You meet the nicest people in IT...

This IT department has a resident bully who doesn't hesitate to snipe at his co-workers -- including one he probably shouldn't be poking at, according to a pilot fish on the scene.

"Barney was a programming superstar," says fish. "He had a Ph.D. in astrophysics and had written articles on superstring theory and other cosmology problems. The man was brilliant as well as hard working. He'd routinely work 60 to 70 hours on a difficult programming problem. He saved the day on more than one occasion.

"Fred, on the other hand, was a good programmer but harassed other people in the department on a daily basis. When Barney had finally had enough of Fred's snotty, petulant, nasty remarks, he went to the director. Barney gave the director an ultimatum: 'Either Fred goes, or I go.'

"Fred was let go that afternoon.

"But the harassment didn't end there. Fred got an anonymous email account and sent Barney several vaguely threatening emails. We half-jokingly took bets on whether Fred would 'go postal' and actually try to assault Barney. Barney took precautions, including contacting law enforcement.

"The last I heard about Fred was he'd checked himself into a mental health institution for treatment."

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