…I think there’s a pretty solid reason why I haven’t gotten as far in life as I’d hoped, at this stage in ‘the game’. I’m becoming even more aware of the reason with each passing day. Every job opportunity that has passed me by. Every promotion that I’ve seen given to someone else less qualified and definitely with a lesser “grasp” of what it takes to do the job better than it was done previously, by whatever schlub had it before this newest “Schlub-On-The-Rise” ascended to the rank of “Schlub Supreme”. I’m not a “Yes Man”.
…I know, that’s pretty hard to believe given my current social status,wealth and with all of the proprietary business acumen that I have acquired in my years of “Doing Whatever it is that I DO“. Truth be told, I’m not the kind of person that easily waffles or conforms to whatever is decided by a ‘5 Star Panel of my Peers’, in the workplace to be our “Mission Statement”. In fact, I have a “Mission Statement” of my own, that I’ve taken with me to every career I’ve had in my adult life. (There have been many) Try as I might, I have yet to have ONE of my places of employment adopt my policy for their own. Leading me to believe that “WE” might just be on to something.
My Mission Statement is fairly simple and easy to remember. I’ve tried, many times, to present this“groundbreaking and revolutionary” first step towards a business model that would simplify the working world, increase productivity, drive sales (everything is sales-trust me), bolster profits, boost morale and generally get this country off the snide in it’s struggle to become a “Power” on the world stage once again. In my futile attempts to share this little “nugget” of information, I have been vilified, scoffed at, condescended to, belittled, ridiculed, berated and otherwise turned away as “a troublemaker”.
…That is all before I can ask where the ‘meeting’ is being held. When I ask if I can bring an easel and a PowerPoint presentation, you can usually be rest-assured that the memo sent to me, including the time and date of the meeting, was somehow lost in transit . “Why?” Do these people not know that I am merely trying to provide a service to the organization that I have most recently aligned myself with, in hopes that we can all do a better job and get an actual “Sense of Satisfaction for a Job Well Done” , at the end of each work week? I’m at a loss.
Let me state for the record right now, that if for some reason the job I am currently with turns out to be the one I am working at when I am 79 years old, (Meaning, the one before the one when I become a WALMART greeter or a McDonald’s Coffee Topper-Offer), there are going to have to be a ‘few’ changes. It becomes increasingly difficult day after day, doing the same old-same old, with no end in sight, when I can’t seem to catch a break from the day without being able to “laugh”. Let me illustrate my point (bearing in mind that I have no Overhead Projector, Easel or Prerecorded Audio-Visual Presentation to accompany this and am relying on you, the reader, to try to get where I’m going with this – Thanks, the Management) Here’s a ‘for instance’: I was working last week. Minding my own business. Not making eye-contact with anyone, so as to avoid that whole, “I give a crap about you and what goes on in your pathetic life” VIBE to any fellow coworkers. I was turning in my time sheet, just trying to get the heck out of the office without being detected. I just wanted to go home and start a weekend free from the ‘Worries of Work’. I was headed towards the door, when what happened?. . . No, I’m asking, I’ve tried to block it out of my memory and that’s a little ‘mental preservation’ game I play to try and block out uncomfortable experiences. Well since, you weren’t there and since it’s only been a few days, I’ll tell you. My ‘Immediate Supervisor’ (meaning the person that jumps all over my ass ‘immediately’, if I do something wrong) cornered me. Actually, I believe she took an ‘angle’ to head me off at the exit when she saw that I had every intention of putting that god-forsaken hellhole out of my mind for “just a couple days”. She put herself between me and my escape (in tow, a squirrely little woman, whose name escapes me right now- Vivian? Lilian? Martha?) No matter, she had me boxed in and the only way to get around her was through her or to listen to what she had to say. “Hi Dan!” I internally winced. I did so internally, because when I wince outwardly, it can be devastating for all those involved. “Hi,” I managed. “Long Weekend Planned?”
…She bellowed. “Not long enough,” I said. At this point I was trying to decide if “through her” might be a REAL option. I also started to think, “Long Weekend Planned? What does that even mean? Am I being fired? Aren’t all weekends typically 2 days (3 with a Holiday)?” I also felt myself beginning to ‘outwardly’ wince and hoped that the end of this nonsense would be coming soon. Luckily, it did. “I’d like you to meet your Newest Supervisor Gwen (that’s it) or have you to met?”Now the next words were those of my Newest Supervisor and I really shouldn’t be held responsible for my response given the circumstances. “I Don’t Believe I’ve Had The Pleasure,” said Gwen, sheepish grin – extending her ‘dead fish’ hand for a cursory, emotionless and clammy greeting.
…What do you think my response was? I wanted out of there pretty badly. I wanted to get home and be with my wife and kids and put my work week to bed. This little person whom I’d never met before had been introduced as my Newest Supervisor (meaning the one who makes SURE my ass is jumped all over ‘immediately’, if I do something wrong) and she greets me with, “I Don’t Believe I’ve Had The Pleasure”. As most of you know by now, I’m not one to mince words. I may use too many of them. I may abuse them in a way that leaves them unrecognizable. But I tend to speak my mind and at 4:00 Friday afternoon my mind said, “Well, If You Haven’t, I Wouldn’t Go Around Advertising IT, or it’ll NEVER happen for ya’ “. Immediately upon these words leaving my mouth, the earth began to slow in its rotation. I became very warm. And I can swear that the break room, meant to have a capacity of 250 people, had now just shrunk and I knew if I didn’t get out the door, all 3 of us were going to be trapped in there. Her dead-fish hand recoiled into its stubby little alien arm. She turned about 15 shades of red, which with her pasty skin and auburn hair, really wasn’t the best color for her. At that PRECISE moment my ‘Immediate Supervisor‘ made an immediate decision. One that I am actually considering places her in the ranks of a supervisor worth ‘a toss’. “Oh, that Dan,” she said, “He’s such a cut-up!” They turned around, Gwen looking over her shoulder as if to say, “I’ll have my eye on You, Troublemaker”. What’s New Toots? What’s New?
. . . So in closing, were I have ever been “invited” to give a presentation to any of the various organizations that I’ve been affiliated with over the course of my illustrious and eclectic career path, it would be relatively short and sweet. “Stop Being So Damned Serious People!” I really don’t have time to be kissing anyone’s butt. I’ve got a wife and kids at home. I have bills to pay. I’ve got to bury as much “Real Life Crap” in the “Landfill of Disappointments in My Life” , without adding “Work” to my problems. I don’t “Want” to take work home with me. I want to leave it in my ‘inbox’ and not even think about it until I remember it was due two days ago. And if I do? Forget I mean. . . Then you shouldn’t have given it to me to do in the first place. There are loads of people out there who will be more than happy to kiss your butt. I’m going to have to apologize ahead of time, for saying, I’m NOT going to be one of them. I want to Live Life and if that means I’m going to be making a little less, but maintaining a sense of Dignity, then I think I can “cut-back” a little on things like Food and Electricity .
As far as “My Mission Statement”? I told you it was easy: