Me so dummy

Last day but I seem to've left my tolerance at home. Answering stupid emails, keep singing this in my head

I searched for "stupid email" and this image was a result. Search over. It's kismet!

Another day, another post about work… (Are you listening, Klout? Poop and work. That’s me.)

Andy Rooney died recently. So CBS is running a lot promos for “The Best of Andy Rooney” on DVD lately. It may very well be the one commercial in the history of television that may actually influence my behavior. In the commercial they play a clip of Andy saying something like, “Why is it that bosses make such bad decisions?” (That’s paraphrased from memory. I didn’t memorize the damn thing.)

Andy also once famously said, “We need people who can actually do things. We have too many bosses and too few workers.”

Dammit, Andy! You’re preaching to the choir. Testify! I love you! Hallelujah!!! That’s a modern day miracle. We must begin work to make Andy a saint. Now. Fuck the customary five-year waiting period.

I’m going to reveal something very major about myself. Call it a risky disclosure if you want. Yeah, I’m sure you’re all sitting around thinking to yourself, “I wish I knew more about Tom.” Too bad. I’m going to tell you anyway.

There are brief times in my life where I feel a renewed sense of hope and sincere optimism.

If asked, I will disavow ever making that statement. The Secretary will disavow that I exist. This post will self-destruct in five seconds.

What is this mythical time? I call it the Job Jump:

job jump
the period of time between resignation at one place of employment and the first day of employment somewhere else.

Fun Abyss Fact: I always scheduled zero days between jobs. I love to be pathetic and revel in shame, but that’s just me. This gives me my edge; it keeps me sharp. Hooah!

I can’t help myself. Once I’ve resigned a shitty job my imagination starts to run wild. Maybe – just maybe – the next job won’t be exactly like being raped by an army of ants. Maybe my new boss won’t be the largest douchebag the world has ever seen.

I guess this period of “maybe thoughts” might also be known as optimism. At least in my world.

Let’s use my current boss as an example. I have no negative memories of my interview with him. We ended up talking for 2-1/2 hours. It actually wasn’t much of an interview at all. We just chatted. It wasn’t excessively uncomfortable and the time flew by. And I walked out knowing two things. The job was mine and the guy didn’t seem quite so bad. Shit, maybe this would even work.

I think I was on the job less than a week before I knew I was absolutely fucked. (Emphasis added.)

Isn’t this life thing fun?

It reminds me of the time I was hired at my last job. I was told I was being hired to fill a certain technical position. At the time I was working as a whore so this was very welcome news. I accepted the job offer. I resigned the whore job and gave them two week notice. I was now past the point of new return. The die had been cast. I was ensconced in the job jump.

That’s when the Universe decided to show me what’s what. The new job asked me to stop by on my day off for a “tour.” I ended up spending eight hours there, on my own time, being trained on the multi-line phone system, how to take orders, the nuances of their fucking shitty product line, how the cash register worked, how to handle customers on the retail floor, etc.

Employment bait and switch is a terrible thing. I had been enticed to jump from the frying pan and right into the surface of the sun. I thought I was leaving my whore job behind? I was about to become whore tenfold! I remember leaving the building that day, going out to my car in their shitty little parking lot, kneeling on the ground by the driver’s seat and enjoying the dry heaves. That moment is one of the quintessential highlights of my existence.

That’s basically the story of my life in a nutshell. So you can imagine my trepidation when I accepted the job that was supposed to be better than that one.

That reminds me? What is hotter than the surface of the sun?

Like always, I thought I was being hired for the position overtly in the ad. Even after the interview I still clung to this illusion. Then, on my first day on the job, I had a phone shoved down my throat and I was introduced to the side business. This was something that my internet research hadn’t turned up. This was something that had not been mentioned to me in any way, shape or form. And it was whore duty to the max. And an even shittier enterprise than my previous job. And, the piece de restistance, it was all mine. I was going to be solely responsible for the whole damn thing. And, oh yeah, in my spare time, I’d do that other shit that I had thought I was being hired to do.

One of the first orders of business? The boss decided that I needed a company email address. Normally this is something that requires about five seconds of thought. There are only so many ways to do it, right? The exercise of issuing me an email address was my first glimpse into the mind of my new boss. It quite literally took him over an entire month to decide.

What the fuck is there to think about, I wondered? Just pick one and go. I’m analytical and take time to think things over, but this was ridiculous.

A week into my new job and I’d been hit with the employment bait and switch whammy and I still didn’t have an email. I had a very bad feeling and it was too late to do anything about it. I guess it was time to start looking for a new job. (Something I do exceedingly slow.) I seriously began to consider a career change like pumping gas or fast food. At least those fuckers know what they are doing. And I doubted jobs like that would have much bait and switch. At least I knew what I’d be getting into rather than believing a bullshit lie.

Yesterday the boss wanted a task done. I’m going to use the analogy of a hole. “Make me a hole,” the boss ordered.

