Friday, December 31, 2010

I Accept!

After visiting The Book Vixen, I was inspired to participate in one of the reading challenges she is hosting, Outdo Yourself. Check out what I'm taking on by visiting my Reading Challenge page.

I'm not one to set goals and don't feel this is one of those moments. Accepting this challenge is more like stating the obvious to myself, because I'll read at least 30 books regardless of whether or not I tell anyone. But this way I get to have fun sharing it with everyone and hopefully make some new friends along the way.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry iPad, I Got A Christmas

No, I didn't wake up Christmas morning to an iPad, because that would mean my boss was at my house this morning. I’ll just let that sink in... yes, you have interpreted correctly, my boss bought me an iPad for Christmas.

So why didn’t I blog about it sooner, like when I got it -- three days ago? Hmmm... could it be... I’ve been playing with it? Discovering the new world that has opened up to me? Basking in the glory of no longer being a technologically late bloomer, who only learned to text a year ago, to being someone who can stand up and declare, “I’ve downloaded an app!” Oh, how far I’ve come.

But let’s get back to the fact that my greatest stride came courtesy of my boss. To answer the previously posed question: No, I haven’t been too busy playing with my new iPad to blog. Truth: I’ve been shocked into writer’s block. Because my boss has NEVER in all the years I’ve worked for him EVER bought me a Christmas present.

Believe me when I say I’ve looked long and hard for an app to help me deal with the feels of guilt and remorse one has when one's previously difficult boss suddenly does something shockingly awesome. It doesn’t exist. Oh, but making your employee love you, my boss found out, they do have an app for that.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I Will Stop Fighting With My Boss In The Shower

I haven’t quite come up with a plan on how I’m going to change my attitude. Procrastination is part of my problem. So I guess I better just get started somewhere, otherwise, I might never get going on this attitude change.

The easiest place to start is where no problems actually exist. These are the problems I create in my mind. I just KNOW what my boss is going to say during some scenario I’m SURE will happen at work. It usually doesn’t happen and when it does, it usually doesn’t go down how I thought. Usually. And then sometimes it does. And that once in a while is enough for my mind to further speculate future scenarios.

Now if these scenarios played out at work right before something might or might not happen, it would be one thing. But these scenarios nag at me during my non-work hours - while I’m driving to work, while I’m showering, while I’m trying to fall back asleep after waking up in the middle of the night.

And then I saw this:

“The human brain cannot distinguish between a real event and an imagined event. You will experience this if you think about something in your life, perhaps something happy or sad, with such intensity that you can create all the emotions of the event as if it were actually happening.”
           -- Excerpt from “Be Your Own Life Coach” by Jeff Archer

So, as far as my brain is concerned I’m working during these scenarios - and not getting paid! This has got to stop.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Training For A New Attitude

Now I wouldn’t expect myself to go out and run a marathon without first training for it. Nor would I expect myself to speak a new language without first studying it. So why do I expect myself to change my attitude about where I am in my life, overnight. It doesn’t seem like I’m being fair to myself.

So I’m going to start training for a new attitude by, well, I’m really not clear on the how. I wish I could type in some fabulous bullet points with the steps I’m going to take, but I'll have to get back to you. I'm sure part of training is researching what you have to do to train. If not, just go with me, please!

Anyway... there is no better time than now, not because it’s the present, but because everyone’s temporary good tidings will make it go easier. Believe it or not, even my boss is getting in on it and that will make the good attitude less of a challenge.

I’m going to keep the following quote in mind:

“Life is not about weathering the storm, it about learning to dance in the rain.”

Because it reminds me to stop trying to fight against my situation and learn to enjoy where I am today.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All The Breaks

Last week it felt like the office equipment was banning together to strike, as one by one they stopped working. Okay, so maybe it would have been more of a strike if it would have happened at the same time, but it happened close enough together to make an impression.

It started with our modem. Once we got that fixed, which was done by simply unplugging it, the copier had it’s turn. The quick unplug fix didn’t exactly work on the copier. It required a technician to walk us through reprogramming it to forget there was a jam that, by the way, really wasn’t there in the first place. And once that was fixed, the postage machine was throwing up it’s own error code. Now that fix was back to the basic unplug.

