Thursday, June 02, 2005

The past is a bitch!

So I have never considered myself new-age or enlightened or any of that mumbo-jumbo because well, I'm from Texas and good little southern girls are born God fearing and all that stuff just seems a little... fluffy, for me.

That being said, I do believe firmly in karma... Or for us southerners, The Golden Rule. You know the one I mean. Do unto others as you want them to do unto you, etc, etc... I try to live by it. Sometimes I do a good job and sometimes not, but in general I try to be the kind of person that doesn't have regrets. (At least for things that are within my control)

However, (and those of you that know me can attest to this) I have managed to pick up a string of seriously deranged, mentally unstable or just plain old fashioned mean bosses in the last 4 years or so.* Now I don't mean just "difficult" or "demanding", those things I can handle. I'm talking mentally disturbed and/or sadistic. Seriously.

Take Mr. A. for example... The first in the string. I had just been laid off from a job I LOVED, loved, loved... Have ya'll ever had a job where you looked forward to going to work everyday? I did. That was it. But it ended - that's the tragedy of market driven businesses (Hi, 9/11). So a friend (who I'm sure was trying to be helpful) got me a job with Mr. A. as I was desperate and rent was due and my stint at Bloomingdale's was getting old. Mr. A. was manic depressive (no joke - he was on medication for it) and prone to extreme mood swings. EXTREME ya'll! Take for instance the staff meeting where at one point we were laughing and talking about another employee's pending vacation and not 5 minutes later large, heavy, hard-bound books were being thrown at / slammed down in front of another employee for "daring" to ask a question about a new procedure that affected her job area. Yeah. No kidding.

Or how about Mrs. J. who was for all intents and purposes just plain mean. For some reason Mrs. J. had gotten into her head that she was an expert on all sorts of things like diagnosing drinking and/or drug problems in her employees (who had no such problems), creating mental instability in employees who had the nerve to tear up after being subjected to one of her rampages, and just generally finding fault with anything that was done because it should have been done faster, better, clearer or the way that "she" would have done it (if she had ever decided to come to work and do anything at all that is). I think it came from being married to Mr. J. who was a spineless, sniveling wimp who decided that since he had lost all respect from him wife (and I suspect had "performance issues" in the bedroom) would take out his frustrations on his perfectly loyal, honest, hard-working and sweet assistant who, I might add, should apply for sainthood as she's worked with these people for going on 24 years now. Mrs. J. played by her own rules, thought nothing of breaking the law if it suited her purpose and generally swindled her clients out of hundreds of thousands of dollars as it suited her. Funny how once breaking the law because part of *MY* job description she couldn't understand my overwhelming desire to get the heck out!

(Of course here comes my good old guilty feelings again... Is it bad karma to say these things because while she was a serious monster she was also quite ill? No, I think illness is no excuse. I've met terminal patients with more grace than her. Right? Right. I'm not a horrible person, not not not!)

But let's move on to the scary ex-boss who is the reason behind this post today, Mr. B. Now Mr. B. was a particularly horrible experience because he was (pre-boss) someone I considered a friend. A work friend or what have you, but none the less, someone I liked ya'll! AND he pursued me! I was working elsewhere and he met with me several times over a 6 month time period to try and woo me over to his company! He promised me an exciting work environment, room and training to grow and learn the business, flexible hours, and a bonus at the end of the year. Sounds pretty damn good huh? Plus I had other work friends that were over there and it seemed like a good idea. So I went. I can't exactly pinpoint the time when things started to look suspicious... First off I think I noticed in minute twelve that Mr. B. had favorites. Serious favorites. A boy favorite and a girl favorite. Also, he wasn't exactly "ready" for me (even though he knew what my start date was 6 weeks in advance) as there was no desk, no phone, no computer, etc... How exactly I was supposed to get any work done I'll never know. Then there were the changes to my job title. I came on with one job title that implied importance and growth and upward mobility and then shortly realized that no one else in the company had a title. So, of course I don't have one either. Fine. But what I was not fine with was that the description of my job changed as well. All of a sudden I am Cinderella at home on the ranch ya'll. I think the final straw for me was when Mr. B. hired someone else AFTER me to do the exact things he had hired ME to do. When I called him on it he said something vague along the lines of "when the time is right..." Well you know what nice southern girls do when they're un-happy in a job? They look for another job. Only, I work in a very incestuous business and apparently I sent my resume to someone who had Mr. B.'s best interests at heart and forwarded it on to him. Fantastic. All I remember about being fired (FIRED ya'll! It would have been traumatic if I hadn't been relieved!) is that he said to me, with a completely straight face, "I think there was some mis-communication between us." Ya think???

Fast forward to today... Mr. B. is back! Just when you think it's safe to go back in the water... *sigh* And then here I was faced with a complete conundrum because I don't have Mr. B. or his company on my resume (I secretly dread having to say the phrase "I was fired" no matter how justified I may have been.) and hadn't exactly mentioned it to my new boss. Who knew it was ever going to come up anyway?!?! What are the chances?!?! Isn't the past supposed to stay IN THE PAST!?!? *sigh* But I bit the bullet and told him (actually I think the look of terror that crossed my face at the mention of his name gave me away but I prefer to think of myself as a tad less obvious) and you know what? It was okay. Because my boss now is fantastic. And normal. And appreciates me. And doesn't take any anti-psychotics (that I know of).

So the moral of this whole rant about my horrible ex-bosses basically comes down to the fact that because of them and all their schitzophrenic ways, I now truly appreciate what I have. Life is good ya'll, life is good.**

*An aside to my current boss (not that he reads this) but I love you, you are wonderful and none of these comments pertain to you.

**Or what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger?

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