Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Best of LOTD: Things Former Bosses Have Said To Me (Of The Day)

(Originally posted in 2007)

Real quotes from former overlords of mine.

"Not everyone gets promoted to busboy. You gotta prove yourself on the dish line first. Only the best make busboy."

"You get an hour for lunch, but try to be back in 45 minutes so the person covering your register can take their hour."

"Write whatever you want. Nobody listens to that crap anyway."
(Referring to "coming up next" narration over the end credits of a TV show or movie)

"We want spots with a real cum-in-your-face feel to them."

"The good news is, I can hire you. The bad news is, I can't pay you."

"Did you get hit in the head or something?" (after I did an uncharacteristically poignant promo for the movie, Corinna, Corinna)

"I don't want to hear the phones ringing three or four times! You guys should answer them before they even ring."

"I like the spot. I don't really like the script or the music, and the VO is awful, but otherwise it's fine."

"You didn't show enough enthusiasm at the staff meeting. Everyone else seemed really into it."

"Where do you see yourself in five years?" ("Bangin' your old lady?")

Let's hear yours.


  1. "I invented e-mail." - A former boss and CIO. It was even on his resume. He could barely use e-mail.

  2. When questioning me about a mistake (not mine) made on a cancelled conference reservation:

    "Find out how much the hotel costs, which I should pay. Don't worry, I won't take it out of your pitiful salary or more ample behind."

    Gosh I miss him.

  3. I remember being interviewed by the head of the circulation department at a library I worked for when I was just out of college. She said "It doesn't matter how much experience anyone has. We just need warm bodies."

    My current boss not too long ago brought me a bunch of free bookmarks and such that had been sent to him. He brought them in to my office and gave them to me, telling me to send them out to the branches or give them away at the circulation desk or do whatever I wanted to do with them.

    I asked him, "What are they for? Who are they from?"

    He said, "Oh, I don't know. I didn't even look at them. It's just a bunch of PR crap. Nobody ever reads that PR crap."

    He made this statement to me, the Marketing and PR Coordinator at the library. It's so nice to know how important your work is in the grand scheme of things! hahahahaha! :-)

  4. This is too funny....I had a boss like the one in Office Space once.. I cringed everytime he stopped by since that meant more work... arrrgh... bosses..

  5. I told my boss I needed to take the morning for my 20 week ultrasound. I never did make it in to work, because they could see that the baby had a severe cleft lip and palate. They spent most of the day trying to get better pictures of his head and face. When I went in the next day, my boss lit into me for not making in for the second half of the previous day. I tearfully told her why I didn't make it back and she said, "Oh please. That can be surgically corrected." Heartless bitch.

  6. When I was still working in radio (in L. A., so my boss wasn't some jerkwater know-nothing bozo--well, actually he was. Back to the story...) the Program Director brought me into his office and said, "Y'know? You're just too old and too white to work here anymore..."

  7. The cheek of that man!

  8. Punctuality at my first job was *very* important to my boss. I do want to clarify that my being a few minutes late on any given day didn't really affect anyone else. He was just one who valued being on time. I usually timed my commute so that I'd arrive within 15 minutes before the office opening.

    One day, I was 5 minutes late because of a multi-vehicle accident with fatalities that happened about a mile or so ahead of me. I was unable to get off the expressway and just had to suck it up. I'm very lucky it only cost me 5 minutes, it was bad. My boss yelled at me for being late and told me I need to plan these things better.

    Stupid me, I should have been able to know a semi was going to drive over two other cars that day...

  9. Back when I was at the cable network company (in-house production crew), our middle-manager was very much a Lumbergh.

    He called the entire production crew into a conference one day to tell us:

    "Look, guys... there's some concern that you're doing way too much to make these shows look good. I know that you all are good at what you do, and I know that you care about the quality of your work. But really, when it comes down to it, just light it, put some mics on the people, and roll tape. Don't spend so much time tweaking and getting things where you think you want them. If the people at home can see it and hear it, we're good to go."

    He was also one of those corporate asses who loved to keep his employees down, especially when it came to the annual performance review.

    When I came into the department, I was the low man on the totem pole (i.e. the newest sound guy in the office). I had a company-issued kit of gear, but my kit was also sent out with freelancers when I wasn't out on a shoot. It was quite common for the kit to come back with something in it broken, and often on a tight turnaround where I had to go out with it the next day. He loved to hold me accountable for damaged gear, even when other members of the crew could vouch for when and where it was destroyed, and who had the kit at the time.