The pattern was clear: none of them were really broken, they only thought something was wrong.

So maybe if I could learn to unplug from my own problems at work, I could come back better too. Because, really, problems aren’t suppose to last forever. We should be able to fix them and, I guess, move onto new problems. I know, it isn’t perfect, but it’s got to be better than holding onto the same jam forever.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Please Don't Drill Us

On Monday two guys walked in with a drill and a bag. No, this isn’t the start of a joke. Although the way the situation was handle, well, you decide.

My boss, my favorite co-worker and I were all up front when the two guys came through the door. They told us they were there for the bottled water system. We don’t have one. So they changed their story to being there for our filtration system. Bingo! We have one of those and said as much, because you give that kind of information when someone is holding a drill like a gun.

I was all ready for them to take it, but it wasn't that type of situation. They explained there was a recall on a part and they needed to replace the part. Now if my boss had been in his office receiving the information, safely away from these intimidating looking guys, he would have ask a million questions like:

What do they want?

Recall? What recall?

What part?

And so on...

But when face-to-face with a drill, my boss didn’t ask a single question. They showed no identification nor did they have any paperwork. They were able to walk freely to our cafeteria and do whatever it was they did, because no one stayed with them to supervise. Then when they were done replacing whatever it was they left.

Needless to say, I didn’t drink any water from the filtration system after that. I’m sure the water was fine, because honestly, our company isn’t a place anyone would want to terrorize. That’s left up to my boss.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Copying With The Enemy

Yesterday when I said my boss wasn’t helpful, well, I forgot about this one instance:

While I was copying a stack of packing slips and bill of ladings, I got called away to tend to another task. I forgot about the copy job and was back at my desk working on another task. Out of nowhere my boss came over with my copies and said, “You left these on the copier. I thought you might need them.”

Holy heart failure, Batman!

Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, until you hear the one about:

Once, while I was in the vicinity of the copy machine, my boss ran out of paper while copying. He popped open the paper tray and walked back to his office (where no paper is kept), leaving the copy job in mid-copy and the tray open for me to fill with paper. He didn’t ask, it was insinuated -- like, obviously, I should do it. The idea of him putting paper in the tray himself, gasp!

Friday, December 3, 2010

In A Single Bound

Today everyone in the office was off work except for me. Well, my boss was there in body, but honestly, I don’t think anyone would be surprised if I don’t count him as helpful.

I only found out I’d be covering the entire office function yesterday. To prepare: I complained, a lot. I also made the following declarations: 
  • I won’t enter orders unless they are so hot the customer calls in tears.
  • I won’t make the daily deposit.
  • I won’t worry about answering every phone call. Hello, voicemail!
  • I won't ship out orders that aren't on the have-to schedule.
Oh, there was a whole lot more, but you get the idea. I won’t bore anyone with all my crabbing. Maybe I sound over dramatic. But, to me, it seemed realistic not to expect myself to do everything. I’m not a superwoman who can do all jobs at once.

Or so I thought, because today I kicked some serious paper-pushing butt. Yes, I got it all done and then some!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

That Deadline Already

So the month has come to a close and I’m far from completing my NaNoWriMo novel. A few of my writing buddies, who did rise to the challenge, have “winner” marked on their word count bar. Since I’m not a winner, does that make me a loser?

Okay, so I don’t think I’m a loser. I didn’t start this task with the notion that I would finish in a month. And, honestly, anyone familiar with my writing process didn’t think so either. But that doesn’t mean I won’t. Because, again, anyone who knows me doesn’t believe I’ll give up. They know instead I’ll just push out the deadline.

Now setting deadlines have never been something I’ve been good at scheduling, but even I know a month isn’t a realistic one. As far as when I’ll finish my NaNoWriMo novel, I’m not sure. I think I’ll keep my commitment to finishing it open ended for now. I’ll leave the bar up, but will rename it with my working title, Glitch.

So there might be an “L” stamped on my word count bar, but it’s not for loser. I say it’s for late.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Take 2

The role of New Girl has been recast. Her first day was last Monday, but I figured no sense in bringing it up if she couldn’t cut it the first week. That accomplished, she’s earned a post.

Right now she’s in what I consider the Honeymoon Phase of working for my boss. He asks how she’s doing, makes witty comments, and refrains from really yelling at anyone.

