I’m Going to Have to be A Cliché

I do, so very greatly, hate a cliché, but I’m gonna have to do it anyway…


I work “for” quite possibly one of the stupidest people I have ever experienced in my life.  Actually, I wish that were true.  Were it true I’d be able to make some kind of excuse for him.  But he’s not.  He’s very intelligent.  Very capable.  He has a degree in chemistry and has been in building management for many years.  He certainly knows how to keep his most demanding and whiny customer’s happy.  He just says, “Yes.  Whatever you want.”

What he doesn’t know is how to satisfy his employees or his most reasonable customers.  He’s unreliable, forgetful, placative (is that even a word?) and, I hope unintentionally, dishonest.  He’s oblivious to his surroundings, doesn’t monitor his employees behavior and doesn’t ensure justice or fairness within the department.

Recently in one of our weekly staff meetings, my boss, whom we shall call Douche Bag (DB), gave the annual re-iteration of the company dress code.  He also pointed out that this dress code doesn’t supersede the department management dress code if it’s more strict than the one he was reviewing.  This dress code was pretty standard stuff really.  No shorts, no t-shirts, no tennis shoes, no words on your clothes, no flip flops, no sweats or tracks suits, nothing you’d wear to the gym, no tank tops, no visible underwear.  The dress code he was reviewing specifically did not ban jeans as long as they’re neat and clean, however, he was sure to point out that our director does not want jeans worn.  The very next day, one of my co-workers, our Financial Analyst, was wearing something I believe are called “skimmers”, made out of wool Glennplaid material.  Yes the material was something that is office appropriate, but the design of the item, without question is SHORTS!  This is an issue that is personally offensive to me because we participate in a voluntary program with PG&E to reduce energy consumption on hot days to try to prevent rolling brown-outs.  On these days the temperature in the building could rise to be in excess of 80 degrees and I feel that on those days we should be allowed to wear shorts to work as long as they’re well kept.  But, we are not allowed to do so.  Therefore, as a male, every day of the week I am required to wear long pants and it does  get very warm on some days.  If Financial Analyst is allowed to wear shorts, than I should be allowed to wear shorts.

I believe that DB made a point of reviewing this document because some time ago, I began wearing jeans to work on Fridays.  He did question it a time or two, but I informed him that we were told we had to follow the same dress code as our “parent” department, National Facility Services (NFS), and that I was being led by example.  NFS employees wear jeans all the time, not just Friday, but I can live with one day a week.  I intend to continue to wear jeans on Fridays.

My friend and Co-worker, Unsvelt Girl Who Runs, is our Department Secretary who hates the word Secretary.  Some time ago as a joke I called her our “Adminary” and it stuck.  Unsvelt girl is my personal friend, but for the purposes of this rant, I shall refer to her only as “Adminary.”  Adminary, routinely spends considerable time, hanging out in my office and doing nothing.  It’s inappropriate and I know it.  So does she.  And so does DB.  But he never says anything about it and it’s gotten to the point that he comes looking for her in my office if he needs her.  Adminary wears flip flops and tank tops to work almost every day.  DB says nothing.  Adminary is often a few minutes late in the morning.  DB says nothing…  he just adjusts her time card, falsely to make sure she gets paid for 8 hours.  Amdinary tells me that she often ends up with a few minutes of overtime pay.  But she never works overtime.

Our Chief Engineer, quite frequently comes to our office and asks Adminary to validate a parking ticket.  At first no one thought much of it.  Then we started noticing that he was dressed in his motorcycle gear and ready to leave when he was doing this.  Chief Egineer has his parking paid for by the department on the days he actually drives to work instead of taking public transportation.  I pay $95.00 a month for my parking.

And then theirs our Conference Service Coordinator.  She’s old and stupid.  I wish there was a better way to describe her but there’s just not.  Adminary and I refer to her as “CD” which stands for Country Dumbkin.  Why?  Well, because she grew up in a small town in Arkansas, in the COUNTRY.  And well, she’s just plain DUMB.  And who doesn’t love a good play on words.

Country Dumbkin is the worst offender in every way.  She is oblivious to her surroundings.  Doesn’t think about how her actions impact others, and thinks she’s equal to Financial Analyst and myself, even though she is an hourly, union employee, just like Adminary.  She’s rude and condescending to Adminary, and Financial Analyst and me, and for that matter to many of her customers.  Strangely though, Country Dumbkin can do no wrong.    CD acts out during the staff meeting?  DB laughs, blows it off and keeps on talking.  CD answers her phone, on her wireless headset while still sitting at the table in the staff meeting, and DB acts like it’s not happening.

CD usually doesn’t show up at work until 8:30 or later.  This means that at 8:00 when the department opens and people start calling in with complaints or requests for Conference Service, Adminary has to juggle it all, along with her own responsibilities.  CD almost daily takes an hour and a half for her lunch.  This is something that was set up by payroll, for all hourly employees as a once in a while, only to be used when necessary, kind of thing.  NOT to be used daily.  CD does it daily and DB says nothing.  By the way, CD’s lunches often extend past an hour and a half.  AND during the school year, she will then turn around and leave the office for 20-30 minutes to drive to pick up her grand children from school and deliver them to her house (even though there are buses they can take and they are teenagers) without clocking out.  DB doesn’t notice.  CD often “accidentally” forgets to clock in or out, and DB fixes it without question…  again, making sure she has her 8 hours a day, and probably also managing some over time.

