There is this guy I know since Grad School. We didn't do our PhD together, but we had friends in commons and we would all occasionally hang out at the LASA (Latin American Studies Association)or similar conferences in our field. Back then, he was already an annoying pompous as**hole. He did his PhD at an Ivy, and I will never forget the day he told me: "Because here [the Ivy he was attending] is very different than most other universities. Here, we breathe (sic) theory". I don't usually do this kind of things, but that day I took a special pleasure in humiliating him in public showing his lack of knowledge of the Frankfurt School (he was the one who started talking about Walter Benjamin out of nowhere, and I have a BA in Political Theory, so I know something about the Frankfurt School).
Anyway, this person graduated and got a TT job that, considering the academic job market, most recent PhDs would consider themselves lucky getting it. It's in an attractive midsize city with a lower than average cost of living. It's a public regional university, but they offer a PhD in Spanish. It's a 2-2 teaching load. But he is not like most people. From day one he was complaining about the low quality of the grad students and their lack of a solid theoretical basis. He also behaved like a diva with his colleagues, with a "I'm too good to be here and you should considered yourselves lucky that I accepted this job" attitude. He didn't care to hide his feelings. As a result, he would often have to cancel his graduate seminars for lack of enrollment.
On the other hand, he was extremely productive. His book was published by an excellent press his fourth year into the TT. He seems to publish at least 3 additional articles every year (on very random topics, as if he was recycling every paper he wrote as a grad student). So his colleagues at this university were worried that they would be stuck with him, since it would be very difficult to deny him tenure considering how productive he was -another indication of how little teaching is valued in certain institutions. Lucky for them, he was on the market again since the first semester he arrived at his first job. His colleagues were more than happy to give him excellent letters of recommendation hoping to get rid of him. Three years after his arrival, he got another job. A better one: a TT at a public R1 with a very good reputation.
As you may imagine, that wasn't enough either. Now, only Princeton, Duke, Stanford, Cornell and Harvard were worth of his brilliance. He spent two years at this R1. A few days ago, I don't know exactly what happened, but despite the fact that he had a CV two miles long, a published book and a finished manuscript for a second, his contract was not renewed a third year. But don't worry. He actually landed another TT job, at an R1 with an even better reputation than his previous job. Unbelievable!I've always thought that his CV looked better than his real knowledge. I still think so. But now, I am also convinced that, unless he does something really stupid like sleeping with a student in an institution that actually cares about those things (and yes, some institutions do care. Where I did my PhD a TT professor was told to look for a job elsewhere after it was discovered he was having an affair with a grad student. That despite the fact that they were both in their 30s and single), in the end he will get his dream job at Duke or Princeton. If that ever happened, though, he'd start aiming for an endowed Chair position, and would be miserable if he didn't get it.