During this time she’ll probably wonder why “Crazy” would leave such a nice place with no other job or unemployment check to fall back on. Silly New Girl, no one quits a job in this economy without good reason.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Run, New Girl! Run!

The new girl my boss hired lasted only one day. My boss thinks she got spooked after she took a tour of our manufacturing facility. I’m not convinced that was the reason, so I put together my own list of possibilities:
  1. While the “Crazy” co-worker was training, the new girl asked why she was quitting. "Crazy" told the new girl that she didn't get along with the boss, but assured the new girl that she might get along with him better.
  2. The boss told “Crazy” to take the new girl out to lunch, he was buying, “Crazy” took her to McDonald's.
  3. The new girl’s work history was in a completely different field than the one she was hired into.
  4. A half hour before “Crazy” arrived the new girl was alone with the boss. If her alone time with him was anything like mine when I first started, he was standing way too close for comfort.
  5. The mortuary silence in the office is enough to creep anyone out.
Enough said.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bringing Crazy Back

I use to love Gnarls Barkley’s "Crazy." If your not familiar with it, take a listen:

Whenever I heard it on the radio, I’d turn it up and sing along. You all can be thankful I don’t possess the technology to post that.

Yes, I really enjoyed that song until I experienced it as my co-worker’s ringtone. The first time the "Crazy" intro broke through the mortuary silence of our office I was ready to take cover. And it wasn’t like she answered it immediately, but my boss didn’t blow. The second time it happened, which was the next day, nothing again. And it continued every day thereafter and every day I held my breath wondering if that was going to be the time he lost it. Because with him, it's all a matter of time. So when we reached her last day, which was this past Thursday, I felt like we might have dodged the big one.

Friday morning couldn’t have started better. My boss was out of town, "Crazy" was gone, and my favorite co-worker brought us McDonald’s for breakfast. My perfect workday lasted for one minute because at 8:01 my "Crazy" ex-co-worker called to say she’d be back on Monday. I almost choked on my hash brown.

Apparently after "Crazy" left the building, my boss realized there was no new person to take over the vacant job, no one to train the new person we didn’t have, and no one to do the job until we found someone new. That left my boss with one option: to bring "Crazy" back.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Off To A Slow Start

No, I’m not talking about the week, although, that would be a perfect description for that too. I’m talking about my progress in NaNoWriMo, which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Basically, authors around the world try to write a novel in one month. The task is about quantity, 50,000 words to be exact, not quality. Yesterday participants  had to start a new novel. Truth be told I already have enough on my plate, I really don’t need to be starting a new one. But I decided to join NaNoWriMo for the support and networking opportunities I hope it will bring.

On this blog I’ve spend a lot of time venting about my job, but so far I haven’t really said what I’m doing to better my situation. Believe me, I’ve exhausted playing the lottery and hunting down a suitable sugar daddy. That leaves me stuck doing it on my own. Hopefully writing will pan out better. I guess if you’ve been reading this blog you might have an opinion about that. Hopefully it is one of encouragement, and not one that advises me to embrace my day job.

So back to NaNoWriMo, the goal is to write 50,000 words by November 30th. I’m at 475 words. This isn’t looking so good. If I can figure out a way to add the progress meter to my blog like some of the other writers have on theirs, I will. Because having all eyes on me, gulp!, sounds… motivating.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

In The Wrong Hands

Usually I believe if you end up with something it was meant to be. But after opening the fortune cookie that came with my Chinese dinner, I realized some things just end up in the wrong hands. The fortune read:

“It’s always worth taking the trouble to praise people.”

This wisdom would be better delivered to my boss. It should come as no surprise that compliments and my boss are only typed in the same sentence when pointing out the lack thereof.

It got me thinking how he gets Chinese take-out at least once a week. If I accidentally dropped that fortune on his desk he might ponder it a moment. Well, probably not, he’d just wonder what happen to the cookie.

Okay, Plan B, maybe I'll get fortunes made up and put into cookies. Then I could bribe the place he gets his take-out from to put my special fortune cookies in with his lunch. When he opens them they would read stuff like:

 “It’s not about getting more, but giving more. So give your employees a raise.”
“Hard work deserves hard play. So let your employees off early to get a head start.”

