He called himself Alex, and as he says, not Alex the Great, but Alex the Spineless.
The earliest incident he could remember was working on pyramids where he and others did the bulk of the design and the chief architect got all of the credit. That resentment stuck with him forever when he was sacked and disposed of when he tried to take credit for his work.
He has been with me most of my life and he has been helping me to escape from situations like his, but he has never been able to deal with the underlying resentment. He has been able to help me, but the resentment is still with him and it has affected us both.
His biggest win was getting me to tell my boss I would not install any more of the faulty systems designed by our head engineer.
Earlier, he had given me the incentive to leave a Honeywell computer project for a startup when the lead designer on the computer project was an exact clone of the architect on the pyramids. We did the work and he got the credit.
I have had many employers since then and he helped me get out from under the managers who were less able than we were, but we never handled the resentment that accompanied getting into this kind of situation.
I asked if there was an earlier incident than the Egyptian one which might account for his current resentment and he spotted an incident where he was a lead designer for a star fleet organization. He immediately realized that he did not understand politics and got blindsided then and later by pushing results and not paying attention to the political winds of change.
His resentment gave him a chip on his shoulder where he dared anyone to do things in a “political” way instead of in an honest way.
His big realization, which blew his resentment completely, was that he did not really understand the problem they wanted him to solve!
He thought it was an engineering problem, but it was really a political problem!
There were a string of realizations occurring for both of us, because this is the universal problem we face when trying to do anything or help anyone: We take a position to do a job or attempt to help someone and we fail to investigate enough to make sure what we can do is what is needed. We do what we promised to do, but it is no longer or never was what was actually needed.
It is not enough to work on solving the problem you were hired to solve, you also need to keep tabs on the environment to make sure the original goals still exist.
If we succeed in getting the job or start helping someone as a counselor, we need to continually consult the boss or the client to make sure we are solving the problem the person wants to solve. The person can change his mind, corporate cultures can change drastically and the original problem and its political situation may no longer exist.
Once Alex spotted the real source of his resentment, failing to understand the real problem, his resentment vanished and so has mine. We are both feeling more productive and more optimistic about our future.