You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the Tales of the BossLady: journal entries that I wrote several years ago as a way of privately letting off the accumulated steam of working for an annoyingly screwy lady. Nowadays I’m mellower about such characters, but back then I did a lot of teeth-grinding.
After those bigass hurricanes I’ve mentioned previously, my bosses and I had to improvise how to keep the business going. Our office building was wrecked, so the only logical solution was to set up shop in the house that BossMan and BossLady share. They bought a few plastic tables from Sam’s Club and set up the printers on cardboard boxes, and proceeded to pretend that everything was hunky-dory. After several months, with no end of the home-based version of the business in sight, I started to go a little crazy.
Try to imagine it: Months and months of coming to work only to find your boss in her bathrobe when you walk in the door. Months of picking up your boss’s used popsicle sticks and wiping popsicle juice off your work area. Months of watching manila folders being organized into piles rather than being filed because there’s nowhere to file them. Your bosses have this whole huge, empty room in which they could be doing their living, their eating, their leaving of personal items around, but since the whole house is their house, they see no problem with piling newspapers on tables that you could be using to put together mailings. They see no problem with sitting down to have breakfast in their slippers two feet away from you and letting their crusty, half-empty coffee cups make rings on what you laughingly refer to as your “desk.” They see no problem with the ants that eventually discovered the smorgasbord of discarded food wrappers that get left around all the time.
So yeah, it got pretty stressful for me because I knew that things didn’t have to be this way. But, not wishing to jeapordize my job, I didn’t say anything.
Until, of course, BossLady gave me the perfect opening. She told me that the gang from our old office had finally gotten most of the repairs done on the wrecked building, and we might be able to move back in there in just a month or so. BossLady was not pleased at this idea, since she had gotten comfy working out of her home and had decided that we were more “productive” in the house since we didn’t have to deal with any other people at all. She talked about this for several minutes as she got ready to go to lunch with BossMan, and then, on her way out the door, said to me:
“What is your opinion? Are we more productive here, or at the office?”
I seized it:
“We’re very productive here….[A true statement, as business was certainly booming.] We might be more comfortable at the office.”
BossLady was pissed. BossLady was clearly expecting me to say, “I love it here! Everything’s great! I never want to leave! Bring on the cockroaches next!” or something along those lines, but I didn’t say it. She pressed me to explain myself, and I continued that there would be actual office furniture at the office, and resources that we wouldn’t have to pay for as we do now, like the office printers. BossLady spat a few disparaging remarks about how you have to “fight” for the printers at the office (meaning, other people use them and sometimes several people are trying to print stuff at once), and then left in a huff after I clammed up. I could see there was no point in saying anything else at that moment.
I was slightly miffed that the comfort of their employees did not, apparently, enter into BossLady’s head, but I continued to not say anything about my working conditions until BossMan himself brought up the subject.
Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion to this particular anecdote!