Actually, since he considers himself an employee, he’d probably just give himself a raise and call it a day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Heaven Help Us

A power failure sent our alarm board into a panic yesterday. While on his way to investigate my boss laughed and said, “heaven help us.” The divine intervention he should have been praying for was help with his own organizational breakdown. But instead he busied himself with denial by tending to things he didn’t have the first clue how to fix. Not that he’d have any better ideas on how to solve the problem of my co-worker dropping a two-week notice on him.

What has me saying my own Hail Mary is his lacking panic. Isn’t he taking her departure seriously? I mean, no one else is trained to do that job. I won’t go into job responsibility details, but hers involves generating the paperwork that gets me paid.

But maybe terror-stricken isn’t the best way for him to react. After all, in every disaster movie, the hero is the one who acts calmly when faced with crisis. And the casualties are always the ones running around in a panic worried about the least important things (i.e. getting the paperwork done so they get their paychecks).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Body Snatcher: Make Yourself At Home

On Sundays I find myself praying for the strength to get through another week. Today is no different, expect I’m adding that my boss remain as likable this week as he was last week. It wasn’t neccesarily that he was nice to be around, rather he wasn’t bad to be around.

On any given day my boss throws anger around like most people do smiles. But last week it was almost absent. He was just there. And that got me thinking of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If you aren’t familiar with the 1956 movie or it’s remakes, I’m sure Hollywood will put out another featuring actors from the latest CW “it”show. The gist of it is: the pod people look exactly like the person except they have no emotion. I’m onto something, right?

Now my boss didn’t lack emotion completely, so maybe the pod people have a 2.0 upgrade. It is 2010 after all. I’m sure aliens have made great strides since 1956. Oh wait, I’m getting fiction confused with reality... or am I? Either way, I hope my 2.0 pod boss sticks around.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Give Him A Minute

It is hard for me to step back from the negative perception I have of my boss. But on the days he is -- dare I say -- pleasant, I can’t help but think it won’t last. At the forefront of my mind is the idea to “give him a minute.” With him, moods and decisions are made and changed in blink-time (for those who wouldn’t waste time looking up how fast an eye blinks – it’s estimated at 300 to 400 milliseconds).

But today, all skewed opinions aside, my workday was pretty good and yes, I’ll admit that my boss was there. It is on his “nice” days that I think maybe I’m too hard on the man. But then I’m reminded by my grudge, in about half the blink-time, of all the things I still can’t get over. Maybe one day I’ll get there, but not on this nice day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Plum Therapy

If up to my worry, my morning commute would be spent weighing the huge mistake I’m making by subjecting myself to another day of my boss. Instead, I utilize distraction and found it to be my best defense. By tricking my mind to concentrate on -- besides driving -- something else, I can get to work in peace.

As much as I love listening to music, some days it’s the fuel of further worry. So, for me, the most effective tool is audio books. If I’m listening to a good book, not only don’t I worry about work, but I also don’t take much notice to the traffic, construction, school buses, or hitting every red light delays. Those time-suckers just give me more time to enjoy the story.

 My favorite commute-time books are ones that make me happy. What better way to start my work day than by laughing. Lately, my sense of humor has me enjoying the Stephanie Plum series written by Janet Evanovich.

Besides being funny, Stephanie Plum is someone I can relate to. Not in the sense that I can relate to being a bounty hunter, desired by two hot men or living in Jersey. Rather more in the sense that everything she does has setbacks. Her first attempt at anything usually doesn’t work out like she hoped, but she doesn’t give up. And that, to me, is a great message. She keeps trying and eventually it all works out. That is all I can hope for in my own journey.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

McDonald's, Don't Fail Me Now!

My boss' crankiness was of the supersized variety this morning. Apparently when he arrived to work he informed my favorite co-worker that McDonald's had raised their prices, much to his dismay. Oh, no! And guess what he didn't have in his hand, McDonald's coffee.

I'm not sure how much extra they are charging for their coffee, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be his financial ruin. Let's hope it isn't mine.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ten Little Monkeys

I’ve never been to a morgue, but I suspect the disturbing quiet present in our office, at least when my boss is around, is similar. I would equate it to a library except for the fact that, like a morgue, we always have someone (a.k.a. the boss) around doing absolutely nothing.

