Friday, March 19, 2010

If a little bit is good, isn't a little bit more better?

The temperatures around here got up into the 50s this week, so what better way to cap off the warmest weather since last August October than with 3 inches of snow? I will take photos if I can stand the pain. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the 30s with 3" of snow on the ground.

Isn't this exciting?

I could tell you about all the dumb things people do when they are looking for a job, but then that would be a little too close to work-related and someone (namely my employer) may someday discover that I am writing about trade secrets and fire me. Since I like my job, that would not make me happy.

I did see a resume this morning that was dripping with arrogance and it made me laugh. It was a technical resume, but let's pretend it was from a hamburger flipper and it went something like this:

I flip 100 hamburgers (if you consider ground-up squirrel meat a hamburger) per hour, 8 hours a day.

So not only arrogant, but insulting to his employer. Great resume technique. I checked our database and none of my co-workers had claimed him either. When four commission-based recruiters don't want to work with you? Well, that's really saying something. We all have our limits. I would work with a goat if it could write good code, contribute to the team and play well with others. But this guy?


That reminds me of a time in my first sales job when my boss took me on a call to one of her clients. We were standing around waiting for our appointment and she was making small talk with Mr. Muckety-Muck's personal secretary. They'd known each other quite awhile, I knew that. But the PS asked my boss about how she managed to squeeze a salesperson out of the corporate office and my boss shrugged and spat, "A salesperson! A monkey with a briefcase could do this job."

I lasted three years and won a sales award. Then I quit.

The next job I had was a great job for the first 2.5 years. Then they switched my territory. My new boss (sales manager) was a school teacher with no sales experience. None. How fun for all of us. It's a much longer story than this, but I'll cut to the bottom line. He wanted a voicemail from us at the end of EVERY DAY to find out what we'd done that day. We were in a seasonal business and it was June, which was out of our season. Here's how that went:

HIM: "I didn't get a voicemail from you yesterday."
ME: "No, you're right. You didn't"
HIM: "Well, what are you doing?"
ME: "Right now I am cleaning up my desk and getting things organized."
HIM: "Cleaning your desk? That's not what salespeople do. Why are you cleaning your desk?"
ME: "I think I'm going to quit"
HIM: "When?"
ME? "How about now?"

It's the only time I quit without another job. I don't recommend it and there were other reasons why I quit that had to do with some family business.

When I was younger and hungrier and living in the expensive as all get out beautiful city of Chicago, I had a boss named Chris who made sure I ate and took food home most days (she ordered a lot of executive lunches). I don't think I will ever forget her. She also once told me that I was very pretty, but it was all for nothing if I didn't remember to wear lipstick.

I rarely remember to put that on and if by some chance I do put it on, I never reapply it.

When I was 18 I had a boss who was a dirty old man. He kept telling me about the dreams he had about me! Almost every morning he started this routine. Then his wife fired me. When I went to the unemployment office, the lady asked me what happened when I got fired and there I was young, naive, nervous, embarrassed and worried. I just blurted it out and that woman looked at me and said, "Honey, you'll get unemployment benefits." And that was that.

Just this week, at the very last moment, I sent my current boss an email asking if I could take the rest of the day off. He wrote back: Fine.

I got nervous. All the women reading this understand. My stomach flipped over and I thought - Oh, maybe I should stay! Knowing my boss pretty well, I convinced myself after 15 minutes to leave the office, but I knocked on his door on my way out.

"You do know that 'fine' is a loaded word for a woman, so did you answer me like a man or like a woman?"

He laughed and spun around in his chair at the same time. He said, "Are you asking if I said 'yes' or if I said 'fine'?"

I told him I was asking. He laughed some more and said, "I said YES!"

So I went home and left the guilt behind. May he never respond that way again!

And now, my friends, I leave you with this final note: The snow has begun.


Rambling Woods said...

I are getting it now and we will be getting it Monday into Tuesday..but the warmer temps were nice while they last....I enjoyed your stories...I should write about my bosses ... some of them..well... nasty people...

Susan at Stony River said...

Boy did this post bring me back some memories! I loved the whole thing.

I'd also love to see some of the resumes you get. Someone was telling me last year, that he never puts his Mensa membership on his resume because prospective employers are intimidated by it -- you should have just heard the *way* he said it. Pretty obvious to anyone (but himself) that he wasn't turned down for being Mensan, he was turned down for being a conceited asshole. But while I was still looking for a polite way to suggest that possibility (not easy and probably unwise...LOL), he'd carried the 'conversation' on to something else.

It takes all kinds doesn't it!

I hope you don't get *too* much snow, and that the 50s weather comes back soon!

Caron said...

Michelle, we already have 2 inches! Boss stories are interesting. I had one boss so nasty it didn't even occur to me to write about him until just now.

Susan, that would have been an ugly conversation had he let you speak!

Rose said...

I am hoping to miss far none predicted for here.

I have been very lucky in what few bosses I have had...never had one that was really bad....and had one couple I dearly loved. I still will tell my husband things the boss would have said under certain circumstances...everyone always thought he was the funny one until they got to know his wife. She had a real dry sense of humor...but he is the one that made me laugh so hard I almost got sick.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lord. When it comes to bosses, I've had MANY an odd duck (and some really great ones too). Too many to go on this post, I tell you. That's a whole other LONG entry on its own.

As far as the snow goes, we have about a foot on the ground and it's SUPPOSED to stop here soon. Gave us a good excuse to stay in and watch the Tourney (and see KU lose - wow). Naturally, neither Lucy nor Emma want to go out to do the squatting thing (might get snow on their fat, boxer butts), but WE don't want to be cleaning anything up inside, so OUT THEY GO!!

Of course, it'll all be gone by Tuesday or so, since the temp is supposed to be something around 50. Jeez. You'd think Winter would get the message and just GO!!

Silly me for thinking that way.

Nutty cat person south of you...