Worked for Trump for about 4 years during the development and construction of a large project in NYC. Worked directly with Trump himself a handful of times during that, but mostly with his sons. He himself is very hands on and very informed about his projects, he knows details that you would not expect him to know. He's very much a "do this, do that, change this, change that" regardless of outside factors - he wants things done his way cause he honestly believes he knows the best ways to do things. His kids, while having a similar style, are much more willing to listen and implement alternate solutions.
I always thought of Trump (this is pre-politician Trump, circa 2012) in a way that I think a lot of people did at the time. He was slightly laughable but I figured he must have been a smart guy because he was able to run such a massive enterprise so I was pretty intrigued by him.
After working with TrumpOrg for a while and talking with him I was honestly pretty in awe of what he was able to get done. He made decisions and got results. This was not an exclusively Trump project, there were a few other stakeholders but it seemed like no matter how much resistance he was met with he was always able to come out on top. It wasn't always the best outcome in my eyes, but it was more or less the outcome HE wanted and the negotiations almost always went in his favor.
After a couple more years I became a little less enthralled with the situation. We, on several occasions, were made to do things that weren't exactly the legal way to do things. I'm not talking about major violations, but things that technically were not his call. However, he wanted them done and because we all needed to keep our jobs they got done. Also, he surrounds himself with "Yes men" Everyone in Upper Management and C-level roles got there because they 1) COMPLETELY buy into the Trump charisma 2) Always agree with him and reaffirm that agreement and 3) ALL, I mean ALL, refer to him constantly as Mr. Trump - no one calls him Donald. I was not one of those people and it began to take a toll on me eventually. I was so over-worked and tbh underpaid. I was tired of the rediculous requests from him, I was tired of everyone being his puppets, I was tired of living in fear that he may randomly show up (which he did), I was tired of all the distractions outside of our main goal with the project. Now, I understand that he's the boss and that's what the boss does, but it was different with him, it's hard to articulate what was different, it just was.
I left TrumpOrg about 2 months after he announced his campaign for POTUS. At that point I thought there was no way he could win this thing and was just waiting for the crash and burn. Well... as we now know the crash and burn didn't come (or maybe just hasn't come yet). I tend to be a fiscal conservative but socially liberal so I never have an easy time when elections come around. This past year was especially difficult, I knew there was no way I could vote for Hillary (too much baggage, never genuine, seemed very elitist and out of touch with the common American) but I was having a hard time convincing myself I could vote for Trump. The things he saying were too rash and not "Presidential". He may have made some points that I thought were good points but I didn't feel right casting my vote for him. Eventually, I voted Libertarian just to say F-you to the two party system, it's broken and it needs to change. But this isn't a political rant so I won't get into that.
ITT: People who are shocked that interpersonal interactions can be pleasant with someone with sketchy business practices.
I used to work for someone who was probably the biggest piece of s**t I have ever met. A legal bully who became a millionaire because he was given a prime piece of real estate as a gift and then proceeded to f**k over every small contractor who was unlucky to take a job for him for years on end. A real piece of work with a very questionable moral compass and a business built on behind-closed-doors handshake agreements while trying to push illegal contract agreements on his employees.
I was probably the only person who worked for him that left on good terms. Everyone else snapped in some way and let him have it as they walked out on the job. I hated it a few months in and ended up rounding out a year for my resume's sake and then made plans to move back to freelance and did so with some grace.
I f***ing hate his guts and disapprove of almost everything about him except some of his fashion/design aesthetics, but our interactions are brief and friendly any time I bump into him. He asks me what I've been up to, he offers me a job, I decline, we go about our merry way.
Is it all that shocking that some big deal CEOs can be awful people and have completely backwards beliefs from you but still understand that brief and friendly interactions with employees and customers is important?
Ex-refinisher here who worked on the doors for the Trump Hotel in DC:
It was a sh**show. I am anti-Trump, full disclosure. I'm trying not to let that color my experience. But it was the worst job of my career. We weren't given all of the doors, many were hidden around the old post office. Upon installation, the doors were damaged by more of the construction going around. Normally that's not a problem, it's something we touch up and fix up later. But significant damage was done, which we were blamed for. Company still hasn't been paid in full for the issue, but as a small refinisher, the company can only fight it so much. And most of the managers were just a complete pain, often making it impossible for us to install the doors for hours at a time. They would change deadlines and change what doors they wanted on a whim. It just seemed like an incredibly disorganized mess for such a large project.
H/T: Ask Reddit