How a Senior Engineer Turned the Tables on His Company's Firing Attempt

Tricky Brick / March, 06, 2024

Most of us aim to get our dream job but relatively few succeed. Spending every day learning new skills giving back to the community and working for an organization you support is a pleasure. But what if the organization decides you are no longer needed in the company?

As a head engineer Alex Ivanov liked his work therefore he was taken aback when the new administration attempted to fire him. Soon after he decided to take the matter into his own hands and came up with a scheme that would shake the base of the company. 

1 Introducing Alex Ivanov

Alex Ivanov lived in New York City in a small room and was 63 years old. He loved playing chess with his young grandson taking walks in Central parks and eating piroshki at his neighborhood Russian restaurant Matryoshka. Above all he took great pleasure in thinking about the solutions to problems and was curious to know how things usually work. 

Highly skilled in engineering Alex was an engineer. He had been a chief engineer at a city-based civil engineering firm for more than 25 years progressively rising to the position. The one location he had been happiest he had no idea though that it was about to betray him.

2 Tough Childhood

Alex who was born in Moscow had a difficult upbringing. In Cold War tensions the little child had to learn English adjust to a new way of life in the United States and establish friends after his family escaped the Soviet Union in 1970. 

Sergei Alex's father was a huge record collector and a fan of American music. The parents of 14-year-old Alex discovered their son had a unique gift after he removed and fixed Sergei's record player.

3 Career Goals

Right then Alex decided to study engineering and contribute to the development of the nation that had provided his family with safety. He was a dedicated student who at the age of seventeen won a scholarship at MIT. 

Alex graduated first in his class in 1980 and felt motivated and inspired. Still the young Russian man soon began to feel disappointed in the care he was receiving. 

4 Discrimination

Alex had trouble finding employment in the early 1980s during the New Cold War. Businesses would hear his Slavic accent close the door or throw the phone in his face and hardly even give him a chance to say goodbye.

A new kind of discrimination fear and xenophobia ruled and the talented engineer had to suffer the consequences of this. He struggled to make ends meet and was forced to take low-paying employment fixing radios. At Matryoshka he was always asked to stay. They generally gave him a hot bowl of borscht even if he didn't have the money to pay for it as they knew each other well.

5 Dream Job

Finally once the USSR fell apart Alex had his unexpected chance. He was fixing up a radio for the CEO's wife of one of the largest civil engineering companies in the state. The CEO was happy with Alex's performance and urged him to apply for an open post.

Alex was hired after impressing the interviewers with his breadth of knowledge creative thinking and careful attention to detail. He kept becoming better over the years rising to the position of chief engineer and earning a reputation for having the highest level of expertise across the nation.

6 Realizing His Age

But now Alex was sixty-three. He grew a family lost his 60-year-old wife to an unexpected brain tumor and was beginning to feel that aging was getting up with him. He was happy with his work since it allowed him to get away with his sadness.

However he was aware that his speed had decreased and that it had been challenging for him to stay up to date with many of the technological advancements made in the last several years. He believed that the company was evolving and he hoped that he would be able to adapt as well. 

7 New CEO

The CEO who hired Alex and was the son of the former CEO announced his resignation one day. When the company brought on a new CEO they had high hopes that he would update the organization and bring about some change.

The new CEO was employed by a Silicon Valley tech company. He had a little basketball court in his office and expensive athletic attire instead of a suit and tie. His use of phrases like "synergy" and "blue sky thinking" was constant and he preferred to send voice notes over emails. Although Alex wasn't a fan he was ignorant of what would occur next. 

8 HR Discussion

Shortly after the appointment of the new CEO Alex got a message from HR asking him to "chat." Having never been called into HR before he was clueless as to the topic of the call. Had he been the subject of a complaint? He didn't think it could be the case because he had strong bonds with his coworkers.

With a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach he made his way to the new HR director's office. He didn't believe they would be giving him a rise whatever the situation may be. It was going to confirm his suspicions. 

9 Checking In

As he knocked on the door a very sweet voice replied “Come in”. The woman behind the desk was named Vivian. She had beautifully trimmed nails and displayed a youthful glow. She flashed her bright white teeth as she grinned at Alex. Al please have a seat she said. The reduction of his name made him squirm.

"Now that everything has changed I simply wanted to see how you're doing by checking in with you. With your degree of maturity I understand that it can be disturbing. But don't worry the business is only getting stronger. It's my responsibility to find and fix any minor defects we may have" she said. Alex was clueless about the direction of this. 

