I encountered a really odd situation just recently. I am a freelancer in IT. I have, relatively speaking, a high profile academic background (several masters degrees and Ivy League level test scores). I also generally get paid at a pretty high rate for what I do (roughly 50%-100% more than average) and consider myself at a senior or expert level. Here's the situation. I was recently working on an IT project that lasted about 6 weeks. Well this project was going pretty well. I was completing the assignments at this particular company ahead of schedule and not hitting too many major snags. Towards the end of my 6 week project, we entered the testing phase, which consisted of me solving issues that the users and the business analyst were having with our particular application. We were scheduled to have one of our last meetings one morning, only the project manager was 3 hours late. During the few hours he was not there, I had begun to make a few minor changes to the project since I had time to kill (changes that didn't really affect its functionality, but enhanced the ease of use for the end user). Well once the project manager showed up, and he saw that I had made a few more changes that he didn't ask for, he went ballistic!! Getting angry at me for having made the changes without his permission! He didn't even wait for me to explain why I had made the changes nor did he review them. He screamed at me. He's from a foreign country. He said “why you not do what we say to do? Why you not do what we say to do?” When in reality, I had done what they said to do, and a lot more. I was stunned because he was the one who was actually late for the meeting leaving me with nothing to do. This was not the first time he had scolded me for doing something like this. Earlier in the project I had skipped ahead in the requirements and added functionality that was not requested. I actually completed the requirements and extra work about 20% cheaper than their budget, although he didn't appreciate it. After his tirade he fired me from the project despite the fact that we were ahead of schedule and the project was going well from my end. He was acting irrational and angry during the conversation and the majority of what he said had nothing to do with reality.
If this situation sounds odd, shockingly, I have been in the exact same situation in about half of my last 8 employment opportunities, reporting to similar personality types in a leadership position. Approximately two years ago I had a job working for a similar individual. My position was a similar IT position and I was making about twice that of the other employees at the company. My boss would show up late, have a violent temper and say irrational things about me. He lied about my job performance, seemingly to have a reason to make enemies with me or pick fist fights. This particular individual was even more irrational than the individual mentioned above. One of his outbursts was so violent, with him making threats against me, that I actually quit my job, left the office and filed criminal complaints against him. Now, this person stands to lose his franchise business as the result of meeting me (but its also true that he's made threats against numerous other people). My question is, why do I seem to receive job offers from these people and then have them turn around and attempt to back-stab me or make enemies of me? One thing I've noticed is that, many times these individuals don't treat me with the level of respect my background, skills, and pay rate would command, but instead make attempts to treat me in a disparaging manner. Do these situations arise because of me or because of them?!?!?!?!? Advice appreciated!!!!