I have a feeling both parties need to take some of the blame. I agree the original post was one-sided, though. At its core it’s a cultural issue and it could have resolved in any other way too. I guess some sort of implosion was inevitable in this case, though, given they kept pushing responsibility to one link in the chain.
Maybe Rick should have pushed back instead of accepting more work. But then, some people simply won’t or cannot do that for some reason. The failure on the company’s part was not to acknowledge the pressure that was building up before it was too late.
It sounds a lot like us vs. them kind of situation where they left Rick alone and I feel sorry for him. It likely burned him a lot. No work is so important that you should sacrifice your life doing it. It must have felt awful as stress tends to feed more stress and then you end up with this cycle where being stressed causes even more stress. It’s easy to slip into a destructive situation like that if you don’t set boundaries.