Daily Archives: May 18th, 2011

Feudal Dualism in the Office: Let’s go serfing now

KING CLUB“Boss” is just another word for “King” only without as much bling.
–Tom B. Taker

Catherine: Are you paying attention? I promised you Mark Twain caliber quotations that you could use however you wish and royalty free. There ya go! 🙂

King Arthur: Old woman.
Dennis: Man.
King Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
Dennis: I’m 37.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I’m 37. I’m not old.
King Arthur: Well I can’t just call you “man”.
Dennis: Well you could say “Dennis”.
King Arthur: I didn’t know you were called Dennis.
Dennis: Well you didn’t bother to find out did you?
King Arthur: I did say sorry about the “old woman”, but from behind you looked…
Dennis: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior.
King Arthur: Well I am king.
Dennis: Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how’d you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.

This is the story of my boss. No, not the old one. The new one.

The word “boss” is one that looms large in my life.

Careful and thoughtful readers of this blog may have, with a fair amount of luck, picked up on the subtle theme that there are some aspects of my boss that I find less than thrilling. (I try to keep it low key and less than overt.)

The old boss was a piece of work. When I go back through this blog and read some of the stories I’ve written about him, I feel that old rage return, my old familiar friend. How quickly we forget! No, I haven’t forgotten what he is, but I have blotted out some of the specifics. When I read those old posts the specifics are suddenly made real again. Ugh.

Although there are certainly commonalities between the two, the new boss is in a completely different category. Being who I am, I tend to harp on the negative. (Who knew?) But there are good points, too.

What’s good about my new boss?

  • Within my first 90 days on the job he gave me a raise and I was making more than I had at the old job even after five years.
  • Within my first 90 days I was given a Christmas bonus – in cash. Not a $50 WalMart gift card. Additionally, if pro-rated for my time on the job, it far exceeded anything the old boss had ever done.
  • The boss came to the employees and asked for our input regarding a profit-sharing plan. (As yet not implemented.)
  • At the end of Q1 2011 the boss gave me an 8GB iPod Touch as a bonus.
King Richard

I'm a conscientious objector to hand washing. You may now kiss my ring.

The new boss tries to be a nice guy. But the relationship that defines us is always there. Boss to employee. Or, if you’ll permit the analogy, King to serf.

That relationship defines many of the rules between us. Some things will get you beheaded. You do not turn your back on the King.

That little 20′ x 30′ office is his Kingdom. He is the rule maker. It’s his way or the highway. Three human beings within six feet of each other all day long, five days a week, spending more time with each other than even our own spouses.

Ask him why he doesn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom? He’ll say, “You’re trying to change me.”

The bathroom sink full of dishes? Well, I just went poop and I gotta wash up. Sorry. I hope you like extra flavorins. Sure, there’s no soap but I bring my own liquid anti-bacterial hand soap to work. And my own dispenser of hand sanitizer. I’m no germ freak, but that doesn’t mean I like rolling in shit, either.

I could go on. There’s more. Much more. But I’m trying to maintain a fair balance of duality to this post. The good and the bad. The yin and the yang. Yes, working in that office is torture to me, but I wanted y’all to know he isn’t all bad. I believe his heart is in the right place and he doesn’t really mean to torture. That doesn’t make it any more enjoyable, though.