I have worked for this man for six years and three months, and it has long since been established that I am a late person.  I come in to work late, I usually stay late, and I often skip my lunch breaks.  I am salary, by the way.  I do not punch a clock and I do not get docked in pay if I don’t work a full eight hours.

On Tuesday, June 10, 2008.  I left my office at 5:00 to head to my weekly 5:30 therapy appointment.  I had my shit packed and my “Magic iPhone by Apple” on.  I walked out of my office and closed the door behind me.  Walked passed DB’s door to the back room to grab a fresh bottle of Diet Pepsi, my life’s blood, from our refrigerator, and walked back past DB’s office door on the way out.  “Good-night everybody,” I said on my way by.  As I continued to walk toward the door, I heard CD who sits in a cubicle in the reception area say my name, but it was faint, I was in a rush (and I don’t really like her) so I pretended not to hear her as I walked out the door and made my way toward the elevator.

I was standing in front of the elevator that was about to open when I heard CD calling from around the corner, and then appear around the corner saying, “‘DB’ was calling you.”

The elevator doors opened.  “I have an appointment I have to get to, I can’t come back,” I said as I walked on to the elevator.  In my mind I, of course, began imagining the worst, all the while knowing that my boss is spineless and I had nothing to be concerned about.

I returned to work on Wednesday and not a word was said about the transaction.  Guess my fears were for not, I thought.

On Thursday, June 12, 2008, I got to work around 9:00 in the morning, my usual goal that I often miss.  I left the office at 2:30 in the afternoon to drive the eight miles to my therapists office for my weekly 3:00 appointment.  I returned to my office at about 4:10.  Now normally, I’d have gladly stayed until 6:00 to make up some of the time.  Yes, that would have been only seven and a half hours, but once again, I’m salary and that works.  On this particular occasion I actually had social plans after work for which I had to leave at 5:00.  Social plans, for me, are a rare thing indeed, so anyone who knows and understands me should have actually been quite happy for me.  But no.  My boss called out to me again.  This time I heard him and I returned to his office door, “Do you have a doctor appointment?” he asked.

“No.  but I do have some where I have to be,” I said puzzled and a bit annoyed.

“You need to put in your eight hours,” he said through gritted teeth, seemingly afraid someone might actually hear him have a backbone, “it’s not fair to everyone else if you don’t.”  I just stared at him blankly.  Frankly, considering all the other crap that goes on in my office, I couldn’t believe that he’d have the nerve to say anything.  “You didn’t get here until what, 9:30?”

“9:00,” I said matter of factly.

“Did you skip lunch?”

“No,” I said.  “Actually I had a Doctor’s appointment then.”

He said, “I need to know your schedule.”

I’m quite agitated at this point, “It was a standing appointment.  I’ve had it every Thursday for nearly a year.”  He hasn’t noticed this before now?

“Well, you need to put in your eight hours.  Even if you’ve got all your work done you still need to put in your eight hours.”  IS HE KIDDING ME WITH THIS?  Seems like possibly the stupidest thing I’ve EVER heard. 

“I usually do,” I said with clear anger in my voice, “but now I have somewhere I have to be.”  I walked away.

Today, Monday, June 30th I arrived at the office between 9:00 and 9:10 this morning.  Good for me!  I did not take lunch, in fact I never left my desk, accept to use the bathroom.  I’m in a financial crisis, which is a matter for another post, but absolutely a cause for great anxiety and a foul mood, which despite everything I did quite well at containing and keeping to myself, but I digress.  The point being I packed lunch.

I arrived today around 9:00 AM.  I did not take lunch, I ate at my desk.  I packed up to leave at 5:10 PM.  I closed my door, went for my necessary Diet Pepsi and walked back toward the front.  He stopped me again. 

“Yes?” I asked, already knowing where this was going.

“Where are you going?” He asked, clearly annoyed.

“AM I HOURLY, NOW?!?” I asked, definitely upset.

“When did you get here, 9:30?  You need to put in your eight hours.” 


“Why not?  You need to take lunch.  You need to get outta here” (Truer words were never spoken.)

Once again, I stared blankly.  After a pause to contain my temper (probably shouldn’t have.)  I said, “I’d rather leave around 5:00.”

In typical Douche Bag fashion, not wanting to deal with me while I’m angry if he can help it (Trust me, this time he can’t help it) he said, “We’ll talk about this tomorrow.  We’ll come up with a schedule for you.”  I walked away again.  Fuck no, we will not come up with a schedule.  I am salary.  I DO NOT get docked if I don’t work eight hours.  I also DO NOT get paid more if I work over eight hours.  And according to DB, as told to me four years ago when I first became salary, “If you worked four hours, you worked the day.”

I’ll be truly surprised if he actually says anything to me tomorrow, but I’ll be prepared if he does.  I’ve got my notes together.  I’ve got my argument ready and I’m not taking any shit this time.  If I get fired, it’ll suck, but I’ll be better off!  That man has a stick shoved so far up his ass he’d have to open up and say “Ah” to remove it, and the worst part is, no one knows what the real issue is.  I’m certain it’s not my schedule. 

Fucking Douche Bag!!!

One Response

  1. I found your site on Google and read a few of your other entires. Nice Stuff. I’m looking forward to reading more from you.

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