The Devil Wears… Target

We have all been there—working at a 9-5 job, slaving away eight hours a day in hopes of overtime while a fire breathing succubus blows down our necks, screeching bulls*** after bulls*** about something you couldn’t care less about. I’m not talking about something as drastic as Meryl Streep’s character, Miranda, in the 2006 film, The Devil Wears Prada. Oh no, I’m talking about the kind of b****iness that is not so glamourous or chic like when the poor sap of an employee gets expensive designer clothes and an opportunity to fly to Paris. It is the kind where your boss complains about the number of utensils in the breakroom and why you don’t shuck, jive, and smile for the mailman so that he feels less threatened. (Why am I so serious? Motherf****er, I’M AT WORK!!!)

Let me not paint the picture that all bosses as a bunch of Kevin Spaceys; evil and vile human beings hellbent on making the Justin Batemans of the world miserable. Oh, no. There are bosses out there who their employees love and admire; who they don’t hate. Take for example the Chinese billionaire, Li Jinyan—the leader of the Chinese Company, the Tiens Group. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the biotechnological and multinational firm, Li Jinyuan rewarded 6,400 of his employees with a free four-day trip to France and Monaco. The trip boosted the French economy by a mere $14,6…MILLION!

One question: Are they accepting applications?

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I know that not all our bosses are millionaires. Many of them are supervisors living the same lives as the people they supervise, but being paid a few dollars more. However, a mere title should not give a person a reason to be a freaking a**hole. We all know how power can go to someone’s head. Unfortunately, in my case, it went to her head and made her lose her damn mind.

Can I fix my mouth to say that she is the worst boss I have ever had? Well, the jury is still out on that. In the military, I dealt with some petty and deplorable people. One of my senior petty officers yanked me from my chair because he thought I wasn’t getting up from the computer fast enough and he wanted to check his email. Apparently, checking one’s email is more important than slightly assaulting a someone half your size. Eh. Since that incident, I always had it in my mind that a boss in the civilian world would be much better.

After separating from the Navy, I had a few temp jobs here and there.  The civilian workforce was a less stressful one, but still with drama. Like parents—even though they won’t admit—bosses play favorites. One of the jobs I was hired to right after leaving the Navy, the supervisor of my supervisor showed favoritism to my coworker. He was hired at the same time as me, we did the same job, and we were supposed to be paid the same. Well, he was constantly taking break after break; smoking and getting a little snack. I barely left my desk. When something needs to be done, I tend to focus on that until it is done. After a while, I found out that she was inviting him out to lunch and having private little chats. It was then I started to notice the double standards. Every time he was on the millions of breaks he takes a day, she never called looking for him, but when I leave one time from my desk for ten minutes after being at my desk for hours, suddenly, she is wondering where I am and why I am never around. The bull!

If you are observant enough, you can tell when someone neither likes or cares for you. It is painfully clear in their face. I saw it in hers with the rolling of the eyes whenever I talked about my daughter and the way she monitored when I left my desk, but allowed my male coworker to leave when he wanted. The icing on the cake? The finding out that the guy was being paid more than me. Talk about trying to close the f***ing wage gap!

The bosses I had after that were fine. A lot of them were very understanding with the fact that I was a mom, very accommodating to my situation.  I thought that it would be the same way at my current employer being that many of the women were mothers.

WRONG!… Well…somewhat.

Who knew that a workplace full of adults could be so high school? I didn’t. High school was some-odd years ago, for me. I didn’t like it then and I damn sure don’t like it now.

The first few weeks there, I was trained by someone who held the position before me. For lack of a better word, he was the most incompetent trainer in the history of office training. I would ask him questions about the tasks that I had to perform and he would have this confused look on his face as though he was seeing it for the first time, too. Dude, you were working here before me! He basically had me doing everything, which I didn’t mind because I was just happy to have a job. Then one day, he came to me and asked me to write the ounces on the stamps because he was in a rush one day and he couldn’t figure out which stamp to get.

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WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH ME?!

I know that his incompetence should not be something I should worry about; however, his lack of training skills was getting me in trouble and getting me written up. I was only there for two months and already I was being written up from something I was NOT instructed to do. When I mentioned it to be supervisor that this guy was not training me properly, she said that she would talk to him.

Oh, I know what that means: She is not going to do a damn thing! It wasn’t until I overheard my supervisor asking him what he wanted for lunch that I knew…well…speculated. She never asked anyone there since I’ve been there for lunch. Hell, she never asked me. After a month of sitting in the cubicle before me, he was moved right next to her office. When I needed to ask her something, I would walk to her office only to find her in his cubicle. What they were chatting about? How he was a dingbat when it came to training me? Doubt it! I questioned if this was how it would always be—his dumb expressions for the simplest answers, getting written up because he continued to have a dumb expression instead of an answer. His lack of knowledge for the job he has held for six months and HIS DUMB EXPRESSIONS?! It was best that I buckle up and prepare for this long agonizing ride that was employment for Mama has mouths to feed.