    My last performance review before I left the company:

    Him: "I'm also a bit concerned about how you take care of the equipment in your kit."

    Me: "Really? I mean, I haven't had to have anything fixed in over a year. And that's pretty good, considering it's the kit that goes out with freelancers all the time, and they tend to kick the stuff around."

    Him: "Well, I understand that, but you just need to be more mindful about how you take care of it."

    Me: "Okay, let me get this straight. You're basically telling me that even though I have the floater kit, and even though it's often used by other people who tend to break things, and even though I've managed to keep anything from having to be fixed in well over a year, that's still not good enough?"

    Him: "Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm saying."

  10. I worked as a transcriptionist for a physical therapy rehabilitation clinic while my husband was in grad school. The owner, a registered physical therapist, didn't have a very high opinion of administrative staff and often openly criticized us. Once during a staff meeting we (the admin staff) were asking for more help because we were very shorthanded. The owner said, "Good grief, there is nothing hard about your jobs. I can teach a monkey to type."

    Unfortunately, I was EXTREMELY pregnant (okay bitchy) at the time and popped off with, "Yeah? Well, any whore can give a good massage."

  11. In a meeting with all his direct reports. Boss to me.
    Boss: Did you get the report I emailed to you?
    Me: No.
    Boss: Well, forward it to me so I can re-send it to you.
    Me: Uhh...OK, done.
    Boss: OK. Thanks.

    Never heard another word about it.

  12. Two boss stories:

    1.) During a summer job when I was 16 I worked in a warehouse at a local orchard. My day consisted of filling boxes with cans and jars of preserves, jellies, what have you, and sliding the filled boxes down a chute to the waiting trucks below. My boss sitting and watching me work openly called me a fucking idiot for carrying one box at a time over to the chute.

    (By the way the boxes weighed 70-80 lbs each.)

    Keep in mind there was a sign right above the chute IN BIG BOLD LETTERS stating to only carry one box at a time as that's all the chute could handle.

    So, listening to my all-knowing boss I carried two boxes over on my next trip and dutifully put em both on the chute only to hear the sound of wood splintering. I watched as the chute collapsed to the ground below.

    Take a wild guess who got blamed for that one?

    2.) Working as a part-time IT guy for a friend of the family's business. The man I was hired by never showed up at work, and when he did he acted like he'd invented computers. (Except he needed me to show him how to check his mail in Outlook, and to find documents that I'd "moved" since he'd last used the computer)

    One day he'd been particularly pricky about what I did or didn't know computer wise. He claimed that since I was 21 there was no way I could possibly know more than his 30 years in the business.

    So on my lunch break I uninstalled every program on his computer (after backing up the info of course) completely dismantled the network set-up I'd done for free, (on my own time mind you) and left a nice note thanking him for the chance at learning something from him about the field at which I clearly knew nothing, and hoped he'd have a pleasant day.

    Got a nice phone call from him the next day when he showed up at work because he couldn't log into the VPN I'd set up for him to work from home and he'd seen what I'd done.

    He apologized so nicely to me that I offered to re-hook everything up if he'd stop treating me like a no-nothing idiot and quit acting like he was god's gift to the world. He promptly swore at me like a drunken sailor with Tourette's, so I hung up on him.

  13. Some of my fav comments from an old boss:

    1) "You'll never have it better anywhere else than you do here...." mmmkay, several years and double the salary later... yeah, right.

    2) Upon giving my notice not too long after statement 1 above, he asked me how much they had offered me. I gleefully told him (it was more than his salary at the time, by a considerable amount) and his reply, "why didn't they offer it to me?" I was speechless. Buh bye...

  14. I have the worst boss ever right now. She is a liar and a climber. There are many things she's saying right now but the worst is probable this one, that she said to me, and to one of my coworkers:

    "I OWN you. You do what I want. Not what you want."

    I've been laid off and actually kind of thankful for it.

  15. Me: Can I have a time off request form? I need to put in a request for an afternoon off next month.

    Boss: You know what? I already granted you two days off this summer. I'm not printing any more request forms. You're just going to have to suck it up.

  16. When I was heavily pregnant and objected to holding the meeting in a tiny, windowless room while boss smoked heavily without breaking ever, boss said "what are you afraid of - suck up enough smoke you have a low birthweight baby and that thing will just drop right out".

