Adventures in Managerial Animosity, Part I

It probably sounds weird. In fact, it’s pretty much straight up sexism I’m talking ’bout here. Because either way, no matter which way you shake it, 99.9 percent of the time, I just can’t stand working for a female boss.I apologized…

I know, I know! I can hear my fellow feminists, gasping in shock and shrieking that I am a traitor to my kind; Benedict Arnold to the estrogen army’s equality-focused grrl power cause.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not some uterus hating suit chaser, nor do I believe a woman’s “place” is anywhere – house, office, the freakin’ fields of Iraq, I don’t care. I only know what’s right for my life.

But what I do believe, without a doubt, is that from the time we’re old enough to tie our pink-trimmed, cartoon character bearing, sparkly, light up shoes, we’re well on the way to growing into fingernail-wielding, back stabbing, catty-with-a-capital-C bitches.

Granted, not everyone turns out that way. There are plenty of women out there who make the 9-5 grind the challenging-in-a-good-way, collaborative, worthwhile experience it should be.

But some chickies take the mean girl trajectory all. the. way.

Move that behavior from the playground to the boardroom and the opportunity is ripe for the cruelest of all to claw their way into the corner cubicle…

Now, the Tsumommy’s overbearning uber-matriarch may be a bit hard to handle without automatically reverting to door-slamming “I hate you” behavior. But this nurture-monger just wants to be loved. If you can somehow turn the tantrums to your favor, life in the cubicle jungle can get just a bit more bearable. Provided, of course, she remembers to take her estrogen.

Yet the Tsumommy’s menace is nothing compared to the unbridled spite of the Corporate Shrill. Thanks to CorporaCo’s latest bout of schizophrenic hiring, I have become the latest victim of one particularly pre-menopausal bitch.

And oh, this one follows the pattern. They always do.

The Shrill is usually late-30s through mid-40s, married at least once, if at all, has a child and has come to realize, bitterly, that this is it. And it sucks.

Maybe she’s divorced, or her husband is cheating, or she wishes he was just so he’d get his fat, lazy ass of the couch every once in a while. Her child is nothing spectacular, and is as popular as she was in school, which means not at all. So, living vicariously through her offspring, or even boasting about any achievements or awards, is not an option. She’s trapped in a long, gray stretch of existence that shows no glimpse of light at any end.

The solution to help ease the pain of her mindless, soulless, hollow existence? Take it out on those below her.

Mind you, it’s not like I’m some innocent Bambi, frolicking through the cube farm with nary an unhappy thought or cruel word. My time in CorporaCo. hell needed to be over a long time ago, and it’s my own damn fault I let it come to this.

I should have started looking for a new gig months ago, long before they unceremoniously fired my boss and sent my daily existence into a fucked up bitch smack of a tailspin. But no, lack of confidence combined with laziness and a scheduled surgery meant I hung around way past my expiration date, only to wind up an angry, unhealthy apprentice on the Shrill-ville downward spiral.

Thus, my existential angst and overblown sense of entitlement against the Shrill’s unbridled temper could only result in war. Unfortunately for me, the Shrill holds the cards and one overburdened worker bee is easily replaced with another, especially when the scab will be a newbie who has no choice but to follow the leader off the cliff.

And so, a week or so ago, I sat in the Shrill’s undecorated office, with the single-minded intention of trying to make nice with someone who has yet to fully comprehend CorporaCo’s apocalyptic state of affairs. I struggled to get across that I have done my best to hold the jumbled bits of the department together, even as my own life has slowly crumbled apart. If the two of us got on the same page we could probably, maybe even move things along.

It wasn’t easy. I didn’t think she had any inkling that at least a few times a day a missive is dropped into my lap from some source or other asking for yet another splinter of my time and feeble brain power to figure out … something. Without a master for so long I’d become a slave to all, and the schizophrenic nature of the gig was really getting to me. I needed a single source to assign me, a sole voice to shut out the chattering masses. I needed a fucking boss.

Instead I got the Terminator, guns blazing, nostrils flaring wider than her 1980s palazzo pants. She came out firing and I sat, stunned.

Not that the cubicle ranch wasn’t a stressful place to be, for all of us. And I probably deserved a talkin’ to for something. If I screw up I’ll take the fall. But this was something else.

This was animosity in overdrive.

And so I sat, face burning, as the laundry list of my alleged transgressions was hurled at me:

I’d been a horrible person from the moment she’d met me, and had gone out of my way to put down each and every fellow worker unlucky enough to sit within the vicinity of my cubicle of doom. The way she put it, like a serial killer I’d methodically made my way from victim to victim, and had apparently wrought such strife as to bring entire departments to tears and cause ailments ranging from spontaneous abortion to leprosy.

As for my work, every assignment I’d completed in her short tenure was deficient, mediocre, and simply not acceptable. She had zero confidence in my ability to do anything, ever. Period. In fact, I was blatantly lazy and had intentionally not completed an assignment for the CEO due to said purported laziness and my need to actually leave on time. Thanks to a shot transmission, yours truly (and Mr. Spipster as well, poor lad) is forced to rely on the fickle nature of the local public transit monopoly, which only deems travel to CorporaCo’s business “campus” necessary once or twice a day. Miss that bus and you’re schlepping your tired ass along the side of the road, dodging speeding SUVs and BMWs as they race to escape the rat race and make tee time.

I dared retort: the project was worked on until it was done, and the part not completed was a matter of pure miscommunication. She and the Tsumommy had attacked me via speakerphone and I’d misunderstood the missive.


She pounced.

“You are lying!” she shrieked, eyes bulging out of her head. I surreptitiously snuck a look behind me, making sure I knew exactly where the door handle was in the event I needed to make a hasty escape.


[…to be continued…]

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