Bad Boss: Where You Work Matters

The Seattle viaduct will be closed beginning this Friday, October 21st @5pm, until the morning of Halloween. Nine and a half days, people. I frequented West Seattle earlier this year. My reaction was always this: “But it’s so cut off from Seattle.” This is why I have not ever wanted to live in West Seattle. Ah, I know. It’s temporary but if you close down one option there are very few others to use. I live in the best neighborhood, Capitol Hill. Most everything is on Capitol Hill and if it’s not there, it’s Downtown. If traffic is crazy, it’s likely I can walk to my destination. Luckily, I can now work from home.

I’m so happy. 🙂

Speaking of work, read this blog. It talks about an evil job. It is hilarious. I think this blog made my day. It reminds me of a terrible job I held for two days last November. I’ve never been fired before.

I was hired for the receptionist position for a hedge fund investor located in Downtown Seattle. He had pictures of himself hung in the hallways. I thought it was odd but I was too excited to have a job, a “Big Girl” job, to care much about his narcissistic quality (People, it wasn’t just one picture or a few pictures with his family; These were large poster sized photos of himself. One in which he was standing with the American flag). Marble floors, marble desk, people rushing around nearly breathless with all the tasks they had to complete. It was a small office but an impressive one. “At least it has a nice view,” I thought.

Oh, have I learned.

The first day was relatively easy starting out. I promptly arrived 15 minutes before I was scheduled to work. Half way through my shift, I noticed it was beginning to snow. Snow in Seattle is no small matter (Seattlites freak out driving in the rain, for Pete’s sake). They do not salt the roads. This is a huge problem for drivers. He asked me to call a town car around 3pm. I called as many people as I could in between him asking me what the status was. No big deal. The Admin Assistant found a better deal quicker than I did. I was glad for the save but bummed I couldn’t find someone fast enough. We waited.

And waited..

“April, what’s going on with the town car?”
Also, he was a New Yorker. He was obnoxious and not in the fun way New Yorkers are. This was the not fun part.
I explained to him that the town car insisted he was on his way. I kept calling to check. This was a total of 40 minutes. My boss was clearly impatient. He is kind of unpleasant at this point so I was doing my best to get rid of him. I kept calling the town car back meanwhile looking for other town car companies who would pick him up just in case. The original town car canceled. Crap.

In the middle of his end-of-the-day meeting with employees, he stopped me to ask what was happening, again. I explained he had canceled and I couldn’t get another town car to come pick him up, yet.

He told me to go down to the Westin Hotel and hail a cab. Unfortunately, I’m practical more than I am political. I said, “No one will be there. Cab drivers are turning around to go home. They are refusing to work.”
He stared at me with a blank, seething… stare.
He turned to one of my co-workers. “Will you go with her?”
Okay, so I made a mistake. The boss is always right?
We walked down.

No one was there except the bell hop boys.
We walked back upstairs to tell him the ugly news.

The next day the same thing happened. I had to order another town car while the snow/ice storm was going on.
(By the way, I was 15 minutes early to work because I could walk down from Cap Hill instead worrying about traffic).
I was able to get a town car within 15 minutes of calling around (everyone was booked) for the price he wanted. He was breathing down my neck. “Are you sure the car is coming?”
“Yes, I just called to-”
“Do you know what happened to me yesterday?”
“Sir? No, sorry sir.”
“I had to stay at the Westin Hotel. All night.”

Oh.. Booo… hoo. You had to stay at the nicest hotel in Seattle. That SUCKS.
I know it wasn’t because he cared about being home with his family (remember his pictures?)

This went back and forth for a while. I’m trying to oblige his whiny ego, he is straining himself from yelling at me. That was nice of him.
He had the Admin Assistant call a car to make sure I was doing my job. WTH?! I called that town car driver for the fourth time with fear in my voice (edged with some threat), “Please. Hurry.. If you do not arrive on time.. you will never heard the end of it…”
“I understand.”
I whispered, “No you don’t. Please show up.”
“Yes ma’am.”

I prayed.

While we waited, the crazy boss kept asking me things like, “Do you know how much this office cost me to remodel?”
“No, I do not.”
“Umm. I really have no idea, sir.”
“A quarter of a million dollars.”
I perked up. “Wow, really?! It seems like you got a good deal!”
Blank stare. I think he didn’t know what to say. This was not the thing I was supposed to say. Curve ball.
I continued, “It looks like it cost so much more?”
He grumbled to himself and walked out.

The town car showed up on time.
I was fired the next day.
I am sure they had a high turn over rate. Five months later I ran into the Admin Assistant at a Starbucks. We stared at each other for a moment until it clicked. Immediately we were chatty about what a terrible guy he was to work for. Her job may not be flashy now but she is happy.

Me too.

I have had trouble with finding jobs this past year (anything decent or stable, that is) but now I have a job I love with as a daily deal maker. It was my first day today. I called various businesses (spas, pizza parlors, salons, wineries). Everyone was nice. Well, there was a cranky guy but who cares? I get to work from home, work my own hours, and best of all, contribute to something I really love; Seattle.

That makes me a happy person.
Hold out for the good job. In the end, it’s worth it. Even “in this economy.”

(I swear, this wasn’t a plug for my job. I just happened to read the blog link I posted today and was inspired to write my horror story and appreciation!)

One Response to “Bad Boss: Where You Work Matters”
  1. Well, I am sorry you got fired before you could quit, but at least you got out of there. That guy sounds like a nightmare. Glad you’re enjoying your current job. I’m enjoying my stint as a stay at home wife for the most part (and even then I’ve done some writing work on the side), but I’m ready to get back to work and hoping I find something I really enjoy in Germany.

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