Thursday 16 June 2011


My brother in law has a new film opening in the beginning of July called “Horrible Bosses” – yes, SHAMEFUL plug, but it looks pretty funny and I have to support the home team so to speak. Of course this got me thinking back to all the bosses I’ve had in my time, and certainly a few of them epitomized horrible. I’ve had the screamers, the narcissists, the ripe candidates for sexual harassment, even one who asked if I could bump off his competition by putting rat poison in their coffee. Kidding. Just wanted to see if you’ve had your morning coffee. 

One pair of individuals do stick out however for being a surreal pain in the behind. I shall not use real names in order to protect…well, myself, as I’m sure they have much bigger lawyers than I have access to. When I was first out of college I went to work for a start up TV shopping network. Well, start up in the sense that this company was trying to do something different under the umbrella of a juggernaut already in place. Confusing, but not an important detail, so ignore that bit.

The man overseeing the ship was a veteran and well known for his less than savory behavior. Oh forget sugarcoating things, his moniker was 'the Pitbull' (at least around our office) and he was mean and scary as hell. Luckily he was just overseeing things and not in the office all the time as he had his empire ‘of scary’ to run. Of course when he was there, you were ordered not to look at him, let alone speak to him directly, which of course made me want to make eye contact all the more. Seriously, it’s impossible not to look at someone when you’re told not to.

My direct boss at this company was a woman – a long legged, highly hormonal (she was pregnant at the time), medicated nightmare (I think it was Prozac). I am a feminist at heart, and all for women solidarity, but facts are facts. [Although saying this, having been pregnant, I now have a much better understanding of her behavior]. She had this very high-pitched voice and everything came out in a saccharine dripping whine. To make matters worse, she was the type that would call you at all hours of the night (no shame at waking you up at 2am) to tell you to pick up her dry-cleaning, or that she needed to find a new place to get waxed, or something altogether earth shattering like she decided she no longer liked the color green, and wanted to ‘de-green’ her entire apartment immediately.

As her pregnancy advanced, so did her mood swings and erratic behavior. I’d often find her rifling through my purse for coins for the vending machines - candy craving apparently. Then there were the more obscure and severe food cravings…one night as I was about to leave for home (the commute back from Queens to Manhattan was no picnic I assure you), she decided she needed BBQ-ed ribs and sent me out to scour the streets of Queens to find her some at 9 o’clock at night. And of course, once her child was born it did not get any better. She got in it in mind that eating buckets of carrot salad post pregnancy was the only way to shed the baby weight and get back into her micro mini skirts (the woman graduated from Harvard and had incredible legs, why the heck not show them off), and I would have to procure this salad in bulk from a deli across town. I would also have to hire her nannies whom she would of course fire as soon as they would try to inflict some sort of order or scheduling that didn’t jibe with her. And who would get to do the firing? Ah yes, a twenty two year old fresh out of college.

The really fun part was when the Pitbull would show up at the office and send the entire place into an emotional tailspin. There was a long list of things one would need to get in place for the meetings; he had a thing about sharp number two pencils, legal pads, and bagels. Little did I know the bagels were his weapon of choice, and when he was made really angry by any form of incompetence, he would wad up the inside of one of these bagels and hurl it at people. There were a few other objects that were not food related, if my memory serves. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t see someone crying and trembling in the stairwell. I’m talking about grown men shedding tears of fear like little children. 

I didn’t last at this job very long - I think six months was all I could take. When I went looking for work, I do remember telling my next potential employer that I would not work for anyone who threw food or heavy objects. You have no idea how many jobs this canceled out. 

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