Some days I want to do something crazy just to see what he’d do. Like run into his office and start jumping on his couch. Hmmm... I wonder if I fell off and broke my head if I’d get workers' comp.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Blame It On The… What? The Sun?

Last week my boss was looking to fight everyone. Typically, I would chalk it as part of his charming personality, but today I read an article that had me blaming the sun. During a study led by Bryce Mulligan, a neuroscientist at Canada’s Laurentian University, Mulligan’s team found a connection between the sun (or if you want to be scientifically fancy, geomagnetic radiation) and brain activity (and if you must have specifics – the right frontal lobe, which, among other things, regulates emotions). Mulligan said, “It’s likely that things like mood, aggression and irritability can be brought on by increased solar-geomagnetic activity.”

Curious, I went on a website ( that tracks this interesting Sun-Earth stuff and guess what they reported on Sept 29th (the day his bad mood broke loose): “During the past 24 hours, sunspot 1110 has increased in size more than 10-fold.”

Forget the McDonald’s coffee, I wonder if there is an SPF level high enough to protect again this?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kill Him With Kindness

After sleeping on it, I’ve decided the best way to handle the weekend injustice placed on me by my boss isn’t the old way. That would be how he would expect me to react. And the best way to deal with opposition is to do what they least expect.

Instead I’m going to go about my day feeling happy and blessed. I’ll give him a good morning greeting with a genuine smile. If I respond in this manner, my kindness will certainly kill the joy he expects to receive from the misery he wished to inflict.

I imagine he’ll also be upset with this response because it means his control over me has limits. I’ll show him he doesn’t have the power to ruin my day. Whether he makes me take 5 days or changes his mind and lets me take the already agreed upon 3, his dictation ends there.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Show Some Teeth

It might be Sunday, but that doesn’t mean my boss didn’t try to ruin my weekend. It came about through an email exchange. Unforeseen circumstances prompted the need for me to change my scheduled vacation time. Originally, I had off 3 days during the 3rd week of October. Now I need to have it the 1st week in October. In an attempt to give him plenty of notice I send him an email asking if I could move up the 3 days. Simple enough or, at least, it should have been.

My boss emailed back that he would prefer if I took my vacation in 5-day increments. My first problem with his response is that I was already granted 3 days off. I’m only asking to move them up sooner. And second, the 5-day rule isn’t an office policy because it doesn’t apply to how my co-workers take their vacation time.

What to do… What to do... I guess I could stand up to him. I would have every right to point out how making me use my vacation time differently than my co-workers sounds a lot like discrimination. But I don’t want to ruin things for my favorite co-worker (so rest assure, my friend, I will not be going that route). Plus saying the “d” word might be the first step down the road that leads to me being fired. And I can’t stress enough how much I still need my job.

So maybe I don’t have any other choice, but to comply. In the past, forced compliance would have me giving him the cold shoulder along with much pouting and dirty looks. It might not do a lot of good, but it would be a warning that I didn’t like what he did. And if circumstances were different, and they could be one day at the drop of the right lottery numbers, there would be no warning only a bite. However, that old way of dealing with the injustices placed on me by my boss doesn’t seem like the best way for me anymore.

I’ll sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow. I’ll report back in the morning. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


8:01 am is the hour of corporate Armageddon if I’m not at my desk working. Since my boss doesn’t like to cut things close, he expects me to be there 10 minutes early. I can’t do it. I’m there by 8:00 am, but I can’t bring myself to commit an extra minute of time to that place.

Once he tried to approach me about it. He isn’t one for face-to-face confrontation unless it's consequence free. So instead he asked me if there was a problem with my commute. I wanted to say, “Yeah, the part where I decide whether I want to come into work.” But I still need my job.

So lately my boss has been coming in 5-10 minutes late. This works out for the both of us. I can show up on time and he can believe I turned over a new leaf, one that has me showing up for work 10 minutes early.

