Monday, November 7, 2011

The Boss From Hell: Part II

Continued from yesterday.

The Boss From Hell

"Don't - say - 'I'," The Boss slowly enunciated. "You haven't thought of anything. You only do what you do because I first told you to do it. I told you to model the system. I told you to run the simulation."

My mind raced to understand the social ramifications of these comments in front of the senior staff. Accusing eyes stabbed from all around. "Well... When, we," I stumbled over the word, "ran the simulation, the benefits of controlling the torque evaporated in the extra energy required to change the gear ratio."

"What do you mean 'we'?" The Boss asked.

This was bad. "You just said..."

"I didn't come to that conclusion. Did anyone here come to that conclusion?" The Boss rotated his white haired head like a vulture looking for fresh meat.

"I'm just saying that the simulation indicated the power balance is negative and-" I flubbed again.

"What did we say?" The Boss cut off my words, and shook his head as if correcting a recalcitrant child.

"When the simulation finished, the post processing algorithm indicated a negative result," I said, avoiding personal pronouns entirely.

"Then what did you do?" He baited me.

"The data yielded an interesting perspective and then you came into my office," I told him.

"Who gave you the right to draw such volatile conclusions?" his face reddened.

"The data did." I challenged.

"The data is not in control," a vein throbbed in his forehead.

"No, physics is in control," I whispered load enough for all to here.

"NO! I am in control," he yelled and struck the table with a fist.

The rest of the meeting preceded in a similar manner, and I learned I was nothing to the man. I was a tool, a dog to be slapped down if I dared bare my teeth. I elaborated on the findings, describing the data, or the keyboard ,or physics itself as if they were Greek Gods announcing truths from on high. It infuriated him, but I didn't get fired. I don't know why. I suppose he preferred no one get credit rather than share it with someone else.

The story is a fitting analogy for the vast majority of us in the American Middle Class. Sometimes I feel stuck here, like it were a prison or something. The american ideal seems to be to breach the gap and become one of the financial elite. It is ingrained in us that every american has the opportunity to do great things, if only you are willing to work hard. I still believe this is true to a certain degree. On the other hard, it is harder to do so. And yet another part of me wonders what being in such vapid company as the ultra rich would really feel like. Bankers producing no physical products, real estate speculators owning nothing but the sale, Hedge Fund Managers betting against the economy as the markets dive? It is not appealing and I have resigned myself to the inevitable, to the ranks of the Middle Damned, a vanishing breed.


  1. I enjoyed reading this...Thanks.

  2. Excellent conclusion, sir. Still sorry about the bastard of a boss.

    As far as becoming one of the financial elite, I'd take the money, but the company would shun me because I'd still want to talk about computers and Star Wars and movies and gadgets and writing and trivia and beer. The only thing that would change if I came into that level of money: no debt.

    I know people say that, but I'm a miser. I'd level my playing field and just have fun living.

  3. Well said Shane. Blog war aside you truly are a gifted writer. I won't compliment you to much or your head will. swell to enormous proportions. No worries E already warned me what over complimenting does do you. sigh

  4. This is an awesome post. I especially liked the closing paragraph. Being in the ranks of the Middle Damned has a certain charm to it. There's much to be gained when you're in good company :)

  5. Joshua,

    I like to think I too would be able to come upon riches and remain unchanged. It's hard to say, but I hope so.

  6. P. S. You added my blogfest button! Thank you :0)


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