the airport gym ahead of the flight) In reality, I just figured she was going to do something fucking stupid and I didn’t want to bear witness. And realistically, she did. If you wreck a fucking rental car, don’t tow it back and put it in the front of their business door. Phone them and tell them so that they don’t have a wrecked vehicle on display for the world to see that day.

Ugh.

Nevermind.

I took a shuttle to the airport early. We got on the same flight but thankfully wound up seated in completely separate rows. The other four idiots got back on flights to their home provinces.

So how did this all end?

Our company took the blame for the accident.

Our CEO wrote a cheque for $72,000 to the hotel to fix the pillar outside their front door.

Our CEO had to pay the deductible on the rental and the rental company told us they would no longer rent to our employees. They threatened legal action but the CEO did something that made them back off. (Discussions that I wasn’t privy too)

A police report was made because the police showed up to the scene so they were required to report what happened by law.

None of the four individuals in those vehicles drunk got any repercussions for what happened. Not our CEO nor the master manipulator sought any sort of financial compensation to help cover for the damages our company was now paying for.

They drove drunk and got off scott-free. And it was five blocks. Five fucking blocks that they couldn’t walk. Or call a cab. Or call an uber. Or let someone sober drive.

One day, a few weeks after this all went down, the master manipulator brought me with her into the CEO’s office. We had a sit down chat and I was told that I was never to bring up this incident again. I was told that the public was never to find out a police report was made because if they did it could mean serious ramifications for our company. I was also told that I was no longer invited to these meetings. And I was reprimanded for 1) Not being of assistance to the master manipulator when she was trying to deal with the police and 2) Not attending the dinner and making our organization look bad after everything happened.

She let them drive our rental whilst drunk. She told them it was fine. She never once said anything wrong was done on their part. Somehow I got in trouble at work for the situation. Apparently I’m a poor ‘team player’. Because if you really want to fit in at work what you’re supposed to do is let people drive drunk…

Le sigh.


This story is a part of an ongoing series about work-life and the truth about what goes on behind the scenes. Read parts one and two by clicking on either of the following links:

The master manipulator

The master manipulator part deux

The master manipulator part deux

The company that I worked for effectively had two branches – the for-profit business and the not-for-profit foundation. Each branch operated with very different business practices due to the fact that there are so many more stipulations required to be followed to maintain not-for-profit status with the Canadian government.

The master manipulator liked to spend money. She especially liked to spend money that wasn’t her own. And, knowing just how closely the fondation’s financials were tracked, the master manipulator had a plan to skirt the system so that she always had money to spend.

Each month she would invoice the foundation, on behalf of the for-profit branch for various ‘fees and expenses’. These fees and expenses were different each month, so the invoice would be for a different total dollar amount every time. The invoice would also be dated for different date each month. This way, if the totals were different and the dates were different, it would be less likely to look as though it was a recurring fee the foundation was paying that she would need an excuse for.

She even took it a step further as to deposit the funds into different company bank accounts each month to ensure that no department noticed regular funds incoming from the foundation.

Now, all not-for-profit foundation’s have expenses. It’s just a fact of life. Even if it’s as simple as banking fees, there are always expenses. That being said, what should not be happening with a foundation is excess expenses. The bulk of donations that a foundation is accepting should be being turned around to be distributed to those in need, right? Right.

Every month, the master manipulator was hiding an expense. Every month. And because she’d manipulated all of the men in the office into believing she could do no wrong, it was easy for her.

Here’s an example of how she did it:

Every July the company hosted a banquet to raise money for the foundation. Every rich friend or acquaintance of the company would be invited in hopes they would open their wallets and donate large sums of money to the foundation.

One July our guest speaker was a famous Canadian television actor. This actor’s agent let us know that his speaking fees was $7,500 for a regular event by a for-profit company, but if the event was to raise funds for the foundation (which ours was) he would speak at the event for $2,500. This was his way of helping to keep the foundation’s expenses as low as possible so that more money could be given to those in need.

The master manipulator signed contracts agreeing to pay the actor $2,500 for speaking at our event. Then, the master manipulator went to the CEO and told him that the fee for this actor to speak was $7,500. And, because she’d been manipulating the CEO for years and he believed everything she said, he didn’t even blink an eye.

Then she would invoice the foundation on behalf of the company for $7,500. Because foundation policy stated she was not allowed to sign-off on her own invoices, she would then use her management powers to force me into signing off on the $7,500 invoice, knowing that I well knew exactly what we were actually paying this actor.

$7,500 would be transferred out of the foundation’s bank account and into a company bank account under the guise that she was paying the actor $7,500. She would then e-transfer the actor’s agent $2,500 and put $5,000 onto her company credit card, thus increasing the balance of her company credit card by $5,000 for that month.

With an extra $5,000 on her company credit card, she could do whatever the fuck she wanted. Working lunch, every damn day? Sure. A penthouse suite at the hotel they were hosting the banquet at… rather than a regular hotel room? No problem. A new dress for the banquet because, as the hostess she needed to make the best impression? Get it girl.

If anyone ever noticed how much she was spending, or how she always seemed to be spending more than the limit provided to managers of the company, she would simply… buy them something too. I remember with respect to this particular banquet that this particular actor spoke at, another manager questioned her purchase of a $1,000 Alexander Wang dress ‘for the event’. Suddenly, that manager was invited to the banquet, and she’d bought him a new suit for the event because, as a representative of the company, he needed to make the best of impressions with her.

That’s how she worked. She manipulated everyone.

Some months it was a couple hundred dollars. Some months it was $10,000 plus dollars. Every month, though… every month she had a reason why money needed to be transferred out of the foundation and into company bank accounts where she knew it wasn’t subject to audit. Because, when the money wasn’t monitored with a fine tooth comb, when it wasn’t subject to annual audit, she could do what she wanted with it, and at worst, would be subject to coming up with a haphazard excuse to give to a CEO who already believed everything that she said.


This story is in follow up to ‘The master manipulator’. Click here to read >