10 First Warning

I just wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of something that has been brought to our attention because we really can't have it happen again. Someone has observed that you have been admitting unidentified individuals into the building; that just cannot continue can it? stated Vivian.

Alex seemed unsurprised. What was the meaning conveyed by her? Then it occurred to him what she was talking about. He had kept the door open for a group of visiting German engineers who had arrived for a conference the previous week. He was shocked when he heard that he was being punished for exhibiting common manners. However he had a feeling that this wasn't the true reason for his contact.

11 Forced Out

With an unusually cheerful voice Vivian said "This will be the last time you do something like this okay? We hope not to have to say goodbye to you. You can now get back to work.

As a senior staff member Alex found it unbelievable that he was being addressed in this manner. But he began to understand what was going on. This was simply a build-up to his getting removed. He could only assume that Vivian had a similar effect on the other senior engineers who had also begun strangely retiring early. Alex felt ruined. 

12 Despair

Arriving back to the workplace he saw around the familiar corridor. He had committed his entire life to working for the corporation having spent twenty-five years there. And now they desired to push him out the door without even expressing gratitude.

That evening Alex left for home without making his regular stop at Matryoshka for a bite to eat. He was afraid to speak with anyone. He didn't believe he could express what was happening without losing it. He wasn't ready to retire since he believed he deserved better than this after all those years of hardship. 

13 Something Changed

Alex felt a heavy weight on his chest when he woke up the following morning. He hardly had the strength to roll out of bed. Then however he received a text message from his grandson that said "Hey Dedushka we need to send in someone who does a great job to talk at school next week. Are you coming? There won't be another child with as many skills as you. I'm eager to play chess next weekend! Andrey xxx.

Alex felt a fire burn inside him and tears welled up in his eyes. After more than 25 years of arduous labor he demonstrated that he was an excellent worker in an amazing profession. He refused to give up without a fight. 

14 Developing a Strategy

Alex thought about his alternatives at work the following day. He wanted to take revenge on the company because it had changed from the place he had loved to work for. His only problem was how best to exact his revenge.

Being a very intelligent man he was aware that there were lots of things he might accomplish to destroy the new CEO's life. He wanted to make it clear that specialists mattered and that he wasn't changeable. He created the ideal scheme before the end of the day. It was just a matter of starting it now.

15 Working Overtime

Alex put in extra hours every day for the next two weeks. Tired yet happy he returned home. He was certain that he was acting ethically and he was eager to see what would happen when he was done.

His technical colleagues saw a shift in their comrades but Alex would simply smile mysteriously and assure them that they would soon discover what he had done. They simply believed Alex was trying extra hard to keep on since their careers were also in danger. They were completely wrong in every way. 

16 Resignation Day

At last the moment had arrived. Alex was prepared with his resignation letter already typed. Wearing his best suit he arrived at work and brought some rare Russian candies for the company canteen.

He walked confidently down the hallway in Vivian's direction and tapped on the door. She gave him the finger clearly upset. She was talking wildly about a movie she had seen to a friend over the phone. With a smile on her face Alex threw the letter onto her desk. She hardly gave him another look. She would quickly come to regret how she had treated this accomplished engineer.

17 Panicked Call

After gathering his belongings Alex hastily left the workplace. He didn't need to stay and work his two-week notice period because he had enough vacation days left. That was it for him.

As he walked down the street he heard his phone begin to buzz loudly. It was Vivian and her voice was anxious. What have you DONE Mr. Ivanov? Come back here immediately and make it right! Please Alex! You cannot leave us in this state. You owe the business that" she said.

18 Not Part of My Duties

I apologize Vivian. I no longer work for them. Additionally I owe the business nothing. All you have to do is figure it out. He said calmly "Good luck.

After hanging up Vivian started screaming violently at the dial tone. He could only imagine the mayhem that was about to break out in the office. He had a bounce in his steps and felt lighter than he had in months. On a cool autumn day Alex decided to take a walk around Central Park. His company was soon to learn that trying to evict Alex Ivanov was a grave error.

19 Utilizing his own Skills

Alex had been working extra hours for those two weeks making sure the business would collapse the moment he returned. He was the chief engineer and possessed abilities the new tech-bro CEO could only envy.

He was confident that no one else would be capable of carrying on where he left off as he had made excellent use of his skills. He was eager to learn how his actions had affected things. 

