See, people CAN change!

This IT pilot fish has spent much of his career working on aerospace-related projects -- and that can create a particularly hard-to-change mindset.

"I worked with one real @#$%!-buster at one company," fish says. "He was the kind of guy who gave dirty looks if you left before 5:30 p.m. even if you were there at 7:30 a.m. and worked through lunch.

"He definitely had the 'whatever it takes' mindset no matter what the impact to the staff -- projects were measured in terms of heart attacks and kids-in-rehab. In a way, that made sense when developers were worried about the Russians getting to space or to the moon first. But once the Cold War was over, the old habits remained.

"We were both eventually laid off, but years later we were both back at the same place as consultants. Knowing his past behavior, I wasn't entirely happy at the prospect of working with him.

"The second or third day I was there, the weather was really nice -- the first nice break as winter was transitioning to spring.

"Imagine my surprise when he started calling around for a golf partner and slipped out mid-afternoon.

"Just goes to show that people can change -- and that, once you dump them, you're not going to get the same work effort as before."

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