The Tales of the BossLady were written long ago, when John Paul II was still Pope, James Brown was still alive, and nobody would’ve believed you if you’d told them a black guy would be President before the decade was out. I wrote these anecdotes in the privacy of my own home, never daring to bring them into the light of day until now (partly because I’m still embarrassed about what a crankypants I was back then).
For some time now, I have worked six days a week. I do this because I need the money. I work as many hours as they’ll give me during the week, and I always get at least five or six hours on Saturday too. Overtime is the nectar of the gods.
I recently took a vacation, which is something I never do. (The hurricanes don’t count.) I took three whole days off: Thursday through Saturday. A friend had invited me to go on a trip with her, and the trip didn’t happen, but that’s another story. I took the three days off anyway, did my own thing, and just sacrificed the twenty-some-odd hours I would have cashed in on.
When I came back to work on Monday, I found BossLady overflowing with vim and vigor: She had taken the opportunity, while I was away, to change a few things.
- She apparently spent a considerable amount of time “cleaning up” my spreadsheets. (The days of “Bow Before the Sacred Spreadsheet” are long gone. I now consider the spreadsheets mine, since I’m the one who uses them 99.999% of the time.) She now wants me to start following her kooky idea of “what makes sense” regarding dates in Excel.
- She also spent the whole weekend exhaustively and needlessly re-organizing our old manila folders — not the new, recent ones, the old ones — in such a manner that I can now no longer find anything that I’m looking for when something needs to be updated.
- Additionally, I found a note from BossLady with about twenty nitpicky remarks about minor cosmetic and/or semantic changes she wants me to make on the Website. This would not really be a problem, and in fact I should get used to this sort of thing if I ever hope to be a Real Live Web Developer when I grow up, but I’m facing the classic situation of being asked to make “corrections” that are incorrect or at best incomprehensible. I ask you, which makes more sense to the average real estate shopper?
- “NOTE: Red scrub jay habitat!”
- “NOTE: Special permitting is required to build on this lot.”
This is a woman who has gone into thesis-length dissertations on “cellphone” versus “cell phone” on the flyers we send out, so I guess this is just par for the course, though.
- Aaaaaaaand she is still harping on my filenaming system. “Use this format for closing statements and this format for listing agreements and this format for contracts,” and why the hell doesn’t she send me back to second grade to re-learn the Palmer method, for heaven’s sake? How about a lecture on using Xs instead of checkmarks on my personal to-do list while we’re at it?
- Oh, and…BossLady wants me to start emailing the .pdf files straight from Adobe Acrobat, because “they have high compression!” and she thinks this will eliminate “all the problems” people have when we email links to them (see previously, Ignorance, Bliss). Emailing directly from Adobe means sending files as attachments, however, which means this will cause more problems than it will solve. Like I’ve said before, these people are suspicious of attachments because they know (at least some of the marginally more savvy know) that this is how you get viruses. Many people who don’t know any better than to open attachments can’t open them anyway, because they have security settings in place that won’t let them (set up for them by their techie friends). I didn’t say any of this to BossLady while she was excitedly sharing all hew new ideas with me. I just nodded and “Mmmm-hmmm”ed as usual.
Will I do any of this stuff? Not bloody likely.
Why in God’s name does this woman spend so much time obsessing over new ways to “fix” things that don’t particularly need to be fixed? She doesn’t need to have the spreadsheets “a certain way” anymore, I need them to be a certain way so that I can do my job. She doesn’t need the manila folders to be in a certain order, I need them to be in a certain order, specifically, I need them to be in the same order that the spreadsheet is in, so that when I look something up in the spreadsheet, I’ll know exactly where to find the hard copy in the manila folders. And as for the “problems” that we have when we email people, the only problem we ever really have anymore is when some dodo is using an old 386 for a computer and doesn’t have Adobe installed on it, so they can’t open the links. Why people like this even have email is beyond me, but emailing attachments isn’t going to make things any better, despite all of BossLady’s “extensive” reading on the Internet about incompatibilities between different versions of Acrobat and Reader and GAAAAAH…I wish she would just let me do my job, for the love of all that is holy. And, you know, she could have spent her time so much more productively while I was gone, by, for example, going out and photographing all those properties that we just listed so that I’ll have something to put on the Web site.
What makes all this even more aggravating for me is that after I sat through all this nonsense, with BossLady speechifying on all the nifty changes she made while I was gone, BossMan informed me that he was giving me a raise again.
BossMan does this to me every damned time. Just when I’m starting to really get irritated with the State of the Workplace and I start entertaining the notion of picking up the classifieds, BossMan does something overwhelmingly nice. He has given me a TV (old and well-used, but large); he has given me a Sam’s Club card on his business membership (and even paid the fee!); he gave me a pot of Easter Lilies on, well, Easter; and he has so far given me three raises, and I haven’t even worked for them a full year as of this writing. I think it does bear pointing out that it’s always BossMan who provides these treats, though, never BossLady.