Monday, July 30, 2007


My boss evidently dislikes this Place of Business almost as much as I do. When I told Wife that my boss was going to be out all this week, she asked “Does he ever work?” I wasn’t sure what she meant. “You do realize he’s taken at least a week off every month since you started working there.” I’ve been at Big Box Retailer HQ for several months; I crawled into the deep recesses of my memory and what do you know? Wife was right.

I’ve never been in this situation. Usually I’m the slacker, or the one who loathes the very walls that imprison me every day. But now it’s my supervisor, the template against which I’m supposed to measure myself as an employee, who can’t seem to make it to work for ¼ of every month. Not that I blame him. I can’t say whether this is indicative of the entire Big Box industry, but this place is boring. I feel my mind losing its edge, my thoughts dulled until they’re as incisive as an old man’s gums. I end up chewing on projects for hours, slowly eroding the issues until I’m left with a mushy, unidentifiable glop. Wow, that’s gross. We’re going to leave that metaphor behind in the new paragraph.

But my boss shouldn’t have to deal with such problems. He sees the Big Picture, he’s got Decision-Making Power, and windows. Every time I go into his office, though, his desk is empty, and he usually hasn’t looked at whatever I’ve come to discuss. Because of the maze-like setup of the building, it takes a good few minutes from my office to his, and that’s more time wasted. Time I could be reading news on the Web, or writing this. I’ll walk over, and he’ll ask me some detailed question, and I won’t know what he’s talking about, so I’ll be sad, and confused, and amble back to my office, and bury my sorrows in Wikipedia, looking up the connection between Scientology and the Aztecs (there isn’t any. Save yourself some time and go right to ESPN. That’s where you really want to be, anyway).

When he leaves my boss gives me a few projects to finish, but it’s never enough. I end up wandering the halls, hoping to run into someone who can give me something else to do. Sometimes it’s actual work, other times I don’t make it past the cafeteria and I get to hand out Tuesday’s Tasty Tacos, which is more rewarding than you’d think.

Has your boss been this blatant about his or her dissatisfaction? Have they given you busy work so they can get back to reading about cat clothing, or whatever is their particular hobby/fetish? Sharing helps us cope.

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