#054 In which our hero is petty (but not really).
It's petty. And the thing is, I know it's petty. Hell, I even started the conversation by saying "Now, this is petty, but..."
But, it's not really petty at all.
I had my one year review, and, as expected, I was not given a raise. My boss told me (as he did six months ago) that he wanted to give me a raise, but it was denied by upper management. In the course of this review, my boss wanted to "just chat" and discuss how I'm doin', if I'm enjoying my time here, blah, blah, blah. The thing is, my boss and I don't "chat." Ever. Frankly, I don't really like the guy, and have very little that isn't work related to speak to him about. In an effort to "connect" I once went into his office, sat down, and tried to strike up a casual conversation. As the awkward pauses became longer, I realized that it was a big mistake and bailed.
But, for purposes of customary protocol we sat and talked. He praised me for some things and criticized me for others. Being that I hold little to no respect for the man, l half-heartedly listened, all the while the voice in my head saying "whataboutthemoneywhataboutthemoney-." However, his criticism became a little too personal for my tastes (or possibly, hit too close to home) and I felt inclined to respond in kind. He had, after all, asked for my honest opinion. Which is something you really shouldn't do unless you're sure you want it. Really sure.
So I elaborated on his notion that we had never really "connected" with an example of why I thought that was.
A petty example.
He, an account executive and I drove down to Akron once months ago to check out the retail store of a client. The account executive, whom I will refer to as "the asshole" because he is a colossal asshole, drove. The three of us walked out to his car together. My boss got hung up for a moment checking something before it printed or whatever, so the asshole got in his car, then I got in his car. And since I'm not twelve, I got in the front seat.
My boss wouldn't have it. "Oh no," he said. "Get in the back. I'm sitting in the front seat." I said no, if you wanted to sit in the front seat you shouldn't have been screwing around. First come, first served. "No, Craig, I'm serious as a heart attack. Get in the back."
Well, I didn't make a big stink about it then, mostly because I had only been there six months or so. So I got in the back seat. But it ate at me.
Petty? Maybe... but the real issue isn't that I had to sit in the back (which, really, I could care less) but that he ordered me out of the front seat like I was his teenaged son. This guy is maybe two, three years older than me. Being that we're all adults and co-workers, I thought it showed a distinctive lack of respect for me.
And I told him so. My boss was unphased. He told me that since he was my boss, he gets to sit up front. Simple as that.
ME: So let me get this right. You're saying that because you're my boss, that gives you the right to decide where we sit in the car?"And I got up to leave. He saw that I still had something on my mind, and had me come back and sit down. Even as I write this, I'm amazed at the arrogance that makes him think that our rank within the company gets him to mandate everything, up to and including positions in a car. I wasn't happy about it, and, since he was asking me to be honest, told him so.
ME: Okay, I see we're done speaking.
HIM: Look, like it or not, I'm your supervisor, that's just the way it is.An aside: it's things like this that make my wife worry that I'll get fired. I won't... it's hard to explain the advertising community sometimes. Crap like this is said, then forgotten. Sometimes it's more like working in a truckstop than an office.
ME: Hey, I'm not debating that, obviously you're the boss. I have no problem with that. But you think that allows you to order me into the back seat?
HIM: Yes it does.
ME: That's fucking bullshit!
But, like I said in the beginning, this is a petty example. But it does demonstrate my boss's attitude toward me. I told him I didn't like his attitude, and that while I was trying to work with him, it was clear that in his mind I could only work for him.
But, the conversation rebounded and ended on lighter topics, and he even said that he thought it had been "constructive," and thought it was promising that we could air our grievances.
Little does he know that I totally spit in his coffee while his back was turned.