Tuesday, September 02, 2008

be nice: that intern could have a say in hiring you someday

I'm no stranger to working holidays. The dungeon never sleeps, so I spent nearly every holiday of the two years I worked there at the office. That was especially hard on Christmas Eve, but people do what they have to do to pay the mortgage. I can't say that I miss that schedule, but I do sort of miss being able to get sympathy over it.

At my first job out of college, we worked Tuesdays through Saturdays. On a holiday weekend, there was twice as much to do for the Saturday crew because we'd be working ahead, doing Monday's work so no one would have to come into the office on the holiday. And Cc and I sometimes found ourselves—through a twist of politics and bad luck—stuck there on those Saturdays-before-a-holiday with a skeleton staff, trying to do twice as much work with half as many people.

One Saturday before Labor Day, cc and I were in for a doozy: There was only one other person besides the two of us, and although the workload had been reduced, we still had to finish Monday's stuff before we could go home. We usually would leave around 3 p.m., but this day it looked like we were going to be in the office until at least 8. On top of that, some system that we had no idea how to use but relied upon crapped out and we had to call in the boss.

The boss, who had taken over for my other, awesome boss when she got another position, reluctantly came in because he was the only one who knew that system. He wasn't happy about it, but we weren't ecstatic about three people having to do the work of 12, either. He headed straight for a back corner of the mothership, fixed the program and passed our desks on his way out, pausing to ask how it was going. As if the harried looks on our faces and the piles of paper on our desks weren't obvious, I answered that we were extremely behind and it looked as though we'd be there till about 8 p.m. that night.

He responded, "Oh. Well, would you like some wood to knock on?" and sailed out the door.

We were completely stunned. Then outraged. Our old boss would never have let that happen, let alone leave us like that. But after awhile it became clear that he was useless to us and that the work on our desks wasn't going anywhere, so we grumbled and finished up. I don't remember how late we ended up staying.

That was only one of the spirit-stomping comments that boss made to me during my time there with him. I was a bit of an envelope-pusher when it came to creativity, and I don't think he liked that very much. Another senior person pulled me aside a few months into that boss's tenure and asked why he didn't see that sparkle in my eye when we were discussing ideas anymore and if I'd like, he could talk to my boss. That was very kind, but I didn't take him up on it. I wasn't at that job too much longer, and neither was cc.

Last week, we got a whole lot of responses for my current boss's soon-to-be vacant position, including the knock-on-wood guy's resume. He wouldn't be a good fit for the job anyway, but needless to say, he didn't get my recommendation.


naechstehaltestelle said...

Haha! It's always great when you can stick it to someone who has pissed you off in the past! I recommend you send in the rejection letter personally.

The Casual Perfectionist said...

I'm sorry you had to do so much with so little! Hopefully you were able to enjoy some of your weekend. :)

For some reason, your post reminded me of my time as a Front Desk Clerk at a busy hotel. (During college breaks, and summers home.) Let me tell you...because of that job, I am nice to every single Desk Clerk I come in contact with, because they are in charge of more than you could ever imagine. ;)

SupaCoo said...

That is awesome. If only he knew WHY he won't be getting the job!

omar said...

Wow, what a jerk!

I've got a staff of 20-ish college students, and I'm always worrying about the day when one of them will be my boss.

Librarian Girl said...

Bad bosses are the worst!

Sphincter said...

I think you should sent him a personalized rejection note! Better yet, e-mail! Extra insulting!

Michelle said...

Haha damn straight! It's clear though that someone like that shouldn't be employed in such demanding roles, it's just his tough luck that you were the one hiring at your new job! Did he know you worked there?