I'm sure his tardiness has nothing to do with me. Perhaps the fact that it would cross my mind just goes to show I'm more like my boss than I'd like to admit. It isn't all about me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ain't Got The Look

My boss likes to play this game where he sits alone in his office at his desk and just starts talking. And everyone in the office has to guess if he’s talking to them based on the content. He was mid-game when I interrupted him by entering his office to drop off an order request. The co-worker he was talking to wasn’t responding and I didn’t have time to play around. By the look he gave me, he either: a) was angry with the employee losing, or b) was giving me his your-testing-my-patience look.

It could go either way because it was the first good look he was getting of me today and I’m dressed like a complete slob. It’s true that we have a more relaxed dress code, which allows us to wear jeans and such, but I took it to a level that lands a lot of girls on “What Not To Wear.”

Maybe it was just my imagination. I’ve been a little self-conscious about my apparel lately. I’ve been trying to step it up and look more like a “grown-up,” but due to budget restraints and laundry setbacks... well, I showed up looking frumpy.

Now that I’ve done the first step and admitted I have a problem, shouldn’t the second step fund a shopping spree for a new wardrobe?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recipe To Stop Evil???

After being away on vacation since the Labor Day weekend, today's challenge was to reacclimate myself to working in the presence of evil. To my surprise, my boss only exposed us to a low level of wicked. He rocked about a 2 on the villain meter (scaled at 1-10, with 10 being uber evil). For this I am thankful. I'm able to leave today with only a mild headache instead of the head-exploding migraine I was anticipating.

Perhaps credit is due to my favorite co-worker who picked up a McDonald's coffee for him this morning. Maybe they have a secret recipe radio of 1 coffee bean to every 2 Prozac. Hmm... I'll have to keep that in mind the next time I need to request a vacation day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

O Construction, Where Aren't Thou?

I’m certain anyone in a fifty mile radius of me is suffering the same road construction woes. But the construction giving me the most stress is the internal transformation I’m working on. And since I don’t foresee it being halted by the upcoming winter season, I need to find a better way through it.

I don’t want all the hard work I’ve done to rebuild myself to come crashing down at the first inevitable upset. So I think a good first step is to root myself to something that will keep me steady. There are plenty of mantras to pick from. And I could repeat them until they are so seared in my brain, I think I came up with them. But this is probably a job for more than words.

A strong support system would be a better choice. The encouragement from family and friends is far greater than any of the hundred encouraging thoughts I tell myself. Thankfully I’m blessed with a great group so I think I’m off to a good start.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lesson of the Day

Every day that I take away something more from my work day than just clocking hours on my paycheck, I hope that it was the lesson I needed to release me from this hell. But so far I haven’t found an end to the lessons my job has to teach me. Sometimes the ones I’ve passed come back around to see if I’ve retained them, and usually I haven’t. So I reacquaint myself and hope I do better in the next round of testing.

There is no singular teacher in the real world to grade and guide me on what I have to do. So I wander through my day trying to pick up on everything and fail to focus on any one thing properly. I might be in the now, but how much in the now can I be when I’m wondering if this is the now that holds the key. So maybe I’m not really in the now, but more in the future of what the now is creating. Maybe it’s this type of thinking that keeps the fire going.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

There's a Thought

“Your thoughts shape everything you do so it’s important to be careful with what you’re thinking. A successful strategy for positive thinking is to have a bank of ideas, affirmations and positive notions that you can refer to and that will always ensure you have an optimistic frame of mind.”— excerpt from Be Your Own Life Coach by Jeff Archer

The book goes on to say that the thoughts could be anything from ideas you or others have had that inspired you to quotes from movies or books. So whenever I see my boss it is important to remind myself he is the way he is because:

“We must have ourselves an asshole shortage” (from Point Break)

Okay, that probably wasn’t what Mr. Archer had in mind. A better thought would be:

“He’s working for me.”

And in a way it’s true because he’s part of a group of people who have inspired me. Their crazy, selfish actions have fueled this blog along with other various stories. So the next time my boss is screaming at some innocent kid who walked off the street to hand out solicitation, instead of cringing, I’ll take notes. It might be a moment that will end up in a story that will one day make me money. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vacation SmackDown!

I don’t know what it is about me requesting to use my vacation days that brings out the worst in my boss, but it never fails. It is always a fight with him and today he was extra awful.