Christmas came early. My trainer quit. Sure, that left me with all the work to do on my own, but at least I didn’t have to see that dumb expression ever again. Once he left, a few coworkers gave me the so-called “tea” and my suspicions were confirmed. Apparently, he was being harassed by my supervisor’s husband. He would wait for him in the parking lot. I’m just disappointed that I wasn’t there to scream, “WORLDSTAR!”. Adultery is a no-no in my book. Mess with a married person—especially when you know they are married and you just don’t care—you deserve your butt kicked and then some.

Smooth sailing after that, right? I wish.

I believe the lack of “side loving” caused her inner b**** to emerge in the most annoying way. Suddenly, I had to wait until she replied to my instant messages before I could leave my desk, I had to take a few minutes out to restock the breakroom, and after my shift, I had to email her and HR my “End of the Day” Report. Now, this really felt like high school. I placed my pride aside even though I wanted to do a Cleo and SET IT OFF because of my family I had to provide for. However, over time, it seemed like she was finding the smallest things to complain about. First, it was the number of cups displayed out in the breakroom.  Then, it was taking too short of a time to finish task, and then it was taking too long to complete a task. Not wasting paper to print, taking too long to double check my work. Not double checking. I could feel my sanity and temperament slowly fading away. It was imperative that I keep my composure before someone gets punched in the throat. A real forceful judo chop!

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It is understandable that we all don’t want to be in that plantation disguised as an office, but we must be; however, I believe that doesn’t give someone the right to make it more miserable for someone else. I mean, come on! The final straw had to be condescending instant message about me forgetting to put bubble wrap—which we didn’t have, by the way—in these packages to send to our employees who work from home for Christmas. She proceeded to go on about using common sense and how I made mistakes in the past. Well, ma’am, if you weren’t sexing up the guy training me so damn much, he would have had the time to properly train me!

My ears immediately became hot; fire. There was only pure rage at that moment. All I could see was red. I felt like The Bride when she saw Oren Ishi after four years. VENDETTA! A few deep breaths and I was able to calm myself. I gave her the simple reply, “Please don’t talk to me like that”. It was either that or “B****, don’t you ever try me like that again before you catch these hands!”

She replied with an apology for coming off rude, but I was not in the mood for one. Where do you get off talking to someone like that in the first place? That is what really bothers me, though. I am the type of person who is always kind and respectful, not giving you the b**** side unless you provoke me. It is infuriating when someone is just mean and vicious to you when you have done nothing to them. It is not like this is some desirable, glitzy job at Vogue, where you bump elbows—and hopefully uglies—with celebrities. She was no Meryl Streep and I damn sure wasn’t Anne Hathaway. If anything, I was Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse. I was James Dalton.

That situation alone is the prime example of how misery indeed loves company. When will some people in charge learn that the better your employees feel, the more productive they become. Why should they be subjected to your rage because your side piece decided to get back with his ex and now you’re stuck with your husband? They have nothing to do with that! They weren’t in the room! The entire ordeal is emotionally draining. Like Anne Hathaway’s character realized after Miranda sold out Nigel, that is someone I do not want to be. God forbid that when I become in a position of power that I treat them as though they are beneath me. How could I expect my employees to respect me when I do not show them the same respect? Wanting respect without giving it? Where do they do that? That’s not how that works. That’s not how any of this works.

This entire thing has shown me how a person can’t always be a “yes” and an “ok” person, that they must stick up for themselves and show certain people that they are indeed no one to be played with. That is how so many people mess up—confusing someone’s kindness for weakness. Just because a person doesn’t show you attitude, it doesn’t mean they won’t rip your head off like a female praying mantis after she is done with you. Ripping heads and not giving a damn about taking names!

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In conclusion, everything comes down to respect. Our purpose in life is not to be liked, but at least be freaking civil. Our bosses won’t always be the nice, funny-loving people in charge that I envision the bosses of Google are, but they shouldn’t be a Miranda Priestly either. Should they expect a lot from their employees? Of course. Nonetheless, they should not be impossibly demanding. No one should travel throughout the city for a damn cheesecake (Shots fired at P Diddy). A person’s lucidity should never be compromised when all they want is to work at a job they enjoy and provide for themselves and their families. The world is stressful enough without a chick wearing yoga pants in a business casual workplace setting getting high in the parking lot making your life a living hell.

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