Bent Words

Bent Words

September 09, 2010

Last week Thursday was supposed to be my half day at work. When the time came for me to leave, my new Boss Man asked, "Are you heading out or what?"

"Heading out, unless you need me to stick around."

"Well," he said, "I'd really like it if you could hang out and get some inventory done but I understand if you have more important things to do."

Actually, I do have other things to do. They are not more important. I'm not leaving work to donate blood. Nor am I going to wrap up a bunch of winter wear for Good Will. I'm not getting any necessary medical treatments. I'm also not visiting any sick relatives. I just have other things to do. Something different somewhere else.

But when he puts it like that (i.e. making it sound as though it were my choice but it's not really), I don't want to be the dumb dick that begged out so I said I'd stay.

"I'll run to lunch," he said, "and then you can take as much time as you need to get your stuff done. Come back and work on inventory. Deal?"

Not really.

But I shrugged and nodded.

Really, I can't just run around for an hour or two after you're finally finished f'ing around for lunch, buddy, to 'get my stuff done.' You'll be gone for more than an hour and I need, like, I don't know... HALF A DAY.


So Boss Man kicks it for lunch. At 3pm. Doesn't come back until sometime after 4pm. We close at 7pm. Pointless for me to head out during RUSH HOUR in a vain attempt to garner household necessities, hit the pad and vacuum, take out the garbage, write my father a 70th birthday poem, create an an AMAZING thank you letter to Wilde Honda for fixing my ride and whatever else it was I was going to do if I had a whole HALF DAY to do it. Instead I just grabbed some grub at the gas station and swallowed while inventorying all the parts that I've already inventoried three months previous.


So Cory and I are doing inventory. At 6pm, one of the techs (Corbin) comes into the parts room to ask me for a set of tires for a repair job. I find the front tire but not the back tire. I ask Cory to help me and as Cory is walking toward the tire rack, I find the rear tire. I roll the front toward Corbin and it hits a large empty box we have sitting in the middle of the room. I roll the second tire and it lands in the overturned box. As a joke, I tell Cory to also get in the box. Cory, always loyal, thus crawls into the box and Corbin turns it over so that Cory is now 'trapped' underneath.

Corbin starts laughing and says, "Wouldn't it be funny if your manager walked in right now?"

And, low and behold, Boss Man promptly makes his entrance.

This, of course, sends me sailing. I was laughing so hard that I literally had to turn away from the Boss Man in order not to pee my pants. Impeccable timing, indeed!

However, Boss Man does not find the humor in our situation. Instead, he growls.


And that's really all I wanted, anyway, was to go home. So I went home. Kinda of anti-productive in terms of getting inventory done but, hey, you're the manager. I'm sure you'll manage.

Get home. Relax with a cocktail. Write Boss Man an email detailing all the reasons why he was wrong. Boss Man calls me and says, "Hey, no big deal -- I'm over it. I was just trying to prove a point. We need to have inventory done by tomorrow."

"Okay, number one. I'm glad YOU'RE over it. I was worried for a minute there... Number two, you can prove your points more easily by actually telling us what it is you want. I had no idea you needed inventory done by tomorrow until you told me JUST NOW. Number three, today was supposed to be my half day just like Monday and Tuesday were supposed to be my half days. I did not leave on any of these three days because I wanted to help you hammer out inventory. I did not even take a lunch for two of these three days, let alone any breaks. 12-hour days, six days a week. So if you're going to get mad at us for goofin' around for all of three minutes in the back room, I can tell you right now that I just really don't care."

"Laura, I understand what you're saying and I do appreciate all that you do at the shop but what if Dan (the GM) were to walk in just then? I think it would have been a lot worse."

"I've hung with Dan in his office to dork around before on breaks -- pretty sure he would not have minded much. He might object, however, if he knew how often you were wandering around outside making personal calls. He might even object to the fact that you take hour and a half lunches almost every day. But I don't throw my co-workers under the bus..."

"We're obviously not getting anywhere here," he incorrectly said, "but I do understand and I am sorry for blowing up. We'll have a meeting about it in the morning."

Meeting consisted of Boss Man once again flexing his muscles and puffing up like a peacock. Not impressed. The meeting also consisted of my repeating exactly what I had stated to him the other night on the phone, but this time in front of Cory and the GM. About ten minutes after we had all dispersed, the sales manager (Tom) came in back to laugh it all off with me.

"He's just trying to establish some sort of authority over you guys. Don't even worry about it. We'll make it up to him."

And so we are and so we shall. Small steps.

But he's gotta realize that he's just one more douche in long line of attempted management in our department (he's manager number five or six since I've been in parts). He can't win us over by huffing and puffing. He can't garner our respect by never acting according to his own 'rules.' And he won't get far if he keeps pretending he's something he's not. He will lose.

We've shook other bad apples off the tree before -- it just needs time and a bit of antagonism.

Horse on you, buddy.

Written at 5:38 p.m.