My boss strolled in the door at 8.45a this morning. I greeted him in my usual custom. “Howdy.” He nodded and said in his usual custom, “Wassup?” As he sauntered past my desk and flipped the light switch in his office he spoke to me in that irritating stutter (born of years of drug and pill abuse), “Did you just say ‘howdy?’ I like that, I like that.” I permitted myself a mutinous, muttered “Aww, shucks,” and I rolled my eyes. I rolled them. I often say that if I rolled my eyes any harder they would get stuck in my head. He is the reason why.
Boss quickly exited his office to harass the rest of the workers with his “Wassup, man, wassup?” Never pausing to actually hear ‘What’s up,’ he darted into the kitchen to pour himself a tiny cup of coffee and then just as quickly darted into his office again. He emailed me a question regarding my morning reports and after my reply, busied himself on the phone and in his emails; no doubt he was making other peoples’ lives as fraught with annoyance as he made mine.
At noon, our developer shuffled in, his pathetic attempt at acting “sick” undone by the entirely healthy gleam in his eyes. His much-trumpeted precious football team had lost last night and he didn’t want to face the music. I left for an errand and when I came back he had emailed the “Team” saying he was “sick” but would be monitoring emails. This is the same man who always walks in 2-3 hours behind time, usually a good hour after he has called to let us know he’s “on his way in.” Cue another eye roll.
As I came into the office and set down my box (the errand had been across town and past two toll-ways) I saw my manager’s light was off. He was in the Boss’s office having a chat. I knew as soon as my manager came out that the conversation had been an ugly one. His face registered storm-clouds with a chance of hail. I carefully approached him about it while packing up an eBay item we’d sold earlier. He told me the Boss had arbitrarily decided to extend my 1099 status for another three months which meant no pay increase (as promised when I came on as a “full” employee) and no insurance (desperately needed, as my second child is due in June). I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. He did it to the friend of mine who works here as well. Arbitrary basis. He also discontinued Short Term Disability. Oh, my eyes are going to get stuck today.
I uttered my second mutinous phrase of the day: “He’s not exactly outward facing, is he?” My manager agreed. We have so many reasons to leave but so many reasons why hanging onto these jobs is the best idea for now. Mostly we do our work, avoid the Boss, and mutter amongst ourselves at his obvious favoritism, at his convenient blind eye and his inconsistency. We shake our heads at the good ideas that are wasted as he dismisses them because he didn’t think of them. We ‘tsk’ impatiently as we are instructed to pass along his commands because he ‘doesn’t like confronting people.’ If I have learned anything from this pathetic man it’s what the proper target of Disdain looks like.