Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What a way to make a living

You know, there's nothing like getting the silent treatment from your boss to make your workday even better than it already was.

Seriously, I spent the day with an elbow propped on the desk, reading the New York Times Magazine online. My boss emailed me periodically from the next room. Sample correspondence:

"Are you around?"

Useful stuff, I tell you. I came in two hours late -- not my fault, the place I was applying to opens late on Tuesdays and doesn't say so online, dang it! -- and for a moment he looked like he was going to ask me where I'd been. I adopted my best Crawl Back To The Rock From Under Whence You Came stare, and he dropped his gaze and shambled down the hall.

This all was precipitated by a volley of hostile emails and online sparring yesterday. Over the weekend, I decided that I was no longer interested in reconsidering my resignation, as I'd been instructed to do. For the record, my boss's original response to my first resignation attempt was to say:

"No. I'm not accepting this. You need to reconsider. You need to spend the weekend thinking about this from a broader perspective."

He also refused to take my resignation letter, and so I stood there stupidly, letting it dangle from my hand until I finally dropped it on his desk. Later, he said he could respect -- well, no, actually, he couldn't respect my decision. Not really. Just so I knew.

Let me tell you: giving an employee grief when she's only been there for six weeks? Telling her that she's the only one who can help you re-energize and rebuild your organization? Thinking she's really thirsting after the responsibility of cobbling together a functional institution out of fragments? Knowing this is her first "real" job, which means she's already second-guessing everything about her decision and is too overwhelmed by your attacks to call you out when you cross the line? Not exactly the best way to convince her to stay, particularly when you follow it up with a second day filled with snide remarks like, "My wife says you aren't giving this enough of a chance," and veiled threats like, "I can fire you anytime I want to." Really? Can you? Then would you hurry up so I can leave your sorry butt behind?

Oh, I'm sorry. I'm supposed to care what your wife, who doesn't work here, thinks? I should feel bad because *TWO MONTHS* notice "isn't enough"??

So, over the weekend, I emailed again and said I indeed had reconsidered, per his request; now, my original offer to leave in two months had changed, and I intended to leave in three weeks. He ignored me for two days, but he was sick on Monday and I chose to wrap up the matter before he could get to me at the office. Let the email battle begin. Alas, the man tried to out-manipulate me, by arguing (incorrectly) that I'd promised to stay that long. He can definitely back you into a corner in-person, as evidenced by the two-hour attack I sustained on Friday...but he's a lousy e-manipulator. I won. He lost. And now, I'm getting the silent treatment.

Tomorrow, I think I'll follow SueBob's idea. Novels and/or DVDs at the workplace, coming up! Heck, I need to catch up on the first two seasons of BSG anyway.

For god's sake, it's like breaking up with a boyfrind. A needy, passive-aggressive, high-school boyfriend who winds up halfheartedly stalking you in the school parking lot until you finally have to employ vivid castration descriptions to make him leave you alone. I thought I'd finished with these creeps when I turned 18.

What really makes me angry is that I'm unemployed. AGAIN. No apartment, no cat, no freedom. Taxes to pay, car to repair, thyroid to medicate, and limited assets to do so. Stuck with the parents even longer, after 7 years of independence. No apartment, no cat, no freedom. But hell, anything is better than working where I am now. Even living with two people who harbor secret fantasies that you'll turn back into a precocious twelve year-old at any moment.


Anonymous said...

Wow - it really IS like a horrible high school breakup...I don't suppose he has a locker you could drop an open can of sardines into, is there?

But way to go telling him where to stick it. I'll bet a rather large chunk of my student loans that he didn't anticipate you reconsidering and changing the length of your notice. Truly awesome. Three weeks until freedom from insane bosses and disappointing workplaces!

~Your Stanford Bud

PS: Did you read (cnn.com is now an addiction of mine, I fear) that the new Harry Potter book will not only be 784 pages long, but it will be 784 GREEN pages? JK Rowling rules.

Kristy said...

I am SO glad that you are not spending anymore of your life at that place except for a very generous three weeks' notice. He's lucky to get that. Chalk it up to a learning experience. Karma dictates that the next job should be a 180 degree turn toward "fabulous"!

SUEB0B said...

The new job will be better. I promise.