Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Definition of a fool

There is nothing more frustrating than working for a fool. Now, I don't use that term often, but in her case I need to make an exception.

A fool, in my definition, is someone unteachable. I can deal with ignorant people, even an ignorant boss, as long as they recognize they <i>are</i> ignorant. I can educate them. My challenge is when I try to instruct or teach but they argue with me, interrupt me, or otherwise disregard my direction. Here's an example:

I get a page from my boss telling me she wants to meet with me right away. She wants me to help her craft an email to our VP. But I'm at the dentist, I can't meet her right away. I suggest a time but the time is too late for her. I suggest that I write the email just as soon as I get back, and have her check it before sending it off. But that's not good enough. She wants the email written right away. "It can't wait another hour."

Sorry, I'd really like to help but I'd look kind of strange showing up for work with a dental bib on.

After the dentist, I go in to work and I call her up but she's rushed and can't be bothered talking to me. I go to a meeting until 6:00. After the meeting she asks that I join her in her office to write the email that couldn't wait! I dictate, she types but decides to change my words. Her words tell the wrong message. I suggest a change, she interrupts and says: "I hate it when you use all those acronyms."

"Okay, I can spell them out." So I do. I draw a picture. In the middle of the picture she swivels around putting her back to me and begins to type on her computer.

After she finishes she reads it back. It's still wrong. What is a conscientious guy to do? Tell her it's not right? I try, humbly, discretely, earnestly. But it doesn't help. She's not having it.

"I'm right, you're wrong. You just don't get it." she says.

Let it go. It's just not worth the aggravation. She presses SEND and off it goes, electrons shooting through copper wire finding the inboxes she's designated.

I feel like I'm in a car wreck. The car is coming at me, I'm buckled in. I kick and scream, but someone else is at the wheel. There is nothing I can do. It all happens in slow motion. I brace for the crash because I've done all I can.

"If you think your boss is stupid, remember: you wouldn't have a job if he was any smarter." - John Gotti