The boss and I have had our share of arguments about vague instructions in the past. He says that if he has to explain the task in sufficient detail that I can actually deliver what he wants, that process takes too much time and effort so he might as well do the task himself. I, of course, like to reply: “Why in the name of fuck did you ever hire me?”

So the process of task completion works a little something like this:

Boss: Give me a hole.
Me: What size would you like your hole to be?
Boss: Dammit! I don’t have time to tell you that.
Me: Here’s your hole.
Boss: I don’t like that hole.
Me: Orly?

Then comes a process known as boss tweaking. This is an excruciating exercise where the boss breaks things down to the level of minutia, then demonstrates how all of your choices were completely wrong. The boss then tells you to change every single thing.

This is followed by a pouty phase of 24 hours at which time the boss will announce, “I no longer want that hole. The hole you made is evil. It’s tainted. Take it away! By the way, home much dirt is in that hole?”

The funny part is, of course, that this excruciating process took three times as long as it actually took to perform the task in the first place. And that’s also a lot longer than it would have taken for him to explain a few simple design requirements right up front.

“I’m too busy to take 5 minutes to explain what the completed project should look like. Therefore I’m going to pay you to spend your time on that task. Then we’re going to spend 45 minutes talking about how it sucks. Then you’re going to spend triple the amount of time changing everything. Then I’m going to toss the whole kit-n-kaboodle out the window and rip you a new one for being behind on other work. Wow, you really suck, don’t you?”

That’s boss logic for you.

The funny thing is: Aside from the project being totally irrelevant in the first place, none of the things he changes and criticizes has any actual meaning. It’s like saying, “I used a lowercase i to signify an imaginary number,” then having a four-week debate about the pros and cons of every other letter of the alphabet before the boss says, “Make it xy42,” and totally at random. What in the universe has changed? How is the company more profitable? What else could we have been doing that might have been more productive? What about the thing that sits over there in the corner gathering dust that could easily double our sales? Fuck that! That’s not important because the boss has decided to spend a month worrying about a meaningless label.

It’s important to note a couple of things about this process. It cleverly makes use of many of the principles set forth in my book, How To Destroy Your Employees. At each step of the process the boss is reinforced as the only one smart enough to decide anything. With each override of decisions made, the employee feels worse and worse. When done properly, the employee should feel completely demoralized. And that’s a job well done!

I used to be somebody. I was a supervisor at a major company. After being promoted from within, they gave me two weeks of manager training. One of the first principles I learned was that you have to tell employees what a good job looks like. You have to properly explain what you want and check for understanding. Does this take a little extra effort? Yes, but the positive results are well worth it. How in the name of Zeus’ butthole is an employee supposed to do a good job if you haven’t explained what the final result looks like? Is he supposed to use his powers of ESP? Guess? Throw darts at a board? One thing is certain: If you don’t explain what the job looks like, the employee will always be “wrong.” And that’s when you get to gloat. Ah, it all makes sense now!

By the way, did I mention the boss has never had any training whatsoever at being a manager? He got the job of boss because he made some money and self-appointed himself. And that’s the sum total of his qualifications to tell other people what to do.

Oh, I almost forgot the element of hypocrisy. This is juicy. Just last week the boss had flopped his bulbous unwashed mass into a chair and whining about how he will no longer ask his wife’s opinion about anything because her response is exactly like what I just described. Rather than subjecting himself to that, he simply avoids the whole thing by cutting her out. Nice relationship you have there, asshole.

In fact, as I scientifically observe this dude in action, I have noted that everything he says he personally dislikes he then turns around and does to others in abundance. My clinical conclusion is that the dude is severely damaged. They recently discovered that some people are so stupid that they don’t have a clue they are the stupid. This guy is one of those.

Oops. I gotta run. It’s getting late and I have to get ready for work. It’s time to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight again. Today I’m hoping he’ll teach me how I’m too stupid to tie my own shoes…

4 responses

  1. Please, please, pleeeeeeze…. write the book and let me know when it’s done! I WANT ONE! I know at least 6 people I could give it to for Christmas, or another randomly chosen non-specific holiday, and I would go to the top of their LUURVE YOU list!

    Tom. Seriously. Write the book! 😀


    1. The more I think about it, the more I think this should be my first official project. Especially if I know I have advance orders for six signed first editions. Oh yeah, playa status.

      My original project, “Society of Assholes,” is on hiatus since someone actually came out and published “Assholes Finish First.”

      Why don’t I believe in Christmas? I didn’t get that book as a present!


  2. Okay, Tom. You can write the book but I want an autographed copy and an invitation to Staff Appreciation Day. *snicker*


    1. I’ll even let you pick from all of my self-portraits and chose the one that goes inside the book cover.

      Sadly and with no small amount of irony, if the book is successful I’ll no longer have a boss. One of my New Year’s resolutions is that if I can make $20 on the side I’m going to quit my day job.


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