20 Making Changes

Alex had deliberately taken all of the company's designs—which he had designed himself—for buildings bridges and other structures and made little modifications to each one. The differentiation between secure buildings and huge losses would be made by the modifications which would be invisible to everyone but an expert. He explained all he'd done to them in his resignation letter.

Furthermore the office building's control software had been upgraded by Alex. The wifi went off key cards ceased to function and all passwords were changed. There was mayhem.

21 He Was Aware

From the inside out he had dumped the company. He was the only one who knew exactly what modifications he had made and how to address them and he had no plans of disclosing the answers to anyone anytime soon.

Even though Alex recognised it was harsh he wanted to make a point and prove to the business what it has done in terms of letting go of any senior staff members who regardless of their degree of competence no longer "fit in" There were unexpected results to Alex's victory.

22 Unexpected Impact

The company's entire operation suffered as not only was it unable to implement any of the plans it had established in the previous year. There was trouble for the CEO. He was shocked to discover how little he understood about the industry he was meant to be managing while his group of fashionable youthful posers battled to get things back under control.

Head buried in his hands he sat in his office. He hadn't shared his secret with anyone but he was forced to do so at this point.

23 Midnight Guest

Alex heard a knock on the door that evening. Slowly he opened it. Although he didn't believe what he had done was illegal what would happen if Vivian managed to report him to the authorities? It wasn't the cops though. The new CEO Trent was there. Pale and desperate was how he appeared.

I'm sorry Alex. Please get back to us. I realize that my treatment of you elder gentlemen has been poor but I'm well over with the matter. Although I've never disclosed it to anyone my father funded my MIT tuition. The SATs were a failure for me. I'm much over my head now. I have no idea how any of this operates. Trent pleaded "Dude you have to help me. Please."

24 Thinking Over His Options

With a strong impression Alex turned to face the young man. He seemed sad now. He was shocked that this boasty CEO had attended the same university as him all those years prior let alone that he had stolen his way in. That opened my eyes.

Alex was aware that the initiative was on him. He wouldn't have to worry about anything else if he left them high and dry. But that wasn't suggestive of who he was. Although his previous motivation was punishment he was now aware of the suffering and anxiety he was causing. He looked across at Trent. Alex said to the CEO "Okay I'll help you put things right but I have a few conditions." 

25 Resolving Issues

At the last moment Alex came back for one week in the company. This was sufficient time for him to fix the problem he had done in the company. Trent was thankful but actually he was not. Alex had also some ideas for improving the company for the colleagues he was leaving behind. 

Trent was convinced by him to register the business for an age discrimination course and submit policies that would shield senior employees from being fired unfairly. Additionally Alex advocated for increased severance benefits for his coworkers who were made to resign. He desired to save a respectable sum for his grandson Andrey's education fund. 

26 Greener Pastures

After everything was said and done Alex concluded he was still not ready to retire. He believed he was at the peak of his career and showed this numerous times in the past few weeks. The destruction he created was evidence of his extraordinary ability and understanding.

However could he get another job? After all he was sixty-three and he knew from his time with his company that most people considered him to be past his prime. He was not going to give up though. 

27 Interviews

Alex resumed his job search with a refreshed sense of purpose and in a couple of days he had secured three interviews for senior engineering positions. He could see that the first two places eliminated him the moment they spotted his grey hair. Third place however was exceptional.

There was a wide range of ages and cultures in the organization and it was obvious that Alex would fit right in. His experience greatly impressed the young interviewer who urged him to begin immediately. His kind of talent was what the squad needed. 

28 Finding Respect

Although he didn't have to be Alex was anxious on his first day. His new coworkers greeted him with the warmth of an old friend. The younger engineers looked up to him as a sort of oracle in his new function as a consultant.

He was an excellent instructor helping them with their ideas slowly and scientifically and correcting mistakes that only he with his superior level of maturity and skill could have seen. Alex was thrilled to visit Andrey's school and inspire the students to be passionate about engineering after he at last received the respect he deserved.

29 Planning for Future

From a young age Alex Ivanov had a dream of becoming an engineer. He spent more than 25 years of his life working for a corporation he believed respected and valued him until he eventually secured his ideal position. He had no idea that he would be compelled to go and give them a lesson they would never forget.

We have no doubt that Alex is enjoying his new position and inspiring all of his junior coworkers to become the greatest engineers they can be. We only hope he finds time to play chess with his grandson and savor piroshki at Matryoshka.