12 June 2005

Psychopaths

I've said before that I won't bring my work life into this blog - it's not fair and anyway, once an incident is in the annals of history, it's only really worth mentioning if person A or B was a complete jerk.

Don't get me wrong, there are some memories that are sorely tempting - I would love to rip certain people to shreds in public but I know from experience that revenge results in a few minutes of elation followed by an odd hollow sensation of pointlessness and foolishness that goes on for much longer. You know, that mental switch that flicks where everything that was so exciting immediately becomes as enthralling as yesterday's cold pizza. I have tasted revenge before now, and usually ended up hating myself more than my target, so these days I don't play.

Anyway, after that somewhat less than focused preamble, I am slightly panicked. I have just emailed a contact at the DTI because of this.

There, sitting in the junk mail of an old hotmail address I set up for a job I did about three or four years ago, was an 'away from desk' notification, sent only a few days ago, from the official work email address I had at the time I worked there. I wouldnt have known, except that I keep the old hotmail alive for the amount of evidence it contains (even though the DTI has copies of the lot.)

In short, the work email address that I took great pains to destroy all that time ago, is up and running again and still using my name.

Why did I cleanse and block that email before leaving? Because I left when a Director and a leading figure were making accusations that person X was impersonating them, writing emails from their personal work addresses, pretending to be them, approving all sorts of dodgy dealings in their names.

Then when I was given admin access to the email server (when the girl doing it before suddenly quit) one of the first things this other person did was to come up with a bogus reason why he needed me to give him certain people's email passwords. I tipped them off, changed their passwords again to lock him back out, and removed myself from all association.

You have to understand that this guy had a good explanation for absolutely everything. Many times he had reneged on instructions because they had come from the other Director's email 'so how could he have possibly known?' He made the other guy out to be a bit of a clueless idiot, and himself as the only person that could be really relied upon to know what was going on.

As soon as he asked for their passwords it became clear that many, many more things he had sworn to were open to suspicion. I didn't know which way was up. Whoosh, I was out of there.

So, today I find out that my old email address is functioning again - ie they have a ghost version of me on their books, ready, I have to assume, to dish out all sorts of dodgy info without it falling back on the real writers. It was sheer fluke that a copy arrived in my hotmail - perhaps I never got rid of my pop-mail set-up that sent copies across. I am waiting to see what the DTI have to say, but that doesnt explain why I never saw the original email that generated the response.

I honestly believe the man involved can't help himself - he never learns anything except how not to get caught so quickly next time, and I would be very surprised if he wasn't a clinical psychopath; lacking any ability from the day he was born to see anybody's needs but his own. A psychopath counts as 'friends' only those who can further his cause and they are classically very charming and believable - a skill they work on to their own benefit. Relationships are short and volatile - heck HERE's a list of symptoms. Go and have a look - I bet you know at least one person like it.

Latest figures suggest its as prevalent as dyslexia, hitting one in ten of the population. The difference is that these types seek power, so they generally puddle together in jobs that allow them to play with other people's lives.

I really think that like dyslexics, socially adept psychopaths are overlooked by society and the system - that there are more soulless, self-serving animals in our society than we acknowledge. I really think that psychiatric screening is necessary - people with epilepsy are barred from driving cars - psychopaths should be equally barred from running companies or joining any profession also barred to people with a criminal conviction - like the Police or the Law.

I have a sneaky feeling that would reduce the population of those grand establishments by at least 12%.The problem is that they are just as likely to become nurses and psychiatrists.

Further research on Psychopathy, Malignant Narcissism, Sociopathy: HERE (great set of links, too)

6 comments:

Ally said...

This all sounds quite scary and I hope you get it sorted soon.

One of my 'things' is a fear of being controlled by other people, partly because I was once involved with someone who had a psychopathic personality. He just couldn't see that what he thought was best for other people might not be their own choice; if it was what HE thought best and wanted for them, he was prepared to manipulate them, and everyone around them, to make it happen.

ella m. said...

This just sounds plain scary. I bet the person you are referencing will sweet talk the authorities as well once he is contacted by them.

The fact that you have print copies of everything as well should prevent him from wiggling too far by that route, right?

Cheryl said...

Not all psychos are violent - they act only in their own best interests, and sometimes those interests do not include welcoming confrontation.
I don't like the cheek of this, or what it might be doing for my reputation with persons unknown, but apart from that, yes I believe I can prove my innocence - but the idea that I might even be asked to prove it is bloody annoying.
Thanks, though, girls :-), Lots.

Badaunt said...

I know a woman like this. She is a psychiatrist, and has written several books. Years ago she was the girlfriend (soon to become ex-) of an ex-boyfriend of mine.

I met her again a couple of years ago, at a party in NZ, unexpectedly. We caught up on things, and I got to hear about all her achievements. We both got a little drunk, and she told me that in her first year of Psych they had to do a bunch of tests on themselves. She turned out to have 0% empathy, she told me, and thought that was just HILARIOUS. And couldn't see what was wrong with this.

When we talked about people we used to know, the first thing she always wanted to know was what job they had and how much they were earning. When I told her I didn't know and didn't think it was very important, she was completely baffled. If that wasn't important, what was?

And don't get me going about her 'trauma counseling' side-business... ("Easy money...")

It was like talking to someone from another planet.

doris said...

Funny that about pyscopathic people in management - they always at first seem most plausible, intelligent, charming even and then something goes wrong or else we get wise. I've had a few in my time and with one, even ended up with the side effects in an article in "The Times" before she finally was sacked. She was in the wrong but was given a golden handshake. The world is mad.

Badaunt - a psychiatrist with 0% empathy! I think that is supposed to be OK as they specialise more in the chemical/medicine side of things. (As crazy as that seems but that whole profession is crazy.) But when a psychologist says that, oh dear.

Cheryl said...

I believe it BadAunt.
If you ever need any 'help' - become religious! Insist on being seen by a Christian (or religious type of the area) - it means you get someone with a conscience.
People who think life is all about power go for any job where they have that power over other people - including the whole medical profession as it suits their worldview.