Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bad Bosses Abound

I read an article not long ago about the bad bosses people have had, and I realized that I had never had a good one. I'm not talking about they way they did their jobs,who cares about that?I'm talking about the way they treated me.

I worked for twenty-five years in various offices as a secretary, administrative assistant, or more precisely, general flunky. Since I retired, I've had a lot of time to think back on my experiences with bad bosses. When you live in a small town, you don't always have a lot of choices about where you work. You daren't complain too loudly, or tell stories about your workplace, either. Because what you say will - not might - will get back to your boss. But, now that I'm not working any more, I feel free to spill the beans on my blog, because I know my former bosses don't read blogs. I know that because none of them knows how to use a computer, although they expected everyone else to.

My first job was with a small, family-owned company. The family in question just happened to live in Florida, so my immediate boss was an alcoholic womanizer who kept a stash of pot in his desk and referred to all the factory workers as animals. I was the only woman who worked there, and how I lasted for ten years I'll never know. I do know I spent nine of those years keeping an eye out for another job. I shared an office with the Production Manager, who I found out, had spent several years in jail for rape. He had a desk full of porn and his favorite saying was "They's more women WANTS raped than GETS raped." It's a wonder I didn't kill him.

The bookkeeper in the office was fond of going to lunch at the local country club about twice a month and came back hammered and feeling amorous. Since he was in his 70's, I could handle him - or at least out run him. I hasten to add that this was in the days before anyone had a clue about sexual harassment.

Eventually, I escaped and found another job at a local division of a large corporation. In the fifteen years I was with that company, I had to adjust to seven bosses - one of them came back for a second time. One was an overgrown juvenile delinquent, but actually kind of fun to work with. He only lasted about a year. He was a real flim-flam man, getting the job by telling a clueless top management that he had "been around computers for years". Yeah, right. In the same way that he was "around" the computer he got for me to use.

Another boss was so paranoid that he had surveillance cameras place around the factory so he could see if anyone was plotting to blow up the bathrooms, I guess. It didn't take long for someone to discover the cameras. After that, every time he turned on the monitor that was in the closet in his office, he saw a group of employees smiling and waving at him.

The one who nearly convinced me to quit and try to get on disability for my nerves came to us late in my career, and his. He was, simply, as crazy as a betsy bug. The first thing he did was to have maintenance install a chinning bar inside his closet. Every now and then, I'd take some papers in for him to sign, and was startled to see his closet door open and his feet hanging down. He used to walk home, forgetting his car, and his wife would have to bring him back for it.

Needless to say, I was relieved to retire.


saz said...

OMG Betty - Your former bosses are cracking me up especially the one with the chin bar in the closet. I had 30 years at PacBell and I can't remember anything this colorful - things were pretty dull by comparison. And from this western damnyankee what's a "betsy bug"?

Betty said...

Saz: They are also called Bess Beetles. According to Google, they eat rotting wood and their own excrement, and they squeak, but don't bite. Wonder why people think they're crazy! I didn't know all this until you asked and I Googled them. It's just a phrase I've always heard. I've learned something today. Thanks.

F&W said...

First off, I have to address Saz: Do you actually have a blog or just an account for commenting? I've been dying to read any/all posts you may have 'cause I like your comments, but I can't seem to get blogger to show me an actual blog associated with your profile name. Help!

Betty: This was a very funny post indeed! I have worked as a "general flunky" for the past 16 years so I have a VERY good idea of what you're talking about. You've given me a wonderful idea for a post of my own. :o) Thanks for sharing your experiences. I laughed pretty hard about the chin-up guy. (how on earth do you forget a car?!)

Dogwalkmusings said...

I needed a good laugh today and you supplied it! Thanks!

Susan said...

This is just too funny! You are one tough nut to put up with all that nonsense.

Sez...I've been dying to know as well, but I didn't want to seem too snoopy even though I am. :)