Hi Kevin,
That was a great story about your dad. What a skill to have.
I started reading up on psychopaths myself after working with a fellow in the nuclear industry. He was able to lie convincingly enough that you would end up questioning yourself as to whether or not the events had played out as suggested, or whether maybe you had said some things differently, even though you didn’t quite remember it that way. He also had an uncanny skill in bringing people over to his cause through a well placed hand on the shoulder or other such gesture, and sometimes by using the name of some director or another, through which he could convince others to do all sorts of work for him. Once I was onto him, and understood his wily ways, I would use that knowledge to thwart his efforts to get me to do his work for him. If he came into my office stating that some director needed information right away, I would tell him that I better call the director for more information, and more often than not, he would then say that the request wasn’t that important or that he would take care of it himself. I tried to turn the tables on him one time by making a request and using the same technique of placing a hand on his shoulder. The look of undisguised scorn as he looked down his shoulder to my hand unmistakenly said ‘how dare you place a hand on your superior like that’. I don’t think he even realized he had the look on his face, it was more of a reflex than a voluntary movement. I was careful to stay under the radar with my suspicions as he had actively caused issues between another team member and my manager to the point where this other team member was escorted out of his job. He had seen this other team member as a threat to him moving into a more senior position due to the other team member’s experience and seniority (the issues started when the teammate placed his many certifications on the wall of their shared office space). He set out to discredit that teammate and ultimately succeeded. I wasn’t fully aware of what was happening at the time, and did not attempt to intervene. In retrospect however, it all made sense. Our manager retired the following tear, partially due to the stress brought on by this individual. I succeeded in landing the manager’s position with my the result that my psychopathic friend was reporting to me. It was a short lived reporting role, however, as the individual (let’s call him P) knew I was on to his tricks, and requested a transfer to another department. From there he used his skills to parlay himself into more and more responsible positions, this all without anything but a GED and a 8th grade equivalent writing skills (remember that this is a nuclear power plant…) I learned this from his resume when I took over the manager position (he had dropped out of school to join the military). Also from the resume I could see a pattern whereby he would start working in organizations and very quickly move into Sr. positions. he would then in a few short years, leave not only the Sr. position, but alsk leave that industry completely, and start over completely in a new industry where he would then aim for the upper echelons.
My theory is that he would burn all of his bridges with employees as he climbed them like rungs of a ladder. However, once he made it to the top, he would have no support structure and his lack of writing skills and true leadership skills would become apparent and the house of cards would come tumbling down.

He would often task Jr. staff with writing his emails and documentation for him. The emails he would write himself were sometimes the ultimate in hilarity however, as he would allow the email program to correct all of the spelling. The calabria tube is a component in the nuclear reactor that contains the fuel and cooling water. There were more than a few emails that went out discussing the status of the calamari tubes.
Intrestingly enough, it’s been 5 years since I worked with this individual, but he just tried to add me as a friend on LinkedIn. I declined, but it explains the sudden resurgent interest in psychopaths that led me to your site. Interestingly enough; it seems from your online test that I’m slightly narcissistic myself. But at least I think I’m a relatively good narcissist.

One other thing…it is challenging to talk to people about psychopathic tendencies even when the evidence is right under their noses. I tried to point out some of the traits to my manager in an attempt to make him aware of the issue, however he tended to think in absolutes, where if P is a psychopath then P must be a serial axe murderer, therefore P can’t be a psychopath. By the time of his retirement I think he was willing to concede a few of those points.

So I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to use my experience as an excerpt in your next book (royalties graciously accepted). I’d also be interested in any insight you might have into my experience with this individual (I. e. was this typical or expected behavior from a person with psychopathic tendencies. … or am I the one off of my rocker…)
Thanks for your time,
Dan