catharsis

In late 2018, my friend’s consultancy that I’d worked at for the past year entered into a deal with ScriptDrop, a Columbus hometown startup led by former CoverMyMeds folks, to acqui-hire the entire team. They needed to grow their development team quickly and this seemed like a great time to wind down and get back into doing product development.

I was initially slated to come on board as the VP of Engineering, which was a career move I’d been hopeful about for a long time. Prior to the deal finalizing I was told “their investors didn’t want any other executive hires” and was instead offered Director of Product Engineering. Feel free to imagine the hundreds of red flag emojis I didn’t see then. To paraphrase Wanda Pierce, “when you’re looking through rose colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”

On the third day of my “employment”1 there, Nick Potts (founder, former CEO) and Amanda Epp (then COO, now CEO) walked into my office as I was mapping out various communications channels between ops and dev and getting priorities set.

They proceeded to explain to me that I was a washed up burnout. That perhaps I’d done some good work at CoverMyMeds (where we were all employed together) but if so it was fleeting, and certainly my best work was behind me. That several of the team had come to them to say I wasn’t fit to be in a leadership position, and they’d quit rather than work for me. That it was clear I did not have the respect of anyone in the company whatsoever and that I needed to get my things and leave.

This pattern of executives personally attacking and insulting folks, making up lies to justify their behavior, and firing people at the drop of a hat was sadly not limited to me. I tried to warn my former colleagues, but they were all in the same “rose colored glasses” phase I had been. Over the next year, all but one of the great folks who were acqui-hired into ScriptDrop would be fired, some in a similar fashion to mine. These were all good folks who put everything into their work, and who didn’t deserve the treatment they got.

After, I sunk into a depression that lasted longer than I’d like to admit.


All that to say:

In September 2020 I was brought on at Prescribe FIT as the Director of Engineering. This past month I celebrated one year with the company, and a promotion to VP of Engineering. I’ve built a team I’m proud of every day, and we’re making meaningful improvements to patients’ lives through our work. It’s thrilling to be building a small company, and an honor to be a part of their growth. My team pushes the company (and me personally) forward every day.

The abuse I experienced from folks I’d once called friends burned me hard; made me wonder if I was just deluding myself, if maybe I was as shitty as they said I was.

It’s absolutely a joy and relief to prove otherwise.

Footnotes

  1. The written offer I received day one listed my title and duties as “Software Developer” rather than “Director of Product Engineering.” It was clearly not a mistake, but I treated it as one. I notified my boss, asked for a correction, and returned it unsigned.