Wednesday, August 10, 2005

And you think your boss is crazy

My boss is crazy. No, really, he is. And not the “Oh, he’s so funny he’s crazy” kind of crazy, but the “I think he needs medication” type of crazy. Past and present employees thought it was manic depression. But the other week we took a quiz in a magazine and my boss scored 16 out of 16 classifying him as a “psychopath.” That, my friends, means something.
He’s a compulsive liar. We can rarely believe anything that comes out of his mouth – whether it’s work related or pertaining to his own life. He’s the crowning example of attempting to say anything with confidence to make it sound like he knows what he’s talking about (e.g. it only takes 7 hours to fly from Cleveland to Japan). Even when you catch him in a lie, he won’t admit that he’s wrong. He’ll backpedal until he’s right again. And with people he’s trying to impress, he’ll say whatever it is that he thinks they want to hear.
He doesn’t care about anyone other than himself. When making decisions that affect everyone, he only considers how it will affect him. If you have a problem with it, you’re “stupid”. When his fiancé’s mother died, he didn’t even go to the funeral, saying it was a “family affair” and that he doesn’t “get into that.” When the best friend of one of his employees died, he “comforted” him by saying that he gets through grief by throwing himself into his work, and suggested that he do the same.
He wears a Member’s Only jacket all day every day – rain or shine, summer or winter, stains and rips or fresh to the rotation. He claims that it’s because he’s had his keys and wallet stolen out of the pockets when he takes it off, so he just wears it all the time. Maybe if he could fit his wallet and keys in his pants pockets like the rest of the men I know, that wouldn’t be a problem. We’re guessing that the jacket is like a security blanket – one day someone or something gave him the idea that he looked good in it, that it adequately hid his massive girth. So, not finding anything else that had the same affect on the eye of the beholder, he sticks with what he “knows” works. And seeing as how he drinks Diet Coke constantly (never without one in his hand) and eats lunches that consist of a pastry or pudding and a bag of chips, it’s no wonder that he weighs at least 300 lbs. and works up a sweat walking less than a block from his parking space to the building.
He hates wearing shoes, so you can often find him taking off his shoes during meetings (he thinks that no one can smell it when they sit close enough to him) or when he’s in his office. On top of that, the body odor that he works up is stifling. Activities similar to bowling make him work up a massive sweat – it looks like he has doused his head in a bucket.
Nothing but wet stringy hair because he cuts his hair maybe 2 times a year. Actually, I think he has his fiancé cut it for him. He wouldn’t want to spend the money on something that he sees as not worth it. Same goes for his glasses. He can’t see from the back of the room when we present, and insists that he doesn’t need glasses. Actually, he just doesn’t want to pay for the doctor’s visit or the glasses.
Even when he significantly injures himself, he refuses to see the doctor. He claims that he doesn’t want to spend the money, but I think part of it is that typical guy thing where they are afraid/”too macho” to go to the doctor. He twisted his ankle so badly that (we found out much later) he actually broke it. He refused to go to the doctor and instead limped around. When that got to be too painful, he bought himself crutches.
Now you may be thinking “He’s not that bad. He’s just frugal… extremely frugal.” That, my friends, is not true. While he finds spending money on health care, glasses, haircuts and clothes odious character flaws, he sees no problem dropping money on Beanie Babies, The One Ring, and any MacIntosh gadget that comes out. He reportedly has an entire room in his basement dedicated to housing his Beanie Baby collection. At a Christmas party at his house, he made a point to show off his replica of The One Ring from LORD OF THE RINGS. And he has Mac gadgets that he doesn’t even know how to use – but he HAD to have them.
Generally non-confrontational, he usually resorts to nasty emails. Rather than talk to you in person to sort out whatever bee has gotten in his bonnet, he’ll fire off a tirade of angry emails, usually 1 every 3-5 minutes for 20 minutes. When you go to speak with him the next day, he’ll act as if everything is fine and normally backs down, explaining that he just had to cool down. So he knows that he flies off the handle, but instead of walking away from the computer to cool down, he sits there and types with fury.
If he is really feeling righteous, he’ll embarrass you in public. This typically happens to the women who work for him because he thinks that he can get away with it easier.
During meetings, if you propose an idea, he doesn’t like it. After he’s had time to stew on it, and turn it around in his mind as if it were his idea, he likes it. Then he’ll tell you all about it as if he thought of it himself, and imply that he wished you’d have thought of it before. So he’ll insist that you explore this idea and report back to him about it at the next meeting. The next week, when you show him the results of doing that task, he’ll ask you why in the hell did you do that, and completely deny that he ever told you to do that task.
He still hasn’t quite mastered being able to tell what’s politically correct and what’s not. I have been reprimanded for referring to one of my coworkers as a “chick” but he thinks it’s fine to tell an off-color joke to a mixed crowd, or really stretch to find the sexual innuendo. Then he’ll giggle hysterically all by himself while the rest of us roll our eyes.
Rules that he doesn’t agree with (federal, university or otherwise) he just ignores. He assumes that the risk of getting caught is minimal, so he goes ahead and breaks them, with no contingency plan as to how to get out of it should he get caught.
I’m sure if you gave me more time, I could come up with more examples to support my claim of his mental decline, but this is getting long already. If anyone from human resources is reading – is there some form I can fill out to have him committed?


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