Thursday, April 28, 2005

Flip your world upside down

A streetcar on Queen street west.

I have a boss that I've been working with on various projects off and on for the last eight years. For the most part he's okay to work for. I have had, like most people I'm sure, a various assortment of bosses over my lifetime ranging from the really evil to the really amazing. I would like to point out that my current boss is nowhere near evil but lies somewhere between evil and amazing.

The type of industry we’re in there can be a lot of stress and I would not want my boss’ job. I can understand that he can have his bad days. Which is why I put up with some of the crap he lays on me. Unfortunately I've been declared his personal punching bag at the company. He lays on a lot of crap. It took me a while to realize this but a lot of co-workers (and friends) have been saying this for months now. Due to his actions I would rank my boss in the bone head category.

Over the last few years he's been doing things that have been starting to get to me and like a piece of glass under your skin it starts to irritate you until you can't take it any more and have to remove it by any means necessary. I'm bad that way. I'll usually let things slide thinking it’s a small thing, it’s not something to lose your head over, and usually it’s something that will not reoccur. Usually.

The following characteristics are the things that put me up in arms about my boss. 1) He doesn't keep promises made. Everything from benefits, to job descriptions, to wages, to things he’ll do. You can’t really count on him. 2) He doesn't take any responsibility for his actions. If something goes wrong with a project there’s always someone else who will get the heat. 3) He’s vague most of the time (I guess this is an offshoot of number two), and 4) He has been jabbing me with insults.

Recently, within the last few years (yes years), he's been getting more vocal with the insulting and has started doing it more publicly, in front of other employees, clients, and sub contractors. It’s not as blatant as “Derek is a dumb ass.”, it’s usually more subtle “Well if Derek was doing his job maybe blah blah blah” .

There was a thing last year when I sent out some files to the clients specs. When the client couldn’t read the files my boss started yelling at me stating that I always screwed the job up. This was in front of all the employees, as we work in a big room. After his blow out, maybe 10 minutes or so, the client called back saying they gave us the wrong specs and apologized for doing so. Did my boss make a public apology? Did he apologize in private? The answer would be no to both. Dumb ass.

I know you’re wondering “Who the heck would put up with crap like that and for so long?”. I’m sure a lot of people out there are afraid to confront their boss because it may mean losing your job or at the very least don’t want to cause waves. Part of this is true for me.

This year I decided not to take that kind of crap. I told myself that if I worked for him again I would I would take him aside and tell him when he was doing something to irritate me upon doing so or just after. It didn’t take long for old habits to kick in. Tuesday during a production meeting he blurted the usual “Well if Derek did any work…. blah blah blah” in front of other management. After the meeting I took him aside into a small room and told him that he was being a dumb ass (I’m paraphrasing here. I was actually more polite). He apologized and we moved on.

Today he did something pretty slimy. He hired a coordinator to work on a project without telling me. Two days prior to this he poked me in the back telling me I would be coordinating the project until sometime near the end of May. He wouldn’t give me an actual end date (that vague thing). The way I found out about the new coordinator was meeting the coordinator and being asked if I could ramp her up on the project.

He and the company have a history of laying off people without giving them notice. Just after Christmas he let the 3D department go (see previous entry). I figured I’d try to get another job somewhere else. Near the end of the day he called me into his office to tell me not to worry about the job. I was taken away from it because he was going to put me on another one. Way to go. By this point I’d already taken measures to get a job somewhere else and was waiting to see if I got hired.

So I told him that I was going to have to get back to him before starting the new job. He wanted to know why I’d even consider taking on other work when he "promised" that I’d be working on the first job offered (which I won’t be working on). Well that opened the flood gates.

I started by informing him of his past decisions to lay people off (including me) without notice and my disapproval. Then I proceeded to tell him how his little jabs have been wearing on me. I went to town. He got defencive blaming his actions on the influence of another worker. He then tried to put off my little soap box rant by asking me to talk to him about it over lunch some where out side the office.

We were in his office at the time. Although I wasn’t yelling at him I wondered if he was looking at the reactions of the other workers faces who might see us through the office's window. Were they even looking our way? I didn’t know. I was facing away from the office window.

I didn't let up and told him that I wanted to finish my discussion with him then and there. I wasn't going to let him weasel out of this happy moment. Besides, I was on a roll. He had put me through months of irritation that I carried on my shoulders until today. I figured he could take a five minute talk from me.

When I was done talking I must admit I felt pretty good getting all that crap off my chest. My boss hid in his office for the remainder of the day until he had to go to a meeting. I hate the idea that I’d have to be pushed so far to even do something like that but it’s been a long week, working long hours, and I missed a dinner that I was invited to for helping shoot the fashion show. Free food and models!

In the end I must say I've been feeling pretty good about myself even though I might be unemployed next week.


uncaringbear said...

Some guy showed up to work one day and shot up the place (and a few of his workmates) with a high powered automatic weapon. Of course, there is never any excuse to do something like that. Never ever, ever. It's just NOT worth it, ok?

Zee said...

Yeah! I hate that boss of yours. Good job man -- he needed a good tongue lashing.

BagelHot said...

uh yeah... I agree. No violent deaths of employees. That's bad.

Anonymous said...

Just give me 5 minutes with idiot-boss in a secluded alley....

Cupcake said...

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
- Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

Your boss is more than a dumb ass.

Character is higher than intellect... A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)

I'm very proud of what you did! It took great courage. You not only stood up for yourself but for all the others this guy had "abused".

Olivia Meiring said...

You so did the right thing there! Do you realise you have finally broken a very destructive pattern holding you back your life? It will have repurcussions in many other areas of your life too. Now you know what you're capable of. And you kept your cool. I bet your boss has loads of respect for you now.

Way to go Derek!