First, he has to go to the woman who keeps track of vacation and ask how many days I have left. He does this every time I ask, even the very first time I asked to use ONE DAY in January, like I would ask for a vacation day I didn’t have coming. But I can get over him thinking I would cheat him out of time.

Second, he has to make sure no one else is using a vacation day, even when I tell him I checked with the other women to make sure they would be there. One extra special time he insisted one of them was taking a day I wanted even after I specifically double check and told him that person would be there. He wouldn’t believe me. She had to tell him herself she would be there. But I can get over him thinking of me as a liar.

But today, after all the above, he added something new. He decided he wasn’t going to give me the extra week of vacation I earned (for being there for more years than I ever wanted). He told the woman who handles the vacation that no one (meaning me) was getting accrued vacation anymore. When she tried to explain that I’d been given the week back in January, he yelled, “No, she’s not getting it.” And the reason... because the company is having a bad year.

Okay, now if that were true (and it totally isn’t), I could understand something like not being able to give employees raises (which he hasn’t done in two years). But, no, I can’t see how our “bad year” has any bearing on vacation time (and did I mention how the factory has been working overtime, every Saturday, since before Memorial Day to try to keep up with all our orders). And, no, the overtime isn’t because people’s vacations are causing us to get behind, nor do we need to hire temps to cover vacations.

As further proof of how “hurt” we are for business. Today a customer called the sales line (the line he handles) saying he needed to order replacement parts (my boss played the message on speaker phone). Now he didn’t write anything down, what he did was delete the message. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with it because he had more important, personal, things to take care of. No reason to let incoming orders get in the way when you can just take people’s vacation away from them to make up for the loss, however that works out.

Later in the afternoon the same customer called and talked to me and I sold him the replacement parts. No, the size of the order didn’t cover the cost of my vacation time, but that isn’t the point. What is, is he will pick and choose (and it’s based on his personal feelings) what is good or bad for our company. And me taking vacation is bad business and him not taking or returning calls to potential customers is good business. Hmmm, too bad business savvy isn’t a prerequisite for owning your own company.

Alas, I did get to keep my extra week. Be by the grace of my good karma, or eyes that fell somewhere between sad puppy dog and crazy PMS, or a passing touch of sanity on his part -- whatever it was, I’m relieved it worked out in my favor.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Drama Free Zone

Some days my boss is grumpy. No one wants to talk to him for fear of getting his or her ass chewed over a simple good morning. My boss just wants to be left alone and I can relate to that. Some days I want to be left alone too. I’m not quite as likely to rip someone a new one, instead I tend to get quiet. I’m sure my co-workers prefer my method for handling a bad morning, but they shouldn’t have to be subjected to either. Whatever issues we are having don’t belong in the work place because, I can guarantee, neither one of us is upset over a “work issue.” Whatever is wrong is personnel and should be left at home. One of my better bosses had the policy that our personal issues must be left on the road outside our parking lot. And it made for a good work environment. It seems like a good policy for me to start living by again. So my first goal will be to leave my personal issues out of the work place. My wish for my boss to do the same highlights what might need to be my next goal: learning to only worry about what I’m doing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maybe It's Me

My current office job is the fourth of its kind in my life. The similar issue with those jobs, and now this one, has me questioning whether it’s me. The quest to discover if all bosses are bad has me stagnant. In this horrible economy, where finding a new job is nearly impossible, not to mention holding onto a new job when you are the last one in with companies closing/laying off at an alarming rate, are all only part of what is keeping me stuck. The biggest influence comes from my belief that even if I got another job, whose doors stayed wide open for years to come, I’d hate that boss and in turn that job too. So this circles me back to the same wonder: is it me?

It is reasonable to assume that each person (rich or boss, beautiful or ugly, charismatic or creepy) has to endure his or her own personal hell before reaching peace. And I’m starting to have the sneaking suspicion that mine is my job.

The thing is, I don’t want to find peace in any nine-to-five office job. This is what my whole problem comes down to. I need to find a way to convince myself that finding peace in it isn’t surrendering to it forever. If I could give myself over to it maybe that is the only way through it. This new way of thinking is easier when I force myself into self-examination, but it is not able to hold its place in my day-to-day thoughts.

I hope by putting myself out there, with the world my witness, I’ll be able to let go and move on to the place and people waiting for me.