  17. My brother in law(not actually my boss), who is a great innovator and engineer who designed and ran a processing plant that produced a very fine mulched cane fiber.. at his factory, there were explosions, machinery failures,hot, noisy, and ugly, you name it. He remarked once that the employees would come down with a sort of eye infection that was as a result of the dust everywhere. I remarked, "whoa, that's pretty bad working conditions, what are you going to do?! "
    His response was "if it's doing that to their eyes, imagine what it's doing to my equipment!"

  18. I worked as a graphic artist for an R&D organization. I was asked to create an artist's conception drawing for a prototype. It tuned out pretty snazzy, so it was used in all their PR materials.

    Eventually, the illustration was published in a national science magazine, but attributed to the magazine's staff artist. I made a big stink to my boss, asking her to contact the magazine so they would publish a correction.

    "Hell no", she said. "You're just lucky they printed it."

  19. At my husband's first job out of law school, there was a partner down the hall from him who would come in an complain about his investments. One day he came in swearing "I just lost more money than you make in a year!" My husband failed to feel too sorry for him.

    On the other side of things, the other day hubby was interviewing a guy for an associate job, and at the end of the interview, which had gone well, the interviewee asked "so, is there any reason you wouldn't make me an offer right now?" Hubby resisted the urge to say "Well, there is *now*."

  20. These are terrific... in a horrible, infuriating way. At least half of them are illegal.

  21. Back when I first got hired as a bookkeeper to get my foot in the door, the bosses had taken us out to lunch one day and the conversation took a turn towards salary. One of the bosses made the comment that men should get paid more for the same job as they have to support the family. He said this to myself and another bookkeeper who were SINGLE MOMS at the time. Ass. We did get a raise out of it though as we harassed him about it enough he actually felt bad. I am still here almost 14 years later and love my job and actually get paid fairly well for a girl! I think I need to go remind him of what he said and see what I can get out of it.

    1. Using that "logic", then a man with two kids should get paid more than a man with one kid. Whenever I hear someone going on about how ridiculous some workplace/wage lawsuit is, and though it may be, I remind them that if not for lawsuits, it would not even be this fair...and we still have a very long way to go.
      My horror story: Boss man (attorney) had injured his back but because he was so incredibly important, he still came into work, though couldn't even manage a walk to the bathroom. I came back from lunch one day and he was in the conference room, taking a whiz into a container (at least it wasn't jn the potted palm). Nice view of his ugly wrinkly old-man butt. I was horrified and disgusted and pissed off (no pun intended). He died about 2 years ago and I truly considered finding out where he was buried. I wanted to visit his grave, with my dancing shoes on! God, I still hate that SOB. More reasons than just the one listed is what earned my detestation of him. My friends/family still call him "Satan".

  22. I was told by a boss that even though I might think other managers (it was at a Sears, so I was one of three people who was not a manager) are jerks, I just need to pretend that I want to kiss them.

    I knew then that it was time to leave.

    At Pizza Hut, my first job, I had a Shift Supervisor on multiple occasions say "Okay, first off, I'm not yelling at you", at which point she started yelling at me. I liked her, though. She was abrasive, but she was good. I'd always just laugh when she started in with the "I'm not yelling at you".

  23. Christmas lunch all 12 of us, I'm sitting next to boss:

    Me (and yes, it was relevant to the conversation): I've always wanted to go skydiving.
    Him: Well, that explains a lot about your personality. *Mean laugh*
    Entire table: *Crickets*

    I'm still not entirely sure what he meant by that. I can't wait to leave my job. 4 months...

  24. After I chased a drunken tramp armed with what looked like a loaded revolver to a local railway station, and assisting the police with their search on my lunch break, I came back late.

    And twitching, slightly.

    After I had stammered an explanation as to why I was wobbling in at 3 in the afternoon, my boss seriously asked me if I wanted to go downstairs to the canteen, have a cup of tea, come back and start work as I was late back from lunch and down on my numbers for the day.

  25. One of my duties in a former job was to write research reports and send them to my supervisor. She would either edit them and send the changes back to me or decide they were okay and send them on to the client.

    One day, I was hauled into my big boss' office. She and my sup were both in there and they both demanded to know where a certain report was. They were both very angry that I hadn't sent it yet.

    I said, "I sent that report to Sup over a week ago."

    My sup said, "Oh. I probably deleted it then."

    Big Boss said, "Oh, okay. Workerbee, can you please send it again?"

    ???? I was practically skipping up and down the halls the day I was laid off from that place.



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