Eventually, he worked his way up to assistant manager. But the Dooleys ran the place as if they were kings and he was their servant.
Does it mean the Dooleys took his place?
ran TDF one of many senses
To cause to function; operate:
But the Dooleys operated the place as if they were kings and he was
The Dooley operated as ‘imperial’ employers and treated their employee as a servant.