That's when the craziness really began....
Oh, please do share!
I agree. Please share.
I shouldn't have teased. In large part, the rest of the story isn't so much entertaining as sad. He had been a talented worker - albeit a jerk, and one that nobody really enjoyed working with. But when he returned, something had changed. There was a long downhill slide that resulted in a total professional and personal meltdown.
But there were a few jaw-droppers before things really went south.
When he returned, he and a co-worker were working on basically the same level, but the co-worker had a plum assignment that focused on one of the more entertaining aspects of our work. He told that worker to her face that he was "going after" her assignment, and then proceeded to do so, vigorously and clumsily, by poaching aspects of that job when he got the chance and bad-mouthing her to management. It totally backfired - he spent so much time trying to muscle in on the assignment he wanted that he made some critical misses and mistakes in the duties actually assigned to him.
She was eventually promoted and he went all-out to get that assignment. They actually gave it to him and for the most part he did OK, but the external contacts complained a LOT. Basically, he went into the job demanding the kind of access that you really have to earn, and being egregiously rude to support staff (which is about the stupidest thing you can do in a business where support staff are essentially gatekeepers). Most of those complaints were to the woman he'd replaced.
She relayed those concerns to management -- not without a small portion of glee, I'm sure -- and there were some meetings with the guy in question and the external contacts to try to get things on an even keel. That worked for awhile. But this guy's demons were just too strong. Eventually he went so far over the line that his employment was no longer tenable.
Unfortunately, at least in this case, the management in place at the time had kind of a "Land of the Misfit Toys" mentality where they kept trying to rehabilitate employees who were talented but had Issues. If they had been more rigid with him at the beginning, it's possible he would have been able to stay on track. I suspect that is the case with many of our stories here.