Busy Does a Bossy Good
The boss is a very, very busy man. We know this because he takes hours out of his day to tell us all about it.
WIDGET-424242 Premium has the wrong color listed.
It should be “Brown”
Please correct both color attributes and the name.
Note the subtle capitalization and punctuation errors. Like a boss!
I should be used to this by now. But still I sat there, stunned, staring at his email on my screen. He could have sent a shorter email. “Widget 424242 wrong color. Thanks.” But he didn’t.
I thought about hitting “reply” and asking a simple question: “Will there ever come a day when you don’t feel the need to include that extraneous sentence at the end?” I heard it can be beneficial to dream. Well, I have my dreams, too.
He went ahead and listed the correct color, even though I could have figured that out on my own. Maybe we can give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he was just trying to be helpful. He saved me the bother of having to look it up in the catalog.
But WTF is up with that next sentence? He just told me the color was “wrong.” I know what that means. It has to be fixed. If I really strained my brain cells enough I might even be able to extrapolate, like an Eistein smartypants, what should happen next. We have to correct the wrong information on the website! Am I right, am I right, Alex Trebec? What do I win?
Luckily, though, the boss is ever vigilant and at the ready to provide more than enough information. Apparently he thinks we’re so damn stupid we won’t know to wipe our own asses unless he’s there to point out the obvious. “And use toilet paper next time!” That might also explain why he walks into occupied bathrooms without the courtesy of knocking first. It’s because he’s so damn smarter than us idiots. No doubt that’s why he hired us.
“You going to send that letter in the mail? You’ll have to put on a postage stamp. The post office won’t deliver it without one.” Are you fucking shitting me? (And, for the record, I’m not making this up. This is an actual verbatim from the boss to me.)
I can’t help but wonder. What if the boss was in charge of other stuff? What would that look like?
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Boss wants it when?
What’s a boss? Someone who does a lot of shit you hate. Repeatedly. And does it a lot.
An example is getting pounced by the boss the exact nanosecond you walk into work. As the door swings shut behind you and you begin to walk across the room, the boss patiently counts to .1 then lets it fly.
“Oh. Um. Hey. I have some prices and stock changes for the website for you I need done.”
“For you.” What a quaint way of putting it.
“They need to be entered and saved into the website.”
No shit? I was going to try sticking them in my ear. I have no data to suggest that would work, but I figured what the hell. I’m just a blubbering idiot compared to glowing brilliance that is you.
“I need it done right away.”
What? You’re not giving me five years lead time on this grand project of yours? I’m literally shocked.
You can guess what came next. Yep. I took an additional 15 seconds to walk across the room and reach my desk. I paused to savor a feeling of accomplishment. Wow, I sure accomplished a lot in my first minute at work. Team building? Check. Project management? Check. Blood leaking out of ears? Check! That’s why I keep tampons in my desk.
The boss was watching and waiting expectantly. I put on a little show consisting of setting my coffee down, sitting in my chair, adjusting my chair, turning on my computer display and lots of exciting stuff like that. I could feel the boss’ beady little eyes drilling into me. Creepy. How many minutes left in this day until quitting time? I already feel like I’m roasting in Hell while demons with tongues of flame lick the flesh from my bones.
Finally I turned to face him.
“Sure thing,” I said, being careful to speak to him as if he was a small child. Bosses respond well to that. “Let me know what you want changed and I’ll be happy to take care of it. I’ll make it my top priority.” Bosses like words like “priority.”
This response excited him. He peed himself a little.
But first there was a day full of important boss stuff to get done. This included things like buying stuff on Woot.com, taking 42 phone calls from his wife, reading news stories, playing with his Ameritrade account, “cooking” multiple meals in his disgusting microwave, playing Plants vs. Zombies on his iPad while sitting on the toilet, and, of course, a nap on the office sofa, his Hobbit-like bare feet sticking up in the air.
Several eternities later, it was quitting time. I got up out of my chair. I gathered my things. I slug my backpack over my shoulder and headed for the door.
The boss looked up and said, “What? Are you leaving?”
“Afraid so, old chap. Quittin’ time and all that. Cheerio!”
“Wait,” he cried. “I was just about to send you those changes.”
There followed a long and pregnant and awkward pause. I swallowed my bile and spoke The Question, breaking the silence.
“You don’t want that done now, do you?”
“Yes, I need it now. It has to be done today. My wife has been riding me hard on this one.”
Ah, fear. That’s why it was so damn important you fucked around on it for an incredible eight and half hours. Top priority, indeed.
Like a boss.
It’s not that I minded that much getting a little OT. But seriously. Is there any possible way this grown person with firing power over me could act any dumber? I think not. He’s perfected the art.
Me so dummy
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.
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For the boss: I’m here to help
Pinhead bosses, perhaps intelligent in other aspects of their of their lives, become cripplingly stupid in the workplace. I theorize it is because the greed and power centers of their brain become so enlarged and aroused that they squeeze the thinking part right out.
Even the most mundane tasks, ones that you and I take for granted, can loom like a Death Star in that wide open galaxy of space they call a brain.
Boss: (whining) We’re not sell any of the THX-1138 widgets!
Employee: That’s because you never listed them for sale on the website.
It’s not their fault, really. They’re too busy doing important stuff like telling you what to do, like micromanaging how many rubber bands or pieces of tape you use. They’re only human and can only do so much!
That’s where I come in. I’ve decided to do the mature thing. I’m going to take the high road and forgive their foibles. I’m going to try to help.
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